The Art of Wining.

 

He owned a winery. And he described his so-called ‘Vintner self’ with sheer boldness. He was overbearing. A little too much. His voice was loud, virtually sarcastic, his posture like he owned the world. He took up the whole room, and his manly woody scent swept through your nose whenever he brushed near. His confidence could be labeled, it beamed with power and I found myself almost intrigued, almost impressed with how he took charge. And though I rolled my eyes several times as I watched him, I found myself being more attentive.

 
I didn’t consider it a date but a class about wines. He taught me the basics which I had no idea of or never really followed through when it came to handling wine. For me, wine was something simple; for relaxation and winding down, while to him, wining was celebratory. Monumental. To be taken with pride. To mark something as simple as accomplishing a goal at the end of a long day, to decoying someone to your appeasement. Wine was a symbol of ‘class’.

 
“There’s a way you hold the stem without holding the upper glass body.” He went on, “If you do so, the warmth of your hands ruins the taste of the wine. The next step is to go ahead and swirl the wine to aerate it, put it to your nose and sniff. Is it fruity, spicy or floral? Depending on the wine, it can be acidic, crisp, complex or precise upon tasting. It all depends on your preference. I happen to have them around for your tasting.” He smugged.

 
I didn’t expect that my simple innocent touch of the glass would interfere with the tartness of the wine. It had never crossed my mind. This was turning out to be interestingly fun. I bet by the time I got home I would be all squiffy and sold to this vintner’s charm.

 
“Keep in mind the legs of the wine. For you to see these, you got to tip the glass. These are also known as the streaks. And the heavier the streaks or legs of wine, the higher the alcohol content. Do not lose sight of the fact that the marriage between wine and it’s wine glass is of the utmost importance ” (He says this coming to a sudden stop of hovering the room by assuming a delicate power stance I was yet to see.) “Do not mix a Chardonnay glass, with a Bordeaux glass, or Rose for Burgundy. The taste tilts in a matter of seconds.”

 
Being from the hood, I was yet to hear some of these heavy, hard worded names. But I guess it came with ‘Class’ and the more you got out of your circle the more you became bolder and refined.
The class-date came to an end. And I settled for some swishes of Cristal Champagne while I contemplated my life decisions about this handsome vintner with his art of wining. Was he worth a second date?

 

 

 

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Necessary-Unnecessary Clouds.

**Phone ringing**

“Hey, little nugget… How are you? Been sometime”

“Hi, Shay. I’m fine… Well, not so fine…But forging on. How are you?”

“I’m good, Up and down. But good. Talk to me…”

“Well, nothing much. Just had a long day. Waiting eternity for my uber to arrive. Trying to make circles meet at work. Bumping and grunting with my socials. My cat pooping under my bed only to discover it hours after searching whilst the intoxicating smell almost bursting my lungs. Now it’s acting sourpuss after lashing out at it. Feels like everyone is trying to cross me. I mean, it can’t just be me. Can it?”

“I hear you little nugget. You know it’s not you. Life sometimes is just shitty”

(Silence…)

(Something intangible hangs in the air…)

“What are you doing now?”

“Just gazing at my ceiling on my nook, awfully drained and void. Cold and washed up by emptiness…”

“Well, why don’t you grab a glass of wine and sip. Or get outside for the sunset. It’s beautiful this evening…better yet, call that same cat of your’s and get a cuddle. Breath in from 5 backward slowly taking long pauses. Let it go. Life is like water. Don’t hold it. Let it flow. Same are people and basically your socials. Let go”

*Almost misty eyed*

“Thank you, Shay. For listening.”

“Thank you little nugget. Be well. Remember, I’m just a call away…”

This was a conversation that went on my head the other day that resulted from feeling all knackered. Occasionally, I do wish I had a catfish sort of a friend. Without any motives on either ends.  Something just casual but meaningful. Being there for one another or rather for myself like those therapeutic guys whom you just call when life decides to give you a meltdown. I wish I had this person somewhere lingering in my circle. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate my dear friends. So much and I wouldn’t trade them for anything, but I would love to have that person whom I wouldn’t have to explain why I’m feeling so and so. Someone who would just listen without the need of me trying to measure up or feeling guilty or infantile or feeling as if I’m interrupting their busy lives. Someone who won’t literally give me contemporary solutions. At times I know the solution I just want to wallow for some time without the need to jump and fix things immediately.

Earlier that week, my heart was heavy and sad. And this cloud could not wipe out from me. I tried looking up for positives messages online but nothing changed. I read the bible, it still lingered. I wanted to cry but I couldn’t. How do you cry in the office without the ability to give a reason why? They say it’s not power if a woman cries in a professional setting. (So many standards for women). So that was not an option. FYI, it’s different if a man cries. The world is more sympathetic if they show their emotional side and are sort of applauded for showing their emotional strength and openness. Their human side. (Wow! Double standards right!) Why can’t we all be accepted equally? Yes, I would like for them to open up emotionally but that should not regard me as a woman when I become emotional. A reminder that it’s also not hormonal either!

I tried opening up to a dear one but I didn’t have the strength to start explaining it all. I didn’t even know how because I could not point it out. These little chunks and shreds from different areas of my life formed a thick mass that caught up with me. Some necessary, some unnecessary. It was some sort of a haze. You try to shake it but it doesn’t come off. Like a hard stain. Vinegar and other detergents all become useless. I wondered if there was some weird comfort in the miasma of this dark cloud? They say misery loves company. So my last card had to be played.

 

Music!

 

Music is life. And life is music. It’s always been my decampment when I have such meltdowns. Depending with the moods, I can juice my system with club boombastic jingles or sometimes my heart just yearns for Hillsong vocals that picturize my singing with the angels in heaven.

