She was born with her own pillow.
It is that time of the month when you are hungry and poor (although for some of us, we are hungry and poor all year long). That time when there is drought and famine in your house. So you ‘visit’ someone and their family during lunch time, secretly wishing that they ask you to join them and eat together.
“Will you eat?” they ask you, while they secretly hope that you will say no.
“No, I’m okay,” you lie, while you secretly hope that they will insist.
“Come on, it will be nice to have you share lunch with us,” they lie, while secretly hoping you will still refuse.
“I’d love to, but I’m okay,” you lie again, while secretly hoping that they will still insist.
“When will you ever taste our food? Join us,” they pretend-insist, while secretly hoping you will still say no so that they don’t ask again.
You are silent for a few seconds, pretending that you are thinking about their request. You bend your head slightly sideways, feign a loud sigh of resignation and say, “Well, alright, if you insist. But I will have just a little.”
Ei. It is a lie. You want to eat everything. The pangs of hunger have been devastating your innards. You want to eat even the cutlery. You can even eat those people and their furniture. So you secretly wish that they will serve you a lot of food.
Your plate of food is passed to you. The amount is neither much nor little, but you are disappointed that it is not more. You want to say that they should add you some more food and if possible put some in a hot pot so that you can carry home. But your mother taught you to be modest. She taught you to never embarrass her. So you just laugh a little and lie that the food is a lot, but secretly wishing that no one takes you seriously. You even pretend-ask, “Will I really finish all this?”
“Aai, that little food?” they ask, while secretly regretting that they didn’t stop insisting the second time you said no.
“Hehe it is a lot,” you lie again, while secretly hoping that they don’t say anything more so that you can dig in.
But then, they take your plate and apologise for serving you a large amount, then they decrease your food by more than half.
You suddenly and unexpectedly let out a shriek of horror. You clutch onto your chest. You heave painfully. It is like a spear has peirced your heart. It is like your soul has been ripped apart. You feel your lips go dry and your limbs go weak. You cannot believe it. You cannot unsee this kind of inhumanity. You cannot begin to understand this brutality.
They hold up your plate of food and ask, “Is this still too much?” while secretly hoping that you will say yes.
You say a weak no, and you are given back your food, which is now as little as your faith in humanity. You (try to) eat your food slowly, chewing for longer than necessary, so that you can finish at the same time with them, since their quantities of food are larger than yours, but you finish your food after just two spoonfuls.
“Do you want some more?” they ask you while secretly hoping you say no.
“No way, do you want to kill me? I am so full!” you lie.
You can’t even feel where the food you swallowed went to. It’s like it disappeared inside your mouth like glucose.
You want to go home and cry, so you lie that you are in a hurry, that you have to leave.
“Bye. And please join us for lunch again soon,” they say, while secretly hoping you never do.
“I certainly will!” you lie.
Those people in your ads, the way they grab a bottle of Coca Cola from a cooler filled with ice cubes, the way they open the bottle and drink continuously, as if they have the thirst of a thousand camels in the Namib desert. They drink continuously from the bottle with their faces slightly upwards, eyes closed passionately, throats moving softly as they swallow, then pause to look at the bottle of Coca Cola with a loving smile, and then they wipe off drops of water from the Coca Cola label with their thumb.
Well, I went to a shop and asked for a cold Coke. The way I was thirsty, I would drink the Coke as if I was shooting a Coca Cola ad. I would drink it as if I were drinking water after a vigorous workout at the gym. I sat down on a wooden bench outside the shop. I opened the bottle dramatically, as if I was being filmed for the best Coca Cola ad of the century. Even before the bottle top fell down, the mouth of the bottle was in mine. I tried drinking it continuously (like in those ads) but I immediately felt some of the beverage foam and rise into my maxillary sinuses, and so some of it sprayed out from my nose while I choked on the rest of it. I coughed out my lungs. I coughed out my soul. My entire respiratory system was in distress. My heart was collapsing. Watery, bloodshot eyes. Wet, flaring nostrils. Trembling body. My entire face, my shirt, and my laps were soaked in Coke, saliva, mucus and tears. I had seen death. I had caught a glimpse of my tomb. That was attempted murder. An assassination attempt. A serious threat on my life.
Chei! You Coca Cola liars. Lucifer is soaking the firewood that will consume you in 900,123,567,679,000 litres of chlorine triflouride.
As much as we should be thankful for the things that we have, methinks it’s not fair to tell someone that they should stop grieving about a situation in their life because there are people out there who are having it worse.
“You’re crying because you lost a job? Do you know there are people who lost loved ones to death; their children, their spouses, siblings, and they are not even crying half as much as you are?”
“How can you feel depressed about this? People have worse problems! This is nothing.”
“Are you seriously breaking down because the auctioneers took away everything in your house? People out there are sleeping in the streets, out in the cold! At least you still have a roof over your head!”
