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Oh The Cocoa-nfusion

This is going to be a short story. I may get to the point eventually; but am going to waste time going round and round about a whole lot of personal crap that you probably don’t give a damn about. You know, just to keep things going.

I have guilty pleasures that I have no problem admitting to. I will admit to one today. I am drawn to powdery things. I love a dry throat just as much as I love taking water. It is the pleasure I derive that drives me to taking powdery things. I like Patcos because they crush into the best powder, and just before the powder becomes wet with saliva, it spreads into the throat, giving it a dry effect for a moment. A moment that I can live in for a while. When I cannot find Patcos I settle for glucose, it doesn’t have the same effect, but it is almost close. The only problem is, it gets wet fast. Due to this behaviour, I have on several occasions thought about the other white powdery stuff. You know, the illegal one. I have watched enough movies to see how it is done. I have imagined it so many times.

I also love chocolate. I love drinking chocolate, I take it as dry as it is instead of actually drinking it. Why? Because I am drawn to powdery things. Cocoa has a strong taste. There is no easy way to describe the joy cocoa brings. When I pour a portion of the drinking chocolate in my mouth, it acts like dust and immediately dries my throat with its powdery effect. That feeling is everything at the moment. I am yet to understand it fully. I also like cocoa because it does not get wet fast.

I spend most of my days lately watching series on my laptop or funny videos on social media. On good days, I write. Sometimes just for me, sometimes for someone who needs my expertise in academic writing. On the days I spend time watching videos, I like to have a packet of cocoa by my side so I can keep taking portions of it in between the episodes.

On this fine day, we woke up when it was raining. I had plans to visit the library during the day. Plans which had to be cancelled because there was no way I going out in the rain. When the rain stopped, we sent my sister to the supermarket to buy some packets of cocoa and honey. Am not the only one addicted to cocoa in our house. It was the first time we were sending my sister to town alone. She had never been in a public vehicle alone. But on this day, she was the only one who could actually go out. I was not in the mood anymore. We gave her a phone, the money, a sling bag and a shopping bag. Since supermarkets insist on selling the bags, we try to remember to carry a bag to the supermarket. It was not the usual bags we see around. This was one of a kind. It’s been in the family for years. A beautiful woven bag that is strong enough to carry anything.

She left the house. I was particularly waiting for the cocoa so I can have my day’s dose of powder.

Just before we had lunch, my sister was back. We noticed she didn’t have the bag we had given her. All she had on her was the sling bag. She was not in a good mood. We automatically assumed that someone had bullied her along the way or in the supermarket and we were ready to find the perpetrators of that act.

We decided to ask her what had happened. And her reply was the best I have heard in a while.

nime…(sobs) ni(sobs) nimesahau (more sobs) vi(sobs) izo vi(sobs) vitu (more sobs) kwa kwa(sobs) gari (uncontrollable sobs)”

I couldn’t contain my laughter.

What happened is, the matatu had left her a distance from our stage. I believe with that confusion and being that it was her first time being in a public vehicle alone, she could not remember the things she had bought. She just alighted the matatu and only realized she didn’t have the bag once she was inside the estate gate. That was when the crying started. I assume.

We asked her if she remembered anything about the matatu. She remembered something alright. Something that may be the baseline of a good description had she given more details. It was a white matatu. So helpful! My mum managed to talk her down because she was very upset but I could see she was holding back her laughter.

I felt for my sister. The first time out alone and you lose everything you’ve been sent. But at the same time, I really missed my cocoa.

“So, for how long are you going to hold back your laughter?” I asked my mum when she finally was alone.

“I will reserve it for later.”

“You do that, but I want my cocoa. How do we resolve that?”

“I’ll be going to town later in the day. I’ll get some.”

“I think kushukishwa mbali na gate ilimconfuse. Good thing ulimtuma cocoa na asali pekee”

“Yeah. I also want to believe that is what may have caused her confusion” she agreed with me.

“haha… a cocoa-nfusion”

“hmmm?”

“oh, nothing. You may not get it”

I didn’t get my dose of the powder this day. Yaani niliskia vibaya.

