I am home.
Home after a long day. Woke up early to go to work. Friday, and the end of the week. Not a great week, as a matter of fact. But because it is Friday, there is something about that which is infectious. So, work was not that fun.
But it rained, a lot. And the work was busy.
And now I am home. My lover is besides me, bugging me with questions about this and that.
No electricity in the house.
It rained heavily. And when it rains, well, the power goes off, on an unscheduled power cut. The sun has set, in a blaze of orange flames, far to the west. And the darkness of night is invading my world.
I stayed late at work, overtime. Ugandan employers specialize in not paying for overtime, and making sure that workers ‘involuntarily’ donate their time. But, this time, it was not that. A client reminded me that I am human. That me, and him, are human.
I work in an unashamedly commercial company. No freebies. Money talks, and talks well.
He walked in, and asked for me. I was a bit surprised, and maybe I would not have taken him. It was past my allotted time, and I didn’t know him, and … a lot of other things.
Anyway, I saw him.
And we talked. At first, his problem was his problem. Then it became my problem.
Don’t know how that magic came about.
I saw a scared young man. With a huge problem, which he was failing to handle. For some reason, he trusted me enough to tell me, a complete stranger, about it. And we wrestled with the answers. Together.
I have grown up knowing there are no easy answers. And some very tough solutions. Not always what one wants to do. But I have also learnt how contrary we human beings are. Ready to believe the worst of one another. In the searing economic heat of this country, willing to unashamedly take advantage of any who is weaker. And we do, for sheer ‘survival of the fittest’.
Yet through this rough and tumble of everyday living, once in a while one is reminded of the basic humanity of the other person. And can reach out to give a little help, even if it is plain lifting a corner of the load.
It was my immediate supervisor who reminded me that my time was up. And he was surprised that I was still around. I left, with a smile on my heart. I think the guy had got more than he expected.
I didn’t regret the time that I had spent talking to him. Well, it will not be paid for.
But I realized the satisfaction I did get from the simple act of listening to his problem, and finding possible solutions reminded me of my humanity.
I am gay. A militant homosexual. Maybe Ssempa would grace me with the term, a senior homosexual. Guess it is one of those things that pull my strings, the ‘homosexual agenda’ as some so ruthlessly put it.
But I am also a human being, and the plain, rough politics of life make me forget that I am a human being.
Feels good to remember.