Brianelvis+ Cerebral

Brianelvis+ Cerebral

Brianelvis+ Cerebral

Friday, 1 June 2018

YOUR GOD.



( Isaiah 66:9).

*

I truly do wish there was a God, even one with jealousy and anger issues going on genocidal rampages over inconsistent infractions. A sky daddy who at the very least dropped the narcissistic chauvinism and focused a little bit more on maintaining order, rewarding good and punishing evil.
       
                     *               *              *
I must have been snoring, or perhaps it puzzled her that I could sleep so deeply despite everything. I don’t know for sure. These days anything can irk my lady, especially when her mind and heart tango round an evil axis to deny her sleep. One thing I knew for sure was the pain in my chest when I startled awake to find her straddled across my belly,  her face drenched, her brown, feebly folded fists wildly banging at it.

‘Give me a child Ezenwatu! Give me a child or I will die!’

Mixed feelings whirled like a cosmic cesspool in me as I watched the baggy sleeves of her white linen night dress flail in the air, one meager fist after the other, dropping on my chest.

I felt sorry for her, yet not understanding why she would demand a child from me. Like her peace, her strength too seemed to desert her, each subsequent blow  waning and losing its sting until the last one was just a petal landing. Mnandi then flopped, her beautiful spongy cheeks covering my face, her tears becoming mine, flowing down my temple, sadly marking our grief and lack of fulfilment. She was hysterical. Crying, sobbing, hiccups, drooling, all of it. The angst was too much and the days had counted for too long.  I could say narry a word, all I could manage was only an instinctive curling of my hands round the small of her back and holding her for what it was worth.

The lights char my eyes even when I close them, but I dare not move. We are in one of those moments where she churns her brains and spirals down until she hits the rock bottom and I know her well enough to understand that her feelings are most fragile at this exact moment. People see her on TV deftly handling guests on her show, ‘FamilyTime with Mnandi' and they could never tell that there were instances where a simple stretch of the legs, or turning of shoulders would set her off. I stay put under her, she feels heavier tonight. The weight of grief.  Even I am usually amazed by the stark contrast. I have never missed a single episode, always awed by how the women on her show eschewed her grace and strength. A woman so collected and in control sometimes I entertain thoughts of a doppelganger. The founder of an investment group for female soldiers once came on her show and described her as a, ‘beacon of strength and inspiration to many of her colleagues'. A beauty Queen came on and unapologetically cooed over my wife’s hair,  liberally using the word ‘jealous’. Our study has a cabinet full of her accolades. Top this, and top that. Under 40 this, the best that.  Several honorary degrees. Even the president was not to be left behind, she holds a state recommendation that comes with a title and a few nifty goodies, my favorite being a diplomatic passport.  They all grace her show, artists, politicians, researchers, all women captains of their respective industries. All want to emulate her. Oprah with the good hair.

By all accounts my wife is more than any man could dream of. A decent human being. They all want a piece of her, everyone goes home with a little bit of perfect  Mnandi, but behind the bright smile, the bespoke suits and the red-bottomed heels is a man who has to hold it all together deep in the night. She is as resilient as Ann Frank, but also switches and compartmentalizes like Amy Dunne.

Every night she wakes me up at exactly 3:17 am. The pastor said that that was the time heaven’s lines were not jammed and the spirits that impede prayers between the terra and the heavens are elsewhere clogging up the dreams of those who are too lazy to burn the midnight oil for their lord. The pastor always calls them the unwise virgins whose oil ran out.

I brave the incandescence and peer at the wall clock, it’s 1:00. What an exact time. A little early for prayers but just the right time to be there for your wife. She mumbles incoherently, still sobbing and drooling on my lips.  I’ve since got a vivid understanding of the  ‘or for worse' part. At that moment, lying on my back, I am distinctly aware of her cold wedding band on my shoulder. I imagine that puggy finger bulging on the silver edges like muffins. The hand that has my ring gently runs through her hair. She is my baby, my everything.

‘I want a baby.’ She whispers to nobody in particular just as the crying abates.

In silence I pull her closer and hold her tighter. My mind goes back to the day that straddles the before and after of our lives and marriage. I had always read Doctor Dawood's articles from a tender age; I hoped I would meet him under different circumstances. A book signing is what I’d always envisioned. It amused me though that he didn’t thump his D’s and T’s as I would stereotype asians. His remarkable  precision of articulation is perfectly textbook. A surgeon  who eccentrically carried his stethoscope in his hands. My mind was otherwise primed on illustrations of him with thinning hair around a hidden bald, stethoscope hanging on his shoulders and him wearing a short sleeved dress  shirt under a white dust coat. Seeing him in a suit and without those thick-rimmed glasses was rather strangely jarring.

