Bitter-Sweet Love


#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…)