We Were High

Someone, we’ll never know who, nicknamed our high school deputy principal ‘Albino’ because he was too brown, and the nickname stuck like a grim memory. When we joined form one we found him being called albino and so we jumped on the bandwagon and passed on the name to the new form ones who proudly whispered the name to the form ones after them. It was in bad taste, obviously, and you may choose to descend on me, but it didn’t feel right when I tried to write this story without using that nickname, so here I am, praying that I will still be alive long after this blog post is up.

He did not like that name. The naive form ones who were too dumb to realize it was a nickname would use that name near him and they would end up being slapped so hard till they had nightmares at night. But it wasn’t just the nickname that he hated, he also hated me. I can’t tell why, but he hated me and I hated him.

One night, in form three, a strike broke out and people were baying for his blood. I can’t tell why we were striking, all I know is that the school goons had decided they wanted to have albino’s liver for dinner. He was a staunch Luhya guy with a huge potbelly, so the goons had figured his liver would feed them for the remainder of the second term. As the goons chanted ‘Albino!’ while charging towards his house hurling stones, I decided I wasn’t ready for this shit. I had witnessed so many strikes since I joined that school and I knew the moment the cops arrived, things would be messy, noisy, and there would be casualties.

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Muli Vasilu Sana

This is what we should do. We should grab guns and pangas and any other lethal weapon we can lay our hands on, hunt down those we are disappointed in and kill them in cold blood. Yes, because we are angry and our anger can only be eased if the people we are angry at are no longer breathing. That’s the only logical thing to do. That’s what our ancestors, when they meet for evening porridge under a huge tree, recommend we should do. That’s what God in heaven would want us to do. I reckon God wakes up every morning shaking His head, disappointed that a few mad people keep asking Him to give them the strength to forgive those who have wronged them when it’s easier and wiser to just kill them.

It really gets His goat, this nagging prayer from His flock. He angrily kicks a tin of water resting at the foot of his bed as He storms out of his room, shouting archangel Michael’s name.

“Where is this Goddamn Angel? Michael! Michael!”

Michael comes out of his hut, tightening his belt. “Everything okay, God?”

“I want you to deliver a message to those idiots calling my name, sijui asking for strength and wisdom to forgive those who have wronged them.”

“Why can’t Angel Gabriel do it? He’s the one in charge of delivering your messages.”

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Make A Plan

That morning she won’t talk to you. While brushing her teeth, you’ll nudge the small of her back with your elbow in a bid to elicit some reaction from her, but all you’ll get is a sharp stare. A sharp cold stare. You’ll steer clear of her path and even when she’ll be struggling to zip up her dress, you won’t offer to help because you already know she’ll shoot you down. And why? Because you didn’t have an answer to, “Where is this relationship going,” question?

The question came out of nowhere, in your opinion. You had spent time indoors the whole Sunday, watching movies, making love on the carpet, and drinking passion juice. At some point, she went to the kitchen and emerged with a plate of rice. As you took a spoonful, she popped the question, “Where’s this relationship going?”

“Why? Did it tell you it’s going somewhere? Has it packed its bag?”

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Maria Rosa

There’s always that guy in the club surrounded by at least 4 women. He’s the one buying, of course, and they reward his generosity by smiling often and treating other men like maize cobs. The story here is that he’s interested in one of the girls, the one with braided hair and a cute necklace, smiling like she’s trying to impregnate the world. She has on a loose pink blouse, blue jeans ripped at the knees and some sexy sandals. She sits with her legs crossed and she’s drinking Tusker Cedar. The man has his eyes on her and you can tell she’s not interested. That she is here not by her own will. That he called her earlier that day and when she didn’t answer, he wrote her a text.

“Hey, beautiful, having a lovely day? How about I buy you dinner tonight and later on a drink? It would be a pleasure.”

That was 11:30 a.m. Friday. The day of the Lord.

She read the text, rolled her eyes, and placed her phone down. She went back to watching a video of men trying to rescue a goat hanging on a power line, before picking up her phone to text Lisa. “Felix wants to take me out tonight, can you imagine?”

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No Finish Line

You are mad about someone or someplace or something because that someone or place or something reminds you of someone you’d rather forget. Someone you fell in love with, head and tail, only to wake up to a realization that you had actually fallen into a dark pit and not love as you had imagined. So you walk around with anger clenching on the hem of your cloth. You want to be left alone, but your friend keeps saying, “I promise you, your man is still out there.”

“Please, Joan, we have talked about this.”

