I felt something in the wind…

#np Closer – Goapele

I felt something in the wind, something powerful and profound. More mystical than logical, with no sense of time or place. Tickling to the mind, teasing to the heart. Its touch was the softest feeling to ever make its way into my life; its memories still haunting me to the present.

It came to me when I was lost, wandering about the prosaic plains that adorn this land. When the clouds floated coolly across the skies, and we drifted slowly in the opposite direction. When we had but dreams and ambition fuelled by passionate desire. Lives filled with relentless bouts of debauchery, and bubbling with effervescent energy. The hustle and toil of youth, what it was. With nothing of any more sense than the other.

Fear we knew not, courage we had much. Yet time carried with it the most senseless indulgences. Ever losing its way in a stagger of pointless fortification. Satisfying its own malicious caprice with one very voluptuous appetite. Parading its dirty linen with the diligence of a war-time sergeant. Giving humanity reason to no more believe in pure love, and honest submission. Setting the stage for a cruel summer, hot tempered and flaring with hurt-filled emotion. All because it could.

I felt something in the wind, one awfully cold afternoon. In the midst of a period long gone and not to be recovered. It came to me like a virgin peri at dusk. Neck filled with embelishments, body possessed of remarkable ecstasy and covered in heavenly redolence. Long and divine legs, flowing from a waist assuredly moulded in the empyrean courts. Fighting all the norms mother nature imposes on humanity. With soft, supple breasts perking underneath the silk, her entire body seemed to be aching for soft, pink lips by which to kiss her, and a throbbing body to be in communion with. Her bright, innocent eyes teasing the senses of time and space, her soft, supple touch like the feel of an angel’s hair. Wrecking the establishment of any right man’s conscience. Causing havoc to the internal composure of the masculine self. Leaving many a man in the company of misery, and filled with bloated regret. At the lost chance, and the oblivious promise of a second meeting. Which second meeting?

The one with this feeling, this desire, this demon possessed of fantastical obsession. A demon with a smile so bright yet teeth so crooked. Internally felt, outwardly hidden. Yet naked enough for all who cared to see. Determined to surmount whatever obstacles that lay along its path. Insuperable or not, none of that really mattered. All that was worth a second thought, was that instant. That very moment of existence. When the very ends of the earth seemed close enough to touch with the bare hands. When the music in your ears took on a different tune, echoing throughout your frame. The soft and sweet melodies getting you in a trance, as the beautiful voice caressed your thoughts. Leaving your mind floating in a wallowy goo of emotion, your heart nonexistent.

Your body felt something. Something unworldly. Something eternal. Your will to attain this object of your missing heart’s desire was renewed. The cups of like and love both running over. For once, the voices in your head and the blood in your veins were all in agreement – “She/He is yours.” For she smiled at you, face radiant with beauty, and allowed herself into your arms. He too winked at you. Giving you the whitest smile your eyes ever laid sight upon. His muscular frame so appetising to your craving. The strength of your mutual attraction sparking fire-flames in your bodies, as she made her lips yours, and you made your body hers.

And somewhere in the darkness of your heart, you saw a glimmer of light. Faint and distant, but definitely there. A tune of lavished intention belted out from the core of your soul. While the distant stars in the skies above danced to the sound of your music. But did you get to play the entire song?

I felt something in the wind, one day as I slept soundlessly, maybe even noisily. It had me writhing in delight, as I dreamt of its possibility. Taking in the everlasting scenes that ran through my mind. Ceaselessly enjoying the rhythm of my heart. Desire coursing all through my body.

So I beat on. Chasing that star that shines so brightly in the sky. Hoping to some day catch that which I felt in the wind. Even if for one lifetime. This lifetime.

For I really did feel something in the wind. Today morning, at 0400 HRS. What was it? May the reader conclude upon that which the writer has been unable to put in words.

#np Young and Beautiful – Lana Del Ray

3 Minute Reading: Red Lingerie

Its 2135 hrs – Nairobi time. I’m in my boxers right now, red checked boxers. Lying in bed, I’m covered by a blue, cotton quilt with grey checkers dotted across its surface. Two pillows support my head, and my (now-ageing) phone is clutched between my two front paws.

I type this while staring at my clothing rack, heavy-ladden with my small collection of shirts and scarves, as they too eye me in return. One red, navy blue, and white checked shirt in particular, seems to be begging for personal attention. Craving for it even. Its look holds eerie telltales of desperation. Desperate desire to beckon me over for a little tete-a-tete. Maybe even hoping I’ll invite it over for some late-night pillow-talk. But it knows those puppy eyes won’t work on me. Its place is beside that double-coloured, red and grey scarf besides it. And that’s where its going to stay all night. Right underneath the red, Manchester United, polo shirt, and the red and black lumberjack; both thrown recklessly over their neat order.

That’s five times now that I’ve used the word ‘red’. I too have just discovered how many red items are in my possession, and the statistics are crazy, I tell you. Even my pencil sharpener is of the same colour as these shirts I speak of. Do I love the colour red? Not particularly. Yet everywhere I turn, all I see is red. Like tiny warning signs scattered all across the room.

Red hand-towel; red curtains; red scented candle; one or two scarves with at least a hint of red; a red box of five half coronas; Fahrenheit deodorant in a red, metallic container; a glass, sugar jar with a red lid…..I could go on, but I believe you get the point, don’t you? Oh sorry, let me add _ even red pencils.

Now, so that you don’t view me as a freak, allow me to inform you that most of my shirts are actually in various shades of blue, _ and some brown, and _ I see numerous pinks too. No red shoes or blazers, and no red lipstick for that matter. None of all my beddings either, is of the colour red. But I still feel so naked knowing that if ever my girlfriend was to buy me a gift, it would be as simple as getting almost anything in the colour red; and nailing it.

Perhaps that’s why she bought me this box of Henri Wintermans, that devious woman. Using shortcuts and dodgy bypasses to get me all smiley, and soapy eyed. Well if you’re reading this, girlfriend, better be careful how you tread with these gifts. Or I might just adopt a shortcut of my own to get you the same. Something along the lines of: buy anything that looks/feels/smells like the person that would be interested in it, once believed in fairies. Those that fly over fields of bright and sweet scented flowers, kissing butterflies along the way, spreading cheer and happiness all day. I mean, that’s what excites you – right? No?

