4/05/2015

Howls into the night

This moment, she might be tearing silently. Putting asunder the flesh of the night. Her cries, soft and deep, can only be felt. By her alone.

She is shrieking. She is grieving. The ideas, the dreams, the expectations, the hopes, have all congregated into this: nothingness.

When the camera zoomed into her face, it was not with the smiles that have come to parade on social media with the caption 'selfie'. The smiles, in those pictures, are unreal. The blankness, on her face, was real. No actor can get that. Only reality can bring that.

Perhaps, she was thinking. I am sure, she was thinking. I saw it. I saw it. I am sure, I saw it.

There was fear on her face. There was uncertainty. There was disbelief. There was shock. This was no theater. This was no statistic. This was her world - crumbling, falling apart.

The caption underneath said nothing about her. I am not even sure she was the target of the photographer. But, her face, blank and emotional in an emotionless way is what I can still see. I can see her screaming, now that the reality of all the cameras has been snapped shut.

Now, I can see her. Maybe my imagination is sharp. Maybe my senses have been sharpened by a long night of insomnia but, I testify, when I close my eyes I see her: howling. Her screams, silent, they are being swallowed by the night.

Perhaps it is a brother she lost. Maybe a cousin. Maybe a son. Even a daughter. A University student even. What if a security officer?

But the death was unexpected. Of course, all deaths almost are unexpected but the magnitude of this has not only unnnerved her. It has almost unnerved the world.

I am trying to close my eyes but I see her blank face. At the mortuary. In Nairobi.

This time, I think she is howling. Into the early morning of Kenya.

Here, I am howling into the night of a place thousands of kilometers away. Begging her. Pleading with her. On my knees. Please, let your image be struck off my mind. Leave. Go.

I want to sleep.