The briefest of monthly visits


Acres and acres of screen space flickers at me and taunts me to populate it with words. Not a patchwork of words, mind you. The screen is daring me to fill it with words strung together to convey to you exactly what’s missing in my life at the moment.

There the problem lies. Tell me, where and how do I find the verbs, adjectives and adverbs to make you feel what I feel? Being no poet, I’m at a total loss for suitably descriptive words. All I can say is that presently my life is in the jaws of an emptiness that’s a prototype …no, that has some connotations of a work still in progress.

Let’s see … ok, let’s say this void is the template on which emptiness in a person’s life is calibrated; the criterion against which loneliness is measured. The …will you help me out here people?

…I give up. After all, my failure to adequately describe the gnawing longing in my heart doesn’t mask the fact that she has me hooked. What’s that clichĂ©? Hook line and sinker, right? It isn’t just a fleeting feeling either. The fact is she’s had me hooked for more years than I care to remember.

Yes, I’m completely taken by her despite the major flaw she has. No, it isn’t a physical flaw. There’s no noticeable chink in her appearance. It’s her character that I’ve problems with. You see, just a few days after coming to visit me she disappears only to reappear a month later. She’s never offered an explanation. And as the years have gone by, I suppose I’ve become used to not expecting any. I’ve grown to accept that I can’t tame let alone completely own her.

Banish her out of my life! Are you certifiably mad? I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t love her but then my very existence depends on her, you see. She may not be my raison d’ĂȘtre but she's probably the reason I'm still alive. Am I making sense?

So life grinds on. Once every month, she sends me a note. Oh, don’t even bother begging because I’m not going to reveal their juicy contents. Suffice it to say that a few days after her note, she appears and everything reverts to normal.

Boy, when she’s around life is good and fun. We go out shopping. We go out visiting places of interest. We go dining and wining. We go out either on our own or with friends. We have friends visit us. Once in a while we even throw parties. Our fisted palms open up resulting in smiling relatives and grateful street beggars.

But as suddenly as she appears she vanishes without even a word, without fail. Sure, I can feel it when she’s about to leave. First the shopping and the outings phase into a dribble before completely drying out.

Perhaps she doesn’t like my lifestyle. You see, when she’s around, I hardly give her any quality home time. We’re either out some place or we’ve friends over at my place. Or maybe she hates my philanthropic nature. But what can I do when a whole village of relatives think I’m a charity organisation.

They’re really funny people, my relatives. They visit without notice and dictate when to leave, irrespective of the day of the month. When they’re ready to leave, they not only expect to be given the return fares. No way! The fares for the trips here are borrowed and the lenders expect their monies back immediately they see my heavily laden relatives arrive back in the village. And I hope you know by now that even when I give them the return trip fare, my relatives can’t leave if I don’t give them money for their wish lists that include soap, sugar, salt, cooking oil, fertiliser and school fees for some young cousins of mine whose faces I can’t even remember having met

I don’t know why she disappears. I really don’t. All I know is you can swear by the regularity of her monthly visits and her an unannounced departures just a few days later

Talking of which, late last month she came. Besides other things she helped me shop for curtains and other furniture items to replace the ones my landlady is planning to take away. We even stocked up the fridge and the pantry. But I suppose the shopping was so tasking she refused to go out with me even once. In fact, she disappeared soon afterward.

And now I’m like a drug addict in the grip of severe withdrawal symptoms. To be frank the days can’t fast forward quickly enough. I’m longing for her next note. Each of her notes always whets my insatiable appetite for her, you know. Just getting that note into my hands, even before I open and read it, would assure me that she would fulfill her monthly visit. It would also give me an indication of how long her stay is likely to be. I can then plan accordingly.

Oh, I forgot to let you in on a secret. For whatever reason she insists I call her monthly missives Salary Slips. She’s crazy, if you ask me. She even has a name for her arrival days, imagine. She calls them pay days.

Monthly Salary, wherever you’re now, I hope you know I miss you so much. Life is dull without you. Being not very good with words, it’s hard for me to explain how unbearably hard life becomes when you go away. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful for the few days you spend with me each month but I would much rather you never felt the urge to go away.

My Monthly Salary, I don't enjoy your absences. Not at all. I'm human so even though I don't have a roving eye, I'm still prone to temptation. Just the other day I almost dated Small Business. Luckily for you, she said I lacked a quality she referred to as capital.

Otherwise ...

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