Growing up was a trap; Adulthood is a Lie

It’s lunch hour. On a good day, I would be munching away on a home-made Egg and Avocado and tomato sandwich; or those cheap-but-oh-so-good chicken wings from Quickmart.  But then I’m stuck on my work station, a tidy mess of notebooks, lidless pens , calculators, water  bottles , scrap paper sheets  and mud stained drawings surrounding my laptop.  My current life is about as exciting as a piece of wet bread; and even that is putting it mildly.

This is me. On a cold foggy Saturday morning when I should have been asleep. 

I am just from stalking a friend’s blog page; awed by his brilliant writing and feeling absolutely like bottom bin trash about my own all at the same time.  Then I remember a sick joke that makes me chuckle and want to share it with another friend (lets call him J) ; only to remember (once again) that J and I no longer talk; because , well, life happened.

You hit it off, make really great memories together  then ghost each other  like the adults y’all are (or not). But we already concluded that human emotions are fickle and they always whither. That bridge was crossed and the ship done sailed ages ago.  Sometimes you miss those ghosts in your past and would give anything just to hang out with them over greasy pizza and iced tea,  one afternoon, then retreat back to your respective dark caves at 6pm.

Back to the present , still seated at my messy workstation, a million thoughts crisscrossing my mind. I can’t help but think;  Adulthood was such a big lie yaani. In the literal Nairobi lingo, I cant even! I am tired.  I need to have a word (and probably administer several palm-to-face impacts to them in the process)  with whoever lied to us  that all we needed to do was get good grades, go to the best schools,  do a geeky course at Uni, work hard, graduate and everything in life would fall into place.  Well, I am not saying it is bad, it just was a big lie. In other words, I did not sign up for this nonsense.

Yes, this is a rant.

I did not sign up for this waking up at 6am, taking 3 matatus to get to work; paying bills with all my money, having to budget , feeling lethargic and  doing chores life.  On days like these, I ponder the prospects of working as a drug mule and the probability of getting caught.

With the way things are set up, my only ticket out of this mundane adulting life is bumping into shit loads of money. Seeing as I do not have any exceptional talents  that can make me rich, neither did my father leave behind large tracts of land which I can sell off to live my dreams; my chances  to quick riches  include:  1) Marrying an 80 year old filthy rich  man/woman with a long history of cardiac arrest/ terminal illness  2) Robbing a Bank 3) Working for the GoK   4) Scamming real-estate hungry folks off their savings (Aye, Simple Homes peeps, you are an inspiration)  and 5) Becoming a Pharmacist  (I’m not talking about Piriton and Aspirin, you fool!)

My heart is too weak for option 2 so the rest are pretty solid options; starting with No.1. Now all I have to do is locate that rich old man first. If anyone has any leads, please get in touch. Yes? TIA.

Of Expensive Tomatoes, Body Issues and A Case of the Supposed To-Be’s

A case of the Supposed to-be’s – Ze Frank

I sit here thinking about all the things I was supposed to be, but I ain’t.  Then the thoughts come hard at me; bashing from every direction. I can’t sleep.  It’s 2:00am and I have work tomorrow.

I stand in front of the mirror, bare baked. Staring at the body before me, at the curves and edges that at times don’t feel like me, yet, are me.  The tiny dark moles on my high cheeks that people barely notice.  The messy hair and brows; the large eyes that keep lying to the world of my happiness even when I am on the brink of collapsing into a den of sorrows. On my face, it is the teeth and large lips I love the most. For no reason at all.

Facts and Fiction: A case of survival

Sometimes trauma leads you into subconsciously forgetting the facts of painful events in your past.  Some truths hurt you so bad; so you keep pushing and pushing them farther away into some dark, unreachable corner of your mind.   Or you fabricate lies to make the pain more palatable and bearable. Until , a point is reached where you can no longer decipher between the facts and the fiction.  Time does that to you.

I am at a stage in life where I can no longer differentiate between the truth and the lies of the tales I have concocted to myself to make this thing called life more bearable.  My facts and fiction have merged into a weird hybrid.

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I am not certain about a lot of things; but the kindness in my little friend’s eyes is truthful.  