 When he affirmed our gynaecologist's  assessment that no surgery could fix us, I saw us as another couple in one of his tagging narratives; only that ours would lack a happy ending. The surrealism and the graveness of his news made it dawn on me that all his stories have been about real people going through great challenges and now we were on the very same precipice. Many months of trying had brought us to those very seats where he delivered news that wildly swung people’s lives for better or worse.

‘She has a weak uterus.’ He declared gently. Whatever that meant, I knew life would never be the same. He was facing Mnandi but his intonation suggested that he was specifically addressing me. Like -look man, don’t give her pains over this. It can happen to anyone.  I must have chuckled, an instinctive shock absorber, maybe it was a resigned grin, I can’t remember which but Mnandi caught it. I too was devastated but she chocked up my expression as insensitivity and crassness. How could I in any way be even ambivalent about the love of my life being barren? How could I? How much have I wished it was actually me so that she could find some other way of conceiving? How many times have I flatly refused her offer for me to take up another woman? Still our house has never really been the same. Everyday, even with my own pain, I still work overtime to cover for that sin.

We are always trying everything and anything and I always go along sometimes reluctantly. We have gone back full cycle. We are back to prayers, albeit under a different church where miracles are supposedly a staple. We got ‘born-again’ and were hurriedly pushed through the motions of baptism and all our earlier sins washed away. It’s an expensive undertaking considering the myriad contributions we are obliged to and morphing causes being announced every Sunday, but I’d do it ten times over for Mnandi.

Before all this, Mnandi was a borderline agnostic only believing in a mysterious power that connects all living beings, I was the religious one. I was the full works. That kid who never missed Sunday school, who became that teen who organized youth bible study perfectly timed to coincide with Sunday jam sessions. That kid  ebbed into the skinny university chap always donning a cheap suit, attending too many C.U meetings, lagging drums and keyboards around pretending not to be too interested in bothering God for a ‘prayer partner'; then he became the young man who used his all to help an upcoming pastor set up a branch of the church and got sucked up into the politics of running a church and things just did not add up anymore. Did this Lord really see the  darkness and greed of those that claimed to serve Him. My eyes begun to open, but I stayed for I didn’t know any other way. I stayed and watched helplessly as wolves from all denominations did what they did best. The fact that they kept on multiplying didn’t make any sense. Even a sleeping God would wake up at some point, a mindless one  would draw the line somewhere. My wife’s irredeemable pain, it’s pointlessness, was the final straw. It could only happen under a nonexistent God. I finally swung one way, Mnandi went the other.

She pushes herself up from my chest, unlocks my grip, rolls out of bed and kneels by its side. Those large, round doe eyes beckon. I look at the clock again, it’s 1:17 am. My head feels heavy and I know I need to get enough sleep because in the morning I’ll have to make a presentation to our shareholders and explain why the company is still losing market share even after we acquired a major competitor at great cost. Still, I oblige.

 At my age and experience in the unending compromise train that is marriage, I have affirmed that the tree of patience and understanding has bitter roots, but its fruits are low hanging and succulent. I lazily push away the covers and drag myself out of bed. I kneel besides her and hold her hand. She immediately takes off like  a kee kee driver during rush hour. She prays loudly, binding the devil and evil spirits, she breaks all chains her enemies have tied over her womb and thanks God in advance as a show of faith. Every few moments she pauses to reign in her voice when scarring emotions are about to crack it. She swallows and continues. Her grip tightens with every declaration and her emotions rise in tandem.  In between she has spoken in several, yet to be adopted,  languages but I have restricted myself to one word that could be in any language, ‘amen’. My knees hurt as I try to sound powerful and enthusiastic in my umpteenth Amen. My mind wanders though. How could such a smart person come to believe these things? How did I ever believe these things? The answer is apparent, but I still ask myself incredulously. An hour goes by, two, we are still in prayer and I swear to myself that God is lucky He doesn’t exist. Because if He did, I’d make it my life’s mission to drive his jealous 'I am@ crazy for putting my wife through all this  bulshit.