Well for me, the colour red does. It gives me jolts of joy and tinges of love each time I see it, or wear anything of its likeness. It gives my skies extra rays of light, and makes the sun shine even more closely. The natural flow of things gets distorted when I’m in a red item, or when this red, vanilla scented candle by my bed is lit. Burning ever so softly, its scent gracefully wafting through the air. Getting my body systems all warm and covered with beads of hot, sweaty thoughts. I’m not trying to be suggestive with you, BUT _ if you were in red lingerie, well I just don’t know??? I really don’t know what things the cover of night, the sounds of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’, and these scented candles would altogether make me do. All I know, and can say, is that I would plead innocence for the panoramic view your night might just take. Don’t they call it the colour of passion too?

So pardon the affinity, or my excitement. Its just that such tiny, red things give me so much pleasure. Well, except for that red lipstick your friend stained my white polo shirt with. I mean, who does that _ especially when hugging someone? And I’m not saying she has big lips or anything, no. Don’t accuse me of that. But damn, who does that?

A Man’s Honesty, A Son’s Tears

#np All That I Got Is You – Ghostface Killah (feat. Mary J. Blige)

I pace around my newly rented space, silently, pointlessly, thoughtlessly. There’s a song playing. Sweet melodies from the violin are all I hear, the piano too. My mind reads through the story of struggle told by the artiste. His honest take on life with a single mom helps simmer down my thoughts. It takes my mind back to a different time. A time when I was still young. Young and emotionally vulnerable. Filled with hurt from the struggles some of us humans must endure.

I crack open an egg, and pour its contents onto the already heating pan. Then crack open a second, and do the same. The sizzle of the cooking oil, cutting short the life of a would-be chick, seems to extend a calming effect my way. Perhaps I’m in a Freddy vs. Jason state of mind, I don’t know. To be honest I don’t care. All that matters right now are these eggs. Scrambled, or whatever they turn-out to be. They’re all I can afford to think about right now. That, and my parents. For the song playing reflects a part of me. A part of my life that people who know me will rarely fathom. A part that I hate as much as I appreciate. Good or bad, this part of me has made me everything I am.

I click through the images from my past. Those that float inside my head without inhibition. Those of happy times, and some of sad times. I gaze at the stars from my younger days, whose glow still lingers in the hidden depths of my optical senses. I’m spinning in circles, floating in the fragrance of the open fields at Kilimani Junior Academy. Amidst tall trees somewhere in the heart of Karen, it was here that I learnt not to wish, but dare to dream.

As the artist of the class, I would stand in front of my fellow second grade classmates, day to day, taking them through the strokes of a hand, the motions of an art. My art. With this gift, I – an instrument made from clay – would embrace my chances at making the Almighty proud. For if we are made in His image, is He not the one that’s gifted, and talented, even celebrated? Little did I know that this was to be just the first sketch on my life’s canvas, but it felt great to have the entire blackboard at my fingertips. It felt wonderful. Almost magical. A seven year old kid, with the world at the tips of his fingers, and the mercy of his creativity. I must say it helped me grow mentally – real fast.

From a young age, I knew and embraced challenges. For each time I looked at a clear piece of paper, or even blackboard, all I saw were pictures and drawings. It was the challenge of turning this clear and unused medium into a work of art that has helped me become the risk taker that I am today. Plunging into the world of self-employment without any of the tools, or financial support, that most people say the lack.

Fast forward through the years, and my life turned black. A dark cloud engulfed my life, killing my bright, sun-shining eyes ever so softly. You could say I began staring out of Stevie Wonder’s glasses. Yet as the first born, and as is for every first born, I was expected to brave it out. No show of defeat was I to portray, no amount of sadness was I to be overwhelmed by. It was I to help my younger siblings pull through this storm. To face this monster that is life. These were lessons fast learned, not by choice, but by circumstance. By the lack of any alternative routes to take.

I would spend my schooldays with my mom, back and forth this Nairobi city. As a teacher at my school, I had the unwilling chance to be her student, and she my class-teacher. Never have you been tormented by noise-making demons, until you have your own parent as your class-teacher. Still, I pulled through. Still I made those years count. For in our silent journeys across the worlds that lay in our way, I learnt the art of perseverance, of sacrifice, of persistence, and of prayer. I learnt to understand the hard-work, and effort, it takes to be a dad – my dad; and the love and sacrifice it takes to be all that is expected of a mom – my mom.

And that’s why I write to you both, mom and dad.

From neglecting your own hunger, just so we, your children, could have a meal, to staying up all night when you were overwhelmed with life. The endless nights and countless thoughts you must have had, they seem more than what you should have had to endure, to raise me and my siblings right. But now I understand, now I appreciate. Being a mother means more than just giving birth; being a father means more than just being the man of the house. It means hard-work, prayer, sacrifice, tears, laughter, joy, sadness – all because of your undying love for your kids.

I remember one outing we went to, neither of you was there, when I had to forsake my hunger, because my younger siblings were as hungry as I was. Leaving them the first share of what was a fairly decent meal. Making sure they were fully satisfied, before I sat down and took to satisfying my own hunger. This, I learnt from you. I think about all the times that we did without. All the days of hopeless stares and silent cries. Of the letter I once wrote to an anonymous reader, saying how I wish I could help change the world we lived in. Those were the thoughts of an ambitious nine year old. And having just read through that letter, it’s so heart warming to think of how wild my thoughts were back then.

In spite of it all, I sit here and thank God that I am alive, that we are alive. That the love is still there, despite the invisible lines your children have now drawn in the sand. Saying you can only do this much, and only interfere with our lives this little. You and dad have been the inspiration for all that I am. It is you two that have given me the strength to cope with life, and its struggles. The understanding of how hard one has to work at making a better life for themselves, and their kids. The faith of a better tomorrow, no matter how bleak things may be. The power of prayer, and faith in God. The sacrifice that is love; and most of all – the conviction that we all rise out from the ashes, no matter how terribly burnt we are.

As I sit here, alone in this room, I’m caught up in a whirlwind of thought. Reeling from the sad and lonely feeling that is the aftermath of reminiscence. Still listening to music you repeatedly told me was too noisy. Yes, I admit, I was too infatuated with loud, nonsensical music back then. But I’m grown now. More composed, more introspective. No longer the nuisance I was in my high school years. I now look at my life through different eyes. I now look beyond the surface of life, and that’s why this song gives me tears. That’s why it might just make me break down and cry, even as I write this.

