Just pull the trigger

That video is characteristic of this blog sometimes….so way off topic that it’s sensible [maybe]

I went to my uncle’s funeral on the 30th of last month. Hence the title…as it was a police funeral…

My trigger is Psalm 23…the priest [my (maternal) family is Anglican] read it out and all my sadness came spilling out. All the tears I hadn’t cried since the ones I had cried when I called my mum across the country on the day he died (March 24) and cried as I walked in a mall…

Psalm 23 (New King James Version)

A Psalm of David.

1 The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell[a] in the house of the LORD
Forever.

Loss, ag. Loss is hard, it’s painful, it’s like that itch you can’t scratch but you can’t stop thinking of. Loss is listening to words of condolence & not hearing them. Loss. Loss is wanting the person you love to call you so you have someone to cry to and not being able to call them yourself because you don’t know what to say when they pick the phone.

I told X these things on Saturday (the 10th) but I’ll say them here:

My uncle was my mum’s older brother and he was there for me from the time I was little…including listening to my advice as a 2 year old: ‘Mama — wendo wa cash money ni hatari'<<Kikuyu phrase I’d picked up on radio that roughly translates to ‘The love of cash money is dangerous’, ‘Mama’ being the Kikuyu word for Uncle, specifically maternal uncle, as a paternal one is called ‘Baba'(father)  like you would call your own. The things I didn’t listen to as a child…. 😀 Or believing in my ability to be a great driver…and praising my skills to anyone who’d care to listen…even when I needed his help to go up a hill in my manual transmission car…

My uncle…who let his children drift away from him for ages till my mum practically strong-armed his ex-wife into suing for child support…and who, surprisingly, took up the task like he had been waiting to be prodded. My uncle who had big dreams for his sons. My cousin who was informed of his father’s death by a motorcycle taxi rider because his mother, my uncle’s first wife, was waiting for him at home….waiting to tell him face to face. My cousin who’s now fatherless, bereft of the father that was my uncle.

The man who was HIV+ (I shall not sweep matters under the carpet for a second longer) and told no-one. NO-one….when we would have been here to support him. He died from menengitis, an almost-always definite killer for those with the virus. Oh, what for lack of telling we suffer. The man who my uncle, his last born brother, was scared to tell, “Go get tested,” because he was always larger than life….even when he was ravaged by the virus.

This man who went back to Police College to get promoted, who made an idiot of all those who stereotype the Kenya Police. He read books (‘The Constant Gardener’ at his death), he never stole (and trust me, not for lack of opportunity)… This man who put family first even though he faltered sometimes.

My uncle who I thought I knew yet who made me realise that in death your not-knowing is that much greater. My uncle who sacrificed to make sure his siblings went to school at a time when my grandfather was going through a rough patch. He that looked, and acted, so much like his father, my grandfather. A man of honour, a resilient man, a man of quiet strength.

The man who, even though it would have been easy to resent my mother for her child-support machinations, always treated her with respect. So much respect that he was one of the first of my mother’s people to embrace my father; a man from another tribe who had put his sister in the family way…because he saw my father’s honour would not allow him to let me grow up fatherless.

My uncle who saw the end coming and called his first and second wives to his bedside-to make peace. My uncle whose first wife used to peel my cousin (his first son) and I plums during plum season & pears during pear season when I lived at my grandfather’s place as a child. My aunt, his first wife, who was the first person who was an aunt to me; my mother having been brought up, like me, sisterless. My aunt who made me a doll with buttons and cloth that I swiftly discarded at the birth of her first son…because I preferred a real baby 🙂 My aunt who has always loved me like her own…who would never have come into my life without my uncle.

My uncle who showed me and my mother how much he loved us in his distinctly African way. With actions, actions, actions. Who looked out for my aunt L & her family even though they were not his kin (by blood, or choice-as they are mine), who looked out for us during post-election violence; who spirited his sons to safety during that period.