From old school Rhumba to Lingala music, I never discriminate. I became familiar with this genre at a young age. My parents had Pepe Kalle, Madilu systems, Franco, Yondo sister, Aurlus Mabelle, Samba Mapangala and all the other old school musicians’ cassettes.  I remember vividly dancing to Yondo sister ‘Mbuta mutu, mwana ya maman (Eh papa) song, and for that (70/80s) generation, it’s always been baffling to see her swift and vivacious dance moves. She, dancing like a lunatic and feeling her music to the bone makes you yield to her snares. You can’t just sit when her songs play. They push and drive you wild. Whatever the dance floor, picking a ballroom is not an option.

African music made a statement. You heard a song from those decades and even without fully understanding the meaning you were sold. It left you embracing your Africanism because it was raw, original and organic. Sure, the new generation songs are still great, but there was something deeper and sheer from the old songs. Matchatcha by Diblo Dibala blurrly reminds me of my homeland Mgange Nyika, it’s corners and it’s hills. That song is electrifying and metallic at the same time. The guitarist kills it. It drives you bonkers. And to think girls in that era were just as crazy to dance so alluringly and open (nothing Konshens naughty) you wonder why our ancient African women were viewed as reserved and frigid as compared to the modern African lady.

Fatimata (shared on my FB recently) isn’t left behind by the art of flawlessness. Melodious and tuneful, Sam Mangwana plays it effortlessly and calmingly with a silky sweep. Awilo’s coupe bibamba, Kofi’s songs (This guy’s deep bass… Yoh!) Assinata by Beniko, Mbilia Bel and everyone I’ve not mentioned… All epitome of instrumental elegance incorporated with rhythms and rhymes to drift you to this imaginable world of excitement, smiles and nothing less. This is what I plunge myself into to shake off those dark clouds.

The slow soft Bob Marley’s redemption song doesn’t just sneak up to your soul, it speaks to every fiber of your humanity. It speaks of breaking the chains that have bound our minds. Whatever that may be for you. You tend to get pushed to break free.  If you’ve heard Skylarking by Red Fox ft Screechy Dan you would find the value of ghetto radio in the evening while heading home. Your head will nod automatically as it synchronizes to the tempo. Lucky Dube’s slave and prisoner are rich and lilting as the trumpets and cornets tantalize your ears.  I can go on and on but music has it for me. I might be deeply sunk in a book, then a song hits and I can’t concentrate till it’s over.

Sometimes it’s not even about the meaning of the words in a song but the beat. Let’s face it, no one can sing a slow worship song like ‘In control’ by Hillsong at the gym. And no one can sing ‘Boasty’ by Idriss in a shrine, church or temple. This also means that the visual effects of a song can make it more meaningful depending on the depth of the artist. It can be palpable, almost real or it can be incomprehensible and just ‘meh’ for the less creative artists. I say let the music take control when it’s needful. It’s therapeutic.

My best songs/musicians that are legends are but not limited to; Ti, Eminem, Dorobucci, Amarula, Rara, Major Lazer, Chris Daughtry, Avicii (RIP), Rudeboy, Ed Sheeran!, Highway don’t care by Tim McGraw, I believe-Jonathan Nelson, MOG! Lauren Daigle, Sinachi,  Khalid, Kygo, Pink!, Maluma the cute boy (insert tongue emoji) J.lo, Selena Gomez, Sia! LadyGaga!! Toni, Charleyyy meaning Charley Black and many more. The list is endless, but I won’t leave behind New position by those Kenyan young’uns. That song banging in the speakers makes you wanna twerk on the aisle of Umoinner as it maneuvers through Jericho. (hide face emoji)

After my research, I’ve come to the conclusion that music is that invisible friend that I can reach out to after everything else prooves slow and nonresponsive in shifting my moods. Oh, little yoga tip; If you want to squeeze and embrace yourself while listening to that song that speaks to your soul, just lie flat on your back, bring your knees to your chest and hold yourself tightly. Fall over to your right side and let your right hand be your pillow. Then wonder with it believing the best for your life. Feels so much better for that meltdown.

Namaste!

Death Race

 

“I stop here,” he said.

He was pleased to have been driven late at night by a female Uber driver. They had not talked much during the trip, but enough for him to know she was a tough woman. Brave enough to drive an Uber at night. “I stop here,” he said again, louder.

But she zoomed past his gate, seemingly not hearing him, her face contorted in what seemed like anger…

“Ma’am, can you please stop the vehicle?! I have to alight here.”

She looked at him, peeved from the rearview mirror. Her forehead creased. Like she had something against him. She didn’t utter any word, rather gave him another cat eye look and put her foot on the gas pedal!

Owiti was now agitated. The hell was going on? He was already late from his rounds of liquor with his boys. He had promised the missus to be at home 2 hours ago. It was now way past midnight. Just like everybody else, he liked his good time, but he was a man of boundaries who took naggins of whiskey from time to time. His wife, on the other hand, was the most catastrophic wife on earth.  Sometimes he didn’t have a fog of how her mind worked. The most innocent pure explanation would take a mountain to be understood. It was amazing how patient and understanding he was. But most guys would never give another thought of his wife’s melodramatic charade.

His voice menacing, he grabbed the front seat vivaciously ready to stir up a commotion. Though a bit wavering, he still managed to speak between clenched teeth.

“Ma’am, can you fucking stop the car!”

Sardonically, she enunciated back,

“calm down pretty boy. Isn’t this exciting? I’m taking you home right away”

For a minute, she smiled. Looked and sounded friendly. Almost unreadable of true intentions but considerably easier to talk now. But before he completely got it, before he thought of relaxing and warming up to her, she took it away with a smug. She became a paradox within seconds!

