Familiar Much?

The time is 10.28pm, Monday 4th December 2017.

I am not yet asleep; I am watching a movie. It’s a Marvel Studios’ production. I am a huge fan of Marvel. Other than the fact that their movies are awesome, they know how to cast. If you are not enjoying the movie, you are enjoying the view. Greek gods…

My phone is ringing. It’s a new number. I stare at my phone, then mute it. I would probably sing along to my ringtone; but it’s late. So muting is the only option. I recognize the number from earlier in the day.

I was meeting my friend after a really long time. All we have been doing is communicate through social media. Comment on posts. Like posts. Spruced up by occasional chats in the inbox. She was in Kisumu, and we decided to meet at around 11am on a sunny day. Levine, beloved sister, am just bringing to your attention, next time we meet you are probably going to wait for me for at least thirty minutes. It has got nothing to do with you keeping me waiting; I just feel deep down in my heart that on that day, I may have a valid reason for being late.

We headed to Naivas Supermarket, for some refreshments while catching up.

Just as we were in the middle of exchanging the latest gossip (please read important data exchange) a young man lurch at the edge of our table. Not tall, not short. Dark complexion. I hadn’t noticed him until he spoke. It really is wrong to interrupt such weighty discussions between ladies. I was hoping this was important. Part of my mind was convinced he knew Levine. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Hi…” he said in a tremulous voice.

Hi”, Levine reacts.

My name is Kevin Omondi

***awkward silence***

Levine stares at her phone. I stare at him. He suddenly had my attention. A man who walks to a table of ladies confidently grabs my attention. It doesn’t matter if you speak gibberish, you have that courage, you got my attention.

Ok, I have told you my name how about you also tell me yours…” he says addressing both of us.

Hahaha… I didn’t realize that was the trade,” I remark.

hehe… ok, so what are your names?

Paula

Huh? Pau…

Paula. P-A-U-L-A

Wow. Ok. And you are?” addressing Levine, who has now kept her phone away.

Levine

Lavine

No. It’s Levine, not Lavine

There is actually a difference you know”, I add.

Wow. You ladies have unique names.” He declares, and immediately adds, “But I told you two names and you’ve told me just one each.”

You made the choice to tell us two of your names. That doesn’t mean we are bound to do the same. Does it?” I politely asked. It may not look so in writing, but believe me, it was polite. Sort of. Let’s not dwell on that.

Not really. Anyway, am not sure if you noticed me, but I have been observing you from where we were seated. I just had to come and say hello.

Oh… No we didn’t notice you…” It’s really good to be honest.

You really look familiar you know. I think I have seen you somewhere…” he said with his eyes fixed on me. Levine, God bless her lack of self-restraint, burst into laughter. A cruel mocking laugh with no pretense of sympathy. I could have laughed too, but one of us needed to play the composed role.

Ummm… Let me try to get this… Could it be that I look familiar because a few minutes ago he was busy staring at me before having made the very brave decision to come over and blurt it out… In the process, he suddenly realized how I am familiar because like I said, he had just been observing me… Which makes the issue of my familiarity in his memory (which is still very fresh and dependable) abit confusing. To an extent that his mind assumes I may be familiar from a past incident… It’s possible because it all just happened in less than an hour. Therefore, deducing that I look familiar is simply an affirmation that he has a good and working short term memory; but does not in any way mean am actually familiar.

Ok… I know, I got a little carried away in my thoughts there. It would have easily been a labyrinth in my mind had he not spoken again.

Could I have any of your numbers?” His voice flat and steady.

Wait, you actually want to choose between us whose number you want?” Levine asked him.

Yes. I will appreciate any number…”

Before we discuss whose number you may or may not get, how about we go a little back to the matter of my familiarity to you. Do people still use that line? It’s really getting old you know…” I told him.

Am serious. I must have seen you somewhere…” Hahaha… Like am going to buy that. It could be true. But pffft…

Hahaha… nice try. So whose number do you want?” I asked him.

I will appreciate anyMaybe even both” He scoffs darting his eyes across the table.

You really need to be more specific than that,” I insisted.

She is my sister. You can’t ask for just any of our numbers. And you can’t have both. Just tell us which number you want,” Levine said coolly.

I can even take yours.” He says pointing to Levine. “…as long as it helps me get to her,” pointing to me. Wow dude. Wow.

Aha… So it’s my number you want?” I asked in a calm, unhurried voice.

Yes” accompanied with a little chuckle.

Well why couldn’t you just go straight to the point…” Levine said (gesturing at a bottle of soda on the table) “If you needed this soda, would you have gone in circles before picking it up?

hahaha… no

At this point I was convinced he would just drag himself  away. But he didn’t. He reached out and handed me his phone. I graciously took it. Keyed in my number and handed it back to him. I didn’t save it. How he saves my number on his phone is his business. I just hope he doesn’t include ‘h’ somewhere. To confirm if it’s a real number, he calls me. (this is why I recognized the number)

Ok, thank you. I will give you a call later we talk…

I nodded.

Just then, he rolls away. My number the latest acquisition in his contact list; probably saved with the wrong spelling.

Drama follows you,” Levine says with a cheeky smile on her face.

You have no idea how much, I thought to myself.

Back to this moment. Am staring at my phone as it rings; still not sure of how or if to answer it at all, until the screen goes black. It is late. I am not picking a call from someone I just met earlier in the day; who had all day to call me but chooses this time, and who may or may not want to ‘interrogate’ me to figure out how to manipulate his speech into making the topic of my familiarity sound more believable.

Men, or the boy child, please stop with that line. It may be true, but we are sick of it.

I expect the phone to ring for a second time. But it doesn’t. I go back to watching. Then my phone beeps. It’s a message. It is awash with the words (these are not even words) ‘plz’ and ‘dia’.

I keeeeeeennnnnntttt!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, for those waiting for me to clear the way, am sorry to disappoint you. As long as am still ‘dia’ and familiar, something I will never buy, the jam is going to be here for a while.

I have said this before, am not a popular person. There is no way I am familiar to people. (Remember paranoia?) Even if I am, don’t tell me. And if you tell me, then you are lying. That line is dead.

***************************************

The time is 7.54am, Tuesday 5th December.

With my earphones plugged in, I am listening to music. My phone rings. It’s the same number…

To pick or not to pick… Decisions… decisions… decisions…

WE DESERVE BETTER

The other day I was on a matatu headed to the house. A guy boarded the vehicle mid way; I really didn’t know what happened between him and the conductor. I only heard the conductor yell, “Hii gari huwa haibebi Wajaluo kama wewe!” That was one of the worst open tribalism incidents I have seen in my life. Any other time I would have protested and gotten out of the vehicle, well not that day. People had earlier on been killed just for coming from a given tribe or supporting a certain political candidate.

Together with all the other passengers we kept mum. Even though we might have been uncomfortable, we endured through it all, only fighting the injustice within ourselves.

As a society we have employed the mute mode on evils in the society. One of the worst ills we are facing today is police brutality. Our political scene has been characterized with several deaths. Police have employed the use of extra force in dealing with the people they should be protecting. They have beaten, killed and maimed people. In all these we expect calls for a stop to the killing but no we are proven wrong.

Our celebs have kept silent in calling out a stop on police brutality. They are busy protecting brands when their fans are dying. The once great boy band Sautisol would rather release sexual videos to save their stumbling musical career than speak out on the evils in the society. They are becoming part of the evils we have to deal with.

How can you say to your fans ‘I love you all’ on social media yet show none of that in action? Is it for the likes? What happens when all your fans are gone? Will you speak out then?

