Of exams and a firefighter

It is now a few minutes to 10pm. Sunday. There’s a hot soupy plate of githeri next to me and balls of meat are floating on the broth. I can count the number of beans in this thing. I can hear the fridge hum and the microwave is drowning out the voice of Yvonne Okwara on TV. It’s a slow and chilly night, the kind that makes you want to snuggle up in bed, light incense, and write some dark poetry in a blue notebook. The moon is a sharp crescent and I don’t like how cold the floor feels against the soles of my feet and I’m too lazy to go grab a pair of socks.

We have a new house help, by the way. When I first heard her name I burst out laughing because I couldn’t believe it. I was like, “What? She’s called Petronila for real?” And then I laughed some more and went back to my room.

Anyway, Petronila is not the hardest working help around, she gets under Grace’s skin and I have a feeling she won’t stay long. The last one we had lasted a week, a slender young lady who surprised all of us when she put butter in our ugali. It was the first time I was seeing yellow ugali, so I was like, “Si tulikula mandizi jana?”

But the trouble with having a new help is that things get turned upside down. You wake up one day and find that your tea doesn’t have masala so you swing by the kitchen and tell her you like your tea with masala and she furiously nods in understanding. Only, the next morning your tea still doesn’t have masala and you have to remind her. The next day she remembers to put masala and you can smell the ginger flavor as you pour the tea into a cup. And then you suddenly realize that she forgot to bring a teaspoon so you go back to the kitchen and open the spoon cabinet, only to find out that she put them in the other cabinet next to the plates and now you don’t know where anything is anymore. And you also can’t take your tea with some bread because she chowed it down with last night’s supper.

I know you’re waiting for me to say something as to why I haven’t been posting. It’s been another three weeks of silence here, but I can only vouch for this last one. I’ve been watching Chicago Fire. You might have heard of it, or you may not. I’ve been getting myself up to speed with the fifth season, which is a rare statement from me seeing that I don’t go past the third season of pretty much anything.

See, I’m terribly convinced that a lot of people will miss the point of this show. They’ll watch a few episodes and think, “Ah, it’s just a show about a bunch of firemen who run into burning buildings and drink beer at the end of the day.” In a nut shell, that’s what Chicago Fire is about. But it’s also about the lives of these brave men and women; it’s about how they grow with the job and how the things they see change their lives. The show is about brotherhood and loyalty and trust, it’s about making sacrifices and love for your fellow man. It’s about a lot of things.

I first came across the series after high school. At first I didn’t think it would be all that, to tell you the truth. There were just too many other things I could watch. And then I saw the face of Gabriella Dawson. She’s a character who plays the paramedic in the firehouse. She’s a chesty chocolate skinned goddess with black of hair and guts to boot. I like her because she knows how to stand up for herself. On the job she’s as cool as a cucumber and she’s everyone’s darling. Heck, even the all-around tough guy Chief Boden likes her.

(Again, this is not a review. They don’t pay me enough for….you know).

But my favorite character of all is this renegade firefighter called Kelly Severide. He’s the bad boy, the sleek rick who knows how to get into a girl’s knickers, charming as hell. He drives an old Mustang, or sometimes he just gets on his bike and rides off into the sunset leaving a trail of lonely women behind. I like Severide because, with all the lone wolf reputation, he’s married to the job and he puts in 100% when it comes to saving lives.

He’s the lieutenant of his squad, and, naturally, a man of his rank is meant to be giving out orders on the field. But Kelly doesn’t do that, he goes in first and does most of the work. In fact, if I was a firefighter I’d want to be in Kelly’s team because they never really do anything. Anyway, in season 5 he gets news about a girl who needs a bone marrow or something, and he’s the only one who can match the blood type. The operation is meant to be quick, but Kelly gets injured while on the field and so the doctors can’t give him anaesthesia while they dig into him for the marrow. Now the operation would have to be cancelled and the girl would have to die. You know what Kelly says, that the doctors can just do it without the anesthesia.

Seeing him cry in pain like that completely ripped my heart out.

Good news is that the operation is successful and soon the two fall in love. She’s the only girl that has ever made Severide want to settle down. But then she dies and it’s all very sad for our man.

I capped the final episode the other day and I must say, it was quite the tear jerker.

But my biggest problem right now is that I have exams this week. I have papers on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I haven’t studied much and I have that queasy feeling in my stomach that comes along with matters academia, performance anxiety and the whole razzmatazz. My first paper is on a boring unit. During the lecture sessions I did nothing but day dream and pass notes to unsuspecting girls. Needless to say that paper is going to knock the wind out of my sails.

So for the coming week, as penance for the three weeks I’ve gone missing –and also to get myself back on the wagon- I’ll attempt to post daily. I’ll write stuff about my day and all. I fancy a bit of writing will help me forget about my Grade Point Average and I’ll do this until the day of my final paper. After which I will buy myself a drink. Wish me luck.



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