Mnandi is a fundamentally incredible woman. As a person, she gives out more light than the next thousand souls combined. That’s why no God in any world would take us through our pain. It is suffering that only dims her. It doesn’t teach us any lesson, it doesn’t edify us, doesn’t improve or make us stronger in any way. It hasn’t drawn us apart and couldn’t bring us closer than we already were. instead it just pours cold sadness in our hearts for no reason. Our breaths only getting wasted in inconsequential burdens. I’d probably get me a thousand other god’s and simultaneously worship all of  them in His sanctum if it would be  the last thing I’d do to get back at Him.

Many times I have thought about bringing her back to her senses, breaking it down to her. But where does a man get the courage to tell his hurting wife that all her efforts are in vain, that her energies are being channeled in the wrong direction? I am at pains too that we are a barren couple, but one of us has to be the other's pillar. That pastor, that church, fake as they are; are her clutch, her way of coping with the massive chasm in her chest no husband could ever fill. It’s her opium, so I move along, I take the cool aid, biding my time until I feel that she is strong enough to take a reality check. For now she gropes in the inky mist of grief and my only hope is that time will numb down some of it.

3:55 marks the pastor’s time. We must have sex at that exact time and in a strictly prescribed fashion. If I were to travel back in time to meet up my high school self and tell him to relax because I’d come to hate sex anyway, that boy would laugh me out of Alcatraz. It’s terrible, arrant torture if anyone asks. The sex. We go about like automatons, two factory workers repeating the same inane procedure over and over until the mind grows numb. Mnandi is assiduous about it though.  Minutes later it’s over and I am hard pressed to conceal my jubilation that I can finally catch some sleep. As I cover my head it occurs to me that the alarm is just about under an hour away, I think about the crazy long day ahead, about the endless cycle, and feel a pressing need to call out, to ask for help, to pray. Who do I pray to? Where does my help come from though?

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Trey's Women.



“Maybe I should have slept with Eden, if you keep on insisting I did.”
That was it; he lost himself in the rage her words elicited. She had pushed him over the cliff. He almost did not realize it, it happened so fast. The slap fell so hard on her left cheek she tumbled to the carpet like a sack of potatoes.

Floored and confused, her left arm soothed the throbbing cheek as she gathered her wig and wits using the other. She never saw it coming.  Trey had never so much as pointed a finger at her. Never! She was bewildered and somewhat ashamed looking up at him on her fours.

His face was taught, his teeth gritted as he towered above her like a victorious wrestler. She had never witnessed her husband so cross and unapologetic. His breathing was heavy and Meralda could not see the husband she knew in the man standing in front of him.

Slowly and confused, she picked herself. Her hand still holding the impact point, she managed to get back vertical. Seemingly stripped off her decorum her eyes glared at him wide open like a weary donkey. Her hair clumsily clutched and her dress no longer perfectly cupping all the right curves. 

“You slapped me Trey!” She screeched. 

“Never mention that man’s name in my house again!” His words may as well be squeezing through his teeth.
With that he turned and left her in the bedroom, breaking the first rule they had based their relationship on; to never walk out on each other. 

It was all too much for her. Her fingers rose to her mouth like she was gnawing on them, wig still in hand. She had to make sense of what had just transpired. She blamed herself, she should have been more careful with her words. She never should have let her ex-boyfriend pick up the car from the garage nor drive it to the house. She never should have been in any contact with Eden period. 

The woman trotted towards the bed, it felt like a journey. She felt her entire world had been unraveled by her husband’s violent outburst. She knew that no matter what, the entire relationship would take on a new path after that. The bed was her only solace as she sank into it and let the duvet absorb all her tears.
Trey on the other hand was shuffling down stairs to get as far away as possible from her.  Suddenly he bumped into the house help. An absorbed mind failed him and he did not notice her dusting the leaves on the potted plant at the base of the stair case.  Immediately he knew that she could tell that something was not okay. He could not leave the house.  She had always been too observant and snoopy for her on good.
After a furtive apology, he excused himself and made a bee line for his study. In the solo confinement of the low ceilinged room, volumes upon volumes of books loaded the shelves running along the walls. They dutifully held other people’s ideas and thoughts for him, but if only there was a worse day. That day all that concerned him were his thoughts.  He had to put a lid on them. They were busy stoking up his deepest fears and past memories. 