The car veered right towards the hill, and he knew his house was now out of sight. He grabbed his phone to call the missus, but she wouldn’t answer. He called again, but it went right to voicemail. He knew he was screwed. Her mother’s face and father’s temper placated her heavy sarcasm to a different level. But he would deal with her later. Right now he needed to get out of this damn psycho, lady driver’s car. As he tried calling one of his buddies, the car halted to a screech and threw off his phone.

He tried reaching for it but his stupor hazy self kicked him off balance and fell head first… The lady had driven off without prior notice by taking a sharp turn and throwing him off. Minutes after recuperating, his anger flared up like a current. His vigor interlaced with testosterone and adrenaline filled him and the rasp air inside the car. He was ready to cause havoc, grip and bundle up the lady in some sort while controlling the car and thereafter throw her out since simple reasoning was not making sense to her. Hopefully, they wouldn’t end up in a ditch. It was a risky calculation.

Just as he was about to jerk himself towards the front seat, loud multiple shots fired up right next to him. Next to their car. Completely out of nowhere! He ducked down towards the gear level with a yelp, his hands covering his head. The lady gassed up trying to outrun the other vehicle whilst shouting to Owiti, “move and lie down! lie down!” Within a second, she had grabbed the gear and fired up the ignition which had gone down. The flashy Volvo xc60 had caught up with their not so new Nissan note and bumped on them. A teasing bump. Ready for war. The lady driver was quick to recover and off again she picked up. Upon assessing the range between them, she instructed Owiti to open the glove compartment and get out her gun. Owiti cursed under his breath but obliged and took it out his hands feeling like putty. His stupor had now faded.

“Careful Owiti!” She shouted through her open window. “Now you gonna show me that masculinity you showed me minutes ago and do as I instruct.”

“Listen, you can’t afford to make any mistakes or you are dead” She went on. ” You’ve got 2 seconds to crouch to the passenger, open your window and shoot back.”

Owiti was confused. He had a good rank economically but he had never come into contact with a gun. He just saw them in movies but never had an interest in possessing one. And who was this woman who knew him? Was she saving him or taking him to the den? He knew he had to do it considering the hard brazen drilling look she gave him.

The Volvo came to their side and brushed against them igniting sparks. She outwitted the guy and took the furthest lane. It was now a frenzy. Before he could change lanes to follow them, she had darted miles away…

“Check out your target, grip the handgun, use your dominant eye and align the sights.” Came the first instruction.

“Keep the trigger finger off the trigger till you are sure of the target.” She hurled again. Owiti did that shaking. But didn’t want to show it. Scared to death and crippling with fear from the inside, he screamed at her to stop swaying the vehicle.

“I have to sway or else you get shot.” She retorted back

As the Volvo built upon them, she told Owiti to get ready. They were fast approaching behind them and getting closer.

“On 1,2…

Boom!!! A loud bang shattered the Volvos windscreen. Owiti was already on mode!

The car swerved right and left. Taking advantage of the circus, he pulled the trigger again. Not once but twice. On seeing splattered blood he froze. Gaped back at her driver. He had probably killed him.

Within seconds he gave a wounded grunt. “Shit!” Owiti was suddenly bleeding from the shoulder.

Looking at him, the woman cursed and darted the other psycho. She hurriedly grabbed the gun and shot the parallel head to head driver who was trying to finish them. Lights flashing, and wind roaring from the top-notch speed, she gave him a derisive disgusting look and pulled her last bullet.

The Volvo went ramming off the road and finished him off.

Silence ensued while Owiti tried to make sense of everything. It was all almost elusive. How did he find himself in such a death race? He started feeling dizzy and he knew his strength was ebbing away. He took out his shirt and tied his arm not saying anything. The lady took a turn, reported something from her phone and dashed Owiti to the hospital.

It was almost 4.00 am in the morning. His wife had died with worry.  He finally took up his phone to text her when he saw her million missed calls. Picking on the first ring she rushed to the hospital they were heading and he knew the long coercion would not be necessary.

“Hi, I’m Savannah. A secret agent from Kena County serving you. It was reported to us some malicious men were against your firm. We tracked you down to save you from the lunatic. Some are under arrest and are ongoing investigations. Please be cautious till we are sure you are clear”

Owiti was left stupefied. He needed a minute to rest before he could take it all in…

 

 

 

 

 

Maze Of Lies

She puts on her helmet and pushes the bike out of the little storage area. Her sling bag with her tablet and notebook bumps against her hip as she walks the bike out of her SQ’s compound, past the main house, onto the road outside. She mounts the bike and rides towards and out of the estate’s main gate. The watchman waves at her with a smile on his face. The road outside has very little traffic, as is usual on Sunday mornings. She turns left and gets into a steady pace towards the park four kilometers away.

A white Nissan March passes her slowly and comes to a stop a few meters ahead of her. Probably an Uber dropping a passenger, she thinks. But why on the road? Might it be robbers waylaying her? The car is stopped in her path, so she has to swerve into the road to pass. She does a quick shoulder check and begins to swerve, and braces herself to pedal hard, just in case…

Her anxiety heightens when she sees the passenger window begin to roll down… Her feet increase their pressure on the pedals. Her hands grip the handlebars harder. A sweat breaks out in her armpit. As she passes the car, she glimpses into the window just long enough to see a woman with a large red wig. She swiftly flies past the car…

“Angie!” Someone screams her name. She looks over her shoulder, startled. The red-wigged head is hanging out of the car, a hand waving furiously. “Angie! Is that you?”

