My life on a couch

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Have you ever sat down and thought of the little tiny stuff that made your life wholesome? Did you ever imagine that some things could count in your life? I am one individual who gets disturbed by tiny things that come with life, I have complaining issues and I do not let them go easily. I can make a mountain out of a slope, leave alone a molehill. It is a big deal and I always feel that I possess all the rights to question things. I mean that is me. At other times it’s the little things that I notice that play massive roles in my life.

While i sat in some joint in Nairobi on a Thursday afternoon, I reminisced of some couch that moulded a third of my present years. I wrote this story for two hours, seriously engaged on my borrowed laptop. In this hotel, let me call it Galitos. As you know Galitos is a place where you find people who swim in the affluence of their parents’ bucks. It is true that three quarters of the people you find here are fat kids with round faces, plump and innocently composed. All they comprehensively know is that they have to order some chicken, or burgers either beef or chicken with a few chips accompanied some icy chocolate. That is the kind of life they are raised in. when you look on their faces, no despondency signs, no contorted skin or wrinkles. In fact they all look like they just came out of the womb a week ago. The other one quarter is for couples with some out of planet life, coming to have some little fun.

Generally, my affinity for sitting near windows can be evidently determined by anyone. You just have to look at my face. My biggest reason for sitting near the window in a restaurant is to have a clear view of the surrounding. Writers have been discovered to be among the most observant people to have ever lived. Many stories emerge from scenes that we see, from the simple eye rolling contests we quietly participate in without any competition. So I was seated near this window that was adjacent to Hilton Hotel. It is here that I could spend a few minutes of enjoying my Fanta soda while I watched the streets, the fats kids in the room, the beautiful lasses that rent the room and intently on the buzzer that stood between me and my two cheaply purchased chicken burgers and chips.

The truth of the matter is that that buzzer was the only thing that I somehow hated in that room. It is the impediment that stood between my hunger and my ability to go and get the food from the kitchen by myself. I had waited for it to buzz impatiently, making me study it more as if I was in a science or physics practical class. But again it is the technology that makes me come back to Galitos big time. It is a timer pal that is by my side, that is faithful and reminds me when my food is ready. It beckons me to go downstairs and collect my food from the counter, where beautiful and lovely ladies serve you with decency. This Thursday however, the buzzer did not buzz after the fifteen minutes that the lady, tagged as Patience, promised me. I had more time to study it from the make, material, shape, dimension, covers, and the tiny bulbs and of course its enormous weight.

When it finally buzzed, I startled. It was like I had waited it for years. I was pregnant with hunger and the acid in my stomach was corrosively eroding my stomach like a little mouse cascading the rafters out of the ceiling and coming to chew my books. That was the feeling. I hurriedly left for downstairs with an agility of a cobra, jostling in between people on the way. On the way I came head on with a young and innocent damsel, who honestly knew nothing about the agony of my stomach. It was making me wild and was doing the best to get my hands on that food before the acid could eat through the wall and ooze out. I had no time to talk to the girl. I had no energy to waste on another encounter lest I collapsed and found myself unconsciously resting my ass in one of the horrible beds of a crowded ward in Kenyatta hospital.

At last I lay my hand on that food and immediately went for it. My acid system had little blood plus energy. One of the burgers went plummeting into my stomach on the counter. I assumed no one out of that long line of patient faces who lined there for hours saw me hungrily gobble down the thing. I sighed and with a lot of relief carried the remaining food with me in a grey plastic tray to my up floor destination at the window. On the way I remembered of the young lady. With an apologetic face, I moved to her table where she sat with her two friends and in a low tone murmured sorry. I waited for a word from her lovely lips poignantly. She managed to utter ‘it’s okay’ phrase after a while. That relieved me. I shook her hand and went back to my spot now to look down at the many souls sitting on the round stoned chair near Hilton Hotel. It is the place they refer to as jobless corner- self-explanatory.

The role of a sofa is to accommodate my ass when I sit on it, and not getting my whole skeleton wrinkled because of serving the wrong role meant for a bed. A couch is a more decent word. This particular couch has a long history. It was bought in 2001 I think, when I was in my teenage years of adolescence and misbehavior. A normal couch spends its entire life in a living room, assisting individuals to relax themselves after long hours of standing. Now that is the constituted proper role of a couch.

I stayed with my cousins during and after high school. They are the best family that I have till today. It is here that unfortunately my history with the coach was written. It is here that I earned the name ‘couch potato’ without my consent. For me the couch had a superiority complex than any bed. It is the only place that served as my bed for a period of 5 straight years. You know when you know that you are going to do something for a long period, you finally get used to it. You enjoy it. You embrace it and take it by heart, warmly get used it.


Out of the five years, five years I enjoyed nothing. Absolutely nothing. I am 6 feet tall, which is a quarter longer than the couch. This implies that ¼ of my body spent five years entirely out of the comfort zone of the sofa. Can you imagine that I still pay for the sleep that some of my body parts missed even today? I usually slept from 10.00-7.00. Those are 8 hours. Now take the 8 hours and multiply by 5years. 365 days by 8 by 5. This translates to 14600 hours. So imagine I still have such hours of sleep waiting to be compensated. Yet if I got a small nap during class time or even at home during the day everyone would go around accusing me of being a lazy sleepy head.