What had he just done! Nothing could ever justify raising his hands on Meralda. His fears had come home to roost. Maybe he was just like him. His mind took him back to a time he wished he could forget.
It was close to midnight and the lights were still on in mama’s and papa’s room. They were talking, loudly and at each other. Then the talking and shouting would abruptly stop and the screaming and grunting would ensue. It was the same old pattern, just like yesterday and the day before and would definitely be so tomorrow.  Mama would scream and yell, but papa wouldn’t stop. He wanted to go in there and help her, but he would be taking sides. Instead he pulled his blanket over his head and hoped it would end earlier today. Then he would call upon God and beg him to make it go away. He would promise him things, lots of things, if only He would make papa and mama be friends again. But nothing he said would move God. The lights would still stay on late the next day, and he would have to pretend that everything was fine the morning after.

In the evening, mama would tell him things about papa. Things that made him feel that papa was bad. She planted the seeds in him, and every night papa would water them. With each passing moon he despised him more and more.  So much he did not cry at his funeral.

One night the lights stayed on late as usual. Then mama would start screaming and papa would grunt. He already knew the drill. Pull the blankets over the head and cover the ears. That night their door opened and he could hear mama running towards his room. Papa was chasing behind and cursing. Suddenly there was a huge thud on his door and the commotion ceased.

That night is still as vivid to him as a plan. He remembered being utterly terrified. What made them run out of their room? What was that sound at his door? Why was it so eerie suddenly? He tried to perk his ears but nothing was forthcoming. Had he killed her? Mama always said that he wanted to kill her.
Scared stiff and confused, he froze in his bed. The slightest movement of his legs felt like blown out rattling. It was almost an hour before he could gather enough courage to step out of the bed. Nothing was forthcoming from the other side of his door, and so he hesitantly tip toed towards it.
He had barely turned the handle, when the frame of mama’s almost lifeless body pushed it in. The sight was horrible. He immediately took her into his arms and started calling her.  She did not answer, she could not answer, it’s the blood that just kept on flowing from her multiple wounds. Her arm was bleeding, her fore head was busted, her left eye was soaked in blood and she hardly responded to him no matter how loud he called to her. 

Scared and breathless, he rushed into the living room. That is where they kept the phone. The front door was wide open and he used the street lights to make his way around the furniture.  His fingers, bloodied and unsteady, finally got to dial those three all-important numbers, 911. The lady on the other end promised to arrive fast at the address he had just given them. Then he ran out into the night. He had to get to mama Susan’s place. Susan had always bragged that her mother was a nurse. In his mind, he would rather have a doctor but a nurse would do in the circumstances. 

They got mama to a hospital and managed to stabilize her, but that day would be a bookmarker of all his memories; a key point in everything that is his past and the biggest factor in shaping who he had become. A lawyer who ran a charity that provided pro-bono services to victims of domestic violence. His fulfillment came from helping people who could not afford justice, alternative safe abodes or a means to start over.
 Trey had also been involved in the drafting of the domestic violence act and put a lot of effort into making sure it sailed through the legislative house. Not satisfied, he had spearheaded a lobby that ensured a special police unit had been set up to deal solely with DV cases all over the country.  All his valiant efforts over the gone decade had made him the country’s face of refuge. Loved and reviled in equal measure.
In that study, at that moment he did not care about all that however. He was worried about himself. Maybe there was no escaping it, he thought to himself. Perhaps he was just like his father. The thought burned his insides but he had to face up to the possibility.

His clenched fists forcefully banged his desks as the man fought his own devils. He refused to accept that he was in any way like his father and made a point to prove it to himself. He was going to walk out of that office and right back to Meralda and apologize for everything. He would do everything in his power to make it up to her and make that whole incidence just go away. 

The front door bell rung the second he stepped out of his study.  The help rushed to get the door and he decided to stick around just in case they were his visitors.  Auma walked backed into the living room with two officers of the law in tow and right behind them, that man Eden shadowed.
The officers hadn’t recognized him yet. “Sir we have received a call concerning a domestic disturbance at this address.” The condescending lady cop promptly stated their mission.

