For Mariam

Dear Mariam,

I hope this email finds you in good health. I appreciate you took some pain to write me a long mail in such a traditional way, which I cannot help but write back to you, despite the fact that communication has gone through a massive change over the last decade. Those days of taking delight in longish hand-written letters seem an eon ago. Thanks for stoking the ember in the back of my mind to recollect and see again a personal mail. Information revolution has transformed the entire world in these days of anti-attention Facebook messages, Twitter tweets and instant communication. And your letter has proved otherwise.

In no way, should I think about just fun and affairs like you fear; but share the pain you are going through in that pathetic place where you are staying. It gives me a very bad feeling to hear you are putting up at an orphanage. Still, I’m glad you believe in me and that you think I’m in a good position to help you. By the way, if you are single, then you do not need to tell me you have been never married. I know it from first-hand experience!

War is a disgrace to humanity; but we can stop it, can’t we? Israel and Palestine are hell bent on kicking each others’ balls. Somalia, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and others are living in the shadow of crime and violence. Even our region is not spared: some people have lost their kidneys from excessive territorial pissing while some others are armed and loaded, fighting for peace.

I have lost a few friends and I know how painful it is to live in a conflict zone. This does not mean to undermine the loss of your father. And I believe Mr John Andrew was a good man. Though, to tell you the truth, I do not trust any politician, or for that matter, people who work for the government. Let me make an exception tonight. It is even more atrocious that you have also lost your mother and brothers. Why cannot the sons of the soil and the merchants of death just go and fuck themselves instead of killing people to build a society based on coercion and nationalism? Why do people have to lose their lives because some bigots believe in building walls between man and man? Anyway, those who believe in absurd ideas like those of a nation are calling the shots. That’s been the norm of an established society. Excuse them. 

You are telling me you go out only a couple of times a week. That must be hard for you; yet it is not bad at all. My whole hometown is just like a prison — you cannot venture out beyond a particular place or time, while we are being forced to believe that we live in the largest democracy in the world. So, never mind, it is OK for you. You are a brave girl and I hope you can tolerate for some more days, or weeks, before you get out of that shithole. For any emergency, you should contact Reverend Augustine Johnson. You are a star and you are blessed to get the chance to help him in church services. Maybe when you use his computer next time, he can join you and both of you together can hack my computer, rip off my personal details and use it in any way you would like to, because I’m NOT really in a good position to share my bank account details, with someone whom I have contacted with just one email. Please understand my problem. Just in case, consider you have transferred the money to my account, what if I disappear into the digital blackhole? It takes less than a minute, for example, to deactivate a Facebook account. You do not know where I live, do you?

For representational purpose only
Image by Okino from Wikimedia Commons
It is nice to hear that you are willing to share your late father’s hard earned money with me. You are so kind telling me he had deposited US$3.5 million that you can divvied generously. However, I had just received a mail yesterday from one Christine Lagarde, a manager at the International Monetary Fund, who informed me I have won a $2 million lottery. Today again before you contacted me, I had received another two mails. The first one is from the Bank of Scotland. It says the British High Commission is giving me an unknown amount of money for reasons best known to them. Perhaps I should visit the British Council in this city and check it out. The second, from a couple who works at the Google Management Team: They say I have been listed as one of the lucky millionaires! How wonderful!

That’s why I’m good even if all I have got now is 400 bucks in my wallet. I cannot even use my ATM card as the balance account is less than 100 bucks. Pity me. I’d suggest you find someone more reliable who can transfer your money.

When you have the money, you buy out the Liberian government — US$3.5 million is a tidy sum, you can do much with it. Do discuss the best possible ways, in which you can use your money, with your dearly Reverend What’s-His-Name.

I guess you meant you belong to Liberia in West Africa. When my geography teacher taught me in school, I had never heard of a country named Liberian. I have even googled it but the closest thing I have found is a Michael Jackson’s song and it is called ‘Liberian Girl’. Possibly you know it. But hey, I know Ghana. I have heard a lot about Kofi Annan too. Great that you completed ‘chool in that country.

Do keep the statement of account and death certificate of your father in a strongbox. Those papers are precious. 

I can never ignore that you consider I’m the only person who knows who you are and what you have. I’m flattered, Mariam (but why do you have to cc this mail to another 50-odd people?). And I’m sorry to disappoint you. You have told me the kind of person you love but I’m not honest; I’m not understanding; and I give a rat’s ass about the gods. Please do not take the trouble of sending me your photo. How can you trust me like that, without knowing my name and where I live? Don’t! Even my family members, trusting me not, have excommunicated me and I’m living far away from home like a refugee. And if you care to reply, I hope you have the money then. Perhaps then, you can give me your bank account details. I’m planning for a bike trip from Moreh to Jakarta through the proposed Asian transnational highway and I need some big-hearted sponsors.

Best regards,
K. A.

PS: Stay safe and wish you get out of harm’s way ASAP. And keep spamming!

Screen 1: A part of the email from Mariam
Screen 2: Two million dollars!



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