The political class has failed us miserably in the fight. I did not follow live the swearing in ceremony of President Uhuru Kenyatta, but I had to get my hands on his speech. I had to go through it more than once; to ensure that indeed I had not missed the acknowledgment of the political deaths in Kenya since the August 8 elections rather he did not talk about it at all. It feels so bad when the lives lost are treated like the slaughtering of chicken.

The truth is that it’s high time we have the uncomfortable conversation on police brutality.

My home county, Kisumu, has seen its fair share of police brutality and killings. The stage is always set for police brutality before any national political contest. My people cannot celebrate or show disappointment (most cases) in whatever political outcome. Before any public announcement there is heavy deployment of police to Kisumu. Media follows in second. Ready to capture the best photos and videos of the rowdy Kisumu people.

When the rest of the country looks at Kisumu, it sees a land of violence; a group of people who don’t have peace in their DNA, a place full of rowdy youth who thrive in destruction, a backward place with everyone an expert in throwing stones. But then they need to ask themselves some few questions. How did Kisumu manage to become a city when it is full time violence? How do people in Kisumu fend for themselves when all they do is violence all the time? The last time I checked violence couldn’t feed people.

The media has played a big role in painting a picture of violence in the minds of the people in relation to Kisumu. The media is hell bent on portraying violence as a Luo affair. For example, it took ages to report the cases on police killings in Bungoma, only showing it after widespread talks in social media.

Unlike what the media is portraying, Kisumu people are one of the most welcoming and loving people around Kenya. They are a people who have suffered and struggled to be where they are, just like most Kenyans. They are very forgiving people. Their only undoing is that they lack the pretentious gene in their DNAs. They don’t sugarcoat anything they want to address. Another undoing may be the lack of diplomacy in how they react. Truth be told. But before you judge, remember there is always more to a story.

The media has failed to call out the police killings. I am yet to see any media campaign directed towards stopping police brutality. Then you wonder why most people stopped watching our media? Sometime back activist Boniface Mwangi led a protest condemning police brutality only to end up being a victim. Media covered it live in their channels, but what did they say?

Make no mistake, just because the current police killings are directed towards a certain community or political group doesn’t mean that it will not get to another place next time. Power, just like death, moves to all homes from time to time. At the moment it might seem to be so far or even the thought may appear to be farfetched, but it will come. We have the opportunity to call it out and it be stopped otherwise when the time for the other people to face the brutality comes, they may also just sit down, relax and watch.

Do not speak out only if you are assured you will never need anyone to speak for you.

A group of people who happen to be from the ‘right’ political side think that those killed by the police during protests have called the deaths upon themselves. ‘msiba wa kujitakia’ they say. They have a feeling that the best thing to do in such a time is to keep away from the streets. The truth is that hiding away is not a way to achieve any reforms. How would Kenya have achieved independence if the Mau Mau kept away in the comfort of their homes when the colonialists wanted them to? Would we be having Uhuru park if the women who camped at the place heeded Moi’s threats and brutal treatment? All noteworthy political reforms in Kenya have been achieved with guys on the streets.

Again, they fail to notice that police in some cases have forcefully ejected people from their houses for the beatings. The people in slums in Kisumu and perceived opposition strongholds have such gory tales. Children have been killed at one of the supposed safest places, HOME.

We have a government which seems hell-bent on trying to instill fear in its citizens. A government that may not be ready to accommodate different views. Some people have been arguing that the police are justified to kill and injure the opposition supporters because of violence and looting. Then you are left wondering why they teargas the Maa community peacefully demonstrating against the killing of their cows? There are more civilised ways of dealing with a rowdy crowd. A bullet is not one. That’s meant for war. And we are not at war. We are neighbours, friends, family. But we use war strategies against our own. The very arms and energy used to fight our own can be used to fight our mutual enemy. Those who are killing our children in schools. Those killing our neighbours as they travel in buses. Saying this makes me wonder, is there really a difference between the said bad guys and the police?

Unfortunately, it’s getting to a time when people wouldn’t fear anymore, when guys are ready to face the fire head on and brave whatever weapon that is thrown their way. That is a clear indication that we are breeding a group of people accustomed to death, pain, and hate. With time the killings would not be a threat enough. It will be a norm. That is a dangerous time.

I was talking to Princess earlier this week on how at times we have different views on the evils in the country and she told me in part, “…because I know the moment I start justifying wrongs, am lost.” I couldn’t agree more. It is high time the citizens of this country stop finding a way of justifying wrongs. It is really heartbreaking to hear someone defend the killings of children.

Once Kenya has decided that killing children is bearable, IT IS OVER. No debate.

Chapter four of the constitution of Kenya on rights and fundamental freedoms, provides for human dignity. Every person has inherent dignity and the right to have that dignity respected and protected.

There is not even a single shred of dignity from how the police handle the masses. The police brutality met on women and children, the clobbering on our brothers, maiming and beatings of everyone on the streets comes with no dignity. For that, I want to pass a note to the police. WE DESERVE BETTER. We have dignity to uphold. It must be protected. We must not beg for it.

We deserve to be served and protected by the police irrespective of our political affiliation as long as we are within the provisions of the constitution. We only should be afraid of criminals not police.

101 Random Facts About Me

A few months ago, Princess and I had a writing challenge. We were to each write 50 random things about ourselves. When we submitted our pieces we both agreed that 100 would have been ideal.

Fast forward to this date. I was going through my documents and I felt like, why not give it a go?

Instead of just adding to the other 50, I settled on starting afresh. In that period things have changed. Changes in time comes along with changes in several other things.

So here, have a peak at my life.

1. I was born in 1995
2. I was born of a teacher and a salonist. (Both didn’t last in those fields.)
3. I love my name. Letters L and M are my favorite alphabets
4. I am a Kiswahili and Communication student who cannot speak a minute of Swahili Sanifu.
5. Most of my friends do not understand why I took Swahili. I don’t understand either.
6. I wish I took a more serious course.
7. It seems I compensate for that in the people I get.
8. I prefer listening to music than watching movies
9. I am open minded
10. I like talking politics.

11. I like those who speak their minds. They say what they want and how they want it, no matter how good, ridiculous or hurtful it appears or might be.
12. I don’t consider myself a master of any trade.
13. I really like Oyunga Pala, I have read him since childhood. I also like Kisauti,I feel he treats words with respect.
14. I read several local writers. I like writers, poets and lyricists. They are creators. They build feelings, emotions, thoughts and entertainment out of words.
15. Suits is my favorite all time series. I also find sitcoms like Young & Hungry, BBT, Baby Daddy n Brooklyn Nine Nine, great.
16. I like paying attention to details.
17. I love and fear love in equal measure.
18. Kisumu matatu touts are the funniest people I know
19. I at times think about nothing
20. I am still single.
Update; Not anymore

21. I hope to get my Phd early in life
22. I have grown to like psychology a lot. I have read a lot of books in psychology in recent times. I can even tell Agnes (of Agitah) Luo men like to be praised and why it’s a good thing, coupled with where it matters the most.
23. I use Times New Roman when I run out of things to write. I feel more knowledgeable working on that font.
24. I don’t like watching TV. I only watch when I have specific news bit am looking for otherwise I can just spend a whole day looking at the plasma like an unwelcome mirror.
25. I listen to Jeff and Jalas on Hot 96.
26. I like Kenyan music. I am a huge fan of Khaligraph Jones
27. Internationally I like Kendrick Lamar and J Cole
28. I am not good for your heart, body and soul.
29. I have exceptional listening skills. I have a good memory. Not unless I decide to use the selective recalling method.
30. I am good with names. I like to refer to people by name from time to time when communicating.

