Cause of death

By Ray Mwareya

“Gemy’s morning gets busy instantly – actually. LOL,” he types back, laughing with Mildred via WhatsApp as he climbs into Bus 100 to downtown Boston. Mildred is the picture-less girl in Los Angeles – or that’s what Gemy thinks at least. Mildred thought Gemy’s Tinder search for a wife was a scam by some Zimbabwe citizens in California who have flown to New York to pay for fake Green Card marriages, hoping for the absolute best luck.

“$24,000. 2 instalments. 2 years is going rate,” Mildred types back on WhatsApp stating the price for a fake Green Card marriage.

Gemy pauses, his fingers frozen across his iPhone’s screen, and then he deletes Mildred’s message, and tiptoes into Intercolli Factory, his workplace. Lourna, the factory manager, approaches him when he’s dozing beside the Gerber Paragon fabrics-cutter machine to ask for the calculator on his iPhone.

Asking me the hoi polloi?, Gemy thinks, feeling annoyed she interrupted his dreams of masturbation. Still, he feels pleased too, pleased that the wealthy factory manageress had to ask him for an iPhone calculator. He lingers on this thought all day, but then it’s 3:30pm and the factory closure bell rings, and he quickly forgets about his interaction with Lourna.

He walks in a zigzag manner, and then slips into La Source shop at St. Hubert Mall without thinking about it too much. He roams around for a while, and then decides to buy an iPad Pro 7 for $500 – the first in his life – and pays for it in cash. Whilst he waits upon Bus 73 to return home, he calls a salesman on a T-Mobile phone booth and asks him about $600 iPads.

“You deserve a phone plan and $100 Chinese tablet,” the salesman sneers at Gemy.

“A $100 Chinese phone won’t do me good,” Gemy says.

The salesman grins, “I see… Your face is not from here. I Pads…?”

When he gets home, Gemy lies awake in the Boston cold feeling thoroughly humiliated by his $600 iPad inquiry. He bought an iPad Pro7 to masturbate on X porn app without his Facebook fiancee Dr. Beatrice noticing his iPhone ́s WhatsApp “online” status. Trouble is: the new iPad is too hefty to balance in his left hand while his right hand screws his balls. The seesaw only ends when Dr. Beatrice types first.

“The council will not license me till I finish the logbook,” her text blazes across Gemy’s iPhone as he ejaculates.

Gemy loosens his grip on his balls when he reads this and types back fast, “Terrific babes, if you fail?”

“The hospital is not going to renew my contract,” says Dr. Beatrice’s response on WhatsApp. “I ́m gonna fight to finish. 1 caesarian daily next week…”

“Tight babes,” Gemy types back.

“Got 4 live birth ops. 6 to go,” says Dr. Beatrice. “Hope tonight I get 2. The specialist tonight loves to cut…”

Gemy is furious with Dr. Beatrice love for WhatsApp. He ended up under-using his expensive Jean Coutou brand pharmacy condoms each time her WhatsApp texts disrupts his masturbation session. Gemy dreams of kicking into his bedroom window panes. He almost plunges a foot, stops and then fall back on – masturbation. Masturbation and asylum are harmless arts, even though his own masturbation fills him with guilt; guilt for how he treated my father in Zimbabwe, back in 2007.

Ten years after his death, Gemy still dreads to read the contents of his Father ́s death certificate. He remembers his Father’s very public shingles (Herpes); seeing him waste away, filled with blisters at 63, the results of his runaway sex affairs after Gemy’s mother’s death in 2001. In 2005, he tussled with him: “Mum is dead in four years and you’re loving sex again?”

I tortured Father, Gemy anguishes in his thoughts. Just a year in Boston, I, his son, am masturbating furiously – once by right hand in the morning, twice by left at night. He curses.

On the night of 27 December 2007, Father´s coffin arrived from the funeral parlour. Gemy took a secret haircut in a barbershop. “It’s the old man’s remains arriving,” Gemy remembers the young barber gossiping in 2007. Gemy fixed his head under the barber’s scissors, pretending not to be the deceased’s son and listened in. The young barber waffled on, “The old man had giant shingles on his cheeks. A sign of AIDs.”

The morning of the burial, the Methodist church minister lied to mourners at Father’s graveside. “Blood Pressure,” he said, “our dear old man died of BP.”

However, the intern doctor was straightforward, Gemy’s sisters told him. He scribbled on Father ́s death certificate: Cause of death – Immunity suppressant virus.

26 December, 2022