Friends & Benefits

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘quake’? More of that later.

2BF5 turned 18 yesterday. And W turned 21 on Saturday the 2nd. Welcome to (the much vaunted but really quite ordinary) world of adults, 2BF5; don’t worry if the difference is the same. W, now you can drink legally in even more jurisdictions in the world. Bliss. And the world ages yet again 🙂 Those two are some of the best friends a girl could ask for. But this post is (surprise! Surprise!) not about them. It’s about what happens when one girl lands a job that involves computers and cigarettes. And the stories that grow from that occurrence. Not necessarily in that order.

@ partners with various entities that support it in one way or another. On Wednesday of last week, I benefited from one of those arrangements. I got to attend an exclusive event that commemorated the awarding of $1million to a Kenyan tech firm for a mobile phone application (read the story here & learn more about the app here). It drew quite an interesting lot. Journalists, techies, dignitaries (yes, I said dignitaries. Like senior government officials & such) and the crowd that keeps Nairobi interesting (sometimes called bloggers) as well as twitterati (don’t I just love such words. In a few years, Oxford University Press shall publish it in an edition of its much-beloved Advanced Learners’ Dictionary. Poor learners.)… I was, quite honestly, just a lackey (with the quaint little title that is ‘usher’) but I earned ca$h mone¥ and met all sorts of interesting people.

Speaking of interesting people, I joined a UN agency committee that seeks to improve the lot of youth in Kenya and influence national youth policy in the country. Our first meeting was on the same day as the aforementioned job. It proved to be quite a busy day. Now I know how those jet setters who work myriad jobs do it. Sheer planning and determination. I feel blessed. All these opportunities that have been made available to me are cause for celebration. Joy. Rumination.

I would never have got the job (and money) were it not for Lionel (who I spoke of in my last post) and a drinking event that occurred that involved him, our overall boss at our @ chapter and our workmate, a certain MarkTM (that’s tracking manager, not trademark, thanks for asking). He jocularly asked me if I wanted a paying job and next thing we all know, your woman is at an event that rocked. So thanks, Lionel; with friends like you 🙂 🙂 That drinking party resulted in my drinking KK(Kenya King), a Kenyan spirit with 39.5% alcohol content. This being me, the 14% (woohoo!!) wine drinker., it was an experience like no other. A sweetness in my mouth, burning sensation in my throat, and warmth all over my body. But I liked the taste, that I shall not deny. Once I stopped taking it neat and threw in some soda called Krest Bitter Lemon, I was on a roll.

KK made me hyper-active. X, Mo, Marie, and yes, you, Magaribina; stop raising your eyebrows. I am not hyperactive. I went back to my room and did a ton of laundry till 2am. You read right, 2am. Couldn’t sleep. Oh, well, it’s better than being stupid and drunk. So, I guess every so often it’s good to go out of my comfort zone and experience what happens on the other side.

I’m a geek, it seems. That’s the reason I use, and like, Linux. And is that fact, I was asked, a mark of class? I was quite amazed by that question. Class, you say? I think not. I miss my friend L (aka Best Friend). She was around for the summer and we had a sleepover and weekend-over while she was around. It was great seeing her again after so long. Either Canadians have no accent or she didn’t pick one up. I was so happy to hear her voice when she called me the day after she arrived. It was a great summer for me. And she likes Linux, too. My friend Z, whose family so kindly opened its door and heart to me, was also in Kenya. I didn’t get to see her but I spoke to her; too. Did I say earlier that I am blessed? I shall say it again here. These girls remind me of the power of love and friendship. Continents away from me and yet we know that if we pick the phone, the other shall be on the other end ready to speak. Now that is love.

I joined a Bible Study (BS) group last month. I went for the first few meetings with X. I’ve missed only one meeting so far. Which meeting I missed because E & X took me to the students’ clinic as I threw up and had a migraine. The GP thought I was pregnant (only the second time that has happened in less than one month), as had another GP when she saw me knitting. Yes, knitting; how folksy. I’ve tried to get X to let me ask his mum to tutor me but I sense some reticence & being as my BS leader warned me against having relations that were too warm with the mother of my boyfriend, I shall probably never receive any lessons from XM. Oh well, the best laid plans of mice and men often come to nought (read Robert Burns’ poem here). The way that came out, my BS sounds like a cult (my leader said not to….) but we are just a motley collection of sinners. Some redeemed and some, such as yours truly, just doing what they can to be on the right side.

