27 February 2020
Itwas a cold, wet and quiet morning in the village. Light rains fellfrom the dull sky. The birds had stopped chirping as people walkedhurriedly to their places of work. Just like every other morning, hesat at the corner, and his nighttime fire meant to keep him warmfading away. Walter Lucky was his name, a name that described theexact opposite of what his life was. Apparently, he led a life thatwas full of many struggles and weird experiences. Lucky has survivedthe sun, sandstorms, rains, dust, and cold, having lived homeless foras long as he could remember. He sat on the dry part of the pavement,thinking, dreaming, and wishing. The look of his eyes exhibiteddesperation, hopelessness and pain. Just like any other day, Luckypainstakingly stood, strolled across the street to a nearbyrestaurant for his daily free cup of tea. The owner of the restaurantknew Lucky well. He gave many stories of their exciting childhoodlife in the village. However, he never mentioned what led to Luckyliving such a miserable life.
“Goodmorning Lucky. How has been your night?”
“Bad,creepy, and full of nightmares.”
“Sorrymate. Have a seat and take something hot. You also look like you cando with a good meal. By the way, I have some blankets here I wouldlike to give you a donation from my friend.”
“Thankyou, my friend. I appreciate the assistance. I promise to doeverything in my power to repay the kindness you have extended to mesince I came here. I will give you freedom and the autonomy tooperate your business unexploited.”
“Iam looking forward to that Lucky. We are counting on you.”
Sometimes,Lucky could get new clothes from friends, take a walk around the townas if to show off, and back to his spot. Every day, I passed by thestreet corner he called home. I could not help but think of hismiserable life. Other people who walked past him just glanced, spedup and portrayed no pity. Lucky never noticed anyone he was used tothat kind of life. Many people did not know his life story. Rumorshad it that he lived among the rebels who had taken over the village.Other villagers said that he was a traitor, and nobody was willing tohelp him. At this political time of the year, nobody cared to listento the stories surrounding Lucky. The people in the village wereafraid of the officers who kept vigil in the streets. Everybodyfollowed his or her daily routine. Lucky always spoke of arevolution he spoke against the ruling class. He condemned thedictatorship of the mayor, violence against the citizens, and hespoke for the rights of the people. The majority of the villagersthought he was mad since his speeches were directed at no one inparticular.
“Andothers are charging excess taxes on small entrepreneurs. They havebig stomachs and cars, yet they can never have enough. They eat anddispose the surplus in the bins, so the people they took away theirproperty can collect the rubbish to feed their children.” Luckywould say at the top of his voice, especially, when in public places.
Hewould then continue, “And others kill innocent children. Theymolest our wives as if they are not married, or they think povertymakes us less of men than they are…” The monologues were full offierce criticism directed at anonymous subject.
Nobodybelieved that an individual with such experiences and encounterswould advocate for the good governance. They were contented by thestatus of life they had. Nobody dared to challenge the rebels, andnobody wished to live like Lucky. His quest was unappreciated as thevillagers so no need of rebelling the ruling class, as they wouldhave automatically lost the battle.
Onthis fateful day, violence broke out in the village. Nobody knew thecause, or the extent of the brutality until the rebels reached thesmall town, where Lucky, my parents and I lived. Every villagerbelieved that the violence was political and that it would soon fade.Many villagers were used to it. However, this time, it was different.A revolution was imminent. Lucky seemed prepared for the day. I wasjust passing by his street corner when he caught my arm and pulled metowards him. I was more scared of him than I was of the gunshots andexplosions from a distance. He whispered to me that the time hadcome. I did not understand a word, or what he meant by that. Luckyconvinced me to trust him as we ran across the street to search for ahiding place. All this time, my thoughts were on my parents. Everytime I struggled to release my arm from his grip, he would turn andyell at me, “Trust me, boy.”
“Lucky,what is happening?” I asked nervously.
“Freedomis coming today. We are toppling the dictatorial regime.”
“What?By killing innocent people? I hate you Lucky.” I was a nervouswreck as I imagined that I would soon find my family butchered incold blood.
“Don’tworry young man. I know you are scared about your parents. However,they are safe. We have marked each house with a family that does notcooperate with the regime. Your parents’ house is one of them. Ihad informed them to stay indoors, and so should you. If you dare runoutside, you will be shot by the freedom fighters.” Lucky reassuredme.
Thewhole village was in chaos, from our haven, we could see smoke, hearloud explosions, screaming women and children. The rebels wereeverywhere, beating up people, burning down houses and keeping guardto restrict movement. At this moment, I realized that Lucky was notthe man the villagers thought he was. In my experience, I realizedthat he was a sober man, wise and organized. It was at this point Idecided to listen to him. The village was in its worst moments, asthe residents had no support, or the capacity to handle the rebels.With no signs of calm and peace returning to the village, I ran outof patience. I kept on pushing Lucky to help me run across to myparent’s house. I needed to be sure that they were safe. Luckyconvinced me that it was too dangerous. However, I chose not tolisten to him, and an argument ensued.
“Iwill tell you the truth. I am a spy for the revolutionists. Pleaseremain calm. Your parents will be safe as long as they will remain inthe house as I had instructed them. Nobody will touch your house.”Lucky emphasized.
“Ido not want my parents to die.” I retorted as I wept bitterly.
“Theywill not die. We are not monsters. We will only kill the people whohave been oppressing us. Your parents are not a party to theoppression, and so they will survive. They are good citizens who alsosuffer, just as we do.”
