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0127hrs. Alone, in bed, with song – Demi Lee Moore’s rendering of Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors to be precise.

My mind is tucked somewhere between a tight fist and a box, and there are two things that I am certain about: I am sweating and there are tears. 

I feel these tears trapped in the space between eyeball and eyelid, and I want to release them, but I am too tired to do that: the sweat will do for now; the duvet aids it at least.

0133hrs. Demi Lee Moore. Diane.

I am not a country person, at least not in the musical sense of the word, but I search for voices that soothe when I am low. And I am low.


A few hours earlier, 2207hrs, I write these statements as my WhatsApp status:

“Muriithi Mwangi, retired filmmaker. Because what can I do? Ti gùtheke mani! (It’s not a laughing matter)”

And – 

“In the meantime, reach me via text & WhatsApp, no calls. And though the response may tarry a bit, wait for it; it will surely come. #weary #decompressing”


0147hrs. Steve Hofmeyr & Demi Lee Moore. Amanda.

With sadness that surprises me, the taps open, and my eyes flood. The tears that I was too tired to let out freely flow: sudden, stifling, searing.

I am now acutely aware of the smell of my own sweat. It gives my nose a burning sensation, like melting plastic, and a shiver runs through my body leaving me cold with tremors. If I named each tremor, it would be death by a different name.

I have been in this space for the past twenty eight hours, interrupted only by a meeting I needed to attend, which had been preceded by five days in bed, alone with song, seesawing between thrills and terrors.

0258hrs. Brymo. Everyone gets to die.

What do I need? 

Earth is a temple, life a priest and I am gracing my wedding to this question, a faithful companion in recent times – what do I need?

I have lost my passion for work. I have grown tired of people’s voices; ergo the decision to no longer pick calls. An insidious terror of the city has creeped into me, so I don’t leave the house. A bibliophile, words tire me now. A cinephile, films have become tickets to slumber. I am writing stale poems and laboured screenplays. A stutter has found my tongue. An inescapable sigh has tied itself around my mouth like a noose. Coherence is leaving me.

What do I need?

0321hrs. Brymo. Dear Child.

Lets drift launched a website.


0127hrs. Alone, in bed, with song – Demi Lee Moore’s rendering of Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors to be precise.

Weighed down by insomnia, I arrive at the Lets drift website for the first time, in search of nothing and everything.

Hiking is Like Falling in Love; a Cj Gicheru declaration receives me. His name evokes memories of simpler days: funkies, drama fests, statoretti – but with everything running through my mind, nostalgia cannot hold.

So I read. And after I read, I begin writing. 

Should I complete whatever this is, it will be my first breakthrough in months.


0339hrs. Brymo. Jungle Fever.

Pandemic. Traumas – plenty, plenty, plenty. But we must show up constantly, fully functional, present, even though we are anything but.

I have hated every day I have had to perform life.

The last time I felt this way, I penned this, then went in search of a moment.

A moment.

It has always found me hours into a walk or a climb, a gentle heat guiding my feet, the mind at war with itself. 

0402hrs. Benjamin Clementine. Adios.

Trails are where I come to say goodbye to the ills of life; releasing many breaths; losing afflictions; dying a million deaths; receiving renewal.

At the end and beneath the tensions of a tired body is the ease of lost tensions: the anger chests hold; the cruelties limbs mask; the frustration stomachs ingest; the grief hearts carry … the sadness of it all.

And this loss of tension is neither immediate nor explicit here.

It happens somewhere between boots sinking in mud and voices guiding me through, a fall on rough ground and hands reaching to pull me up, tales and snacks. 

Then I breathe differently, breathe simply, and as air reaches my lungs weightlessness washes over me, and I am alive again, truly ALIVE, moving breathing. 

0510hrs. Alone, in bed, with song and words. Benjamin Clementine. Phantom of Aleppoville. 

For months now I have been driven by Mama’s words in Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin In the Sun: “There’s always something left to love.”

When all else loses meaning, tonight I’m reminded that hiking is the one thing left for me to love.

Maybe I’ll hike again this weekend. 

Meanwhile, Philosopher Paul, a guide at Lets drift wrote me a message seventeen days ago. It has tarried, but its response has surely come: “Nimeota ukinipea thao kumi nikakumbuka kuna message yako sikujibu mkuu. Niaje!”

0525hrs. Benjamin Clementine. Ode from Joyce.


Written by Muriithi Mwangi



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