Monday, 1 February 2016



-Let us make man in our own image.
-What is man?
-Man is an animal.
-But haven’t you used most of the fifth and sixth days declaring that all sorts of animals fill up the “seas” and that patch you call “land”?
-Well, not exactly all.
-What do you mean?
-All these things you see I have been declaring into existence, I have done it for my own glory but also for a special being I had in mind before the beginning.
-My interest is piqued.
-See I have been thinking. . . All we ever do is just chill out with the angels. We know everything and there is hardly anything surprising anymore. The pearly gates have always been the same pearly gates. Our splendor and power is at its peak. We have done practically everything there is to do. Why not try out something new?
. . . and this so called “man” is supposed to change this? How?
-The plan is actually to form and sculpt a special animal out of mud.
-What is so special about that? Last time I checked, that was less magic than actually declaring things into existence.
-I want to be personally invested in this man. I want that species to grow up and fill the entire world I created. I . . . I . . . I . . . want him to have free will.
-What! You do realize that that is too much in our own image. You will have lifted this animal even above the angels who have been loyal to us unconditionally.
-That is exactly it. Don’t you ever wonder? Doesn’t it ever prick you that they are loyal only because they have to. We have forced them to love us and they do not even know it. I can’t have that anymore. Their love is not really borne in itself. I need a different kind of love, not that of a master-servant. I need something that grows in its own self. Totally “un-nurtured.” I want something more solid, something that I do not directly control. 
-Now you are going to create an entirely different species whose motivations and desires we haven’t programmed and let them lose in your playground just because of some fantasy you desire?
-It is not a fantasy! Why won’t you just think about it? To know that there is one soul out there that just loves us because they love us. No control, no making them do it, just free will and pure adoration. If there is even the slightest chance of that happening, a one in a trillion chance it would happen; wouldn’t you take it.
Well, I would try.
Now you are talking.
Will they worship us?
I am not sure because they will have free will remember.
Not sure; the words themselves sound impossible and alien. Alien . . . and exciting too. We know everything and frankly it is becoming bland. However you do realize for sure that we are going to need exactly that trillion souls in order to have just one that would love and worship us just like that. Not because we offer blessings or protection or provision, but just because of pure love. How do you plan to fit a trillion souls in that small piece of rock?
Do not worry. I have the perfect plan for that.
And what could that be?
I will encapsulate all the souls we create in time.
You omniscient God, please converse in a language I understand. Now what is this time thing?
Time is a concept I have created for the universe I have created. I can’t give you all the details now but it basically works to push things forward.
Like a conveyor belt?
Spot on! I plan to start with just two souls which I will insert into time. We will create rules within time that cannot be interfered with unless the situation is absolutely pertinent to our glory. Everything must occur in an action reaction format in the time sphere. This will create environments that we cannot foretell and therefore nature the actions of these souls.
Why just two if we are shooting for a trillion?
Actually the souls will recreate themselves and complete my grand plan. How two souls pair up for recreation will be left entirely to prevailing factors and current environment just like everything else in the time realm.  All will be left to the permutations that be, as long as we have more and more souls. As is clearly evident, my rock can only handle a few billions, but my time will help move them along as we sift out the souls that worship us in truth and spirit.
What happens to the other souls?
We simply take back their free will and turn them into more angels.
Sounds like a plan. What are you waiting for? Let us make man in our own image.

Monday, 27 July 2015

THE ROD AND A CHILD.

I swear I will kill you and give birth to another! How can I lose my mind over a child?

Hear that come out of your mother’s mouth and you immediately realize that she has zero tolerance for insolence and absolutely no chills.  

The scene plays out way back in 1995. I was out playing past my 4:30 pm curfew because time is a bitch when you are having fun. The crazy thing though is that my mother expected me to some how be able to tell when its time to go back home. As a kid, there are only two ways to tell time. Either your stomach reminds you, or darkness starts to blanket the playground. 4:30 is smack in the middle of these two alarms and there was no way of ever getting it right. To be safe, I would always go back to the house at two in the afternoon and waste two and a half hours of my life everyday (Afternoon classes were unheard of ) as other kids played outside. 

One fateful day,  I convinced myself that I could tell the difference between 3:30, 4:00 and 4:30.
I got it horribly wrong, only realizing that I had to go back home when other kids with way cooler mothers, (read dettol mums) started being called home. It was around 6:40 -7:00 pm. The sun had long hidden behind the escarpments and to find a hiding place was the only thing I wanted too.
I trudged back home promising God all manner of things if only mama would be late from work this one time. The distance to the house inexplicably shrank and every forward step seemed to take me closer than I anticipated.

Please God, I swear. . . no I don’t swear because you don’t like it when people swear. I can’t directly promise you either, but I know I will be a good boy forever if you give me a pass this one time. Just this one time. I will never ever steal or lick sugar again.  Are you angry with me because I forgot to pray last night? Is that why you set me up for my mother’s wrath? 

