TRANSCENDING THE SPORT

It’s in Vienna, Isn’t it? I hear it’s foggy-way too foggy. Kenya is watching and I’m watching too. We are all watching out for a calm, contemplating kind of a man, a real ambassador for the sport. By now you should have known that Eliud is the world’s greatest marathon runner.

At thirty-four he is the official world record holder. I hear they refused to accept it for some reason- the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF). They said the rules were not utterly followed. I don’t know. It was something about the need to have at least three competitors and others like the lack of anti-doping controls. Really! The guy has eight victories in his name, and these were in big cities around the world. He is an Olympic champion from Rio. So we don’t expect anything less from him.

He knows he’s got it- the burning urge in him to prove he’s worth the money, the cheers, the victory and my time of course. A sole competitor who wants to prove more than once that he’s the marathon’s G.O.A.T (greatest of all time). We saw Dennis Kimetto. He was good and we were happy. He set a new record back then in Berlin. It is a different tale here. It’s this man Kip we are on the lookout for. Running four miles non-stop is one thing, doing it at nearly six meters per second is another. It’s Epic.

Kenya’s Vanguard of distance running. Eliud Kipchoge!

Families have come together; communities have reunited and the world is in ‘purple’ support for the man. I say purple because it represents the future, the imagination, and the dream; the dream of a superhuman, our imagination of a super run and the future of an awaiting victory.

We love you Kipchoge. Well, I see great achievements come with lots of love, doesn’t it? We don’t care. Kenyans feel something for you. It can’t be a bad feeling. It brings us joy, happiness, and pride. How can it not be love!

We hear they had plans to host the event in London. It’s October and the weather there is not as appropriate as it should be. They run a long search for the most suitable venue, and it all comes down to Vienna, Austria. An event put together by the world’s best organizing team. How can this not be great!

We watch you in awe as you attempt to go where no man has been before. We smile with you as you push your body and mind to the limit. Four miles will sure need our support and here we were. Beating all the odds, stretching your legs and running like the world depended on you. God saw you run days and train your legs each morning back in your home town. He saw you sweat for now what you have been given a chance to show to the world. It does not matter if the world didn’t believe when you ran and broke the two-hour barrier the first time. What matters is whether you are going to do it again. You need to; for the cameras; for the pride; for the satisfaction, for every little thing in your life.

We watch you cross the streets in Vienna with pride. Your strides are not any longer than that of the ordinary man- the man selling pajamas on the streets of Nairobi; the man who drinks and doesn’t know when it’s dusk. You are not any different. The world must have thought we, Kenyans created our superhuman. Tell the world you are an ordinary citizen. You live a simple life. Tell them you train at your camp which has a washroom with the water coming from a well. Tell them you are a rich man also. Indeed, not a pre- Madonna and Instagram is for business- Marathon business.

Our hearts are aching- the pain is sweet. You’ve made everything stop for a while. The streets are singing your praises. Our number one mobile network has even given us the freedom to watch you from YouTube as you break a leg. The sun, down here in Kenya unlike in Vienna won’t put us away. The streets are packed. It’s packed with people who for a while don’t remember from what tribe they come from. These great people have a knack for you and now they have taken a break from the politics down here. You know us brother! Yes, you know how corrupt we are but at this moment everyone is doing everything but stealing- the politicians. Perhaps the next time you meet the president you should have a sit down about it. Tell him that Kenya is better off united.

The clock starts to count. Our heads are in position and our eyes are fixed. Our eyes move as you move. When we see you twitch, our eyes blink. When you are okay, our eyes are wide opened. It’s like we are watching you and making sure the clock doesn’t rob us off even a single minute. We know it’s unfair that we have to put you through this. But keep running boy!

Those men following you, I hear they are pacemakers. Okay, I know of Lagat. He impresses me. I hear he is forty-four. Wow! He runs well.
Why are you picking your fluids via the bike and not the normal traditional table? Ooh, that’s what they decided? It’s still fine. No odds against you are going to win. But I thought it’d be a little challenging to pick your water from the moving bikes. So it means when you feel thirsty and there’s no bike in close range you’ll have to go a while without water? Can you manage? Of course, you did. The IAAF thinks picking the water via the bikes is easier. They’ve got to be a little nut. I hear this is one of the reasons they do not want to clear your record as the current world record. It’s still fine.

You’ve moved through the event with ease, like a vanguard that you are. You look angelic, leading your pacers like a real man that you are. A man of his words. When you said No MAN IS LIMITED indeed we heard you well and so clear. We are even making it the new thing in town here in Kenya. Now even those who sleep and wake up at nine then spend the whole afternoon eating and watching television keep saying they are not limited. Wow! What a disorder. But it’s fine that it came from a champion. Those who want to be champions in life know what you meant.

You are a darling. We see victory as you pace through the fog, and as sweat runs down your face it’s clear we haven’t been writing a story of a fairy man. It’s a man whose work has shown how tough he is and how persistence can get him anywhere.

As you run your last minutes of the marathon, Kenyans can’t even keep their calm. They have already seen another barrier being broken. This time it might have even been better. They yell and howl words of gratitude as you cross the finish line in a superbly done 1:59:40. Everyone is cheering. Your wife is there to hold you so tight and to show the world that you are her man. White people, black people, they all want to shake your hands.

You are graceful. You did it.

It seemed like you were not tired of running. You were still running. Perhaps it’s joy. We loved it


Kenya feels blessed. We’d continue talking about you. Congratulations G.O.A.T and as you stay awhile in Netherlands, share our culture over there.