It was however a lesson my sister learnt in a way. At least now she will know in a matatu, your main concern is your luggage, not even the fare.

Hike In A ‘Park’ Of Lies

Watching the news lately has been a ride on an emotional rollercoaster. There is always something so wrong and something so unimaginable going on, not just in Kenya but also outside the country. The political arena has become an improved version of the appalling political games we are used to. The social dome has become an institution of moral decay. Journalist are becoming victims of the very horrible stories that they report.

All this is sad.

I, however, believe that in every shade of darkness, there is a glimpse of light. In this, it’s Trevor Ombija’s voice. All he has to do is introduce himself with that deep intoxicating voice, keep talking and am all ears. Not to listen to the news, but to listen to his voice. I can hear the news as background noise. What intrigues me is how his vocal codes produce such an impeccable sound. He doesn’t even have to try.

Anyway this story isn’t about Trevor’s voice. Not even a little bit. I just had to put it out there. Maybe one of my readers has some direct contact with him. To that reader, just let Trevor know his voice is a blessing to the fourth estate.

The main point in my story, this isn’t much of a story as it is a rant, is a hike.

During the Easter holidays, we hosted some visitors from abroad. There is a certain interest in adventure that most visitors have whenever they visit our country. Our visitors had done their own research and noted down the areas they wanted to visit while in Kenya. They used Google Maps to search for the nearest wildlife sanctuary that they could visit. Due to the location we were at, they settled for Ndere Island National Park.

Before we go further let me just let you all know that in my own personal opinion; all factors considered, together with a little bit of emotional backstory that highly involves regret in cash spent, this is one place that does not deserve the name ‘National Park’. I don’t know what criteria KWS in conjunction with the ministry of tourism uses while categorizing national parks, but I strongly believe that this particular one was overrated.

We left home at 10am. According to our approximation, we were supposed to be in the since-they-insist-on-calling-it-a-national-park park, in an hour at most. We took more than an hour. When you go online, it is written that there is easy access to Ndere Island National Park from Kisumu. What a big lie! The road leading to the park is terrible. 90% of our journey was full of us (just read this as me) holding our breath as the driver tried to find a passable area in the road that would not see us plunging into ditches or getting stuck in knee deep mud puddles. I should not have ridden shotgun. You would think that I learnt my lesson when I rode shotgun on one of the buses in Nairobi. But no, I didn’t learn. Anyway that’s a story for another day. The point is, there was nothing easy about accessing the park.

We got to the park headquarters at noon. The rates were sort of ok for Kenyan citizens. They were not kind to the visitors; obviously. They didn’t mind for they had come for an adventure. They were going to board a boat crossing Lake Victoria for the first time. I was surprised how much that was a big deal to them. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I live with the Lake in my backyard both in town and at home. I can walk to the Lake anytime am in town and anytime am home. I have never thought anyone would be so thrilled to see and cross the Lake that much. It’s so unfortunate that the Lake wasn’t happy to see them, or anyone at that. It was green. Yes, the lake is green. Not a nice green, a filthy green. The kind that you find in sewage formed swamps. I was embarrassed for all of us (Kenyans). I am still embarrassed for us. That was not a good site. Something needs to be done. Am still not sure what yet, but let’s research and find a lasting solution.

The boatman was very quick to offer his services as a guide through the Island. An offer we had to politely decline because one, we had been told there are footpaths to guide visitors and two, he needed a lot of money to guide us.

Am going to summarize our visit to the Island so simply. It was a waste of time, money and energy.

I am not much of a fitness enthusiast. I don’t work out. I don’t eat healthy. My favourite activity is sitting down with my laptop and phone. I love eating junk food except for pizza. I just feel that it’s some sort of mockery to our chapattis. But that’s just my opinion. With all these in mind, imagine my shock when I realized all the island had to offer was an expensive hike. We spent alot of money just to walk through an island that’s characterized by hills and valleys, with the sun determined to show us who’s boss and the ‘many animals’ we had been told we would see being just a pack of Zebras who ran away at the first sight of strangers. We only got a glimpse of them as they ran away but saw enough of their shit as we were hiking.

