As I type this story, some music sifts to my room from my new, next-door neighbours- two, or is it three young brats who have akina swat and boondocks gang for role models. Since they moved here two weeks ago, their greatest accomplishment so far has been announcing to everyone that they’ve a woofer system by blasting music even in the disgraceful, quiet hours of the night when everyone is supposed to sleep, noiselessly. Therefore, the other day I had to knock on their door and with a stern face, give them a warning that they had to reduce the volume of their music so that some of us who need to sleep can carry on with the affair. I think one of them must have thought that I am trespassing, trying to squeeze their tiny balls because, for them, they have a right to do what they want. So with his small chest (he was bare-chested) he approached the door and tried to look extra manly, believing that it might change my mind and send me back to my crib.
With me was a nicely done rungu that I usually carry when I know I need to knock some sense into someone. If someone hits you with a rungu, especially on the head, with the right force as it should be done, there’s no going after that person. The kind of headache that courts you can’t allow you to move. At the instance, I lifted the rungu and rested it nicely on my shoulder as a clear sign that I was ready to use it if the occasion arose. True to my expectation, he hung low, and in a meek voice like that of a shy girl entering puberty said, “Sawa Boss.”
I didn’t leave until the noise subsided. That was I bringing law and order, unafraid and thoroughly up to the task. Today I can hear their music; the slight rain pouring on the iron sheets above me drowns some of it. I don’t suppose they have forgotten my warning. However, if they have, I’ll go back again and knock, this time round walking away with that woofer they so pride themselves with. The beauty of having common sense is knowing the right time for everything. Lack of it, like in such a case, leads to someone habitually adopting new traits that are highly disregarded by society, yet so pleasing in his eyes. Which begs the question of maturity, whether it is a designation or an endowment because I somehow have come to believe that some of us might live up to the 90s, die without ever having known maturity or being mature.
There are several thoughts riding through my mind’s landscape right now, thoughts of recent occurrences, and those of happenings of a time so long ago that bore the recent ones. And they make me wonder for how long those old age happenings will keep influencing my future occurrences. That I might never run away from the consequences of my past.
For the last one month or so, I’ve been unwell. And there were days when I felt the emissaries of the gods of death breathing near me at night. I’d feel my breath and spirit leaving me. There were instances when I’d lie so still and feel as if I was going to die. Moreover, for a few days, I got strongly encouraged that my time had come. I reached out to a few people who I could and told them that this might be the last time we talked. I called my daughter Elsie, and we had this long conversation, knowing maybe this was the last I would see her face and her mine. I couldn’t tell her how weak and fatigued I was. Pain was surging through my body, and most of it seemed to camp in my lower abdomen. When I told my woman so, that I was feeling like I might die, she asked me to think positively while suggesting that we pray for such bad thoughts. I made peace with those I could and finally prayed to God that He takes my soul away because I was ready.
It occurred that I wasn’t ready. He never did take me. I continued being sick, to a worrying state. It alarmed my aunts, because they love me dearly, but not an extent for others to ask what truly was wrong with me as they also have their shit to deal with. We all do. Therefore, I couldn’t be mad because they don’t owe me anything. But I have since improved. Recovery isn’t easy, it takes patience, prayers, and discipline. Sometimes you might not feel like taking your drugs. But you must. Sometimes you crave for something that brings you turmoil. But you must learn to tame that craving without giving in. And when you finally rise from the chambers of sickness, for most, you forget how it feels like when chained by illness. So you quickly move on with life with less appreciation and go back to your old lifestyle.
For a person like me, one who’s been defiled, tortured and left for dead by illnesses, I hardly forget my dark days. Those days shape me; they instill in me patience, kindness, humility, quietness, and discipline. They teach me to be a better person for me-self. So I’ve become quieter, which is something that puts me in a conundrum, whether it is a good or bad thing. But if it gives me peace and helps me avoid worldly ruckus, then it befits me like a nicely knit suit that puts me in a charming mood.
I am a bit settled, mildly disturbed and worried about some of my friends who are in phases of their lives where they hardly understand what is going on. Some are battling with the meaning of life and their purpose in life. Others feel wasted. Others have given up. Others are stuffed up and nothing is making sense. Some have lost hope. Others feel they’re late into achieving their goals. Some feel utterly useless. Others feel unloved. And their problems make them feel that the entire world doesn’t care for them.
I had left this blog to decay. The domain had expired and I didn’t see the need to renew it. I was pressed with sickness and terrible feelings. I had planned to auction it and forget it ever existed. I was looking for a way out, one I never found. When relief surged through me, my thoughts sobered, and here we are.
Truthfully, I have run out of juice. However, I feel that I need to write a book. It is my high season for a book project. I haven’t found a quiet place to hide for a month or two, away from horrible noise and loud neighbours so that I can work on one. If you’re reading this and you’ve a nice spot somewhere where you can hide a humble servant of God like me for a month or two, may God send you this way. May you be the blessing that I need right now.
Due to the recent happenings, some of our projects have slowed. The Mzangila Magazine, 2020 Edition that was set for the end of February will most certainly move to the end of March or April. I have no mood for editing your stories and those of others. All I need is some love, company, a chilling spot, and cuddling. If you can give me that, then you’re my true friend.
Enter day two
Today started quite early. My alarm was disturbing my pleasant sleep by 6 am. It was still dark, as I could ascertain by looking out through the thin curtain hugging my window. So I rolled over, pulled my duvet once again, and tried to snore. It was the best idea had the woman living next not started caning up her kid to wake up and prepare for school. That was the start of my misery. I woke up with no energy. My stomach hurt like hell. I lit my gas cooker and put some water in a ‘caldron’ to boil as I head for the toilet for a long call.