God I know you are a god of mercy, I know you are not vindictive. Please please God, let it pass and I will always pray every another night until I grow up.  I swear . . . no I don’t swear, but I will listen to the Sunday school teacher, I will carry a pencil and book next Sunday. I won’t leave early and from now on I will never watch Conan and Sinbad. I know you hate them because they make me skip Sunday school and that is why you are punishing me now. Dear lord, spare me this cup, (I thought I could soften His heart if I went all Jesus on Him) and I will change my ways.

I think roping in Jesus was the last straw for God. The negotiation ended that very second. My mother appeared from behind the front door of the house. Call it telepathy, sixth sense or whatever, she saw me before I could duck. Her eyes settled on me the second she opened that door, and I knew God’s answer was a firm no. To this day it still holds the record as the fastest answer from God. Not only did He say no, but He was actively against me.  First, ‘GPSing’ to my mum my whereabouts; second, timing exactly when I was walking in too large a space to disappear anywhere.

Mama’s countenance immediately changed from one of deep worry to that of fervent rage. 

-Come here!The ol' lady barked out.

She is now seething, and I imagine froth coming out of the edges of her mouth. Id rather be anywhere else but where she is commanding, but I figure some belated obedience would at least reduce the looming punishment. I approach her cautiously.

-Reti! (Hurry up!) 

I oblige, and she grabs me by my scrawny arms. Her grip is so firm; I think she wants to crash my humerus.

-What time is it? Ah ne in Kanye? (Where were you?)

It is funny how African and Asian parents ask their miscreant kids obvious (often rhetorical) questions at such moments. It raises a slight hope that maybe they have no idea what the hell is going on. That maybe, just maybe, you could get away with a misdemeanor. It is utterly dangerous though; it opens a window for lies, which only infuriates them the more.

I was tempted to lie. I wanted to say that I had just hoped out of the house to return a borrowed pencil. However, I wisely decided against it. I had no idea how long she had been home and I was as dirty as a mole anyway. Silence is the best fence to sit on.

-Dwoka wah! (Answer me then/won’t you?) Where were you? 

This time even more sternly. She grabs a huge chunk of my cheek with her other arm and pinches me so hard I lose all sensitivity in that area.

Now in our house it was especially confusing when a parent interrogated you in two languages. There was this rule: you only answer or speak in the language you are spoken to in. I am in the frying pan, I most definitely don’t wanna jump into the fire now! So what do I do? I start crying.
Crying is always the last ammo. If it doesn’t elicit pity, at least it reduces or numbs the stress in the situation.

-Wek yuak! (Stop crying!)

 It seems to piss her off even the more. I realize to my horror that it is having the exact opposite effect. I can’t stop now and tears start to drench my chicks. She starts pulling me into the house and I know that there are truck loads of problems in Houston. I start wailing, and she pulls me in even faster, legs kicking the other arm flailing.
I am dragged  past the house help standing at the kitchen door, into the living room. I am slightly embarrassed to be crying out so loud in front of her. I notice a grin on her face and realize how much power she has in the house. She is the one who set me up.

“That witch set me up.” I wise up to the fact, but I can’t mull over it because I am being pulled fast into mama's bedroom. That is the one room you do not want to be in when she is cross. I am desperate, I can’t go in there. I have circa five or six seconds before we make it through the corridor to the door. My last respite, I confess and start begging to be spared the rod.

That is when she says it.

-I swear I will kill you and give birth to another! How can I lose my mind over a child?

Aware of my impending demise, I get into self preservation mode.

Please don’t kill me, I promise promise . . . aki don’t even consider me as your child, I will slave for you, I will not even call you mum, please just don’t kill me! Ill do anything you want madam.

It worked. She stopped pulling me and turned back to look at her load. Her eyes fiery, but with a slight hint of disbelief at what she had just heard. For a very brief while she stood there still, my upper arm still firmly in her clutch. She was contemplating something.

Wailing subsided into sobs. Sobs trigger mucus; mucus mixed with tears doesn’t feel okay on the face. So I used my free arm to try and wipe it out. Her peripheral caught the moving arm and she must have thought I was trying to wriggle myself free. 

She grabbed even tighter and said . . .

-Hapana, sitakuchapa.  Hii shetani ndio lazima tujaribu kutoa ndani yako.

I finally made it to the bedroom, where she kept a small rubber whip. With her left arm she held me and with her right lashed me repeatedly until I couldn’t cry anymore. 