Carry away my dead leaves, Let me baptize my soul with the help of your waters  Sink my pains and complaints, Let the river take them, river drown them- Ibeyi , River

This body of mine; this body that has withstood all the abuse of life and love; yet still it’s stands. Defiantly. Spongy breasts,fatty tummy, cellulite thighs and stretched-marked bum. This body that feels foreign yet familiar.  Mine, the whole lot of it.  Scars, burns, pulsating blood and all.

Where do you run away to when your mind is the one holding you hostage?

Do you rip it out with your bare hands, grab a hammer and bash it into a pulpy mess? Or maybe douse it with petrol  and set it on fire?  End it,once and for all. Perhaps the secret is to ignore it and it’s hushed whispers. I don’t know this things.

Unrelated.

What the hell is happening to the prices of potatoes and tomatoes in this country? At this rate we might have to rob a bank or dupe unsuspecting citizens into buying shares in a  real estate pyramid scheme in order to afford them.

 

Musings: Of Emoji Love and Fickle Hearts 

The Musafir boat at sunset, Kilifi 2016

Easy.

It all starts that way. The long texts, the voice notes filled with warmth and sweet nothings, the long phonecalls that plunge deep into the night’s thick bossom. 

You will wake up to him tagging you in videos he thinks you might like- she will mention you in all the funny tweets or places she thinks both of you would love- all ofcourse acompanied by appropriate emojis.

 You will forget you were ever lonely because this current happiness and this feeling you are feeling have sort of bound you in a spell. This will go on for days, maybe even weeks, sometimes a month or two. 

You will ofcourse plan a meet up; and because you are human, your lust will drive you into thinking  your emoji chemistry was real. And so a tumble in the sheets, a little bedminton, huff and puff Done.

 The following day you wake up to cold milk-maybe pancakes-then you will be on your way. As if nothing ever happened

Soon the flame will begin to wane into flimsy “Hi, how was your day?” -“Nothing much, yours?”- and before you know it, the conversation no longer flows naturally, you have to squeeze it hard, like water out of a sponge. 

And because your mother taught you never to stoop so low as to force yourself into people’s lives, you let go. Many fishes in the ocean. You prepare for another victim-or prey. Whichever. 
***

Shit Stirrer (n) : a person who takes pleasure in causing trouble or discord



A girl I liked once called me this. Ever since that day ,I  have been wondering what lead to this conclusion; seeing as I have been a committed escapist my entire life. The first glance of trouble and I run fast, melting into the shadows. 

***

Do you sometimes feel like the people around us fall in love with the perception and warped imagery they have concocted  of us in their heads rather than who we truly are?

***

Don’t fall in love with me, I hurt people’s feelings.” He said

It is obnoxious for you to dictate the feelings of others over you.”
She said

It is obnoxious for you to tell me I am obnoxious for telling you not to fall in love with me.” He said

***

The fickleness of human hearts and emotion is both a curse and a blessing. I tend to think it’s more blessing than curse. One minute you’re mortified over the loss of someone or something you loved dearly;  the next you’re heads over heels in love with another. 

Everything is temporary yet seems permanent at the time. Human relationships are fickle. 

***

Nothing lasts forever; not people, not places , not scents. 
***


All things shall perish from under the sun, music alone shall live. 

Everyday Matatu Struggles in Nairobi

  1. When the conductor says “Wanne iende..”

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2. When you believe the conductor’s “wanne iende” lies only to enter the matatu and find nobody…

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3. When the conductor tells you “Uko na mbao nikupee nikupee  1070 bob”‘

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4. How conductors pretend they have forgotten to give you change

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5. How you look at the conductor when he has your 500 bob change

6. When you forget your 50bob change in the matatu and it’s the 55th day of January 

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7. When the matatu starts moving before you sit down

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8.  When someone next to you starts eating chips and chicken at 2pm when you’re hungry as hell

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9.  That nosy person always trying to peep what you’re doing on your phone

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10. That loud person on the phone shouting as if he’s talking to a whole crowd

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11. When the bus preacher begins his unwanted sermon 

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Rusinga Festival 2016: Rowing to Victory 

​I was as excited as 5 year old who’d just taken a cup of coke in the morning (sounds like the start of a class 6 composition, IKR ?😄) That morning when we were supposed to head out to Rusinga,  I could barely contain the inner kid in me.   I was packed and ready,  seated by the door impatiently,  waiting for that “We’re almost at your place” text.  
I had grand dreams about the content I was going to create.  Then my camera and my laptop got jacked on the night we arrived.  That thing about not counting chickens before they hatch. Fate.  Things happen. 

