Just Another Face #Short #Fiction

“Miss Bright?”

The old cab pulls over. Surprised, I am, to find that I am the only passenger at 7.50 pm. Unless I am in a different time zone, on weekends in Molyko, the day starts at 9 pm.

Eta Palace
Apart from the customary hum and occasional gear change, the vehicle moves silently. I love silence. I don’t bother looking for an identification document. I barely see inside the vehicle, why remind myself of my already incompetent visibility in low light conditions?
He is old. 50 at least. His gaze never leaves the road. Mine, the sidewalk. The silence eats our thoughts. The necessity of quiet is usually underrated.


A bevy bunches up at the entrance to Dirty South, the street just after the Total gas station. The rainbow striped crew clearly has a Sunday evening outing. The kind that usually culminates in : a refurbished sense of moral decadence, lowered standards of truth and a renewed archive of dirty little secrets. He doesn’t stop when the couple points in my direction.

Mile 17
I reach for change. 200Frs. On evenings when I am particularly excited, I argue the fare with, tease and try to get the best of cab drivers.
Today, I just want to go home.

I hate it that I don’t see properly in the evening. Just like Dad. This makes me grateful every time I get into a cab.
A bittersweet reminder of the diversity and complementarity of all humans.

Miss Bright
“Miss Bright?”

Coins clink. I step out. Will he give my 50 frs?
I watch him hesitate for a split second- wishful thinking that I would start moving into the street without taking my 50frs. He catches my gaze, smiles in the dark and stretches his arm.

“Thank you”.

He knows he lost the battle when he flinched. I know he is not in that taxi because he admired cab drivers as a child.
We both know he doesn’t deserve the extra 50frs.

Miss Bright Junction
It’s six past eight. The street light reflects on my glasses and blinds me for a moment. The bar squeezes the peace out of my ears. As the bikes beckon, asking if I would ride them into the pitiful excuse of a tarred road, I wonder whose father he was. Whether he had made the day’s quota and whether he was strong enough to carry on such a grueling profession.
The thought didn’t stop me from arguing with the young man dispensing pawpaws. I wondered if in another life, he would be retired and reaping the fruits of a well invested youth.
I wondered if he would remember me. The nonchalant, lenses borne quasi-blind dude.
Did I look like one of these Pawpaw fruits? Identical except with slight curves, color and fruity attitude?

“How much?”

Would he remember our moment?
“Cent ngoma for this small thing massa? Noo. Take piece.”

Did he consciously ignore the couple or was he just pleased that he had a passenger who didn’t want to be bothered as well.

“Thank you boh”.

Maybe. Maybe not.
In the end, like my pawpaw buddy, I would be just another face.

Give up?

1.16 a.m.
Screen, blank. Stare. Tears. Blink, twice. Home, silent. Headphones, blaring.
You should sleep.
You should lie down and continue tomorrow.


What’s the point working on a piece only you see everyday?
No one might enjoy it. In fact, you could be hated for it.
There is a chance it will be nothing like the picture in your mind.
This is not the first time you’ve felt deleted from history. Probably won’t be the last.

“I’d better be deleted than not to have existed”.

So, you sit up. Crank up the volume . Type.
No one got rich lazy. Plus, I am at the prime of my life.
My future self would never forgive me if I gave up now.
I won’t.
I can’t.

We can’t give up now.

You never hear of talker’s block. Why do we talk of writer’s block?- Seth Godin

Seth Godin is one of my favourite bloggers. He says:

You never hear of ‘talker’s block’. Why do we talk of ‘writer’s block’? Just write what you’d say.

It sounds like a logical argument doesn’t it?  Sometimes, however, the reason why any writer faces  ‘block’ is because of the quasi-constant comparison we perform almost unconsciously.

