Monday, February 29, 2016

Intoxicated; The Tale Of Love And Life

Don’t you just love how we fall in love? It’s mysterious. Like the way we fall asleep – slowly then all at once; John Green’s words not mine. 

Our scathed reality slowly ushers in a fantasy; a lustrous moment that takes our breath away. Literary so if you’re into a plus-size beauty and you want to sweep her off her feet. I am willing to bet that those castle-in-the-sky moments are why people in love do crazy things. 

Things like staring at each other's eyes. Well because on a normal day I’d hardly stare at any eyes; not man eyes and not woman eyes either, I simply look at people’s eyes. You look at people’s eyes when talking to them, its courteous to, but you stare when you’re in love.

At that point when you’re the only rose in someone’s garden little else matters. Dudes become generous because of love. You’ll see Kinuthia, with all his stingy behavior agree to buy ‘Felly Fun’ roasted maize with the pilipili thing they smear on it. And both of them will be happy. She’ll giggle incessantly as they walk and disappear into the sunset. Kinuthia won’t feel cheated off his money. 

He’ll push her all the way to her home, two, maybe three ridges away, get a peck on the cheek (in the village they don’t really kiss but the peck is an equivalent, it will make even his toes tingle with excitement) and he’ll sleep under the stars in his Thingira a happy lad. He’ll look for more money to spend on her tomorrow.

It’ll feel Christmas; exhilarating. He’ll say he feels funny about Felly Fun – because they don’t have a word for goosebumps in Kikuyu.

And about the lemon and pepper stuff that people smear on roast maize, isn’t that slightly unhygienic? There is this day I was chatting up a maize roasting guy, do we have a name for them? To pass time as I waited for one of those friends that tell you ‘nipee five minutes’, turn up 30 minutes late and the first thing they say is ‘sijakaa sana. Sindio?’ 

So at the maize guy, five heads bought maize. Each squeezing the lemon piece with pepper (or whatever the red stuff is anyway) and running it, slowly – some did it fast, against the maize. How many hands? Five damn hands. Say one hand has shaken another 10 hands since morning – it was around 3pm – the total hands that will have touched that lemon will be fifty. Fifty!! I suggest that if you can’t go without roast maize, like if you’re crazy in love with roast maize, maybe deworm often. But again what do I know, akina Kibet have been eating those things since time immemorial and they’re still fine.

But Kinuthia and Felly Fun won’t mind the roast maize or the lemon thing, they’re in love. It is part of the daze of love. And before I forget, there is that weird thing I read at Biko’s where he christened a chic as ‘Freaky Fiona’. Isn’t that a weird pet name? Freaky Fiona would do weird things to his guy during copulation (don’t mind the choice of words, I am on a mission to make use of the stuff I learned in high school and that I can’t apply anywhere else, like the word copulation). But still Freaky Fiona? No. I think I will have to chose the pet name my missus will be calling me.

So speaking of a missus let me handpick one love story of my life. There’s this girl who I knew back in the day. Disclaimer here, back in the day can be any time between the third Saturday of Feb, 2005 and four years ago. I don’t want my sister who mysteriously found my blog to try time-guessing this.

So I was in my teens and with all my exuberance I only understood somewhat like twenty percent of what love entails. Thought I was a Mutahi Ngunyi of love though. Choosing a girl then was easy. The only (sloppy) standard I had was that she looks good - physically. And the loving I knew was easier; simply write to her as often as the meager pocket money I had from mzee allowed for postage expenses. I was a good writer. Splendid at drafting those ‘top-notch’ letters that made me more than Suzy’s Cupcake, I was her Kikuyu Shakespeare. Yeah she was called Suzy. No freaky pet name. We never had such then.

Here is a rare extract of my prowess

Dearest Suzy,
With love from my heart, I pick my golden pen from the basket of love to write to you this letter. I hope this letter finds you in the best of health as bestowed to me and you by the gods of love.
Time and capacity have teamed with ability and enabled me to jot something down on this *benedicted sheet of paper. ……..I want to say I love you spontaneously and continuously. Like the flow of Sagana river. ………. How my heart beats when I see you puts Tom Tom drum players in South Africa to shame. The other day I saw you and my metabolism stopped. I couldn’t eat even meat which I like a lot…….I want to marry you Suzy and have beautiful, chubby kids…..
Blah blah blah

So I have edited it a little bit but you get the gist. 

