Sensitive Souls

Sensitive Souls

Sensitive Souls

Denzel Marufu

I know not what is wrong, I know not what is right, therefore, I know not who I am. In my bouts of arrogance, I can barely look another being in the eye - such is my disgust at mankind. In my bouts of despair, I long for solace in that which disgusts me more than anything. My soul is in battle with my body, my mind in battle with my heart. God and Satan are permanently firing at each other equal in artillery and the battleground is within me, yet I am an alien to both sides - I am not even worthy of evil. As I utter this, I am merely a pretender since I hold disdain towards religion but perhaps, someday, my soul will sway in God’s direction and he’d eventually let me enter the Golden Gates, or are they Golden Clouds instead? Who knows? I am not a well-read man but one need not trouble himself with theories and other jargon. Have you seen what books have done to man? They strip him of all his instincts, all his passions. The greatest irony in life is how man has sacrificed his natural self-interest out of some bogus sense of community in which he invariably finds himself alone. He has enslaved himself to these “civilised” people because he is ashamed of who he truly is.

Books have made us afraid to indulge, afraid to fight, afraid to fall, afraid to be human. I curse the readers as they find “comfort” in their own inability to express themselves and I scoff as they find a sense of pride in invading the thoughts of those willing to take the great leap, surrendering themselves to the ingratitude of their fellow man by scribbling down that which shakes their very being. Has the reader no shame for this invasion of privacy? I scorn the weakness of the human body; our need for sleep, our pleasure in comfort, our need for others. But the one thing I scorn most of all is that indescribable “thing” which mortals dare try to quantify into a simple word.

How dare we try to boil it down into such unworthy symbols: curse the English! Modern man knows nothing about this endeavor, all her spirit, all her tragedy wrapped in the guise of rose petals - but let us not leave out the thorns. I, too, have bled from the cursed thorns of this Devilish Angel. That is the only thing that I consider to be human about myself; for while am a man of no notable redeemable quality, I have loved before. I was a better man then. I was a happy man - as far as happiness goes. I am now much too proud to share details about that one who terorised yet riveted me so; the thought of doing so drives me to fits.

My room holds two people: myself and my worthless maid whom I would sell for peanuts if I could - but doing such would be “uncivilised” would it not? Her dragging feet envelop the silence of the room; the only time when I feel at ease in the solitude of my own despicable company. Her long strides made their way into my side of the room as I was greeted by her abominable crooked teeth which seemed to be one candy piece away from falling out - yet they survived. As she revealed her teeth, her nose scrunched up to form something approximating a small cricket ball - such was its size. Wrinkles circling her eyes emphasised her abnormally dark pupils and seemed to fill the entirety of her sclerae. In addition to this, her protruding chin, inquisitive brows, and mechanical movements all together gave the impression of a witch - I always found it amusing. In her defense, she was of old age and, in some way, I always assume that she looked decent in her younger years. Anyway, her mechanical movements saw her place a letter on my desk. The note was rather worse for wear with shabby penmanship on its exterior. However, upon reading the words, it became clear why the hag smiled so. My heart drummed as I opened the letter.

 “My love

A pair should never go this long without contact. I am to blame for your despair. Your letters have been made into a pile and my cowardice got the best of me. I am afraid of you. When we were together, I lost myself to you. I was intoxicated; so much so that I lost track of the days. It was like a long dream. Our distance has only exposed me to nightmares and I just want to dream again. Oh, how I remember the November evenings when… I am sorry. My tears have splashed onto the page and smeared the ink. Anymore reminiscing will render my letter illegible. Even as I try to continue writing, my heart weeps for you to return to me. I am aware that this is not possible - what would our masters think?

The impulse to write to you came after something I witnessed today. Having been sent to buy the groceries for Madam Q-----, I was made witness to a miracle. On that road where you once held me, sat a man soaked from head to toe amidst the pouring rain. It was not the first time I had seen him; hence I noticed the addition of a swamp green trench coat that he used to protect himself from the elements. The poor thing hadn’t a penny to his name and I always wondered why he remained to beg in our poor little community instead of somewhere else where people might have more to spare. He had nothing to lose by doing so. Apparently, he would not even bother begging most of the time. He would simply survey the scenery throughout the day from his corner on 5th and pounce on the trash bins when a bystander had thrown something into them.

I was blessed to witness a touching site involving him once. A young girl had taken out a penny which she had just received from the shop owner as part of her transaction and immediately proceeded to give it over to the beggar, almost as if she had planned this meticulously for days on end - such is the innocence of a child. The man almost seemed embarrassed to be receiving a donation as he tried his best to formulate some sort of smile which revealed his lack of front teeth. The width of his mouth, as well as the faintness of his eyebrows, gave him an unintelligent appearance, that is until one saw his eyes. They burned with passion in their piercing gray tone which led people to give him the nickname of “fortune teller” as his gaze was so penetrating that the locals believed he could see through one’s soul. This juxtaposed his otherwise dull physiognomy which was exacerbated by the typical ragged clothes and a putrid odour that one would find on a beggar.

I apologise for rambling dear but this recent incident has made me hysterical and I just had to tell you. As I saw the fortune teller sitting in the rain, I asked the cashier what he could have been waiting for outside in such conditions - after all, the shop did have an extended roof that provided a decent shelter from the rain. The cashier did not know. I was making my way out now, my eyes and mind still fixated on this man until this happened: A man pulled up the drenched driveway. The way he stopped his vehicle indicated that he seemed to be in a hurry but it was hard to tell - you know these wealthy men are; they always seem to be in a rush. Thankfully, I had a good enough view of his windscreen to see the man.

He seemed lost as he delayed his exit from the car. Given that he was wearing a shirt, it became clear that he had nothing to shield himself from the rain. It was eventually known that this man was on his way to a meeting just outside our local town but needed to stop at the grocery store urgently for Devil knows whatever reason! After witnessing his distress for just over a minute, I saw the fortune teller sprint towards the vehicle, much to the fright of the wealthy man, who amusingly jumped up in fear after the fortune teller knocked on his window. Despite the torrential rain, the fortune teller raced to take off his jacket and show it to the wealthy man incandescently. He was almost hysterical as he tried to signal to the wealthy man that he could use the coat for protection.

After minor deliberation, the wealthy man produced a surprising smile and was escorted out of his vehicle by the beggar whose smile stretched as far as was humanly possible. I did not see what occurred after that event as I had to return to my Madam however, I enquired about it from the cashier the next time I was sent to purchase groceries. It turns out that the fortune teller’s new coat was handed to him by the wealthy man who had taken pity on him during wintertime. Apparently, the fortune teller was rather nomadic before this occurrence but was determined to remain in the same vicinity until he could bestow an act of kindness to this wealthy man in return.

My dear, here was a man who had every reason in the world to bury himself in the abyss but he kept his feet planted. What have you done with yourself?”