This article was originally written by Bilshan Bil Hansbil as a Facebook post; both the skeleton and the flesh. I’ve only done the clothing and a little make up here and there…
I’m not sure why, but must be because I depleted the storobonus without giving my mother a call. This is her working, or what else can be the source of such a powerful omen? The spell she cast on me for being interested in other ladies other than her. Is this what’s called maternal jealousy? Just because nowadays almost all my airtime is spent on Angie, I’ve been having a miserable life, but yesterday, things hit the roof. After reading this, any of you with experience in mother-son arbitration to come to my rescue.
It all began when I went to shower. You know those evenings when your armpits smell like a pig’s fart? This was one. I didn’t want a babe to drop by and suffocates when she gives me a hug. And because of this cold Nairobi weather that some old people back in shags prayed to Ng’ai, the Lord who ordered his people to go to Canaan to bring in order to force some sworn bachelors like your older brother to get a companion, a bathroom water heater was on my new year’s resolution, and guess what, as you were grumbling about January being harsh on your wallets, I was smiling every morning to the bathroom. Assured hot bath, that at times feel good than the occasional massages and saunas that jaber (bae) always insist on. The average time I take in that small cube was increased that some people thought I had become a wanker. Honestly, I do a couple of crazy stuff in there, but using a soap as a lubricant has never crossed my mind. I sing and dance, only that. It’s here where you can do all that naked without your other conscience screaming you’re going nuts. Moreover, some of these award winning artists discovered their talents in bathrooms and maybe another few on the toilet seat as they constipated.
“Khhhoo! Khhhoo! Khhhoo! Twaaa! Twe! Twi! T-woooo! T-wuuuu! Patapata! Putuputu!….” came the cough, like a TB patient. A patient whose cough can be used to alert people of an imminent danger, say a tsunami or an earthquake. Startled, I stop the singing and pause in that awkward position I was, one leg in front, the other bent backwards, my face sideways and my mouth and face twitched as every dancer does when the song gets to the the nerves. The Weeknd’s move on can’t feel myself video was almost similar to this, only that I was a paused version of it at this moment. The soap was in my right hand, the left in possession of my Hilfiger boxer. NAKED I was. Just when I was about to blame the one puff of cannabis I might have taken at Marley’s den for my supposed hallucinations, another sneeze followed. “Ptwaaahh!”
Startled, I look up and see the smoke coming from the heater. I’m not dying this way. No! Never. Not without a daughter and a cheeky son that will ensure my family line remains on the face of this beautiful planet. The switch is on the outside, so I had to dive out first before I could switch it off. The last thing you would want is to die naked. You could get to heaven ‘ndethe’ (in your birthday suit) and before you explain yourself out, they would have already concluded their own things and handed you over to Satan.
I stood at the door way, trying to evaluate the situation. The only knowledge I had on circuits was that basic physics, then in highschool. But there, we were dealing with 0.5 volts dry cells, not a 240 volts AC. The little electrical know-how has since been displaced from my mind by other important things like names of persons, contacts, birthday dates, and most importantly the numerous passwords we are supposed to have to survive in this country (mpesa, atm, sim pin, phone locks, patterns etc.)
I grab a bucket and go to the kitchen sink for water. An engineer friend once told me that some electrical components store electrical charges for some time so the shower was out of bounds to my body. I rinse the soap off and later called the caretaker. I gave him some space to do his thing. For me, I had developed a new phobia, that bathroom. Almost immediately, I heard “twaf! twah! twah!” followed by “woooi! waaaai!…zima ziimaa!” Before I could even get to his rescue, everything went off. I find the nigga sitting on the bathroom floor, looking confused like he had just been deported from Mars. He had been ‘chapwad radi’ (electrocuted), and caused some kind of blackout in the house.
‘Hey Billy, wacha tuiangalie kesho…”(let’s check it out tomorrow). He says as he marches outside. That meant I would be in the dark this night and had to get an alternative.
