Wasteland, my backyard
Passionately hating would bring me vitriol from people and an immense sense of guilt in my heart. My hatred was clothed in childish innocence and sacred sense of injustice. I was the victim and with no judge I sat myself on the seat of justice. I made my pronouncements of guilt without batting an eyelid. I was intent on punishing the offender. Only the offender was not human but my backyard.
I hated it with passion, passion I never knew the strength of it until I was out of the badlands. It was nothing but a wasteland abandoned by corrupted souls in power. I called it the end of the world. I configured my heart to be emotional about my deprivations. My mind was fervent in its reasoning of the pure vileness of my unsuitable existence. An existence imposed upon me by the marauding uncles and aunties of darkness who ensured I lived in a perpetual state of darkness, a darkened existence.
Independently unverified and statistically my city would be an outlier. Not that I love statistics anyway, they do not convey the message. They provide the end point. The relationship between cause and effect a grey area. Still I am not an acceptable yardstick for any reliable statistical outcome. I love mathematics and statistical calculations especially deductive reasoning. Forgive my diatribe and excuse my confusion. In a simple sentence, my city was a dump of the worst kind, at least in my humble opinion anyways. Agreed this may not be true but I grew up there and life was beautifully harsh to most residents.
Now for the numbers, living without electricity for months was the norm. This averages between three to six months of total darkness. Let your imagination fiddle with the dream of a permanent total eclipse of the sun. When there’s even a semblance of electricity, the light produced is what we called ‘half current’. To be honest, it could have been quarter at best and a candle light at its worse state. This is not an attempt to paint my city with a black paint but what it is is what it is and still is. It was darkness everywhere. The only thing that glowed was the faces of the people even if their hearts was pitch black.
The roads where glorious in summer though we never called it summer but dry season. Everything was really dry. The roads particularly were dry like dry valleys. Some took the shape of battered country dirt tracks, tired looking and begin for mercy. The government never had mercy anyway so the roads suffered and then we enjoyed their sufferings. It was brutal. The rainy season were certainly worse. During these times of the year we had climatic refugees, internally displaced persons due to flooding. The valleys built on the roads during the dry season are filled up with rain water and they became rivers that never flowed. My worst experience was having to get my car pulled out by a truck after almost submerging like a submarine. Never mind that I was foolish.
I’m so passionate about my city only negatively. It’s where I grew up and I enjoyed my growing up. The running away from snakes, being chased by a dog. Thank God I was a runner as I could have been mauled by a dog with rabies. The climbing of walls and running around uncompleted buildings while playing hide and seek or police and thief. The fierce two-aside football matches with my siblings and being watched by passers-by especially hawkers whose economic and mental conditions were probably worse than mine.
The glorious years of bottled hatred for my city in relative calmness that belies my age. In the end, I reached the tipping point and I left my city. Though ugly yet it had character. An uncharitable character I still remember with the vividness of a skillful master storyteller and not of an inebriated troublemaker. I loved my city and yet hated it, excuse the irony. I apologise for this perceived state of intellectual confusion. It was the place that made me. My city, a wasteland but it was my backyard.