Boys, Girls and Sticks

Allow me to get whiny a bit, this block has got me cornered.

I lived my whole life knowing I was a boy, but comments about me being girly riddled my childhood, they said I talked like a girl, my nails belonged to a girl, some pointed out my eye lashes, a little mama’s boy who laughed like a girl, (I still laugh like that) who had girl hair, and when I got fat they said I had an ass like a girl. Then I’d run home and cry, because I wanted to look like a boy. So I hatched a plan to get these comments off my girly hair, I ran out one day to look for a stick that I would walk around with, so that I’d walk by and you’d know there goes a boy on the hunt, and you would be scared to tell him he looks like a girl with a stick because he’d land you a few.

And then at about sixteen, when I got shipped off to boarding school I got a lump on my chest, a painful little thing that made me look like I had a breast. I started thinking maybe God realized he made a mistake while working me, that he thought the earth needed another girl and I was an easy target. By that time I had seen what thirsty folk in boys’ boarding schools were capable of so I wasn’t about to let people know that a girl was in their midst, I kept quiet about it and it got more painful, I couldn’t lie proper when sleeping. But because someone would soon notice I had breasts, I cooked up a sad cancer story, I told it over and over until I started believing it myself. I mentioned it to a teacher who suggested I seek professional help. (Because our school nurse only stashed painkillers)

“You have hormonal imbalance,” the doctor said. He was basically saying I was half and half here, and I blamed those dumb comments because they somehow made their way inside me. Like a cancer.

And that cancer hasn’t left, the lump did though. Someone would pop up and say, “For a guy you have good nails,” it’s not my favourite of compliments, heck it’s not even a compliment, (did I just say heck?) but at least I’m a guy, this will end soon, I tell myself. But one incident recently made me think otherwise.

So you’re around campus, whiling away time waiting for Mburu the corn man to open up shop. The air smells like dense perfume, it smells like hunt. A text slides in, “where are you?” and there my friends, is the call. You have to go up a few flights of stairs now, with your bag slung on one shoulder, walking with a swagger on your feet, whistling to Kenny Rodgers, generally being cool, a cool guy. All that’s missing now is a cig and a cowboy hat. You’re almost getting to your destination when, behind you, you hear your name being called out frantically. She’s crying, clutching on to the stair railing, losing her balance, wiping her tears with the back of her hand. So you hug her, and ask her what seems to be the problem. She doesn’t give you anything to work with, the more you ask the more she breaks down, the more you rub and pat her back. And you think this is a grave matter, maybe someone is on their way to the grave. (Hehe. Ok maybe that was a bit insensitive) But you keep rubbing her back until it can pour out of her, whatever she’s feeling. And then she finally says it, and you want to strangle her because her reason for weeping so damn loud; aii, hapana. She got dumped.

So you have to sit there and feed her all the hogwash you hear Steve Harvey give to birds, you don’t need a man to define you, sijui men know what they want from you and it’s not love, sijui you don’t need a man. And the worst part is she kept calling you in the dead of the night telling you of what he said and did after he dumped her. At this point you feel emasculated, because she doesn’t see you as one of them, the men, the hunters and gatherers, the ones on the prowl. That’s what this is about girls; you could always run to your girlfriends and mwagia them these feelings sawa? It doesn’t sit well with us.

I think this cancer is still brooding inside me. Friends, time to go look for a stick.

And to that good friend I wronged last week, I said I was sorry baba, let’s talk and bury this hatchet over a cold one eh?

ca

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