31. I prefer telling stories to a noisy group in informal settings. I lose my punch line in stories when many people concentrate at what I am saying. I don’t like being the center of attention.
32. I don’t like being the smartest person in the room.
33. A large part of my personal life never get to social media.
34. My favorite handle on twitter is @novelicious.
35. I can stay for days without logging in to Facebook, a week without twitter and months minus Instagram.
36. I like leading a private life (don’t bother that I pour all the shit here)
37. I prefer collaboration to competition
38. I am a night person. I rarely do shit in the morning.
39. Isn’t it ironical that I am an early riser?
40. My grandma is on the verge of being fully convinced am either gay or not functional.

41. Everyone I know has their own slang for sex. Mine is thwocks. Make a sentence using that word you will get how ridiculous it sounds.
42. I easily strike conversations. I can handle talks even with a total stranger.
43. My backing off game can be great or bad. Depends on the 5Ws and H.
44. Generally, I am a different person to different people. It is based on the 5Ws and H.
45. I’d rather not try at all than try and lose. Been working on changing it for a long time.
46. That is why I did not learn how to ride a bike till last year but one.
47. I just can’t get what’s up with guys in the village who keep asking whether I am the eldest or youngest kid to my parents. I am neither, and I hate explaining shit.
48. I know what it means to be vulnerable to someone.
49. I believe that once we have something going we will always have it. We can go for a break for a week, months or even ten years. When we meet we will pick it up from where we left.
50. At the moment I am not sure what I want in life. Sometimes I want to do good stuff, make contributions to the society. Other times I just want to disappear to a lone island.

51. My favorites change often. In fact I am surprised how my favorite person has kept intact for such a long time.
52. I have never watched any episode of Prison Break.
53. I like chicken and fish
54. Chapati
55. I tend to use any name that crops up in my mind when arranging stuff on my computer. You now know why I say most of the times when asked that I have no movies or series. Trying to remember those names take time.
56. I have smoked cigarette once. Weed more than once.
57. I have also done illicit brew some times.
58. I am not a foodie
59. I don’t like eggs
60. I get bored or distracted so fast.

61. I like giving compliments. Most so when people deserve it. Though I am poor at receiving compliments.
62. I don’t know how to give 100% in something. I am just trying.
63. I have articles I wrote that I am embarrassed to read now. I just look at the titles and never read them. (One was posted here). I also don’t delete either.
64. My favorite number is 4 since childhood.
65. I don’t have a favorite day of the week. Any day can be a feel good day.
66. I can live without mobile network and internet.
67. Most people think that I am a Out of Site Out of Mind kind of person. Yes, they think right.
68. If I like you, you have to know.
69. My phone and PC wallpaper and screensaver are all PepperLife logo.
70. I like everything about PepperLife, starting from our readers.

71. I love my writing partner.
72. I am not a sucker for fashion. In fact I wear anything I can get my hands on when I want to leave.
73. Yet I have hit the runway more than once as a model.
74. I care just a tiny little bit about what people think about me (enough to help safeguard my reputation).
75. I believe people should do whatever makes them happy. As long as it doesn’t affect others.
76. I like the smell of toasted bread in the morning.
77. I email myself stuff from time to time as a means of transferring documents from the PC to the phone.
78. I have continuation problems. Like it can take me another year to complete this list if I don’t do it in one sitting.
79. The only time I call someone bad words is when I am kidding. I can call you really bad names when I am working you up.
80. I don’t know how to engage in a fight, verbal or physical. Not unless protecting someone I love.

81. I am slow (very very slow) to anger.
82. I like the view in Kericho when travelling. I find the tea zones so beautiful.
83. I want to revisit Mombasa and the Kenyan coasts any opportunity I get.
84. After Mombasa I want to go to Turkana.
85. I like how the sun sets in Kisumu
86. I subconsciously touch a lot when I really like someone. On the other side I feel weird when touched a lot.
87. The people I interact with think they know me. Funny what people think.
88. I like my ladies BBW. Writing this makes me question if it has anything to my liking of BMW.
89. Just when I thought I was settled, earlier this year we came to a mutual agreement with Vanessa Mdee that whatever we had could not work out. Giving me a green light to take my relationship with Mayonde to greater heights.
90. I don’t shower daily

91. I brush my teeth when I shower. I caught this from the sweetest taboo.
92. I suck at lying. I also don’t like liars. But if you have to lie to me, please be creative.
93. I can take any joke, no matter how brutal. Just be ready to receive in return.
94. Just start a conversation I will do my best to keep it lively.
P.S. To my friends who complain that I never start conversations; I learned that it costs nothing and of late I hope you realize I have improved. If not, I am working on it.
95. I think kissing is so weird when you think about it. You decide to taste the lips of each other to express emotions. Also…
96. The type of stuffs you hear when you meet open ladies is weird. “You handle this ass like its some fire going to burn you, like you are not sure that it’s yours. Babe this ass is yours fully.
97. I have got a kid brother. He is so bright and sharp. Both book and crook smart.
98. At some point our voices sounded exactly the same on phone (nowadays he has bass). I enjoyed getting him ladies on his behalf (His loss)
99. Whenever I hit the bar alone it’s almost given I will have a cold beer in a corner.
100. I never liked reading until recently.

101. After reading this list someone will think that they know me. Once again, funny what people think.

Hello Ex Friends

Hello Ex friends,

It’s been a while. I am doing really fine; how you are doing is your own personal issue right now. Why am I writing to all of you now? Well, lately I have been thinking about all of you. How my time with each of you was, and I just felt I should write something about that. I initially planned to write an anonymous story on another blog that would have featured all of you, but well, here we are. I know you all wouldn’t mind; and even if you did, you have no say. Anyway, just know none of your names will be featured here.

So straight to the main thing. What happened? My time with each of you was wonderful, some of you made me almost believe in the whole life-time-BFF thing; then the inevitable happened. We went our separate ways. Was it me? Don’t answer that, really irrelevant at this point. But it would be good if some of you would one day send me the cliché message ‘hey, it’s not you. It’s me’. Then maybe I would have gotten some closure and wouldn’t be here right now writing to all (is it 5, 6 or more) of you.

Ex 1. Remember that one time when we all, for lack of a better word, hated that other person? No? Well I do remember that time. Because you and I made such good memories and had fun times finding faults and things to laugh at in the other people. It was so much fun because in as much as it was your idea, I found it interesting to have something to do with you. Can you imagine my shock when the two of you actually became BFFs? Trust me, the look on my face at that point was priceless. I was hurt; not because of the new bond, but because you dumped my ass so fast and hard I think I broke a bone. Anyway, I accepted it. I did my best to be friends with you on my lower level, but time and distance may have been on your side. I moved on.

Ex 2. Wow. You have broken my heart more times than I would want to admit. Sometimes I think I have learnt my lesson with you, then you show up, all humble and needy and I fall for it. You shower me with love like never before; and it really is intoxicating. You my friend, might just be my drug. You know, cocaine. You are bad for me, but am addicted to you. I should know better, I know, but damn! Anyway, the numerous times you broke my heart, I always rose. I would take you back in the blink of an eye, but am not sure if I can do that anymore. See, before I considered you as family; and now? Naah… You and I were more than just friends; I would do anything for you. I kept your secrets. I advised you where necessary. I loved you. I confided in you. Then one day you left. You changed your number; and you became tight with all those who hated me. It still breaks my heart. It is because of you that I actually decided to write this. And since we are being honest, I still stalk you online. Maybe even daily. You look happy with your new life, and in as much as it hurts me, am happy for you.