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I’m Half Agony, Half Hope

I’ve been reading quite-not a lot these past months. I don’t entirely hate reading. I could read a whole stack of books but I’ve had enough since junior classes. I’ll work on it. I’ll just have snapped a finger and boom! Books all day, but not today. I got a good hook and I gave in to following through a little. It was quite a cumbersome read but it kind of got me engrossed.

I realized that people’s personalities are dynamic in a hard-to understand manner. Have you used the bus to ‘shagz’ and realized that you’ll be sitting next to a chatty old man or perhaps, a very quiet teenager all through your travel? Well, you get to the restaurant or have to stop to use the washrooms at a hotel and realize that the lady who had been sitting in the seat just in front of you is a cigarette junk. You bump into her outside, before returning to the bus and find her puffing out clouds of smoke from her cigar somewhere near the bus.

Or, the chatty old man who had been next to you, surprises you when he gets back to the bus with a packet of doughnuts and hands them to you. The driver on the other hand is restless and keeps hooting so as to get his passengers on board.

 We have all had to deal with each and every of these surprising behaviors all the time.

So when I was reading through every sentence on the pages of the book, I got hooked to the messages which it told. There is this one personality which drove me every inch closer to the chapters as I shuffled through the pages carefully.

I have not met anyone with a personality of the kind and if I have, I don’t remember. This person is calm and soft. He or she is not fully outgoing as I might have thought. They are too good that most of the times they are mistaken for a sham or a swindle. They drive too much attention towards themselves and do not realize if they ever do.

 At work or school, everyone wants to know what they are all about and indecent people will even peep inside their purses or bags to find out what is inside, or even watch them repeatedly for reactions. What a piss! Right? It happens. Janice a character in the book had to deal with instances of the sort.

Do you hate it when people come around acting all excited and friendly? Well, he did until he learnt how to ignore their effrontery- and others’ even rhetoric questions. Damn if he didn’t snap. I would.

The day is vibrant and the sun is out fully. It’s burning hot and you’d be running under the scotching touch in a busy street looking for a job or chasing business clients. You are a good person. You might have had your bad side- you might have had multiple romantic affairs or even wasted away a little in college. You might have had fights with family members for a good part of your time with them. You might have overstayed with debts you ought to have paid in time-but you didn’t have the cash and you hanged on for a while. It does not make you a swindle.

One morning You get a call to take up a job at the supermarket and promise to give it your best shot.  

You start the job on a dull Monday. You are fresh from school. You notice that you have quite a handful to learn. You think you’ll fall into the right hands, and that by the end of your stay there everything will run smooth, and that you will have learnt a couple of things. You anticipate to get someone to walk you through the procedures at work, and that in due time you will have mastered the concepts involved.

The job has been going great for you but a lot of hang-ups at work have been eating you up. The first three months can be a nightmare. You get to open up to new people, create connections, talk about your personal life with your favorite person there, and even try to be yourself most of the time. What I do not understand is why people can be so churl even with small issues like staying at your desk the entire morning or even afternoon. Why do they get so attentive when you don’t talk much and when you seem to be working real hard to get through a day at least, a tiring week?

There is one thing about this personality that makes me want to meet and engage in a conversation with them. One thing I got from the read though is that this character has a small circle of friends even at work or school. He or she doesn’t hang around too many people. At an event with many people they may decide to enjoy themselves with a couple of people that they know. They might be social but still cautious not to go overboard.

When they are assigned with tasks, they always manage to complete their tasks. Although, they might have to go all the way to the final day of submission, but oft-times they usually complete these tasks successfully.

I’m right in the middle of the book and something happens to my character of the trait. You know bosses at work can really be frustrating at times. Janice is an intern at a production and distribution company. He has an immediate supervisor, his human resource manager and he’s got a couple more of people he gets to answer to at least once in a while.

So this one day, our chap gets really frustrated for being blamed for something he’s not in any way connected to. He works as a distributor of the service offered at the firm. The project manager was described in the book as a fairly reserved lady whose chats were not identifiably genuine. She often did things to impress her bosses. Although smart, she could get overly bossy towards her juniors. She worked well with clients and had a connection with them. She had her ways and was highly reliable. She cracked jokes which did not depict any sense of humor. She was bad at it.

At the office one day she picks up on Janice and starts accusing him of being incompetent. She insinuates that he depended so much on assistance from his colleague and that he was not a good pick for the job. It had happened before and this was a repeat. She apologized out of guilt that Janice outwitted her the last time. He proved that it was not his fault and everyone backed him up.

They are in for a meeting and as she bashes at him, Janice loses his calm and defends himself. Janice walks out after the meeting and heads straight to his desk. He doesn’t mention anything about it and his face could show how angry he got. He continued to relate well with people at the office. He even became open to people close to her manager but kept his distance from her. She would repeatedly start conversations with him but as I told you, she had something wrong with her chats-they seemed so fake and intentionally provoking, as if to prick Janice to do the next ‘mistake’.

Weirdly, the guy in charge of human resources started acting friendly as if he had been sent to spy on Janice. Okay, let me give you a wrap up of what Janice is all about. He’s friendly. He does not make friends at the office as it would be expected of him though. He comes in and walks straight to his desk. He takes breaks from time to time and returns to his place. He knows he has less to offer at work but tries to learn from every experience and get better.

Janice is too cautious while talking to his bosses. He does not rant so much. He has one or two friends at the office that he really opens up to. He is smart- just a bit confused on whether he really is.

Janice is all about his work. He does not jump into conversations that do not concern him. He might comment on what he feels like is worth chatting about. He is in his way unique. I do not know about him while he’s out of the office but this is Janice.

