One thing I hate about going back to shags is how everybody is related to me in a way, from pure blood ties to bizarre relationships like a certain man known to me only as Ambrose. He is rumoured to have had a quarrel with my late grandfather over a woman back in the colonial days thus total hereditary antagonism between his family and mine. It is made worse by the way an urbanite like me is expected to be privy to these links so much so that it has become an unwritten rule for me not to interact too freely with the girls when am around there, those naïve looking temptresses, too laissez-faire to mind the careless bobbing of their bra-less tits under ill-fitting T-shirts. I have one such mysterious link with Boi-Boi, who I call my cousin for convenience purposes. My last attempt to clarify the extent of our relationship yielded a story of jilted granduncles and second cousins having illegitimate children and so on and so forth ad nauseum.
Anyway, this Boi-Boi is an interesting fellow. He never really had the best start in life. Never knew his parents, lived with our grandmother most of his childhood and adolescent life, took care of the woman when she degenerated to a point of wetting herself and finally, to get rid of some sort of collective family guilty conscience, folks found a course in a tertiary college here in Eldoret for him. As he left the village with a triumphant yell of “I’m never coming back to this hell-hole!” my mum gave me a stern warning not to “mix” with the lad when I get back to school because he is the type to get me in a lot of trouble. Well, things are different for him now. I saw his transformation during our grandmother’s funeral. The dull voiced boy returned a confident man, dressed in semi-casual stripped shirts held at the cuffs by imitation diamond links black suede loafers and cursing like a hood rat from the Bronx. Even from his days in shags, here has always been something quite off with him that has never brought us close enough and perhaps that is why I have not bothered to meet or call him up in Eldoret for the past year or so. This time however, he is the one who has found me since that voice calling out my “home name” is undoubtedly his.
“Oyash, my nigger! Long time! Long fucking time!”
I turn around. Indeed, the bastard has found me, arms outstretched to me as if I am a stranger to this town. This bitch of a world keeps on fitting in smaller and smaller spaces, doesn’t it? Forget talk of a global village, what we have on our hands is a global Fanta bottle.
“Boi-Boi!” I call back with equal enthusiasm. “Fancy bumping into you like this!”
“Way of the world, dear Will, the way of the world… and who be that John Githongo look alike who you done seen off?”
“Oh, that’s just some dude working with watu wa stima. He came around to do me a favour.”
“The bill got you on the wrong side, huh?”
“Yeah, something like that. How’s school and such? I’ve never seen you in this tao.”
“Lots of business, my man. I do school Monday to Thursday, the rest of the week am running around the country, chasing paper. Where do you stay at?”
“Am cooped up in Mushroom,” I reply, making sure to point at the bourgeois side of the road.
He chuckles. “Really? That’s a nice hood, heard the women are alright too. I should come around for some pussy inspection, ama?”
I fidget uncomfortably with my phone. The caveat my mum issued begins playing back in my head and I decide to pretend I haven’t heard the last bit about pussy by distracting him with vibe about the recent family rumours. Somehow I can’t stop thinking about this pussy inspection idea of his. Longoria and her pals bent over in chora saba mode, labia proudly displayed before a panel of judges. Somebody told me once never to go down on a woman with the lights on. You may probably see the devils that Murkomen had been referring to.
“Anyway,” Boi-Boi interjects my thoughts, “I’m not that hard to find then. I be staying at some place next to Wadaan Pub. You know the place?” he makes sure he points to the other side of the road.
“I lived those sides in first year so I pretty much know every place.”
“Good then that means you can find your way there today. I have a small mpango and you’re officially invited. I’m not taking no for an answer either.”
“Wha- , dude this is short notice you guy, you know, at the moment the uchumi ain’t smiling on me and I don’t want to be a burden!” I protest. Heck, in three minutes of meeting this boy is already making drinking plans? He sure is trouble!
“Trust me you won’t be a burden to me or yourself. I have everything covered from the drinks to the chicks and anything else, my nigger. All I need is for your ass to show. Besides it has been long since we really bonded.”
What is it with everyone offering me deals that are too hard to turn down today? First Murkomen, now this. Its not everyday that you get an offer for free pint without a string attached either in the form of outrageous entrance fees to this open bar or being a chips funga for the night. This sounds like one heck of a free ride.
“C’mon man, what’s there to lose? Its Friday already, lots of booze and shit, lots of mbachu and shit, lots of weed and shit, think about it, man!”
My folks don’t know that I take alcohol (quite generously too) and I’m not about to break it down to them. You don’t drink and tell, same way you don’t kiss and tell. The secretive nature of the sin makes it all the more exciting doesn’t it? It’s a necessary evil that I am not willing to part with at the moment. That occasional whisky or rum always works to take away the stresses of a menstruating lecturer amongst other unpleasantries of life. I have taken everything there is to take but one thing has eluded me – weed. Not just any weed, good proper grass that will transfer you to that zombie world of flashing lights, low flying fighter jets and, once in a while, a cruel sadomasochistic world where everyone seems to be wielding a meat cleaver and is aiming for your manhood. At least that’s what the weed heads have told me about the ‘trips’. All the weed I’ve smoked was low grade shit that got me nowhere close to that world and left a disgusting aftertaste in the mouth for nothing at all. If there is going to be good weed at Boi-Boi’s then I should probably go check it out.
“Good weed?” I inquire.
“Yup, weed that will make you flip. Real high grade boza my nigger!”
“Okay am in. What time are we hooking up?”
Boi-Boi reaches out for his N97 China phone to consult with the built in clock. “Say six o’clock. Remember it’s the place opposite Waadan; just call me if you get lost!”
“Shenzi, I’m too old to get lost dude...”
We finally part company after discussing other modalities of the plan and he’s off to “handle business as I head back to the blandness of my hood. Through the motions of student life which doesn't really involve much. Wait for exams, bring in your mwakenya and you’re good to go, or if you have good legs, show up for appointments with lecturers in them short skirts. Whatever else you do is up to your own self. I once went to my Research Director wanting to study how social networks like twitter and facebook can be integrated into the court process and the nut just looked at me dismissively for half a minute, thinking of something smart to say. I thought he was going to use his usual line of “This is nothing but a premature ejaculation, academically speaking of course!” Instead, a brother sat me down to a half hour long speech on why I should have joined Harvard and not this “third world ramshackle that features nowhere in the philosophical atlas of this particular study”. In other words our lives involve more and more philanderers but less and less philosophers. Well, as Boi-Boi would put it, that is the way of the world nowadays. It’s just the way of the world.
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The story continues HERE...