Sunday, 19 August 2007

Yet Another Weird Friend

Mood: Pensive
[Toot!] Index: 0.2
Communism Bit: Off
Location: Job, of course


I'm adding strange, strange people to my collection of weird friends. I mean Down There Where I Come From. It seems my unfortunate fate that I end up with the strangest people. Maybe birds of a feather?

There is a blind man Down There Where I Come From. And he hasn't cut his hair in decades. About twenty years, almost. He has thick dreadlocks the length of an arm. It makes mine look like stubble on a teenager's chin. Like a the fuzz on a baby's cheeks. Even though he is no rastaman, everyone calls him Rasta. And he responds—what can he do?
He has one of them white canes that blind people swing about so you don't drive over them in the road. But it is only white in theory. It is somewhere between beige and brown.
He told me the last time he cut his hair was the same night he last saw anything. So he lets his hair be `the story of my blindness'. This is the story, in short, that his dreadlocks should tell.

In 1986, when Museveni rolled in, Rasta was in the UNLF. The guys who were fighting Museveni. And he deserted the army in those last days. But he kept the gun, mbu `a soldier must have his gun'. Well, he was arrested soon enough. They treated all UNLF guys who hadn't surrendered as enemies, 'cause Museveni was yet to set roots down. And there were many little groups declaring war, et cetera. Anyway, many were given the option of joining the army. He joined, since he had nearly nothing else to do. And he became an NRA guy. Just like that

But shit happens, as they say. One some drunken night, he or one of the people in that bar (he says he remembers nothing about that night) shot a man. They were all taken in, and court-martialled. Found guilty, they were tossed in jail. To serve for life. He thinks he would still be in jail if he hadn't gone blind in his first months. He tells many stories about the insides of the jail, and I'm left wondering how such a small place can have so many stories in it. He says they got some disease in the jail and many people got red, sore eyes, including him. But while all healed, he went blind.

And he started staying in the corner of the communal cell, attempting suicide, et cetera. Then they started letting him stay out of the cell (`blind guy can't escape'). Then he started doing some of the simple duties for the wardens. Then, in 1995, someone tried to burn some cell, and he was the one who woke the sleepy wardens up. And then, in 1997, the chief warden told him he was working on getting him out of jail, since he had `shown a will to reform and become a better member of free society'. He got out in 2001, and has absolutely no contacts outside our slum.

I think he survives on kindness, even though he likes to sound macho. One of his lines: `The life is what matters. Even if you have no arms, and you have no eyes, and even no legs. If you still have life, you are not yet extinguished.'
But the part that breaks me: `I don't ask God that I may see my daughter—I am already blind. All I want is to know that she is alive. Can't God do only that one thing for me, before I die?'

31 comments:

eddiie said...

Firstiesssssss....Yes...yes...yes...yes..

Elle B said...

Am scared to say this but....Firsties!!!

I've tagged you. I know you've been tagged a thousand times over but, am not listening. Sad about the dreaded guy but keep making the friends, it's the heart that counts, nothing more

eddiie said...

Ok..am sorry for the above saga of happiness..

Ok about that Resta...ok he is not a Rasta..He reminds me of myself at a point i was called a rasta even though i had deadlocks..not dreadlocks...

To date, 27th, am still Rasta even with my Afro..

And that blind fellow?...

Elle B said...

Eddie cheated, when I got here, there were zero comments. Never fear...another time

eddiie said...

Sorry Elle..i was here first...hehehe..you only hijacked my second spot...hehehe....LOL!!

eddiie said...

LOL..Elle..the next time..try to be faster..i gat you...sorry...hehehe..

Firstiessssss.....

Fujitsu said...

I think it was King Solomon who said: A merry heart doeth like good medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Words to live by, when you are blind now but once upon a time you could see.

A lesser person like myself would crawl under a rock and die from resentment.

tandra said...

Ditto Fujitsu. Wisdom wisdom....

leos child said...

why do you go out and bring to lihgt such plight it knocks the the complaint s out of your mouth forcing you to appreciate life when you donot want to.

kissyfur said...

going blind is actually my worst fear. And I find it encouraging that his spirit is not broken.

Heaven! said...

i feel cheated that we have to get Fujitsu's wise sayings in the small dose of comments.
Fujitsu, me i want your blog!!

i think that you are strong hearted to regularly come face to face to all sorts of pain in that place and not move away.doesn't the question of how you can help haunt you and maybe make you feel helpless and sometimes depressed?

just wondering if his daughter would like to see him and how she would react if she saw him thus...

eddiie said...

@Fujitsu?...Persnonally i want to get int your blog!!!!!!!! Yes..i need to know your blog..

if its too private, then let me be a among the praivies...

Fujitsu said...

@ heaven and eddiie: as soon as I am up and running, I'll advertise like a problem! Hehehe..

Willie Boy said...

The story of this blind man is a powerful one, powerfully told by the Comrade. First it was the gallant mad man who died gallantly fighting the cold. Now its the blind guy who wants to see his daughter before he dies. Both stories are of disadvantaged people, and yes its told by the Communist himself. Who else? The farting capitalists don't give a f..k about such characters.Me, I am a blog reader these days. I read dem all.

lulu said...

aahah! not like that, soon you will be wearing dresses instead of holding pink phones, your feminie side should not show like that...... 27th, do you mind getting to me somehow so i can be a firstie on your blog...shish!

tumwijuke said...

First, weird is as weird does.

Second, touching! Very.

GERALD said...

So 27th Comrade do you think the giov't has Ignord the Veterans to rot?
I wish you had taken a picture of that man, we could see those dreads which are as long as the arm.

Carlo said...