Because ( as a writer) you read a lot, you compare your writing with the best and EXPECT your writing to be that good- after  MONTHS of writing. Welcome to the club.
Say, for example, you( I really mean ‘I’) just read The Alchemist. The beautiful story. The awesome plot. The brilliant lessons.The next time you’re on a computer all those positive nuggets come to haunt you. Maybe not you, but they haunt me.

I’m like: ” Oh shit. I’m never going to write like Coehlo. What do I do? Did I choose the right path? All my enemies( I don’t know why I always think I have enemies) all my enemies will now mock me. I’m doomed”.

This , my dear friend, is my definition of writer’s block: when as an avid reader you realise you need to work hard to write better.Simply. 

Writer’s block reminds me I need to check out my dictionary.
But more importantly, that I need to write.

Happy Tuesday dear friend.

What if I were a girl?

I have had a headache now for three days. I don’t want to take medication. First of all because I don’t trust anything that gets into my system (except food) and second, I think I deserve the pain.

Every once in a while at least.

I have difficulties sleeping too. I start reading books and I can’t stop. I read till 3a.m. I always considered myself a book nerd. Now I am certain I wasn’t.

I AM a book nerd.


  Black Holes and Confusions

This post is not about my headache or insomnia or reading. Like every other post I have written from my heart, is it is about a certain kind of confusion.

Who knows…maybe it is the confusion that has clotted an artery in my brain and is giving me this pain.

Or maybe I just need to sleep. Meh.

Anyway, what if I were a girl? I am not the typical male. No, I wasn’t born with both sexual organs. And no, I am not attracted to boys. Let’s leave anatomy and homophobia for another time.

I am not the ‘alpha’ male. I am not particularly handsome and I don’t have the required ‘charisma’ to hide it.

    The Charisma-ed Knight

A lady once ended our two week relationship because (true story) :  She: “You have no…what is the word…’charisma’…yes. You have no charisma”.


She: I don’t think this can work out.  Then she left.

Me: “What the fuck is ‘Charisma‘”?

She didn’t reply. She had left the room and I had been so confused I didn’t see her leave. Story of my life.

Anyway, what if I were a girl? Not being the typical male…little or ziltch charisma…horrible build…astigmatic and short-sighted( you need to see me without my glasses, you’d weep for my mom.  Oh…and for the record, ‘The Charisma Story’ took place in 2012. And yes, I have moved on but no, I have not completely been over it. Seriously, what the…is Charisma?

To Break or Not to break?

If I were a girl would I break up in that way? I don’t know. I mean…we all have our goals and aspirations, our dreams etc. Maybe she needed King Charisma and I was just Dude Typical. I was hurt.

Yep. I would probably have said the same thing if I wanted to make a point. I admire her focus. She knew what she wanted. I hope she’s found it.

If I were a girl, would I sleep better? I don’t know. There is a period of the month ( or so I have heard) when human biology provides( for a select female quota of the human race) a surmountable amount of pain and non-deadly liquid exudes. That is as far as my euphemism can go. Maybe I would feel pain and not sleep well.                                 But, we both know I need to sleep early. So, forget that.

   A Question of Stereotype?

If I were a girl, I would have to wear make-up and gossip and talk about boys…and….                                                                                                        HA! See your face! You were already thinking:                                         “This dude is just another ‘dude’…thinking every girl does make-up and talks about boys…

Well, guess what? You’re right. I think a majority of ladies wear make-up. That is why the ones who don’t stand out.  Oh…I know guys who wear make-up too (Yes…I was shocked when I found) .

I also know boys who talk about boys (and no, they are not attracted to them. Think of t politicians; I want to believe Mr Romney talked a lot about Mr. Obama in ’08’). My lady in ‘ The Charisma Story’ did not wear make-up. Not that I remember clearly. But she was pretty. Still is.

If I were a lady…would I wear make-up? I don’t know. That would depend on many factors. I am sure one of them would be what I’d eat for lunch. I know it doesn’t make sense.


