Live for the day

HR-Biko-Illo_v2-01Jackson Biko doesn’t have a Bucket List. He also doesn’t have an excuse for it.

I can’t think of a single thing I want to do before I die. I don’t want to see the Great Wall of China. Or see the Inca Trail in Peru. I have no interest in seeing the pyramids of Egypt. I won’t feel bad if I die without watching Nicki Minaj swirl her derriere on stage. Or touch Trump’s hair to see if it spits back. It would be very nice to be around to see my children grow into adults and have their own kids who will crawl on my lap and ask me to tell them a story and I will have to tell them about the rhinos and they will look at me like I lived with dinosaurs. But if I wasn’t around to see my son blow my money on weed in his campus days, I don’t think I would turn in my grave. I would chuckle and say, “Atta boy, son! Just don’t buy that stuff from the dodgy dealer down the road.”

I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t have a Bucket List. And please don’t look at me like that. I’m perfectly normal. Here is how I see life: I wake up and say, “Hmm, wouldn’t it be nice to go to Thailand this year and see the Ladyboys of Bangkok?” So I jump on a Redeye and see the Ladyboys; I overhear the guy with what looks like a crow’s nest on his head say how completely “overwhelming” it is to dive with stingrays in the Indian Ocean and I think, “Hmm, I wonder if I could influence people more with a hairstyle like that?” So I have my barber replicate that hairstyle on me. I don’t have the concentration for lists. I marvel at how people write whole shopping lists and walk around the aisles, mouths moving, looking for tissues. I just walk around supermarkets and if I see something I need I put it in my basket. If I forget an item I learn to do without it until I come back to the shop another day. You will be surprised that you won’t die if you forget air freshener or toothpicks.

There are people who seem surprised when you tell them that climbing Mount Kenya isn’t on your Bucket List. Recently I found myself in a group where people were jumping off planes, in Diani. So I jumped off and later someone asked me excitedly, “Did you have skydiving on your Bucket List?” and I said no and they looked at me strangely.

I think writing a Bucket List is depressing because you have death at the back of your mind. I think when we write Bucket Lists we give death power over us. We acknowledge it. Death should be treated with contempt. Death is like a child: it gets annoyed when you don’t acknowledge it. Having said that, I wonder how those stingrays in the ocean feel, making people’s dreams come true.