Excerpts from the Journal of a Chubby Otondo (I)

21.11.2011 (01:24AM)

It’s all about the days and nights here.

The nights are armed with shackles of cold; tying your skin down until your soul starts to shiver and you wonder to yourself what exactly you’re doing in this town with no warmth, surrounded by a multitude of souls who you barely know so their companionship is about as warm as the nights’ air you inhale, without a chance of warming up to them like the air you exhale which frosts in the cold.

I’ve been talking a lot about the cold abi? Well, it’s dark as well. And in the darkness my eyes give up any attempt to be useful so I ruefully lie on my mattress and soak in the sounds of the night around me. And so the sounds assault my senses.

My own breath sounds in my ears; shallow and fast, keeping pace with my pen as I scribble in this makeshift journal. The creak of this rackety bed as I shift around while I write, my bunkmate’s silent breath underneath; loud enough so that it sounds like his spirit is dreaming out loud, but silent and undisturbing to the next guy who sleeps restlessly because beds like these are just not what he’s used to.

Somewhere on the other side of the room, some dude left his music player on and Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy” plays out easily with several snores around going up in melody as if to agree that being a boy isn’t easy work. Bull frogs form themselves into groups of base choirs at the base of our yard and drown the noise of the fat man in the other room who snores like he’s drowning in a gallon of pap. The wind blows through the cracks in the doorway and rattles it, reminding me of a silent lover stealing into a room to meet with her man. But all I can think about is that if any girl has the liver to sneak in here in this dark of night… o boy na winch be that o…

The night continues. Carrying us deep and full of sleep through the sounds of sighs and snores and minds full of questions and eyes closed with sleep with dreams behind them like their very own private movie show. A dude who’s three bunks away from mine tells the babe he’s doing ‘midnight calls’ with, “Honey, I need to sleep. They’re going to wake us up at four.” And through asking myself why in the hell people still do midnight calls, I remember that I need to be up at four as well.

This can’t be life. I’m going to sleep.

So someone asked me to give bits and pieces of the journal I kept in camp so I guess I’ll be doing this from time to time. Hope you like it.

About The Capoeira Panda

Panda makes his home in the world of words and metaphors. In the hopes to be more than just a confused blogger, he currently works as the editor for an ecommerce company that was good enough to hire him, and lives with his flat mates & two imaginary dogs who get along just fine. He enjoys reading good books, writing, relaxing with his friends, & poking fun at his mother over the phone. When he's not doing any of these, he sometimes sits back and wonders why anyone expects to learn anything useful about him by reading this bio. View all posts by The Capoeira Panda

One response to “Excerpts from the Journal of a Chubby Otondo (I)

  • Deolu

    Lol, This was about Snoring!
    We named the snorers according to the generators they sound like; there were Mikanos, Tigers, Hondas, Diesel Engines, Lister Engines, I-Betta-Pass-My-Neighbors and Inverters (Like Me)…. not 😐 I’m somewhere in that list above. Keep it coming.

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