Thursday, 25 February 2016
My stomach clenched painfully as I struggled to breathe.
Short quick breaths escaped my mouth in an excruciating manner. I struggled to master my most calm emotions but my imagination could not let me.
My mind was screaming, my body was slowly losing balance and I couldn’t escape this reality.
Heavy guilty emotions lashed my face agonizingly as I fought to keep in tears.
I was brought up not to cry in public. It didn’t matter what happened and how huge it was I just couldn’t. No one was allowed to see me drowning, falling and breathing my last breath. I was a luo woman and nothing shook us.
I sniffed in all my emotions steadily but dear God, it stung. My lungs were collapsing on me and for the first time I felt sick to my stomach.
I managed to lift my head up and smiled as people flocked up to me to congratulate me upon my achievements. My smile hurt and my knees threatened to throw me off balance.
Everyone left the room except me. I tried to move but I just couldn’t. My heart felt like a gigantic lethal creature had stung it so hard that I only had a few hours left to live.
It was just two days after I had felt the thick weight of betrayal. The words had been spoken slowly yet loud enough to pierce through my heart like a venomous arrow.
I laughed awkwardly and I gulped as I pushed my hair back. I couldn’t feel a thing left on my head. Was I balding?
Only a few hours left till the day ended. I’d finally fall back on my bed and release. I needed to let it out. My eyes hurt from many a tear held back.
I finally gathered up the courage I could, walked out and sped off as I heard people whisper. I couldn’t join. If asked how I was I could have melted down like ice cubes on coal.
I reached home and locked myself up in my room. I tried to force out my liquid emotions but my body couldn’t let me. I begged for mercy, for release. For anything that could take the pain away.
I closed the door firmly and loudly behind me. Finally, I felt a lukewarm substance run down my face. I could finally close my eyes. I could now breathe!
I automatically walked to the mirror and picked up my scissors. I began to snip away at my strands. If it was going, it had to go drastically.
I watched as feathery elements dropped off my dome. It was time to start a new chapter. I couldn’t be my full self if I didn’t let go of old broken things that could no longer be fixed.
I looked at my completely bare head. I was now exposed to the world. No going back. This was a symbol that things would never go back to how they were.
Thursday, 18 February 2016
(Another Thorny Crown 5 (2011))
Rebellious armies of tiny tightly coiled frizz threatened my territory. My slicked back security blanket was dripping of thread and flakey police warning me that my scalp was slowly becoming a breeding place for lint and the unwanted kinky assembly.
I squinted my eyes to make sure I still had at least an inch of my hairline left. I pulled back the weave to expose an oasis- like- mirage.
I gasped inwardly at how my natural hair threatened to embarrass me underneath this perfect facade of straight weave right from the deep rural parts of Brazil or the poor bald temple women of India fully dedicated to their gods.
My hate-love relationship with the skillfully spun dead horse tail was something worth living for.
That straight identity card was what had helped me over the years hide my African shame of bush!
That mess was no way in hell going to rare its ugly head out of this perfectly stretched Asian mane.
I grabbed the tub filled with the anti-African concoction and crunched it grudgingly into my hair.
Very fragile strands that felt like feathers left on a plucked chicken wept for the millionth time but I was determined to hide this wooly lump.
Twenty minutes of the foul smelling emulsion and my scalp was a 400 degree oven. Hot and furious, burning and tingling like little pieces of fat dripping from muchomo on a hot sigiri.
I ran to the bathroom half panicked half ecstatic to wash the creamy devil out. I watched it rinse out with a whole chunk of my hair.
I gasped in horror, knowing that the price of beauty was pain and baldness if you were born with kaweke.
A girl with kaweke had to make peace with God and her mother for cursing her with the obscenity of heavily curled hair that would not grow, was dry as a dessert and most importantly threatened to expose your Africa to the world.
My hair had generally been in the “bad category” since I started ‘consciously’ growing it out so why was I at all surprised at the act of my hair melting away like hot lava.
My hair was all straight now but the big patches echoed consequences of inferiority complex.
However, I told myself all was “right” now. My army of angry bush power had been quenched heavily with the almighty black hair savior- the relaxer.
Everything was now orthodox to match my Asian helmet tightly clung to my scalp so fitted I couldn’t breathe.
For a second in my pain, I spat inwardly at the agony my scalp had to endure just to look like a cat bathed in the heavy rains.
I blamed my hair stylist, my mother and the Great Lord Almighty for the infamous curse that had been bestowed upon me and many a black brethren.
That curse my people was the curse of ‘stunted, nappy, breaking negro hair’.