“You are mourning about that excruciating pain in your swollen leg, that it makes it hard for you to walk for more than 3 minutes, that the doctors think it’s something serious and they need to do more tests, yet you don’t even have the money for those tests, and it is becoming difficult for you to work to make money…at least you still have legs. There are people who don’t have both legs and they hustle all day to make money, and you will never hear them complain about their situation.”
You should not make someone feel ashamed of being sad about a situation that hurts them. You should not make someone feel foolish for crying over a painful situation in their life, however small the situation seems to you. You should not make someone hate himself or herself for feeling heartbroken or distressed about something that has caused or is causing them mental and/or emotional suffering.
I can never really, truly know the extent of someone’s pain, even when I tell them, “I know what you are going through. I know how it feels.” Yes, I will have a lot of ideas about what they are going through because I have been in a similar situation before, but I am not them, and they are not me. And they don’t have to deal with their hurt the way I dealt with mine.
Just because someone out there lost a baby, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a right to feel hurt because you lost someone’s trust. Or love.
We should not undermine anyone’s pain regardless of the smallness or bigness of their situation.
But calling customer care is mostly a terrible experience.
Hello, and welcome to Quick And Fast Responses And Solutions To Complaints And Issues department of our company. Please hold as your call is transferred to the next available agent.
Thank you for holding. Please wait, your call is still being transferred to the next available agent.
Thank you for holding. We are still looking for an available agent.
Your call is important to us. Please hold.
Just like love, available agents are hard to come by these days. Kindly continue holding.
All our agents are currently busy. But that’s because you people complain a lot. Please wait as your call is transferred to the next available agent.
Dear customer, we should have you know that if there is someone else who called before you and is holding, the next available agent will attend to them first. We don’t advocate for cutting queues. Thank you for holding.
Dear customer, we value your feedback, but snorting and sneering and grumbling in anger and impatience is the kind of negative feedback we don’t need in our company. Fix your attitude. Thank you for holding.
Esteemed customer, here at Quick And Fast Responses And Solutions To Complaints And Issues department, we take you seriously. Please keep on waiting. Good things come to those who wait.
Dear customer, our offices are closed. Please call us again tomorrow between 8AM and 4PM. Or visit our offices located at a remote location in the middle of nowhere somewhere in the North Pole. Thank you for calling.
Sex scenes in movies and novels are misleading and give us high expectations for nothing. Lovers gaze into each other’s eyes with desire, then kiss passionately as they undress each other slowly, touching tenderly and groping gently. The love-making is wonderful. It goes on swimmingly, uninterrupted, for a rather long time, maybe trying out several sexual positions here and there, and the lovers have an orgasm (or orgasms) at the same time, and it is magical. And then when done, they lie in each other’s arms, legs intertwined, hearts beating as one.
But in reality, it is almost like a struggle.
There’s no gazing dreamily into each other’s eyes as you both burn in wild desire. Eye contact is avoided. And when undressing, the zip of your dress will jam and refuse to go down. Your partner will help you with it, pinching you with it in the process, but it will refuse to budge, and when it does, the hook of your bra will get stuck in your weave. And you have to place your clothes neatly on a chair or table or whatever available surface because if you throw them down in a pile like in the movies, they will be crumpled and creased, and will really look bad on you.
The sex will not go on uninterrupted. You will pause to express excruciating discomfort in your pelvic area because your partner is thrusting a tad too aggressively.
“Look, eh, slow down. It is not a 100-metre Olympics championship, my friend. Go easy. My bones are weak. Calcium deficiency.”
You will pause and tightly grip on your partner, wincing in pain because you have a muscle pull in your leg.
“Stop! Wait! Muscle pull! Waaaaahhhhh! I said stop!”
You will pause to scream, “WRONG HOLE! WRONG HOLE!”
You will pause to listen to something.
“Wait. I heard some noises. Is there someone at the door? Oh no, the kids have woken up alrea…NO, SWEETIE, YOUR POTTY IS IN THE TOILET, AND WILL YOU TELL YOUR BROTHER TO STOP PLAYING WITH THE LIGHTS AGAIN? I CAN SEE THEM FLICKING FROM IN HERE.”
And when you try out adventurous sexual positions, you will end up with a fractured skull.
“Blood of Jesus! Chei! My brother, are you trying to kill me? Are you an assassin? Your knee is digging into my oesophagus! I am not about to die from asphyxiation, ah ah. Let’s just stick to missionary.”
The sex won’t take as long as it does in the movies or novels. Two minutes into it and you’re heaving and panting, and you tell your partner, “See, eh, please carry on without me. I am not strong enough to handle this.”
And holding each other is a myth. When you’re done you will argue about Samantha while asking, “Have you seen my underwear?”
