What was that? The afternoon has been wonderful. For the past few weeks, I have been praying to God for answers to a challenging situation I have been struggling with. I will not be disclosing that in depth at this point though. But the answer came around one AM last night. An unexpected caller. Unknown to the last minute – in that restaurant. A call that would last for another hour. It was relieving. However, at some point I was stammering and had to let go of that call. & No! I was not possessed. God forbid! The closing remarks included an arrangement to meet up as soon as would be possible. We met a little after lunch hour after an uneventful morning at Wilson Airport at some hotel in town. As usual, I sat at a corner, a vantage point of sorts, – coz I got there first and because, there is security in facing or having a view of all the exits of an establishment. I felt safe. I felt secure. However, deep inside, I was in turmoil. Remember I was meeting a stranger. If I was to be kidnapped, let me be by a face, I have seen. Thus… In full view of the door. I was worried sick because I have been in my own world myself. Instinct had approved this meet. I hoped the gentleman would not be part of a kidney harvesting cartel. I enjoyed the time. Shared a lot and learnt a lot as well. Had some major eureka moment within that conversation. I do not know what I would call it. However, I think I have had too many eureka moments that I cannot call them that anymore. I am probably destroying ‘eureka moment’s’ CV while at it.
Never mind what we discussed. The details that is. The world is running short of such crazy men who pick you out from the crowd and do whatever he did to me in that restaurant – just by word of the mouth. Running short of people who you can sit down with, and discuss issues to a certain point that kicks you out of your comfort zone. You know, without bias or prior historical info. Sometimes you need someone to shake you out of your dream zone and into reality and learn to manage the two. Friends are okay and are in this category but sometime they can mollycoddle you too much that you miss some of the important points on this journey that is life… That talk came to an end… Then I went took my Matatu home.
I realized I was in the wrong bus when the bus turned and joined Rabai Road from Jogoo Road. I was soooo confused, I used Buruburu Mats. Which is very weird because from a normal human being who is just a little bit confused, I should have gotten into a Mwamba Sacco bus and ended up in Komarock or Forward Travellers to Kayole. But Buruburu!!! Those are two streets and a lane away! From my normal stage. Again it took me all that time because I was so lost in thought I realized at that point. (Weirdly The Point is near the point I realized I was lost) –Only Buru people will get this. The fare was the same at that time and so it never hit at the time of paying up. It’s okay, I convinced myself. I would walk the rest of the way from Buruburu. Nevertheless, I was freaked out to space and back. That is how people find their selves in a secluded bush at Muguga or Limuru. Not because someone kidnapped them… Because – mind things!
Buruburuto Innercore is a walking distance. Unless you are too tired to walk. ‘I can do this’ It actually takes a shorter time compared to a matatu doing the whole Moi Drive round picking and dropping people over rush hour.
I am walking on Sonko Road and it feels like I am on another planet. I cannot explain how but my mind is just elsewhere. I feel like I want to pass out. But it cannot be. I had lunch today and I ate well! Again, I have had too much sugar just a few minutes ago… I am not high. I am sober. However, I cannot explain this other state I am in. & stop waiting for me to collapse on the street, I was not *riced*. I see people passing by me. Unlike other days when I have to dodge vehicles and people squeezing to one side of this road, it is clear today. The road had been closed because it’s our time to get our section of OuterRing Superhighway sorted. Motorcycle riders are having a field day at the middle of the road and I walk confidently knowing that nothing can harm me. I can only see colors ahead of me and to my sides moving in an orderly manner. Ahhh they are people. I come to my senses again when I pass by the Joggerschoir. “Joggers! Fifty!… Hamsini! Joggers Fayftee! Joggers 50! *Whistles* x countless times. I smile a bit then some voice at the back of my mind asks another voice at the smiling part of my mind… ‘Why are you smiling?’ The voice actually clicks… ‘Tsk!’ I meet another choir ahead. This one is cheering Tights… you would think they are selling themselves. Mutindwa is just a crazy market. At times, this music is entertaining. But at times, like now, I don’t even know where to place it. I carefully cross the railway, for some reason I am too careful. The train doesn’t even pass by this place until hours later. It’s like I saw life flash before my eyes a while ago. It’s like I am leaving, but something is still holding me back. I don’t know what it though. I am just distracted for some reason. Disturbed would be too harsh.
You see how these road engineers have been digging the roads and having one big trench and then filling it up later… That is the current situation here. Women are just staring at the manmade valley. They are afraid of the makeshift bridge for fear of falling. Others just fear their tight clothes will rip apart and we will get to see what is underneath in broad daylight. Wait, I don’t even know how I got into the middle of the rocky floor foundation of this road. Last I checked I was pulling out my camera to take a photo of this section of the road because at some point I would need it – I figured. But… Somehow, my absent-minded self walked to this point. I carried on. Lost in thought. Absorbing that afternoon. Rather what had come to be revealed to me. I think I was super motivated or something…. High on myself eh, the kind that you cannot even think clearly. I can feel myself on the verge of talking to myself. But, I hold it in. ‘Keep calm Chris. Keep calm.’