As he strolls out one afternoon, he comes back and his human resource manager is making silly jokes and assumptions that he might be a ‘hop-head’. He finds Janice one day, he’s lost in his thoughts and day-dreaming in the lawn just outside the office. He asks Janice if he is high on something and Janice smiles and asks him why he thinks so. Duke the human resource manager smiles and implies maybe Janice might have put something in his coffee. It is not every day someone walks directly towards you and ask you such a question. It struck Janice.

Janice thinks that being alone in the lawn and wandering in thoughts is normal if success in decision making is worth. He likes it when he day-dreams normally. He likes his space alone at times.

Unfortunately for my chap’s, he’s misunderstood. People think he is a weirdo, more so his human resource manager.  I’d think the same too. Although, I find it quiet disrespectful when someone tries to stalk you at work. We are all at work to make the best out of our time. It’s not my concern anyway!

It amused me how easily this kind of trait can bring you so much attention from everyone. I think I liked Janice. I might be similar to Janice but those really close to me would describe me as an overly chatty person, spontaneous and highly reliable. An advocate character. Period.

“Some people underestimate how erotic it is to be understood.”

Mary Rakow

As I celebrate my birthday on the tenth of this new month I pray and hope for a better tomorrow. You could wish me, Happy Birthday (hehe) https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn

What character trait are you?

When Dusk Throws You a Scare

We are hanging out with my good friend, Jack. He’s a lover of life. He’s interesting- cerebral and attentive but easily distracted.

I think he’s among the few guys I know who can fit into any social setting. I thought he couldn’t do well in church and of course around my other friends who can be so chatty. He’s made church a couple of times and even helped with the choir one Sunday- he’s got a deep…

He decided, after being so blasé in the house and using enough of his Wi-Fi, we should go and spend a while in a local. We’d lose ourselves to the classic musical touch. I wish I could remember the name of the tavern. I can’t but I hope I can trace my steps some time and head there alone if need be.

He is not the kind of guy I’d want to tell stories with, of how I plan to marry soon and get kids, and buy a house. I know he thinks about it too but it’d be weird for him to talk about it. He thinks he’s not soft. He is wrong about it but we get along very well still. I know there is no way we are talking about ‘life and death matters’- especially under the sun of a vibrant Saturday.

When there is an urge to bring up a serious topic, I look at his nose and picture him dressed in a father Christmas costume with a fake moustache. That way he looks very pathetic and something will eventually pop up like how the premier league matches are doing. I am not a football junk. I even wonder why it’s given so much prominence. I know I can kick ball. In fact, I play very nice soccer. He, my guy loves Arsenal for no reason at all. His elder brother says he’d sneak away to watch Arsenal get beaten when he was a boy. He’d then return home with two losses. He’d come crying, then I guess a beating followed.

We get to our ‘chill-spot’ and find a booth at the furthest end of the lounge. The awning windows which are hinged at the top and swing from the bottom, have been placed on the wall where the backrest of our seat leans. Ooh, there are also two small transom windows on the opposite wall- above the door leading to the other half of the lounge, then it’s all a little dim on the space which connects to the restaurant and counter.

The music is polite- it’s Michael Bolton playing. The mood is an inch from frenzy. The lights keep flushing in a soft manner and with rosy splendor. He fixes his eyes on the lady over the counter and catches her attention. He snaps his fingers you’d think he’s got a huge chunk of ownership there. I remain glued on my phone for a while as they make brief nasty chats.

He’s ordering two beers for himself and asks me if I’ll have the same. I snub him and tell the lady to fetch me club soda.  We are pretty much doing fine and the music matches the club soda effect. I don’t know what it is I’m feeling but wait, is soda really this good? Maybe it’s the peace and breeze as well, then now my soda, and the music of course.

We are seated there laughing at his joke- about his dad calling to remind him to pay his monthly dues. The tussle when you are an adult ‘hit’ differently when you have to send cash to your ‘guys’ back home every end of the month.

My phone rings its way to interrupt my cackling. I excuse myself to pick the call from a strange number. I don’t mind picking strange numbers. I wouldn’t mind it even if I’d be using money lending applications or even if I knew I hadn’t paid rent. I just wouldn’t. I rush and pick the call from the overstretching balcony which is fortified with a beautifully painted parapet.

I talk on the phone for about fifteen minutes. It was my cousin from shags. We hadn’t talked in a long time. He was giving me “mshenez” from over there and how nearly all our ladies back there have been married, and so he has enough cows to milk and pay dowry with in future. We laugh and make silly jokes then I bet his airtime runs out. I have airtime on my end but I don’t call back. We had said all the important things and I didn’t think it was necessary to call him again. I send him a message.  I assure him I’d call him the following week.

I hang back a little longer on the balcony area as I look over the small buildings around. The sun is a short while shy of dusk. I breathe calmly as I consume my fair share of the air. The skyline is beautiful and the music seems to be fading. I twitch a little because cold air flushes across the balcony in two shifts. I walk back to the booth where we’d been sitting.

Okay, Jack is always so full of surprises and this here, is crazy. I’ll start with the two beers he has ordered while I was away and the gimlet he ordered for some two ladies I found there after the balcony-affair. Well, I still think this chap should have emailed me this part of the program prior. I’m uneasy a bit. I expected a lot but this one was nowhere in my listing. It wasn’t all bad! It would even be worth my while. “Should I order for a shot of vodka?”  I think for a while then decide I’m doing this ‘free-style’. On a normal day I would have indulged but I have to work on a project tonight before I sleep.

I greet my ‘surprise women’- they are two of them. I see it makes ideal company. I do not know entirely if I’ve got a flirty look. I have a scar just above my left bushy brow. I’m lean and not tall. I’m not sure if you’d describe me any differently but I’m talking about the look I give them. I’m standing over them. I take my time and get over with the introduction and false compliments.

