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The Last Call (with audio)

On the 15th of May (last Saturday), we had a mental health talk between peers from Kenya and Ghana, hosted by Peer Connect’s Kendi Juma and Kiende. I shared the following Last Call, a piece of my story (I hadn’t titled it then).

Feel with me:


The Last Call by Benie Langat.mp4
The Last Call by Benie Langat.mp3

I’ve been trying
To reach you, dear one,
But it’s late on the clock.
The am is on us:
The night is full,
The moon is shy,
And the sky is twinkly;
The heavens are alive,
As the earth replenishes.
The hour, indeed, is late
And, ah, I just remembered,
Your phone must be
On “do not disturb me.”
You’ll be up in a few hours—
A lot on your plate:
A life to live, and lives to save,
And dreams to chase,
And chances to win and losses to
Celebrate.
I know. I know…

I’ve been trying
To reach you, oh, mama.
I tried,
But I didn’t know:
Your phone died,
The other night,
Slammed onto a wall.
I didn’t know:
Your hand, as your heart,
Bore bandages,
And sores, underneath;
And eternal scars.
Oh, mama,
I didn’t know:
This night, you lay awake,
Thinking about me,
And missing me
By your side.
I’m sorry, mama.

I’ve been trying
To reach you, old man.
I doubted if I could,
But I tried;
I doubted if you’d pick,
But I tried.
Of course,
You’re out late,
Drinking yourself to oblivion,
Your phone is on silent,
Or not—who knows?
If you ever cared
But it’s alright, it’s alright.
I tried;
I wish I didn’t,
But it’s okay now.
Good bye, now.

I’ve been trying
To reach you
Dear, best friend.
But you’re not with us
And I cannot wait to join you!
I tried,
And I got nothing–
Not a word, not a sign.
I sat at the place we did,
Did the things we did,
Felt the nostalgia,
Steal into my heart,
Reminscing my fallacies
Of forever, with you with me.
My friend, I tried,
But you’re not here,
And I know,
I can only find you
In someplace,
Someplace I’d like to visit
Someday, like today—
A perfect night, this night
Right?
I’ll be home, home soon.

Feel with me.
It’s 3 am and it’s cold and you’re alone–
Always have been, always have been.
People come over,
People smile, and you smile;
They laugh, and you laugh too.
You love how such moments feel.
But then people talk and people ask
If you are alright
And you wonder for a second,
Or two, or three, or forever:
Am I? Am I alright?
You nod, perhaps, absentmindedly.
People leave, eventually.
You lock yourself in your room
You wonder out loud:
Am I? Am I alright?
You think of today, how you felt,
Waking up and how you feel now,
Late in the am,
And your heart sinks,
Lower than you ever felt.
You slide to the floor,
Tears welling your eyes,
Tears, drowning your soul.
You fall, and fall, and fall
All alone—
Late in the am.

They said I am a man
And my tears should flow
From my heart, not my eyes.
They said I am human
And that anxieties are human,
But are they?
I can’t pull myself out
Of this pit, so dark;
How is it human, this feeling
That keeps pinning
My life down? How?
They said I am strong
And that sadness passess with time,
But I’ve been entertaining the thought
Of saying to it all:
Fuck it,
And walking away
From the stage of life.

This feeling in me drowns me,
As my tears that I cannot hold back,
Drown me.
I have been entertaining the thought
Of a knife piercing
Right through my heart
But I am a coward, always have been.
I locked myself in my room,
Where I can only drown
In the chaos, within me—
I tossed my phone,
And my bedding, and my clothes
And myself on the floor;
I screamed, and shed lakes
Of tears, and shed hope
For tomorrow.
I slammed my head into a wall
And screamed:
Fuck it!

Now I’m here, alone;
It’s 3 am, and I’m done.
I cannot wait to see
What madness lies
On the other side.

Until
Next time…



Made by @shannie_mwangi (adapted from my brief talk)

The challenge is to keep going. There are often more reasons to quit than to live on, but there are also undeniably greater rewards for choosing life.

Hold on to the moments that make you wish for eternity, cherish every smile; every laugh, be grateful for your breath, for every second, and for all that come your way, and all you come upon—the heavens and the hells. These are the little beauties of life—hold on to them.

You will feel the heat, the road will be high and rough. You will say “fuck it.” But keep going, dear one. Keep breathing. Keep living.


##

Categories: Poetry

Tagged as:

Benie Langat

Benson Langat is a poet, fiction writer, and freelancer. A dreamer, he realizes a world of possibilities through stories and explores life in poetry. Benie is a dad and lives in Nairobi, Kenya.

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