Mubu was a man easy to underestimate. He was the drunk guy, that black cat with an odd accent to his English. He was clever, drinking cheap vodka from a water bottle at dawn on a bench on Main Street. He was fooling the cops.
He had a volume of “Plato’s Republic” tucked in his left jacket pocket. A heap of Tolstoy was under his skittering knee and dancing thigh. He read from a selection in his open book of great philosophers. Spinoza was that morning’s topic of Socratic to-and-fro. At some moments he took a long pull on that bottle of grain alcohol sweetened with antifreeze and bilge water. Altogether, it went down sweet and too well to be a simple recipe.
He has taken his knowledge to the Edge of the Universe, alas. At his end, he likely stared into the void behind his shuttered eyelids. He saw Everything and Nothing as the lights went out, I’m pretty well sure. He may have seen a bright light at that moment. I hope so, but that, we still bound to our flesh, cannot know with any assurance whatsoever.
Okay, Mubu. Many underestimated you. I did. You managed to bring yourself to the Edge and thence Beyond. Quite an achievement, even for The Cool Black Prince of the Streets. Very daring. You won the game in losing, perhaps. Were you playing “catch me if you can”.
I’ve quit that game, yet I marvel at the star shine that you’ve left with your dust. I value the friendship you forged with me and the space that you will always occupy in my heart, so long as it beats and I still breathe.
Yeah. One last thing. Stumbling home from the news of my friend’s demise, I bumbled upon a big rusty washer in the mud. It looked like a sort of coin. It was left to emerge from the sodden soil to come up under my modern boot heels from the derelict telegraph lines of well more than a century ago. The rust and white moss on it fashioned it into something like a token from the I’Ching; a transport from the past and future. Allow me to toss that coin this morning and say thank you, Mubu. Praise be.
Oh, the fortune is favorable. Mubu now lies forever long as this Earth lasts in a grave, at peace, next to his father. Finally, our traveler has made it back to the soil of Africa. He got out of school early and is at rest from his diligent studies.
Qui Fuerunt, Sed Nunc Ad Astra, Mubu.
Hic Finis Est.