It’s just day three of this blogging challenge but I’m already digging deep on this one. My left elbow is folded, resting on the arm of this chair I’m seated on. My first finger has found its position above my upper lip, under my nose, pushing down my mustache. I can feel the warmth of the carbon dioxide I’m breathing out brushing against the skin on my finger. My eyes blink. I swallow a pebble of Speichel down my throat and scratch the side of my belly.
My thumb whose nail I haven’t cut in a month is pressing up from under my chin. I’m immersed in a kind of contemplation that takes you out of your body and transports you to a vast field of tea contoured by the side of a hill. The green is refreshing. Each line of tea is parallel to the other. I see women wearing protective hats. They have reed baskets on their backs and are picking tea leaves from the field using their hands.
Pick, pick, pick and when hands are full, drop the leaves in the baskets without looking behind. They do it effortlessly. It’s like choreography that they’ve practiced over and over and are now performing on a big stage, except this time, they have an audience of two eyes, mine.
Would I pick tea for no pay? Only if I was doing it to learn.
I’d read stories to children for no pay, flipping each page and acting out some of the words and sentences in those books. I’d spend my whole day with kids, running around, rolling in the sand, bringing out the child in me to be like them. I’d pick my water gun and shoot at kids as they shoot back at me. It’d be so much fun I’d forget the adult in me. I’d be a baby sitter for no pay, playing with kids and helping them explore the possibilities in their childhood, tickling them and watching them giggle. For no pay, I’d sit on the floor and listen to children read and tell stories. I’d read the stories they’ve written and cheer them on at every attempt of them trying out the craft of writing. I’d listen to them as they build their presentation skills.
If there is a disaster or a humanitarian crisis and extra hands are needed to get things done, I’d show up and lend my hands. I’d pick up a shovel and help in rebuilding. I’d light a night fireplace to keep people warm. I’d make tea and serve those affected. I’d offer clothing. I’d become a cook if that can save the situation. I’d carry bags of rice, beans, and posho from the delivery truck to the store. This way, I’d also be building my muscles and raising my fitness levels. By the time I return to my normal life, my biceps would be so developed girls would want to press it. Of course, I’d let them touch those muscles. Who wouldn’t want their biceps touched by a chic? I’d say, “Yeah, I’m the man. Do you feel these biceps?” Hehehehe.
And finally for today, for no pay, I’d write. I’d keep writing. I’d be as silly in my writing as I always seem to be because writing is fun. No, writing is lonely. It’s draining to fill a blank page each day with sense. It wears you out. You want to be engaging in what you write and make your readers go absolutely bananas but sometimes, your work comes out stale like cucumber. The thing is, when God gives you the gift of writing, you must use it. You must share it. You’ve got to bring it out. Because if you don’t, you might regret it. So for no pay, I’ll still write.