That was an expensive hike.

Had I known prior that I would be paying to involuntarily work out without pleasing my eyes in any way, I would have atleast packed something other than one bottle of water to keep me going. At the information desk, the KWS people were so kind as to tell us we would see the animals kept there the moment we docked. The few Zebras that saw us and started running away from us, were spotted almost 45minutes into the hike. From a distance. Such lies!

Because I like complaining, I spent the most part of the journey back home complaining about the day. And because of that, I have a few recommendations for KWS regarding Ndere Island. One, the road, something has to be done about the road. Two, let’s stop misleading people. The name of that Island should be ‘Ndere Island Hiking and Camping Site’ or just anything else. Anything but a national park. That’s very misleading.

The next morning as I was out brushing my teeth, the herdsman was taking the sheep out of their shed. The last two sheep decided to take advantage of their slow pace and have a quickie right before my eyes. Animals have no shame. They don’t care about the size of their ummm, property? There is no seduction, no foreplay either; they just get on with it. The ram jumped on the ewe and in less than 5seconds he was done and was walking away. 5seconds people! Five! I got to see a sight I can never unsee, and it was free. Am not complaining. That was consolation enough for the time, energy and money we had spent on the Island.

Maybe I just complain too much.

Anyway, about Trevor Ombija’s voice, we all agree that it’s really something. Right?

THE INTERVIEW

8-4-4

I am not yet done with the last four. I still have some FAILS I need to sort. If you thought I am a genius… Definitely nobody thought that. You all know am stupid. I will stop at that.

It feels good not having cleared school. You got an excuse for not having a job. Being ever broke. Sleeping the whole day. Never contributing in buying alcohol (I do at times) when you go out. Visiting people empty handed.

But some people don’t just get it. They can’t let a man have his time. They are trying to push me to the corporate world. I hate the corporate world. Not exactly, I hate offices. They come with rules. I hate rules. People take pictures of themselves sitting in posh office seats, to boast on social media. To make us losers have ulcers. You already know every time a friend succeeds, I die inside. Offices will be the cause of my death.

The cleanliness, daily good looks, and smartness are not my optimum environment. I prosper in a mess. Messes turns me on.

I prefer waking up late, stay in my boxers or sweat pants, as I repeatedly poke my keyboard to get some coins. Get sorted on the spot. Go drink till the cash is drained. Repeat.

These guys don’t think I work. They think I just stare at my computer the whole day without doing anything constructive. They are right majority of the time. They think I am wasting away. I got wasted ages ago. Now after some good talks, mostly proverbs, I am doing what any other guy who clears the last four does. Si you know what.

I have got two interviews at the same time. I don’t know which one to attend. Do I let go of both or just not honour either? Makes sense, right?

I hate interviews. People lie in interviews. This piece today is full of hate. I hate to confess that. Maybe just a little…of hate. I hate lying. I never lie. I am poor at it.

Be sure that for almost a year now I have never lied to you here. Everything I tell you here is the truth. You can go back and review. Do your due diligence. I cannot tell you that “I won’t lie to you” then go ahead and lie anyway. I value the relationship we are trying to build here. Our relationship won’t be built on lies. I also appreciate your truth. Those who find my work sounding like a composition. Or unreadable. Boring should also be here. Keep them feedback coming.

If this too tastes like dog poop served with puke being inserted in your throat. You can skip the rest and get me in inbox. Or just skip the whole thing from 8-4-4 and return next week. I promise to be better.

If you keep to this journey then you will take me through the hate journey. By the end you might hate yourself for wasting minutes of your life.

Shitty Fact; You never know the amount of potential you harbor in you till the power of hate takes control.

Hate stops here.

I settled on the interview to attend. I was liking the idea of the C word.

I had been sitting at the reception of Parklands Sports Club for almost an hour. The place looks heavenly with a set of two chairs and a hard wood table on either side of the entry. The door on the right leads to the sportswear and clothe shop. On the left to the offices, while straight ahead a security point leading to the lobby.

I was checking out some kid membership brochure when a familiar voice gets to me, “Hey, you are Lewis, right?” It was more of a statement than a question.

