Men Too Are Sensitive

#np Roses – Nas

It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. (Paulo Coelho)

The skies are still gloomy. Monkeys still stare down at you atop the neighbourhood trees. And the watchman, huddled underneath layer upon layer of ‘protective shells’, still asks you for a little something-something.

You realize what’s changed, is you.

For in the few days that you were gone, lumbering along a different lane of life, criss-crossing the mazes of experience; you somehow changed. New experiences, new people met, new stories to tell. All these alter the perspectives you previously held about any number of things in life.

Yet one truism remains. That regardless of how old we are, how far and wide we travel, or how mature we claim to have grown; our emotions will forever be existent. They will forever be ours. They will forever remain as just that – emotions. No one will ever get to throw their hands in the air and shout, “Yeah, I’ve become so mature that my heart just turned to stone. No more emotional roller-coasters for me.” For this life we live is driven by emotions. They are the fuel for life’s endeavours, the one thing that keep us in check of the realities of the world. Pain and pleasure; joy and sadness; grief & rejoice; there wouldn’t be any of these if it weren’t for how we perceive them – through our hearts.


The other day, that would be a few weeks ago, one of my bosom buddies received that death-threatening call from his girlfriend. The kind of call that has a strange and ominous ring to it. Its sound reverberates through your senses with an emotionless chill. You can feel the sorrow from the angels that watch over you. The tiny devils around probably share some hearty laughter, with each chuckle even more sinister than the previous. For what is about to happen, is that your boyfriend/girlfriend is about to end things with you. And somehow, someway, you knew that something was amiss. You felt it as soon as that ringtone on your phone came to life. In some strange way, your heart could perceive that something not so joyous was about to happen…

I bear no knowledge of how much emotion their conversation held. Or whether either of them sobbed during their talk. So please don’t quiz me about any of that. All I know is that at the end of it all, they were no longer a pair. What was once looked at as a long-standing affair, one that was probably headed for a lifetime companionship – is no more.

The first day of it all saw my dear brother exclaim at how he saw it coming. And why he wasn’t the least bit shocked at the way things had turned out. I could tell he didn’t want to go into the details, for he skirted around my questions like a prom dress about to lose its innocence. Our conversation lasted as long as any ordinary human can hold their breath. In true “macho” fashion, he brought the two-minute discussion to a close by stating that he never wanted to talk about it again. Ever.


Yet as it is, men are all sensitive creatures who constantly try and deny the fact that they too are sensitive beings. Treating sensitivity as a trait of lesser beings. Matters of the heart as best left for discussion within the confines of a bottomless glass of vodka. One sporting a dash of brandy, and maybe some gin, and some whisky, just for safe measure. Only with such a concoction will most men open up. The kind of concoction that tests all your senses. (Sight) You stare; (Touch) your fingers then play around with the glass as you prep your brain for suicide; (Smell) yes, you smell it; (Taste) – the odd-coloured waters finally hit your tongue, sending wave upon wave of chills down your body; (Auditory) the sound of a choir, humming a solemn hymn in acknowledgement of your brave endeavours, echoes through your now induced brain.

That, dear brethren, is what might get a man talking about his emotional woes. I repeat: MIGHT.

I must say it’s one stupid paradox. One that has gripped most males by the balls of their existence. Driving them to do insane things when they find no way of dealing with their hurt emotions. My dear brother here chose not talking about it as his avenue to emotional redemption. (Sick, isn’t it?)

Most men are like that.

I on my part, was ready to give him as much a crying shoulder as the next brother should. As a matter of fact, I believe I already did give him the most crying shoulder a man should ever give another “heart-broken” man. I offered to buy him the most ping-pong tiddly in whatever nuclear-sub our plums set foot in. Which, in lay-man’s terms, is an offer to buy him the strongest, most potent, alcoholic beverage at whichever liquor store we could find.

We set a date, and whatever was to unfold would unfold then. It’s now three weeks later, and he’s still unavailable. (I think emotionally _ in a bromance kind of way.)


But what does this have to do with my absence? Everything.

For in the same way I’ve wound up home, there comes a time when we all find our way home. No matter how deep in the dirt our emotions have taken us, or how many unexplored seas we drown in – there will come a time when my dear brother will wake up and realize that nothing in the world will have changed.

Nairobi’s unpredictable weather will still be just that – unpredictable. T.V. anchors will still switch from one media house to the other. The men that run this country will still neglect the plight of teachers, policemen and other hard-working civil servants – while spending more on themselves and their cronies. And his neighbourhood watchman will still try to beat the cold whichever way he can. Sure enough, he still will ask for a little something something for the eyes. (Direct translation for: kitu kidogo ya macho.)

In the many months it takes him to get his emotions back in check, he’ll turn out a different man. New emotions to deal with. New experiences to have. New stories to tell….

He’ll realize that what will have changed, is him.

#np Keepin The Faith – De La Soul


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