The job mentioned above. Myself, the Queen (so named by J because of the stunts he pulls) & a guy whose @ name is Member (who, I have realised, can do quite a good job of excluding one from @ activities and creating a members-only feeling) & D. We all, excluding Member, stood together after the job and smoked D’s cigarettes. What bliss; to be able to partake of cancer sticks among friends. The Queen & I had a chance to speak as the event wound down. He is a most interesting character….and a friend’s friend. Which is always a compliment. And the rest; I got to see new sides to them. Interesting, likeable sides. If @ continues like this-friendship, opportunities and,yes, money-I’ll enjoy the ride. Opportunities, I said. Because of another ushering job, I got to attend an amazing event (granted, I had planned on attending either way<<<‘granted’ is such an X word 🙂 There goes Miss Girlfriend) where I got to learn all sorts of intriguing things that will help me influence my family and community.

I might get to be a witness at the officiating of my friend’s union sometime next month. I say might because it’s an Islamic ceremony and I might be disqualified by my non-Muslimness. I’m excited for her. It takes guts for someone to make that sort of commitment. And the fact that she’s chosen to make it is a source of hope for me. It is possible to be happy in a marriage even if you are a member of our jaded generation. And I say jaded under advisement. We have seen the marriages of our parents and loved ones descend into chaos or be revealed to be shams and yet we take that risk ourselves. My brother was delighted to hear the news (being as Miss Lady is his big sister’s big sister) and, during our last conversation; asked after her and how the wedding preparations were going.

My brother. He is part of the reason I disappeared from the blogosphere. He had a stack of drama at school. And being like a child of mine, it threw me off-balance. He was out of school for a month during which I spoke to all sorts of people in an effort to reinstate him in school. Do these things only happen in Kenya or are they the scourge of developing countries? A month out of school because of a few teachers’ vendetta against one’s parent is enough to demoralise even the strongest child. But my brother is not just strong. He is the child of my parents. And my father and mother have not surmounted all those odds for their child to be beaten down by injustice. He still maintains his enthusiasm for education (thankfully, he’s known education and school to be divorced for a while) and now that he is back in school, he looks forward to high school with renewed dedication. Alliance High School; here comes The Shaboozle’s brother, T.

My brother. A delightful child who once drew X aside to advise him to treat me well, with respect, and not to cheat on me. T at 9. Indeed. I reminded X of that the other day. That infidelity would mean the end of whatever we have at the time at which it happened. He said, later, that my statement sounded like a dare. To cheat, to leave, to whatever. Honestly. I thought it was just a statement of fact. And after Tuesday of this week, I think it’s stretching it a bit to not want me to make such a statement. Tuesday, when I went to this opening where my friend J was showing one of her pieces. Before I lose focus, please go see it if you can. Tuesday, when X stood me up. Tuesday, when I [stupidly] called him to fish out an apology (sometimes I behave like an abused woman). Tuesday when he told me a story where all he kept doing was digging his own grave. He & my friend had taken over his cousin’s Facebook status update. This is a common happening, something I have done in the past myself. Then they had proceeded to talk of something he owed her with him explaining to his cousin (remember him?) that he knew her through ‘a friend’ (that would be yours truly). Ahem. I was explaining to 2BF5 today what really irritated me about that incident. In the conversation where he gives me an apology that the Swahili would describe as ‘shingo upande’ (literally; from the side of the neck to mean done grudgingly), he describes how he charms a girl in a public forum in which I am referred to as a ‘friend’. I have seen, in my life, the way a cheating spouse usually doesn’t lie from day 1. He may tell you all the story but as the story grows elements are removed to protect one or whatever notion crosses his mind. He has it in him to perpetuate a conversation with the friend of his ‘friend’ in a public forum where he sometimes does not deign to speak to the said ‘friend’. He repeats this story to me after telling me the reason why he didn’t even think to call me to cancel was because he had been derailed by his @ team. Well, thanks for making me see how the land lies; Mr Man. As I have said before; part of the reason I’m in college is because I’m smart. I get it.