One of them is dark but pretty. She’s petite and also smiles a lot. She has smiled at me almost thrice as I struggled with my speech. The other one looks snobbish. She is calm. I like it. She smiles too but mildly. She is a bit ‘thick” and the red dress she’s wearing does quite shoddy work in covering her cleavage fully. I avoid peeping, so I try and find something to put my eyes on.

As I shove my weight onto my seat I notice Jack- he is now smiling a lot. I do not want to imagine it’s the beer he’s been drinking. I have known him for a ‘heavyweight’. He does most of the talking now that he’s the brains behind this social “menace”. He flirts and jokes all the way so I’m having easy time. I do not like using my phone around people. I take it for being anti-social- which I’m not so sure I’m not. Of course I’m not.

I request club soda again and they are all making fun of me. Jack cracks a joke and makes them believe I’m easily ‘crumbled’ when I drink. I let it slide because it does not matter. I know I’d sip and continue sipping till they can’t take it anymore.

We take a while and it’s getting dark now. The gimlets for them is working and for Jack, the beer is also fine. I’m already getting to know my ‘strange’ friends and the dark petite one is impressively chatty. It feels like she is the one who I connect with. I can tell for how she thinks and acts. It seems that she’s been bred from a very descent family. She looks graceful in her purple dress. The dress is not so tight. It covers her knees. She looks immaculate. Beside her is a silver colored purse and a black trench coat. She seemed to trap the lights with her long black hair, tied with a small rubber band. She’s not sophisticated.

Now she’s all up on my hair and constantly asking me a lot of personal questions. I am calm and when I talk she seems so attentive. She throws in with brief compliments here and there. She tells me that she likes my brows- that they are naturally cute. I don’t know how to react to such random ones. I don’t want to change my facial expression, because she’s watching me for a reaction.

Her name is Yvonne. She does not tell me her second name. As we get engrossed in the chat, she asks for my second name. I look at her in the eyes and tell her I’m not Kenyan. She chuckles clumsily.

‘So of what descent are you?” She throws a counter question at me.

I marvel and say, “It doesn’t matter, does it?”

“Sure, it doesn’t” She’s now becoming witty, and I can’t bluff anymore.

“Okay, I’m from the western part of Kenya and my second name is ‘Aghan’.

She is fascinated by the name and it’s this reaction that I usually avoid.

“it’s a weird name!” She exclaims.

At this point I’m overly calm as if to let her chat it all out. She impresses with her comments and I’m putting my discretion on the line. It’s already nine o’clock. The evening has paced fast than I thought it would. I think I was having fun. I have to bid my company good bye because I expect to finish up some work at home before I’m sleepy. I insist we continue this chat over the phone and catch up sometime for coffee, lunch or an evening drink. Okay, not coffee. Yvonne insists she’s also leaving. She wants to get up early for church the next day. Her home is a few blocks from the tavern.

Her friend seems to be getting along with Jack and they do not seem to be in a hurry. We leave them at the booth. I head to the counter and pay up my bill and the last glass of drink she had been taking. We rush down through the fleet of stairs and she’s breathing abnormally. I assume her at first but she looks pale and her hair is now disheveled and is covering the left side of her face a little. She is not drunk.

I hold her arm as we get to the parking lot where she had parked a red Volvo. She didn’t tell me about her car. I presumed I’d be paying for a cab or “nduthi” since she didn’t live so far from there. She gets into the car and asks me if she can give me a ride out of the compound. I had called an Uber so I didn’t entirely need a ‘hitch’ Although, I had to wait for her to remove her car from the parking lot and connect to the main road. My Uber-guy was not there yet.

She stretched her arm and handed me her business card. It was so obvious the lass was about twenty-five years old. I could tell from what she told me about her dad. She told me he perished in the US embassy bombing when she was four. It was too a-tragic-part of her life to let me know about. I consoled her and she was stronger than anyone else I knew.

She waved and sped off. Her music was on. It was Roxette’s ‘listen to your heart’ on the stereo when she was leaving.

I had barely crossed the road to wave down my Uber- he’d said he was already there, when I heard a loud bang down the road she had been trailing on. A truck had hit a ‘matatu from behind and it looked so gruesome. Everyone stopped for a while to digest the terror. I entered into the cab. We’d use the same road she followed but divert nearly half way from her destination.

We stopped at the scene where the accident happened. It seemed like a pile up. ‘Damn’ there was a red car amidst this hang-up. I couldn’t tell if it was her car. It was sandwiched between two larger vehicles but not entirely damaged. Actually, it was still fine but seemed like the trunk was in bad shape and the windscreen shuttered. I jumped from the cab and ran towards the scene. It was her red Volvo. The police had not arrived. As she struggled to open her door and come out, she collapsed.

She was bleeding from her forehead and her left arm looked fractured. I ran towards her and tried to pick her up but her eyes closed. She was breathing slowly. Her pulse was slow as well. I think she might have been so frightened that she passed out.

I looked around us feeling entirely helpless. I beckoned my cab guy and as he helped me out with her we placed her on the back seat. I bet I could try and convince Thomas- the driver to instead consider and rush us to the nearest hospital. Yvonne was not bleeding profusely and I believed she had just passed out due to the terror. I howled that thought a million times in my mind. I couldn’t give room for extras, like the thought of, okay, I just couldn’t.

I didn’t remember to call her friend and Jack. I was almost so guilty.

