Of Ceilings and Inspirations


Let me tell you something about roofed houses without ceilings. Let me tell you something about rainy days inside these houses. Inside these havens of liberty where the rain cuts off that Plain White T’s song called Hey There Delilah. I love that song but the roof gets so raucous when it rains. When it rains, if we are lucky enough not to experience a power blackout from our monopolistic power supplier, I hit the pause button and sit in front of this white screen and write about myself. I write about anything. My black and purple curtains flutter a little when there’s a breeze. When the wind gusts, they billow, pushing my little satellite speaker off its stand, leaving it hanging on its feeble wire…its veins. In this humble transition of mine, I imagine the prospects, probabilities, and the future. I switch genres of music; I fidget as if I’m sitting next to Mona Lisa. “The situation could have been worse”, I tell myself and count my blessings. I lift my juice glass and pause for a sip. I ponder as I flip to the next track.

My neighbor has a television. A man of the cloth, that’s what he is. He forgets that the rain has abated and doesn’t tone down his televised sermons. I can hear his wife hissing because she needs to sleep. The crack of his palm when he slaps her resonates through numerous tiny spaces in the thin wall that separates our discretion. The irony that the lack of a ceiling inspires amazes me. Those numerous tiny spaces suck the air out of my lungs at odd hours of the morning when the neighbor’s wife puts out that kerosene stove. That nasty smoke inside my thin slice of heaven makes me sneeze up a storm. I love this place as much as I don’t. I love it because the glass is half full. I hate it because I cannot afford to like anything that is not a metaphor in my life right now. I hate it because I love comfort zones as much as I love malaria. Getting used to what I did not plan for is easy. I see it happen to many people I know. I see smiles on their faces. I see frowns in their eyes and hear the frustration in their giggles when I joke about bad music and marriage.

I know better than to measure my self-worth against other people’s net worth but while we are stuck on this rock, the best you can do is to learn something about competition, about comparison, about the beings that surround you. This ceiling-deficient house that I dwell in has opened my mind more than it has opened my eyes. I love the fact that consistency in the lives of men of intellect is a proclamation of failure. I consider myself a man of intellect; a man of constant change. I carry my pride with me because I know what rock bottom looks like. I know what pizza tastes like too. It tastes like the bright side, where the sun rises. I have absorbed every ounce of this domicile of mine. I have taken in the good memories and the bad ones. I have no photographs of it. I have grown into it so that when I leave it, my attachment dies with its memories. My rebirth is what I’m searching for; what I’m waiting on.

I brought her here once. She was beautiful. She couldn’t spell to save her mother’s life, but she was picturesque. She hinted at the simplicity of this place, the nakedness it had in it. She never even for a second noticed the half full library shelf resting on one corner, the square woolen rug that I placed my feet on, or the collection of sneakers sitting on a red carpet on the other corner. She pointed out the faults so charmingly, she made me smile. She didn’t evaluate its similarity with a Launchpad into my upbeat future. She was enchantingly ignorant. There was no need to show her the door. She was facing it.” I’ll make her wash her feet when I invite her into my next house”, I promised myself……to be continued.