Ex 3. Where do I begin with you? I only added you to this list because I started thinking of all my ex friends. Among them, you were the bitchiest. (Since Word didn’t underline that it means it’s an actual word). Why am I saying you are the bitchiest? You deliberately tried to sabotage a good thing I had going. I tried my best to forgive you, but you and I, nope. You were a mistake from the beginning. How’s your new life by the way? Good? I don’t really care about it. Just enjoy your life. Bye Felicia!

Ex 4. You are among the latest. You and #2. You haven’t fully settled down at the Ex zone but you are already there. All I need to do is shut the door on your face now. And that will be done shortly. I just have some things to get off my chest with you first. Expect my call anytime from wherever. You and I started really well. I being the conservative type decided to take some time to know your intentions before ever opening up to you. So when I finally did, it felt good. Because you always had my back. I would come to you with a silly thing I did, or was planning to do and you were on my team. Then one day, you met one of the people that actually made my life a living hell, and just like the others in this list, you drifted. (I am noticing a pattern here.) Your betrayal hurt me because it happened right under my nose. I mean, I saw it coming, but somehow I just hoped it wouldn’t happen. But it did, right after I opened up to you. Why would you do that? Anyway, I will revisit your situation. Am still in shock.

Ex 5, 6 and the many more. There is nothing to tell you. Some of you are history. No hard feelings though. You don’t expect me to talk about all of you now, do you?

The no hard feelings thing goes for all of you, except #2. I still can’t wrap my head around it. Anyway, why did you all decide to betray me? Do you people know how much of a good friend I was to all of you? Of course you don’t. How could you when the only thing you ever thought about was yourselves? Am I mad at any of you? Hell yeah! Am very mad. Extremely mad. I am a fragile person, and the moment you all learnt of that you ducked the other way. What is wrong with you?

You know I wouldn’t have been so mad if some of you had just walked away with some decorum. But no, you had to spill some of my secrets. You had to rub it in my face that I was just a phase and you were now moving on. I get it, it’s your life, now if only you wouldn’t use your lives to ruin mine we would be in a better place. Don’t you all think so? I think so. I kept and am still keeping the information about most of you as I know it’s the right thing to do. Spilling some of the things I know would ruin your current lifestyle choices and I don’t roll like that. Believe it or not, am a good person.

All in all, after thinking about my time with all of you, I realized one thing. It’s not me; it’s never been me. It’s you.

Yours Exly, (I’ve made this up)

Paula.

 

***PS. Hey future friends, when you see me hesitant with this friendship thing, just know am very skeptical, paranoid, and I have a lot of trust issues***

LET’S TALK AGE

Being someone who lives life on the fast lane, I don’t think things over. I believe in doing them first and thinking later or even failing to think altogether. I suspect when I think first, I would persuade myself out of it (happens with my writing all the time). But then we all know that regret for the things we do can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we do not do that is inconsolable. Dating has never been an exception.

One of my recent adventures gave me something to think about though. So for the first time I am thinking about age in relation to dating and relationships. In this case I was talking with a lady I actually had intentions of making moves (smooth or otherwise) on.

With my permit for story on approved, we join the story in progress.

Her:  So there are screenshots I want to bring to our attention (winking emoji)

Me: Eheh go ahead

Her:  (sends two social media profiles) Open mind (winking emoji)

Me: Okay, I can see, go ahead

Her: What’s your take on age and relationship…genuinely…? Like you’ve not seen those screenshots.

Me: I saw the screenshots and can’t see what’s up.  With me I am not pro age. It is important, but it is just a number.  What’s your take?

This is someone I have been talking with for some time. She found me witty and really fun. She thought I am someone worth knowing more about. After doing her stalking (she made open her impeccable stalking skills) it dawns on her that I am a year younger. At this point she was going all out. Like she had seen the biggest turn off ever.

She was gearing to drop my ass so hard. Emanating noise would be magnitudes louder than thunder. Buildings would shake like biscuits shaken in a box. Glasses smashed. Books falling off shelves. It was to be terrifying. Tarmac would crack with cars on top. Electric poles would fall, lights sparkling all over. Squirrels would jump to their gods of rodents for redemption. In that moment I had instantly gone from sexable to invisible.

While many people would want to lie or even create an illusion of being older, I don’t do that. I am someone who accepts things they can’t change. No one has control over the time they are born. Not even the people they are born of. So all I do is take time to understand why someone would think that my age is a turn off. Here is how that conversation ended;

Her:  (several laughter emoji)…but I can’t really say it works because av not dated older men… So I guess ni mentality nimekuwa nayo.

Her:  I just wanted to talk about this…rather than have it lingering

I had retained my place as sexable. No earthquake is happening. I can’t be responsible for the first 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Kenya.

Society has created a mental picture revolving around age differences. Most of the time people feel wrong when they start developing feelings for people outside their age bracket. The society wants to make you feel that dating an older person is mainly for material gains and not love. Well, you could still date someone your age for reasons other than love.

Several people choose their relationship partners based on different criteria. I don’t know how a guy wakes up one day and decide that he is all about ass. That a great ass cannot let him settle, it makes them uncontrollably giddy, and super excited. Some will go the boob’s way. Juicy boobs look to him so inviting. He just wants to hold, caress and appreciate. The world can keep its supermodels, anorexic looking as they are.

Is it hereditary? Like my liking for BBW a trait passed to me from my dad who got it from my grandpa who also got it from the people before him. Like one of my ancestors would send guys out to bring a woman home with clear instructions. She must have things I can hold to when I fall asleep. Or maybe am just compensating for my small body, who knows? Or even worse I am looking for a parental figure. Whatever it is, to me there is something disarming about big women. Without lingerie their boobs sit lower, more natural less close together and look so perfectly molded.

Many people have age as a factor in deciding whom they date. The media has also portrayed age to be a big factor in the relationships people have. It has revered men for having younger partners, while castigating older women for having younger spouses.

Emmanuel Macron, France’s youngest president hit the headlines more for his marriage with the 64 year old first lady. Instead of praising Macron and Brigitte, the media cast bad light on the first lady. Some people in France went ahead to sign a petition barring Brigitte from becoming the official France’s first lady. But how about in reversed roles where the man is older? Trump and Melanie’s age difference has never been a hot topic. It did not even make the man to almost miss the top seat. You are left wondering, what has someone’s love life got to do with their leadership skills?

The Kenyan society has had its fair share on the age difference debate. The most mentioned one is the wedding between the former Mau Mau freedom fighter Wambui Otieno and Mbugua. The 67 year old Wambui kissed with the 25 year old Mbugua on live television. Did you think romance dies with age? Wambui’s daughters boycotted the wedding while Mbugua’s mother refused to accept Wambui as her daughter in law. She later on collapsed and died.  It was that serious.

We often put up walls and flee for the mountains, but before shutting the door on the chance at love, think about your potential lover’s maturity level. If you both are on the same level of maturity, don’t let the attached age number cloud your decision.

How many times have you heard the phrase, “act your age”? It means that the society expects you to behave in a certain way at a given age. Well, that is not the case with everyone. People experience life in different ways making growth different in people. You can be 22 years old with the mindset of a 42 year old or vice versa. This is to say that time is just a human created concept.

One of my all time favorite writers Oyunga Pala also had a very sober look at age that you will definitely  like. He likened it to a Jail cell being just a room

So age is just a number. It’s totally irrelevant unless, of course you happen to be a bottle of wine.

Whose Baby Is This?

By Agnes Opondo.

Earlier before that random Friday, I had the following conversation with HR after she looked me in the eye and told me, “You need rest! Take a day off.”