It’s been a fortnight now and she is at home with a mildly fractured left arm and a brief smiley face whenever I visit her. She’s been getting by just fine.I made a friend and she became a sweet burden on the same night. I am blessed. Whenever we chat about the ordeal she insists she is not going back on the road and I shove off her already-growing phobia with a chuckle. I tell her when I’m retired from employment that she should hire me as her chauffer. By then she should have gotten over her phobia.

I did not do a thing on my project and as I returned home in the wee hours of the morning, I threw myself on the couch and couldn’t stop thinking about that night. What if it could have been so tragic that I couldn’t get over it in such a wee while. The truck had crushed the empty ‘matatu’ and I hear that no one perished. Although, a few people took home injuries the size of Yvonne’s I could just hope that they were all doing fine.

Dear D’ From Daughter

I read BikoZulu’s article which he wrote from a narration by a lady whose marriage crumbled due to her husband’s alcoholism. As I read through I decided to imagine the whole saddening story from their daughter’s perspective. Therefore this narration might not be an accurate series of events. Read Bikozulu’s article here https://bikozulu.co.ke/dear-d/

She narrated her story to me and insisted I write it, but as a letter to her Dad.

Dear Dad

Childhood memories still creep in through the window when I’m asleep.

I have moved through life in a carriage of remorse- to whether I really wanted you as my father-figure. I did all the breaking down and tears long stopped trickling down. I would feel like crying but there were hardly any tears to shed.

Mother has grown through a hard time and now she is in her late forties having given us the best life any kid would wish for. You know why it wasn’t enough? It’s because the massive house we owned and paid mortgage for was devoid of father love. We were not sure if you actually never loved us but we felt like you despised us.

My two brothers have long accepted to move on with life without you being a part of their conversations but me, I feel trapped in the wildest thoughts of never getting to see you. It hasn’t been the easiest thing I’ve had to live with.

When I was still a kid-fairly grown to tell good from bad, when I could now store memories in longer series I remember you coming home late in the night. We couldn’t sleep because we always wanted to show you our homework from school before we slept. Instead, on that day- I can’t quite remember what day it was, you came in smelling like brewery. I can comprehend now that I know the smell of alcohol. You greeted Tom, our younger brother clumsily and crossed the living-room flour in haste but as if disgusted.

I remember rushing to hold your hands but you snubbed me and I slipped and hit my ankle on the door. You stopped and looked at me as if you had something eating you up. I wish I knew it was nothing of the sort and that it was everything you brought upon yourself.

Mom always looked at you in dismay and as if she didn’t understand any of the things that was happening. She would remain strong and assume everything would be fine. I didn’t know until I was old enough that this woman often cried her chest off in closed doors and prayed for her family.

Do you remember when I was in middle school? Yes, when I was awarded best performing pupil- I was always best performing except for that one time that I didn’t take my exam because we left home with mom because you two argued. But do you remember this particular one? It would be the parents coming to pick the pupil’s report cards from school.

Mom was out of town due to work. You were at home because it was your off-day that day. You and a couple of your friends decided to chill at our place that day. Picking my report card was something that wouldn’t have taken so much of your time. I knew that this would not be a task hard enough for you to let slide.

I came home from school drowned in dejection and my school uniform smelled of sweat from devastation. I found you lying on the couch just next to the cupboard where I have now put a pile of books that I have read to date. It was a little empty then.  

How could it be so different for me? While my friends kept talking about their dads, I remained silent and tried to avoid direct conversations about you. I hid in my introversion and survived in spending most of my time with my brothers.

I have done well in life until now. I have excelled well in school and socially I have been an inspiration to most of my peers. May be it’s because mom kept saying we took after you. She always described you as an intelligent person and who was always smart. She avoided talking about the countless times you came home drunk. She always started off the stories with memories from your younger days in marriage but as she went on I could notice her eyes become wet but no tears falling.

Did you know that Jack got a job with the bank and now lives on the other side of town- in the suburbs? He is becoming a very responsible young man from whom there is a lot to admire. He’s been a diligent boy from our younger days. It sometimes makes me sick that they do not mention you as often as I would want to talk about you.

I remember how at times you’d not be drunk and you would steal time with us in the backyard in the morning of a Saturday until when you’d disappear and return in the wees of Sunday morning or even come on Monday just to change and leave for work. My emptiness came from the lack of attention from you. It came from the lack of warmth which fathers give their daughters.

Most of the times people expected us to grow into broken birds who would be bitter in life and with low self-esteem. We all grew into brilliant kids- I know. Mom says it all the time and I so much believe her judgement.

The last time I set eyes on you was one night when you came home. You came in earlier than usual but still drunk. You shoved your coat onto the sofa and unlike other days threw yourself on the couch with your pair of shoes still on. You didn’t seem so drunk. You had an envelope in your left hand. I can still remember.

You panted heavily as if you had been running. Mom had gotten used to the kind of life you had been putting us through and she did not give you as much attention as she used to in the past.

I looked at her as she walked towards you and as she asked what the matter was. She did not wait for a response. I followed her gestures and as she set eyes on the envelope in your hand, she dropped a tear and she withdrew her steps. As she struggled to keep her gait, she reached for an armchair next to the dining room just a few steps from where I had been standing.

She sat and looked at us with sympathy. I did not know what was going on and as I reflect on it now I try to fill in those details that I couldn’t when I was a kid. Mom had had enough and if she left it was not because you lost your job. It’s because she had tried leaving with us a couple of times.

Grandmother would come to where we had gone-mom’s home and she would bring us back. She always left the baggage of dealing with you on mom. She campaigned entirely for you. Mom would leave later because she was being drowned even more emotionally than physically. You had never raised a hand on her. I don’t remember but you broke her heart countless times.