Lately, I have been having a healthy long call courtesy of the vanilla yogurt I consume daily. Yogurt is very effective in aiding digestion. Before, I quite suffered from constipation. I spent many hours of my mornings and evenings trying to implore shit to come out. Using a lot of force, pushing and pushing, sometimes I could achieve astounding results, other days my efforts were futile. So I am glad that I can now shit like any normal person.
I drank a glass of warm water after that. A glass of warm water every morning on an empty stomach can protect you from a million diseases. It can make your stomach comfortable. It hydrates your body. It can make you look younger (except for me). Meanwhile, I cooked uji as I contemplated how I’d shower, as that happens to be one of the tasks that consume extraordinary energy. Pondering over what to cook, washing utensils and bathing, these belong to a certain category I refer to as bad news. I never like thinking of bad news. So I end up making bad choices about what to cook, when to wash my utensils and how often I bathe.
I managed to get all that done. I sauntered to the bus stage in a gleeful mood because whatever I was wearing felt good and comfortable. A few girls smiled at me, others loooooked at me. As the asshole I’ve proved to be, I didn’t budge or even smile. I don’t give people the opportunity to think that I like every other beautiful girl I see. Sometimes you’ve to make them feel that a man can reject them too even if they’re the next thing to an angel in terms of beauty. You see most women don’t think that men can reject a beautiful woman. They think they can have their way with any man because of their attractive qualities. I guess it’s because most haven’t met me yet.
I got to work thirty minutes later. And my day began. It always begins the same way- YouTube. That YouTube has me by the balls is true. I listened to motivational Tuesday podcasts. There’s one guy that I quite like to listen to because he makes motivational talks hilarious, he fuses them with humour and comedy. That guy is Les Brown. If you happen to know him, then we should definitely hook up and chat some more because you’re my people.
As I sat there listening to the podcasts, I kept thinking of the possibilities that abound in me if I decided to let them manifest themselves. But then I concluded that my fate has already been decided and that I can only do that which my programmer programmed me to do. I began by checking my email. And then my WhatsApp where Felisters was chatting me up about the effects of porn on a man. I told her very shocking details because I happen to have been one of the many men who have contended with effects of porn and masturbation. Then she went to the gym, so she told me.
I carried on with my work, downloading and sorting out movies. I arranged my workstation and gave it a clean mopping. I rest easy when my station is clean. I love cleanliness. If my future wife is reading this, she should underline that.
The day moved quite normally, with business very slow. A pal from high school stopped by and we had a lively chat. He was a year ahead of me, now he’s settled with a family and kids. He used to be an uber guy but now he’s a school driver of sorts. When he left, Khwatenge, the former special branch officer, and a great friend of mine trickled in. He was very excited as his story was featured on KTN last night, where he’d shed light on how J.M. Kariuki was killed. We watched the feature (The Untold Story of JM Kariuki’s final 48 hours) together on Youtube. This man, Khwatenge, is a highly intelligent fellow, full of government secrets. He knows a lot. We share a lot and if you happen to read my book, you’ll discover I’ve talked much about the special branch and the activities therein come from stories he told me. He had written a book that no publisher wants to touch because it is considered highly volatile. And in the recent government environment, no one wants to disappear or die mysteriously. So the manuscript is collecting mold in his computer and my email. If there’s a publisher out there who thinks this can make a bestseller, I believe it will, then I beseech you to come to his aid.
My aunt came by. We talked briefly. And she spent the day combing the web for things she finds endearing.
As I write this second part, I can hear my other neighbours TV. I badly want to sleep. But I must finish this. I just don’t know how, or why I am writing this because there’s no direction. Okay, I am tired now. Let me rest.
Enter day three
I don’t envision ever writing a single story in three days. This shows how stale I am at the moment. But waking up today, I felt a different kind of vibe, with insuperable energy that is kicking in me. I just did a live podcast on Facebook, and that for me is an achievement. Once you’re before the camera, words disappear quickly, the mind blanks hastily and you’ve to think as you speak, something difficult because it will alter your coherence. So if I do a five or ten minutes podcast without freaking out or without any script, that informs me that I am becoming better as my end goal is to one-day host my own show. I am idealistic, creative and also realistic. Judging my dreams using these parameters, I am convinced that it is possible for me, save for fate.
On coming to work, I came along a mother and kid walking to the bus station. Ideally, tuk tuk station. These tuk tuks are being driven by egotistical men who, in some way, think that the road belongs to them. So they’ll overlap every time, and sometimes even compete against themselves. They can never give you way but would get irked if you don’t give them way. They cause traffic jams. They rarely use common sense as it has been masked by greed and self- entitlement until it no longer kicks alive when need be.
The kid walked in a way that made me think he has a bone fracture or some sort of problem. The mother kept asking him to hurry because she didn’t want to late for work. The boy kept telling her that he’s feeling pain on the thigh. I’ve seen that boy walk crookedly for a while now. But the mother didn’t heed that. Instead, she holds his hand and drags him along.
That worried me… not that it is my business. However, that seemed like a genuine concern that a parent should have taken seriously. I don’t want to pre-empty of the consequences of leaving some issues unattended, I leave that to somebody else.
I took the bus to work, to finish this. It is consuming my time and I don’t like it, especially when I am not thrilled doing it. But since I am at 2500 words, si that is a good time to leave it?
Let’s meet next week, same place, and same time, for a more enchanting episode.
Where shall we go, we who wander in this wasteland in search of better selves?