“I know, but I am not giving up on you yet and I don’t want you to give up on love. Come on, come with me to this party. Your real man might be in attendance.”

“I am not coming.”

“Please?”

“Joan, you know me. Once my mind is made up there’s no changing it.”

“You need to change it this time. Look, come with me. If you don’t meet someone, I will marry you myself.”

“Ha-ha.”

“So, are you coming?”

“Begrudgingly.”

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Kingitai

Men only have standards during the day. When the sun is out and our actions are seen and our pride is out basking in the sun. This is when we will say “A woman with a wig is a No for me! Unless we can use that wig to scrub sufurias when we run out of steel wool.” Or, “If a woman has no defined waistline I am not wasting my time with her. I don’t want to wrap my hands around her waist—or what I assume is her waist—only to feel like I have my hands around a 20 litres Elianto Jerrican.” Or, “Sasa what will I do with a woman who is not God-fearing, mmmh? A woman who drinks Guarana and dresses like her tailor is always running away with the rest of the material shouldn’t be wifed!”

But when darkness falls, because darkness must fall, a man will have sex with anyone who has a vagina. Or whatever takes the place of a vagina in ‘rear’ cases (haha). The man will have his pride for dinner and when he steps out, everything will be beautifully and wonderfully made. And by everything, I am assuming you know I mean women.

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Free The Bird

The good news is Love will find you. The bad news is Love will kill you. I received a call from one of my friends a few days ago and I detected the anguish in his voice the moment he started talking. His girlfriend of many years had looked him in the eye, her left hand on his right shoulder and said, “It’s not you, it’s me. I have been having second thoughts about us and when I met Steve I knew for sure that you and I are done. I don’t want to be disloyal to you, papii, so we have to part ways, I am sorry.”

“Papii? He calls you Papii?”

“Yes, what has that got to do with anything?”

“Everything, man. I am not sure how this relationship was supposed to succeed with your girlfriend calling you Papii. I don’t know, it just doesn’t sound right, plus I don’t trust women who call their men Papii. Those ones are heartbreakers and I am disappointed you never saw this coming.”

He said nothing. Normally, he would laugh and I would laugh and we would forget about this whole damn thing because I am not the man you come to for emotional support. At least not when it’s love involved. I am hopeless myself. My relationship is held together by the Grace of God. And a little sense of humour that I inject it with when the Grace of God, which is rarely insufficient, has better things to do. And to be honest neither is he. He has been dating this same chick since forever I doubt he knows what to do when love pulls a Titanic.

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Sanyuka Bulijjo

I have always been of the opinion that those who keep reminding us to always choose happiness do not know what they are talking about. That you cannot ‘choose to be happy no matter what’ because that’s not how life works. When you wake up one morning to a text of your girlfriend breaking up with you, you don’t draw the curtains, stick your head outside the window, let fresh air drift across your face and whisper, “You know what? I choose to be happy!” Or when you spend the whole day in the office fantasising about the leftover Ugali-Omena in your fridge only to get home and find that the man masquerading as your bae has eaten it and not even done the dishes, that you’ll smile and say, “I will not let this heinous act come in the way of my happiness. I, Florida Nekesa, choose to be happy!”

No, that’s not how things work. You slum the fridge door shut and match to the living room where he will be seated, watching something on TV, and give them a proper dress down.

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Guilty. . .Just Like The Rest

Ciku wondered how Jack could be that obsessed with violence. How it was even possible for him to throw his head back and smile as the echoes of wailing men and women turned into ghosts by bullet-spitting guns bounced off walls in the streets. Jack’s fascination with action movies had gone beyond that of a normal movie lover. He relished, particularly, the kinds where American soldiers aboard helicopters slithered down ropes under the blanket of darkness till their boots touched the soil of whatever country they had decided had wronged America— Afghanistan. Sudan. Somalia.

Jack neither liked the soldiers nor the people they fought. He loved the action. The sound of screaming children tagging on their mothers’ dresses. The begging of these women who often shielded their children with their own bodies when bullets left the barrel of the gun. The splashing of blood. The ending of life.

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Blind Love?

The day seemed brighter. Did the sun have Morning Glory for breakfast? Curious, the village went about its business with prying eyes, and that’s when we saw her. She was light skinned. Her short hair rested on her head like a crown. Her shy smile gracefully curved through her chubby cheeks. Her bosom made her chest seem like a bouncing castle. Ronald, a man who only went to school to keep the desks company before he got bored and dropped off in Class three, had unwrapped a jewel and the whole village was in awe.

Her name was Eunita.

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