The first thing my brain registers is a crying two-year old in the hallway. I open my eyes, but it is all blurry. The blurry vision comes to a sharper picture of aqua green walls, and an orange door. Sunlight streams in through the white curtains, giving the room a golden effect. It can’t be morning; I don’t remember taking the omena which had been set aside for dinner. (I could go on and on about how it actually is a sweet delicacy, but that is a story for another day.)
My body is sweating profusely, so I toss the duvet away. Time check, it is only six thirty in the evening. The baby is still yelping, probably because she also just woke up and is a little confused about what time it is. I curse under my breathe as I wonder why no one is going to get the crying baby. With a wince, I get out of bed because my neck feels sijui aje.
I am conscious of the massive head throbs as I make my way to her. Following the noise leads me into the kitchen but then her mother beats me to it. I find her hoisting the crying girl up.
“Yaani no one in this house helps me out,” she says.
“I was headed to come get her and you know it.”
“Eh…. sawa,” she doesn’t sound quite convinced, but that is the least of my worries.
“My neck feels sijui aje, I think I slept vibaya yesternight.”
“There’s deep heat and mentho plus in the top drawer on my night stand. That might help, “she says as she disappears into one of the rooms along the hallway.
The next day comes, and I can’t quite move my stiff neck across a 180 degrees plane. The most I can do is 90 degrees, and only to my right. The left side is totally inaccessible and my head is a little slanted towards the same direction. The whole situation becomes fodder for my sister, Chero, to chew on. “
“It’s because you have been eating too much avocados. You need to cut down on your avocado intake,” she says when she finds me doing the dishes.
I slowly make three ninety-degree turns to face her in readiness to launch into defense mode only to find her gone into one of the rooms in the hallway. I sigh and go back to doing the dishes.
ALSO BY THE AUTHOR:TWENTY-SEVEN.
Thirty minutes later, she peeks into my room and finds me looking at myself in the mirror.
“Your neck hurts because you have been looking at yourself in the mirror for too long.”
“My neck technically hurts because of everything I do that you do not approve of?” I ask rolling my eyes.
“No, I am just saying.”
“If you really want to be of help, you could help me massage it. I think I will be fine tomorrow,” I say to the reflection of her face in my mirror.
The following day however, I can’t quite bend because the synapses around my nose threaten to kill me whenever I do. It almost feels like a ligament snapped in my neck.
“It is because you overuse your earphones, that’s why your neck hurts, “she goes on.
Dr Google gives preposterous search results for neck pain causes, so I make up my mind to go to the dispensary. Luckily, it’s in this neck of the woods not far from home.
There’s a new nurse at the dispensary. Like all the others, she wears a blue uniform, and an unfriendly face to match. Furthermore, I notice that she has dread locks and I make a mental note to ask her about how old they are.
She immediately drills right into the bedrock of the situation.
“Aha, what is the problem?”
“My neck is killing me. In fact, I can’t turn nor twist it comfortably without feeling pain.”
She scribbles down something and I decide to break the ice the best way I know how to.
“I love the cologne you’re wearing. What is it called?”
“Thank you,” she says with a smile, totally ignoring the question I asked.
“I have always wanted to go blonde. Blonde looks good on you. How old are your dreadlocks?” I persist.
“About wo years now. I dyed them so young though.”
“You died young?”
“No, my dreads,” she answers, looking a bit quizzical.
“Oh… Thank God, I am so glad you haven’t died before.”
“Um… well, I suppose.”
“I am sorry, can I let you in on a secret?”
“No one really likes my jokes.”
“Yeah. But what’s the secret?” (She’s got quite the humor. Clearly, I had underestimated her.)
“Umm…My neck hurts most when I bend,” I say instead of countering. (One needs to know to stop pushing the Q-tip when it begins hurting)
“It’s nothing Diclofenac won’t kill, sorry…eer cure,” She grins as she types a few things onto her computer, “Oh, and get a different sleeping posture because your current one isn’t doing you any favors.”
A friend of mine, while joshing around had told me that I look like an earth mover. It wasn’t funny four days ago. Now however, I can look back and laugh at it.
Ps: we received several complaints about the subscribe to the mailing list option last week. And the IS guy came in to look at it. He says it is now doing fine. So, go to town, folks.
PC: Barutti Photography