The lyrics go “Sometimes I look up at the stars and ask “Was I meant to be here? Why?”.” Well each time I do ask this, it is these pictures of our past, lying on my table as I type this, that remind me of how far we have come from, and how far we still have to go. It is the thought of your tears that gives me strength. The days I would sometimes hide and cry, just seeing the pain in your eyes, made me swear never to see you struggle. Yet here I am, trying to make sense of the mess that is life on my own. Not enough joy or romance with the world as I trudge through the ruthless streets of self-employment.

It pains that you had to go through all you did just to raise us right. You may hate the conditions that you raised us in, but be proud of what you’ve raised. Me, my two sisters, and brother. Despite our faults, and weaknesses, I know there are things about us that still give you hope, that still give you strength. I’m sure there are still moments of joy you find in our everyday lives, moments that renew your love for us. And even though emotion is now getting the better of me, tears now clouding my sight, I have to finish this letter.

May the blessings in our lives mean to you what they’re really worth. May we always make you proud. May your hearts find comfort in the long future ahead. May you live long enough to see your great-grandchildren. And of the things I wish I could do, things I want to do, just to prove to you, that you were getting through – may this tears I cry be the keys to the house of happiness that we couldn’t afford.

#np Family Business – Kanye West

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.

Understood.

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

Some Goodbyes Are For Ever

#np Lenny Kravitz – Believe In Me

As the young man undressed from his work clothes, his mind skirted around the idea of life’s many traverses. Each perceptible thought was a pin to his nice, big bubble of self-induced happiness. His brain, that is the muddle of musings that could still afford to float in his head, paced aimlessly around the dark. Feeling, touching, groping. As it sought to put some sense to the question: Why does it happen the way it does?

He couldn’t help but wonder whether he would ever have such an effect on someone he never spoke to. Somebody like the lady he just said goodbye to. Whose path has decided to take the now conventional route of Fare Thee Well.

He sat his bare self on a chair, and pulled on a navy blue, leather-bound book from his small stack of volumes. As he flipped through the scripts of written memoirs, he reflected on the meaning of goodbyes. The seconds seemed to overlap the minutes, even as the minutes dragged on endlessly. Finally, after staring at the book blindly for a while, he stumbled upon a fresh patch of paper. Crisp and clean, with not but a splodge on it. Its smooth surface seemed to beckon for a good working over. He picked up his pen, one infamously known to be blotchy, and scribbled the date at the top.

What follows is his account of the moments just gone. Moments that come through only once in a lifetime. Those that swing by and depart faster than they came. Leaving no room for your mind to capture each breathing second as it should. For such moments know their rarity, and play a most devious game of hide and seek. They know you will never experience them again, thus they seductively hide the happiness of the moment, and make sure you’re left seeking it long after the experience is over. With an ache in your heart, rather than the contented feeling of acceptance, you dedicatedly pursue that happiness. You search and search. Your beady eyes peer into the skies as you snatch at the air. Snatch with all your might, trying to get a hold of those happy smokes that ever so gently waft away. Yet when the skies turn black, and darkness falls, all you have clutched in your fist are words to help jot down the lessons you have just learnt. Just like our unclothed protagonist did.

31st May 2013.

She’s gone. Gone and never to be seen again. Perhaps she’s still stuck in traffic somewhere along the way. Perhaps she’s staring out of the window. Taking in all the sounds and colours of the densely populated town she now departs. A hoot here, an irate shout somewhere, the flashing lights of an ambulance, large neon signs rushing by – all bidding her adieu. I’m not sure she’ll see them again, or even whether she’ll miss them, but I know her memory of them will last.

It’s now roughly five months since I first saw her. Since I first ever met this beautiful lady from a land not so far. Slightly sawn-off, and full of years, she was one who rarely spoke. Each day, she would live life right as she did the previous one. And the next one too. Whether the sun shone, or the rains came calling, she always had the same steps to her walk, and the same look in her eyes. Eyes that shone with wisdom well beyond my entire life’s worth, yet eyes that made no undue requests for curtsies.

She knew but one word from the language of the Englishmen – ‘Hi’. And it was this word that she shared ever so often with me, for no day would go by without me running into her, or her into me. Sometimes, I would help her get her clothes from the clothing line. Other times, I’d help her carry this or that item to the house. What remained constant though, was that we never even once shared any stories, or small talk.

However frail she was, she spared countless moments each day to sit out and soak in the sun. She would mutter things to herself, as though she was talking to someone seated beside her. Such moments would have me at a loss as to why soliloquizing is such a common occurrence among the old. Why such moments have one lost in a daze that borders on a hypnotic trance? What kind of topics ricochet through the minds of people at such times? Do they ever remember the things they utter?…. I could go on for hours listing the queries my over-indulgent mind comes up with. But the long and short is that my very last thought ever has been, ‘Will I go through the same once my years are on their last bend? And who’ll be the one staring at me in wonder?’

It may be that all the moments I spent by my window, with a plastic cup in hand, sipping on foreign waters, might just have made me fond of the woman. Perhaps I just got overly used to the sight of her by my window. Or maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t by accident that it happened the way it did. You know, the way our paths met and diverted. The possibilities are there. Still, I find it hard to come to terms with the fact that this, this beautiful day right here, just might be the last time we will ever see each other again.

Our goodbyes were rather rushed. With a firm grip of the hand, and a compassionate utterance of our farewells, it was all over. The casual hi’s we shared, the blank stares that flickered between our disparate cultural beings, the solitary moments she spent outside my window, uttering words I will never get to understand – those moments are now all gone. All I have right now are memories. Memories that are all but pebbles. Some smooth, others round, many more misshapen. Nonetheless, I have the deserved duty of carrying these pebbles in my pocket for the rest of my days. For life gives you no chance of throwing away these pebbles. You’re with them to the very end.

For what it’s worth, I will miss the dear old lady. The wisdom her moments by my window imparted on my troubled soul seem surreal. For in those endless stares, when I thought through the reasons behind soliloquizing, I realized one important thing. Life, this box of chocolates everyone talks about, really is a box of chocolates. One we bite through each day. Some bites are sweet, others drive your teeth into nuts whose taste you may not entirely be fond of. Yet as you have and always will finish that bar of chocolate, life’s precious moments will one day run out too.

