ART CHECK

Fable of the condominium woman and the pandemic

Covid-19 has affected every aspect of our lives in various ways

In Summary

• Two pieces of creative writing serving as a commentary on the times

Woman in a face mask
Woman in a face mask
Image: PEXELS

Part I

The Woman. The beauty of hospitals and the squeaking doors of elevated cleanliest of floors. There are TVs that speak silence in black quietude. They mirror the poise of lines of those seeking Hippocratic consultations. There are scents of laboratory liquids that permeate the nostrils of those here.

Their fragrance reminds of the blatant misuse of noses of all shapes. There are these all, like lines of queues of who is who in the medical almanac of tropical maladies. And then there is the woman. Sure.

She sits next to him, picking tweets on the slender tool she uses for personal communication. A Samsung.

She sits picking blogs of snippets that fell as narratives from the YouTube that is choruses of pain. The sick.

She sits with legs so folded, arms twitching at tricepular angles, instigating bravery into her fine soul of steel. Courage.

She sits with jeans occupying the cold leather of rainy Thursday occupying her bespectacled eyes with alphabets of Europe and Asia. Interlocuted interloper. Dope.

She sits with her elbow dancing on the cages of the ribs. Of the man next to her. Who winces Influenza like the wheeze off the thorax of her man minus his inhaler. Abomination.

She sits and eats off the oxygen of here, her aquiline nostrils imitating Kagame's when he smells the whispers from Bujumbura while conducting yoga. Twitches.

He reads his newspaper spot of Obituaries. Steadily steadily the pages now outdo the political ones. Sailing with sadness into the catatonic miasma that is convalescence. Redemption.

The preachers suffer like poetic stanzas in the fidgety fingers of Lesego Rampolokeng, when both their faith and healthy do the tango of Brazzavillean lingala! C'est oui! The body temperature is now 39.8.

They sit in quarantine in her thoughts like a million pentaseconds, quaking the hours of their unspoken pain into the agenda of the medical man. Healing. Shrines.

Next shall beget next next next next next die Naechste bitte, s'il vous plait. They shall plait cornrows of next next next hindquarters wiping waiting benches. Patience. Thermometer. Sanitiser. Diamond. Olomide. Waah.

Part II:

The tea pot. The scent of brewed tea leaves lingers on.

It wafts through the trout of the stainless steel kettle in spirals of shimmering and disappearing grey. The scent is powerful.

It invades the nose with strength pushing away oxygen to take charge. The sugar granules resemble pieces of a full moon ground to a fine powder of mirror-like nature. In each granule hides the taste of times once sweet and lingering.

Times now sitting away like the clock that hands above the woman. Its hands stuck in a time once gone and now still is. Still the clock tick tocks a sound set in its hidden parts even as the hands of seconds and minutes stay still, caught between lack of energy and the dust of gathered months.

The plate is made in China. It has embroidery both elegant and elaborate. Exquisite to the eye this floral alphabet that attenuates situations like this one that are both incredible and indescribable. The pellets of powerful painkillers place themselves at the distance between the untouched breakfast and the woman.

A mock referee. An arbiter of bitter-sweet phenomenon. An occurrence of hospice nature so harrowing in its simple emplacement that ample is its lack of communication of hope. The woman fidgets to the left.

She holds out to the fingers of air and clasps a fistful of determination. She takes this and rubs it on the place where the pain intense-most is.

Her inxile.

Things will look brighter once the sun of the skies breaks the virginity of this dour day. The morning that clothes itself in attires of frost shouting seriously though split window panes like a thousand saitans!

That morning where a mourn emanates from the distant building by the gate. A lost one on the last road to the belly of the earth in a hearse full of misery.

A moan escapes through the unquiet walls of the next room where a child with Covid-19 signs sighs.

In this midst of the very nature of life,

death presents

itself

as a question mark. 

Dr Makokha teaches Literature and Theatre at Kenyatta University