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A block of sorts…

2000 years later

Writers block? More like life block, living block… whatever that’s called. 

I don’t even know whether my lack of motivation to write or do anything for that matter is anywhere close to healthy. Basically what I have been doing is consuming and more consuming but not really giving anything in return. That used to be fun at some point but now it just makes me feel like shit. More specifically, like I’m not playing my purpose on earth and I should just pack and go to maybe Neptune.

All I’ve been getting are one liners, which are still hanging miserably on the thousand and one drafts I have lying around my dashboard.

Anyway, I’ve decided to add a category specifically for my random thoughts and rants. I’m talking just about 100- 250 words a day; hopefully that will get the juice flowing. 

Untill then. I think I’m into illustrations and doodles now.

Oh well

Worst combination ever! Flood gates everywhere

Haha. Literally

Nope, not all of us

Sexy beast ūüėČ

All images are courtesy of the artists’ Instagram accounts‚Äč; planet prudence, abbaanxiety, lunarbaboon, sarahandersencomics

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The big shift

Photo courtesy: Google images

I have been feeling an immense need to talk about my shift from pro life to pro choice lately. 

While I cannot put a finger on when exactly this shift took place I know it was sometime last year; when adulting became real. For the longest time I was one of those people that saw women who chose to terminate their pregnancies as murderers‚Äčand people who should have known better. If the pregnancy did not put the mothers life at risk, it was not reason enough. 

Well, until I lost the privilege of making demands from my parents. So between struggling to find shillings for miscellaneous stuff and finding an actual job you start noticing the cracks in walls. And as if inflation couldn’t pick a better time to hit the country.

I’m still leeching on my parents, don’t get me wrong, but I am more aware of the economic struggles because I’m expected to be my own person now.

With all that information though, I can see how a woman would decide she is not ready to have a baby no matter how much Sauti Sol want to convince us that if God brings a baby, he brings his/her plate as well.

First of all raising a kid in itself is a full-time job. It requires a lot of money, time and resources. Your lucky if the man that impregnated you is ready to take responsibility and help partake in raising the child and you are even luckier if he’s good enough because I hate to break it to you but average cannot raise a child; and we can’t all bet on luck, can we?

Consequently, provision of proper health care and education are expected of every parent and they will take up the largest chunk in terms of bills. We can argue out that the government provides these facilities for free but if there’s one thing all Kenyans are aware of, it’s that doctors and teachers have a record of the longest and biggest strikes from work. Basically, no free thing is good enough.

Food, clothing, shelter, love and undivided attention are all required of all parents. Although considering how child support is not taken seriously in our country as compared maybe to the US, mothers are left to carry the biggest load, while men ignore their responsibilities and go scot free. The only one that ends up suffering the most in this whole unfortunate circumstance eventually is the child.

Whether to abort or keep a pregnancy is a personal choice. However it’s about time women, especially young women, begin to understand the choices they make with regards to what kind of society we want to raise.

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Sometimes the man is a woman.

Google images

I talked to my lover on phone and I could feel her beautiful smirk fill up the entire room. 

I let her do most of the talking becase her lisp is still the sweetest thing I have ever heard and all I had were questions which I didn’t want to ruin the moment with. 

She told me of how she has missed ugali and kienyeji chicken and we both laughed because between the two of us, she left before she even learnt how to cook it well. Most of the ugali she savoured was prepared by hers truly.

“Life has not been as hard as I thought it would be” she said.

I paused for a second, feeling a little shaken on the inside even though I should have been happy for her. What if she got comfortable enough that she didn’t‚Äč want to come back home?

One of her roommates‚Äč called out from the background and without so much of a hesitation, she asked to be excused because Fridays are for Mexican cuisines. 

“Okay, bon appetite cherie, or should I say buen apetito se√Īorita” – to which I end up laughing alone.

 “Talk soon A…”and she was gone before I even finished calling her name. 

Until today, it’s been six months and 15 days of utter silence and uncertainty. At this point I have no idea which one I preferred; the ten minutes‚Äč blanket conversation where we pretended like everything was normal or the silence, where Anna was just my Anna whom I longed for.

Our conversation reminded me of the days before she left.

We were both excited about moving in together; mostly because we’d each get to save almost half of our monthly expenses and also since morning sex is overtly underrated. 

She was not much of a cook but she made the meanest scrambled eggs and the fluffiest pancakes ever known to man. That and her beautiful face every morning were enough for me to lock her down for life.

Anna working from home and myself working flexible hours at the agency, we were living the dream. Well, not quite the I can go for six months without working and still afford to go on holiday dream but we were happy with the progress. 

