Portrait of A Worried Mind
He told me to go to my country. That according to history, I belonged to the other side of the Mungo River. I sent an emoji to indicate that I was laughing.
Now that I have heard someone voicing his desire to be lethal towards my kind, I am tempted to think that this might be what segregation feels like.
What my erstwhile classmate had said wasn’t funny anymore.
I write this with music outside. I wear my headphones but there is nothing playing. I just like the way they feel on my ear-warm, tight, familiar. Unlike the neighborhood. Yes, there is music. From the popular club far away, with sound traveling safely across the silent November night.
It’s dark outside. And quiet too. I wish I could tell you that this is the way it has always been. I wish I could tell you that I could still go outside and get a late-night meal or transfer airtime. But that would be a lie.
Like the other silent rooms around my hostel, mine is filled with a worried soul. One that has seen too many videos and heard too many Whatsapp message of derelict incitement.
It’s 12.35 am. My door is locked and my room is on the top floor. I still don’t feel safe enough.
“Stay in your rooms” my mother said, “Tell your sisters and your brother to do the same. You should all stay in your rooms”.
I have no plans to do otherwise. I don’t know what tomorrow holds. The past week has been extremely demanding- mentally. I need the rest.
But when my identity becomes a topic of discussion on national TV, when videos are shared on social media showing people being handled with violence and I can recognize the locations on the videos…when I need to call my sisters and ask them to send me selfies to prove that they’re safely in their rooms…when my own classmate tells me I should leave “his” country…
I begin to wonder if my dry humor isn’t just a coping mechanism.
I haven’t published in a week. The events of the past week haven’t made this task any easier.
Then again, tomorrow might be worse than today. So, until soldiers break into my room and pull me off my bed, I will sleep, wake and tell you about how my world has just been rocked from the Cameroonian end of the globe.