Do you remember when you almost crushed your life into the pavement as you tried to negotiate a bend somewhere I don’t clearly remember- but it was in the news. Your car had crushed terribly and we thought we’d never hear from you again. Still we don’t but we are grateful you could still read this and share in my memories.

It’s been fifteen years since we left and life became better without you. We became strong people in an entirely harsh life. We learnt a lot of things you weren’t there to teach us. We learnt these things from other people who gave us their time. Mom was pursuing studies and has long-successfully completed her second Masters. She works with the county government now. We didn’t suffer financial plight because she tried her best. I am joining the University of Pretoria on scholarship and I wish you were here to share in my happiness.

I have grown to be too skeptical with men but mom insists I find a positive perspective about them. I try so much and I hope my marriage life would be an apology for your mistakes.

I wish you’d read this but I’m not so sure we will meet ever again. I wish to see you and I pray you are okay always.

Yours heartbroken,

Melly.

“I’m Sorry You’re Angry” is NO Apology.”

Well, the weekend is all gone by now and Monday is as chilly as it has always been since I was in kindergarten. Mondays strike nerves from time to time and we all pretty much think we hate them but trust me, we don’t. Monday always comes without clear notice and often we could blame it on that particular wrong timing. Mondays are slow and come with a grumpy mood. People in the streets always look so energized because we have to run anyway. If they could say a thing about Monday, I bet nothing good would come from them except for the gift of life.

 It seems to me that things in the office are going great so far. Yet, the cleaner came in a little late and we have to deal with the noise from the carpet cleaning machine. She has to use it for up to thirty minutes or more, so I guess I’ll be hanging a little in devastation. The weekend was simple with no church in between but a lot of devotion and relaxation. I can still feel every satisfaction from it. It reminds me also of the number of new people I met. They were absolutely amazing; some were trouble though. Watching a derby between two great soccer clubs from England is usually a big deal in our country. The matches are highly popular and at times I find myself catching the games with friends and new faces.

The kind of hangover that hits you from an overly enjoyable weekend is something that will take you a better part of Monday to finally overcome. In the morning you still feel like you’d be sleeping or maybe even wish there was an extra day in the weekend bracket.

I have a lot of work. I’m trying to plan my day but it seems to me a bit tougher than I thought. I’m used to planning my week during the last moments of the weekend. But I watched football, cheered, made stories: I literally did everything that anyone could do in their leisure time- I sipped a little too. I looked up Cognac in the dictionary because I read it from one of my favorite blogger’s article. He mentioned that it was a really quality brandy drink from France. And for the sake of quality life I just had to make sure I am familiar with such unimportant facts.

The office is a little busy but it’s getting quieter with time and work has just started. I begin jotting down points for an article that I’m supposed to put up on the company’s blog and later on craft some good content for our media. I work in the communication department and we come up with media content at times. It’s fun to be the one to advertise policies for your company. It’s highly engaging.

The day has a bright sunny effect on us and the air is fresh too. You can always trust that nature has an epic way of paying us for having looked after it and it does the opposite when we’ve become reckless about it. I know morning meetings can be hectic but not today. I even feel refurbished and forget for a moment I had smooth scotch the previous day and I woke up feeling cockeyed still. I felt better after a shower though.

I’m almost done with writing and it is time I am running my work through a grammar application which detects any errors, be it punctuations or even wrong use of vocabulary. I head to the office patio, just through the kitchen. Ours is almost perfect. You don’t have to feel the sun burn you on the head when you feel like taking air from outside because it is buffered with a transparent roofing- probably made of canvas. The carpet is artificial but it resembles an ideal lawn which has been mowed perfectly to bring a natural ambient satisfaction. There are comfortable benches and a couple of tables from where many of us like working. When you’ve had enough of the office atmosphere and you feel like you’ve been trapped in almost hot air then this is the best place to go. Other offices on top of ours do not have this privilege probably because they are not on the ground floor so they have to always live by the fact that their sun will always be scarce and only through their windows.

I’m sipping water and before that cold feeling agitates me through my whole throat, someone from the floor just on top of ours dumps trash on the canvas roofing on top of our heads and the dust particles hit the canvas so hard that we merely lose our chill. Some of us are already thinking of jumping through the door into the kitchen as I laugh silently. This is really the worst behavior I’ve witnessed in a while. Well, I know we are lazy at times. We hate work, more so when it’s all we need to do to fill our tummies and pay bills because there is no way we are evading it, any day.  

‘What! did someone just throw dust on the roof?” Okay I had to.

It did not come out as discreet as I had planned and seems like the cleaner next door heard me retort. I said it harshly she might have thought it was the security guard or a ‘VIP’ on our floor.  My colleague was in array, he seemingly thought I said it so loud as well. It felt like we were all waiting for a response from whoever that manner of behavior came. It happened so fast and it became so evident that he or she who did it noticed our concerns and clearly that someone had witnessed his or her stupid effrontery. Okay how do you throw away trash carelessly and walk away feeling happy. It sounds like something I’d do only to my neighbor who often makes sure my nights are a mess. She plays loud music even in the prime hours of the night while at times I try to catch my favorite soap opera on TV. Okay just at times.

I bet keeping your job is something many people in the city uphold. It comes before anything else even if it means eating humble pie and at times even taking humiliation from the bosses. I guess the chap might have imagined us taking action against him or her. Until now we were not certain if the cleaner was a lady. I pretty much assumed a lady wouldn’t stoop so low. I’m not being misogynist. I think even ladies deserve at times to be reckless.  Although this here was not my definition of lady-recklessness. We could not help our laughter when a female voice from up there said, “Aki poleni nimemwaga kibahati mbaya.” (Sorry down there, I did not mean to throw trash on your roof).