I was bought a wonderful book by 2BF5 called ‘Notes from an Exhibition‘ last week. Hence the question at the beginning of this post. The story revolves around the loves, lives and losses of a group of people who are all influenced by a woman who dies at the beginning of the book who has bipolar disorder. It hit really close to home because my maternal grandmother was put in a mental institution several times in her lifetime before her death when I was 6. Like the central character in the book, she was quite a character. And strong. I laughed and cried in equal measure as I read that book. Never before has the content of a book spoken my truth so clearly. And it showed what I have always believed-that the human experience is universal. The differences are just those of location, names, race. But fundamentally, we are all the same. And I want to thank X for giving me the courage to say the words I have just said. In this post, he speaks his truth and in this one I speak mine. A lady in the book expresses her fear of pregnancy because her child may be mentally unstable. But the lady’s death gives her courage. Pregnancy, childbirth, rearing a human being; these are acts of courage. And the book also affirmed my admiration for my grandparents. My grandmother for living with a disease that has none of the glamour of most chronic diseases and raising well-balanced children who are adults anyone would be proud of and my grandfather for being a great dad and having the courage to live with her and stick by her side.

The book spurred me to attend a meeting of The Religious Society of Friends. Sometimes called Quakers. A group of people who, in the book, were calm and loving and welcoming. Sitting together in silence, contemplating God. No creeds, no chants, no hard and fast rules. I spoke to 2BF5 about the group and we ended up going for the meeting together this last Sunday, bless his multicoloured socks. Both our mothers were quite flummoxed by our choice of experimental religious group. His, especially. In Kenya, each church assumes a tribal profile, and that of Quakers in Kenya is a Luhya one. My mother, married to a Luhya, was quite aware of the Friends Church. Awareness doesn’t mean she took the decision to attend lightly; I have been known to have attended a church that, it later emerged, was a cult. 2BF5’s mother, on the other hand, was concerned but her concerns were similar to my mother’s: What draws you there? And our answers were similar: This group seems to have what we, as young people, so greatly desire. At this point, I want to thank my friend L for helping me know meeting times so 2BF5 & I could attend and 2BF5 for coming along with me. X was not impressed by 2BF5’s presence; saying he’d go with me to the next meeting. This is to be seen. Though in this one instance, I can’t be said to be choosing 2BF5 over X who has always declared his allegiance to his preferred church…

I was attacked last week but one. The only people I have told bar you are X, 2BF5, E & my Twin. E was the first I told as I went to her room after the occurrence to regroup. The Twin was not impressed by the fact that I didn’t tell her till the next day (religion and varied interests have pulled us apart, you can’t blame me…) The man was walking towards me one minute and the next thing I knew, there I was, on the ground with your woman being muzzled. Wrong move, buster…. I screamed my heart out. I had these thoughts running through my mind during that time: >I am being attacked >>I shall be raped by this man. These thoughts coalesced into >This man attacking me shall rape me<. Which made me scream so loudly that the cars that were on the road next to the scene (this was a major junction, close to midnight) stopped and my assailant fled. A man opened his door, asked if I had been robbed (no), hurt (no, again) and advised me to run home. Which admonition I obeyed readily. I have never been so afraid of the sight of a man that when one asked me if I had been the one screaming, I couldn’t get the voice to say; yes. I have become fearless; but maybe I need to be afraid. Had I not been fearless, I would not have been in that situation. Isn’t this what always happens? The victim blaming herself? I did not ask for it; I am stronger than the coward who tried to scare me into fearfulness.

