Ugh. Sometimes the burden of thought is overwhelming.
I hate being used. Of course, life is a series of give and take. And, because I am drawn into a battle that I would not be part of but by compulsion, I have to understand that I will be used. And, I will of necessity use others.
I understand. And, I am no idealist. That is life.
But, I hate being used. Especially by unscrupulous people.
It happens. And, it will continue to happen. I will be used, and, I will use others. But, I hate being used. Hypocrite?
I don't doubt that I have a passion for what I do. I do.
And, I find the time to be distracted.
My neighbour is fighting with his son.
Adolescent boy, has grown up in the time since I first saw him. Now, about 16-18. Typical, traditional African family. (No, not the one that Bahati is fighting.) Man is a healthy heterosexual man. A breeder. Has, to my count, more than 15 acknowledged kids. Different mothers. (Oh, he has some un-acknowledged, including one who was brought to see his dad for the first time by the child's uncle. Resulted in a row that I listened to in shame.)
The guy has lots of grandkids playing around the compound. Have never been interested in the exhausting grind of knowing who was exactly who.
Started in the morning. A row between the boy and one of his sisters. Or half sisters. Or whatever. Almost was into a fight.
But, we don't interfere. Though the whole village listens avidly into the quarrel.
I went off, came back after some time, and found the father is involved. And, he is chasing the boy away from home.
It would be laughable if it wasn't serious.
I think the boy's Mom is not the woman in the house. So, he is being told to go off to his birth mom. Or, somewhere in the village. That, he is no longer welcome at his fathers place. And, that he is not going to pay his school fees. I happen to know that the boy is in a fairly good school in Kampala. Such a punishment can be annihilation.
The boy is distressed. The dad, my neighbour, is one of the village drunkards. No, I am stating a fact.
What does one do in this case?
Oh, it would be easy for me to intervene. But, should I?
Very easy for me to tell the boy to let his dad cool down. To even offer him a place to sleep for a couple of days, and to bring them to a negotiating table. But, hanging over my head, my actions, is the principle of non-interference. How can I do that? How dare I interfere? One just does not interfere between a man and his wife. A man and his children.
Unless, of course, in extremis.
I know that most of my neighbours are concerned. They are peeking out now and again. He usually drinks on the neighbourhood. So, most probably they will try to talk to him when they are gathered for the evening drinking session.
I hate that. I am a private person. And, the village drinking time is the social time to mull over the goings on, known and unknown, of the different families. Share the gossip, give the village communal advice. I must feature in some of those goings on! As a topic, of course.
And, something else weighing on my mind. I am gay.
I have been warned off the children. And, I am involved, in another way (Shut your dirty mind) with another of the kids, something which is known. I try to skirt too much involvement. Because I am too aware that I can be accused of trying to 'recruit' the children.
And, one day, I heard the loudmouth declaiming how we homosexuals have 'spoilt' their kids.
Situation is tense. Volatile. It is a public fight. A child is involved.
But, the best thing to do might be to do nothing. Goes against the grain.
I wish the child well. And wish for the courage to step into that fire. Will I?
Life is tough. Very tough.