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Embrace your ugliness, your becoming. Be patient with yourself.

-Oyunga Pala.

Silence and Emptiness.

I like this place, it’s quiet and mostly empty. Lonely, almost. Most times, more than half the place is unoccupied, devoid of human presence. The perfect dose of silence. I usually occupy the booth at the corner. In fact, I think that booth is mine. Every time I’m walking here in the morning I’ll be hoping against hopes I find it unoccupied, and most times I do. But not today. So I walk past it and settle in the booth in front of that one – my booth. There’s a couple having a breakfast combo and vanilla lattes (it’s that quiet, yes) in my booth.

Usually come here when I need to listen to the noises in my head. I lie.

This place is my happy spot. Might be because the emptiness within can smell its own kind from a distance?

Update: But now I’m not sure if that’s a good idea. I wrote this a while back, and it’s due to these voices that it’s going up this late. The voices sound like a disgusting shake of self-doubt, unanswered questions, and anxiety.

There’s a Somali man in a white Kanzu on my far opposite end. There’s a special place in my heart for Somalis. He stares at me in amusement. He is on the phone, pouring his loud Somali into the empty café over the slow instrumental jazz playing.

“Momma, I made it – NOT”

After my degree is conferred upon me I walk towards my mother. She breaks down when she sees me. I had extended my hands to hug her. Instead, I bury her head on my left shoulder. She’s growing short. Shorter. Happiness comes in many faces, types, and heights, it seems.

I take my graduation cap and put it on her head. Really giving credit where it’s due.

Mother is special. In more ways than the way, a mother is special, even if I took my daughter cap off. Her eyes have this tinge of gray and blue around her pupils. Her hair is silky and long. She’s been dyeing it a dark shade of brown-almost-red, fiery red, to hide out the white hairs but age is coming fast at her. She runs out of breath when she laughs. Her laughter sounds a lot like heaven.

(When the waiter brings you your bill, is it a sign that they want you to leave? Maybe because I’m occupying a seat that would otherwise be unoccupied in my absence?)

Dad wore a suit to my graduation. (bleugh) And a tie.

So here’s the thing, I wasn’t excited for graduation at all. If it weren’t for the parents, and excitement that rubbed on from friends I would probably not attend my own graduation.

I understand the joy that they feel on that day. I know what that joy is. Only It’s yet to come. This is simply not it. O

On Heartbreaks.

I have a rule about heartbreaks. Once you experience your first heartbreak, you gain immunity. You never allow yourself to go through that sort of pain again. Unless, of course, it happens. Death, stuff. My last heartbreak was in 2012 or so. He had promised to bring me balls of gold and a large house where we would spend the rest of our lives together. Aah, those immaculate tenderness of the teens when we think we know everything there is to know about love.

He is no longer a swanky handsome man. He’s become bald. And, a father.

Thing is, heartbreaks don’t always come from people. Like happiness, heartbreaks come in forms too. Sometimes they look like rejection emails. Other times, it’s friends. And other times, you break your own fucking heart. When you wake up to find yourself hating yourself, and then coiling into the shape of a foetus wanting it to all stop for just a moment.

Sometimes, not for being anything but yourself.

And for being able to justify it, for not writing and writing like crap when you do.

For failing, with God.

For all the things you haven’t been able to do.

For being, ugly.

For now, accepting that, being true.

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