I could go on forever….but this is my tribute to a great man. I hope no uncle of mine dies on me in this fashion again…with me having been silent on him…not letting him know I love him in words; not knowing all the dimensions to him. My uncle who showed me how fleeting life is…who didn’t live to be 50, or see his son go to college. Who made me rethink the way I treat the people I love [Ah, you know I love you], who made me realise how isolating death and loss are. My uncle whose death has made me more forgiving of others (like my friend whose father died on the 5th of this month and was buried today, who had not told me he was dying of cancer….before my uncle’s death, I’d have been wounded by her not-telling….but when I think back to MY not-talking about his illness…..) who died to make me love people more fiercely.

My first police funeral was of a man I deeply respected. As I leave you with this song by The Script, all I can say is….as the song says…..the truth of these words is terribly immense:

When your heart breaks, it doesn’t break even

There are all these little bits to put together….but we shall survive.

Functional Dysfunction

(Or ‘How to stay chaste in an oversexed world’)

So I’ve realised I’m a nag. Really, I am. I have the ability to talk about, and pursue, one topic past the point where anyone is interested. I’m turning into my mother…not a source of mirth but hey, it’s better than turning into say, a troll (amongst other things) Scratch that, my mum’s pretty awesome so…..but I digress.

Now, my favourite nagopic (nag meets topic to create) is communication. I can talk about it forever with Mr Man, aka X. The poor guy has heard so many versions of the same thing till he probably recites what I say (my repertoire of lines is that limited) but I found a new one over the weekend. It’s not going to be good for him…especially considering what I’m going on about… [Edit 24.3.10 I spoke to X yesterday and promised him I’d stop with the nagging…a long-term birthday gift, if you will, being as it was his big day]

Now, to stay chaste in an oversexed world, I recommend:

#1 Staying away from your preferred gender (I’m being inclusive here): Em, once you start, you can’t stop… Not that I would know but humour me..

#2 Running (yes, I know I said running) away from erotic dancers. Here I can speak with authority… On Saturday I had the pleasure of spending time with a friend I’ll call 2BF5 (ask not..OK, ask later) who is one raunchy dancer. But, as I have a little, umm, shall we say, ‘situation’, the dancing was terribly unsettling. A girl has urges….don’t stoke them!! I should have run, but he’s so much fun (woop! woop! we had us a rhyme there) so I stayed through the torture, the pain, the agony, and the shaking pelvis (grinding is more like it but let’s not even go there) Torture!!!

#3 Not talking about ‘It’ in any form. Really, it works. As long as you don’t discuss how your boyfriend is the last person that would be your baby’s father were you to fall pregnant (this is not to say I have had this conversation with anyone….) you’re almost home dry. It’s as easy as it sounds, except for the exclusion. The exclusion only succeeds at making the said boyfriend sound umm, incapable 😉

#4 Read the Bible or similar religious book (but let’s speak of the Bible for the purpose of this post):  Really!! Think of all the punishment that awaits you, ignore any offers of forgiveness from God and keep your legs clamped. It may take some effort (reading the Bible in my case) and you might end up like Shoshannah (not real name, to protect the privacy of the (now) long dead) but TOUGH! Man up! Or the female equivalent of manning up…

It’s been long, my next post will be longer…

I hope…but take my advice 😀

Fuzzy Lumpkin

You know the guy; from Power Puff Girls. He hairy; he so hairy he don’t got no skin (speaks like that, too 😀 )

I’m through with shaving, really I am. I’m going natural. OK, I’m not being honest. I’m kinda going natural. That is to say some bits will remain artificial…he he he…like my accent (as if, I’d be working for Nairobi’s Capital FM if I had one of those)……while my hair stays well away from a salon. Eh, how will I survive? It’s hard going without processed hair in the wonderful city I shall soon go back to called Nairobi…I mean, seriously, who will accept me…Neanderthal female that I shall have transformed into? The Good Lord help me (religious references are high today, what?) and keep me from salons. Amen (resounding like those televangelists who keep you glued to your TV screen, you know they do)!!! Preach, The Shaboozle, preach! Mmh, Imma testify (I’ve moved from redneck to black in one post….too much American TV, I’m going Brit…he he he).

