She found you in a rubble. You were a mess, a ticking time bomb, waiting to implode into depths of insanity. You spent a good chunk of your days and a lot of chapaa in swanky bars, drowning yourself in frothy drinks, to feel that what they say is the taste of legends. But it’s really to feel the aloofness burn your gut. The aloofness of life heading straight for a brick wall and it’s so close you can smell it, that wall. Smells like failure. You begin to eat and sleep more, you watch hopelessly as your midsection expands more.
Your creative demons have grown merciless, with shorter horns, not enough to poke you in your sleep, not enough to wake you in the middle of the night with a bunch of sentences in your head. But something else keeps you up instead, a sad realization lies next to you there, breathing down on your neck, that you have amounted to nothing but a drunk who thinks he can write.
Your success rate with women plummeted to the dogs a long time ago, the last swing you had wasn’t too excited about your preference with sandals. You often sit through long lectures on a common unit that fails to resonate with you. They remind you of those high school days where you had Chemistry practical tests, the laborious task of mixing sijui HCL with solution A and observe. You wondered at what point will life take some shape, and stop looking like your midsection.
You let yourself go, you take up smoking, and you isolate yourself as much as you can from humanity. You can’t remember the last time you were in church, or in church without a hangie. You generally don’t take care of yourself, your sibling takes note, and points out that you stink, not that you have a rotten character, but that you literally stink. Of rot.
And then she found you. Here’s how. It’s one of those days where you don’t feel like conversation. You want to get to the end of that theology class and disappear into the four walls of your room and sleep the day off. No sooner had you exited the building, (remember those?) a friend calls out your name from a corner, you see he’s shooting the breeze with some bird with long hair, and he wants you to say hi. You get there and she’s staring at her phone, doesn’t look up for shit. And you think ah, she’s one of those bitchy types that can’t say hello. So you clear your throat and say a loud habari, she looks at you now, right into your eyes and the earth stops and goes silent for a moment, its love at first sight. (OK I might have stretched that a tad)
The mutual friend conveniently leaves, (a good sport) and you engage this girl because she doesn’t have drawn eyebrows. And has quite the chest. The banter floods into the late afternoon. She keeps commenting about your very young looking face, and says things like, “you could even pass for my small brother.” You cross your fingers, that she isn’t considering the bro zone this early. Was it something you said and she decided right there that this jamaa isn’t going to get it? Is it your sandals? But she doesn’t mind the footwear. And you think, this one is a keeper.
The day closes and you exchange contacts, you agree to do it again next time. She tells you to text her later. Now, there’s an unwritten law out there for men. If a man gets a girl’s number he doesn’t call or text her for the first 48 hours, or longer if he can. He lets that number ferment. Lets her grow kidogo desperate first. But not long enough for her to forget his sandals, hehe. That last one I made up. (You don’t say)
The law somehow didn’t apply to her. (Not because of the rack, I swear)
She knows just about every rock band, she’s an animal lover, and her poison is vodka. She listens to depressing music at night, and she draws dragons in pencil. She has very few friends and prefers to be alone mostly. She doesn’t ask for favors and doesn’t give a hoot if someone told her she seems to have gained weight. She isn’t too big on sports, but she can play Fifa and she knows she’s the shit at that. And she says things like, “That drink tastes like death.”
She’s many things, this girl, an oddball, a different stroke. She tosses you into her world; you’re constantly trying to understand her. And in that never ending battle, in that quest for you to find something of you in her, in your repetitive failure to do so and in your plastic endurance, for your trouble, a little misery is lifted off you. You find happiness. You find meaning.
Friends, St. Valentine is knocking, in case someone missed the point of all this. For me it’s about the girl up here, the one that dragged me out of that dark hole. It could be anyone for you, they could have done something for you, treat them a special one. Did someone get you out of a tight spot? Lent you pesa during the past month? Shikad a lunch for you one day? Do something in return. But mostly, spread the love.
*flashes peace sign and walks away