Ever since I turned 22 on a hot day in July, I’ve always wanted to write about my life at 22, how it’s turning out thus far. You know, like the At 21 number last year but on steroids, with a bit more meat and extra spicing on top. So when I went back to read what I had written, my first thought was, Christ! I should be shot at the back of the head for writing that.Read More »
While I was away on that long deserved break, on a warm afternoon seated on a slanted chair outside the digs, I put a cap to Gone Girl- by Gillian Flynn. Wonderful book. Thrilling. Psychopathic. Beautifully written.
As soon as I was done with it I ached.Read More »
Here’s a life hack. If you’re going through an identity crisis, if you’re not sure what you want to do with your life, if you’re constantly feeling lonesome, and yet there are people around you. If, every day of your life seems like an unending pit of darkness, if you’re hungered from life and its adventures, if you’re gullible, don’t read this book.
You’ll meet a girl by that name, Alaska. She’ll twist your mind, and your heart.Read More »
Her name was Mercy. But at that age we weren’t too big on English, and names had to have nice playful rings to them, so we called her Masii. She had an amazing pair of legs, Masii, we all wanted to touch her legs. I suspect her elder brother Dan knew we obsessed over her but he wasn’t bothered because he was cool, he laughed a lot, we liked him as much as we did Masii’s legs. Masii was the only girl that could play with us in a time when touching a boy was taboo. She had guts, guts and a round face. Masii was beautiful I tell you, and she reminded me of Mary from Hello Children. You didn’t read Hello Children? Come on, Mr. Kamau and the blue bus?Read More »
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. Read More »
I didn’t post here last week, just when I thought I was getting the hang of this but it’s the block you see, the block. We should all point our fingers at this beast, we should make a fire and dance around it half naked so it can feel ashamed, so it can run away and hide, so it can tuck itself away safely in Maralal and never show its ugly face again. Seriously, this thing makes guys like me feel like they’ve been clobbered by a log, they should make this block a thing in hospital, you walk into a room and the doctor asks you what seems to be the problem, “I haven’t been sleeping, I look at the cursor blink and then I have the urge to hang myself, I can’t seem to grease the page like I used to, what do you suggest doc?”
“Just take four bottles of beer then you will be fine” wouldn’t that be so cool? But what’s cooler are the kind of answers I get to give to those who ask me why I haven’t posted, ‘This block had kaliad me proper’ don’t even pretend you don’t like how that sounds. Anyway let’s not make this post about another block, let’s talk about more interesting stuff like hair, I know what you’re thinking, I’m about to talk about the beard but stick around, there’s a story here, even you ladies, we could talk about weaves if you want.
So I got a haircut on Thursday, meaning I had to go back to my usual place, Bel-Air Barbers, the place where I’ve had my hair cut since I was a minute old. If you are in town and use Jogoo Road to get out of the city you will find yourself in Makongeni, (a jang’o will call it Okongo to make it clear they own the place) if you go on a bit longer you will find yourself in BuruBuru, you have already gone too far, turn around, go to a place called Jericho, on the other side is a village called Jerusalem,(and no, this has no relation to the Bible, that joke is tired, leave it alone) that’s where my roots are planted. Go there and ask for Zakayo, and you will be asked ‘Zakayo mgani? Fundi wa nywele?’ just to show you they know what they’re talking about but don’t be fooled, there has been no other Zakayo there since 2006. Zakayo is my lunje barber. This man never smiles, and he never says much, instead he listens to Fred Machoka on Sundays and smiles from the sides of his mouth, and he doesn’t like how people admire themselves after he’s done, like they have no faith in him. He is one of those guys who look like they wouldn’t support the gay bill for shit. I’ve not always liked this cat; he was my second after Oloo left us one weekend.
Oloo had this deep voice that like those chaps from Congo, which when you think about it, Oloo could be short for Olomide; I never got the chance to ask him. His voice was enough for you not to introduce your lady to him, because when you walk away she will point it out, that he has a nice voice and that will sting, she will see it in your eyes that you wish you also had an Adam’s apple like that and she will pat your back and tell you not to worry, you compensated it elsewhere, and it will hurt even more that she’s lying.