Eh, but white people make not-shaving sound like a crime. Oh, my mother’s friends chose not to shave etc, goes one Obama (the president, not one of the girls….I said white people)… And they died. No, seriously, they did! Of being hairy…Obituary went something like this:

Obama’s Mum’s friend…loving mum, friend yada yada yada… No flowers. Please donate to the End to Anti-shaving campaign.

And there was a nice ribbon on the side as were once popular for people who passed away from AIDS. Really, people, you can survive with body hair. And let’s not even talk about J’s friend N who’s a religious waxer (hail the order of the waxed); the universe help her when her hair grows back (God forbid); her skin shall itch like you wouldn’t believe. Not that I’m speaking from experience, you see. I’m highly perceptive, and a voracious reader. That’s all my information 🙂

Got a letter from X on Friday. It’s coming to a close soon, that relationship of his with The Shaboozle, I tell you. I have seen the writing on the Facebook wall. I realised his value system and mine are so different that we were going to be at war soon. He has a weapon of mass destruction distraction that he’s not using. It’s called technology. He said [in response to the message I promised to send him in this entry] that I ‘mean a lot’ to him & he won’t let his issues get in the way but updated his Facebook status to say he’s only human (hence can only do so much etc) so I was pretty pissed (I love me some alliteration) when I saw that. [Aside: his mum was unwell at the time & my mum & I agreed message was a bit un-empathetic. Apologising turned out to be a ticket for him to resume previous behaviour. They always said not to apologise, he he he]

And then he’s willing to tell me things about himself he would do well to keep to himself. Today the voices in my head were talking to each other (the voices of Me, Myself & I can get loud at times…especially when I am asleep and they contrive to masquerade as characters in my dreams…I’m on to you, Voices In My Head) and they were telling X that I wouldn’t be able to tell my our children about Justice & Fairness. In this, I think the voices in my head were watching Al Jazeera English along with me as Al Jazeera’s Riz Khan interviewed Hanan Ashrawi [get a life, you voices! or your own programmes to watch for Pete’s sake] Reason: he got his internship through his mum’s contacts (it had to be done because he’s so daft someone has to arm-twist someone else. Chief reason I’m going out with him, his IQ is soo high). And in his letter, he tells me about how his aunt enabled him to be bumped ahead on the queue when he went to his chosen hospital’s A&E (pompous new way of saying ‘Casualty’ but oh, doesn’t it sound classy…say it, you know you want to 😀 ) being as she worked there. Odd, I thought it was him I was telling that I loved England for the fact that everyone there respects the queue. Here, in Kenya, to ask someone to join & respect a queue is seen to be an act of courage. Oh, look at me, I’ve walked in Baghdad during bombings…and asked someone to respect a queue. Where is my Nobel Peace Prize, already? More importantly, when did we get children? Someone is becoming a girl…eh! Save her from herself…

I was told, quote, I have ‘hiyo maneno yote’ (translation for my readers from the non-Swahili speaking world [usidharau Swa, it’s a UN working language, eh] : all that jazz) on my blog. I wonder if the person in question had in mind: what I say or how much I say. Idea: I could ask the said person [my brother W1’s mum L].

Unrelated news: I’m going to Lamu in November. Of course the lovely people at my university will give me 3 days off school for the Lamu Cultural Festival. I have organised accomodation at one of my best friends’ (my desk-mate in Form 2 and room-mate in Form 4’s. Wonderful school I went to. Friends in every corner of the republic…and beyond…) house. Thanks, Z. She’s an awesome friend, she is 🙂 And I’m set in terms of funds for the trip there & gifts for my friend’s family (whom I’ve never met…true friendship, I say) plus I’ve become a mini-expert on Lamu. Of course, I have. You don’t have to go somewhere to be an expert. Who goes to, say, Iceland…he he he [nothing against Iceland, I should visit]? It’s a joke, all you Icelanders looking at me with menacing eyes!