“How do you know that?” I asked

“I can see it in your eyes”

“I know my glasses have no tint but, can you actually see the fatigue through my glasses?”

“Agnes just take an off!”

“But there is a lot of work!” (Me pretending to be employee of the year hihihi!)

“Work will never run out, you look tired…..plus I have noticed with great concern that you don’t use lipstick lately.”

“Well…..pretty hurts.”

“What is so painful about dabbing some lipstick? Huh?”

To cut the long story short, I took an off day on that random Friday. Not because of HR’s concerns, but because I wanted to. I wanted to wave my middle finger at the universe and tell it, “No matter what you throw at me, I run my life, motherf*cker!” (Breathe Agnes, take it easy). Have you ever been at a point in your life when you feel like you are losing control? Have you ever wanted to do something crazy like get a tattoo? Or an extra piercing? Or even propose marriage to a random person? How about get into a relationship with a random person and make sure that it is as peaceful as Rob Kardashian and Black Chyna’s romance just to prove to the world that you run your life? OK, don’t look at me like that, I didn’t keep up with their reality show. That is general knowledge.

Anyway, because I was not going to work, I decided to do some cleaning. This may sound weird, but dirt removal and organizing my stuff is super therapeutic for me. After cleaning, I showered, dressed up and headed to the CBD just to prove to the world that I can go to town if I wanted to because, it’s my life damn it! (OK, enough of this proving to the world madness). I boarded a matatu and while the conda was wooing pedestrians into the matatu, I noticed two women standing at the bus stop. One was carrying an infant and the other was carrying a toddler (there is a difference guys). They were deeply engrossed into a conversation which I could tell was either good news or gossip, juicy gossip for that matter. I mean, they looked happy. The conda approached them and asked them where they were headed and after talking with him, the two women exchanged the babies they were carrying. The one who took the toddler got into the matatu and took the seat next to the conda’s seat.

Hell broke loose immediately the matatu took off. The baby began crying she became louder as the matatu progressed. At first I thought that crying was caused by fear of motion. I hear there are babies who are terrified of being in a moving vehicle and considering the seat that this lady had occupied, that could be true. The lady tried to silence the baby lakini wapi! The baby had no intentions of hiding her protests to this journey. This attracted the attention of other passengers and one man turned to the lady and asked her if she had breastfed the baby. The lady who was now beyond frustrated, ignored that question. I could tell that she was about to cry, the veins on her forehead began to show and eyes were getting bloodshot. She kept trying to calm the baby down but her efforts hit the wall, a good one.

A certain middle aged man seated in front of me turned to the lady and asked her, “Madam huyo mtoto ni wako ama umemwiba?” This sparked murmurs among the passengers. A lady seated at the back seconded the middle aged man, “Exactly! Tumwambie kama mtoto ni wako!” Hobee! The lady with the child was now already crying, “Sijaiba mtoto, mimi si mwizi” This argument irritated the baby and she cried even louder. The conda, who by now had an assistant, (ama what do you call that guy who dandias the matatu along the journey not as a passenger but as a conductor number 2?) asked the passengers to calm down.

For some weird reason, the assistant conda caught my eye. I don’t know, maybe it was his blue black complexion or his big dry cracked lips. In fact for the purposes of this read, let’s call him, ‘Crusty’ in honor of his cracked lips. I like the name already, I will call my next pet Crusty, sounds so exotic, right? So Crusty, sat next to the lady with the child looked her into the eye and asked in his heavy Dholuo accent, “Madam hii mitoto ni chako ama wewe nilikuja Narobi kufanya opareson kama mwisi?” If the DCI ever needed someone to coerce criminals into confessing the truth, then trust me, Crusty would do a legit job because this question triggered the tear glands of the lady! Elnino style! This interrogation was interrupted by a sweets vendor cum preacher who boarded the matatu some few kilometers from the CBD. He was fully armed with his tools of trade, a packet of sweets and a Gideons International bible, but before he could introduce himself to the brethren, the baby who had been quiet for a while now, unleashed the loudest cry. Meeen! This baby will grow up to be such a hater. So the preacher, took a French exit never to be seen again.

Finally we got to the CBD and while people were alighting I chose to stay behind, I mean, I witnessed this baby owner drama from the start and surely I must see how it ends. We got to the Railways bus terminus and everyone else had alighted apart from the lady with the baby, the baby, a certain old man, a middle aged lady, the conda, Crusty, the driver and I. Crusty upgraded his interrogation techniques by yanking the phone from the poor lady’s hand. He then asked her, “onasave aje baba ya hii mitoto?” “Anaitwa Godfrey!” The lady replied amid sobs. Crusty dialed Godfrey’s number on the lady’s phone and upon calling him, the guy admitted to being the child’s father. When Crusty asked him whether he knew the owner of the phone, he said that this lady was taking the child to his mother.

Makosa! Mistake! Crusty turned to the lady and yelled, “tunapeleka wewe kwa polisi sai!”

The poor lady whose wails were now in perfect harmony with the baby’s crying, pleaded with Crusty, “Nimemchukua kutoka kwa mama yake, mama yake alishindwa kumlea juu akona mtoto mwingine mdogo kushinda huyu!”

“Sasa akisindwa kulea, mama yake napatia wewe mtoto. Madam! Iwalo koda!” Crusty was now boiling with rage. The conda tried to restrain him from doing something stupid.

The old man, turned to Crusty and told him that he should contain his anger as it is wrong to hit a woman. “Huyu mama hasemi ukweli, unajua nimewahi kudeal na wezi wa watoto nikifanya kazi kwa hospitali kama nurse!” The middle aged lady said. “Na mimi nimework na watu wa children’s rights najua wezi wa watoto!” Added the old man, I don’t know why I did not believe this old man. Crusty was quick to jump in, “Mwisi ni mwisi!” then the driver, “shukeni mmpeleke kwa polisi basi, nataka kuendelea na kazi.” The conda who was a bit empathetic to the lady said, “pigieni mama ya mtoto kwanza ndo twende kwa polisi.”

Now that everyone was giving their parting shot, I couldn’t be left out. So I said, “Guys despite having two left feet, I can burst decent Bazokizo moves and even better, I have ever gone live on Kilimani Mums!” I know. My comment was totally unrelated to the issue at hand, so that is why I didn’t say it. I kept quiet and observed the whole drama unfold.

Can you guess what they did to the poor lady? Am so sorry to disappoint you dear reader, because I also don’t know. I had to leave to go do the nothings that had brought me to town. I run my life, remember?

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Now am pretty sure you’ve all enjoyed this piece. Perfectly penned by Agnes Opondo. Click HERE to connect with her on Facebook. And HERE to view her blog for more interesting stories.

 

 

 

 

 

Q&A WITH LEWIS MARTIN

The other day I was talking with a long gone friend. She suggested a coffee meeting in town. Instead of worrying about what to write here while at the same time trying to come up with what to wear when I will be meeting her, or even to fail honoring the meeting altogether, I deemed it fit to have content from you. Please don’t crucify me, it is not that I value this place less, it is only that this is an ex I will be meeting. She cleared school when I was in my second year. She was the sweetest taboo. So I have to give it a good thought.

I was surprised that some people had been waiting for a chance to ask me questions, I don’t know why they have never got to me and asked before. I am an easy person and open for talks, even small talks. So feel free.

Here are your questions and the answers;

Q. What would you do if money wasn’t an object?

A. In my life all I want is to travel. I want to experience different cultures. I want to watch topless women on the beaches in Rio De Janeiro. I want to view the earth from a hot air balloon in South Africa. I also want to see tall buildings and see the wonders of the world. I will create a museum in Seme with a piece from every traveling destination I get to.
I would also get a huge chunk of land and create LewisMartin forest. A place I would dissappear to when I want to go away and interact with the wild as I appreciate the work of God.