X lost his grandfather less than a month ago. He spoke of his sorrow and his loss. And wrote about it (read his reaction here) and showed me new sides of himself. Such as the fact that he thinks of loss as a private thing. That he acknowledged my attempts to be there for him, stand by him at the funeral but politely declined. The fact that he wants to speak and yet your woman is always talking, talking, talking. If I just, well, shut up; he’d say his truth. The fact that he takes his role as the strong man seriously. That family really does mean a lot to him (this is nothing new but he reaffirmed his devotion to family); his love for his mother. What his grandfather meant to him and how men mourn. Differently from women; privately. That I count for something. Yes, I know what I said up there. But the fact that he spoke of his loss said something about how he feels for me. I remember how I pushed him away when my uncle passed away earlier this year. And yet the one person I wanted to hug me, to touch me, to tell me we would all survive….was him. I looked at my parents and how my father comforted my mother and I thought to myself, “I wish I had that.” And yet I did-he had offered to be there for me and I had said no. Because that is how I mourn; almost like self-flagellation. And so seeing him reach out to me said he loved and trusted me enough to believe I would be there for him. I care about him, I admit. And while, as I said, I may sometimes act like an abused woman; I have seen sides to this man that remind me why I stay with him…

Benefits: my assailant thought I was male. This happens to me a lot. I don’t wear gender-defining clothes and don’t have a very shall we say, female body. So I, in a sense, disarmed him when I started screaming like a girl (ha!) when he attacked me. It’s always been unnerving to be thought of as a boy. But because he was confused, I took advantage of the situation to defend myself. I don’t want to think about what would have happened to me if I had been visibly female. Rape? Death? I don’t want to fear walking the streets, being alive. I want to not have to think of my womanhood all the time; factoring it into every decision I make. I want to think of myself first and foremost as a person and secondly as a female person. Why, I wonder, did I think of rape so fast? Maybe all those messages I have received growing up (never from my parents) about how my husband will ‘wonder where my virginity went’ on our nuptial night have gone to my head. My hymen has risen so high in my list of important things that it has acquired a life all of its own and floated to a place where it has lodged itself in the part of my brain that reacts to danger.

Benefits: the strength of women. E was there to listen to me as I told the story of my attack and as I reacted to the book by going to a Quaker meeting. My twin was glad to allow me to join her BS to be able to claim a fellowship of friends and like-minded people. L aka Best Friend allowed me to see parts of my country I had never seen and to meet her sister. I am blessed. L going the extra mile to let 2BF5 & I know when the Quaker meetings were. My aunt L who has been there for me. And especially my mum who taught me the virtue of drawing from the strength of women; a lesson so well learnt from her mother. I am a stronger person for all the women whose presence has been felt in my life.

For all these and much more, may I always be grateful 🙂 <<Such a Rotaract thing to say (I got inducted last week, yay!) but so true, too.

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.

A few of my favorite things

I got this cover of the original song from ‘Sound of Music’ and I couldn’t resist 🙂

So here’s a list (for when I forget 🙂 )

