To tell you the truth, I don’t feel like writing today. I’ve been sitting here for the past half hour trying to come up with an intro that would fly. And, just like the exam today, I’m drawing blanks. I got home not too long ago, it was already dark and for a few tormented seconds I considered backing out of this thing of posting daily. But I’m not in the business of failing twice in one day.
So I didn’t get much sleep last night. I slipped under my duvet at around midnight, closed my eyes, and waited to be ripped away from the depths of reality. I waited. And then I waited some more. But an hour later I was still very much awake, blinking in the darkness and looking at the time every so often, counting down the hours before I had to wake up again and possibly do some studying. It was no use though, waiting.
So what I did was (Boy I love saying that), I picked up my phone and went on reading a collection of short stories by an author who says ‘chappie’ a lot and has a butler called Jeeves. There’s something about reading from my phone in the darkness that instantly puts me to sleep. And I always know when it starts to work because first the words start to dance on the page, and then my concentration starts to wane and I find myself going over the same line over and over again. This happens just before everything goes black, and then I wake up an eternity later to find the phone still shrouded in my palm.
I must have slept for a bit, because when I came to again, a little light had broken the sky and there was a cock crowing in the distance. I looked at the time and thought, “How the hell am I supposed to function on just four hours sleep? I have an exam for chrissake.” So I closed my eyes and decided to try again.
So I went for a run instead.
On my way to school, though, in a mat, I sat next to a girl who carried a brown envelope on her laps. Her fingernails looked like they were victims of idle chewing. The skin around her nails was peeling and her face was freckled. She spent half the journey on her phone, her head bent, and it gave her a resigned look. One that said, “Don’t try and talk to me because I have a boyfriend and he will punch you in the face.”
There was a man standing on the gangway, an excess passenger. He wore one of those baggy American Football jerseys with the word, ‘Copeland’ at the back, with a faded number 80. Everywhere I looked, people were on their phones. There was the girl with green nail polish. She was on Whatsapp, scrolling through what must have been a group chat. And because she had really long nails, her scrolling seemed a bit awkward. The guy behind her was perusing the news and gossip pages on Opera Mini. When I spotted him he was reading an article on a mysterious killing. His hoodie was pulled over his head and when the conductor came around he gave a thousand bob. And it was pleasant to watch how he shifted in his seat, probably worried about the balance. The tout had thin rimmed spectacles that made him look like a mad professor and he smelt like dried sweat.
The music blared on. And a quick look at the jav’s screen identified the artist as Dj Olemacho. Half naked girls were throwing their fleshy behinds this way and that and it was all very mouth watering. The music went something like: Tick tock tick tock tick tock…fever…
Anyway, I got to school early and I fancied I could squeeze in some time for studying. So I went to a quiet corner, scrolled through Instagram a bit, watched a Ted Talk on time management, and then, when I was adequately motivated, I opened my textbook and got on with the business of cramming. Some three hours later I was pretty confident I had the curriculum safely tucked away at the back of my head.
But the trouble is that I have little hairs growing on my chin, and I’ve developed a habit of tugging at them when I have nowhere else to put my hands. It’s completely distracting but I still do it because it feels so nice, especially on the skin between my fingers. I find that I unconsciously reach for my chin, mostly when I’m reading, or when I’m doing some idle thinking, or like now, when I’m thinking about what the next sentence will be.
(By the way I’m really exhausted today. The mat ride back home made my legs sore because there was crappy leg room).
The three hours I sat there cramming, my right hand never left my chin. And as such I had effectively crammed just two things.
Needless to say that paper filled my heart with grief. I could only answer a paltry few of the questions, and by the time I was done I couldn’t help but feel betrayed, that the only time I had actually studied (cramming, studying, they’re all the same to me), was the time the exam comes with the devil in tow.
I’d love to rant some more but it’s now only a few minutes to midnight and I need to post this.
Tomorrow maybe? Friends?