My Unadulterated Love For Food

I don’t know how to cook like my mom does. I wish I could. I love her food. If I were a girl, would I be able to?                                                                 Yes.                                                                                                                                         My younger sister is an excellent cook. I don’t think that is fair.  That , now, is the age old African Stereotype: the woman stays in the kitchen and the man in the parlor reading a newspaper.

I wonder what the ‘typical man’ read before the Newspapers….parchments?                                                                                        Who cares?

I would be an awesome cook if I were a woman. I would relish my mother’s food and I would probably not lose all the weight I am losing now because of poor feeding.  Fact.

I still relish my mother’s food. Fact.


Purpose And Other Truths

Last, confusio! (yeah…I just had to pull the Harry Potter card):

If I were a woman, would I write this post?                                                            I don’t know.                                                                                                                          I write to figure things out. I write to think. When I start writing, it is because I have a problem I need to address. I am a coward. So I run around and the problem is stuck at my heels.

Writing makes me stop and turn around.

I will never be a woman. I will never bear a child and I will never know what it is like to break up with a dude because he ‘has no charisma’. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Just like I don’t know where I will be in a few months. I don’t know many things.

Here’s the fun part: It doesn’t matter!

Only through imagination can we live other lives. Through books and movies (and food).

I love those. I love travelling in my mind. I sometimes laugh alone. It doesn’t matter whether you are a man or woman, you’re alive.

You will have problems and you will find solutions. Maybe not. But you’re alive. That is all that matters.

So far as you’re alive, you can either sit on your ass like me and pretend to solve a problem by writing about it or get out there and live.

I need to sleep. Maybe I will find out what ‘charisma’ is in my dreams.


P.S: I love this song. I think the best age for rock music was 80s. Enjoy.

10 Myths About Writers and Writing

P.A. Moed

In order to write creatively, we need to exercise our free-spirited and impulsive right brain.  It might take a while to “liberate” this side of the brain especially if we have worked in fields that are linear, concrete, and require rationale thought.  This is what happened to me many years ago when I switched from a career in teaching and publishing to full-time writing.   As I began my apprenticeship in the creative arts,  I had to dispel several myths about the writing process and writers.

"Incognito: The Hidden Self-Portrait" by Rachel Perry Welty, DeCordova Museum. “Lost in My Life (Price Tags) ” by Rachel Perry Welty, DeCordova Museum.

1.  Myth: Writers Are Strange.

There is an element of truth to this!  Writers (and other creative people) must be willing to look below the surface of everyday life and explore the world and relationships like a curious outsider.  This perspective sets us apart, but at the same time, it allows us…

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Why do you write?

I am actively seeking for every means to escape the task at hand.
I know I have to write- I need to write.
I have stayed too long without posting on this blog.
The funny thing is; I expect that every time I post, someone will read, someone will be so proud that he/she will comment.
That …is not going to happen so easily my friend.
Many things have happened.
Every single day of my life is worth writing.
I don’t travel from one alternate universe to another, visiting ancient or future civilizations or my identical twins in other planets.
I just have a queer way of looking at everything.
Case in Point:I can make a movie out of a handshake.

The meeting of the hands.
Their sizes, colors, _______(include other… ‘hand’ adjectives
Their squeezing.
The projection of personalities.
The leaving.

I am a drama queen of sorts-exaggerating everything in my life.
The truth is I am a scared, lazy, lonely human ‘trying to find myself’ (whatever that means).
I have been reading.
A lot.
More than my peers I daresay.
Where I come from (and where I am), reading is only done as a necessity that is –for examinations.
I read because I like reading.
That should be a reason enough.
But what slowly dawns on me the more I read, is that:
1. I’ll NEVER read all I want.
2. Reading can lead to huge procrastination.
When I read, I feel elated.
I delve into new worlds, enjoy dialogues, characters, learn new words…blah blah blah.
Everyone does that.
But my reason is;to learn enough to be able to give out as well as to understand others.
I want to be understood.
That is probably my greatest desire.
I hope to do that through my writing.
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