  1. Music: Well, who doesn’t? There’s always that song that captures your mood, lifts your spirit, expresses what you can’t put into words…ah, music
  2. Silly stuff…: Wouldn’t measure up to randomness if all I did was the serious stuff, now would I? Would I??? *wearing maniacal ‘ANSWER ME!’ look* I thought not!
  3. Punctuality: Am I the only one who doesn’t enjoy waiting? It really gets my goat [I love that expression]
  4. Affirmation: Anyone who’s been tuning in for episodes might have noticed this but there, I said it. I think we all like that someone to (sort of) vindicate us [I used to love that word when I was 16…I wonder why…]
  5. Hugs: I’m a sucker for those…as is one Mo…who I have not heard from for yonks. He’s great with hugs…him & X (most times, sometimes they feel cursory-I *do not* like cursory hugs) & 2BF5 & Jay (his are really awesome, they involve spinning me round and round-usually in malls…fun times)
  6. Communication: I talked about this in my last post. How I’ll stop nagging X about that topic but I’ll state it here for the record: I try to communicate with people but a reticence on your part really won’t earn you any favours. It turns out being in a relationship with the non-communicator makes me tetchy. Enough said. I find that it’s so easy you simply have no reason not to (other than you don’t want to, pure and simple in which case I get a hint!) reply to e-mail, texts, messages…pick the phone (Quite passive, you see) but what I really cherish is the active communicator. The one who sends the e-mail/text/message…the one who calls. One of the many reasons why I love 2BF5…
  7. The world & all in it: I really love this planet. It’s so tiny and yet so large in terms of the diversity you find in it. Aah, I love you Mother Earth & I love you World 🙂
  8. A person who gets along with my friends: As you might have gathered, my friends are pretty all-sorts (Understatement of the Century) so I quite like folks who can get along with most of my friends. I can assure you, ALL is pushing it quite a tad…
  9. Kisses: I love me a good smooch, I do. Those ones that take you away…especially in my dreams where I’ve had lots of those as opposed to real life where I’m saving all my love [cue Whitney Houston pre-drugs singing ‘Saving All My Love’] (and my kisses, too, apparently) for The One [capitalisation is of utmost importance-this is not an issue one can toy with :D]. I think all the Latin men I have watched have raised the bar-I better not be disappointed 🙂 Couldn’t help throwing in this video for entertainment’s sake:
  10. Touch: I speak a language called Touch. What it means is that if you want to communicate how you feel about me, touching me is a good option. Also, I only touch people I like. If I have had physical contact with you, be assured, I like you. Though of course anyone who thinks of a hug as touch had latched on this 🙂
  11. Honesty: No matter how bad the truth is, Just Say It! It’ll be that much worse when I discover it. It really grinds my gears when I practically have to drag information out of someone. Really, if you’d told me we’d have moved that much faster…
  12. Transparency: No, not TI, that body those of us in some parts of Africa associate with damning corruption reports but rather saying it as it is. Obfuscation is so irritating… Yes, I can hear you saying I said honesty above but how else was I going to throw in ‘obfuscation’? 😀
  13. A good listener: Who doesn’t love a good listener? Also the person who doesn’t tune out (yes, it’s you I’m talking to, you know yourself..) They’re so hard to find…but also so valuable once you do…
  14. Compliments: Just not about my hair…J/K I loooove compliments so I give them quite freely. I know more than one girl who has been left wondering about my orientation but I love compliments so if you see me, you know what to do 🙂
  15. A love of family: My family means a lot to me so institutions, people, who respect family count for a lot to me…Viva la familia!
  16. Food: I love food, really I do. I plan meals in advance, I walk halfway across town for food offers, I explore a new culture through its food. I wouldn’t go as far as calling myself a gourmand like one Mo has, but hey 🙂

Part of the reason I wrote this is because I lost my uncle yesterday and I thought about how loss occurs so easily and how forgetting is something that we are all susceptible to. My next post will be listless [no, not in the ‘she looked listless’ sense :D] but this is for memories’ sake.

Also, this blog sometimes veers into ‘Love Jude‘ territory-that being the title of a book where the blogger/diarist is obsessed with her boyfriend Oren & every post is about him. I saw that in myself when I re-read it the other day. Hilarious though it is, I spend a lot of time talking about X and maybe, as a book called ‘Sex & Sensibility’ by some Christian bloke called Steve Ayers suggests, my other relationships suffer as a result.

Situation shall be rectified.

🙂

To round it all off, here’s Makmende, the Kenyan phenomenon spun by an experimental Kenyan group (too funny, *they* describe themselves as such), Just  A Band, that has supposedly gone viral. Enjoy & I’ll catch you later 🙂

Fallin’

Ref: Alicia Keys

I keep falling in and out of love with X… and the person I am round him.

I’m not calling him again… he owes me 30+ minutes of talk time. Pay up, Mr Man. And he brings out my inner whiner… I don’t like that girl… She whines… ha ha ha

X is soo representative of the middle class, it gnaws at me. I’ve always liked ‘the wrong guy’. Non-Nairobian, child of divorced parents, the one with this issue or that one. And now X. It’s bad enough I have to make more effort than he does but now to see him for what he is is just… upsetting.

I keep falling in and out of love. I fall in love with his passion for his organisation, then fall out of love with the apathy displayed towards me. I fall in love with his great taste in music, and out with that part of him that thinks the world works in a certain way….

The title says it all…

PS this entry was published almost 2 weeks after first draft ie X called for like an hour on Friday the 11th

Not good enough

Sunny’s back!

That’s me, Sunny 🙂

The last post gave ‘a break from the usual’ a whole new meaning….

