Archive for September, 2016

Wasteful Silence


“It’s a lesson, a point of view when there’s a wasteful silence in an empty room”

I stared into that window from my empty room, waiting for a sound, a sign, anything, but nothing came. The eternal quest of man is to shatter loneliness in any way he can, some through alcohol and others through cheap meaningless sex but I have failed in them all. Don’t get it twisted, I have people around me, but the loneliness is never crueler than when it is felt in close propinquity with someone who has ceased to communicate.

I’m not poor, not by any standard. I own a 5 bedroom duplex in a choice area in Lagos. I have someone I can still legally call my wife and two kids. Yet Bruce and Charlie are the ones whose “hi” means anything to me daily; I call the bird outside my window Bruce and the dog next compound is Charlie, I want to assume every “woof” it does is its way of saying hi to me.

Yeah, about the wife. She was at one point loving, kind, understanding, submissive, gentle and beautiful; though I’m at a point where I don’t even know what beauty means anymore. But by some sick turn of poorly handled events, everything dissolved, it was 5 years ago at my boy’s 10th year birthday. You know the way salt loses its solid-state whenever it comes in contact with water, July 11th was the water to our crystal salt.

Maybe I was too tight spirited, forgiveness has never been my forte. Rather I keep on talking about an issue even after closure, and since it sent bad vibes I started ‘unlooking’. The party music was loud and I had to pick a call, so I went outside the gate for less noise then I saw my wife in the distance. I wasn’t even aware that she had left the party. She was in tight embrace with a man, that kind of tight embrace that isn’t innocent at all; worst of all, it was a man whose face I remember well. When we met she was heart-broken because she had to abort a pregnancy and was jilted by her lover, then like a bricklayer on Sabrina I mended her heart and that was how we started dating. Yes, it was that man! “What was he looking for? Why was she outside? Will she tell me? Why is he holding her waist like that? Are both of them mad?” Were a few questions in my head: I got angry, went inside and was waiting for her to tell me about it since she didn’t even see that I saw them. I never asked, she never said. The anger ate me up, then I started keeping to myself in my own petty way, I became passive-aggressive and progressively the anger destroyed my family ties. Till Today I have never mentioned it to her, and yes we talk; mostly about the school fees of the kids.

I started having issues at work, I became paranoid because I was always thinking “what if she’s with that idiot again? Who knows where she is now, she closes by 6pm and it’s 6:05 and she’s not yet home.” I became cold to my family and lost it all, right up there as the biggest mistake one life can contain.

Scattered thoughts, noisy mind. I sit in the room alone most times and mull over the points in my life where the mistakes made could have been avoided: not seeking clarity, not getting closure, letting anger fester and letting unforgiveness gain possession of my life. I don’t party anymore, what is partying?! Keep in mind that to avoid loneliness, many people have both social circle and intimate attachments, technically I have none. Inside my heart is breaking, no make-up nor smile to cover it up.

Till now she isn’t aware of why we grew apart, we live together in what is already a failed marriage and a terrible example for our boy and girl. They don’t know the causality, they just see the gap widen till it became a gulf. The kids don’t even reckon with me like before because my bitterness spills out like food spilling from a playful feeding toddler. The world I live in is empty and the loneliness cuts me, tortures me and creates many holes in my soul. The potential to be offended in this world is endless; if I can relive those key moments, I will forgive more, seek clarity more and assume less.

“I’m lonely. And I’m lonely in some horribly deep way and for a flash of an instant, I can see just how lonely, and how deep this feeling runs. And it scares the shit out of me to be this lonely because it seems to me it would end catastrophic.”