There. The stillness of the night, it’s here. Nothing compares. The darkness that comes with it is so beautiful and concealing. Tell the night a secret and be rest assured your secret is safe for life. I find it fascinating that the night-time is one where there seems to be an unspoken agreement by everybody to put aside the hassle and the joy of life and lay still in oblivion.
It is 5:30am. In another hour, the day will break and the sacredness of the night will be marred by the light of the day. That light is so revealing. Carelessly, it destroys the sanctity of the night. From the oblivion, life will return and so will my worries and troubles.
I lay motionless on my bed hoping against hope that the day will never break. I just want to remain like this for as long as I can.
At 6:00am, my alarm will go off, forcing me to move to turn it off. Why does it have to be so far from my lampstand? Oh yeah, so I will have to stand from my bed to turn it off. From then on, I will have to bid goodbye to the pulchritude of the night and exchange pleasantries with the rigor that adorns the day.
Right here on my bed, I shiver from the thought of cold water hitting my skin while performing the ritual of caressing and sometimes aggressively scrubbing – depending on where – my lather laden sponge over my body. How I dread the agony of picking out the day’s outfit. A few times, I have considered getting rid of half the wardrobe to help me decide faster. Come to think of it, why haven’t I gone through with that?
Breakfast is never in the plans for me. Once I am dressed, packing my bags is next in the routine. I like my books arranged in a certain kind of way so they do not squeeze or develop “dog ears”. My laptop and its charger also have to go into the bag but my bag is not so spacious and so it is always a struggle.
The day always goes by very slowly. I find most of my courses boring. The lecturers taking them do not make matters better as they are more boring than the course itself. Sitting still through one to two hours of those classes is hell sometimes. It is at these times that my eyelids weigh a tonne. The struggle of keeping them apart outweighs my feeble attempt at paying the lecturer any attention.
Staying awake is the compromise I often manage to reach. Other times when my eyelids are as light as feather, I daydream. My body sits still while my mind travels far and wide, through time and space, revisiting sweet and sad memories, making up scenarios that were likely never going to happen like Ma surviving cancer. It was always pure bliss being in that fictitious world; my escape from reality.
After classes, I head straight for the cafeteria to buy lunch. The tussle at the cafeteria to buy food is not one I look forward to. Once it gets too rowdy for me, I pick a spot and wait a while for it to get a little less rowdy. This has never gone beyond twenty minutes. In that short time I, scroll through my Twitter timeline, attempt to reply my WhatsApp texts, stare into space all the while praying no one comes to sit at my table. Most times…most times I…ermm…
My thoughts seem to have trailed into some memory. I sit up straight on my bed shaking my head and lightly tapping my forehead. It is clear that whatever I am trying to recall has something to do with the cafeteria. A dream, perhaps.
“Cafeteria, cafeteria, waiting…” I mutter to myself.
Now I am certain it is a dream. It’s as if the memory is hiding behind a door and I am slowly approaching it. Little by little, like parts of a big puzzle, it starts to come to me.
I was at the cafeteria, only this time, it was…
“boooooom chaka boooooom chaka booooooom…” my alarm goes off, carelessly piercing through my thoughts and scattering the little pieces of my dream puzzle I have put together.
I groan as I stand to turn it off.
My prayers have not been answered after all. It is day break. Worse is the fact that my little dream has vanished into the thin air because my alarm had to remind me it is daybreak.
The day remains my enemy. Nothing will change that.