I am looking forward to a great week. For some reason. A good one; I think. Enjoy yours 🙂

Recommended author: The New York Times’ Donald G. McNeil, Jr. Terribly witty, he is. And a wonderful, wry sense of humour. Try him 🙂 [I’m not forcing issues, am I?]

Healing myself…and other such whimsical tales

Healing Yourself is a wonderful concept promulgated by one Louise Hay and bought by many. Not me, I would have hastened to add a week or so ago. But now…that would be to lie because this girl is healing herself 🙂 🙂

I’ve talked about my tendency to vaginal infections before and the angst they cause. Hence healing myself… It’s been shown in research that womyn who frequently take antibiotics are susceptible to such infections. Oh, don’t try to convince me otherwise, I am…I have one now, second in one year…we shall not talk about previous years… So when I had a rash on my back and was put on antibiotics, I got off them as soon as I figured out the source of the rash….THE HEAT. It’s atrocious…and the rash was shaped like my favourite sundress….that’s just hilarious 😀 Then talking to my mum (Superwoman/ Mum/ Dairy expert/ Tree expert/ Economist/ In-house doctor/ Psychologist….you get my drift) about it, I found support for my cause. Here are a few reasons why I want to heal myself:

  • Even with insurance, HMOs, etc; medication for vaginal infections at reputable hospitals is downright expensive. The parents could pay, but I’d rather go for a movie…with popcorn thrown in 🙂
  • The pain, the pain; the aching, stinging pain…need I say more?
  • It’s a nice feeling, wellness. Better hang on to it, I figure…
  • I could go on forever but I’ve talked for long before

Now, how am I going to heal myself? By:

  • Eating healthy
  • Staying yoghurt-y (this works for period pain, too)
  • Generally doing the stuff recommended here (all but stuffing things up my vagina <even though I use tampons>…about as exciting as the pessaries I would get at the hospital…

To other news…

You know what they say…Show me who your friends are etc… Yeah, I’m doing something we used to call ‘kurub mafriends‘ in this post. I know a girl who is, supposedly, my friend and has made been the cause of some debacles in my life. Don’t believe me? Try these:

  • Spreading a random rumour about me losing my virginity to guy whose identity she refuses to reveal who I had just met….and expecting me to give her relationship advice afterwards (oi, but isn’t that some contradiction?)
  • Calling me incessantly to go and people-watch (sorry, people-watchers, I found it stupid…)
  • Telling me not to talk to the guy at the concessions stand at the cinema, probably because I’d refused to accompany her to the toilet (I dislike public amenities), by saying, “Theshaboozle, weren’t you taught not to talk to the help?” across the lobby.

I shall not go on. X, a mutual friend of ours who I am not discussing actively from now henceforth….I mean, really, at the rate at which I have been speaking of him, might as well call this blog ‘All about X, with bits of me thrown in intermittently’….thinks she is, quote, “equal parts brilliant and scary. A good friend to have.” What?! He he, she scares him, that’s a fact (I have seen him stand on a pavement trying to decide whether to walk away from her with me <I had warned her & I didn’t need him to tag along, really> and incur her wrath or go to her & incur mine <I can assure you, I couldn’t have been bothered, even if he were my boyfriend then…which he wasn’t…such things don’t register on my  botheration-meter>) and her brilliance (in the ‘she so smart’ sense) is without question. But her emotional intelligence is so low that I fear it doesn’t exist. For that reason, I am staying away from her; getting her off my Facebook news feed, out of my phonebook (oops! did that already! 😉 ), and resisting any of her overtures. X may think her a good friend but maybe in this case, opposites attract. If your friends speak to the sort of person you are, I refuse to be thought of as similar to her. I’d rather be like L, my friend whose nickname for me is ‘Best Friend’-a girl that’s smart, principled & fun;  or W who can have a laugh and has a wonderful way with words; or A who can shift from matters of the soul to those of the sole flawlessly…or a host of my other friends.  These people, I want to be thought to be like. In short, I am Letting Her Go as TD Jakes would say. And my mum would say that you need to name your sentiments to move on.

