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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Double trouble in my head

Surprise, it's already morning, and you've probably been wondering why you are still on blogsphere, knowing that it is likely some IT police are watching your actions in virtual hell. Well, wonder no more, your update is here. Sorry I'm late, but I'm in a bit of a hurry, so try to keep up. Ready. Set.


The butterflies in my stomach are flapping their wings, ready for flight, massaging the walls of my empty stomach, making me slither in silent and painless pain and sink further into my seat and wish I could slither across the floor. The new guy seated across the room from me pays no attention as my boss shouts at me, and why should he? Deadlines aren’t his problem, they probably never have been. The deadlines are my problem. The world is coming to a probable end. Rabid killers invading colleges in the USA, Mungiki and other bandits killing Kenyans at will. The children are hungry in Darfur, South Africans are losing their pay TV monopoly in Africa, politicians are flipping on their beds restlessly as they wait for nothing, and Harambee Stars are being torn apart in the soccer pitch. Women bitching about their rights and the pro-lifers and the pro-abortionists are killing each other at mock tribunals and the only purpose a belt serves these days is to keep your pants from falling down around your ankles, which is where the trouble started in the first place.

This is Nairobi in its own winter. Nairobi, the city where the money goes away before you even call the barman and you sleep on opposite sides of the bed. What happened to the breeze of Nairobi fascination, when a well dressed babe was still intriguing and a cold beer didn't hurt so bad? Listless in the doldrums, awaiting the breeze of Easter or another national day weekend to fill our sails, to push us toward the coast where the fat old foreigners are swimming and seducing young school-going-age-girls. Bruises and scrapes and wet bandages at Bob’s bar later, we return to our hotel rooms, wait for the sun to fall, and stumble around in the consequent darkness, having forgotten our way around the coastal city.

Stretch me on the rack of Nairobi’s fake fad that is the so-called hip hop culture, pop my shoulders and hips from their sockets, let me scream and die the glorious death. Babe and friends watch from afar and wince with understanding. We tread the streets in a storm of humanity in a fake dress code and fake stock prices, dynamically generated websites and repetitive news clippings. The long and the short shall suffice, the fact that we are all dying, as our fathers died before us and their fathers died before them, tending to the shallow dry field of relationships in which only a few sprouts take root and start to crawl. These are our children, our crop and harvest, the blankets we need as we grow old and cold at night.

You know, the quagmire of daily existence can become too much for a mere man to endure. Finding your ideal job and abode in Nairobi does not necessarily mean you've found peace, especially when an entourage of weary-eyed vampires has taken roost in your suicide tree and their only remaining glee is to see how much of your blood they can draw. Bad news finds its way in from every direction. Knock on the door. Letters arriving from the post office or an e-mail tirade or even a text message blitz. And if, on any given day of the week, more than two of the following parties have already called and left a message or you have a missed call, you should probably leave town, change cell numbers, or both:

Your ex-girlfriend, some of your relatives, your ex-girlfriend’s best friend, a lawyer, a debt collector an insurance assessor and your local barman.

So what do you do when all of these people demand your attention, answers, time, money, and otherwise at once? Leave. You run like the building is on fire. And with all the romance and subtlety of a rock flying through a glass window, I am absconding the city for the cold homely sanctuary of the jungle that is the Mau forest in the Rift Valley this coming weekend.

After all, sometimes the frying pan is cooler than the fire.