I've been trying to post a comment for so long now that I can I don't know where to start! My university blocked blogging but I think I'm smart so I found a way to read blogs but couldn't comment and now Lady Luck is sitting on my shoulder. I could say a lot, about your previous posts but let's not get carried away. Find out what you can about Rasta's daughter and we could help find her. How's that? Like, some sort of blogren Nancy Drew. I think we can help him out. I feel him so deeply cuz my Grandpa's blind. He taught me braille so for all you guys who think you've read a lot, talk to me when you've read a blind man's words.

lindwee said...

Finally i've got what i've been looking for... "cries unheard" and this blog serves me well.

Love,politics heartbreaks,funnies...are what i always view but this blog is balanced for sure.

Thanks Comrade.

lulu said...

just read it.... ummm, very touching as always comrade, you manage to evoke strong emootions in the reader.... oh by the way, found out that homo sexuality is a crime... i live with a lawyer, i had to ask her...

lulu said...

i used to wanna marry a blind man coz they have hieghtened senses else where , i just had watched too many movies and indulged in too many romance novels...

Carlo said...

Thought I'd talk about the OLPC a bit since I couldn't be allowed to before. I teach kids for a living. Rather, used to but now I supervise those that teach them. In my S.6 vac I actually taught computer for a while. And this was to children that could barely afford 54k (Ugshs. I must add) for school fees. From Kisenyi. Slum dwelling children. You'd be amazed at how these children grew up to beat my remote knowledge of computers. I remember leaving the children to do what they wanted with the computers and by the end of the year they knew more about programming and software than I could ever know! Imagine what they could do with their own computers! I don't disagree that computer for each child in Africa and poor Asia is a bit presumptuous and not very possible but it would help. Most of my kids were in school only cuz their parents forced them to and they just wanted to grow up and be a 'makanika'. That means they're not really engineers or proper mechanics but those guys that learn the trade by hanging around garages and starting off by reshaping bashed bumpers. Or they saw themselves being boda boda riders. The computer classes sorta opened their eyes to the possibilities. Internet would be even greater for them. Yes there are children that should hunt and farm for a living but they can still have a computer and learn how the boer revolutionised farming and became some of the richest farmers on the planet. Not the Wall Street business guys. Wrong post for this but hey, I've got a chance.

aegeus said...

Really well told Comrade...very moving account...written in your trademark detached style.

Duksey said...

very touching,I was about to start searching for my tissue.I am so scared of blindness

The 27th Comrade said...

@Elle B: Heh. Saw your tag ... but :-o I responded to a tag or two sometime ago ... Already. :o)

@Eddie: Ate don't you know? You no have fi dread to be rasta ...

@Fujitsu: First of all, where is your blog? I'm going to hound it ... :o)
Then, this guy ... I'd have given up already, for one.

@Leo's Child: Yep. That's part of why I end up with this stuff on my mind to the point where I blog about it ... life is much better for those who whine the most.

@Kissyfur: I dread going blind, because blind guys seldom get any sex at all. :o)

@Heaven!: Just wait for the Revolution. :o) Hehehe. It will fix shit for everyone. But then ... living down there tends to make you believe that there must be a suffering group of people everywhere. Somehow, I think that's how shit is supposed to be, maybe? Because even when the Revolution comes ((o;) we will round up all the privileged ... and toss them where we are coming from. :oD

@Willie Boy: :o) I don't know which came first: the Party or the Ideology. :o)
Actually, when you walk from one path in the slums to the next, as long as they are more than 100 metres apart, you will find a novel.

@Lulu: You don't know how I am repeatedly accused of having a `very, very strong feminine side' over here at work. Some chics keep stopping just short of weaving pink ribbons into my dreadlocks. I swear to God. I mean, Dear Jesus, how can anyone be less feminine than myself? I don't even clean my shoes! :-o
And, yeah, homosexuality is a crime. But the way I check it, the law talks of `unnatural relations'. What is (and what isn't) natural? Cows on heat exhibit a form of lesbianism. Are they `perverts' too? I mean ... we are just self-righteous idiots. :o)
And ... marrying a blind guy? A bit in sync with my getting drawn to chics who require special attention ...

@Tumwijuke: :o)

@Gerald: You really are obsessed with the government ... :o) But, yeah, there are some veterans languishing. And that's bad. But then, again, this one got a discharge for his `crime', so he is technically not the army's business.
And if I had a camera, y'all would die of pics.

@Carlo: Jesus Christ, Carlo, you read Braille? Wow! First, Dee does sign language. Then you, it is Braille. Now me ... I should take some time out of my life and learn some of them things. They come in handy every now and then. Or just for fun, if for no other reason ...
Plus ... Rasta doesn't know much about his daughter. Here's the catch. He was told, while in jail, that his wife had moved to the North, along with his daughter. That's how he knew the baby had turned out to be a daughter. :o)
And, yeah, the OLPC is a good thing, but only as good as putting perfume on a rotting carcass. Imagine them kids making software. And then they can't live off it, because there is no fair trade. See?

@Lindwee: :o) If that's your kind of thing ... my archives don't even like to be categorised. :o)

@Aegeus: */me takes a bow*

@Duksey: :o)

Iwaya said...

His strenght grows with his dreads, I think. Like Samson.

Timothy said...

Great post.

Twists and turns. Life's funny and oftentimes harsh. It would be difficult to find any man who is not guilty of liking to sound macho. However, we all need a bit of kindness to survive.

eddiie said...

@ 27th comrade....You no have fi dread to be rasta ...
lol....i gat ya boy....

@Fujitsu...hahaa..you mean you aint strong enough? i have clutches..i know you will rise high with it..and keep running..

i promise..you wont post like a problem..instead i will be a problem in your commentery..

i promise you..you will get tires of me men....

feather said...

strange friends maybe but perhaps we need more of these to be able to see life differently

jackie T said...

Interesting post,27th. Any pics??

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