Then turns to the guy on the other side and confirm, “And you are (not Lewis).”

I had spent a good time weighing the possibility of this guy being my competition. If at all he was, then I had no business sitting there. We are all taught to believe we are the best. That we have the best bodies made of precision out here. That we must believe we are the best thing that any human seed can form. We are a gift to the other mankind. Do you now see why I hate motivational speaking?

Those things can make you think all you need is passion, and a little work and just like that, you are headed to becoming a billionaire. Or does it work that way? I don’t know. I have no passion to follow. Neither do I know how to work hard.

Well, the guy looked better than me in several ways. We can face the truth. He had a fine suit on. I was also suited up. Only that he looked like he is used to it. I am used to looking like a homeless drug addict. He looked weightier. He looked like someone who knew the weights. It was like pitting Kevin Hart against Idris Elba in the game of vertical heights.

That got me happy and sad at the same time.

Happy because I was sure we couldn’t be going for the same position. You don’t look all that good only to tussle for a position with me. You will be losing in life.

Sad; if my fears were true, I had to subject the substance between my ears to extra use. You all know I don’t like doing that. I hate thinking. I hate putting my brain to work. I experience brain freeze most of the times. I use my brain sparingly. Some generation is coming that will need it.

“Let’s go to the other side.” Madam familiar voice says pointing to the lobby.

Everyone goes through the security. She inserts her card on an ATM like machine. She is a member. I put my phone on the security tray then move to pass through. “Put even the bag!” One of the security gets me back.

I take a step back. Place my bag. I start walking ahead.  “Put everything in!” He retorts in a speaker loud voice. Eyes around  concluded stuffs about me.

I put my card holder. It has several cards. Though I only carry it for the ID.

By the time I was done, she had already got her card back and probably wondering the village I am from. I felt like telling her that it happens to me at the airport as well. I am always in a hurry to cross. I am used to moving fast. More like I am always fleeing something.

You guys came early.” She says immediately I was done embarrassing myself.

Bitch you came late, we have been waiting.” My mind was screaming that, while my mouth could only afford a chuckle.

“I will start with you Lewis.” Then turns to our not-Lewis, “let me finish with him, I get to you.” I was deeply hoping it was not a classical case of save the best for last.

We sat under a dining shade. I placed my hands at the brown edges of the table surrounded with six seats. We were occupying the space directly opposite, facing each other. Our luggage put on the respective seats such that, a bag faces a purse, a cutie faces a hunky and empty stuff as well.

So tell me about yourself.” She asked snapping my attention off the wet patches of her brown jacket.

I should have told you that she had excused herself to the washroom. The wet patches on the jacket explained. I also should have told you that she was wearing black pants, that I won’t describe how nice they look. That we talked some times on the phone. Familiar voice explained. I should have told you a lot other things but I won’t. I have forgotten. I can’t recall her face. I don’t recall her voice. But be assured I recall whatever I will tell you here. I know you believe me. Because I won’t lie to you.

Back to whom I am.

Let’s pretend that you don’t know me already. I am Lewis; I don’t give a fuck about a lot of things. I am lazy. I don’t give a fuck is my unwritten motto. I have a record of leaving jobs without notice.

Obviously that only belongs in my mind. Or maybe if I share with you here like I have done.

I gave a good account of what I hoped Lewis was. Or what would give an impression I imagine they would want.

What do you know about the organization?

I have never doubted the wit of my pal Google, not even a dime, and for that he is always more than generous to get me good info. Be assured I aced that.

Across me she was beaming with a smile. I took it as a show of getting impressed.

Do you have any questions for me?” she asked perusing through the papers she had as if to look for more questions.

Yeah. Several. Mostly personal.” I thought. But yet again, my mouth and brain were not coordinating well. So I asked the simple things normal people get from the internet or boring people would ask.

Then some little more talk on the organization and stuff.

What’s your age? You haven’t indicated it here.” She asked darting her eye across the personal profile on my CV.

Does it have any bearing here? Or do you guys have some restrictions.” I asked hoping she would say that she was asking for personal reasons.