The days of endless cheer and wild energy, the laughter that had you clutching at your belly, even the bright sun-shining days we now have – they will all come to pass. Only to become fleeting memories of a time that once was. Through the will of the Almighty, we will all get to a point in life where all we can do are pick through the pebbles in our pockets. With your vision slightly impaired, you’ll feel and touch on each pebble, trying to remind your soul of the happiness that each smooth pebble once held. Trying even harder to forget the bitterness held by each rough, and oddly-shaped pebble. For when that time comes, those with pocketfuls of pebbles will be the envy of us all. With the most pebbles to sort through, they will be the ones with more things to talk about, more stories to tell, and more reason to be content at the way their lives turned out. However bitter or sweet their memories will be, their days will be filled with one memory or another about their youthful days on earth. Not once will they lack a reminiscent thought running through their minds. Meanwhile, those who spared no time to live life and absorb it in its entirety, might just be the old and bitter sort. Always complaining about how their grandchildren play too much, or make too much noise. For the thought that they didn’t allow themselves such craziness when they had the time, will always be a stab at a lifelong wound.

Today, I’m reminded to enjoy each breathing moment as it comes. To accept life’s bounties as they come, even though all of us have different paths to tread. To embrace the different pains and joys we all go through, for this just gives spice to the different stories we will live to tell. To be committed to all my friendships with unbiased affection. To give the happiness in my heart to those that love me. To share as much love with all those around me, and spare no hate for those against me. To pass on a kind word to every person I meet and talk to. To let the world know of the joys of a smile, and the beauty of kindness. To relish the silent, or noisy, moments spent with all the people I meet on this journey of life. From they that share each of their travelling days with me, to those that walk alongside me for a mile, and take the next turn at the left. Heading off on a different direction. One with totally different people to meet, and different experiences to chat about. And if language is a barrier, they will at least walk silently, and hum quiet songs, besides these different people they meet. Occasionally waving at them, showing them the pebbles they’ve accumulated, and sharing mere ‘Hello’s’ or ‘Hi’s’, just like my neighbour used to.

The gears of fate have no regard when plucking you from your shared paths, only to lead you down a totally different street. And as has been said many times before, each moment you share with somebody might be the last time you see them. So strive to live a life that’s free. Fight all forms of conventional living each step of the way. Let your mind whisper melodies of love. Let your heart sing songs of joy. Let your soul be drenched in wild, sweaty passion. Allow the big white moon to serenade your darkness with light. Skip along to the beat of life. Wave your hands high to the sound of music. Jive and jig to the hums of the birds. Spread your heart out like birds do their wings. Hug your friends ever so tightly, and don’t you even dare allow true friends to leave your life. Let every experience be a moment lived in slow-motion, and every memory like an individual stain on white canvas. If you love somebody, go ahead and tell them. Better give them the flowers while they can still smell them. Let your love be genuine, and your feelings honest. Tell each person that’s worth a second, and third, hug goodbye each time you part, and give that hug like you mean it. Share laughter like its your last breath. And say goodbye like its the last time, for some goodbyes really, and truly are for ever.

As I write the last of my thoughts, and prepare to finally look away from this now scrap-filled piece of paper, I sign off with words learnt from a certain film screened back in the day: “You can be mad as mad dog at the way things went, you can swear and curse the fates…but when it comes to the end, you have to let go.” You have to say goodbye.

(Dedicated to that dear, old, Ethiopian lady that once was a neighbour, but is now miles away, never to return. Just another person I once met in this life. I’ll never forgive you for how hard you laughed as I struggled through the extra peppery meal your grand-daughter once shared; I’ll always cherish that kind smile you gave me before you boarded your taxi to the airport; I’ll always remember your polite greetings. And since you might never read this, I further dedicate this to everyone who’s ever parted ways with somebody who impacted your life without even meaning it.)

#np Vanessa Carlton – Ordinary Day

Saturday Mornings Will Never Be The Same

I’m lacking in words. Nothing I conjure up can properly paint out the feeling I have deep within my soul. Emotions that I once knew, but lost touch with somewhere along the journeys of life, have found their way back into my skin. The air around me feels fresher, the nights seem cooler and the world, my world, has this shy grin slowly creeping across its face. Happy clouds tinged with boundless promise have spread their creamy existence across the skies, one that looks clearer than ever. And as I gaze at the heavens, I can’t help but pause with nostalgic adoration at how wonderful this moment in my life feels.

Its the kind of feeling you get when a heavenly voice graces your aural senses, something like Susan Boyle’s first performance of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’. Or maybe the feeling you get when you experience fun you never thought you could. Or when you’re caught up in the rain, yet you don’t want to run from its shower. Because every raindrop that falls onto your face feels like a kiss from the skies. As the whiff of freshly rained-on earth skates through the chilly atmosphere, you’re taken on a nostalgic voyage. Your spine emits a certain warmth that eats through all the cold you are currently exposed to, leaving your senses mesmerised at how beautiful a feeling it is to just let loose and bathe in the simplicity of life’s joys.

You think about all the beautiful things that have happened in your life. Those of the past, and some from the present. Memories of the laughter from your care-free childhood echo through your brain. Your mind is a whirlpool of images, as you reminisce over the days when you ran about in wild joy each time the rain caught you out playing. When puddles of water were fields of play that had no bounds, and you splashed about without regard. When a bruise to the knee was just another daily occurrence, one that didn’t need any doctor’s report for you to be allowed to miss school. Unlike today, when a day-off from work needs the right documents from the right medical sources.

Nonetheless, the tender longing for your past is one heck of an emotional rollercoaster. Heart wrenching even. I’m trying hard not to let go of my sanity, or ruin my current state of happiness. For the past eight hours, I have successfully avoided thinking about the worries that blot our every day life, and still am counting. I have fully embraced this feel-good sensation that has swept over my afflicted being. The endorphins swarming through my brains chambers have given a classically new meaning to the word rejuvenated, for the variety of happy I feel has an absolutely different taste to it.

Now may be a good time to note that my untimely sense of euphoria has been brought about by the thoughts of how memorable my childhood days were. How enjoyable playtime was, and the timeless hours I spent watching T.V. throughout my younger days. Cartoons were by far my best, for they are the sole reason my urge to hold a pencil and bring lines into artistic life ever grew. Every time I watched them, I felt a sense of relief from the tiresome days at school, and the (stupid) homework that we were burdened with back then. Evening cartoons had me insisting on four-o’clock tea, just so I could delay my time to do homework, on the merit of two-dimensional comic-relief. Don’t get me started at how engrossed I was on the black box with moving pictures each Saturday morning, because we all know what fun that was.

