It was a show, a puppet show, a tragicomedy. I laughed till my stomach hurt. I cried till my tear glands could not keep up. It was in that state, I felt that soft nudge. I turned, only to see everyone engrossed with the show like I was. Then, there was that tingling sensation; it was gentle and yet so pressing. Tried as I did, I could not focus on the show again. I knew I had seen this show before but where? When? Talk of a déjà vu. I searched within me for an answer to no avail. Then it hit me…hard!
That puppet show was analogous to my life, my life story.
I was once so alive with an overflowing life. I was able to walk and talk and I had the breath of life ventilating my lungs till the worst happened. I snubbed my production house and signed a contract with a different house. They said I’d be my own boss and not just a steward. They said I would also give orders and not just take them. It meant I could run my own show. In reality, I traded my freedom and chose bondage. The truth was hidden behind glamour, it was covered beneath a beautiful kente cloth because I ended up being an underdog and with a harsh terms of reference too. I ended up being a slave to the demands of my trade…in a new production house which ran on deceit.
Consequently, I fell to the ground, unable to move. There was no sense of life and my breath was laboured. I felt like a slowly dying branch that had been cut from its parent tree. It all happened so fast, I just did not have the strength to take it all in although I prided myself in the fact that I was a strong, self-made person.
In my vulnerable state, I was immediately put into chains. A push or pull on the chains made me animated and gave me a sense of life again. The deceitful puppeteer pulled, pushed and twisted as he pleased, totally ignoring my freewill and associated pain. After all, I still had some life, a pathetic excuse for life so although I felt violated, I came to accept it. Soon, I became oblivious of the influence of the chains and puppeteer since I forced myself to believe I was living as I pleased. This was in effort to spite the puppeteer but unknowingly, it even pleased him more.
Nevertheless, there was some temporal satisfaction since I became famous and accepted. It was so surreal. I made people laugh and cry by my performances. I even became an inspiration. You may have thought I was living the life but the desire for something better and greater constantly kept gnawing at my already weary and hungry soul deteriorating its ulcerous state.
Oh, what a wretched soul I was! It was not just the unmerciful and ravenous desire for more but that crippling paranoia which sapped all the strength I had left, compounded my plight and threatened to leave me dead at anytime. I knew my time would soon come to an end and I would be discarded so I did everything to stay relevant. I patched up any imperfection so I could remain loved but just when I could not continue anymore, just when everything seemed to be meaningless, something else happened.
I was presented a new contract to feature in a show by my previous production house. I found it hard that I was even considered. It was just too good to be true. It only meant I would have to leave everything I had ever become used to behind and travel to a new country altogether. I was going to start a new life. That made me nervous. I would still be me but in a whole new different way one could ever imagine, a perfect me. That made me calm and even excited as well. I accepted it.
Immediately, the long forgotten chains fell from my wrist. I stared at it in horror; I was chained all the while? I looked up to see a different puppeteer. I lifted my hands for her to chain me so we could rock the world together but to my utter astonishment she did not need to chain me. She breathed and life began to well up in me. I felt like a branch that had just been grafted into a parent plant. I was living again! I mean I did not have to be animated. I was breathing. Boy, was I glad I signed the contract?
However, what was I going to do with this life? I was so full of energy. I did not need to be animated by chains. I could have chosen to go back to what I knew best and this time I would really be in charge but no, what would that say of me? I had breached a contract before but never again. Out of gratitude, I looked at my new puppeteer and asked for the next step. She read her script and I willingly followed. It was a total blast! We totally rocked the world more than I could have ever imagined. No one had ever seen or imagined our act.
One thing I appreciated was that she never coerced me although she could be very demanding. Under her watchful eye, I lived a purposeful life. There were times the show bombed because I thought my ideas were better. Out of shame, I would then weep and weep but she would come to me, comfort and encourage me then we would continue with our work and even work on my failed act till it became a masterpiece. She was just so cool.
That was my story…
No wonder the nudge and sensation would not leave me alone. It was my life story. I sighed. Wha..what…what was…I could no longer feel myself breathing physically. What was it this time? It was not because the room was stifling too. I scrambled outside and took in a deep breath.
Shortly, the show was over to my delight. I walked into the room in search for my wife only to see her trying to wake me up. I froze in my steps. Her frantic calls created a scene. What was I doing in my seat and why was I not responding? I was dumbfounded. Then it dawned on me, no wonder I could not breath physically. No wonder everyone wore a downcast look. I walked to my grieving wife and hugged her as a nurse who had also come to watch the show, did her best to revive me. If only she would accept it was a vain effort.
I whispered in a peaceful voice into my wife’s ears, “Don’t worry, my dearest one, I’m alright.”
My wife smiled through her tears to the surprise of the young lady who had her in her consoling arms and with much appreciation, asked the nurse to stop. Never had I seen my wife so peaceful. A smile radiated hope amidst her tears just as sun rays pierce through dark clouds after a stormy night. Was this even real? Tears rolled down my cheeks.
I felt that nudge again. I turned to see her with her hands outstretched this time. I put my hand in hers and with one last look at Gina, my wife, I walked away. I was taking the lead home. I would ever be grateful for how my life turned out. Thanks to her. She was a real gift to me and to all mankind as well. She was called Amazing Grace and she was leading me home…and home we would arrive, safely.