No restrictions really. We need to have details about people we work with.

“Well, I am (insert any random old age.)”

She burst a little, “You are such a kid!”

I am turning (insert random older age) soon.

Nuh you are still such a kid.” She insisted amid little laughter.

Just like that we were done. Maybe interviews are not that akin to twinge after all.

Okay, that’s all I remember from the interview. Every part left out is not intentional. I also told them to have a look at this site before making their final decisions.

Do you think this piece might deny me a place over there? I trashed the post on 101 facts about me when I allowed some people to take a background check on me. That’s how careless I can get.

How could I forget this? She repeatedly said that it’s fun working in their organization.

Let me get to updating my CV. In the meantime, you all see why I shouldn’t be going to work. I am still a kid.

And With Just A Few Words…

“How much longer did you except her to live?” she asked with a calm voice, her eyes slowly but steadily studying our reaction to that question. She was probably expecting to get an answer. The silence in the room was evidence of the discomfort the question had brought. What were we supposed to say? We had lived with her for almost a decade. She wasn’t just grandma to us, she was part of our everyday life. If you give a direct timeframe to her question, it would imply something else and if you don’t, like we all didn’t, it would imply that you know and actually accept that given the situation at hand, there was nothing you could have done to pretend or postpone it. And even if there was a way to postpone, you are still not willing to give a specific time that would have been appropriate for you. So basically, it was a question she knew she would get no answer to; but it would make us see our only option in the case was to learn to live with the reality.

That was the most difficult question I have had to face this year.
****************************************

It’s now been a little over two weeks since the burial. Everything in the house is still intact. Nothing much has changed. Except she is not here. It’s too quite. It’s the same; but not quite.

The sequence of events on that day are still fresh in mind. Making me wonder daily is there any way things would have gone differently? A question I know too well is not healthy to ask. But still…

27th January, 2018. Saturday.

My parents, my elder sister and I had travelled home (shags).

It is the memory of how I got the news that overshadows every other activity of the day. I was at a cousin’s home; my phone was off. I plugged my phone in the charger and when I switched it on, I had six messages from Lynne (my younger sister) who had stayed in Kisumu with my Aunt and grandma. They were not good. She was updating me on grandma’s condition during the day and she was shaken and after reading her texts, so was I. I tried chatting her up just to get her mind off everything; then I got a call from Mum’s number, but it was Arnette (my elder sister) on the phone.

‘hello’
‘bado mko mbali?’
‘tuko tu karibu kutoka. Kuna shida?’
‘sawa wewe kuja basi’

And she ended the call. That was unlike Arnette so I called her back using her number.

‘hey.. kwani nini mbaya? Unanishtua’
‘wee kuja nikuambie’
‘woi Arnette si useme tu ndio atleast nkikuja nikue najua kitu ya kuexpect’
‘aa.. wee kuja’

She ended the call once more. I know my sister so well and she is not one to keep anyone in suspense. She speaks her mind no matter where she is and at what time. Her tone in that phone call and how she kept insisting I had to be there was worrying. I decided to call my mother’s line. She picked up.

‘hallo?’
‘hello.. Mummy kuna shida? Arnette ananipigia na nkimwambia aongee anakata simu.’
‘where are you?’
‘we are just about to leave kwa kina Allan, I was charging my phone to a manageable percentage. It had gone off’
‘it’s ok. If you are on your way, then you just come’

She ended the call. My mum’s voice is usually so soft when she talks to me on phone. This time round I could tell she was struggling to maintain her voice. By that time, I had already told Allan (my cousin) that we needed to get back home ASAP. I called Lynne to see if she had perhaps heard something I should know.