She contemplates whether to press on to her brakes or follow her instincts and dash as her bike is now gliding away. A million questions are streaming through her mind. “How does she know my name?” “Who is she?” “And why would the driver stop in the middle of any incoming bike?” It’s utterly moronic!

The redhead calls her again. And this time the voice sounds desperate. On second thought, she decides to stop. A few meters away. Over her shoulder, she can see that her head is outside the window. Her face pleading for her to turn back. She tries to recollect if she had seen her somewhere. But nothing comes beckoning. Her heart thudding, she decides to reverse back.  Cautiously slowly. The car is now at a standstill… She can’t figure out the other passengers. A few yards almost catching up with the white car, she shouts, “Hey! How can I help you? Do I know you?” The redhead answers back; Angie my daughter, is that you? I need your help.

“Who are you? I can’t seem to recall you.”

Before she could manage to answer her, the redhead rummages her with questions she almost sounds frantic…

……

The tables are a bit dusty. The din of traffic outside wafts incessantly into the restaurant. A TV on one wall is on. Football. Early afternoon repeat of yesterday’s game. Few are watching. The bamboo plant at the doorway sways a bit in the wind blowing in. The hanging light bulbs swing to and fro. A waitress scurries by, giving a signal that she will be back in a moment.

“Sorry for startling you like that, Angie. But thanks for agreeing to come here with me to talk.”

Angie stares blankly at the woman seated across the table. She seems to be in her early fifties. Lot’s of makeup. The red wig is totally out of place. Her fingernails are long and turquoise. Her pink cardigan hangs on her frail shoulders like a curtain. She is thin. Her cheeks sunken. Her cracking lips twitch as she forces out her next sentence…

“Angie, my daughter…”

“I’m not your daughter!” Angie is getting angry now. She eyes her bicycle leaning against one wall. She wants to grab it and flee. “You have two minutes, then I walk away!”

The woman is hurt. Her eyes betray the bleeding in her soul. She looks away for a moment, lowers her head, and then, as if finally gathering all her resolve, looks back at her, straight into her eyes…

“Angie… I have cancer…”

……

A minute passes before she catches on with the redhead… Her attention had briefly wondered off reminiscing the game she had seen last night. Lukaku had sent chills of disbelief, cheer, and excitement to all Manchester fans. It was implausible! It was almost debilitating to the knees. They had come from far and things were turning around for them.

A smile almost creases her puffy lips. She just remembers the song everyone was dancing to ‘Tumeuona baba, mkonowako bwana, matendoyako bwana nimakuumno, umetutoambali, umetushikamkono, Mungu chinihatajuu, watu unawainua… before she hears the word cancer. And she abruptly jolts her attention back.

Her anger sweeps right up on her spine again. “Why did she even agree coming with her?”

“What did you just say?”

……

The redhead is now almost sobbing seeing she doesn’t have anyone who cares for her. She remembers raising Angie.

‘How she came screaming after a bunch of kids bullied and kicked her butt from school. How Angie at the time looked at her with utmost loving eyes while she chased them away with a whip. How she taught her confidence to fight back because her parents were just fucktards. For they never gave her the time she needed as a child.

Angie’s dad was always away making money and whoring his over active loins while the mother was busy calling herself a Christian woman but sold and took drugs to curb her depression. At the time she wondered why she didn’t get out of the marriage but later came to know there was a lot of money involved. And the lousy husband wouldn’t give her a dime for them to survive if she left with her two kids. She was a homestay mom who paraded herself with church meetings and on late evenings did her dern deals.’

The redhead calms herself down…

……

Angie cannot fathom it all. She has a cascade of effects towards the woman she is staring at. A cloudy daze fogs her mind.

Her eyes almost bulging out, nothing comes out of her mouth. The annoying buzz from the flies on her face do not bother her this time. Her bike becomes a far away object. She can now join all the dots…

When she was at the age of eleven, people always stared at her with her younger brother. She minded her own business, but it always distraughted her.  She remembered her mama’s beautiful flary face. Her lazy eyes and her mellow almost soothing voice. She was the kindest honeyed person in the world. And trying to put into perspective what she heard from the redhead could not make sense.

You could say most of her childhood was without her parents, but she never felt she was alone or lacked them thereof. At least not her mother. Her dad always brought gifts when he came home but he was a man of few words. There then help, was always the joyous one. Her tittle tatter filled any void that might have existed without their knowledge. She sang on her loudest shrill while she was washing. You could describe her laugh as the most roaring that swung her plump curvaceous body. And to think this was the same person was the most insane thing she could imagine.

All this time, she blamed the wrong person. But at the same time, she wondered if the redhead was making it all up. But even if she did, she had most of the facts. Was it a scam? And why did she think she behooved her support now. All this while… like she awed her. She had the guts!

……

 

He had found some stash on the cupboard one day and had a jab. This escalated quickly to becoming a habit. But he was always good at hiding like her mother. Matter of fact, he was always gone thinking about it, so no one could possibly guess he was under the influence.  

Then one day he came home buzzed up and had a confrontation with her mother. It blew up, and there was shouting. The redhead sprinted towards the bedroom, screaming. She tried to pull him apart. But he plunged her back forcefully. He demanded for it. He shook and spat while he ruffled but her mother denied it while she sobbed uncontrollably. The redhead dashed out to seek for help. And before knowing, a bang chilled her to the bone from outside. All had gone sour. Angie came home to an aftermath of gloom, tears, and confusion. 

Her brother had shot her mother. And all this time Angie thought it was his father.

The lump on her throat paves way and Angie sobs quietly trying to wipe her snot with the back of her hand. Her eyes glassy with tears, she tries to grasp all the redhead has told her. But it seems like a nightmare. All the redhead pleads is for Angie to get in touch with her father to help her with her cancer treatment.

