06 May The Diary of an Octogenerian.
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Have you ever made decisions that you regretted or altered your life forever? For a few weeks we would be looking at an old man’s diary, the decisions he made and how they affected his life. Hopefully you’ll pick up one or two things from his story.
The Tenth Decade.
So I am now an old man. I never thought people would call me that but my whitened hair, wrinkled hands and nearly sightless eyes attest to the fact. I am no longer as active as I used to be and I cannot do much all day except sit down in my rocking chair and remember…
I remembered when I was ten. Tall for my age, wiry, I thought I was the smartest thing since frozen yoghurt. By the time I was ten, I had read nearly 50 books. I liked shocking people with my encyclopedic knowledge. I had information on nearly everything under the sun. I even knew where babies came from.
At ten, I remember my best friend. Her name was Salewa. She was nine, a cute little thing with cornrows and she lived in the block beside us. I remember trying to impress her with my knowledge about giraffes one day. “Do you know a giraffe is 5-6m tall?” “Do you know it has all round vision?” Unlike my other friend Daniel who always wriggled away to play football when I started one of my fact expositions, she listened to me in awe. It was nice to have someone to look up to me at that age. Of course, she was also my friend because I beat her in everything. Whether it was the indoor games we played or the racing competitions we had but I never heard her complain even once. Daniel was so not like her. He cried ‘foul’ every time I won a competition.
When I was ten, I considered who God was for the first time. Did He live up there in the sky with a big white beard watching us? Was he anything like our Anglican priest with his somber attitude and black cassock? Salewa said God was a Friend. That he cared about us. She made it seem like he was some sort of Father Christmas(who I was smart enough not to believe in). I felt she didn’t know what she was talking about. God seemed more to me like a stern headmaster, like my father, who flogged us when we were naughty but for the most part ignored us.
At ten, I had dreams of becoming a pro-footballer. Never mind that I was a little bow-legged and Daniel whipped me good whenever we played a game of pass. At ten, I was big and bold and brave hearted. I was not afraid to dream…
To be continued.