Then right about the end would be some song dedication from Westlife, Boys to men, Nsync, Iglesias, Keysha, and other musicians we fancied then. Before sealing the letter we’d apply cologne to it – just so she is sure it’s from you. Remember that vibe of I love the smell of your perfume? Yah that kinda stuff

I thought I’d marry Suzy. Seriously. But then on this other funkie I met a ‘rangi ya thao’ Caro with all the dimples, the perky chest, the bum and the gorgeous eyes. Okay lets back up to the eyes. She had those sensual and alluring eyes that you could see through to her heart but also carried some hint of mischief. I went Kinuthia on feelings; no English words kapsaa. Even love-struck isn't the word.

I leaned on the Kigo guy, my wing-man. Kigo was one of those guys from Murang’a with a heavy accent but big hearts. He had these endless stories that were centered on a certain river in their village and his journeys to and fro school in Tulaga buses. Most were unbelievable but interesting. He used to lie. He actually had twice the number of stories as the commutes he’d made. But I never cared; the best of wing-men are good liars. And the only other place Kigo had been to beside Murang’a was Kinangop. Such a tourist. Oh and he loved Ovacados too. They somehow soothed his failed attempts at bagging chics.

But me I bagged Caro. It didn’t take long to get her to converse;

Me: So, dimples yeah?

Caro: Huh?

Me: I like dimples. Dimples are pretty.

Caro: Me too, know anyone who has them? Ebu smile I see if you have them.

Me: Ha, I already like you. You’re funny. (She was funny or prolly the dimples were just distracting)

Caro: So what’s your project about? (It was a science congress)

Me: People with dimples (You can’t let such a conversation digress to boring science stuff, I’d have let down my ancestors)

Caro: C’mmon, enough with the funny stuff. Seriously, what’s your project about?

Me: There’s more funny where that funny came from.

I said a whole lot more stuff here and so fast forward to the point she guffawed, somewhat, and then we stared a bit. Love staring.

Caro’s eyes somehow convinced me she was the one. She was way cooler than Suzy. Like a long way cooler. She had this weng in her voice that I’d make Bruno Mars kind of sacrifices just to hear. I’d fight John Cena for her, ata kill Mufasa the lion. She even came from Nairobi man. And Nairobi was a synonym of all things cool. We got along mostly because I never had the accent from Mount Kenya and I made her laugh.

And just like that I forgot about Suzy. I got my epiphany moment way after Caro and I were no longer a thing. I realized I wasn’t shit when it came to love (excuse my French). I was just on a teenage roller-coaster of emotions. That was never love it was the opposite, your fall in all at once and then out slowly.

There always came a better one. Like those Rongai Nganyas.

Of course love is more sophisticated now. There are these crazy standards, the inner beauty thing, dines and wines at fine restaurants, regular trips to Galitos and Pizza Inn and KFC and Java and Café Deli and other fancy places. And akina Suzy and Caro are now different. They have more leverage now to deny ‘entering the box’. They have a job, prettier faces; smeared with lip gloss and massacre (there this kid I know who calls Mascara that) and lip stick, bums sticking out and all. 

I bet they would literary make you walk a wire to become their Bean-in-Githeri now.

Regardless, love is what it is. We can’t refuse to stare at each other’s eyes sometimes. We all get that Suzy or Caro or Freaky Fiona that drive us crazy. The one that, in the words of Idibia, will make you float like a pot upon the Nile (Confession; I did serenade another one of akina Suzy with this Jam, It was lit I’m telling you, we even nini’d).

In good and bad ways and big and small ways, we fall in love; we get intoxicated. 

Love is intoxicating.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Valentine's Shebangs

Now that Valentine's Day Matters

I don’t remember Valentine’s Day mattering as much as a library at the start of a semester. Well, now it has become a pretty big ‘comb-to-a-Daniella-weave’ deal; because, just like Daniella weaves, Valentine’s Day stresses people and makes many women look bad.
Looking good is all that matters to a woman though, after her social media accounts and what people think and say about her *I however would like to be exempted from this generalized statement*… the better part of which is true.

I remember the first time I was taken out on a valentine’s date, which was also my very first date *proper date*. I was very broke! 
I would like to point out though, Guys need to stop complaining how ladies get late for dates, ama sijui want Kempinsky food and Jimmy cab rides to and fro, then Cold Stone rainbow ice-cream cakes with 6 Oreos and a FroYo.