Q. If you could go back in time what do you think you could do differently?

A. Well, mostly I have made good decisions in life but if I was to go back in time I would not take a degree in communication, it’s not like it’s bad, I would go for a skill like Web design and the likes. I would even do more sciences and mathematics. I feel I wasted a bigger part of my brain taking easy courses. I did not even have to read or attend classes and I don’t remember getting a retake, not unless they give me one at the moment.

Q. Are you married?

A. I am not married yet. Though those guys back at home have started asking suggestive questions. I hope when they get me leads it won’t be someone who wants to sign a prenuptial agreement.

Q. Are you dating?

A. Nop, I am single.

Q. How deep in of a crush do you have for your blog mate?

A. Eheh well Paula Norah is what I would call beauty meets sophistication. She is the most beautiful lady I know. I like everything about her. We can easily talk about anything in the face of the earth. Some even out of the earth. I would say she is atypical. You guys interact with her every other week in this platform and you can attest she sure is worth her weight in gold. All that combined, I love her, so not a crush.

Q. What is your most Outstanding Character?

A. This is a question that is best answered by someone else who knows me well other than me. But I would say I am spontaneous.

Q. What are your greatest and most embarrassing moments as a writer?

A. I have had some great moments as a writer mostly when I go to some place and someone out of nowhere tells me, “Hey, I have been reading your work.”
The other day I attended an event full of the Kenyan celebs; musicians, actors,media guys and even the great business guys in the country. It made me feel good about being a writer. The event with Khaligraph Jones, Fena Gitu, Elani, Nyashinski, and several big shots in the capital, it was more like a Kenyan Music Academy night. Then you interact with such and have drinks on the same table with nobody all over them. It was a great event.
About the embarrassing moments, I don’t think I have faced any yet.

Q.Its actually raining around here and I’ve always wanted to ask you what’s your frequent thought when its raining heavily and you’re just staring at the raindrops and you have your thoughts magnified?

A. I was born in Kisumu city, at some point in life shit happened and we had to return to the village. We left everything in town and headed home empty handed. Our house in shagz was what befits the term shackle. It was a small grass thatched one room house. The grass on the roof was placed such that the side of the bed was well done while, on the other side you could be able to tell any changes on weather conditions. You would feel the strength of the sun when a sun ray pierced through, and count stars as well as see how big the moon was by looking through the roof. That would tell you what it was when it rained. In short rains were nightmares and it sickened us. While other kids would be rejoicing and playing on the rains, with us it was as if rains were a way to ridicule us for being poor.
Well, the situation changed to the better after some years. That is why nowadays when I see the rain and just look at the raindrops, all I say is, “God you are good.”
There is also another part of me which wants to get someone pretty and go get soaked in the waters as we do inappropriate things in the rain.

Q. Biggest challenge as a writer in PepperLife

A. My biggest challenge as a writer in PepperLife is also my greatest motivation. The challenge is having a great partner. Paula writes so well, you read her articles and feel that she has done good. She writes with passion that keeps growing. People rave about her, I go to places and people talk about how awesome my partner is. It is really good, but wait till you open Ms Word and you want to bring a piece to life. I do feel like I would bring shit and this is a good motivation. It is really not comparing stuff, it is just the feeling that you won’t want to go down when she has taken the bar so high. So she better keep it going the way she has always done it.

Q. Are you interested in men?

A. Yes, I am interested in both men and women. Given that I am a man I have to be interested in men, like I have to know what men face in daily lives. I have to know what fatherhood and marriage life entails, coz with time I am going to be a dad and a husband. I have to interact with different men and see how life is for them. I am interested in men in all things except sexually, I am straight like a wall.

Q. What do you think about your university friendships?

A. I had a very good stint in campus. I at times miss the place. That would only be possible with my friends. I had great friends. They impacted my life and I also impacted their lives I believe. Without the friends I would be an animal peg in a soggy ground.

Q. How many ladies have you dumped and what was the reason?

A. I am not really the person who dumps ladies. I am a person who is open minded, we just agree on what we both want from the word go. We can always agree about these things, it is never that serious.

Q. What do you think of Kenya?

A. I think Kenya needs more men like CJ David Maraga. People who will uphold the rule of law and with the fear of God.

Q. Have you found your dream girl?

A. Yeah.

Q. How and when did you decide to be a blogger?

A. I have always wanted to be a writer. In my second year I was already writing for a publication. The problem is that websites would start on a good path but then on a need to gain quick traffic they would go to sensational news and I would quit. I definitely cannot write on something I don’t like. I kept writing and keeping them or sharing with only one person who did a good work keeping the fire in me burning. I am sure I couldn’t have started blogging on my own, I kept letting procrastination have the better of me. So with the immense help from my partner(sole reader, editor and critic by then), early this year, I got a feet. Shortly after, we moved to this site together as partners.

Q. You run PepperLife with Paula. How’s the partnership like? Is it a 50-50 partnership/ a Co CEO situation or does one of you get a higher percentage if it were to be in terms of shares?

A. PepperLife is a balanced and equal partnership. Everything goes 50-50.

Q. I always doubt your relationship with Paula. Are you dating or have you ever dated?

A. We are not dating and we have never dated. We are great friends though I am not ruling out that option.

Q. Would you be a man and confirm in this blog that Paula is your dream wife?

A. Yes, I will be a man and confirm that she is a super lady, any man will be extremely lucky to have her.

Q. If Lewis Martin wasnt taking kiswahili mawasiliano, what would be his career now?

A. I am really not sure about that, by the time I was headed to that course I didn’t even know what I wanted, at one point I was thinking of KMTC. What I am sure though is that I would still be writing no matter the place I ended.

Q.If Lewis Martin was to write a book on his life, what would the title be?

A.IT IS EXACTLY WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE’. One day you might meet it in a bookstore. I know it will be looking relaxed like a guy on holiday at the coast who just wants peace and a good time, please smile at it and strike a conversation. The conversation might lead to other things.

Q. Are you ever curios of who you’d be in an alternate universe, like if you were born maybe in a different time, to a different family and in a different environment. Or who do you think you would be and what talents would you think you’d have?

A. In another universe, I would be a pigeon. They are never into anybody’s business. They are just peaceful and relaxed. They have a way of just keeping it together. They don’t crave too much attention, they are happy with what they got. Those are the things I like. I know I would fit in that team.

Q.If you were to go back in time relationship wise, what would you do differently?

A. I would keep everything the way they were except maybe slow on my rebounds game.
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I really tried answering most of the questions. Someone wanted to know if I had taken supper one night and she insisted I answer it here. Yeah, I had taken supper. A cup of tea, bread and cake.

I think this is a session I will be taking annually as I think of a way to drag my partner to have a session of her own. I mean, if she was one of the guys who used Sarahah, she can easily handle this.

Thanks for your questions, if at all you still have some for me, wait till next year same period.

Paranoia Or Just Too Much Fear?

I am not a popular person. I would say am not a celeb but let’s all agree there are no celebs in Kenya. We just have popular people. I freak out when people look at me when am walking on the streets. I freak out when they try talking to me. How am I supposed to meet ‘Mr. Right’ when every time someone attempts to have a conversation with me I think of sprinting to the left? By the way, there is no such thing as Mr. Right. No such thing. It’s a made up sham to prey on the emotional balance of vulnerable women who have been hurt a lot. But it provides hope though.