Try and try as I have, I have not for the life of me found the perfect similes or metaphors to make my story curve. I find no means of describing this nostalgia that has brightened up my day. My entire morning has been but a bootless journey into a vault of words, shapes and colour. The harder I struggle to describe the feeling in me right now, the tougher it gets. So I raise the all white flag, and concede that these sensations running through me fit no description. I can only recount the experience as it is on the surface, and nothing about the odyssey it has taken me on.

Enough with my words on how emotive this mid-day excursion has been. I have wasted your time stringing you along this headless story of mine. Wandering about in mindless circles as I thought back on the days when cartoons were funny, childish and enjoyable. Long before all this non-humorous, scientific bull on T.V. these days ever existed, or adrenaline-filled teenage mutants were ever born. When cartoons had characters that made no sense whatsoever, and some didn’t have a single word uttered throughout the screening, yet still had your ribs cracking with laughter. Those were the days when cartoons really and truly were – cartoons.

So, I now pass on a montage of reasons as to why Saturday mornings will never be the same again. You be the judge, but don’t you dare cry on me.

Family Portraits

simpsons-family-wallpaper-1024

#np Sade – By Your Side

As I listen to Sade, I can’t help but feel mortally awed by her expressions on love. The words, the notes, and her voice; all in harmonious unison as she infuses my house with sweet melodic sounds. Sounds filled with declarations on the pleasures of the body, the joys of the heart, and the gift of life. Her music paralyses me from all feelings of sadness, or depression, and takes me to a time long gone. A time now buried in the caves of history, when I was but a young boy growing up in Nairobi’s – Komarock estate. Long before one (disorganised) Kayole eclipsed the stately air of the estate’s environs with its absolute lack of order. On this specific day, the court is filled with children of all ages, and the road is a mess of chalky-doodles. Some kids are playing rounders, others chase each other about as they play ‘hicho’ (ie. tag), others sit on their bikes. Bikes with horns, some with adjustable gears, others – like yours truly – with the tiny ones whose seats are upwardly adjusted such that they end up at the same level as the handlebars. My friends and I are planning where to pedal-off to, when suddenly, the bark of a dog ruffles through the air.

Pedals on the ready, its a dash for safety as an ugly, super-starved dog from the neighboring court gives chase. In a well synchronized show of cowardice, we race off as fast as our dear wheels can take us. The owner, and a few friends, grin wildly as they run after us with the ugly mongrel leading the way by the length of a rusty chain. As I ride away, panting my ass off at the front of this band of escapees, I look back at my friend and feel sickened. Sickened by this cross-court bullying which I feel has gone way too far, and of which I’m getting absolutely fed to death with. The prison-break routine we’ve been forced to adopt as we plan our escape routes on a daily basis feels demeaning, even by the standards of a normal eleven year old. Because the truth is that, for as long as we’re on the run, this December holidays will be no fun, no fun at all. And I will have no one ruin my break from school, so I mask up all the bravery my feeble masculinity can accord and decide to put a stop to it all.

Barking madly, the damned dog comes to a wild halt by my side. It gives me the teeth as I stare it down in wild terror, yet brimming with absolute confidence on the surface. My younger brother – standing some meters away – cries, literally and very tearfully, for me to run away from the dog. He screams about how badly he doesn’t want me to get bitten by the depraved, four-legged mutt. I ignore his tears, however much he pours forth, and tell the brat-owner and his crew that I’m fed up of their buffoonery. I tell him that I’m not going to be any part of their daily enjoyment, and if he – this big nosed, gap-toothed owner – feels brave enough, he can let the dog loose on me. One young boy against a crowd of pre-teen dimwits, the odds are obviously stacked against me.

The fire in my eyes, however, tells of a bravery that children my age are not supposed, or allowed, to have. You could say my nuts were a little too big for a kid my age, or probably even bigger than most older kids. Nevertheless, my ground is stated, and the only way I’m ending this fiasco is by taking one for the team, or forcing these birdbrained brats to concede defeat and let us be. One guy in the crowd, named Oscar, seems to be the only one who sees the actual scale of things. He definitely had to be the brains and conscience of the pack. For after protracted shouts hither and yon (*glee* – I just had to FORCE that one in) as to what the hell a kid my age thinks he can do to a crowd of eight, he mentions something about how things might get sour for them if anything happens to me, at the hands of a dog. As if by cue, the dog too stops its madness after seeing the charged spirits of its “owners” subside into nothingness. Eventually, I’m allowed to ride away, but not with a “warning” about how I should never try such bravado again. My youngest sister, who happens to have watched the whole thing, runs home to tearfully pass news of the unfolding events to my mom. You can almost guess how much of a tongue-lashing I got for my ‘macho-stunt’ that day. Even so, ladies and gentlemen, I kid you not – this is, an actual life-story of events that took place years ago.

9:08 pm, Nairobi time. It’s Wednesday the 8th of May, and I’m tucked-in to my brows. A blue duvet and the white sheets I’m enveloped in spread soft kisses all over my body. Tracing undiscovered pathways on my skin, they leave a faint sensation similar to warmth, lingering between my legs, just below the waist. It’s the cold season, see, and the definition of warmth tends to get a whole different meaning during these cold and sleepless nights – a whole, different meaning.

A very gloomy phone stares back at me as my stubby thumbs repeatedly stab at its buttons. Letter, letter, letter, comma, space, letter, letter…the cycle goes on, and on, and on. Two lit candles are the only sources of light within this dark, lavender-scented, room. A room filled with memories of how broke one can get; it remains engraved with etches of my planned route towards success, and plastered with blueprints of world domination. This here, forms half of what has come to be known as my solitary abode. Having no posters of half-naked girls on any of my walls, it is, by all means, nothing of what people think a bachelor’s house would look like. Save for my collection of manly scarves, numbered at sixteen and still growing, the walls are quite devoid of any evidence of being a man’s fiefdom.

There’s nothing spectacular about this night either. It really is the same period of darkness that comes between evening and morning, every_single_day. Yet the darkness carries with it a certain whiff of nostalgic voodoo – one so potent it only seems second nature to heed to its beckoning. And boy does the nostalgia drag me down its bottomless pit.