That’s basically a chini ya maji refund after the financial implications of getting acrylic nails done, all to please you, her man. The 6 Oreos are for the nail art plus that body con dress she wore; which you have never seen her rock before… that made you take 20 selfies in PUBLIC! Then quickly, posted the pics on Instagram and Pinterest and left your data connection on the whole night expecting ‘thoties’ to comment on how blessed you are but really you just want that yellow-yellow jealous after the way she dumped you*insecure*. Boy, you even for the first time used the hashtag LoveOfMyLife.

If it fit right in all the fundamental places that cloth was not bought from a Garissa stall that is behind a bar as you negotiate a corner at an ‘Isili’ fruit and suitcases market*I know my spellings, Eastleigh*. No honey, that dress *was probably rented* was definitely bought online. I would be meticulous with my clad choices, my stilettos, hand bag, coin purse, note purse, hair clip, earrings, perfume, lipstick choice and accessories to the detail.

Then the first thing nigger dare say on seeing this mami is “unapenda kuchelewa sana”. Honestly dude, I really don’t care *in writing* if I am an hour late. Do you know how long nails take to dry? Or mascara? Do you know how long it takes to set make-up or pin up a neat bun? 

Then when you finally see me off at the end you’re all, “Baby, you looked really lovely today. I like your eyes and the way you smile.” Thanks a lot! You told me that last week when we bumped into each other at the INDIMANJE Sacco stage…the one next to the kanjo toilets at Bus Station. How about a complement on the hair I just did which took about 2 hours?
That is why you deserve a great big handshake and a wave after the date.

On the other hand, aside the acrylic nails and body con dress; being broke when you have a date coming up, especially on valentine’s is very stressful. On that particular week as I recall, I looked my worst. I for some reason had a bad case of acne two days before the date that I could not with all of mother nature’s Gingko Biloba, Aloe Vera, Tea tree, roots, plants, leaves and soil get rid of. I did eggs, avocado, lemon, honey… you name it! Now I know that it takes time *a month if you’re lucky* to treat acne; No amount of dermatological zapping can take it all away in a day. 

I had just completed High School and my style was all over the place, I hardly had pants that could fit; because I lost a tremendous chunk of pig weight trying to score an A *which I did, mostly*. Of course my hair looked terrible but it was pretty long, so I found my way around that but I did what every other girl would do in my situation, Borrow! I even had to ask my friends to borrow from their friend’s-cousin’s-wives. Desperate!

I really wanted to do a glam dress by the way but at the end I could say I looked the part for a day in Nairobi’s wildlife park; Chiffon *mine*, rubbers *gifted after all the borrowing* and jeans *borrowed* and had lots of fun but never called the guy back. *Everybody went and got rubber shoes after that*

A guy who points out very little flaws in your outfit and makes a big deal out of them, that’s no guy to call back.
A guy who is working and expects his school-going-girlfriend to look like million dollar Beyoncé that’s no guy to call back.
A guy who tells you how beautiful you look after the date, that’s no guy to call back and especially that guy who compliments another woman during the date *he was checking her out*, that is definitely not a guy to call back.

Like I said at the beginning a woman’s looks matter very much to her. So dear gentlemen, for valentine’s maybe buy your lady shoes and a dress then take her out for a picnic at Machakos People’s Park. And just like that you can become that romantic future husband.

Love and Love,

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Ducks are not in prison!

To being Ducks and Goats and Birds

Ever thought of yourself as a duck? Floating on still waters in some eerie pond in those ‘Ushago’ neighborhoods? With half-naked boys running around and throwing things in the water to scare you but being used to them you just float there unperturbed? Or probably being a more civilized duck and wading the waters of some tourist resort on rugged hillsides of Naivasha? Having some corky photographers and some old tourists taking pictures of you? Would you even smile at them? Do ducks smile? I bet you’d be a little passive, partially rigor mortised by the cold water, you’d be proud and shelf any excitement that’d come with strangers lining up to take pictures of you. 

Wouldn’t it be cool to also just be a goat? You know, to climb on ramshackle sheds over the Kariokor market and cause women selling groceries to freak out? How’d that feel like? Exciting? Maybe a little invigorating? Would it scare the shit out of you when they yell and throw banana peels at you?  