OK…where do I begin?

I have acquired an obsession. Last time I used that word was in relation to a boy. Who constantly proclaims his love for me (gave me the best birthday gift this year *love you, hun, wherever you are*) and, it turns out, is gay. But he’ll always be something special…. Anyway, my latest obsession is ciggies….. I know…unhealthy, but I have moments where I am frustrated and all I can think about is this urge I have to smoke. Odd….considering the last time I smoked, I was 6…sneaking a puff of one of my uncles’ cigarette butts. I suck on a lollipop and end up holding the stick like a ciggie. My mum the psychologist links it to the fact that I barely breastfed. But that is conjecture, really… So I’ve been focusing my thoughts on that Benson & Hedges stick I shall have each week when school resumes (oh, my summer holiday…) which will be the holder of each week’s frustrations. I shall smoke when my roommate next semester goes to church… Told my brother about it and he was pretty intrigued… sad…

My summer holiday has been spent re-discovering myself, my causes, and figuring out my feelings for X… I have found out that the 6 children I once dreamt of having are just that… a dream. Remember the move? Well, it was to the bundu (love that word) ie the rural areas…in this case, western Kenya. Where women get so many children their bodies get tired of it all…and children go without shoes because they are too many for their parents to buy enough pairs. My mum jokes that our village is where hers was in the 70’s…birth control-wise.

Have taught at the local primary school…enlightening. Made me really count my blessings…parents who care for me and helped me learn to read and write. I could read at 3…some of the kids I taught this last term (Kenya has 3 terms…appropriately called 1st, 2nd & 3rd term… You have to love Kenya) can’t read at 7/8. Sad… I was brought up with a keen awareness of human rights (Proud Amnesty International international member) and this… this inability to read, reproductive health issues….. They gnaw at me…

Now I’m at the townhouse….searching for documents that I’ve looked for n times before… OK, Bruce… what do you do? And making dinner. Hot, spicy, veggy…and the baby liked it 🙂 The townhouse…so close to the post office. I went there today to post a letter to X. Oh, X, he makes me happy with the way he’s re-ignited my love for snail mail. Och, X, wherever you are 🙂 🙂 🙂

People are falling in love. That is to say W and myself. Oh, W…I’m so happy for him. And he’s had progress…I on the other hand really have to wait for October ie. the end of my summer holiday…to see my boyfriend… W sees his every week and misses him everyday. Me? I’ve imposed an injuction on saying ‘I miss you’ on Facebook messages. It makes the feeling too keen. So I’m not saying it, or listening to those long distance love etc songs/blogs/you get my drift…

X… is so interesting. That’s putting it lightly. I found a link to a fresh blog of his…long story which I shall not tell here… He fell in love, it turns out…and got arrested with the girl he loved (at the time of the entry)… Now, I happen to have been arested with him…and to have gotten a declaration of like from him (yes, like…not love) but that entry? It made me happy in a strange way. Part *aww, I love you too; babe* and part *say it to me, hun* OK, so now it’s strange…the happiness. But it goes to prove I should give X a chance; because I have less need to be pessimistic…or positively, I have more causes for happiness…

Oh, W, you’ve influenced me far too much. Look at me going all lovey dovey…

To wrap it up, here’s my back to school list:

1.Ciggies…/2.Storage stuff for when I move into my college hall (I’m green so I’m getting crafts baskets instead of plastic ones…)/3.Materials for a vision board…/4.Ball pens (have been using fountain pens…can’t take it any more…)…/

5.highly anticipated…seeing X again 🙂 …such clean fun 😉

In love

I have loved this guy with varying levels of devotion over the last year.

And now I have (probably) made a big mistake. On the 19th, I attended a classical music concert with one of my very best friends (a guy with a love for technology, cars, and clothes who I love very much) which the two of us had planned on sharing with the one I love (a mutual friend). He did not show, sending me a text to say he wouldn’t. A text????? How cowardly is that? Man up and tell me you are going to disappoint me so I can tell you what I think of you: You are a miserable excuse for a friend. Friends make an effort for their friends….that is the essence of friendship. And you are making none.