Bel-Air isn’t one of those places where you get your head massaged by a pretty number called Beth about to do procurement in KU, no; you get your hair cut, slap on some spirit and leave. But as soon as you sat on Oloo’s chair he made you happy that you went there, he talked to you and asked you how everything is at home, and if you couldn’t keep your head steady he would give you a lollipop to distract you. Oloo had a beautiful beard, which further fuels the Olomide theory; it ran down the side of his head thinly like it’s afraid to touch his cheek then it would come together and gather around his chin. Oloo would ask your twelve year old self if you wanted side-burns like his, you couldn’t say no, it was art the way he used to chonga the side of my head and thus the dream of the beard was planted in me. A picture of this man was hanged on the wall; it greeted you as you walked in. Now it’s not there, Oloo is not there, death crept into soul and ran away with it towards the sunset.
Now I have Zakayo, another great barber although we got off on the wrong foot. The first time he shaved my head he overdid it, it was all gone, and the bump at the back of my head was exposed, yes Njeru, I know it’s there. The next time I went there I wanted to go for another barber, and he saw it but he looked at me like he didn’t give a hoot what I did, so I went back to his chair with my head down. We have learnt to live with each other, he knows how I like my hair and he likes how I don’t start random conversations with him, also because he scares the shit out of me. I couldn’t get a picture of him even if I wanted; me and Zack don’t like each other that way.
From the corner of your eye you can see her; she stares at you, she’s talking, saying something about what happened to her earlier in the week, always been talkative, this one. But you drift apart as soon as she opens her mouth, you think about the constipation you had yesterday, she knows you’re not listening but she has learnt to live with divided attention when it comes to you. You tell yourself you should be listening but you’d rather not, so you choose to look at the beard that just walked in, and you wonder what you have to do to get a beard like that. Whatever you do you don’t look back at her, you don’t meet her eyes because what you have to say will be a little difficult for both of you to handle. Now she’s quiet. You sneak a peek towards her direction tactfully as you lift the glass to sip the fizzy drink. The afternoon light illuminates the table in which you sit, just enough to catch her face, this face that is in quiet conflict with itself. You can read her thoughts; she can’t figure out if this spontaneous gesture excites her or scares her, you called her to lunch today without her asking you to. You haven’t talked for two days but now you’d like to talk, discuss the way forward, is how you put it, clearly a shoe has been dropped here. You have come to a decision that you might regret and someone will get hurt today. Goddamn it why can’t you just get it over with? Tell her you fool.
You inhale deeply; you hold your breath for as long as you can and then you let it out, slowly you place your elbows on the table, you cross your fingers to stop them from fiddling with themselves.
You’re about to tell her now, and then, like clockwork she starts talking again, even the waiter at your table doesn’t stop her. You suddenly get the urge to grab that waiter by the collar, (Eddie Murphy accent) “You gotta get me out of here man, please.” Her big anticipating eyes are like a thorn in your chest. In the distance of your thoughts you can still hear her voice, maybe she’s figured it out now; she’s not stupid my friend, but you don’t want her to figure it out; this was your battle, a test of your courage. You open your mouth but you can’t find the right words for this, instead, “You look amazing today.” She smiles from the corner of her mouth; you can see her effort to force the smile. She knows.
You bring your eyes back to the large window beside you, she thinks you are looking at the family outside there, chewing on pieces of pizza, she thinks you are picturing you and her and your kids, it became clear to her very quickly that you liked to spend most times dreaming about your future, she fell for one with ambition. But no, you are looking at your reflection, your almost fading reflection. What have you become? You are about to go back on your word, you had said you would stand naked in a blizzard for her, now you feel less of a man because you couldn’t handle the whole arrangement, also because you lack a beard on your face. The words you spoke to her the first time you held her close, the words that she said to you, now they’re coming back to haunt you, like echoes of kettle drums. It’s water under a bridge now really.
Why did you love her in the first place, if at all you did, why? Perhaps it’s because she was there when you were a lonely heart. When the other one that you really loved left you for a photogenic case of piercings called Chris that could also pass as a fashion model. Because she was there to save you from your endless imbibing of liquor just so you could sleep. That’s the only reason you loved her. Now you’re bored out of your wits, not that there is any form of discord between you two, you’d just rather talk to a wall.
The skies above begin to close, the blue disappears into the darkness of the clouds, and you start to walk her back home, holding her hand doesn’t make sense to you anymore. A cold breeze swirls dried leaves across the path in which you walk. You will not tell her, not now. You will put your many thoughts down on paper because that’s where you find your voice. Maybe someone else would have had the guts to say it out loud, but not you. Dating a writer is after all, a thorny issue.
You’re all thinking that this photographer is going soft right? It’s just one of those days today. Writing has become a little real now for me and my good chum Mike Laria, anaa deadly blogger over at mikelaria7.wordpress.com .We’ve decided to throw our names at BAKE and see how that goes, you can expect us at your door asking for votes soon.