When Datiliva and I first came together, I now know, we each had our interests and over time we found we actually supplemented each other.
There are things she and I agree on like the fact that once in a while we need each other’s presence and there are those other times when we go ways that are parallel.
When she makes her ways to come nearer to mine it is because there is a request, demand or instruction that is coming.
Last Sunday she was at it again; she asked me whether I had had a good night, asked me what I preferred for breakfast…boy the feeling would have been fantastic but I knew a request and or order was coming.
One demand that my Dearest will not tire giving is to go with her to Church.
Not that I do not believe in the Creator and the importance of communion with Him, it is the frequency, the activities carried out during the communion and the speculation of what He might interpret what me, a mortal son of an African do on this speck of rock called earth (in relation to the billions of bigger planets and stars in the heavens), that makes our ways separate.
She wants to make me feel as if I am a wild beast that is being scrutinized and hunted all the time instead of living my life like a free man, loved and cared for by my Creator.
Last Sunday, after pulling out all the niceties (from the drawer where she keeps them), she said we were going to church. I learned long ago not to argue with her because instead of her saying “you are right and I was wrong”, she simply sobs and spoils the whole day.
Like a true son of an African under the African sun, I dressed in a short sleeved shirt and a pair of pants, knowing very well the gigs people pull in the Holy places nowadays and the attendant perspiration thereafter.
Datiliva hit the roof and accused me of being disrespectful: ‘how can you dare go to church dressed like I was headed for a picnic?’
I asked her what respectful attire was acceptable and she said when going to church a man should put on a coat and a tie.
But the Almighty did not look at how one was dressed but the brokenness of the heart inside the body, I said. Datiliva accused me of trying to embarrass her in front of her friends whose husbands go to church dressed “respectfully” and look important.
I said I was not going to boil myself in a coat and tie trying to mimic Europeans whose weather calls for such dressing, after all neither Jesus nor his disciples wore coats and ties.
In church, we did all things people do these days and considering the heat in church I concluded that it was not God’s plan that people should sweat plasma in the name of dressing respectfully, after all He not only sees our physical nakedness but our spiritual emptiness.
After Church, my dearest took me to visit another lady who had recently given birth, as if to make me witness what other men can do.
The good “new” parents gracefully invited us for lunch which invitation was accepted. We were provided forks, knives and spoons but the dish was local (or was it African?).
I washed my hands, pushed the cutlery aside and ate like a true son of an African. Later, Datiliva accused me of embarrassing her and behaving like an uncivilized animal, fit for the zoo.
“Can’t you behave for once like you are educated? People may think you are straight from the cave”.
“But the food was Kinyarwanda ubugari and whoever came with up the idea of fabricating ‘tools for eating’ had no idea that it existed, besides it tastes better when eaten that way, ” I said but Datiliva said eating with one’s bare fingers was primitive.
Later we “went out to chill” at a small place whose name I will not mention. I found out that my dearest had invited a group of young women who were to enjoy themselves at my expense.
I enjoy listening to “organized” African music but my dearest insisted that we dance to music from Latin America.
Other couples could turn, twist, bend and do a lot of other moves akin to someone walking on hot charcoal. My dearest and I tried a few steps and all we could do was step on each other’s toes or those of the unfortunate people who happened to be dancing near us.
I said I preferred something African and when the DJ played something from Mobutu’s former “geographical expression” I danced hadi-chini, like there was no tomorrow.
Datiliva accused me of being “local”. “What impression will you leave behind?” she asked. I said I had enjoyed myself and I did not care what other people thought of my happiness.
Due to the different names and labels on alcohol bottles Datiliva and friends ordered (many of which they had tasted and pushed aside for other people to guzzle because they tasted bitter) we had no money for the special hire taxi to our home.
I suggested we travel home using every day taxis but she said no. “What kind of man are you who expects me to go squeezed up in those things, you call taxis?
Here, call any of your friends or else go to the ATM machine. You will find me here,” she ordered with finality handing me her cell phone.
I called a friend who accused me of being insensitive to him but promised to help just for the last time. When we reached home, Datiliva said I was not being creative enough.
“Do you see what you can do when you put your mind into it? How did you expect me to come home?
You should make use of your brain more often than argue with me about what is good and what is not.” I sigh, that’s all I can do right now. Sigh.