Anyway,  this did not stop me from enjoying the beauty that is Rising Island.  The blend of the hills and the lake makes all the sunrises and sunsets breathtaking.   Ended up missing alot of the events that were planned out for the #RusingaFestival except the Boat Racing. 
This was honestly my favorite part  of the entire festival.  I was onboard the Judges motorboat so I got to witness the entire event up close. I cannot even begin to describe the adrenaline rush 

The boat racing is a display of sheer muscle work and skill,  there is no place for folks with weak arms. You have to row your way to victory. Strong,  hard and fast.  Both the women and men’s race winners were entitled to a cash price.  
Here a few shots from the boat race that I took using Kasichana’s phone. 

Rotting Carcass 

 

Evening walks with a furry friend, July 2016

 

One gloomy morning in November,  a mongrel got run over by a pick- up on the highway.  Perhaps it was crossing to the other side to hunt for breakfast; perhaps he was returning home after a rendezvous;  maybe he was going over to say hi to his long lost buddy.  We’ll never know. He’s dead now.

On that morning,  his brains were splattered on the tarmac.  The rest of his body was intact. Surprisingly,  there was very little blood on the scene.

I stared at the mess for a minute then hurried off to work. (Typical Kenyan)

That evening when I returned,  I found someone had taken his body and laid it by the bushes on the side of the road.

***

I’ve been passing by the carcass every day since the incident.  I saw the body begin to swell a week later. I  suffered through the horrid stench as the maggots and flies found a home in the rotting flesh. I witnessed the once supple flesh begin to wither away slowly.

Would anyone remember how loud his barks were?  How fast he would run? How his brown and black coat of fur shone in the morning sun?

***

Yesterday as I did my daily pilgrimage to the site,  there was nothing left  but dark gooey stuff and a few bones.  No fur,  no flesh,  no skin. It’s almost as if the ground had absorbed him.

Faded.

“Nothing puts things into clearer perspective than death”

I don’t know why I kept passing near the carcass all those days.  Even when I had a million other routes,  I kept checking, morning and evening.  It was like a preview of how my own body would go down.

***

Your flesh will decompose, and soon you will be nothing but a  distant memory. Only a few will remember the sound of your laughter,  the beauty you exuded, the things you once loved.

“Life is a lived experience”
You will die.  We will all die.  That’s certain.  The when and the how is what we’re unsure of.

When you know death is lurking around the corner,  waiting to embrace you,  then you must live.  By all means.

***

Stop postponing the things that bring you pleasure and happiness.  Stop trying to control life so much.  Let it carry you, freely and abundantly. Love.

When you’re all stiff and bloated,  the sacrifices you made for people,  for your job etc won’t matter if you weren’t happy when you still breathed.

Did you live life?
Are you alive or dead inside?

***
Are you a walking corpse among the living?

Dear Jessica: The Year That Was 2016

​Dear Jessica,

It starts out like a candle flame; the yellow glow steady, eerily  beautiful and full of warmth.  Then along the way, gusts of wind blow by and the yellow glimmer turns into a raging bush fire in the savanna, consuming every single thing standing on its path. The warmth transforms into scorching heat;  the beauty turns into terror.  I couldn’t find a better way to describe 2016. 
In its dawn it was that boy that whispered gentle words into your ears. That girl that wrapped her arms around you at midnight,    her embrace making you forget all your troubles.  It was that new love that thawed your heart and promised to free you from the oppression of bad affections dealt with in the past.  It was that lovely Tropical scent of apricot, mango and coconut shampoo that clung to your body eons after your warm shower.  You were happy and content.  What could go wrong?  

Well,  you shouldn’t have questioned the universe, you shouldn’t have counted those chick’s just yet  because that boy’s whispers became nothing but silent echoes.  That girl broke your thawed heart, leaving it worse than she found it.