Me, I’m a guy, and I have a date with a lady halafu she shows up with 3 of her friends without notice…
That is not a date. It is a press conference.
We agree to meet, just you and I, but you arrive followed by a crowd of your girls, carrying their handbags with their arms at a 90° angle, and they all gather at the table. And you say, “Baby, meet my friends Alice, Stacy, Violet, Maureen, Rita, Caro, Tina, Michelle, Sandra, Samantha, Agnes, Rachel, Victoria, Anabelle, Schollastica, Maryanne, Cindy, Betty, Ruth, Esther…” and then when you finish introducing them, you all make yourselves comfortable and you ask them, “Girls, what will you have?” and then you look at me as if I am Jesus, about to feed the crowd of 5,000 hungry people.
May the Holy Ghost Fire consume you!
I will refuse! Me, I will refuse profusely! I will ask the waiter to find me a Bible. The Bible will be brought and I will read a few scriptures then start preaching. Oh, glory! I will be T.D Jakes. I will be Joyce Meyer. I will be your daddy pastor. I will prophesy. I will minister. I will ask if anyone wants to get baptised. I will ask if anyone wants to accept Christ as their personal Lord and saviour. I will ask for offerings and tithes. I will invite you to come to my church.
You will ask me what the fuck I think I’m doing and why I’m embarrassing you and your friends.
And I will place my hand on your shoulder and calmly tell you, “Look at this crowd you came with. This is not a date. It is a crusade.”
You show up with your battalion of girls without letting me know beforehand, and you all congregate at the table perusing the menu and sharing screenshots while giggling. You tell them to have whatever they want because I will pay.
The devil is a liar!
I will refuse! I will stand on top of the table and ask for a loudspeaker. There and then, I will launch my presidential bid. I will launch my new political party. I will distribute party t-shirts and caps. I will incite you to storm the IEBC offices. I will say something about the Gender Bill to win your votes. I will insult my opponents and give false promises.
You will ask me what the hell is wrong with me and why I am doing this to you.
And I will hold your hand gently, look into your eyes, and calmly tell you, “Look at this multitude you came with. This is not a date. It is a political rally.”
“Babe, ebu let’s leave this loser. You deserve better,” your girls will advise while clicking their tongues and rolling their eyes.
You will all leave.
And I will enter His gates with Thanksgiving in my heart. I will sing and dance like King David did.
You get your paycheck and decide to treat yourself to lunch in a big, expensive restaurant. You’ve never been in such a restaurant before, but you are looking forward to having a great eating experience. You deserve it. You have successfully refrained from punching arseholes with an axe the entire month, so you deserve it. You’ve improved on self-control and tolerance, so you deserve it.
A waiter dressed better than you approaches you. You peruse the menu. You settle for grilled goat ribs, fries, soup and salad. The last time you ate meat was the Christmas of 2004, in the village, where the entire family had gathered and a goat had been slaughtered. Life became absolute garbage since then, and circumstances like abject poverty and debt forced you to become a vegetarian. You are about to break your secondary meat virginity. You are happy.
The price of your order is 2,100 shillings. According to your financial state, this is a helluva lot of money. You’ve never spent that much on lunch, but si you are pampering yourself? You are used to eating at a makeshift kibanda of a local food vendor. Her food is cheap, but she serves large quantities. You imagine that if you can eat enough food at her kibanda for just 50 shillings, then how much more can you have for 2,100 shillings in that restaurant? 2,100 shilings, you imagine, those are 50kgs of goat ribs. 80kgs of fries. 120kgs of salad. 35 litres of soup. Hei! That is a feast. A banquet. You even move to a bigger table, so that there can be enough space for all that food. You even text two or three of your friends, asking them to join you, that lunch is on you.
You see the waiter coming, carrying food on a small tray. Maybe they are taking the food to another customer, you think. Your food will be brought in a MAERSK shipping container, because it’s a lot. But no, the waiter comes to your table and gives you your lunch.
You glare at the atrocity in front of you.
You see 1 tiny rib. You see 3 thin slices of potatoes. You see a small drop of soup in a small cup. Your salad is a small piece of lettuce with the scent of lemon. Basically, you’ve been served the smell of goat ribs, the thought of fries, the idea of soup and the imagination of salad.
What kind of crookedness is that? What level of corruption is that?
Is there food rationing in these restaurants? Food shortage?
These large, expensive restaurants, they will serve you a microscopic lump of food on a big, wide plate, and then decorate it with one coriander leaf. My friend, that decorative coriander leaf will not stop me from seeing that you just served me two grains of rice and a dash of stew.
And then you are expected to pay an arm, a leg, and a kidney for tasting that food. Tasting, because you cannot really say you ate the food. You tasted it.
Had we but world enough and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found;
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long-preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust;
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Through the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.