One day you are going to wake up and she’ll be gone. Breast cancer will have eaten all her breasts and nerves, and brains and blood, she won’t breathe at all. She will be motionless. Her world will be different. You will gasp. Your jaws will drop and you won’t have the courage to bend and collect it. You will miss her scolding. She won’t bring you breakfast to bed. You won’t hear her lousy voice every dawn when she wants you to milk cows. You will miss her pancakes.
when you go to see her she will give you that cold look akin to that of a blind beggar at Moi Avenue, just about the Archives as you wait for your boyfriend. You will be angered. It will be a calamity, just like Biko’s forehead. She will be gone and like Biko, there’s nothing you can do remedy the calamity. Your head will go totally blank. You will get pissed or even worse decide to eat all your hair. Sombre.
She will look pale and with an inflated ego she won’t hug you as usual because you are just six. It will be the start of your lethally miserable life. That is when your life officially commences to take a nosedive. Right there you may start to think that she will wake up, because someone older hinted that mommy is sleeping, a thing you will be boringly patient about all your life.
But then even at six you will understand that people don’t weep and mourn loudly for sleeping mothers. You have seen this before and the one conniving person who thinks you are too young to find out the truth finally turns out to have misread your IQ. You ain’t the dumbest kid to notice the wailing and the massive streaming of near and far neighbors to your hood. Obviously it is the village thing. It is more like ujamaa, to help each other bear the pain on an easier note.
Four days later she is still in the damn deep slumber. But on this day things are different. An air of composure all around, darkness looming and more new faces all over. Everybody is in black, a status quo. You are in a baggy dark suit that is furiously supported by a thin womanly leather belt that goes round your waist twice. It may be a day of utter sadness, but as for you it may be the day of your life. The day you donned a suit. Not just a suit, a dark suit for that matter.
This little feeling you get when in a new clothe or pair of shoes can’t leave you. It overwhelms you. The feeling is so powerful that you evade the family photo session. You don’t even attend your mom’s last send off. You jostle through the crowd just to go and show off to your buddies. In the evening the feeling still feels good and you sleep in your suit and new condom shoes locally known as Moiyeki. Moiyeki is not a mutual friend of the sun. Whenever they come into contact, what is generated may never leave your nose. That stench may burn your intestines and cripple your legs…and whenever you bring anything closer to your nose you remember of the odor. But you are the first among your friends to have your feet see inside of something that looks like a shoe. Stop there. Isn’t that a legacy?
Your mom dying welcomes you to the world of irate human beings, crazy and headstrong. No one welcomes you into this part of the world especially if you are a boy. You paps doesn’t give a damn. He reeks of pre-colonial theatrics which mock your young manhood. Every time he clears his throat you dwindle, no mum to run to. For you, life has to begin at six. You grow balls and start being your own man.
You do your own laundry, look out for the cattle and do the meals for you, your younger sissy and your Indomitable Lion. In this state you become a mother to yourself and your sibling, and a cook to your paps. With time your old man acquires these post colonial thoughts and sends you off to school. It’s sad that you will start baby class when you are six and at eight you are acing through class one.
17 years later you will be seated in your cuzo’s baby on a snaky jam on Ngong Road. Your life will have changed a lot. You have a thick beard. One that makes you resemble a forty year old chap. You are 23 years with a 7 year old kid in London. While you are at the wheel, stuck in that nasty jam and cursing, you can’t stop ogling at those thick asses that pass by that baby and keep looking in (what is this thing with women and cars? Like they just can’t let you have a moment with your/ borrowed car? Why do they have to keep looking inside, even when the windows are heavily tinted? Ladies, let me ask you. Do you think we can’t spot your heavy ass or huge bum bum without you trying to woo at us? By the way I obsess myself with heavy assed ladies. It is a thing that turns me on. Or do you look in and wonder why the seat next to us is not occupied?).
So you switch the engine off because you know that your starter is in the right shape, right? No, you don’t need a philosopher to remind you that your ass is seating on a beast, a guzzler, a 4.4 L V8 engine, M5 BMW Sport. Old school. With this ass-licking economy, preserving every little penny may remove you from the scales of bankruptcy by two whiskers.
Well, you dab at the wheel impatiently until you decide to rest your head on the wheel. How you find yourself in the other world so fast with weird dreams can’t be explained. You see when you sleep on the wheel there is 99.99% probability that you will dream of your ex. I don’t understand why but they are the only dreams that you can have on a wheel of a car (that is like a fixe, the french thing for death) the ex that you broke up with four years ago but you have been shagging her at the back seat of that borrowed beast. You just can’t have a relationship, you can’t stay together but whenever you think of each other’s piece of value, the only arising agenda is the unforgettable sex. So you are always having quickies in bars, bus stops, lifts, loos and in the bushes. The hell! She is just fucking good and hot. Your manhood doesn’t and will never get bored when it’s her.
When you finally wake up from your stupor (thanks that you are inside, the front gave way to a standing ovation long ago), some angry drivers will be banging on your windscreen while others hooting at your baby’s butt to get moving.
Boss! Si utoe gari? Nini mbaya.
