Members’ Day

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It is Friday evening. I am always in my Friday tantrums and experiencing a great black out in my head. Busy is the day that was before, and as I walk ruggedly like a wounded antelope on the run for a waterhole all I crave for was a cup of Dasani water, plus deep rest.

On Fridays people are always excited. Simply because it is Members’ Day. But to me the story is different. It is a sad start of a wary weekend.

My neighbourhood is full of Members , who hold dearly this day close to their hearts and pockets. They have to save the whole week just for one useless evening called members day, or whatever. They can sleep hungry all week through and on this particular day, a cursed godamn day, they spend enormous cash on liquor.

It is the day that I have a different story to tell. I am the only single being who gets into jeopardy for not being a member. I have to compromise my sleep because of the members’ unnecessary noise, aimed at preaching to me and the whole world that WE are missing some fun. It is the kind of noise that suggests mockery.

Being in such a rowdy neighbourhood doesn’t guarantee me a chance to enjoy the little pleasures that I pay my rent for. I can’t enjoy some peace or a little privacy with my one-night stand mama because they come straight to my door, as if automated by the some alcohol remote control, not my neighbours’, no! My door, and throw a few punches on it and ceaseless kicks, ranting my name.

“Mzangila! Mzangila my buddy! I love you man. I love you. I mean it.” I mean I am right in there, separated from his filthy mouth by a thin wall of bricks. But when he says he loves me that even makes it worse. I think of otherwise, that I am not straight, or that he is gay. And probably go on thinking hard and vaguely trying to connect nonexistent dots- yeah, maybe that’s why he looks at my tiny ass every damn time we meet, and what about that unnatural smile! The Hell!

For a minute you just think of the abstract. Including the obvious. Its not hard to start imagining of how it would sound if you two were making out. You know, it sounds devilish and unimaginable. You just leave it there. You summon your heart- hold on there buddy because you are making out with this one chick who has a great ass.

If by mistake she decides to take the member’s words seriously then you are going to have a standing ovation all night long. You do not want that, trust me. She will crack a whip- just tell me that ain’t true Justine.
And you pretend not to know what she’s talking of- what?
That you are not straight.
Hell no! I am damn straight. Look at my boxer baby. I am straight all through, from head to toe. And you silence her with a number of smoochies from forehead, lips,neck,boobs,ears, navel, thighs to toes.

If you prolong the conversation you might as well regret. The cookie will go cold, and be in no mood to be eaten. So you measure your words and carry on, despite the unusual visitor on your door at that cursed time.

Last Friday a buddy of mine from varsity (still in varsity anyway and a party maniac) decided that he would waste this members’ day at a party somewhere out of town- Karatina. He is the kind of guy who gulps bottles of booze down his gullet without blinking his eyes. Once he did and when he opened his eyes someone had generously swept his table of all its content, and had terrible time tracing the villain. So he took this lesson and treasured it by heart.

His buddy was turning 22 and invited him over among other friends. They are the kind of parties I would decline to attend, leave alone my gatecrushing syndrome. It ends up being silly because varsity kids would do anything to maximize the power of the liquor, as they do not have enough bucks to spend on quality drinks. So they manufacture their own brand, I know of this one called Manyuki- a mixture of a cacophony of stuff including bhang, and other crazy stuff. Once you take two gulps, your head is on fire and you are not human any more. You become an alien from this point.

And my buddy went out to party. Carrying with him a million level alcohol craving status, he romped to the guy’s hood with nothing at hand, not even a present. Things were high and lots of booties to hold onto during that night, which of course it is the part that I missed.

In such occasions pombe ndo huongea. You may prepare everything, a lot of mouth watering food, but if there ain’t no alcohol, there ain’t nothing, no fun, no nothing. Lucky enough there were a number of alcohol barrels ( local brew). So they guy drinks himself out. He drinks, and drinks and drinks (without blinking remember), till he could hardly control himself from blinking anymore. That meant if he took one more swig then he’ll have to throw up all that fun, and maybe including the intestines.

I wonder how people can drink for like 4 straight hours, a time they can’t even endure when in doing a constructive task, like listening to a lecturer teach an invaluable mathematics concept. Oh, maybe they hate math like I do. I don’t blame you man, welcome to this part of the world where we don’t give a damn about many figures and numbers so long as we can count our every penny even with eyes closed without veering of the radar.

After four hours of alcohol-stimulated fun he decides to drag his ass back to the hostel. But then he can’t walk. He came with two legs but has to leave on six. He calls for a honda guy who agrees to ferry him at a measly of kshs.50. That sounds like 200 bob to a college kid, especially such times when things are hot, and lips dry. You treat every bob with respect and ultimate care.

However on the way the honda guy demands an additional of 20 bob. He might have regretted for not asking for more before fetching this guy on the back of his bike. Have you regretted of not be an opportunist? Like not telling a mzungu a match stick box costs 200 bob, even though it bears a price tag of 5 bob on it. You can make a cool 195 bob with the power of the tongue. Anyway, do not try this at home. You will lose a good friend.

Twenty bob sounded like a pain in the ass for my drunk buddy. So he decided he won’t add anything. He would not be taken for a cheap ride because he was intoxicated to the core with brew. And the boda guy, a badass left him some 1.km away from his destination. My guy opted to saunter home ‘safely’.

Midway some thugs were also having their members’ day, to rob and maim. It is an insult when a robber attacks you and chucks your wallet only to land on a few cents. This day they landed on kshs.100. To compensate on the effort wasted, they beat up the guy, took his alcatel phone worth kshs. 7500 and a few other worthy merchandise and left.

When my buddy calls at the hostel late that night he is terribly disfigured. And he narrates of his encounters with the thirsty rogues, and how he employed his tae kwondo skills to no avail.

Well, some situations demand a few guffaws, a few sorries while others you just have to laugh your ass out. It is healthy……..that in one night your life can change from grace to grass. All courtesy of free drinks.

To all my drunkard friends. I cannot stand you when you get drunk, or when you exchange a few tales on how beautiful it is to ransack a few bottles of liqour into your stomach. That is your secret affair.

Even more worse is having a drinking girlfriend. However beautiful and loving you may be, it is a no no for me. It is either we are together or we are far apart.

I have been in those drinking sprees for many years. I learnt the art of drinking buddies. They buy each other alcohol. Not food! Only drinks. And if by mistake you are there and taking your soda calmly they will think that you ain’t having no fun. And they will try to coerce you into the club.
‘Smart onja tu”.

And you are like
“Man, thanks but I don’t do alcohol.”
“Onja tu usikie.”
And you whisk the offer off with a twist of your head to the screen where Arsenal and Man-u are having an onslaught for premier league cup. Its whimsical and you want to get far away from those guys and enjoy your own space.

And they continue buying each other. They drink from round one straight into the night till round 12, two bottles each round. Thousands of shillings slapped on the table, bottles get popped and glasses collide in a few toasts, and it is time to go home at 2 or 3 am.

It is the time for Muslims to wake up and prepare to get to a nearby mosque to praise Muhamadd the prophet of Allah, its the time for spiritualists, its the time for ghosts, the time for owls, the time for wizards. Among them are the drunkards finding the right tracks home. Two steps forward, three steps backwards.

It is the time that trenches find extra shift. They have to accommodate foreign freight in their rooms until members’ Day is over……..

Some will find their way home, back to their wives and kids. Some will slide into the sofa and snore till Saturday afternoon, while others slide carefully into bed next to their wives, who are pretending to be dead asleep.

In stead they are wide awake, furious and hungry for your blood. And you sleep the members’ day away……..
My buddy, I wish you quick recovery..

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-photo credit: imgkid

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