She wants answers. In fact, she demands answers. 

‘The person she thought was the most angelic all her life turned out to be the most evil barbaric foul she ever came across!’

She wonders off again. ‘What beings are her family? What twist of a maze is this?”

‘And where is his father ?’

 

>>END

 

A Breeze of Danger

bajaj-dominar-400-front_profileI was fidgeting. My heart throbbing. This was a joke. The day had approached. And here I was waiting. How did I even find myself wanting to go such miles for such adventures? This was insane! It wasn’t me.  Having a gentle spirit made the idea completely absurd. I’ve never been a hyped or crazy person for that matter.  And this made me have major panic attacks. The slightest reason not to indulge at this kind of life would have made me cancel. And I was almost canceling when it took longer than expected due to unavoidable mishaps and delays.

But there was this nudge. A gentle prod. And It was pushing me to do something different. Something scary. The idea had been brooding for a long time now. And this bad boy had caught up with my pubescent heart. Well, scratch pubescent and put youthful. So I went with it. By 2pm we had checked out with a bang. I had full gear on. And it was a fantastic scene.

Being on a fancy bike is one thing. It comes with an aura of sultriness. Everyone stares at you with admiration. With eyes of ‘damn, I wish I could get a ride’. It’s definitely a ‘Hot’ situation… So we crash at Dj Styles wedding and my do I feel sucked into this situation. Of course, it’s invites only, but hey, I was among the bike fraternity on this particular day. I decide to seize the moment and do what the Romans do. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious or for that matter wondrous, was an understatement. There were about fifty humongous bikes chilling right at the entrance of the church. Most of the groomsmen were these bikers and once they got to their bikes to lead the motorcade, my heart almost dropped with a squawk almost forgetting my manners. I was in a daze! Almost proposed to one of them.  That small village girl that was deeply buried by my Nairobi class reverie almost resurfaced.

How could there be so many smoking hot dudes and ladies all around me? Ok, maybe the bikes made them very good looking but I had to take a second to ruminate in what was happening right in front of me!

Most of us see these bikes on the road and our hearts flutter. So being in one made me almost feel like I had made it. The cameramen made this feeling explode. Every motorist was staring cause we had to put them at a standstill for our passage. My co-biker was well-known and had raced occasional times and his constant chatter with the other bikers made it harder for me to decipher what they were saying. They had their own jargon. But this couldn’t stop me from taking it in.

Once we were done with the reception area, we left the other bikers and embarked on our journey. This was the scariest part! My! Heading out to Thika as our first stop made me contemplate my life decisions. See, for you to enjoy the ride you have to go at a nimble superfast speed. And being a highway there’s no way you are going at a speed of 100Km/h like a normal vehicle. You have to top that. A bike of 400Cc has a pretty decent power. We were at 180 Km/h. My head was buzzing inside my helmet due to the wind and I had to hold on tightly. I could flash my life in front of me in case something happened. I could see very horrible things happening but then I would jolt myself out of it to enjoy the ride.

In minutes we were at Murang’a Kenol and we turned back to venture into the Abadare Range all the way to Njabini then making our way back through Nakuru highway back to Waiyaki way. All this was about 400Km at a top-notch speed, stopping to catch a breath or slowing down at potholes. Outside Nairobi, the air is as always crisp, cold and raw fresh but the safety gear made it bearable. The back high seat popped me higher than average vehicles and this made the scene more sensational.

IMG_20190307_112142_183

Kids melted my heart when they would stop at what they were doing and wave at us. It almost felt like a celebrity or a queen. Passer-bys shouting back and other nduthians hooting as a sign of taking a bow. At least thats how I took it.

All this was an intoxicating breeze of danger cooled by a block of sudden ice that melted my heart. It was a charge, a thrill! And I loved every bit of it. I compared it to the hike I did last year to Elephant hill that was agonizing and outstanding to achieve at the same time and reaching the summit was euphoric! I’m a by the book kind of girl but these two activities I did, fall to the category that makes you reach for your partner after accomplishing them, rip off their shirt with all the sweat, shove them to the wall and lose yourself to a wave of rippling desire of explosive love scene. A battle of resisting and submitting, until the promise is untangled.

But since I’m a good girl, I’m out!

Casualties.

We get up early in the morning, brush up and head out. Knowing it’s another busy day of hustle. We laugh along the way and the camaraderie becomes part of us. Sometimes we feel a bit lost when a deal doesn’t go through or stuck when everything seems mundane. We get that languid feeling generally of everything about life.  We sure call our loved ones and check on them sporadically.  And Life keeps rolling. Once in a while, we kick the lethargic state we are in and inject some spirit back. Either by joining the gym, yoga or taking a vacation. Starting some classes etc.  And as each day comes and passes, you trust yourself more. You become more confident. You keep your foot on the gas pedal and don’t stop.

One day you get a phone call. An urgent call that you need to get to the hospital.

They all say we are all casualties of something.  Casualties of life. However small we all are.  Not every phase of life for sure but at some point in life, we all feel like we are drowning – going down trying to cling to the tiniest of hope.  But all we have to find is a ray of sunshine in the midst of all the pain.  In the end, it all goes back to your attitude at that moment and how you handle it. And sometimes it sure can take a hell lot of your strength to keep soaring.

