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Spyglass: Someone Burn The Bridge Ahead, Please! 

By Azore Opio

Waking up in Uganda was like floating up in space like a soap bubble or the ghost of a star. The grass-thatched roof was unfamiliar, the circular wall to my sight peculiar, if you know what I mean. My bearings where all wired to the Cameroon grid, my internal clock tuned to the shades and shadows of Mt. Fako; so finely that even when I finally installed myself under the palm tree, I still felt Lira (my native town) was thousands of miles away. In my mind, I was still somewhere in Cameroon. Abah!

I was wallowing in a time warp comingled with an incipient delirium. Sipping ginger tea, I recalled spicy vibes my uncle had fed me the previous day. A gluttonous chief at a party had swallowed the heart of a cow; the heart got stuck in his gullet. The other diners just went on eating as if nothing was the matter. Then a Good Samaritan gave him a big blow on the back, bam! The heart leapt out. Another greedy character, yet at another party, went for a chunk of liver, stuffed it into his mouth and hurriedly tried to get it past down his throat, but a vein from the liver stuck between his teeth. Nobody gave him an eye.

Tears streamed down his face. He hit his chest, wrenched the liver out of his mouth, spat it on the floor. Then there was this guy with an approximate grasp of English. They were at the funeral of a young man and the pastor addressed the corpse very reverently as Late Peter… My man leapt to his feet and screamed: "why do you venerate an upstart as "late" while I have been working very hard for so long and you can’t address me as "late"! It sounds innocent, doesn’t it?

The sun had climbed higher than the top of the palm tree, so I moved location to a lemon tree shade. I got to wondering whatever happened to the girls I dated in high school and college, so I set out to track them. One of the old flames was thrilled to hear from me. We chatted on the phone and met for a drink. And faster than I ever imagined, everything got out of hand. It happens a lot more often than you would think.

I didn’t intend to get into trouble when I hooked onto another one the next day. What the heck? I was just surfing on a whim for an old flame. I had thought that I was off the shelf, but man, when I winked at the old flame, she didn’t think I was an invalid voucher. She had ripened into a real woman. Rapidly, gloriously, time flew by and when many hours had passed and many bottles emptied, her eyes tinted, twinkled, then a flame flickered up in her as in the socket of a lamp. For a moment, I was entranced, then the next subdued. It was the radiance of an opium dream.

Of all the women I have known, I discovered that the outwardly calm, the ever-placid Kay, was the most violently a prey to the tumultuous vultures of passion of which I can’t form an estimate, save by the expansion of her pupils; something more profound than the well of Democritus, at once delighted and appalled at me. Words are impotent to convey any just idea how I felt. 

Thereafter, old flame after old flame flared up like little volcanoes. Yes, I must admit that I used to be extra weak for a pair of dimples, slender fingers and tender feet and arms to die for. Fine, I had a weakness for hot girls and it never mattered how hot the one I was seeing was, but I wouldn’t say I was exactly promiscuous (please, don’t ask me to explain).

I only ran a multitude of sub-relationships to break the monotony of formal relationships; you know what I mean, just to enjoy a little attention and savour the tingles that come with new love. The moment they were gone, I was gone off too, for fresh tingles. Now that the old flames have woken up Cupid from slumber, the temptation to hook the hot ones is mounting by the day and I don’t know how much longer I can hold myself from cracking through and going back to my wacky ways.

Oh, God, I don’t know where I am going to end up if I begin to walk down the road again with my guards down and I am off at full speed. I am only human, you know. Can’t someone burn the bridge ahead of me? Now. Please! For the hot ones hot on my heels and those falling for my hints, keep away from me and stay blessed, not that I don’t feel the blow to my ego. Thank you though for later.

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