Time Of Your Life



When you are young, no care in the world, flying high as a kite, drinking from the shady dens, smoking like snoop lion, scratch that. It’s never that serious. Being young is superficial. They say you are young as you feel but most of the time is as the world looks at you.

You are cruising at a moderate speed in that 1974 Toyota Celica bequeathed unto you few years ago by your grandy few days before he passed on. He loved it, treasured it, polished it and nearly kissed it everyday. He held it dear, unlike his dysfunctional family. He rarely drove it but when he did it was at 40 KPH. A snail speed which would shame a well meaning tortoise. Then one day he woke up, his arthritis was working up again. Giving him painful mornings, but just like you, a splitting image in personality. Grandy was stubborn, he listened to no one. No, he rarely visited hospitals and he detested doctors. Since the day when his childhood friend, now a retired doctor, ran away with the love of his life. A few years after the war. He had travelled with her from Burma, only to be snatched in Nairobi. He detested doctors, and Asian girls to some extend. His condition had got worse but nobody could get him to visit a hospital, not until he was on his deathbed. 

He requested you to come and visit him, you had always been his favourite grandson. You travelled upcountry as fast as you could. It still took a few hours more than necessary. Because you used the matatus. They are driven fast and recklessly yet somehow manage to get to your destination late, or injured/deceased if you are unlucky. You got home, he wasn’t a man of unnecessary formalities. He got swift to the point. He gave you the Celica, despite his pain he still had a Cuban cigar on his lips. You were overjoyed yet sad. You realized the old man was going, he wasn’t going to stick around for long. Being awarded the ‘Gran Torino’ brought tears to your eyes. He told you to leave, with the car, and that is the last you saw of him alive. He put a bullet through his skull a few days later, and missed. He died on his way to hospital in an ambulance. Until his death he had only visited a hospital three times. 

After his funeral you went back to the city, back to the Celica which you took to a garage for customization and optimization. He would kill you if he ever saw what you were doing to it. The car begins to perform wonders on your personality, on your dating game. Girls who wouldn’t touch you with a pole are now heads over heels because of the óld-skool’ gem you are spinning. You hate the attention, but you can’t sell it. That is when you start pretending it’s not yours and telling it to anybody who cares to listen.

It is by mere luck you meet this beautiful girl, who likes you for you. She loves your writing, she loves the “shitty’ music you listen to. While most girls could not understand why you had a hard disk full of ’30 seconds to mars’, Linkin Park, Cold Play, Owl City, Liquideep and DJ Cleo. Very weird choice of music, she didn’t care. She didn’t care you were fascinated by space and science, that your laptop had a personality and a name. She didn’t think it was stupid that you are a Trekkie, she actually thought it was kinda cool. She didn’t care when you based your arguments on the sins committed by the empire when they built the death star. She only cared and refused when you said you will name your kid Kurt Cobain Skywalker. As a tribute to Nirvana and the Jedi. You could live with that. You have the perfect girl. She loves you. 

Your days are perfect. You listen to music together, she now likes your bands. You attend literature forums together, because she is a writer as you are, and actually a better poet. Highly talented. She doesn’t drink, so she watches over you when you mess up and throw up during the battle of the bands. She picks you up from the dust and brushes you. You give her rides in the ‘Gran Torino’ thats what you call the shiny Celica now. You both love outdoors. It is the perfect match. Then you slowly grow stupid.

One day you blow it up, you got comfortable, and the girls increased in number, you cheated on your princess. She found out, she was heartbroken. She took you back, but you blew it again. Like the last grain in an hour glass, she slips away, and disappears. You are heartbroken and you are to blame. She never comes back.

All you have are the memories, the instagram and Facebook pictures. Two videos on Vimeo. Every song you listen to reminds you of her. Every blog you read takes you back to her.
Back to the cruise,which happens two weeks after she leaves. The road is a little bit bumpy and has alot of sharp corners. It is on a steep hill and you are going down, once or twice you glance on your window and see the bottom, it’s scary. It is littered with these wrecks of old buses and lorries which had accidents here. The road does not have rails. You are wishing you could just get done with it. You are as careful as anyone can be. You dare not exceed the 80 kph limit. Your leg does not get away from the brake pedal. You realise you are gripping the steering wheel too hard. Your knuckles look discoloured  You relax and take a deep breath. You start whistling a tune. Instead of relaxing your senses it makes you all jumpy. Suddenly you are afraid. Sweat drips from your forehead and you grip the steering wheel even tighter. You can not figure out what you are afraid of expect you are glancing the bottom of the valley full of mangles more often now. And every glance gives you creeps. You are becoming disoriented.
You try to summon some happy thoughts, but anything happy in your life happened with her. There are no happy moments in your life any-more  You do not want to remember now, but you thoughts, your mind is still wandering. Highly unsettled. Your eyes are stinging, you realise sweat is flowing on to them. It’s blurring your vision. Suddenly, as if in a dream. You feel like you are watching the events transpiring.

Gran Torino has started speeding. On a sharp bed it comes to a pothole, wide and deep enough to sent it flying over the cliff on the road. Flying down to the bottom of the valley. Where there are mangled wrecks and a clear stream. The car flies, you can’t utter a word, it does not hit the sides, no its a smooth flight. Only that it does not have jet engines. It lands on it’s back, rolls over severally and comes to a stop on it’s wheels. The force throws you of the seat, through the windscreen. Smashing what’s left of it as you go through. You don’t feel it when you land on the bank. You have been gone for a few seconds. You did not have a chance to see the life fly by, you were too stupid for that. 


On my play list -Time of you life by Green Day
Hey, did Billie Joe Armstrong do this video drunk or high? He is pretty good though.

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