I digress, so after confirming your name, all you hear is something to do with your wife. And it’s ugly. What happened, you have no idea. They withhold the information. You become alarmed. Heart peaking, something foreboding grips you.  You can’t hear the colleague next to you squawking. Thin cold air grasps your skin. Your scamper your things and leave a message to your boss. One of your mates proffers to come with you and off you go. Moments in the car seem suspended in time. The slightest traffic sends a churn of twirls to your stomach. You pray a thousand Lords prayer and ask for His help. In the midst of praying your mind wonders off. You become lost in some reverie of anxiety, fear, doom and hope all inextricably linked. You go back to praying again. It’s all in a rush. It’s like life is being sucked out of you slowly.

It’s always human nature to promise God a list of things we will do if He just answered to what we were asking. And what we forget to pray is to accept His will and not force our way against His.

But something like an emergency/ugly accident or death is literally hard to accept. Unwillingly difficult to grasp and understand why/how…

We all fear death. But someone went on to argue that it’s not death that we fear but the fear of leaving or being left by our loved ones. The fear of having an agonizing death makes people fear death. But we don’t fear death. It’s the process and effect of it that makes us fear it.

Anyway, you master all courage and in the emergency section, you are directed. A bunch of doctors meet you as you try to process what is going on. Then they lead you further to a room. In the room, they take you in circles. Asking how you left your wife, what were her last words when you left her, was she happy etc. All that counselor/therapist innuendos.  You answer everything in a haste and tell them to get to the point. What are they taking you for? This is making you enraged. Suddenly, a black silence fills the room. One of them utters that your wife was shot right at her ribcage. She bled profusely and there was nothing that could be done.

At first, you freeze, cold gripping your lungs almost drowning you. How all this happened does not make sense.

Apparently, a thug chase was happening around the grocery store where your wife was doing some grocery haul. And all you do is slump into your chair and tears come flooding. Rage and confusion consume you. You demand answers. You ask why her, why your wife. What did you do to deserve this punishment? Couldn’t the doctors do anything? The next minute you are all over like a mad person. And it dawns on you when they lead you to the morgue. Slowly you try not to let your feet give away.

You remember her joyful spirit this morning. Her peck which weirdly lingered more than the normal days. Her luminous brown warm and expressive eyes which exemplified her stamina. And now she still lies, cold and bloody. The site of her makes you suicidal. There and then, you let loose. And you cry like a baby forgetting all the testosterone bullshit running through your veins.

And that’s life. One day you think everything is fine, the next day it’s not. You lose a loved one in a provoking, vicious manner. Sometimes not even one member but two or three family members like the Solai dam menace.  A friend sells your soul and leaves you in the mud. You lose clients or your business goes down and those you counted for support all become engaged. A loved one betrays you and destroys the future you had. You get terminally ill and the world changes. It’s all gnashing painful.

Darkness envelopes you and becomes part of you for the next days/months. Nothing seems of purpose. You hover around not knowing what to do with life.

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But you try your best to hang. For that beautiful boy, she left you.

And we ask why us but have we ever wondered why others and not you. We aren’t more special. We are easy to shrink ourselves and separate ourselves from ‘them’ but we are all casualties of life. And as long as we are alive, tide and tide will keep blowing our way in different forms and manners. And these bruises, these deep cut bleeding bruises, and wounds make for better conversations. Conversations you will be able to have when you have dusted yourself and got some grip on.

They make for better encouraging stories to others. For those passing through what you passed through. Just be encouraged today that everybody loses. We all got bruises.

The rise in mental cases is a notch higher. And you never become aware when it forms a fog in your mind. Tides can cause it but being human to others can also resolve some of them. Let’s be our brother’s keeper. Let’s be kind and think of the next person without malice. Even when we can’t help, smile and listen. Be a light.

Finally, I will leave you with one celebrity life experience that will send you shivers but also hope. A hope that humanity can still rise from the deepest of seas. If we are only strong and keep looking up to God:  Celine Dion; She lost her husband to throat cancer and in the same week lost his brother to brain cancer. Imagine the emotional roller coaster from the time of diagnosis to their deaths days apart.  And if it’s not God who held her and family during those dark days, then I don’t know what did.

So keep soaring. Believing.  It shall all make sense one day. And if it doesn’t, you will know you gave it your best and led a rich life with one of the best stories to tell. Because you conquered.

Let beauty come out of ashes
Let beauty come out of ashes
And when I pray to God all I ask is
Can beauty come out of ashes?

 

Yes, it can my dear Celine. You are proof enough.

 

Prrrrrrh

Suddenly you feel something swirl with a growling sound. It’s pitch black. But then you are not fully conscious to comprehend what is happening. You turn the other side and nudge yourself to sleep. Thirty minutes pass. You are in a deep sleep when it suddenly reemerges. This time it’s much stronger. Much sharper and the swirl and rumbling thrusts it’s way back to your digestive system. Some gas is released. Accidentally or it just couldn’t be held. Sleep takes over again. One or two hours pass. Dead asleep the third and final wave strikes you. This time around all your senses are fully awake and a dull ache with continuous rumbling intertwined with gas chase you out of the bed and you run to the bathroom.

The buzz of light strike your eyes after switching them on but you got more dire needs to fulfill or else you will soil everything. And who has time to take a shower at 2 am in the morning? You take the seat and in a second a gush of prrrrrh come out of your system. Watery and stinking you pray no one comes after you. After the first rapture, there is calmness and you get time to adjust yourself well in the toilet seat. Your eyes are now fully open and all you can do is curse that interruption of sleep. Without even a warning, a second furious wave strikes followed by a sharp pain in your abdomen that you find yourself in a bowed position clutching your tummy. It holds you in that position till all the poison is out of your body. (Hopefully)

Slowly you get a hold of what is going on. There is something about shitting that totally absurds me. The first junk of it you are never fully in gear. Never fully in mode. You basically transition from a person about to shit to a person who is shitting. After the transition, then you can flip your phone or read a magazine whilst you finish your business. After it gets comfortable. Oh shitting. It’s an art. Everyone shits. Even the mighty. It’s a humbling moment. A profound experience. Just comes involuntary and taps you – hey bud, I need my time now. I gave you enough time to do your own shit. But Shit’s about to go down!