I reminisce about the holidays I would spend with my feet covered in dust, most notable of all being days when we played ‘bano’ (a game of marbles). ‘Brikicho’ (hide and seek) was another dusty encounter, as our hideouts included the craziest of places. Empty car-boots (or car-trunks), ceilings of old uninhabited houses, leafy trees, even the under-bellies of vehicles – all these were very opportune hiding locations. The holidays never lacked a single day when I would lose touch with time, only to be brought back to earth by the sight of a very angry mother at our doorstep. Days immediately before the opening of school were the best of all. They had the most turnout, and the most fun, with playtime lasting until the early hours of night. To this day, I can honestly say that I have never experienced as much fun as I did during my younger days.

Then there was my family. A super-strict mom whose right palm would constantly have communion with my cheeks at the slightest sign of misbehaviour, and a chilled-out dad who always spoke to us in English, never once in Kiswahili. (Not really worth a mention, but quite the phenomenon, I can say, especially to friends who were born and raised in Eastlands, and probably spoke very little English.) It is these two parents that thankfully brought me to the world I am now at battle with, as I struggle to survive. I muse over how much I misbehaved in high school, the pain this definitely put my parents through, the struggles they had to endure to raise me in the right way; and wish I could cry all the hurt – they obviously felt – away. Sometimes, I stare at them and try comprehending the level of love and sacrifice a parent has to go through for the sake of his/her children. Its so unreal that I wonder what I can, or will, ever do to show my appreciation for their love.

Of my siblings, three of the them, much has to be said. The same brother who cried for my safety on that “heroic” day, the third born of us all, is now one with whom I rarely talk – even when in the same room. We might occasionally meet in the many rugby events held around town, and chances are that we will not even share a word of Hi. I tend to think I stopped being cool enough for him to look up to as soon as he hit high school. Now that he’s in his first year of university, I don’t expect things to change because his rebellion has grown tenfold. He wants to forge his own path and do things his own way, without any interference from anyone. Who am I to change that? My second-born sister, one that I didn’t interact with as much even in the times of yore, (for reasons I’m about to share) is unluckily still as she was. She hates me along with everything about my very presence on this earth. From my (very opinionated) comments, to my talents, even on visits to my parent’s place – she never misses the chance to voice her disapproval. I can’t count the number of times I have cursed as she mentioned something against me, most times being when I get praised for a feat well done. It’s so crazy I once said I’m done with her (which I doubt my soft heart ever will allow). My youngest sister, a little bag of emotions, is growing up so fast that soon, I might be forced to smack the neighbourhood boys around just to keep their greedy paws off her. How I’ll do that after relocating to my new home on the other side of Nairobi, I don’t know. But I will do anything, anything it takes, to be the brother she can always looks up to, for she’s the only one who still treats me with love and affection.

Yet I have to accept that I will not be the adored elder brother all the days of my life. Sister number two is in university so she probably has many more things to adore, while brother number three, who plays rugby, now seemingly prefers the brothers he has found within his team. Last born sis, the only one I’m still tight with, might just love me for life. She always greets me with a hug each time I go visit my folks, and still treats me with the adoration she would give Justin Bieber – but pardon that comparison. Funny enough, she even happens to love (some of) the music I listen to, the only one in my family who does. I still remember the proud feeling I had when she said she loves a certain song by Damian Marley and Nas, ‘As we enter’ – boy was I beyond myself. And when she added ‘Hip Hop is Dead’ by Nas to that list, I almost cried – I actually almost cried. It’s a feeling I really hope will last forever, since my parents too say I’m her favorite…

All in all, every one of them is an irreplaceable member of my life. Each carrying with them a huge chunk of the world I have grown around, and will forever cherish. I’m proud to be a first born, to have lived the fun and depressing life that I did, and to have been the care-giver of my younger siblings. Despite our various tiny foibles, our moments of war, or our lack of communication, I don’t doubt the love we share for each other, not for a second. So, for the elder brother in me, I still am a member of that crazy household I only get to visit once in a while. For the bachelor in me though, that house represents an overbearing existence filled with rules and restrictions that really are a nuisance, especially when compared to the silence and reserved nature of my empty and humble house.

Be that as it may, I’m very overjoyed to say that I have found a new family on this very page. A family made of readers who I regard as my brothers and sisters, some even mentors. From those who have posted numerous likes on my small collection of posts, to those who have given me advice on where to go from here – this is the family love I experience in my solemn days as a guy living on his own. On cold and rainy days, when I draw up drafts and plans for my life – occasionally sipping on some wine – it is you guys that I dream of making proud.

So, as I fortify myself for the cold night ahead with a glass of white, Black Tower wine, I’d like to send a huge thanks to each and every one of you. For each click that brings you to this page, and each minute that you spend tearing through my bare thoughts – one more tooth pops up in my smile. Each one of you gives me a reason to grow, and a moment to appreciate that rare quality that is brotherly, and sisterly, love. Wherever this blog goes from here, and wherever it takes me, you can all trust me not to forget where I came from, and the family that took me there.

Now, it’s time for me to try and pipe out a tune as the effects of the wine pour down on me. ONE LOVE…

 #np Amy Winehouse – Body and Soul (ft. Tony Bennett)

Sweaty Introductions

#np ‘Nothing’ by Total Silence

Ladies and gentlemen, for the next bare-naked narration of a man trudging through his day smothered by a sheet of sweat, we politely ask that you stay calm, and allow the mad scientist behind this boiling pot of letters and periods to continue concocting his imaginary self-portrait.

[[ACTION]]

SCENE 1:

(Our protagonist, a guy in his twenties, clad in a grey track trouser and faded black hoodie, paces by a tree-lined side-walk, carrying a water-bottle blazoned with the Manchester United logo in his left hand. With earphones on, he walks along in wonky fashion, bobbing his head ever so gently, ever so rhythmically, as he listens to whatever it is that he listens to. Approaching a road intersection, he slowly grinds to a halt. He looks to the ground as if in search of something, or maybe to steady his step on the kerb, we’re not sure which. The camera zooms in to focus on his face.)

[[Fade to black. Credits.]]

(Scene opens with the guy looking dead into the camera. Eyes focused, gaze narrowed. A sheepish grin escapes from the confines of his face. He opens his arms wide, as words finally show relieved signs of being spewed out of his tooth-filled cavity.)

