Sunday, February 26, 2017


Dearest General,

Please refer to my last letter from two weeks ago — the one which sadly you have not replied. It was Valentines and I really hoped that we could spend the time together, even if it was by Skype. I know you are not big on technology but I thought you would at least try. I have given this a lot of thought. I have come to the conclusion that Valentine is a Western, even pagan celebration and I can understand if, being a believer, you want nothing to do with that. However, our love is still in need of fixing. We cannot carry on like this, you talking to everyone around me — even your houseboy, the one who looks like a pigeon and excitedly tells everyone you called him — but not me. This is all the more serious now that for all intents and purposes, we are in a long distance relationship. 

One of the holy books says: Love never fails. And that is why I persist, writing you, even though you have refused to speak to me. I am not asking for much. I didn’t say you should send me nudes, I know you have not healed. Just one FaceTime or WhatsApp call. 

I believe in our love. However I want us to get one thing out of the way. You have spent all this time with London; two months you have been in her home, waking up, taking your bath, eating, taking off your clothes for medical and other procedures. I have never doubted your loyalty but now I really have to ask this question: Are you having an affair? Is that why you are ashamed to speak to me even though all our mutual friends assure me you are fine? Look, I am not a child. I am not naive. I know that with distance, affairs are a possibility. You are a child of God but you are human. Even a 74 year old has his needs. I recognize that. And that is why I insist that you tell me so we can work things out. It is not as if I have not been tempted myself. It is not like I have not seen someone that has made my blood bubble with excitement. But, Love endures all things. We can get better. I can try to please you better. Just Skype me and I promise I will put this affair behind me and carry on loving you. 

You remember Odysseus and Penelope in Greek mythology? I know that is for pagans, but there are lessons to be learnt there. I am like Penelope and you are like Odysseus. You have gone on a long long journey and now that no one knows when or if you will return, men have started filing in to take your place. They woo me and tell me how things can be so much better without you. Your deputy, the one who couldn't even speak in your presence, is now walking around, doing things to impress me. Things we couldn't do together since we fell in love, he is doing them. And people are praising him and hinting to me that he would make a great replacement for my runaway lover. “See how much he has done since your man disappeared,” they tell me. This offends me on a few levels. First off, he is a short man and you know I have a thing for tall men. Short men have issues. They are always trying to overcompensate. Look at the other short man, the one who used to insult you and now swears by your name.  You just cannot trust them I tell you. So, yes your deputy has achieved much and is now very vocal in your absence but it is only you who makes my blood boil. It is only you — talk hunk — that I chose. Second, your deputy, he wears dark colors (and clothes that barely fit him) and I love a man who knows how to wear white, like you. 

However, I am human. If he continues doing these good things I cannot say for how long I can wait for you. He is doing things we could not achieve together. Things you promised you would do. I have to justify to myself why I am waiting for you. I need you to tell me why. Why should I keep waiting for you my dear? Because while love is great and all, sometimes, love is not enough. I am like Penelope but I am not as strong as she was. I am not magic. I can bleed. I can break. I need you to tell me not to break. 

Now, every time someone looks for the man of the house, your deputy shows up. He speaks to me more than you spoke to me. I am not comparing, but facts are facts. People, foreigners, are asking me mockingly: Where is your man, oh faithful Penelope? 

Give me the words bubu. Give me the words to respond to my attackers and mischief makers. Show me I did not make a mistake choosing you over all others. Don't mock me by speaking to strangers and not speaking to me. Give me a reason not to go with your deputy and move on. 

Ps. The thieves in your house are still there. The man who took our money to cut the grass and didn’t do it. And the thief who is in charge of your flights. I hope you will return, take charge and rid our house of these filthy men. 

Yours lovingly,

Penelope to your Odysseus 


1 comment:

You fit vex, bet abeg no curse me. You hear?