The Old Man

Posted: January 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

I had started this story yesterday but lost it since I hadn’t saved it. I can’t remember how it all started but it was about an old man who was living a sad life. A life that has resulted to repeated to cruelty and shame.

Yesterday evening on my way home I saw a man. A man of an elderly age. Old enough to be my grandfather. Too old to be my brother or spouse. He was too out of line to be a mentor, a warrior of life but not too old to be a friend. He walked rather staggered from one end of the bus terminus to the other. He tried to board a matatu but was prevented from doing so. With every attempt to get his way, he fell and struggled a little more with the young men that were in control of the bus terminus.

He seemed lost and at a loss. After struggling for a while, the young men proved to be stronger, he staggered away. He walked away with a face of sadness and desperation. Sad that the young men had disrespected him. He seemed not sure of his next step, action, sad that no one had come to his rescue, that at such an old age he could not demand respect, he could not speak and the younger generation listen. Sad that he had lost his strength, that the body once so strong had become so weak. He had lost his dignity, his respect in the eyes of the young adults, that his peers looked down at him, apart from those that he got wasted away with.

Maybe the loss was due to the insults that he has been receiving from the family and community. Maybe it is as a result of not achieving his dreams, for not having any dreams, for not being a man of substances, for not having a stable life, for the many times he may have tried to stop but failed, for wanting to quit consuming alcohol that was so sweet to his tongue but never managing to or not having the courage to face life, for still having to work so hard, earn so little and lose it all in  day, for the noise that his spouse will make and continuously makes, for always being such a disappointment to himself, his family and his parents, children and creator or maybe its for the unfulfilled dreams that he dreamt as a young man.

I am almost sure that this was not his plan, like all of us he wanted to have a successful, financially stable and happy life. He once had a dream of owning a big house with many rooms and well furnished. It was his dream to take his children to the best schools and give them the best education that he could give. He may have dreamt of having a big farm with many employees, where many people in the village would fight and beg for employment in the farm. He had a dream of the village singing his praise. He dreamt of having a huge construction where many would come to buy or desire to live in, his children would ensure that his wealth was well taken care of if he was to die. He may have dreamt of building a huge house for his wife and children, he may have thought that of marrying another wife or two as he is African, driving the latest pick-ups in the market but now he is laying on the ground and struggling to stand. Trying to gather all his strength and some soberness so that he can get on the matatu that will at least get him to his destination. He is struggling with the taut who probably knows him very well for various reasons; either always disturbing by not paying fare, making too much noise for other travelers or making the vehicle impossible to travel in due to his stench or worse him vomiting in the matatu.

He was not allowed to board any matatu for as long as I/ we watched and waited for the vehicle we were in to get full and for us to begin our journey. He kept staggering from one end to another using all the tricks that he could, making a fool of himself and maybe of his kinsmen. It was sad to look at that scene.

We may have all taken a drink once in our life or never for some but for sure we all have dreams. Dreams that we want to achieve. Dreams that we are working so hard to achieve. One drink can be the end of the big dreams. Some people due to genetic mechanisms get hooked immediately while for others it can take a lifetime to get addicted.

Life is not a straight line, there are hills, valleys, mountains, bumps, potholes and plateaus. When we hit one of this we get discouraged, some raise immediately while for others it will take a while to get back on their feet but what is of this old man? Will he ever fulfill his dreams, will he ever regain what he has lost over the years? Will he ever be respected, his lost dignity restored? It is the twist of life, guess I will never know.

Always live your dream, be with those that will help you get there, do that which will bring you closer to those dreams. Dont lose focus.

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