Things aren’t Always What They Seem
November 5, 2009
I am having an affair. For ten years I have gone through the motions and you have been my permanent address. For ten years I have shown delight in the offerings you have brought me: crisp croissants and coffee, plump purple figs off the tree. I have picked grapes with you and learned a whole new, beautiful language. You have shown me blushing dawns on glitzy beaches and millionaires yachts in Monaco. You have shown me Paris and the Pyrenees and I have loved and appreciated them all. But you are not my First Love.
My First Love lacks all artifice and sophistication. My First Love is not polished. My true love is undiluted color and sharp edges. Your tones are muted and tasteful.
I have praised your exquisite colognes and marveled at the alchemists of Grasse but the scent that stops me in my tracks is colored with the warm tones of quenched earth after a rainstorm.
You have given me safety and security and have spread choices before me like an array of promising cards, a winning hand. The Love of my Life prefers to play Russian roulette.
Your voice is a reassuring murmur. A constant and rapid discourse of things I soon forget.
My True Love impales me with the silent whisper of an impala, statuesque at dawn. An urgent, peaceful communication.
You pamper me and make sure I am always warm and well-fed. You attend to all my physical needs and I am forever grateful for this. But when I lack for nothing I feel nothing. My body cancels itself out. You have disappeared me.
My First Love never offered a safety net and sometimes placed me in harm’s way – I am one of many who have expressed my devotion. I am as dispensable as the ripe mupani fruit fermenting back into the savannah.
But there is always the possibility an elephant will ponderously sniff me out and pluck me up. If I have fermented enough my sweet flesh will give him a temporary high and I will have made a noble beast swoon and smile.
I am married to France but Zimbabwe you are my First Love.
Africa. Africa. Africa.