When I met you, we almost fought. Actually, we did fight, and you won the first round. No punches were thrown, but you did trip me nge “two feet” and I fell down, sprang back up, thrust my little chest into your stomach (because, of course, of your stature) and smiled up in your face.
You had that famous smirk of yours on – I couldn’t do shit, it said.
The details of the fight were arranged on the spot, of course. By onlookers. Onlookers always arrange everything. Seeing as the above-mentioned altercation had occurred immediately before the commencement of our evening studies (we were at JT, that world-famous boarding school), it was arranged that we meet after the end of said study session, in two hours, behind the ironing room.
Your entourage was relatively larger and very much fired up – they had a winner in you. You were the typical prize fighter – long, lean, strong and abounding with confidence. My entourage was quite small in comparison, not as confident in the victory but oh!, quite eager to witness the proposed pugilism.
Cut a long story short, the fight never transpired.
Until the last time that we were together, we would always argue about why that was. You said that you went to the ironing room but did not find me. I alleged vice-versa: I went, but there was no young man ready to kick two mounds of my mother’s breasts in the sand and rush me. This was a hotly contested debate which neither of us would ever win.
Well, the truth is the following, at least on my side:
I did not go to the laundry room.
I was not keen on fighting you. I wish I had told you this while you were still here.
Did you go, though? I suspect not…although your pride probably forced you to go “check” if I was available, and upon witnessing to the contrary, you then lacked the enthusiasm to pursue the matter further. I will never know, not in this lifetime.
You, however, have crossed over. You probably have asked God about it, and have learnt of my shaming cowardice. Well I am not ashamed, Sir. I feel that at that stage of life you were just too big for me. I would have conceded the following advantages to you: athleticism, height and reach. Strength could have been balanced, and your asthma may have slightly mitigated the athleticism advantage, but I do not think by much. You see, I happened to witness, a month or two later, your fighting pedigree on full show when you wrestled Clever and had him in an arm lock, pounding on his defenceless countenance. Clever was shorter than both of us, I admit, but he had more athleticism and had decent strength, not to mention an unbreakable passion for other people’s blood.
I therefore fear that I may not have been much competition behind the laundry room, Sir, and seeing as our respective dormitories were adjoined and our respective beds separated by a mere door and no more than twenty meters, I thank you for not seeking me out to honour the contract.
So, on that evening, we shared the spoils, or the lack thereof.
We would go on to share a lot of things. “Street smarts”, intellect, and a love for the unconventional. Adventurous spirits too, not to mention our dreamy nature. We never could get much done except for school and a few hobbies. You were much more of the action man, though, because you played sport. I never played shit. I was even too lazy for chess, which you were master of. Oh yeah I could catch you in checkers (draughts, or drafts?) always, and maybe that made you respect my cunning as well.
Our most shared “thing”, though, was an unexpected one: the library. Not, unfortunately, the technology section of that noble establishment, nor the history section (although we did our fair share of studying the subject, formally and informally), nor the science section, nor the maths section, nor any educational section. No.
Just the fiction section.
I would love to postulate that nobody ate up words like you and I, Sir. If words had been humans, we would be cannibals. If words had been meat, we would be carnivores. We got lost in there. We survived in there. We coped in there. From the great, refined Mr Dickens, Esquire, to the ofttimes crude and worldly James Hardley Chase, we read, exchanged, recommended and criticised. This was to be one of the defining features of our friendship.
Now, you know that you hold the record as the guy I spent most of my time with in the period of 1998 – 2009. I also hold the same record in your life, I believe. The schoolmate I spent the most time with.
Why? Well, because we were literally in one and the same class in that whole period.
Secondary school: Forms 1A, 2A, 3C and 4C; (1998 – 2001). You always sat somewhere near the back, I remember vaguely. We also shared a dorm in Forms 3 and 4.
High school: Lower sixth form and Upper sixth form, Maths, Physics and Chemistry (2002 – 2003). We sat close to each other in class and also shared a dorm.
Varsity: Bachelor of Engineering, Honours, in Electronics (2004 – 2009). You would sit at various areas in class, mostly close to the ladies, if I recall well. This is up for debate because I never paid much attention to anything at Varsity.
I think, based on these stats, we can safely say that you are a strong contender for the spot of “guy whom I have spent most of my time with here on earth”. No wonder I can’t let this go.
We did too much together. I knew you like the back of my hand, Sir, and vice versa. We could never bullshit each other. Maybe this is why I feel so guilty about being away from you after the end of Varsity – may I could have changed the course of our lives and we would still both be alive. However, none of us were gods in the divine sense, and therefore, it became what it became. I have faith that you are in a much happier place. If that faith falters, I force it, for what else shall I believe in? The sweet by and by is our, or my, only hope. You have done paid your dues, said the American.