Now forget ducks and goats, here’s a better one, how about being a bird? Do you watch birds fly and glean some vicarious pleasure imagining how good it feels to birds now that they don’t have to worry about bumping into some overly-muscular guy whilst walking down Tom Mboya Street? Being a bird would be glorious. I mean you can confidently spot those overstayed weaves and poop on those heads. Give those ladies a little push to change the weaves. You know, doing the society some justice and relieving yourself at the same time. We humans call that killing two birds with one stone. Would you also call it that? I bet you wouldn’t – it would sound illicit to you – a bird taboo.

Speaking of Tom Mboya and Moi Avenue streets, why are there so many reckless walkers on these streets? It’s like the number of people that find bliss is aggravating others is on the rise.  You know those college kids that form a line of four and then expect to walk the entire pavement at a snails’ pace. And the lovey-dovey chaps who insist on holding hands in a crowded street. I absolutely find that rude – not the holding of hands, the part where you do it in a crowded street. It’s simply rude to be oblivious; of situations and people. 

Well, I have. I have thought about this thing of being a duck and all. It is weird in a way; especially because I don’t even remotely believe in re-incarnation ideologies. Who in their right mind thinks someone died and now they came back in a body of a cow? No way I’m falling for that. It looks more like a government conspiracy to keep us from eating beef sausages for breakfast. It’s even worse when I think of the birds I killed as a kid.  Were those like real people? I killed real people? No, I can’t live with that. Re-incarnation is not real. I’ll be damned if I let it be. 

Actually the reason I pictured me as a duck – of course in a highly civilized tourist resort, is because of how systems imprison men. FYI; even if re-incarnation is true I cannot come back an Ushago duck. I’d fight really hard in that other world to come back a civilized duck. I’d even form a duck-only gang over there to help me fight for the right duck body – and promise the gang seven duck virgins when they come over to this world. I’m sure some would even take a bullet for me over there ;). Maybe some would be bold enough to do a ka-duck suicide bomb thing for me. I’d be the MVP over there.

Now back to this system-infested world. As I was saying systems are our own little prisons. They blind the beautiful horizons. They have a way of making us comfortable thinking that’s the best we’re ever going to get. The cell windows are so small that you can barely feel the orgasmic breeze beyond your comfort zone. I talked of a floating duck, a wild goat or a bird in the air because these creatures have freedom. They do what they want. I don’t think there’s a duck code where they assign roles based on what a duck-degree certificate says a duck can do. I also don’t imagine that birds are restrained by a system of norms and traditions. Birds do what birds want to do – I hope they often do want to poop on overstayed weaves.

Ok, let me get this off my chest. I loathe bad weaves. Not that I care so much about women’s hair. I’d count the female hairstyles I know and they’d only cover up to my middle finger. I just don’t care about hairstyles! However, thing is, when you have had that horsehair on since Noah was still nailing hinges on the ark’s door and am here seated next to you in traffic that isn’t just endearing. And no, I am not being spiteful. It’s just that wafting that corn chip odor is unsettling. Especially when you’re a little under the weather and all you care about is getting home in one piece; a piece not ruined by evil smells. Can we agree you’ll change that thing after it goes stale, or whatever expired weaves go? Yes? Awesome.

Moving on.

You see the way you literally cannot be a floating duck, you had to be human, is the way some things in life are inevitable. But you can figuratively become a roof-climbing goat. Different and distinct. You become that bird by following the route that makes it happy. You get to be the driver. As my barber (the Felix guy) told me, for shits’ sake you can’t let things run you. You get to run things sometimes; in fact most of the times you need to run things. You get to be a duck or a goat or a bird when you lose the imaginary prison confinements. You do this by taking charge of situations in life.

It’s true when they say you’re in charge of your happiness. Also true that you’re the sole variant in the equation of your success and God is like the constant integer that you multiply with. So the bigger you make yourself as a variant the sweeter the success. (Who says you can’t use mathematical jargon in writing? See your life!). 

If I were a preacher I’d tell you to poke you neighbor and tell them they’re a duck – a human duck, or at least they have a chance of being one. 

Once you're out of prison, you'll make mistakes and own up to them, try and fail, lose your way and find it, and the grind goes on and on. However, this won't dim your candle. It won't dwindle your spirit. You will be gladly in charge. You'll not just beat the storm, you will be the storm.

To being ducks and goats and birds.