#20_SYOG:
Guys, I’m back at the gym. (smiles)

(Checks for oncoming traffic then crosses as soon as road is clear. With earphones still on, he continues…)

I told you guys, nothing on earth is as focussed as a man with a purpose, didn’t I? (Wrinkles face) Wait…did I tell you guys or was it the other guys I talked to yesterday? Because I sure see some faces that are as ugly as the ones I saw yesterday, some even uglier. (Aside: Like a bright new dawn comes each day, so do people get uglier in bright new ways.) Anyway, listen up guys…I’m tired of false pretences, I’m fed up of small talk and have no time for empty chatter or things that don’t concern me. And yes, I did intend on using the word ‘guy(s)’ excessively today, because I have no time for play-names like ‘peepz’ or ‘fam’. If you have a problem with that…

(Quietly lifts a very long middle finger and shows it to the camera. Camera continues to focus on 20-something year old guy, ie. #20_SYOG, as he narrates his story.)

Now, I recently came to learn that my temperament variation is part Melancholic and part Phlegmatic – MelPhleg that is. I’ll hereby assume that most of you dear viewers (read: guys), if not all, are well versed with what temperaments are. However, for those who need an introduction to the course: temperament, as far as the Reader’s Digest Oxford Dictionary is concerned, can be described as:

noun/ a person’s distinct nature and character, especially as determined by physical constitution and permanently affecting behaviour.

So before I go any further, allow me, dames and gents, to dash to the house so that I may read to you an excerpt I lifted off Tim Lahaye’s book, whose title I hope you’ll Google for yourself.

(Gets off to a light jog. Camera shifts view. The image of #20_SYOG trails off as he jogs to who-knows-where.)

SCENE 2:

(Scene opens with #20_SYOG, now dressed in red boxers only, with traces of sweat still clinging dearly onto his upper body, flipping through the pages of a book. Finally locating the page he is looking for…)

“These gifted introverts (MelPhleg personalities that is) combine the analytical perfectionism of the melancholy with the organized efficiency of the phlegmatic. They are usually good-natured humanitarians who prefer a quiet, solitary environment for study and research to the endless rounds of activities sought by the more extroverted temperaments (~he forgot to mention music, they tend to listen to loads of it~). (…) Mr. Melancholy has by far the richest and most sensitive nature of all the temperaments. (…)He particularly excels in the fine arts, with a vast appreciation for life’s cultural values. He is emotionally responsive, but unlike the sanguine is motivated to reflective thinking through his emotions. (…)Martin Melancholy has strong perfectionist tendencies. (…)The analytical ability of the melancholy, combined with his perfectionist tendencies, make him a hound for detail. Whenever a project is suggested, he can analyze it in a few moments and pick out every potential problem. He can always be depended upon to finish his job in the prescribed amount of time, or to carry his end of the load. He rarely seeks the limelight (~so true~), but prefers to do the behind-the scenes task. He often chooses a very sacrificial vocation for life, for he has an unusual desire to give himself to the betterment of his fellow man.”

What does this excerpt have to do with me? Well, everything.

For in the few words Tim Lahaye used to described MelPhleg personalities, I felt like I was being dissected atop of a biology class table. I felt four scientific imbeciles, so focussed on learning about inner matter, pinning me down to the wooden platform thingies on which specimens are laid during practical classes. I saw their lab coats, as white as our dear Caucasian brothers and sisters from Northern Europe, swooshing through the air as they moved around the table in gleeful delight. Clapping their hands as they skip to imaginary tunes and sounds, perhaps the sound of metal objects clanking around inside their heads. Shiny, sharp, metal instruments lie around me. All placed in an orderly manner, all breathing heavily as they drool for a taste of my flesh. My body lies in state, even though my only viewers are these gloved imbeciles in white coats. As the head of the group finally comes to stare me down before my final exit, with eyes red-lit by the fire growing at the bottom of his curiosity, I give my last lifeless plea as I try, one last time, to save my skin from their grime filled claws.

Nothing I say looks to dissuade him, not even the offer to give him my sister’s phone number. For the fire in his eyes seems to consume the white even faster, replacing it with a red that reeks of wild and uncontrolled violence. I look at the two men and two women around me, very ready to help me see kingdom-come, and realize that these imbeciles aren’t real. That I really am not meant to be on this table. That all these psychotic thoughts are really just figments of my wacky imagination. But the water in which I drown only inches higher by the minute. I feel my ears filling up with water as the first incision is made right in the middle of my chest. More incisions and slices follow.

Slowly, surely, the thoughts in me start scrambling for caves in which they can hide, dark alleys in which they can escape to, so as not to be lost to the world I now depart. My tearing flesh makes noises I wish I could forget, even though I will definitely not have a recollection of this entire process. The transition to who-knows-where is slow yet sure. Memories of my past are my last cognitive moments on that table, with an image of the new me being the last image that flashes through my mind.

From kind-of living life, to embracing the fullness of my new life. From a world of conformity, to a world of fighting the flow and fleeing from the norm. This is the new me. I no longer care about non-essentialities in my life. I have grown to become more assertive in my search for success, and more ruthless in my disregard for hate, jealousy and envy. I never used to give a #F, now I totally don’t give a #F what anyone has to say about me, my lifestyle, or my life. I am who I am, and the best me is all I can be. If you have a problem with that…

(Quietly lifts a very long middle finger and shows it to the camera. Camera continues to focus on 20-something year old guy, ie. #20_SYOG, as he wraps up his story.)

In my gym session today, one where sweat was my only true companion in the fight for muscle definition, I feel I become a little wiser. As I saw newbies try to outdo each other in lifting heavy weights, laughing at those not strong enough to keep up with the seasoned gym members, I realized that most people project their insecurities in other people. That men are slaves to their egos, and women slaves to their vanity. That conformity is a plague, a cancer. One whose inevitable blow-up is guaranteed, with or without identification of the symptoms. You either live, or you don’t. You either seek, or you won’t find. You either embrace all that comes your way, good and bad, or live your life in eternal disappointment at how things didn’t go your way.

For me and my sweat, we will weather whatever storm that is headed our way. Happiness is what I now seek. No love for materialism will blind me from that goal. From today I look at this wonderful world through the eyes of a child. No dreams will fade into oblivion, and no hopes will be shattered. I want to be the kind of guy that you don’t forget, the one you think about as you gaze at the starry sky on camping trips.

So for all you viewers tuned in to today’s show, please take a listen to Twista’s ‘Wetter’. Learn a few things about how to give it to your man/woman right. How not to stop till she wets up the sheets, and he gives out in a fit of explosions.