In any event, the question may be asked, why today? You left earth in 2015, and here I am in 2017 typing this epistle. Am I not a bit late?
Well…you know the answer there – it’s relative J. You see, I last saw you in 2009, as alive as ever. I last spoke to you in 2012/2013. In 2015, I got the news that you were not with us anymore. Things take time.
I have gone through a period of “denial”. It’s like my mind knows that the news is true, but my heart cannot, or will not, accept it. I have been dreaming of you almost daily since that time. You are with me always, with that broken front tooth always in my face, smiling, sometimes happily because we are together again, and sometimes sadly because you know that things have changed – you are not in the flesh anymore. Lately, I have not been dreaming of you. I have just been reminded of you in my own speech, actions and general life things.
I have felt you in my home. I have wanted to bump into you, and listen to your long-winded explanation of how you came to be thought of as “dead”, while you were gallivanting through the dusty narrow streets of Zambia, drinking warm beer and taking up random freelance jobs while enjoying the female talent in that country.
I have even desired to meet you as a ghost, having you scare the shit out of me until I become used to seeing your wispy grin, then enjoy many a night talking shit and remembering old days.
I have blamed you, you motherfucker, for not reaching out to me in your trials and tribulations, and not forcing my hand if I stalled. I have asked you time and time again; What the fuck happened that was so big that you could never call me and say bro, I am on my way to you right now, I need to let out some.
Well… time is past. So I shall tell you what makes me remember you the most, and then stop writing, because this is becoming too long and frankly, I need to work and make money.
That was us bro. Music connected us in a way that nothing could. We could sit and rap for hours on end. Remember you calling me your backup? What I listened to, you loved, and what you listened to became my gospel.
So this morning I was driving to work and playing Pac…
Literally, every song bro. I heard you through the speakers and felt you man. So without further ado, I hereby present you with lines that make you stand tall in front of me wherever I am….
“…me, a born leader never leave the block without my heater got me a dog, named him mob bitch nigga eater…”
“…young, strapped, and I don’t give a fuck – I’m hopeless! I live a thug life losing my focus baybe!…”
“…God forgive me cause its wrong, but I plan to die, either take me to heaven and understand I was a G, did the best I could raised in insanity, or send me to hell cause I ain’t begging for my life, ain’t nothing worse than this cursed ass hopeless life, cos I’m troublesome…”
Death Around the Corner
“When we were kids, belonging felt good. But having respect – the feels e’en better….”
“…I was raised in the city, shitty ever since I was an itty bitty kiddy drinkin liquor from my momma’s titty, and smoking weed was an everyday thang in my household, drinkin liquor till you out cold…”
“…I see death around the corner, gotta stay high while I survive in the city where the skinny niggas die…”
Teardrops and Closed Caskets
“…Will I, forever be alone…”
Do for Love
The whole fucking song buddy
Me Against the World
The whole fucking song bud. But lets just put it down and hear your voice again on this one
“…more bodies being buried, I’m losing my homies in a hurry they relocatin to the cemetery…the question is will I live? No one in the world loves me I’m headed for danger, don’t trust strangers put one in the chamber whenever I’m feelin this anger, don’t wanna make excuses, cause this is how it is what’s the use unless we shootin no one notices the youth it’s just me against the world baybe…”
“…could somebody help me? I’m out all here by myself seeing ladies in stores baby capons livin wealthy…”
“…cause ain’t no bucks to stack up, my nuts is backed up, I’m bout to act up, go load the mac up, now watch me klack up…”
“…riskin 25 with a L but oh well…”
And that last verse bro…
“With all this extra stressin, the question I wonder is after death, after my last breath, when will I finally get to rest through this suppression, they punish the people that’s askin questions and those that possess, steal from the ones without possessions, the message I stress, to make it stop study your lessons don’t settles for less, even the genius asks questions be grateful for blessings, don’t ever change keep your essence the power is in the people and politics we address.
Always do your best, don’t let the pressure make you panic and when you stranded and things don’t go the way you planned ‘em dreaming of riches, in a position to make a difference politicians are hypocrites they don’t wanna listen.
If I’m insane it’s the fame made a brotha change, it wasn’t nothing like the game it’s just me against the world…”
I miss you bro.