Thanks to urbanization, we have malls and hypermarkets patched all over the city. I get to TRM and grab a packet of white candles. I heard somewhere that if seen with any other color, people will start filling gaps about the church you worship in. In no time, I’m in the queue with less than give items ready to be served with this small bodied teller with fake glasses that she thought made her look like a banker. I normally stand here with great confidence knowing my ancestors did not grab any land, and are therefore seated in heaven as I pay for their mistakes of being too honest. When other men were grabbing land, they were drunk saying ‘yote ni vanity’. Now the descendants of their arap mashamba (land grabber) friends have maids who come to queue for them as they play video games back at home.
Nowadays, we hustlers have learnt the art of eating commercial (kukula kwa macho), which infact was easy provided you had perfected the art of window shopping. Eating commercial is even allowed in the bill of rights and that’s why your father voted for this constitution. It’s with this skill that I noticed her, pushing a trolley bigger than my problems. This lil-mama was just like what a certain ngorino (seer) prophesied to me, about how my future wife will look like. Maybe that future is now. I shift “lanes” and join her’s, even though it was the slowest and longest, but hey, I wasn’t in a hurry. With the blackout back at my dirge, I was just going to count the number of mosquitoes based on their humms for the better part of the night, until I drift off to slumber land.
A jealous attendant tried to signal me to get to a free teller but I ignored. I pretended to look at the shelves next to the counter, scanning through the prices of orbits, jaw breakers and condoms. The condom prices were outrageous that I’m left wondering what after sale package they come with. In this current state of economy, I’ll advise that athletic friend to grab the free rubber socks in the “kanjo” latrines.
Soon, it was her to be served. All this time getting the courage to even say “hi” so that I could hear her voice proved difficult than I had anticipated. Her shopping was calculated and came to an equivalent of my house rent, insurance, monthly transport budget and maybe something little that can be added to my pension. She produced several thousands and hundreds to pay. She then searches rigorously for something in her handbag. She kept saying “aki I thought I had 20 bob here…” Then in despair, she goes ahead to say she’ll have to return one item back to the shelves. This is where an intellectual like myself seizes the opportunity. I emerged like Rango when he was appointed the new sheriff and offer my help. Only twenty shillings! I can’t even call my guys with despite male-male calls are recognized by the Guinness book of records as being the shortest ever. I reach for the deepest part of my pocket, closest to the balls. The coin that may have come into contact with the two merchants of procreation may at least transport that inner feeling, warmth and goodwill. She seemed flattered though she takes the 20 bob. Touching her chest gently, she says a very sincere thanks (I could hear an ‘oowwh’ in her heart). Before she reached the door, I was done. I get to her and start the intro…
“Hello, am Bilshan bytha”
“heey… am Mercy”
“it’s a pleasure” I say it carefully, making sure I don’t end up saying ‘it’s a pressure’. She was heading towards the parking lot where ‘apparently’ I was also going. I offer to carry her goodies though she seemed hesitant. She could be the types that don’t believe that there are still few gentlemen left in Africa.
She had a Man U t-shirt and this was what I used to initiate another conversation. I tell her how lucky to have Mourinho as their coach they are. When she didn’t respond, even on how Wenger on our side has always been giving we the Gunners hypertension and erectile dysfunction for not signing any notable strikers, I knew for sure she was oblivious of this great sport that has made the likes of Wanyama to feature on who owns Kenya listings.
I try a different attack angle; politics. I tell how if we get to Canaan, the government will have its own public likes or something similar for the citizens to encourage use of internet, but the response was similar to the first. We get to a white Rav 4 2015 model (numberplate withheld for obvious reasons) and I just saw her open the boot.
“haiya! kwani you left the boot open?” I ask.
Before she could answer, I see a ninja emerge from the front seat coming to the back where we were. He was heavily built, the size our teachers of Kiswahili would describe as mtu wa miraba minne. In fact his was miraba minane. He greets me in that deep unfriendly voice with his eyes fixed on me. I quickly assume the identity of a generous supermarket attendant who was helping a customer to the car, the type of after sale services I was wondering before. I place the polythene bags in the boot, and by the time she was saying thanks, I was halfway across the yard retracing my steps. Those looks I received were not from her relative or a nigga in a funny zone. I’m not blind bruh!
The car passes by me at a closer than necessary range, like the guy was trying to make a statement.
I held to my candles, bought an avocado and two cups of take-away Githeri special at Wambui’s cafe. I was eventually on my way back to the house singing ‘Dunia haina huruma….’
Koffi was definitely not deported for this.