Its 6pm. You’re walking towards the Juja stage to board a mat to tao.
You’re bros begged you to accompany them to fall (dunda) in Thika but you couldn’t. You know it’s kubad. The currencies have been waving you their middle finger for the past week. The others are off to P.S joints to play FIFA which is not your thing because you don’t get football. You call it ‘fanaticism’ and ‘obsession’ in front of them but deep down you know it’s you. It’s a social deficiency on your part and it depresses you.
The dame you’re heart (groin) aches for is not replying to your texts and you feel like tossing you’re phone into the drain.
You approach the matatus from behind because you don’t want to deal with the condas. You know them, Juja condas. They are wild animals, predatory. You know once they spot you – you who reeks of someone who’s going to tao – YOU WILL get into their matatu. We’re talking physical force. They’ll shove you in through the window if they have to. They don’t give a damn whether you’re pregnant or have a broken leg. (Wee Ben si you can relate.)
So you sneak up behind them and choose the emptiest, least noisiest matatu.
You seat at that nice place you like cause it’s safe and you can observe people as they board – you want to see if there’s anyone on board with those moccasins you dig. They’re rare those ones.
A petite chick approaches and settles next to you. From her 8 ear piercings you can tell her name is Olivia and she has some issues with her mom. Regardless, you’re glad she sat because it was either her or this other bigger woman – Not that you have a problem with that, it’s just a matter of preference.
As the conda comes to collect fare, Satan intervenes, promptly, as he does from time to time. The conda is an energetic, loquacious fellow so as he collects and folds his dues, he accidentally spits on this chick; on her forearm. The conda isn’t the slightest bit bothered and moves on because come on, its just spit. It could be worse.
Eyes squinted with disgust, she leers at the foamy bubble of saliva. It glistens in the evening light against her creamed skin. Oh and it has some green in it so you know the conda is a Baite.
You observe her with subtle side-eye peeks because you know this is gold.
The chick looks disgusted but doesn’t wipe it immediately. She just stares at it as if to examine it and then she turns to you. Like it’s your cue to pull out a magnifying glass so you can examine it together. You smirk and look on.
She squirms, finally, and wipes it off with her kerchief.
And that becomes that.
The whole thing is weird so you decide you’ll write about it because it was your week’s highlight. (And because you’re too uncreative to write poems or short stories)
You check your device and nothing. Just them satanic blue ticks.
You murmur ‘F-ck it’ and open Music.
You pull out your earphones and scroll to L where that Fuse ODG song is. You listen as you gaze outside at the fast-moving tarmac. He laments of the gutter portrayal of Africa in Western media and says he sings to change lives; to change to the African perception, to change to continent. He gets you, this Fuse person. His music is like a spoonful of sugar poured into your bloodstream. (I was going to say cocaine but I figured nah, thas too much.)
He takes you to your happy place.
Your happy place is the thought of when you’ll arrive home and find Niki, your 7-year-old sister, and give her Kinder Joy (some kind of chocolate/candy) and with brimming delight she will shout, “Asantii!” and run to show her mom, “Angalia! Tony amenibuyia chocolate.” That evening she will love you more and she will make you crayon drawings and paper cut-outs.
That is your happy place. And Fuse takes you there.
But then you find traffic. Hell-sent traffic right from Ngara. The driver switches off his engine and you know it’ll be an extra hour and a half before you reach home. If you shut your eyes long enough, you can see the Smirnoff bottles your bros have ‘dirtified‘ the tables with at Porkiz. You can see them laughing and joking about Susan, their hot lecturer as they dance and drown themselves in booze.
Finally you alight and at 9.30, as you’re walking towards your home, the blue-ticking Jezebel texts back, “Aki pole my phone was off [this emoji]” You know it’s bullshit and you wouldn’t have cared hadn’t it been for that emoji. It makes you froth at the mouth, that emoji. It becomes clear as day that she holds you to the same urgency she holds her toilet paper holder. And it sucks. But you put away your phone and you chill.
You arrive and ring the house bell.
You hide the Kinder Joy thing in your hands and brace yourself for Niki’s usual hyper-energetic hug.
You enter the house and its silent.
You ask the help, “Wapi Niki?” and to your dismay she answers, “Ameshalala. Alikungoja akachoka.“