I also freak out over minor issues like too many friend requests in a day. Before accepting, I go through the mutual friends list and ask myself why would this person send me a friend request? Did one of these mutual friends whisper something about me and now curiosity got the better of the person? Is someone out there sharing a link to my profile? It can’t be my posts, I tell myself, because sometimes even I am shocked when I read some of the things I write. This week, I received over 100 friend requests in a span of two days. That freaked me out.

When I open my mobile data in the morning and find over 10 conversations on WhatsApp, especially when there is no group message, I freak out. Like I said, I am not a popular person. Even among my friends. I am the kind of friend who will have a lively conversation with you but there are minimal chances that I started that conversation. It’s never fully pride; I just really suck at small talk. Like skip to the point already! So when I find such messages on my phone my first instinct is to ask myself ‘damn it girl! What did you do?’ It is a relief when I find it’s just a lot of hello(s) and hi(s). But it’s also questionable. Like why are they all saying hi to me today? What have they heard? What are they driving at?

I am a very paranoid person. I overthink situations, and not with a positive angle, I think towards the negative. My What Ifs are 99% of the time towards the negative, and in equal percentage towards life threatening situations. I can’t help it. I have tried. I also fear a lot.

When I was still a child, at around 8years or younger, I accompanied a group of school mates to a home whose owner I did not even know. There was a funeral going on and the late was somehow relevant to my school at the time. Even after several warnings of ‘Do not follow people to their homes’ ‘Come straight home after school’ and ‘If you want to go to a friend’s place, ask for permission’. On that day, I did not even think twice, I just followed people. In a matter of minutes, we were in the home. Then there was a line. And it was full of my schoolmates, so I went and joined it, and slowly the line started moving. I did not know where we were headed, I just followed them. It was not until I also turned my head to the right like everyone that I saw what the line was for. We were viewing the body. Before that day, I knew when someone dies; they immediately go to heaven if they are good and hell if they are bad. No one mentioned the motionless body being part of the equation. I freaked out and froze on the line. This was someone I didn’t even know and there I was staring at what used to be him.

For over a year, I could not be sent into a dark room and go willingly. I would tiptoe to the room already having a panic attack, switch on the lights and once am halfway calm, I start imagining things. What if I turn my back to search for whatever I was sent and then something comes in and I don’t know…does something bad to me? Because I was already paranoid and scared, I would not have enough time to search and instead I would quickly run out of the room without switching off the lights and innocently say I haven’t found whatever it is that I was sent. Someone else would be sent and they come back with it almost immediately.

I watch NatGeo Wild more times than I would want to admit. I know so much about animals now. I know how to differentiate a crocodile from a monitor lizard. Since am being honest here, there is no point in knowing the difference. When you see any of them, RUN! I know some animals I never even imagined existed. It is common knowledge that hyenas are very selfish and gluttonous animals. This is true, but wait until you hear about the Tasmanian devil tiger. Small predators but they are so mean and selfish. The children chase away the mother just to eat as they fight amongst themselves. NatGeo Wild is a great channel, unless they are showing doctors biting sheep balls off, then it gets disgusting and you can never unsee that.

As a constant NatGeo Wild watcher, I thought the knowledge on everything I fear would help me relax. Instead, I now have more reasons to overthink and thus keep my paranoia at an increasing rate. The other day I was taking photos in the compound and then I remembered a segment in the channel where a snake hid in a very similar tree. That was the end of the photo session.

I have always had an ardent fear of spiders growing up, I still do. However, my fear of the real thing is not such a big deal as compared to the fear I have towards all the imaginary spiders in my head. I once ran away from a room because my own hair brushed unexpectedly on my neck. It is not helping that I have an overactive imagination. When I see more than one ant around, I imagine there is something sweet somewhere around, which could mean there is a bee or two around. And what are the chances that that bee has not attracted a bear. What are the chances?

For someone like me who also has a fear of irregular patterns, and a cluster of small holes and bumps (Trypophobia), opening links with the caption ‘Top 10 most disgusting things in the world’ or ‘This woman was uncomfortable and when she visited the doctor…this will shock you’ or ‘17+ strange places where dangerous animals hide’ is not an option. I have however out of curiosity opened some links; I am still recovering from that sight. My skin still has goosebumps when I think of such times. When a part of my skin gets itchy, I imagine all sorts of negative things related to whatever link I opened last.

Is this paranoia or just too much fear? Don’t tell me it’s the same thing.

I could go on and on about my paranoia, and fears but am already feeling bored of typing.

JOURNEY TO REDEMPTION

There are some moments you never want interrupted. You want to keep them in any medium possible and play them anytime you feel like. Such moments could come when you are at the shore of Lake Victoria, as the afternoon breeze smashes on your face, gets past your ears and you feel your body blocking its flow. The waves of the Lake flow gently with a little sunshine giving the breeze all the time in the world to ask yourself why you took so long to get to that place. Besides you stands a gem, with vivacious features and eyes that sparkle brightening your day. It is her idea that you are there in the first place.

You move close to this beautiful being as if to point to her something on the visible shore across you, and you steadily move your left hand to rest on her lower back, your right hand still on your side. Just when you are slowly moving your left hand even lower, your phone starts ringing. Phones never let you have your moments. I believe phones are the neediest devices in this world; they don’t want you concentrating on any other thing. If your phone has ever rang at such a moment to remind you that you belong to this world, then you will get it.

You are torn between picking that phone and just silencing it. You then check it only to find it is that call that you cannot miss. It’s mum calling, and when mum calls, you will pick. She is enquiring why you never got home the previous day. Apparently she had saved you some food knowing you will get home. She is worried that you have not stopped your behavior of randomly coming up with plans and go missing.

Just after the call, a new number pops up on the screen. It’s a lecturer informing you that he will be assessing you the next day. That means you have to go back to your work station. You have to leave the beautiful view of the lake behind and get back to the crowded madness which is the city of Nairobi. You break the news to the beauty and already notice the disappointment in her voice as she asks you if there is a chance that you might not go. Those are hard times, hard choices. You have to weigh your options. Well, you know you have to travel, and again there stands the lady you have been waiting to spend the evening with. Quite a tempting offer she gives you. You take in the breeze one last time as you stroll by the shore waiting to watch the sun setting in the horizon. Evening first approaches and you head back to the house bidding your better half a kiss goodbye, and just like that you are on the road.

My life happens in a flash. I rarely plan for stuff I do because it has proven time and time again that I do not get to those places. I know of people who plan their life in a diary and religiously stick to it. That is pure genius. I am one of those people who live life in the fast lane; you can wake me up from my sleep and tell me that we are heading for a trip, and I show up whatever the time. All I need is a reason and accessibility. Motivation is always on point.

I remember how I left my village the other day. I was ploughing the farm when I received a call informing me that there was a gig opening for some few days in Kisumu. I headed home, and even without taking a shower, I changed into fresh clothes and off I went. I told guys at home that I will return in the evening. Three weeks later, they are still waiting for me. I had left home without any set of clothes to change and yet here I was, going to spend one week in town. I am not sure if that’s crazy, I only know that I will survive. I would have to make do with what I have. Isn’t that what creativity is for?

One time seeing that beauty out, I had bent next to her. She then pulls up my shirt and on asking why she says she wanted to see the brand of boxer that I had on. I don’t know what she would say if after some days she would look and see that I am still in the Gildan brand. Or wait, did she notice and just keep quiet about it? I now have the sudden urge to ask her about it.