See,  2016 knew you loved lilies,  but because it was a narcissistic bastard, it went ahead and decayed them first before handing them to you.  And before you could recover from the shock of such vileness,  it went right ahead and threw the decomposing mess smack in your face.  

You promised yourdelf that you wouldn’t cry, the you would never let the asshole break you.  But then blow after blow,  you got repeatedly hit in the places that hurt most.  You grew tired and gave into the pain. Sometimes it’s better to surrender than to resist.  It’s not cowardice.  
And so you drowned your soul in the liquor; allowed your being to drift in the incense of the holy shrub; inhale,  exhale.  Anything to see you through until the next dawn.  

Amidst all the hurt and a shattered spirit,  here you are,   typing on a broken phone,  still breathing.  

And for that,  we shall eat Viazi Karai and Ukwaju today in celebration.  We’ll hope the next one will be kinder,  and if it won’t be,  at least the thick skin we grew this year will muffle the pain. 

Dear Daughter; Of Men and Love

 

 

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A young girl swimming in L. Turkana  , © Canduh, 2016

Dear Daughter,

May the love of a man or lack thereof never keep you up at night; denying you precious sleep.

May you never agonize over men that don’t love you as you should be loved.

‘May you never cry and beg on your knees for bad love to stay’

I hope you know you’re beautiful. May a man never make you feel less of yourself. You are greatness. Never forget that.

I pray that the men you fall in love with never make you feel like you’re asking for too much. And if you ever feel so; then leave. 

I pray that you find happiness and fulfillment within your own soul; so that you never have to look for it in other people.

May you never tolerate abuse, shame, mediocrity and deceit in the name of love. Get on your feet, walk away; you are worth so much more.

May you realize that you are whole and complete; never allow someone to love only bits and parts of you. Let them take the whole package or none at all. 

I pray that you never have to change your laughter or sacrifice the things that make you you because of a man.

Most of all, I pray that you find a love that consumes your entire being; fiercely and passionately.

We all deserve that kind of love.

 

Who shall weep for you when you die?

When the Creator puts a full stop on the prose that is your life ; when the Grim Reaper comes for his dues; when you return to the darkness from which you came:

Who shall weep for you when you die?

On that day; when the shell that is your body lies in a wooden box; and all that you gathered on this earth remain but  vague vanities; whom shall stand by your side; wailing, cursing the gods for snatching you away from them.

I pray it be those you loved dearly; I pray it be those whose lives you touched; I pray that it be those whom you shared cherished memories with.

***

Give me flowers when I can still smell them

Sing my praises when I can still hear them

Plant kisses on my lips when I can still feel them

Proclaim love to me when I still have life in me

***

I know the dead have no use for the living; but,

Weep for me when I die,

that the earth may know I was great ; that your tears may ease my journey to the next life.

***

Who shall weep for you when you die?

Press, Play, Repeat.

You show up at work looking like Nicky (from Orange is the New Black); hair’s a mess; dark eye bags beneath you bloodshot eyes; body limp and tired. You can’t stand the sight of your reflection in the mirror.

 ‘You look really bad, you should probably get some rest’

‘I will… I will’

How do you tell people that you’re still tired even though you’ve been sleeping for 10 hours every night?

The food no longer has any taste.  You could as well be eating cardboard and you won’t even notice. Everything tastes the same.

You make endless trips to the kitchen to fill up your coffee mug. You don’t even like coffee. The bitter aftertaste of the espresso is what you crave.

Water.

More water.

You walk in the rain; praying, hoping that the rain will wash away this limpness; this thirst; this anhydrous soul. But all it does is wet your clothes.

You stand beneath the shower; let the scalding water hit your skin. Hard.  Hoping, praying that the heat would jolt you back to your senses. Still, nothingness.

Sleep.

Whatever happened to the dreams you used to have? All that you see now is darkness. An endless abyss of darkness.

You wake up feeling like a junkie. Tired limps, throbbing head; thirst.

You drag yourself to the shower.

Another day. Another morning.

Another shot at pretending that you are alive.

Press. Play. Repeat.