“Merry Christmas Commander”
This is the only Christmas message that I noticed. I also saw the others. “My family and I…” This message came from a naval soldier who has been a great pal of mine since 2012. With him and another, we share the nicknames ‘Lion’ & ‘Commander’. Of course, this means the king of the jungle. In my case, this was the King of a certain character or two. This name arose in college. It ties with “commander”. That explains the Christmas regards above. It was simple enough, and it made my day since one could not have sent this to two people. I would call it a customized message, which is rare over Christmas and Easter. I complain because I am yet to be a Christmas, fever person. But this is not about Christmas, it is about ‘Commander’. I used to enter a room or get in their presence & guys would go “Commander IN!”
Apologies for the spoiler in advance, as well as a sneak preview of the unfinished story back there. The PigStory. Where one played angel by day and devil’s advocate by night. So my discontentment with Electrical Engineering & the whole job affair grew day by day. You should have heard me telling people I am a budding electrical engineer… This discontent led me to do other things divergent to the system that I was in, currently. Spending hours on end at the Old Airport’s Waving bay watching planes take off and land, among others. This happened to be the gateway to a superior rank’s mess, and I was not supposed to be within range. At one time a warrant officer told me “Maina, you have childhood issues that you should let go.A trauma of sorts, you do not have to be always defiant and seeking to be always walking in the opposite direction & fighting the system. You are fighting that childhood war in you.” The last time that “childhood trauma” vibe was brought up; I almost shed tears in that office. The smile I put as I pinched myself at my back was misunderstood, as always. (Smiling was taken as arrogance especially when being reprimanded.)
|One of my many views…
By the way, KQ, Lots of Love!
The commander nickname arose because I somehow became; King of controversy, King of the miscreants, King of the 1 inch gang (Hair Level), King of the Extra duties, King of the Main Gate Shift, King of Small Enterprise, King Hustler (Cameraman, jewellery man, ladies purses, mitumba man, photocopy man, laptop broker, land dealer) – weird these business enterprises I had, did not make me a billionaire still. Maybe I had childhood issues after all. It had reached a point that in every list of criminals/ suspects, I was somewhere. The word criminal is relative because in some cases, what was wrong to one person was not a wrong to another person. I was the Système International d’ Unités of service delinquents. I was therefore on the fixed list of extra duties. These are duties that ensured I spent Saturdays and half of Sundays at work.
|Another common plane at the apron|
Kriscalf wanted to be different. Still does. A non-conformist bacterium lives in me. I figure it kind of wakes up to save me from futures I would not handle. Non-conformist in this sense was that I found it hard to kow-tow (towing the line – In one of my “greatest fan’s” words.) the social standards of the system that I was in. I set my ideologies that could not be attached to any particular cause. Now, I do not mean I was special or anything; after all, I was just the son of a farmer as we the “non-sponsored” lot referred to ourselves. Which in reality is true. I can say I was sloshed in my dream. However, I always had this mind that I would fully fit in if I were doing what got me into the system in the first place. Well, I would never come to work drunk, or late, or with a hangover and I would never be under the influence during official hours. It was just a natural rejection of societal conventions established by the system over the years and nobody ever noticed their redundancy. In short, doing things done in the 50’s in 2016 and trying to justify their existence. For instance, consider the illegitimacy of a junior approaching a superior who is say four ranks above you for a chat. Back in the day, you had to be escorted by an immediate superior. Therefore, you can imagine the looks I used to get when I told a superior that I wanted to talk to Major/ Captain so and so on matters regarding planes. “Maina, uko na mchezo sana wewe!” or “uko na wazimu wewe!” Later, I would storm directly to the office and have an “I need advice” moment with the pilots & take punishment later.
Therefore, you see the term ‘commander’ was not in good taste. So was the term lion. Please note that I speak for myself. The others we shared the name with were clean. I was the dirty one. The lion was attached to the boldness (I will commend you for thinking this was imprudent – of course, it was stupid). This was an evil commander. If you got me at the gate and shouted ‘Lion!’ my day would be made and 24 hours would zoom past, in the blink of an eye. Dominating the wrong doers list and being untameable got me a permanent position on the watch list for dismissal and heavy punishments like incarceration et al. That reminded me of a case where I was charged for sleeping outside the designated hostels. We can discuss conformity later and staying with the rest of the pack later. So I was told to write a statement. The Chris then wrote this and filed it.
“Re: Why I spend Nights Outside My Allocated Accommodation Area
I, (No) (Rank) (Name) was enlisted on (Date), I was trained at (College) and posted to … (gives a brief history & drops my inadequate academic history.)
“I am an adult of sound mind, who has always taken responsibilities for my choices & ever ready to face the repercussions of my actions.” (Now, younglings, obey your parents & superiors who have worked for more than 20 years in the institution you just joined… & never start a statement this way like you are writing a legal affidavit. They will hang you by your balls.) > Response (“Usituonyeshe umesoma saaana!!!”) “ I agree that I sleep outside the establishment. I, however, need to clarify that contrary to the belief that it happens every night; I do it on specific nights. (Here I lied – Of course, I slept outside all the time) I understand this is indiscipline, but for all that it’s worth, I chose this path because my fellow college mates need my services. For instance, days that lecturers gave hand-outs for use the next day & everyone needs a copy, I am the go-to person who facilitates this around the college. Sometimes I contract someone to do the copy work for me and then I would just pick after preps. (Yes we had mandatory preps) It was hard coming back at 10.30pm. So I decided to be staying at my place. Whenever I manage to return, I reside at my other hostel – which I organized by myself, to reduce the walking distance at those odd hours of the night when I returned. (You were supposed to live with the rest of the class, I found my own – Expect a tales from the “Cave” series). Then there are days that I am ‘too’ stressed (I am stressed 70% of the time, by the way, sir.) to be in this compound & I cannot handle it, I retire to my place a distance from this institution. On the stress issue, this place is not conducive enough, and it does not favour me at all. I need to run away from the negativity occasionally and find mentors out there, that I cannot find here, or I am restricted to reach out to. I am not good at handling negative mindsets & I have never understood what the crime in wanting to study aviation is & why you feel the need to change my mind. Everyone here has settled into their careers, and they already have what they wanted; I am still searching. I then come back the following day in high spirits, a refreshed ‘worker’ & student with enough self-motivation to undertake another rough day, & I have never been late for any program. That is all I have to state.” End
You can guess the reactions of those who read that letter. In fact it was rejected at the first level & someone said “wewe unataka kufutwa wewe!” “I am not writing a statement to please anyone sir, I am writing to tell the truth, so I will not write another.” Some of you will think this was a gutsy move, and others will think it was a stupid move…