Diving into the Pool

I’m old inside. Don’t let my striking youthful looks fool you. I have -old man- back and knee problems. I carry an old man in my chest. I have a man who thinks the iPhone is an abomination upon all humanity. This old man likes rice. And he hasn’t the faintest idea what a Drop box is.

 

I have a picture of a 1920 Holden in my room. I like old things; Old furniture, old books, written by old authors, maybe on old typewriters. Words pouring out of old people’s mouths stick to my ribs. Old cars make me sit up, and old movies shift things in me that new-age movies just don’t. That’s why I haven’t watched any of the Avengers. Or the Transformers. But I was however interested to learn that Creed 2 was coming out.

 

I’ll be honest. It was a bit hard watching Creed. It was like suddenly realizing your parent is growing old. It was hard to see Rocky without boxing gloves. And the second Creed was even harder, especially during the final fight between Creed and Drago. Because oh my God, it hurt.

 

Granted, those guys over in Hollywood might have figured out a way to make the punches look more realistic. But why, for the love of Mike, did they have to make the bout look like a freaking video game? Even the sweat on the fighters’ bodies looked unreal –too glossy—like they had just taken five to refresh the Vaseline.

 

I’ve watched all the Rocky movies. Multiple times. I’ve seen Rocky go from a covert Italian mobster to a small-time boxer to a World Heavyweight Champion. I’ve watched him living in a crummy apartment, and I’ve seen him in a mansion with marble stairs and a Lamborghini out front. I’ve seen him go from rags to riches and back to rags again, staying afloat on his restaurant, never failing to visit Adrian at the cemetery.

 

I can hear a line and tell you which Rocky it’s from. I’ve loved Rocky since Primary Maths, for chrissake.

 

So, even though I know this is ‘Creed’s time’ and change is inevitable and all that stuff, I really couldn’t help but note all the changes they made with Creed. Deep down I wish they’d still retain the old feel of the Rocky movies.

 

Take the soundtrack, as a prime example. I noticed there was a bit of Hiphop music playing in the background, coupled with fancy camera work that would have made Inspekta Mwala blush.

It wasn’t like that with Rocky. In Rocky you got some light piano music and lingering still-shots that made you hold your breath.

 

Then there’s the girl issue. Rocky had Adrian, who was a pet-shop owner. And when he won a fight, he’d go, “Yo, Adrian, I did it.”

Creed has Bianca, who is a singer. And, forgive me for saying, but “Yo, Bianca, I did it” just doesn’t sit right with me.

And then there was the sex scene. You didn’t get any of that with Rocky. The couple would kiss and the camera would pan away, slowly, so that no one would miss the point.

 

The ending of Creed 2 was particularly hard to watch because Rocky cried, just before hugging his son after “a lot of years”. And what about when Rocky gave his grandson the black bouncy ball? Man oh man. I was ready to pull out my hanky.

 

Creed 2 wasn’t all bad, though. It had some of the best training montages I’ve seen. And Rocky delivered the kind of one-liner that only an old man like me would find funny:

“What good is a light, that don’t light, right?”

 

Hehe. I’m still holding back a chuckle.

 

**

As you might have heard, I got an office job. I call it ‘jumping into the corporate pool’. It’s a cozy place with energetic staff and a view of Nairobi’s skyline. I couldn’t ask for anything more, really.

 

Up to this point my desk was crammed between a drawer cabinet and my bedroom wall. My chair was made of plastic, and the back-rest was perfect for my -old man- back. Now I have a chair that swings and adjusts to my height. And I have a direct line of gaze with the hot siren in Finance.

 

There’s a pool-table, too, where folks can unwind. I don’t know how to play pool. The other day someone offered to show me how to play. But I’m afraid to take up the offer because I imagine I’d look ridiculous, playing pool. I see the way these guys bend to strike the balls. I see how they move the sticks between their fingers. I couldn’t do that. I’d put out my back and poke my eyes with the stick.

Far better, I suspect, to play with the stick between my legs.

 

I’m diving into the pool a different way.

 

Over the next few weeks, Rubi and I (You must know who Rubi is, surely), we’ll be doing rounds in the office. We’re going to fish out all the millennials and ask them questions about themselves, and then we’re going to write their stories on Instagram. If I like them enough they might get a feature on Craft It. We’re going to strike conversations and take pictures. We’re going to make friends. And when we get to the hot siren in Finance, we’re going to make her chuckle with Rocky’s line:

“What good is a light, that don’t light right?”

 

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