How do you want it
Our feel good song:
“How do you want it? How does it feel? Comin up like a nigga in the cash game livin in the fast lane I’m for real…”
“I love the way you gravitate your hips and push your ass out, got a nigga wantin it so bad I’m bout to pass out, wanna dig you, and I can’t even lie about it baby just alleviate your clothes it’s time to fly up out it…”
“…Forgive me I’m a rider, but still I’m just a simple man, all I want is money fuck the fame I’m a simple man, Mr international, playa with a passport, just like Aladdin b, get you anything you ask for…”
“…tell me is it cool to fuh..? you think I came to talk am I a fool or wha…? Positions on the floor it’s like erotic, ironic, I’m somewhat psychotic I’m hittin switches on bitches like I been fixed with hydraulics…”
I get around
The whole bloody song cuz
“…she tell me that she needs me, cries when she leave me and every time she sees me she squeeze me, baby take it easy, I hate to sound sleazy but tease me – I don’t want it if it’s that easy…”
“…your ass wide (you ask why?) don’t matter, my pocket got fatter, now everybody’s looking for the, latter. And ain’t no need in being greedy, if you wanna see me dial the beeper number when you need me, and I’ll be there in a, jiffy, don’t be picky just be happy with this, quickie.
When will you learn, you can’t tie me down baby doll – I get around”
“…Now you can tell from my everyday fits I ain’t rich so cease and desist with em tricks, I’m just another black man caught up in the mix, tryn to make a dollar out of 15 cents…”
“…Yo what’s up love how you doin? Well I been hanging slanging tryn to do my thang oh, you heard that I was banging, your home girl you went to school with – that’s cool? But did she tell you bout her sister and your cousin – thought I wasn’t?”
“Fingertips on her hips as I dip, gotta get a tight grip, don’t slip, loose lips sink ships as she trips, I love the way she licks her lips, see me jocking put a lil twist on her hips cause I’m watchin! Conversations on the phone till the break of dawn now we all alone why the lights on? Turn em off, time to set it off get your wettin’s off, somethin’s on your mind let it off.
You don’t know me, you just met me, you won’t let me, well if I couldn’t have it (silly rabbit) why you sweat me? It’s a lot of real G’s doin time, cause a groupie bit the truth and told a lie. You picked the wrong guy baby if you too fly you need to hit the door, search for a new guy, cause I only got one night in town, break down or be clown, baby doll are you down I get around…”
“heh-ayyyy heh-ay, yeaaaaaaah, heeeeeeh eh he ayyy…’
We just couldn’t figure this song out, but it was, and continues to be, a classic feel-good mean-fuckall song.
Brenda’s Got a Baby
What can I say Sir? We would wrap the whole bloody song.
“…now Brenda’s belly’s getting bigger, but no one seems to notice any change in her figure, she’s 12 years old and she’s havin a baby, in love with a molester who’s sexing her crazy…”
“…he left her and she had the baby solo, she had it on the bathroom floor, and didn’t know so. She didn’t know what to throw away and what to keep, she wrapped the baby up and threw him in the trash heap, I get she thought she’d get away, wouldn’t hear the cries, she didn’t realise, how much the little baby had her eyes…”
Live and Die in LA
That chorus boy…
Listen man, whenever I play Tupac, I feel you. Greatest Hits baba, that album. California Love…It’s All About You. Whenever I play Xzibit and Eminem (I still owe you those tapes from 2003) I see you. I Ain’t Mad At You, Say Goodbye Hollywood, X, Get your walk on…. That 50 Cent album, Get Rich. Nelly’s “Nellyville”, with Air Force Ones, JayZ’s Renegade…Nas “Got yourself A Gun”…
And where would we be without Nickleback’s “…and I’ll stay skinny cause I just won’t eat…” and Linkin Park’s “Numb”.
I cannot exhaust the songs – our tastes were aligned, and that’s a whole lot of song in there. Our only point of divergence was that you said you hated “Life Goes On”. I don’t think that you did. I think you loved hating it because every casual Tupac fan loved that song. As a Tupac purist, you felt the need to just move out of that madding crowd and listen to songs less known. I am open to debate on this issue.
You also influenced my education and career man. I remember you and Drunken seating at our dorm in 2001, talking about studying Engineering, electronics as a major. At that point my head was firmly glued in the rectum of this great big entity called “medicine”, and I was intent on becoming a doctor. You guys gave me the second career choice. Electronic Engineering.
And here I am…
We talked at length about the company that we would start and run together, us three. That was the plan. What happened to the fucking plan bud? I feel like you did not keep your side of the deal here, so much changed after ’09. Unreachable motherfucker, available in spots, never replying to my emails…then bursting out in 2012 with some upsetting news, which we could have handled too but no, off you were again… One day you must sit me down and make me get it. I don’t get it.
I am tired now and shall stop writing. I wish to see you someday. I wish to trade war stories with you again. God bless you Sir, and God keep you safe, happy and entertained. Pepper the heavens with your unworldly tales. Give them something to laugh about – I get the feeling that things may be a bit on the serious side over there. They need you, you world famous raconteur you.
Till we meet again fanas.