Step your sex-game up, and peace out peepz…Oh, sorry. Peace out guys.

(#20_SYOG picks up towel and turns away from the camera. Beads of sweat are still visible on his back, and scene ends as he enters bathroom. Sounds of a running shower are heard.)

[[Fade to black.]]

Bitter-Sweet Love

Image

#np Miles Davis – Kind of Blue [50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition]

11:38 pm. Just a few more odd minutes and the witching time of night will be here with us. The night outside is mum, uttering no audible word, yet whispering hushed words filled with slurs and undertones of derision. I feel the scorn and ridicule it has decided to furnish me with in the cold draft that has swelled up in my room. A peep through my curtains indicates a clear sky. No stars to be seen, at least from where I sit. The lights of this urban district called Nairobi must have blotted them out of our, rather, my vision. Our usual Caucasian guest is, however, already up there. He sneers at me as the thought of how humongous he looks tonight flashes through my mind.

It feels like the perfect night to go out on one hell of a bender. A night that is just what the doctor ordered for days when creating an epic tale of ‘maaard’ debauchery seems right. Honestly though, I feel quite agitated by the tranquillity of this night. My problem is this, with little else at my disposal to disturb the peace than turning up the volume, I am at a loss in this battle of the senses.

I guess we humans are never at peace when everything seems to be going well, or when the world moves on at a cool and unruffled pace. Maybe that is the reason that such nights have the highest rate of alcohol-infused (mad) men shouting their problems out to the world; or (mad) women prowling the cement-paved walk-ways in pointed heels, causing a form of racket that is of its own sort. People have to be really moronic, with me being the exception, to think that the world would feel the least bit slighted when they cause some ruckus just to satisfy their poor punished souls. Never would you hear of such buffoonery from our mad population on rainy nights. Rather, what you would witness would be the exact opposite:

Mad men and women, yours truly (now) included, pattering away from the heavy blanket of the rain, sprinting to the sheltered comfort of their homes to have some mad sexual encounters – or in a more refined tone, lots of “coital congress” – to keep the cold away. Ring a bell?

Having exonerated myself from the nonsensical norm of earth-hating behaviours mentioned above, allow me, dear reader, to proceed with the description of my quiet, and near-lonely, hours of dark.

A few hours ago, I took a trip back into time to bring back a Blues maestro with me. [Wait, that’s not proper. I think I should say, ‘I went back in time to drag a Blues maestro back to the future with me.’ There, correction made. We can now move on.] As I was saying, there’s a Blues Maestro in the room with me, but since I had already introduced the said “maestro” in the first bit of this white and black, I’ll take a few paces further down this uncharted course of word usage and intimate the very ambience he is now blessing my quiet surroundings with. Pardon me for just a minute as I confer with Mr.Maestro here…

Okay. He states that we’re now listening to his world famous ‘Flamenco Sketches [Alternate Take]’. A virtuous blend of sounds filled with harmony and composure. The sweet saxophone, ever pleasant piano keys, and the wondrous strums of the bass guitar – all at it like rabbits straight out of lengthy prison terms. Music straight out of heaven’s kitchen, it oozes with heavenly bliss, and fills the air with a heavenly sort of ambience that envelops me in unbridled relaxation. The kind of heavenly environment only found in heaven – the source of all this heavenly thoughts.

Now this is the sort of music that will guarantee you flashes of brilliance and visions of the future. The kind whose musical keys you are bound to see wafting through the air as you pass by Nakumatt Junction’s Art Café and the swanky restaurant next door. Since I believe most of you have not been to either of the two, allow me to further paint the picture right:

It’s a late evening, you have your measly shopping bag in hand, as (mad) men and women of affluence and strife alike dine their pennies away. You devilishly eye the patrons and wonder whether things would have been any easier if you had not spent all your life thinking about skirts, instead of chasing after the money. Or whether fate has a sweet tooth for people other than you, and whether the same people came to money in ways other than yours? Or whether there’s a handsome red cheeked bloke seated alone, somewhere in the midst of all the patrons, just waiting for you to pass by and kill him softly. Or whether the lifelong chase for money is all worth it in the end? So you comfort yourself that we all die and leave this place without a cent. But the undeniable truth is that you are broke, dead broke; or – on the upside – can’t afford enough pennies to allow you such worldly luxuries; and you sincerely wish you could visit the other side of the waist-high, wooden barrier separating the walk-way from the restaurant.

Now, back to me – the subject of this black and white.

Seated beside me is a dear friend of mine. The only one who is ever at the ready and raring to go the extra millimetre to help me create my own tales of debauchery, especially on quiet nights, like this one. I’ll call him ‘Gee’, not only because his name starts with the letter ‘G’, but because he insists he is a ‘gangster with a conscience’. Gee here, is a foreigner. His ancestry line supposedly begins somewhere in the barley fields of Dublin. From what he tells me, his great(est) grand-daddy was born in a castle by the name of St. James’s Gate, a world renowned castle celebrated more for its mercenaries than its monarchy. [Take note, that now makes two world-famous members of this black-letter family appearing on your screen.] Sent, from Dublin, all over the world to inflict one form of bitter-sweet assassination or another, their reputation has long since preceded them. They gained worldwide notoriety for their sexual prowess than their killer instinct. Strange, you would say? Yet legend has it that during periods of absolute loneliness and frigid weather conditions, they were the cure for *any and all (cold-weather-induced) cravings*.

Gee, luckily, is the member of the original monarchy, thus does not have to do any dirty work. But rest assured, the same blood-thirsty red stuff that courses through the veins of these hirelings I talk of flows through the veins of this ‘conscious gangster’ that is my friend-in-crime.

To more appropriately introduce my buddy, Gee, I’ll bare his guts out for you. His accent is peculiar, as if all the words that crawl their way out of his oral cavity are heavy-laden with bags full of cotton-waste. Being different, is what he says is his ‘thing’. Our trips to the local watering-holes always have him heading to any dimly lit, and freezing, recesses available within the precinct. Whether day-or night, he will stalk out the coldest cranny, whence he lets time kick ball as he eyes the female patrons from the cloak of his dimly-lit corner. It seems, to me, this dark and freezing corners might be the source of his cool demeanour. However, and that is one big and able bodied ‘however’, cool and level-headed as he seems, Gee sports a peculiar attraction for arrogant and loud-mouthed women.

(to be continued…Tuesday next week. Same time…)