My guardian angel is one sad fellow who walks around with his face contorted into an ugly scowl like a Kenyan whose salary has delayed for a day. He never says it but I know the kind of thoughts he harbors in his mind about me. He thinks I am pathetic. I see it written all over his face every time I send Him to God to beg for reprieve in my finances. The poor chap does not understand why God had to assign him to watch over a grown up who just can’t seem to get a grip on her finances. He’d rather be changing diapers for a small kid than be stuck with me. And it is depressing. For the both of us.
Some time back, a friend of mine was narrating to a group of us about his money issues. This guy, I am sorry to say, shares a lot with Judas. Yes the Judas of ancient times. Anytime this guy gets appointed as the treasurer of a group, he actually pays himself a salary. For his services! This demi-Judas, who like Judas of old doesn’t posses a comely face, has massive financial struggles. Can you believe that he has drafted a duty Rota for which relative to borrow cash from, and during which time of the month? In black and white. Talk of taking 8-4-4 to a different level altogether.
At first, I found the whole schedule thing laughable and rindonkey-lous. Then not. Personally, I am not one to have a rota. You see, my relatives aren’t those philanthropic folks we hear about every other day. They believe all acts of kindness were buried along with Mother Teresa. And, it is okay. The only problem is, the same people want to attend my graduation and dance their old waists to oblivion. Ati, we went, saw and conquered 8-4-4. Together. As the whole village. How now? It amuses me to realize that ujamaa never died with Nyerere. It lives on. Mocking us by day.
After severing my pockets at BS, I swayed my sufficient behinds and boarded a bus to South B, lest I arrived late for choir practice. The moment I landed in that bus, I felt ready and prepared enough to make peace with my ancestors. The music in that bus was something else. It soothed all the frayed nerves in my being, curing all my mental diseases. I even wanted to write my will and inform my descendants that their big mama died a happy woman.
I also wanted to tell them that their grandfather, my dad, is a traitor. I mean, what was my old man thinking when he decided that we should live along Ngong road. So that we could eventually die of acute traffic jam? Why? Especially when mats on this route seem to offer a lot? Si, you folks who use the 4W route know how eerily quiet those Citi Hoppas can be on the inside? Look, even the ride to heaven or hell will be full of music. Why make us suffer silence, and bear listening to the frequent sniffing of Nairobians with a two- day old running nose? And, why do those Citi Hoppas crawl real slow like they were out to delay the apocalypse?
I sat on that chair, staring at Ali Kiba’s face on the tv screen and cried out to the father of lights asking Him why I cannot have my cake and eat it too. You see I have had this incurable crush on Ali Kiba for as long as I can remember. I have also suffered ridicule for the same and I need a breakthrough. Someone tell Ali Kiba, my knight in tight jeans, that I finished school weeks ago. That I am what he has been waiting for. That I’ve never been readier for marriage . 50 camels are all my folks ask for.
So engrossed was I in enjoying the music that the bus drove past my stage. How that happened, I have no idea. But one thing is for sure, that is how my dream of ever wanting to live in South B died. An unnatural death. No loud wailing. No decent burial. Nothing.
On my way back, I decided, like a lost puppy, to ask the man sitted next to me if he was familiar with the place I was to alight. He looked like one in their early 40’s, most likely a recent graduate from the academy of midlife crisis. But that is not why I asked for his help. It was because he looked like one from church. One who had bumped fists with Christos on his way to Damascus that morning.
However, I had forgotten one thing. That when bad luck chooses you as a companion, even a ripe banana can remove your teeth. Strangers will think that you are speaking Spanish.
This Damascus man turns to my side and asks, ‘What did you say again?’
Me: Mass iko na huku mbele ama tumeshaipita?
Him: Ati unataka nikununulie maji?(you should have seen how big his eyes were getting by second)
Me: No.(Getting desperate) Nauliza, Unajua place inaitwa Mass na huko mbele?
Him: Unauliza kama kuna maji hapo mbele?
Me: (slumping hopelessly into my seat because I was tired. Of him. Of South B. And every other thing at that moment.) Acha tu.
I was feeling very agitated by then. I did not know if to laugh at myself or him. So I sat there with a frown on my face, begging angel Gabriel, to have some shreds of tenderness on my poor self. And my seatmate who had suddenly thought I needed water.
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