It doesn’t matter if you shit in the morning as a daily routine or not. But with diarrhea, it never gets comfortable. You think you are till the next stub comes knocking. Especially in the middle of the night. You are sleepy, even dreamy then the bug decides to bite again. You can never upload your Instagram story with diarrhea.

 

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You only know how your shit looks like :/

 

At the end of 30 minutes, you crawl back to your bed and hope it’s over. At this stage, you can only hope. If another wave hits back, your day will be ruined cause of the sleepless night you had. And by the way, there is diarrhea that never stops. Your anal area gets raw and painful. Sometimes in worse scenarios, just water comes out after scrapping everything out. That’s when you know you are in a pit. You stop and wonder what is happening in there in your stomach. You never ate beans or poisoned food. It just started out of nowhere. Why is it so vexed with you?

Nothing as comprehensive as understanding the human body anatomy and what upsets it. Some are controllable, some are not. It’s only out of sheer willpower to try grasp and apprehend it. And thanks to our doctors and scientist for coming up with medicines.

Ps: If you ever get diarrhea and want some quick stop or relief, take a tablespoon of ACV and mix with warm water. Gabble it down and you will be back kicking as you monitor yourself if you will need more exclusive check-up by the doctor.

Check out the samples above of how your shit looks like. Mine today gave me a wink with some brown love :}

 

 

 

 

ChickpeaGram flour Chapatis

We all look and crave for new delicacies because food can get very boring if often repeated. So I came up with something delicious easy and so fun to make. Why? Because you get to incorporate all your favorite fillings as you please. Without farther ado, let’s jump in!

So all you will need are the following ingredients;

1 cup gram flour,

1/2 tsp garam masala,

1/2 tsp turmeric powder,

1/2tsp black pepper,

1/2tsp salt,

Half green bell pepper,

1 shredded carrot,

Cilantro,

1 garlic clove,

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add water and keep whisking to form a paste. Once it’s all smooth without chunks, add your additives like the bell pepper, garlic, cilantro, and carrots.

You can even go an extra mile and fill small pieces of chicken or ham or cooked minced meat. All I wanted to myself for this treat was green greeny no meat chapatis. (Vegan for some minutes lol.)

After a good mix, heat your nonstick pan and brush over some oil. Pour some paste in and flatten it a bit. Add some more oil all around and let it cook each side 3-5 minutes. Finish all your mini chapatis and serve hot.

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This can be taken as a snack or tea accompaniment, as well as dinner with some soup or stew.

All gluten-free, all eggless for those with allergies or if you simply want a break from the wheat flour.

Enjoy!

XOX.

 

Health Is Gold. Full stop!

I always try to pray for the sick as often as I can remember despite the many times I slack off and just mention it lightly. You know those times you find yourself too tired or too occupied to really pray from the core for the suffering and the sick until reality hits you when you visit a hospital… Yeah. It did hit me. And this experience made me focus more on them than I had ever been. So I had to visit a patient at KNH and the severity of sicknesses and diseases and casualties slapped me hard with what I saw.  The building is huge and clean from the look of it. Though the reception is a bit unnerving… The gatekeepers look frustrated to answer any question regarding direction or parking. At the parking lot, cars are literally on the road. Parked to the brim! But you find your way in.

At once you see the grave faces of people coming out and some going in, others in groups vehemently praying, children so young innocently asking for their mamas, patients being wheeled in and your heart shadders. A cold cement of bleakness grasps you and your mind runs with all manner of thoughts. Something of intangible anticipation, doom, and dread hangs in the air.

So we walk into the wards and people are crowded waiting for the lifts. We choose to use the stairs instead and up we go to the sixth floor where casualties are treated. By the third floor, I’m panting, my knees almost giving away. The stairs are packed and the humid is unbearable. We finally land and I have to take a minute to catch my breath. After we forge in.

We look for our patient and get a glimpse of him lying on his back, still, his eyes closed and two other solemn visitors standing beside him. My stomach makes a churn tightening as I hold my breath praying for the best. We approach and ask almost whispering how he is fairing. This sweet little 14-year-old boy Kariuki was involved in an accident with a lorry. Speeding, it rolled over and caught him off guard. Breaking his spine from the neck downwards. He is bandaged up all through his body and covered to the neck by a hard collar. It’s a miracle he survived but I’m not sure of his future.

Most of the casualties are bandaged with heavy casts. Broken limbs, slings on fractured arms,  tied up, some moving around and others just resting. Some in critical conditions in patches over their eyes and head. The ward is crowded. There is hardly enough space to pass through to your patient. It is hot. Leftover food which was basically this calloused Ugali served with beans or dengu was still glaring at 5 pm. Not yet collected. Some of the patients had no visitors and they look bored and frustrated. You could tell they would rather be anywhere else but the hospital.

Out of the damage, Kariuki could not take any kind of foods. Only drips. And making it worse the nurses are overwhelmed due to being outnumbered by the multiple patients coming in due to the ongoing strike. You can hardly spot one to attend to you. And those around look distressed, tired and in a foul mood. Kariuki’s one drip should last many hours before being given another.  His lips are chirped and one moment a rush of sweat breaks his forehead, one moment he has goosebumps. He tries to open his eyes but you can tell he is using most of his energy doing so. He can’t fill any of his limbs. All the four limbs. He complains of hunger in his whispers. The fruits, food, and juices he is brought from day one are strictly prohibited as the doctor verifies to us that he has some internal bleeding and is not allowed to eat. That is the fourth day without food. He is irate with everyone for not giving him food.  I am told that at one of the visits her mother tried to sneak some juice to his lips and was caught in the act. She was apprehended and forced out. She left sobbing. My heart crumbled up for her.