Then she let go.

-Nenda ukaoge. Tena na maji baridi, auntie alikuchemshia maji hukutaka. Then go straight to bed, no supper for you today.

I was only too happy to leave her presence. I did not care about the cold bath (cause the shower was for adults only) or supper.

I just remembered that night because a friend of mine called crying on the phone because her nine y. o is ‘stressing’ her out.

-Kiboko kidogo haitakaua.

That was the only thing (and frankly cheapest and most effective way) I could think of.

-Woiye, na akiturn out disturbed akiwa mkubwa?

I just laughed.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

DREAMS DO COME TRUE

I love my wife. This should be the norm, but it is surprising just how many of my friends loathe their wives. To be fair to them, it takes quite some feet to live day in day out with another human being considering they are in possession of all their faculties and have the ability to make independent decisions half of which may not fly with you. It is a world of a 99 compromises, and losing your peace is not one of them.

My wife, like many other wives, makes her own independent decisions. It is a good thing, though sometimes I wish we were like literally one thing and our interests are so in sync that whatever decision she makes big or small will please me. Like when I want to get myself a Rottweiler, she would just go along with the idea. She would find me extremely thoughtful and a maverick in my own small ways. Or better yet, she would graciously exile herself when I want to call my buddies over and spend the whole day playing wager FIFA. Selfish huh! Anyway it is the real world and beggars do not ride horses.

Some good news though, I have been reading them inspirational books, and I came across this one statement that really hit a cord with me. This author (can’t remember the name) was of the opinion that life is not what happens to you, but how you react to situations (the happenings). Not that I am complaining about life or my marriage. By any measure it is a blissful one. Yeah I am living those happily ever after kind of marriages. But this statement got me thinking I could make things even better. Talk of trying to fix it when it aint broke!

So I decided I’m going to react in the best possible way to my wife’s independence. Instead of having her conform to my every whim, I’m gonna try and figure out how the marriage has changed her, the little nuances. I’m going to figure out what tickles her fancy now that she is older, and a little different (in a nice way)from the all-out frisky, free spirit I was dating.

I start working on my new resolve with the zeal of a KANU era sycophant. I want this to be special; I want whatever I come up with to be a surprise. However there is only one small problem with this approach, the lady of the house knows me like the back . . .  urg! She really knows me, which is a little unnerving, but hey. Nothing I do for her has the desired effect I really want, and I can tell it from the faked delight. I would like to believe it is the only thing she fakes.  In short ananioenea eighteen nikikuja. It is week 27 and I am starting to lose the morale.

One night, I’ve just entered the master from the bathroom. I started brushing before going to bed ever since I got married for reasons so banal I’m not going to highlight on this forum. She is already in bed, the TV remote controller in her hand. Some women’s talk show is on and she barely notices me disrobing. Lucky for her she got a hubby who can sleep through an earthquake, so the late night shows have never been an issue.

I am drifting off to slumber land when I hear the show host declaring that every girl, she insists on the “every” part quite passionately. My attention is piqued. Every girl would absolutely love to have a gay man friend. Yeah that is what she said! I have no idea why search a person is a must have, but all these images of those flaccid TV characters with squeaky voices and brightly dressed came to mind. Why do they always have them nerdy glasses? I did not think much of the comment, but it being my last thought; it naturally made its way into my dreams.

I saw my wife. She was with a man; she seemed to thoroughly enjoy his presence. The dream was fleeting but I can remember the background was a boutique. Or was it a shoe shop? What I am sure of the gel on the man’s hair would put J Koinange’s to shame. He wore red cropped pants and was seemingly allergic to dirt. What got me though, is that the missus absolutely loved everything he picked for her in that store. She never likes anything I suggest; it is always too . . . something.

You think, I would hate this guy or at least feel jealous? Isn’t it only natural? But I can’t. He is only a man in my dreams. If anything I should be ashamed of myself. Why is a gay man in my dreams? Does that make him the man of my dreams? Am I (even minutely) gay? Why am I not pleasing my wife in my own damn dream? So I force myself to like this guy. It makes me feel good about myself. In any case, he was doing something akin to magic, albeit in a dream. Being in a variety store, and making my wife decide without much of a hassle. That is reason enough to like this guy if you have ever been in a variety store of any sort with babe.