This has been me for a long time. In school, I didn’t know whether I would get back to the house by evening or not. I never knew where the sun would set in with me in. I stopped going to bashes because almost each and every one I attended, I would wake up in unfamiliar territories the next day. I had even started influencing my friends. One time a brother of mine got into a vehicle heading to school, and he ended up meeting a stranger who offered him some lunch she was carrying. After enjoying the scrumptious meal, he found himself at the lady’s house the following morning.

Living an adventurous lifestyle has its setbacks. I am missing out on opportunities in my career and even relationships. Having lost my focus on what I prime in life, I am now convinced that it was a phase that I am soon growing out of. This is the most serious statement I have ever written in my life.

After deep thought, I am considering quitting this life. It is not for me anymore. Times are changing, and responsibilities are piling up my way. If you were like me, what has helped you out throughout the months, or even years?

My Boss Is A Jerk

A few months ago, I got a job with a highly reputable company. I was lucky to have been one of the elite to partake the training prior to being accepted in the company. It was a test by my now boss to see which candidates can work best under all circumstances and be able to deliver. I know I should be glad I have a job, but the truth is, my boss is a jerk. Sort of. I will explain.

She is a very young lady, definitely not even in her 30s. She is chocolate in complexion and is indeed very beautiful. If we were both single and she was not my boss, I would definitely pursue her. She is a slim lady who is perfectly endorsed in the right places. Her hips curve perfectly just at the right angle to compliment her small waist. She has stern eyes. When she stares at you, you are tempted to confess all your secrets to her, hoping you successfully hide the fact that you think she is a jerk. She wears no make up except for a pinch of lipstick enough to get you staring at her lips like an idiot. Her hair is always in different styles, but natural. My boss is the true definition of African beauty. Except she is a jerk.

About a week ago, one of my colleagues left the boss’s office almost in tears. She is a young lady whom I had started this job with, so we were a team. I went over and asked her what had happened. She looked at me with anger in her eyes and told me ‘that bitch just told me to redo the work I have been doing tirelessly for the past week. And guess what? She wants it by Monday. It’s Friday Mark. Friday!’.  I know women can be emotional hazards so I tried to come up with a consoling statement before walking back to my desk. I couldn’t come up with any so I just gave her a part on the back and walked away. She is not talking to me well lately. I don’t know why.

As I was approaching my desk, I saw my boss walk towards me. She had her eyes fixed on me. Just me. I tried so hard to focus on the right thoughts. Like did I finish my task? Did she see me with Anne and was coming to give me a warning? What did I have for breakfast? Am I hungry? What was the title of that song that keeps playing in all the matatus I board? Anything to keep my thoughts from drifting to her perfect self walking towards me. My boss walks as if she is weightless. Her feet touch the ground at very low volumes she could easily sneak up on you. I find this weird considering the fact that she always wears heels. She is not a tall lady but with her heels, she can easily dwarf anyone she wants. She was wearing a cream trouser suit on that day with a black sleeveless top. However, when walking towards me she wasn’t wearing her coat. Her perfectly toned arms were on full display. Do I like my boss? This is not good…

She got to where I was and stared right into my eyes. She had to tilt her head to an angle to see my eyes and I could see that she hated that. I am a tall guy at 6’ 1”. My height did not seem to please her.

“Mark. Right?”

“Yes madam. That’s me.”

She stared at me as though I had just murdered her cat. I was scared already. She is intimidating.

“Please have a seat. I need to talk to you”

Did she just ask me to sit down? Politely? That was new. I froze. I kept staring at her like the bloody idiot that I am. Why did she need me to sit anyway? Was it her power position issues? I kept wondering as I finally composed myself to sit. I adjusted my trousers just a little bit to ensure all my business was in check and in case of anything, no one would notice. I tried being as discreet as possible, but I know I heard her chuckle.

“How can I help you today madam?”

“I talk first Mark.”

Brutal… But ok

“Sorry…” I gestured towards her and tried maintaining a composed posture.

“How long have you worked here Mark?”

“A few months”

“Do you know the exact number?”

“4 months”

“Wonderful. What exactly do you do here?”

“I am in marketing”

“Mark…What exactly do you do here?”

“I handle marketing and promotion of this company’s products and services. In addition, I also help boost the social media following”

“That’s now an answer.”

She then stares at her watch, then at her phone. Why would she need to check the time twice? Did she know just how uncomfortable her proximity made me? After a minute of silence, she cleared her throat and looked at me again. Her eyes are stern, but still magical.

“How much do you earn?”

“Per month?”

“Do I pay you any other way?”

“50000. Net salary.”

“Hmmm… Do you have a family Mark?”

“Not yet. But I hope to one day”

“Do you save for your family?”

“I do what I can madam”

“You need to stop calling me Madam. It makes me feel old. How would you feel if I reduced your salary?”

“Are you planning to do that?”

“Not really an answer Mark”

“I would feel really bad… honestly I might even consider looking for another job. I barely survive with the 50k.”

She did not talk to me. I knew I had messed up big time. Me and my big mouth! Couldn’t I have just kissed her ass and given her the answer she might have hoped for? But who ever knows what she thinks?

“Are you good at your job?”

“Yes I am”

“Would you like to keep it?”

“Yes. It’s hard finding a job in my field. I need this job.”

“Hmmmm…I need evidence of your ‘good work’ by noon. Is that possible?”

“Yes”

It was 10minutes to noon. That bitch! She did not walk away. She pulled a chair and sat on it. Swinging round and round as the clock ticktocked. I honestly was confused. I had no idea how to behave. How do I give her proof of my good work? Therefore, I decided to sell one of her company’s services as she watched. I made a call to a promoter friend of mine who is helping me look for a plan B job. I ensured the phone call was loud enough that she could hear both sides from where she sat. I told my boy to get me a client interested in the company’s services. A few minutes later, I had convinced a stranger over the phone to switch from their random suppliers and be loyal to us. All I needed to do was draft an agreement for the client to sign.

I had less than a minute left to midday. I turned to my boss and told her “am done”.

She glanced up from her phone and asked me calmly “do you want a raise?”

“Yes I do.” I had realized it’s straight forward answers that work with her.

“You might get a 7% raise starting next month”

“Thank you mad… sorry. Thank you”

She smiled at me and stood up. I stood up too. Just in case there was a handshake to cement the new deal. She just looked at me as if I was some lost puppy. She turned her glance across the room to where my colleague was. While still staring she asked me “why can’t some people just do their work efficiently?” I knew better than to answer that one so I just kept quiet. She went ahead and said, “I should hire your friend. The one who linked you to a client. Am firing someone soon”

What did she mean by someone? Was it me? Was it Anne? She was after all staring at her while saying that. She had just promised me a raise, not directly, but it should count. That someone couldn’t be me, right? If its Anne, do I give her a heads up? Or would that get me fired too? This lady acted like she was made of stone. There are stories that she was deeply hurt and completely shut down after that. But no one knows any fact about her. Except that, she is a jerk.

She turned and looked at me. Then turned to walk away. Her light steps fading as she disappeared into her elegant office. That was the second time I heard her voice, and the first time she talked directly to me. The first time was while she addressed all employees on the day I joined. Just as she sat down in her office, I got an email. It was from her. To paraphrase it, it said she needed an immediate report on all my accomplishments in the company and to notify me that I would be working on the weekends. Half a day. I literally had no words.

On that day, I left work earlier than usual. Coincidentally, a bad one, I shared the lift downstairs with my boss. She maintained silence in the whole ride. Once we were on the ground floor, she asked me, “Am I a bad boss Mark?”

That was not one of those questions that needed honesty. So I told her “No, you are a good boss”

She smiled at me and looked at her watch.

“See you tomorrow. And don’t be late”

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