I was so done. I mean her arms might have acted in precedence to the ordinary sequence followed normally by our five senses, but you know what! it was just fine anyway. I imagined I would do something like throw trash outside the window too-maybe just differently, like do it after my brain has really decided it’s the best thing to do. The windows are just above our roof and pretty much someone can stretch their arms and clean trash out using a rake or long broom. We did not respond to the meaningless apologies and we all anticipated she acts up and removes ‘her’ trash off the clean canvas-roof. I think she must have thought so carefully not to ghost our concerns and she reached for a broom. We could hear her struggling to make things right. At this point usually empathy does not work and if someone is as good in pulling such silly stunts then they can as well manage the outcomes.

I was so disgusted yet so satisfied that someone didn’t get away with such an evil mind. It’s being manipulative and unfair. So we just sat there with hardly nothing much to do, just yell at the cleaner a bit and everything returning to normal.

As I continued sipping water, Monday went on just fine, and I guess all the garbage in the world is thanks to a very small handful of idiots.

Two Nice Tomatoes Worth The Broth

Working eight hours every day is pretty much the thing in the corporate society. We’ve nearly gotten used to it by now and those who haven’t are trying as they might. Often we have those who know how to dodge their way through the whole eight-hour schedule by stealing breaks, strolling out of the office and even checking the internet to know what’s knew and trending. At least you don’t have to remain hunched over at the desk or computer, or even lots of paper work and writing. You know what it means when it’s lunch hour and even worse when it’s all over and the clock is ticking around the five o’clock hour. You start feeling weirdly anxious. The whole concentration shifts to a happy night rest or even an evening cup of black tea at home, or maybe even your pretty wife who you will absolutely be getting over as midnight stretches away from dusk because another day awakens you-it’s a routine. I hate the office but not as much as I hate the noisy hooting of vehicles and reckless movement by people in the CBD during the day.

It’s Thursday evening and you know, it’s just about five o’clock already. The day was tiring. I was anxiously awaiting ‘that’ moment- that golden moment, I mean that five-o’clock golden moment. I normally like taking self-tests on the internet when I’m done with office work. They help me calm my nerves but can be as well boring at times, although it’s the only reasonable thing I can think of doing in moments like this. I scored quite high in the last one and didn’t want anything at the office to bring a dull sparkle so I fetched my bag and left almost immediately. These random good evenings don’t come often and this right here, was a good Thursday evening. Of course I hurried towards town to catch a bus home. These Nairobi touts can be spoilers at times. They hike bus fares like they own the city, unfortunately, it seems to me like they do. It’s amazing how well they understand the city and deal with many of us so I understand from where their toughness comes. I had fixed cash with me- only which could take me home that evening. Although they had hiked the amount that day so I had to make myself in the best of moods to sooth the tout to understand that I didn’t have extra cash. Luckily my soft-look pulled it through for me and I was home in fifteen.

I’m talking about a good evening because it rarely happens- to me more so. Most of the times I get home, dump my back pack on the bed and go for an evening stroll. I do quite a lot during my strolls but I’ll spare you details. After my walks and series of “social” interactions I head back hoping to find someone home who would run to the shops and get food stuff and other things we might need for dinner. Usually, I dislike doing all that so my brother often comes in handy but I can cook sometimes when I really feel I need something sumptuous and self-made. Unluckily, the young chap isn’t anywhere to be found and it’s about eight o’clock into the night. My stomach is growling and food is really cooking in the neighborhood- I could tell from the breathtaking aroma. I bet someone was actually cooking fish or maybe it was just one of my illusions. I was not so sure. I do a lot of things with my evening- more so my strolls, so I must have been a little paranoid. But that was the smell of fish- fried fish.

I decide to wait a little longer. I am persistent so I believed I could have waited for my younger guy to return and chase him to the shops just as he entered. There are no harsh rules in my house. We are all adults and anyone can pretty much spend the night out without any back and forth the next day provided we confirm that we are okay wherever we are. I finally decide to ‘man up’ and head to the shop.

Usually, I don’t do great at the stores. I am overly impatient, and the queues are just another tussle but I’ve been working on it by reading articles on how to practice patience, can you imagine? I guess this was the right time to at least do one or two things I had picked from the pieces I had managed to read.

I am not so weird. I just try to put in practice what I learn, and being respectful to everyone is one of them. I approach the stall for kales, tomatoes, onions and some garlic. I gladly greet the ‘madhe’ in charge and drop a smile. I guess she didn’t notice that one because she was using candle light and it was a little dark from where I was standing.

“Habari yako madhe (How are you mum)?” I retort carelessly yet so happily as if I had known her   for a long time now.

“Mzuri sana mtoto wangu (I’m okay my son).” Wow!

The conversation takes that sweet direction. You know? The one that happens when you feel good about how someone else talks to you. I ensured I was at my best behavior. There was another guy by the stall. He looked younger. I did not greet him but I made sure the atmosphere made him feel like I actually did. At times it’s not wise to greet everyone. You might land yourself a real snub. I always remain calm but jovial in such situations, so in short I just didn’t greet the guy.

“Ninaweza pata skuma ya thirty (can I get kales)?” I asked.

She had been working on something else so she nodded and asked if I could wait a moment, or just fetch some other stuff from the shop and pick the kales after a while. I left to buy paraffin for my cooking stove (Don’t ask why I have a stove in this era). I got there and it was smiles all through, and the energy was just awesome. I behaved calmly not to show my excitement. I was excited because the lady in the stall was adorably courteous. At the shop where I had rushed to get Paraffin, a lady, about my mom’s age was the manager. She seemed rather cheerful as well so I didn’t actually have a hard time talking to her.