There is nothing as worse as dying of hunger while seeing others being served. No matter how awful the ugali and dengu looks, your hunger multiplies a dozen times.  We try to entertain him and give him some of the latest news. Once in a while, he tries to smile. And then his brain registers again that he is starving. He closes his eyes. Bitter and angry at the world he threatens to eat besides the doctor’s orders. My heart breaks. My mood is downcast. He is just a boy, so innocent with his whole life ahead. Yet fate has already shoved him to disability. I feel chills looking at him helpless. I cannot contemplate how his mother is feeling. How much she has cried for her little boy.

This jolts me to reality when I start worrying of the small staff that makes me feel crazy. Those small issues about life not going as you wanted, that flu, that traffic, being caught unaware with rains; those are merely non-issues. That crap doesn’t matter. What matters is life and health and possibilities. There is someone crying for a glimpse of hope. Someone hanging on a thin thread of life and death.  Someone looking for answers. Someone asking why me, why their husband, why their mother or simply why an innocent child. If they could have done this or that to avoid a disaster or a terminal illness… It’s an endless circus of questions and we don’t realize how much we are blessed or should be grateful, for those little things we term them as normal. That shelter, that meal, that peaceful night and even a peaceful country.

As much as I wanted to help in any way possible there was nothing much I could do. The least was just to pray soulfully and heartily to God for his mercy on this young one. For grace and strength upon him. That his fate was not going to destroy him but bloom him to his magnificent future. For people rise from the very basement of sewers. For you are much stronger than what stands in your way. Though so young I pray he doesn’t give up. And that he holds on. And that his future becomes brighter even though he cannot see it now.

That visit altered my casual way of taking things lightly. Be grateful every day for ending the day well. Do not take it lightly. Do not think it’s normal or it’s your right. You are not special than the other. And so don’t take it for granted. Be grateful. Cherish it by living right as well. And before going to bed, remember to thank the Almighty. But most importantly remember all the sick, all the oppressed. Because health is gold.

 

 

Body Insecurities & Critics

Pretty much most of my life I have been this timid slender bony girl. My reservedness- which I came to understand much later (97% introvert) made other students keep off and so I had few friends. At the time I did not understand myself too. I did not like the way I was, why I didn’t I have many friends and so forth. I struggled with acceptability. Every friend always asked why I was too thin and slender. Them wrapping their hands on my wrist and even some grabbing for some ‘Nyama’ on my waist. Telling me to eat more. Of course, I did not have answers and I would shy away from the topic and bring something else up. I didn’t have the temerity to speak up and stand tall.

This went on and heightened in my teen years. Struggling to fit in. To create ghost boyfriends when others were discussing their boyfriends at prep times and getting their letters well calligraphed. Wishing and drowning in my misery of esteem. You see I didn’t have a defining African arse… Nor breasts. At the time I did not even know I was beautiful. I did not realize I had positives. Or I was a positive on that note! A force of its own. That I had lips like fine pillows or diamond eyes and skin as light – a – fur coat. If I could just shift my mind a bit. If I could embrace my smile and just how beautiful I was…

But I did not see it. I did not have the features to inspire desire or lust or attention for that matter. Of course, with time my imagination and thoughts expanded further. And slowly I started letting go so much of what people said. I got tired of mulling over what I did not have. Fate had already decided and shoved me with this model figure. It had married me from the very beginning. That seemed beyond argument. Who was I to reverse it? No matter how much I ate it made no significant change on my body. Squats never did much. And I realized, health was more important. And I didn’t need to change to what the world was demanding from me. The right people would accept me. And the right man wouldn’t let physicality determine how a relationship would be based on how I was. Because it’s deeper than that. It’s more than being ‘fine.’

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It isn’t as easy as said though. The pressure of  ‘your collar bone is too deep’ never end and we all have our bad days when we feel inadequate. But it’s best not to let it control your happiness. We have too little time on this earth to let people define your life. Embracing your uniqueness, your abilities, the fun you like to do, your every part of your body and most importantly your faith is what sets the tone of your happiness.

Believing in yourself even when the world gives you a dozen reasons not to.

Confidence is not saying I hope they like me. Confidence is saying – I’ll be okay if they don’t like me.

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And most importantly, it’s knowing God created you perfectly wonderful. That he is with you every step of the way. When you fall or sway or feel insecure. Stop Comparing yourself to others. It’s a thief of your joy. Kill that voice whispering to you that you ain’t enough. God is so great to choose and mold you the way He saw best fit. And only His opinion matters.

 

Realizing and understanding this made me write a letter to my daughter. My future daughter.-Enjoy-

“Dear daughter, I write to you because I’ve loved you even before you were conceived. As you grow up baby, most probably you will take it from me. My genes. Daughter, you will be petite. And most likely you will have some a level bum. You know.. All I want you to know is that the world’s goals keep changing. From fake booties to enlarged boobs to full lips. Next, I’m sure it will be the jawline. You can never keep up my Pearla. You have to be you. Ignore the rules and be different. Be the Pearl; My Pearl; that God made you to be. Imperfectly perfect. So create your own rules instead. And refuse to be judged by your body. Loving mum; Megaga.”

So in this life be you, the authentic you. Feel you. And dance yourself out. Whether big, small, dark, short or tall, big-nosed or foreheaded… name it all.

The world will adjust.

#Live love laugh.