I met up with my housemate at the event (a friend of mine who is also a friend with person X) and went on and on about how unhappy he had made me. Kept thinking of those little things I share with him. Our random sense of humour…our mutual geekiness………our shared love of films. Do you think he is sitting somewhere feeling these things…..feeling remorseful? I went on to sleep at her boyfriend’s (a very long story that involved three people in a single bed………….I know, scandalous….) at 0200 even though I had a 1000 class the next day (Monday)

On Monday, I was on edge because sleeplessness does that to me. All my friends who asked me why I was so strung did not believe when I told them I had been awake mourning this boy who made no effort. Not you…………you are soo independent. What man would cause you to be sad………………depressed? Never being one to bore people with the anger and pain I feel, I acted like I had been joking all along. Of course  no guy could drive me to sadness and despair………no, not me…………

On Tuesday, he let me know he would be coming to my university. I saw him and jokily told him I had been angered (my friend and I had been angered, more like) by his actions but moved on to other things once I confirmed that he would go watch a play with me in the evening. I went home to pick a few things, ranted and raved to my friend the neighbour about the nonsense I had got from him, promised her I would give him a piece of my mind………….and missed the play.

I met him as he walked out of the play and there, on the streets of Nairobi, told him all those things I felt. I was angered, I was hurt, I did not want him to be impassive……………I wanted ice cream. I am not impassive, he insisted………..and I subjected him to my sarcastic comments, looks that could freeze hell over. Huh, I thought to myself……..does he think he will get away that easily??

As we walked to an ice cream bar, he spoke his  bit. He felt guilty about not showing…that he was the cause of my anger……….he was not impassive, I just usually lead him to wear as much of his armour as he possibly could (talk about a blow to my stomach) As we walked away from the bar, in a moment of impressive lucidity, our man told me that his lousy-about-Sunday feeling had made him question if I really was someone he wanted to be with, let alone be friends with. Wait, am I missing something here? When were we ever together (other than in the imagination of all our friends)? When, I ask you?

I was so shocked, I just walked away from him towards a restaurant whose ice cream I love. I eat ice cream at any time for one of two reasons: joy & sadness. The one I love thought I was with him…and now wasn’t sure. On Saturday, I’d spent time with him  and now he was unsure about how he felt. What? Did he have a switch he flicked? On (I like her) Off (She is irrationally angry at me)……..?

I told him, later in the night, after we had talked. I told him I loved him. Because I thought to myself……..what is this? I’m the independent, strong woman…….let  him say it to my face…………I couldn’t be bothered about being with you.  I’ll find closure. That is not what happened though……………he said  he really liked me too. That he was a smart person but would never have guessed (I should stop calling people darling and hun…ha ha ha). For all I know, he just didn’t want to say it there and then. Maybe he will text me a week from  now to say, “Umm, dear, I was joking………….”

What do they say about hell having no fury………………..?

He and I left the restaurant after it closed (my sad ice  cream now gone) and I went to show him a cracked flower pot my friend and I call ‘crackpot’  ha ha ha………….and he held me. And everything felt right. His hand on my body, the way he held me close. The way he listened to me. He had told me he had no idea what I saw in him……and I had told him……but yesterday I really had an answer: I think love comes first and then the reasons follow. (from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book, ‘Half of a Yellow Sun‘)

And then I wanted ice cream again (I had made a joke earlier about how I would soon have an ice cream baby) so we walked to a 24 hour shop and got some. Then sat outside and ate it. And talked………and my feet were held as he spoke about how I’d been wearing heels earlier (wow! he had noticed!) and I sang  Tracy Chapman‘s ‘Baby can I hold you’ [edit 12 october 2009; here’s a video :)]

as he sat there, listening. I love him, really I do. And we both love Ms Chapman……my ringtone on his phone used to be ‘Talking ’bout a Revolution’……wonder what it is now…….

I dropped him at his place and had my very cold feet rubbed before he left and was told to “Marry him!” by a bystander before I drove away.  I have never liked anyone this much (any of my friends can testify) so I really hope this thing will work out. But if it doesn’t……………..

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all

(From Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem In Memoriam:27, 1850)