So the entire morning I am at the office, mulling over this dream. I am going all Nebuchadnezzar over the “wonderings” of my mind the previous night. I do not have wise men at my disposal or seers so I have to figure this thing out alone. It is 4:30 pm after long hours and little work done (thank god for whoever convinced us that delegation is good), I get my eureka moment. Haile needs a gay man friend. I realize that a man is either nuts, or has swallowed a king size humble pie to entertain such a thought, and way more loose nuts to even contemplate ways of realizing this.
I am a normal man, so I quickly dismiss the idea and go on with my amazing life. Nine days later the thought is still stuck in my mind like a Marilyn Monroe pic. It follows me around like that street urchin who wants “kobore ya mandazi”, and I gently try to tell the inner voice, “aki sina leo bradhe.” The voice simmers for leo and waits for kesho so that it can erupt and nag again the whole day.
Finally I give in after a few days and reach into my pocket for the “kobore”, a fifty bill comes out and I can’t put it back. That is how iffy giving into a crazy idea can be.
You would think finding gay people in Africa is akin to mining, considering how intolerant and prejudiced we are, Lo and behold, all I needed was a quick facebook search. Found twenty groups in my town alone. So I thumb through the various profiles looking for the “most acceptable” among them.

I settle on one, his bio pleases me and the avatar is the most girly of them all. The image on the avi is light skin, and he spots long hair. I am walking on unchartered territory here and there are no defined rules on how to pick them. So I make my own and blend them with my inner manly compass. Wait a minute . . . what the! What pleases me the most his bio says that he is seven years older than me. I don’t quite believe it because his pictures make him my age mate. If there is any truth to it, then he is eleven more than Haile. If there were any rules for doing this, I bet my heart that this would be the cardinal one.

Anyways a man has to do what he has to do, and I am swallowing my frog in the morning.  I reach out to him. He is a little apprehensive at first, good thing I wrote on his wall and did not inbox him. A “social media expert” once told me it creates a subtle image of “openness” and “goodwill”.
There are many details, but the short of it is that we somehow hit it off. He turns out to be an amazing guy. I develop an honest liking for him, and I want to hang out with him more than with my traditional friends. Weeks into the new “relationship”, I am having second thoughts about “gifting” him to my wife. Childish heh! But I am who I am.

By some amazing grace I overcome my selfishness, and take it to the next level. No more meeting at the golf course or during the game or anywhere away from home. I take him home. It was a rained down Friday when we first went to my house. I sensed a chill in him for Haile, but wifey was her usual bubbly self.  Too eager to play wonderful host she did not notice.
I kind of . . . no, I REALLY liked the fact that he was more fond of me than Haile. Finally I was above her in this area. Everybody loves the wife wherever there are visitors around. My parent, her parent, my friends, her friends, neighbours, the neighbours kids even Jehovah’s witnesses. Now it was my turn and I was going to savour every jiffy.

Evil conniving Haile however always has an ace up her sleeve. Her bewitching charm. By the time the evening is over, the lad had opened up to her, and they had struck some form of rapport.
“I really like Prexidious,” she quipped when the taxi peeled away taking our new friend back to his place. “You really should have more friends like him, akina Mato and Jaymo are absolutely no good.” She declared as she walked up to the house, leaving me behind to close the gate. I followed her back into the house, a feeling of trepidation hanging over my head. What had I just done? What if I changed my mind about this whole experiment, or this Prexidious guy? Would I be stuck with him, because my wife likes him? What if he magically turns straight and takes my wife? What will I say to people? What if? What if? What if? I counted them that night like sheep until mercifully sleep came to my rescue.

Not long after, Haile stole my friend. They were always hanging out and making her smile in ways I could not. It made me happy, and yet apprehensive. Could he possibly replace me? This friendship technically is cheating, I thought. Still I consoled myself; he is for all purposes and intent, a girl. I even entertained the thought of having a three people relationship where the other two were, as far as I am concerned, girls. Just in case things go south in this arrangement, I will be at peace knowing that it was not because of an inadequacy on my part.
All in all, that is how my dream came true and I ended up in a complicated relationship. A year down the line, things were still holding up.
We were in bed, my wife and I, just the two of us hehehe. She was watching those late night talk shows she really loved and I was typing out a story on my laptop. The missus suddenly jabbed my ribs with the point of her elbow so hard, I almost screamed. “Are you trying to kill me woman?” I hissed out through gritted teeth. “I just realised what you did with Prexidious, I surely did not see that coming. Nice move babe.” But do I say, I love my wife.