Thewords were comforting, but I doubted his genuineness. All I wanted atthat time was getting to my parent’s house. I was scared, confusedand becoming weaker every minute. Lucky tried to explain to me hisplan of getting us safely out of the village. He kept saying that theviolence was a gateway to peace. He informed me that he had a babysister at his grandparent’s home. He insisted that we should firstensure that his folks are safe before going to my parent’s place.
Duringour disagreement, the noise was fading. The village was getting calm.From a crack in the wall, we could see the rebels retreating. Luckyshowed high levels of confidence that peace will return to thevillage. Lucky seemed very experienced in calming me down and helpingme back away from my fight towards walking out. He explained to methat he has worked as a spy in the rebel and military camps for overten years. From the experiences, he understood the best approachesand measures to take when in a crisis or insecure situation. Manyvillagers thought he collaborated with the rebels thus considered himan outcast. His life as a homeless man was filled with the hope thatthe dictatorial leadership will one day, be overthrown, and that thepeople will live as they wish, elect their leaders and pay lessertaxes. At my young age, I never understood most of the things Luckysaid. At this time, I had lost the sense of time, and darkness wasnigh. The village was quiet, the smoke had faded, and movements wereminimal.
“Lucky,how were you exactly involved in this chaos?” I knew he was part ofthe conflict because he even knew it was a revolution. He also hintedthat he marked the houses that should not be attacked.
“Igathered and provided vital information to the rebels. Theinformation was crucial as it helped them to plan and execute asuccessful mission of taking over this city. The administration andpolicies applied will now come from the rebels, and most of them aredisgruntled members in the city.” He said with a wide grin.
“ Ismy father one of them?”
“Yes,boy. He has been part of the group planning for the revolution.” Iwas flabbergasted by the new revelation about my father.
Weclimbed out of the cave-like basement, slowly, as Lucky guided metowards his usual corner. At this moment, we were both craving fordrinking water and a meal. The fear of darkness overcame my hungerand thirst. There was no one on the streets the residential houseswere all quiet. We passed the place Lucky stayed, as he wanted toescort me up to my parent’s house. Surprisingly, he knew the exactlocation of my parent’s house. I could taste blood in my mouth. Idid not know what to expect. The gate was wide open, and so was thefront door. As I got into the house, I stepped on broken glasses andwalked over broken furniture towards my parent’s bedroom. Straightahead of me stood my father holding a baseball bat, and my mum rightbeside him, holding his shirt. At this moment, I became the happiestperson in the whole village. I was glad to see my parents alive andwell.
“Thankyou, Lucky!” I chirped. I thanked him for preventing me fromletting my fear and ignorance make my decision of endangering my lifeearlier in the day.
Istared at him admiringly. He was a man who I believe that thevillagers mistook because of his weird behaviors and outlook. To me,he is a man who champions for the rightful role of the villagers, yetthey never considered his words.
Please,the Angel of Death, Whisk me Away
Ifyou can hear me my creator,
kindlylet me rest in peace, now and later.
Ihave suffered emotionally, physically and mentally. If I can rewind
theclock, If I can have a chance to talk to my father’s assistant,
IfI can have a chance to speak to the hunter who saved me, or if I canhave a chance to speak to my father,
Iwould chop off my manhood in front of him,
Iwould run away from Thebes and never come back,
andI would hang a stone on my scrotum,
soI can never desire a woman.
Iam dirty. I am a goat, and I have taken my father’s position inbed.
Dearfather, kindly, do not curse Oedipus, I am your loving son,
butthe devil has just confused my capacity to reason.
Yourblood runs in me. I have conquered Thebes
becauseI have your heroic blood. Nevertheless,
forgiveme for taking your dear queen, Queen Jocasta, my mother.
Ihave blinded myself for seeing the nakedness of my mother.
Andbecause I no longer want to suffer the shame, and the taboo mockery,
Iwill exile myself, and give up my kingship without being angry.
Father,if you can hear my apology, find a heart to forgive me.
Letyour wrath cool, and return fertility to my people and the ground.
Shedno more blood, and take away your wrath from our land.
IfI can rewind the clock,
Iwould cling on you like a seed from a blackjack.
Mother,every night, I remember your love as I roam in the wastelands,
withmy daughter Antigone, the gift you bore me.
Ifeel like I am holding you tight on my chest,
andI dream being with you every night.
AlthoughI no longer love you as my wife, my test
ofundying love for you, as a mother, can find no match in a contest.
Ifeel as if you are watching me.
Mamamy love for you will never die or depreciate a dime
foryou believed in my capability as the new king of Thebes.
Ifyou are with my father, let him know that he should be proud of hisson Oedipus.
Heis as strong, daring and courageous as he is.
Despitethat I killed him, let him know he has my honor.
Igave up kingship in Thebes to appease my shameful destiny,
ofkilling my father and marrying my mother.
Daddy,I do not blame you for banishing me in your kingdom.
Ibelieve you were ridding Thebes of a great curse. ‘Ate’indisguise.
Iam remorseful that I had to kill you to fulfill the prophesy.
Ineither reciprocated your fatherly love,
nordid I practice the art of humility like King Polybus gave,
andtaught me as I grew up in his palace.
Iknow heroes shed no tears
but,my parents, exempt me this time for crying provides shears
Forremoving the pent up anger I withhold.
Letme deliver my heartfelt apology for being a disgraceful child.
Ifyou can find face in me, please spare my generation curses.
Sparethem from killing each other with mercilessness.
Guidethem to be good kings and bless them with limitless
wealththat Thebes Kingdom will remain standing centuries to come.
Restorethe fertility and productivity in the land.
Andnever let my people starve due to my confused mind.