Hello, my love.

How was your day? Was it long or short? Or was it what it was and that being the long and short of it?

My day was spent like a coin with your likeness on both sides of it. So there were no tales or scraps of conversation that could distract me from thinking about you all day.

Lucy, the photocopier girl, thinks I am too wrapped up in my own thoughts. If only she knew what I was thinking about, she would be wrapped up in thoughts about how I could possibly think of anything but you.

No, she is not a lesbian. But if she was…wait a minute…the photocopier lady’s sexual orientation is her business, if you copy.  

I am punning to make you smile, which was never a piece of Cakely: our favourite source of cakes.

Oh yes, I just want you to be as happy as a foodie who just ordered a meal off Jumia. So that every tear you may shed is liquefied by laughter. And drained of the sadness I feel when I can’t hold you in my arms, cradling the infancy of tender locutions with a “baby, I love you.”

Then, I imagine you placing a finger to my mouth.

You tell me to be silent.

“We need to laugh,” you always said, so we could plume our flights of fancy.

You tell me that we shouldn’t be cheerfully sentimental, too. Actually, “maudlin” is the word you used to embroider instead of lionize the first syllable of this Catastrophe.

Oops, sorry: we are not supposed to use the C-word. So let me tell you a joke about another C-word.

What do you call a stomach that looks like a C spelled backwards? A possible pregnant-C.  

I know, I know…I’ve always been lame at those kinds of one-liners. Like that time when I told you we should go out and you asked, “For bites?”

I replied, “Rogers that”, in view of our going for a Rogers’ Bites barbecue.

Remember my pickup line when we first met? I told you that God’s kingdom was missing its perfume, since you were “Heaven Scent.”

You rolled your eyes, but didn’t make me feel like a loser. Instead, you always made me feel like a winner: the sole podium finisher in our long-running romance.

In high school, you were either thumbing through books or looking vacuously at those who tried to invite you to a party themed on the latest beer in town. Those events certainly sold like hot Cakely.

I am thankful your eyes were filled by the twilight glow of party people basking in each other’s company, when you finally showed up for one of those beer soirées. That fine day, you sat next to Mark while he drunkenly stage-whispered in your ear.

You looked bored, so when Enrique Iglesias and Whiney Houston asked to have this dance forever: I stole their lines. After calling you “heaven scent,” of course.

I am still surprised you got up to dance with me.

Mark, so caught up in himself, didn’t even notice you were gone and kept whispering to the airy thin version of your presence.

I couldn’t believe how smoothly criminal you were on the dance floor, gliding from side to side as the change of song took us on a hip hop ride.

I am grateful too that you didn’t laugh at my jerky, stroke victim-like dance moves.

While everyone else laughed at me, you seemed hermetically sealed off in a world peopled by two: you and me…or is that you and I? Always, you knew what to say even when you played Grammar Cop to my verbal infringements.

As our spirits danced across the plunging downs and soaring highs of a love that arose from that night, each groove fashioned from our every move bespoke roses and kudzu vines planted by the seeds of time. And what a time it was, you never once yielded to the urge to change my unchanging class clown act.

You taught me that I was entire in myself.  Which was advice that really takes the Cakely, if you will.

Your Acholi tenacity, and unquiet humor, ensured you clung to a positivity that facilitated your reconciliation to extraordinary misfortunes.

God, they say, is the ultimate poet and his greatest poem was you. Even though I never witnessed you dropping to your knees in prayer, God sent you to complete me.

I know you hate such Hollywoodized clichés, but when I say you complete me I don’t mean that without you I wouldn’t be whole. I mean that, together, we are complete in the wholesomeness of our love.

I spent many of the hours that took care of minutes in seconds enchanted by your sharp wit while observing your fiercely indomitable spirit refuse to surrender the good times to the bad.

I still see you now, exuding an easy energy as your whole spirit is illumined by your half-smile along with my half-smile to create a singularly shared happiness.

Levity was your favourite word…you always told me to laugh in order to cool the overbearing temper of a life given to pain and loss.

So I did.                        

Then you got Cancer, that damn C-word!

After you took ill, I feared each day that I would never see you again.

But then I caught myself, while gazing up to a sky obscured by a thick swirl of clouds…only to realize those clouds were weed smoke.

Because God must be high up in Heaven, looking down on me in assurance that we shall meet again amidst a flaming sunrise.  

So, my love, I place this letter upon your grave; and wait for that day.


Written by Philip Matogo

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