‘hello’
‘hey.. have you heard anything from Aunty since aende na Kukhu hossy?’
‘no.. hajanipigia. Wewe have you heard anything?’
‘no, but Arnette has called me and the way she is talking she is really scaring me. It’s not her usual way you know..’
‘what’s she saying?’
‘nothing. Every time nkiuliza anasema ‘wee kuja’ then anakata. Am really worried. Can you try talking to her maybe she can tell you’
‘oo sawa’
‘sawa, then get back to me.. ok.. bye’
‘bye’

I turned to Allan and asked him, “how fast can you drive at night?”
“as fast as possible. But uko sure you won’t freak out? My driving scares you”
“I won’t freak out, just drive. Fast. But carefully”

Lynne never got back to me. I sent her two messages that went unanswered. It doesn’t take a genius to know all those signs pointed to something being very wrong. When we got home, I rushed to the house. The sitting room was empty. I headed straight to my mother’s room already panicking and scared. My subconscious had been trying to process everything for me based on the details I had but I kept fighting it. I wouldn’t want to even imagine THAT being a possibility.

I opened my mother’s room and lying on the bed was my Mum and sister, quiet. Arnette lifted her eyes to look at me when she heard the door close and that’s when I knew. I knew it, I just didn’t have the energy to ask for a verification. Her eyes were red and still very watery. A clear indication that she had been crying for a long time. My Mum turned a little and I could see she had her eyes closed and a handkerchief on her left hand. I turned back to Arnette and the look she gave me this time round broke my heart. She was talking to me with her eyes, but I didn’t want to listen. I didn’t want to tell myself what I already knew; I needed to hear it from her. She wiped a tear and looked at me to speak…

“We’ve just received bad news…”

“Kukhu?…” I could not recognise my own voice. The weight that word put on my chest as it came out hurt more than anything I’ve ever felt in my life. I could feel a warm tear already on my cheeks as my heart was sinking further. Her next words were bound to be the confirmation of painful truth that I had not wanted to let myself believe. There was just no way… As if studying me and hoping her words don’t break me more than I had already started breaking, she slowly told me what I didn’t want to hear, and yet needed to hear. Every word had its own weight of pain. Each more painful than the previous. They are words I can never un-hear, they are words that are stuck with me as they are the words that cemented the undeniable, yet the most painful truth ever. Just a few words…

“Yes, she has left us”

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

I only told four people about this; people who know me so well they know better than to ask me ‘how are you doing?’ when they know I won’t answer. I did not share the news on social media. I did not want to. Yet somehow I felt I owed some of my Facebook friends, and even other friends the truth. I just never knew how, and wasn’t ready. My Facebook friends were occasionally entertained by short stories on my grandma. She had so many fans. Some even requested me to be doing a special category just on her. It was a brilliant idea; but I never got to actually doing it. I never wanted to write old stories; I wanted new stories. And I got so many then new stories, they are now old stories… memories. Beautiful memories…

I have been away from social media trying to get myself back to normal. After further assessment, I realised normal is not really the goal, for it cannot be accomplished. It is living with the reality that is the goal. And I am working towards that. The most progress I have made is documenting the events of that day. One step at a time, right?

It is the nights that I dread the most. The darkness, the silence. Every night I lay awake in bed thinking…trying to understand the whole concept of death, loss and grief from a whole new angle. Every time the same thoughts come to mind, yet every time I don’t get an answer.

I hate the silence not because it keeps me thinking, but because it’s a constant reminder that she is no longer there. Kukhu was always praying at night. She would pray anytime she woke up until she drifts back to sleep. Most nights I would stay up just to listen to her talk to God. Her voice at night was always a reassuring factor that even if I sleep, I am protected. I stay awake this past few weeks in the silence trying so hard to remember her voice, her prayers. I wouldn’t want to forget her voice. I would love to always remember the words she said, even if it’s just a few words.

WRAPPING UP 2017

For the past decade, every new year has found me in church. 2017 was no exception. Other than it being a family tradition, I love the joy that comes with celebrating the new year in church. This year, as the clock struck midnight on the 1st of January 2017, the music was suddenly sweeter, louder and intoxicating in the right way. The keyboardist became more vigorous in playing the notes, the soloist was singing at the top of his lungs and the congregation was wild with joy. Everyone hugging everyone. Enemies smiling at each other across the aisles. It was a NEW YEAR .

