At the start and end of everyday. I could say during though my job is not at a table most the time. You’ll find me at a table thinking, discovering, catching up, snooping, trying to get people to like something, creating a digital self and impotently communicating with the people not at my table. I communicate with myself most the time, all the time in a delirium of bouncing whirling thoughts of the usual things such as dealing with the eternal problem of whys. Why haven’t I got a ‘proper’ job, as in a higher paid ‘respectable’ job. Why don’t I ever feel thirsty though always dehydrated. Why does electricity make stuff light up or why am I always tired. Why is my dirty coffee cup round and why am I always tired. Why despite the greatest togetherness of communications and knowledge does exploitation and persecution still exist. Why did my ideas and many rehearsals of becoming a real life Tom Cruise lead me to sit at this table. Despite eating greedily like a pig and exercising hard do I always look gaunt and ill. The only thing that makes me look healthy is a tan which I know is slowly making me look older. Why am I getting slower and achy despite drinking green tea. Why do I flip from one art to another trying to find an answer. I play and sing the guitar trying to be Bob Dylan. I write to be James Joyce. I take pictures to be William Klein. I even think about painting to be Edvard Munch though know I can’t paint, write, sing. Asking why will make me crazy, not asking why will make me crazy. Why after a time, after repetition, after a routine does everything become mundane. We always want what we don’t have and of course we don’t know what we’ve got till its gone just like a big yellow taxi. What makes something beautiful or moreover what makes us find such solace in it. Beauty is not fixed, its forever in a perpetual motion just like boredom. Beauty and boredom are one and all as opposites and intertwined in each other. Something is always not boring to some one, just as beauty diminishes becoming bland. You can only look at Monet or Bridget Bardot for so long. You’ll find me at a table bored certainly not beautiful. I’ll be searching for an honesty, honest in beauty for liberty of the mind and body. You’ll find me at a table just as i’ll find you at a table, working and wondering. Not daring to ask why too often. Forget it you don’t have time or energy. Go on distract yourself with working, marrying, children, providing until you sit another table.
“When I began to write our story down, I thought I was writing a record of hate, but somehow the hate has got mislaid and all I know is that in spite of her mistakes and her unreliability, she was better than most. It’s just as well that one of us should believe in her: she never did in herself.”
― Graham Greene, The End of the Affair
Its finally here, after a year of anticipation, mass preparation, its time to go.. Traveling on my own is a daunting prospect, airports all seem to have a different procedure for arrivals and departures making transfers difficult. Kenya is known for being not the safest of airports or places, people I talk to often tell of stories or corruption and bribery, thats just the airport.
My first destination is Amsterdam, one of the places i’d much like to visit in Europe, though I will not have time to leave the airport as it is complimentary to wait hours for luggage drop off, hours for customs, and hours for boarding. Airports are like a waiting game. Maybe its designed to make you recollect over where your coming from, to where you’re going. As I boarded the huge plane for Kenya, I knew I would be sitting there for a least eight hours. Fortunately it was a reasonably comfortable flight with constant food and drinks which are all free with the ticket. More importantly, you get your own little screen embedded in the seat in front of you full of recent films, music and entertainment. This was a sleep deterrent and so I didn’t sleep, something I hate doing on flights. You always feel ten times worse for doing it, i’m a tall guy, not good for sleeping sitting up.
Before I knew it we arrived in Nairobi. As I come out of departures there are many people with names on boards. I couldn’t help but notice they were mostly English names, even a John Smith. Amongst those, was one with my name. Billy, who was my driver and friend of Kenyanito. He was a slim small man with a wide smile. As he helps me with my bags to his car, I couldn’t help notice a muggy dry heat in the air. Its familiar to when you travel to warmer climates like in the Europe, though vary slightly in composition. As we drive through the city at night its hard to tell any difference in from my familiar scene of Europe. I’m sure the morning will reveal Africa’s colours.
In Kibera, I didn’t believe the scenes of child poverty effected me so much. Now i’m back I realise it has.
It possibly stereotypical to announce such things, a distant traveller acquires a new wisdom, or a new perspective of life. Though as my mind wonders to images of my journey, my pre-journey personality, of anxieties, insecurities. These self absorbed feelings seem to have departed, and the person I was, seems some what unrecognisable.
Maybe its too dramatic of a statement, though I seem to be standing taller, I have more… backbone. Any insecurities I had about myself, career or emotional distraught seems to be insignificant. I feel like I could take on the world and nothing could stop me!
I’m hoping that this isn’t an initial response. That I don’t let in any old ways seep in back to normal.
I have now been back two weeks. I don’t feel as passionately changed as I previously wrote. I guess my way of life seeps in allowing career or social anxieties back in. Yet I know I have changed since this journey. Life little annoyances don’t seem to bother me so much. I refuse to feel self absorbed or intimidated by oppositions in life. I realise I was quite a timid possibly fragile sole at times. I will always be empathetic to others, at least try to. I’ve always found life to be tough, in finding a career to relationships. And it still is, yet now at least I won’t feel so burdened with it, as I can think of the upbeat children I visited in Kibera, and the struggle I seen first hand.