Do they even understand what it means to have sleep hangovers with you as you walk? Do they know that I might even catch narcolepsy and end up being a sleep walking retard? Do they even know what it means to curl up on a couch even for one night and try to imagine that you will sleep with outmost comfort? Do they know that ¼ of me has never slept at all on a comfortable place for five years? What if those parts are my legs and one day while I am walking they decide to sleep on the middle of a busy highway like Thika Super Highway? What if the affected part is my neck and head? What if the brain decides to sleep while I am doing my final degree examinations and the lecturer simply gives me -90 out of +100? Will I smile or will I weep?

Probably all these are possibilities, that a part of that sleep-deprived body part may betray me on a very important occasion. That I might be delivering a speech where the president is one of the chief guests and suddenly I switch off, my eyes, brain, mouth and my head starts dancing to and fro for being beaten by the wrath of the sleep hangover. What will the president do? Will he buy me a bed? Will I be given another chance to prove my self-worth once more and get the cake? Or will I be flagged off for wasting precious time of one of the greatest delegates of the state with mere and cheap bullshit?

All this are the repercussions that might result from the situation. I think I will feel robbed. Of course I am, because 4 years down the line I am still paying for the sins that the couch indebted on me.

Every evening, the couch looked like it read my mind, all my intentions and most probably how disquietly I loved its slow charm of accommodation and seething angst of my fretting face when I knew I was going to curl in its room all night. Yeah! I hated it for not being long enough to accommodate my 6 feet length, leaving half of my legs hanging out in the cold.

It could ask the same query every night.

“Why can’t you at least reduce even by a few inches just to give me peace?”

I also asked myself the same question every night.

“Why can’t you just add some more length, even if it is a few inches?”

That is the kind of life we lived. Two friends who mutually hated each other yet hugged and put up with the rough pressures. I think both hate and love happened at night, so rare. I could do nothing to lengthen it while it could do nothing to shorten me, but we survived the heat.

.Dreamless night

Coincidentally, both of us had rough thoughts, emotional pressures, outbursts, whines when the night closed in. I don’t know much of the couch, but I know of my own. Especially when i was with my blokes. They would talk of their dreams, how they dreamt of squeezing some beautiful damsel into some corner and fixing her. Others would narrate of how they could dream every night. They made me begin to think that I was the only chap who never used to dream in the whole world.

Honestly how do you even dream from a couch? It is impossible! Can you figure yourself dreaming of your dream house from a couch? That is a joke. How do you even begin? Where? For the five years I lay on that sofa, I was deprived of all my beautiful dreams. Not even a single dream dared visit me. All night I lay down in a ‘wasiwasi’ mode. As if I was in a den of lions ready to purr at my ass and reduce me into a conglomerate of dry bones. The most fundamental thing was to worry when the first bird chirps so that I get my ass up and steal some sleep in one of the cousins bed after he went to work.

The red color

The colour of the couch is maroon. Maroon is the first brother of red. And as you know red is a danger colour, that holds either mischief or misery. As a normal human being I have to worry about the famous thingamajigs associated with red colour. People don’t welcome it openly and I couldn’t accept it too. So sleeping on a closely related couch with color red, my fears overrode my hope for a better bed for my body.

Death bed

One thing that immensely rejuvenated my confidence is the fact that two of my well-off cousins had already made history with the same couch and they were very successful. It is not the case where I gone to hospital a few days back. I was so sick that I had to be admitted. I was given a bed in a private ward of two. The fellow in the next bed was an old sickly man, who had spent almost a decade in that same bed.

As talkative as I am, I made him a close friend in no time. You I was born with a spirit of a central province man, to focus on mullah. There are two main reasons why I made friends with him. One is because there were only two of us in the room and we could not live tolerating silence. The second reason happens to be for mutual purposes. The man looked like he had a few days in his name. he would leave us any day, and me being the closest pal during that time, might end up inheriting what he left behind. {mwanadamu ni mwanadamu tu.} maybe I could feature somewhere in his will.

Of course that did not happen, reason being he too originated from the slopes of Mt. Kenya. That should tell you something- that he read my mind way before. My first night was terrible. It was my first day to spend a night in a ward, and I really resented that. We chatted and shared a few hearty laughs. Then he went on saying.

“Watu wawili walikufia iyo kitanda last week. And it has not had anybody since then,”

Being this fearless coward that can’t stomach the thoughts of death, I was perturbed.

“The week before an elderly man still passed on in that bed.” He continued. In the end I realized that that bed has mercilessly butchered a dozen of people for a period of five weeks. I was the next victim on the line, and I was scared.

In short I recovered fully on hearing the bad news. I was lying on a death bed and maybe the death emissaries were on the way, my life was on line. Eventually I did not spend a night there, but I arrived home completely recovered. Who does not cow at the thought of death? Some even would do anything…..anything to stay alive.

The success story of the couch gave me hope, unlike the story of the death bed. But still I lost my dreams. The first day I hit a normal bed for a night, my whole sleep was all about dreams. I still dream, I just don’t sleep anymore.

They say to be the best you must be able to handle the worst- which I think fits my situation. Though it is not a good way to remember my life.

-photo credit: india-forums

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Man of all seasons

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  1. hahaa, you can’t imagine dreaming from a couch-that is

  2. lyf has its ups n twists,bt only God knows our destiny

  3. you have a crude talent bro…i have enjoyed every sentence in your story..big up

  4. wow wow,….big up Justin
    u got talent …I enjoyd reading it..
    kip it up dia


  5. Mzangila the poet,wonderful piece bro big up long live to inspire the hopeless 21st century generation! You’re on the right track

    • Thanks buddy.despite having dreamless nights I still have dreams of becoming one of the best bloggers in history. did I just say that?

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