Am pretty sure in the middle of all that celebration those who owned diaries full of resolutions were ready to begin ticking them. Those who made promises to visit the gym in the new year suddenly started thinking of better ways to spend that money; anywhere but the gym. Those preparing to go to school started stressing over what corner of the house they placed one side of their shoes. And I, was living the moment. Dancing to the music like it was my last day. My immediate thought at that point was how my bed will be cold when I get in and how my body heat would eventually warm it. The next thought was how to restock. (You’ll get this as you go on). The new year was just a few minutes old in all its glory, then I blinked and boom! It’s ending.

Its undisputed that the year 2017 has flown right past our eyes so fast. Just while you are in the process of coming to terms with an event, another passes right by to remind you no one’s got time to wait for you to process things at your own speed. So much has happened this year and it all felt like a movie trailer; considering how fast the year seems to have gone.

For one, this blog was officially birthed this year. We have shared stories and experiences together with our readers. Our interactions were not limited to the blog only, but to our social media accounts too. To connect with us there, visit our page HERE. It’s been a learning experience for both my partner and I.

Away from the blog, several other things have happened this year that could be talked about.

My partner is the kind of person who loves talking about anything and everything. ‘Hey Paula, whats your take on the driving rules?’ ‘What do you think about the current political climate?’ ‘Tell me your take on githeri media.’ ‘Have you read Nyakundi’s posts? What do you think?’ There is always something new to be discussed with him. Sometimes I cooperate and we have a good and rational discussion. But sometimes and most of these times, I just don’t tell him what he wants which makes us have a small problem. Nothing that can’t be solved by an emoji though. The other day he wanted to know what I think about lab processed meat. I mean I get that there is so much on the internet and every day the crazy factory that is science and technology will give us something new. I didn’t give him my view on it. I have no opinion.

There are times when things happen and I sit back and check how much I got left. Am not talking about money. I mean all the shit, fucks, crap, damn and possible rats’ asses that may be left for me to give in any scenario. Then I realize that am out. Fresh out of everything. These moments have all happened in the stretch of this year. 2017 has been the year when most of us ran out. I know I did.

For instance; we have had a never ending politically charged period; and it is not just in my country Kenya, but across the globe there has been a fair share of political drama, limbo, and sometimes even a breakthrough. America has Donald Trump, a president whose supporters are rarely heard, but has more critics that the Kardashians. Zimbabwe just got to have a new president since their independence. Kim Jong-un with the nuclear. Kenya made history by being the first African country to have its presidential elections nullified.

We have seen the rise of the boy child. A movement I must say I support. I do not however agree with the unorthodox and crude means the self-proclaimed president uses in order to get his point home.

So when my partner wants us to talk about all these things and I find a way not to, it’s not that I don’t want to talk about some of these things, it’s just that am honestly fresh out of things to give in such cases. You see there is so much that has happened in 2017. So much to talk about, but there is a moment when you are honestly out of what to give.

But again there are times when the pot is overflowing and there is so much to give. Like when it’s my birthday and the whole country is obsessed with two political candidates instead of sending me sweet birthday messages. Or maybe while browsing through the internet and learning that the one sided relationship I built with my long term celebrity crush, Enrique Iglesias may fail to come to life; and no, it’s not because physical distance is a problem (that can be sorted), but its solely because he got twins with his long term girlfriend (whom I had accepted by the way) and now his focus will be more on the kids. I have never been more heartbroken. But its ok, no hope lost still.

It is these kind of stuff that I give so much about.

It is the end of the year and like I said before, I will be in church. In the meantime, I will restock. 2018 seems like a year that will have scenarios that would need the pot full.

This is the last post this year, obviously. On a personal level, I never have resolutions. But as PepperLife, we have one main resolution. From the coming year, we will do away with the bad spirit of procrastination and laziness when it comes to posting stories. Just like we had promised when we moved here from the WordPress account, we will have a story every week. After further consultation and pointing fingers at each other, we have agreed to mutually share the blame on our failure in this.

Lastly, we are saying a big thank you to our readers, you have kept us going through the year. You are the reason we look forward to the next year. To those who kept reminding us that’s it’s a post day, thank you. We won’t let you down. We are happy. Keep sharing our work to the world. We immensely love you.

 

Happy New Year 2018!

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…

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***

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.
***************************************

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?