Patch Me Up

I press the snooze button on my alarm five times every morning.

I set my phone on airplane mode so I can listen to my playlist every morning to work.

My playlist lasts fifty-three minutes and twenty seven seconds.

I smile, wave, shake hands and ask questions whose answers are of no importance to me like “how’s your family doing?” “what did you do over the weekend?”

I always get endless answers and stories that involve liquor especially on the weekend question.

Half of the staff here are married with kids and half of them spend weekends with other young women who keep quiet when their wives call.

My judgement meter was so loud the first time I joined them for the staff dinner,

But since then I’m amused and intrigued at how a man would roll his tongue, pepper his actions with a lie and everyone around him would nod in agreement, like he’d decreed the truth, “it’s what a man does.”

embroidery near textile
Annie Spratt/

So, patch me up will you?

Send me on a girls only trip to Mombasa, let me eat bhajias, kashatas, kokotos and fried potatoes for a week!

Surround me with feminine laughter…an endless joy, a certain softness that illuminates the soul when we are not being held down by society.

Oh, you should be married by now, why aren’t you?

Don’t you want kids?

Hey, at your age, you cannot have kids…they’ll not be normal you know because your eggs have expired.

Wait, what? Why are you single? See, if I hadn’t met my wife, I would marry you, spend the night with me.

Why are you not married? What are you waiting for?

Are you those bitter women trying to be like us men? You know the, ones who call themselves feminists?

Patch me up, will you?

Sew me here…right where my anger and disgust rises on the surface of my skin.

Powder me cocoa because my skin is the night, my heart troubled by the perception of love sold unto me by the books I devour, music I listen to and movies I reluctantly watch.

Drink me like scotch…throw in three ice-cubes and wash me down your throat as Femi Kuti serenades you.

Okay, patch me up real quick, if you cannot handle scotch, then throw me down your throat like Tequila! One quick shot and you stick your tongue out, aahh! and then tell the bartender…another one! You do so because you can never just have one shot of Tequila!

“Get married, settle down…come on, why don’t you want to settle down?”

A thought, a five second rant that involves not signing up for something that I do not believe in anymore plays in my head and I smile at him…watch the girl on his lap and finally say “I do not wish to be like your wife who worries every Friday and the whole weekend which woman you’re buried inside, relishing pleasure, servicing STDs and then going home to her, telling the world you love her.”

I press the snooze button on my alarm five times every morning.

I set my phone on airplane mode so I can listen to my playlist every morning to work.

My playlist lasts fifty-three minutes and twenty seven seconds.

No one invites me to their end of week nights out and my soul sings and dances at this new development…for my judgement meter is not activated and I can stay home, read a book, or go sight seeing around the islands.

Patch me up, will you…these holes in my perception of love, these wide windows and cracks in my thinking that are tested over time…make them go away,

Patch me up real quick…or if you cannot, consider me the soul that’ll wander, an old soul, traveling across worlds, reaching out to no one for the price I’ve paid for solitude is too high to compromise for a minute of fun.

Patch me, but if you cannot, send me some salve…something for the wounds that I cannot heal, for the tears I never shed that still drip salt onto those wounds the world does not see.

Patch me up…for I’ve always loved a quilt…every piece is different, but boy does it look good all together.

three assorted-color quilts
Raul Cacho Oses/

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