Angels who can’t sing
ANGELS WHO CAN’T SING
I get to the door solely by the sense of hearing. It is a tiny wall with padded walls though still the insulation does little , for the melodious tunes greet you at the entrance of the building. Inside, the band members raise their voices as the piano strains get louder and the guitarist strums along. They are singing a gospel song; natamani kutembea na wewe and my mind immediately thinks of heaven. Suddenly we are no longer in a closet-sized studio on the second floor of some building but under the golden roof of heaven and the angels are draped in bright buy peaceful white – the type you can look at in bright light and not get blinded. The angels are singing and every note flows as if laced with honey; thick and soft. I hold my breath and take in the musical air; I never want to go back to earth. I’m still in this mood of auditory ecstasy when I notice I’m getting dirty looks from the pianist. At first, I wipe my mouth vigorously thinking I smudged some chocolate on my face (chocolate I had greedily gobbled up before getting into the room). However, even after rubbing my mouth hard enough to peel my skin, Mr. Piano Guy is still looking at me like I am a street kid at princess Charlotte’s birthday party. Then it hits me! I’m not singing! Now I pride myself in being very talented but there are a few things I simply cannot do; sing and dance. I am hopelessly pathetic at both but most especially the latter. Suddenly, the music stops and the pianists requests a song that everyone knows. Note: he says this directly looking at me. His gaze is intense and I squirm under its glare as I pretend to engage in the song negotiations. I try to sing; I really do, but the sound that comes out reminds me of the rainy nights in the village where we used to sit quietly listening to the frogs look for their mating partners. The embarrassment is too much and I decide to stick with what I went there for. The walls of my mental heaven slowly come tumbling down and the angel’s garments disintegrate into tattered rags.
What will happen to us poor souls with bad voices when we go to heaven? Will we miraculously receive honey-laced voices? Or will we be allowed to engage in activities that currently feed our souls like writing? Or maybe , we shall just be secluded and discriminated against like all those dorks sitting at the table next to the waste bucket