“Nipimie mafuta ya taa ya mbao (Get me paraffin worth twenty shillings).” I exclaim excitedly.

The lady rushes towards me and reaches for my container. She then bends towards the tank and as she fills the “Dasani” bottle she affirms, “Ona nimekuongezea vizuri (As you can see I have given you discount).

“Wow!” Now that I say hastily and in a very low tone.

My excitement shifted to the high and I could just but keep my calm. I say, “Thank you” as I walk away hurriedly towards the “kiosk” to pick my ‘veges’. I am not entirely amused at how I’ve been receiving such nice responses from my shopkeepers because I insisted that these business people have persuasive means. I get my head around the thought and approach the stall for my goods from “madhe”.

“uko na ‘uhuru-bag pa kubebea (do you have a non-woven bag for the vegetables)?”

We refer to non-woven bags as ‘uhuru-bags’ because the initiative was brought about during the tenure of President Uhuru Kenyatta and we didn’t have an easier way to name them. So I go with the flow. I pick one tomato, one onion and garlic and she asks me if one tomato will be enough to make me a nice broth. I nod confidently and put them in the bag. She insists I pick an extra tomato on her bill. I am quite reluctant to do it and she picks one nicely nurtured tomato and shoves it towards my palm. I grab the tomato and pick my change.

As I walked towards my house, I could not stop thinking about how nice people can be at times. The thought of dealing with people nearly each time is devastating. It is even worse if they are a pain in the a**. I had an amazing Thursday because the tout was so nice to me and I got to cook really nice food thanks to my good cooking skills, and “madhe’s” tomatoes of course. I couldn’t afford a break during dinner. My brother came in later in the night just as I was headed for sleep. I thought about how dealing with people can strike a nerve and I decided to ghost him terribly. I just didn’t want to ruin my night.

Good Curves Are Awesome Therapy

Chilly mornings are great, so great you’d want to stay in bed longer than usual. The sound of peace that brings along satisfaction at your door, no disturbances from neighbors, no incoming calls, and clearly your stomach forgets for a minute that it needs bread. You want to cover yourself all up and fold yourself in your blanket as you used to when you were a kid. I like the sound of the birds in these moments, they seem to have a great time yet they have to fly east and west, like us they need to move as well and find themselves food and others even new shelter. Mornings like these only make the movies, fairy tales, and perhaps not even planet Earth. I mean we’ve got a lot of things to work on every day. Working around the clock has been a part of us, more so with the economy retrogressing by day. I didn’t know it’s anyone’s wish to get up at dawn and jump into the shower like it’s Christmas, my mistake, because that certainly sounds like a lot of work. I get to do it because times are bad- times are really hard. We need money, bills await us as if they can’t survive a day without being paid.

It’s Thursday, I walk into a nearby deli, my favorite, I don’t want to act like I’m convincing you to purchase coffee from them, so I’ll keep it to myself, get yourself a coffee vendor as well. Coffee does you a lot of refurbishment if working in the morning is your thing. I grab money from my wallet and wait to be served. I am a natural eaves-dropper. I hate to be nosy but I mean without saying a thing, it’s awesome to listen to people talk about things- you get to learn a lot from listening to people’s opinions. I tilt to my right a bit to get a clear sight of a gentleman, in his late thirties, I bet- narrating to his colleagues about an experience he had at the hospital a while back. He insisted that health care in our country has taken a turn for the worse. That is the point. I think I loved how he supported his narrations with clear evidence from past experiences. It made me feel nostalgic, of course, my experience was great, unlike the many people who often receive poor health services. Although, I don’t entirely vouch for the health care system of our country, It’s not the best you’d wish for.

I had been feeling really fatigued two months ago and decided to seek the often campaigned for medical attention. On TV, every advertisement in regards to our health always takes away with this statement, “if symptoms persist seek medical attention”, and for once, I turned it into a reality. I often don’t follow guides to the latter, but this time around I did. Well, to cut the long story short, I found myself a really cute physician who was to run some physical on me. She had earlier given me an appointment so it was a deal sealed. I think I started feeling even more fatigued so that the appointments could come in handy, at least twice a month, or thrice, or every Friday. “Shiks”, my physician was about my age, either married or not, I didn’t entirely focus on the details about her. All I knew was that my health was in beautiful hands, at least she had attended medical school abroad and her curves were awesome for therapy. I’m joking. I had such a good time. I think the Doctor-patient relationship is really good for recovery. Most physicians in our country have become very unfriendly. Today, many of them are younger as compared to those from the past years- our parent’s time. Nurses were competent individuals who stopped at nothing to see their patients do well unlike today where they have made workplaces their photo booths and hang out destinations. I mean that the connection between them and their patients has severely depreciated. So this guy at the shop pin-pointed an error by a medic that would have seen his life cut short in a blink of an eye. The entry-level medic almost injected him with the wrong amount of dose and were it not for a senior medic coming to collect some equipment from where he was being held for treatment, that needle would have slid through his skin, and into his flesh with a death sentence making the health care system void of any good deed, we can’t pay compliment when the only thing we can get from our health care system is a loss to reckless medics and nurses.


Well, not all physicians are bad after all. “Shiks” was good. I mean she had the heart of a loyal servant. As I recalled every episode of my treatment at that hospital she worked at, I smiled with awe and just as I tilted my body back to see if my coffee was doing fine, the vendor handed it to me and thought I was smiling at him. I think I was actually smiling at him also; I mean the coffee was really good. I carried it away and rushed to the office. I knew well not to mess up the routine. I think everyone should hate being employed.