Another one will shout
Nini mbaya na huyu jamaa! Toka kwa barabara uende ukalalie nyanyako uko kando.
And you are there, you can’t lower the wind screen because some fist may find a way to your chin and your day will get better with atrocities… and bad days are like that. Spending the next few days with a bag full of ice on your chin all day isn’t cool. You give your car a quick start and speed off to get away from that rowdy mob while trying to stay cool, your member needs to back down you know. The only way he can relax is by you changing your mindset at that moment and start thinking of something else.
Sadly, you can’t go home. An angry aunt of yours who thinks you are a retarded asshole will be on your neck. She thinks you reside in her home to deplete the little she has. Whenever your face shows up she gets diarrhea. The best thing you can do is to lessen the contact with her because you have nowhere to live. The old man told you to stay at her place till school is over and you can live on your own after that if you have the means. So shit to you is real. Every day you think of moving out because of nasty meals, dirty abuses and rough treatment that meets you in cold breath but you have no money.
So you decide to pull up by Junction mall, grab something that is long necked to calm your nerves. But again you decide to visit Brew Bistro.
The joint is so fly. Your long bottled neck buddy had hinted. So your indecisiveness will lead you to Brew Bistro. What were you thinking? You are not a drinker. You have never been. Not beer. Its smell is so sick. Your restlessness doubles. Cravings start to startle your nerves. You clench fists and hit the wheel. In the event you end up honking so loudly attracting attention for all wrong reasons.
There is always a thing about teetotalers. He doesn’t have a way to drown his sorrows. He has to suck in all his miseries and try to live like he is not a madman. I lie in this category. Some may go to the holy tabernacle and spill all that shit to another burdened guy behind the curtains trying to be Jesus. I don’t buy that crap. What if you had an affair with his wife (I hear some of them marry)? Will he sit there and pretend to seive it out, or even wait for you to finish the confession? Hell no! He won’t be Jesus anymore. That day you will learn to put your problems straight and talk to God without a mediator. Men of bottle arrest several bottles whenever they are down. They say a drink drowns their worst enemies.
Being 23 and having started schooling so late, you are probably still struggling to get through college, have a decent career and at least buy a suit, marry a beautiful girl with a heavy ass and raise a family. Actually I have never owned a suit. Forget the one I had for my mom’s burial. I have never had nice pants to wear to in my life either. I have never had a nice pair of shoes in my life.
So I am thinking of returning to my usual nest to roost. On September I have to go back to school. At 23 I am in third year in Karatina University. Hope you have heard of this end of earth institution. I have to go back to the same old boring professors. I have to get back to the killjoy lectures. It is what it is and a man gotta do what a man gotta do.
I don’t love ending my stories easily. You have to read till you get bored. I only find joy in writing long pieces. Why else would you take time to read a two paragraph and say you enjoyed reading? That is mockery and impunity of such grade doesn’t work with me. I am a sophisticated man who only drinks whiskey, and looks at the ice cubes with red shot eyes in contempt. I almost smash them and gobble their juice down my throat.
Let me get straight. I don’t want to fuck this up. I am holding a fundraiser to get myself a suit and nicer shoes. I don’t buy this ordeal of walking on patipati so healthy. And gang (to hell with this Biko slogan, I mean I used it. Where the hell does he dig this cool stuff from?), you are all invited. It’s called Mzangila Back to school. I had taken a one year leave, so it might be that tough to imagine that I am actually going back to class with new classmates that may meet me with cold eyes like my aunt does, and hiss- INTRUDER!
My kid turned 7 on the exact day my mother left us. Life has never been easy, and you know that. Siring Mellissa was one thing I consider unknown circumstances. She lives with her momma. We only buzz each other once in a while. She is my ex. She is 32. You see the unknown circumstances now.
So my kid reads my posts at her age. She knows Mzangila (my blog) by word and has it saved as a bookmark on her Mac. She actually knows words like shit, ass and bullshit, plus douchebag. Over the years she enquired me over telephone when she is gonna see her granny. I informed her that when she lands in Kenya this year for Christmas I will take her to see granny. I plan to take her to the tombstone, now that she may be dying to read my next post which is this one. Truth is bitter. But before I break her heart and see her eyes turn wet with tears, and make me emotional, this piece may serve as an informer. I limited the use of complex words for her cause. I need her to get the story right.
I want her to know that her dad loves her. She is the biggest motivation to my work, because she will call later on and in her young voice (after this post I doubt if it will be)
Dad…what were you thinking. Is it true you shag other women behind my mommy’s back?
And I will feel like answering.
Oh…yeah. It is the sexiest adventure. I mean riding a borrowed car.
Instead I will say.
Darling… I am just thinking of you. Can’t wait to see you.
I celebrate my mom. I miss her. I just hope she is proud of me wherever she is now that I am in college and yet to be pr guru, media personality or chief editor or something cocky.
For cancer’s sake, we don’t have enough oncologists in this nation. Take your ass to hospital and get a checkup often. I am way through my time. Adios!
I have a feeling I wanted to write something about hyenas, but I thought you would think that I adore hyenas. So I stopped midway. In case we meet next time, it might be the subject, hyena husbandry.
Tribute to Agnes Mokua and Elsie Mzangila.