Brianelvis+ Cerebral

Brianelvis+ Cerebral

Brianelvis+ Cerebral

Monday, 27 July 2015


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


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.