Look! Smartly dressed mannequins. Why do they always appear to be better dressed than I am? I have always been telling myself that one day I will be using mannequins as fashion guides – just like I am doing right now. The way they match them up especially. My… ‘Keep walking, you need to get home or you will run mad in public, in view of everyone.’ so I trudge on. I am smart by the way… Looking like someone who has come from work. My keys are rubbing my left butt cheek sore and I have to remove them. It’s even a wonder I sat on them the whole time at the restaurant and twice on the bus. I slip the key ring to my finger on my left hand and walk on… I notice something shinny on the hand attracts people’s attention. Alternatively, my house keys, look like car keys – making me more attractive… Campaigns have started early. Or why are people in lorries cheering Theuri! Theuri!?
I cross Moi Drive to the other stretch and I meet a relative. I am still absent minded and I stammer a few words and he is like
“Mûhana atîa? Îî nî gakoretwo kahida…” “No ûrathoma?”
I reply in Kikuyu calmly trying to act normal.
“Turî-o ega na gîthomo no dîratwarîthîa”
(“How have you been? It’s been a while, are you still studying?” I say, “We are doing well and I am still on my education.”)
He then shifts a bit, puts his hand in his pockets, and without looking, hands me a note in hand. He does not look and so I do not look at what he gave either but I can feel it and I slide it in my pocket as is – I will check it out later. He just blessed me. Tells me to go have a soda with my sister. I am grateful, I smile, and I feel my eyes getting heavy. The voice again is like ‘What the hell man!’ So I look up into the sky as I walk away and almost walk into the sludge that has become Umoja’s signature. The mixture of storm water, sewage, several mama mbogas’ trash piles and mud. “Darn!!!” I curse. The psycho bar is slowly filling up, I tell myself. ‘75% young man, & you will be collecting papers!’ I pocket my left hand and steady my walk. I then raise my right hand to the side of my nose where a small scar hides. I press it a little and for some reason I sober up. The tears go away. ‘This is being a wreck Chris!’ ‘You are losing it’. ‘You are soooo losing it’. So it’s at this point I figure out I need to write… But I am walking. So? ‘Figure it out!’ said that other voice in my head. I almost sit by the roadside. ‘Look at your shoes? How did your feet start reshaping the heel in the Y design? It’s ugly man!’ I have now started seeing things. I follow the ground and walk by instinct. I feel like everyone is looking at me at this point. I don’t know why. It’s like they know my darkest secrets. Like that first time when you had your sunglasses on and felt like everyone knows you are wearing them for the first time, or like they can tell your ears are not symmetrically placed and so you look like your face is slanted or something.
“Nini mbaya na wewe mwanaume!?”
A deeply accented (accent censored for my personal security) guttural voice you would usually hear from Munyu Roadbarmaids at 5am or women who chew miraa to the wee hours of the morning goes. I cannot believe it’s coming from this lady I just bumped into.
“Pole! Pole! Madam. Sikuwa nakuona!”
“Wewe Fala! hukuwa unaniona kwani kichwa na macho zilikiwa wapi?”
The scent of her hair gel told me this is not the kind of woman to even engage in conversation with. It comes with a blend of various other scents I cannot discern. Her voice was getting louder and she was creating a scene. To make matters worse, this is some distance from the Umoja Seventh Day Adventist church at Innercore – a very busy stretch around this hour. The road has people getting home from work and children going home from school. I don’t want to be the center of attraction here.
“Ama ni hizi ulikuwa unataka!!? Nyinyi tuvijana tumetoka shule juzi mna nyege sana!…”
I walk away mortified to shame planet and back, head stooped lower than it was before I bumped into her. I don’t even know where she came from!
“Weeee kwenda Uko! Na uangaliange mahali unatembea! Ama kama ni vitu unataka useme!… Kanajifanya haaaapa vile kako innocent sijui smart smart… *Sneers*!!!”
She continues rambling on but I can not hear the last of her words. I am fleeing the scene almost in a jog. The carpenters and metalworkers around have stopped to enjoy the drama. I don’t look back. I walk on and meet the garbage company guy. Remember him from the Budalangi encounter…? Since he asked if I had a sponsor, his heart of concern just attracted me to him and I always say hi to him whenever possible. He asks if this is the time, I leave work and I say yes to avoid long stories because… Abcd… Coincidentally just a few meters from the dumpsite or is it the sorting site under the power lines. Here my mind concentrates a little bit – I regain my senses and become more security conscious. I need to dodge some unpalatable garbage elements. I have heard numerous stories of people being mugged here. I have never been mugged though, even at those late hours. God forbid, I am not calling unto them. This hour some women are counting money. I feel like asking them how they make money from this stuff but I realize this might earn me a used diaper in the face. So I walk on… ‘What is happening to my mind?’ As I walk lost in thought, I realize I am not as crazy as I feared… Or is it the crazy woman I bumped into on the street who brought me to my senses? I don’t know. Or have I solved my mental issues yet? I cannot quite figure that out.
|Dumpsite – because I feel as lousy..|