Also, here is my message to the universe:

I deserve kind, respectful, considerate friends who share my values and with whom I can share wonderful moments.

Maybe, by not saying that, I have denied myself beautiful friendships while participating in toxic ones…

Last, but most definitely not least; I have become an expert tree planter, many thanks to my mum. My brother, father, mum & I planted quite a few yesterday & shall plant a much larger number today. Kenya has been experiencing water and electricity shortages, occasioned by massive, uncontrolled logging & general destruction of our forests…including not having electricity in my parents’ townhouse yesterday night (‘townhouse’ is just a stab by yours truly at being pompous 😀 )….so we’re doing our part in reforesting the country. Plus, we can sell the trees in 5-10 years time…for a pile of cash, no less. Talk about a win-win situation. Plus, prior to the beginning of the exercise (I first planted trees about 2.5 weeks ago), I had felt pretty useless what with the drudgery that was house & farm chores and school being out ergo no fun kids to teach…tree planting is fun 🙂 Makes me fel like I’m part of a major world occurence…changing the world one tree at a time. Random fact: There’s a shrub called ‘Moby Dick’. Yes, like the book 🙂

I had forgotten this…the 3rd generation iPod Touch is out. Gets a .000000001 on the 100 scale botheration-meter. X & Co. (Apple-freaks, geeks, techwhizzes etc) had some hoopla on Twitter which I ignored and I shall continue to do so. I had a 2nd generation iPod Nano at 18 (then the latest) which was stolen as I conducted an act of friendship (standing at a downtown Nairobi location called Kenya Cinema waiting for my friend 3M) and was gifted (yes, I said gifted, lol) with a 2nd generation iPod Touch by my father last year in December (earmarked for sale) but all I use it for is music…music…music. So I wonder what all the fuss is about. If it stores music same as the one before, as the next one shall, what do I care for all the other gizmos? I like to think of myself as a simple soul (a bit of an untruth, but…) so there we go, I have revealed a little something about me. Joke…

For an entry that I had hoped would be short….:)

Stay tuned for more 😀

You can call me Joseph

That’s what my mum calls me when I speak about my dreams…after the character in the Bible…no, not Jesus’ dad…the other one…

Dreams that keep getting repeated:

I’m sitting at a restaurant (a specific one…down to the table we’re at…) and I play X a Keyshia Cole song.

It says all the things I want to say…or that I wanted when I was having the dream a lot. Now I have moved to another song….I’ve changed my mind…I don’t love him any more. Long compensatory phone call notwithstanding.W has given me the strength to realise that what my friend C told me was true.

Don’t settle

Look where settling got me…sad and angry. Why…when there are so many other people I could go out with? When I could talk of relationships happily?I used to want the boyfriend who didn’t call/text daily. Now I have him… Be careful what you wish for  is all I can say…

Dream 2 involves me working at said restaurant and finding X seated at different table (not ‘ours’) with a girl being in love… while I am going out with him. I’m all polite and cordial & act nonchalant about it… This dream is accompanied with a sense of peace… Like  losing what you never had is no loss anyway.

I think he’s tired of me…and afraid to say it…

So once I finish this post I shall dispatch a message directly that says

if this is working why does it feel so sad and dysfunctional/why do I have to prod you to get anything/ I want you more, so much more, than you seem to want me…. and that sucks

I’ll tell you how that goes…