Being the wanderers that we were, we went on adventures within the country at least once every month and the goal was to expand the horizon to Africa and the world eventually. We made plans together. We saw a future together.

This thing called life however, would be damned if it let people enjoy things. Anna’s parents soon began asking questions. The kind of questions that they ask girls in their mid twenties. What are you doing with your life? When are you bringing a man home? kind of questions. They didn’t even have the tiniest bit of clue that their daughter was into the sisters.

This was after I had done my own share of assholery and asked her when she thought she would have been ready to make whatever we were doing official.

Between the nagging girlfriend and the nosy aunts, she pulled out the letter of acceptance to the Kenyon Fellowship in Ohio.

“Eighteen months sounds like pretty ample time for me to make up my mind since you all seem to want answers ,” said Anna while she proceeded to make a phone call asking if she could get the opportunity back.

Feeling like the let down that I was, I didn’t even try to stop her. In fact I did nothing at all, not even goodbye. I came back from work to find seven different notes reading just the word good-bye in seven different languages. 

At least she was still extra, I thought to myself smiling while tears rolled down my cheeks.

Obviously, her number would be out of service from that day onwards, but I still tried it every single day. I tried WhatsApp calls but we all know nobody ever picks those. All her social media accounts had since been inactive, even google could not locate her. I think we can safely say that her identity had been wiped and she had gone off the grid.

Well, until that phone call.

It left me feeling both angry and relieved. Angry becase all Anna and I were going through boiled down to fear of being judged by the society for who we were and relieved because at least she was well. In that moment, I made it my personal mission to make things right; for myself, Anna and all couples that were like us. That meant cleaning out my own closet first. 

I had been going home every once in a while but this particular journey was my longest one yet. It felt like I was going to a place I had never been before. The fear of how the folks would react put together with my obsession of being the perfect daughter had my nerves all over the place. 

My mother prepared a feast for me as usual. Pilau my personal favourite and her special chicken platter almost had me losing focus that night. 

We sat outside, while father slowly downed the whiskey I brought him as mother sipped her ginger and cinnamon hot tea blissfully. They looked as peaceful as that beautiful night was, with the stars gracefully littering the sky and the moon giving just the perfect contrast to the darkness.

*Coughing suddenly* 

“I need to tell you guys something,” I began while still gazing at the sky and wondering whether I should have picked a different moment.

“Well, this might be hard for you to process. But… The thing is… Um…”

“Just out with it already”  interrupted my old man

“I like girls.”

*Scoffing* “Well you’re just as dramatic as your mother, he interrupted again. Is that really what had stuck in your throat this whole time. I mean, everyone likes everyone, is that news?”

“No dad! You don’t get it. I mean like girls, they way you like mom.

I’m gay,”  I concluded in a voice fading away. 

The whiskey glass fell down almost immediately followed by whatever strength l had left. He stared at me with blood shot eyes that said anger all over them. I could hear all our hearts resisting the urge to jump out of our chests. His hands were shaking and so were his feet as he struggled to get up.

Mother on the other hand just sat there silently. Like I didn’t just drop a bombshell on her as well. Like she was was not even surprised at all. Or like she was the sane one in the room.

She reached out for my hand, pressed tightly in between her own and stood to follow her husband. 

Just like those pieces of glass I tried to pick up would never be whole again, there was no turning back from this for me.

Yours sincerely,

Re (formally Regina)

That marked the end of the letter Re sent out to the whole world and her own personal way of coming out.

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Poor Kenyans

Image courtesy of Kenya Stockholm blog

Kenyans are quite the hopeless bunch; in every literal sense possible. 

The most discussed conversation amongst‚Äč all circles lately are the overpriced goods. Most of the basic commodities have become more expensive than it has ever been recorded in the history of this country. When the price of maize flour is higher than the price of fuel you know you’re on to something

Those that have been unable to keep up have just had to change their diets and eat more affordable things. 

Just a couple of months ago, drought and famine was the conversation. It was bad enough for our president had to say a prayer publicly.

Well the narrative has since changed and now we’re on to heavy rains. You would think that with the long drought, we would be better prepared, but no. Most of the coastal parts of the country are facing crazy floods, the roads are impassable, there is a disease outbreak and some lives have even been lost. 

Those are just the few things we’ve had to deal with.

I had the pleasure‚Äč of catching a certain discussion on radio this morning. Their big question basically sought to find out whether Kenyans witness any notable changes after every election held. Your guess is as good as mine.

Majority of the guys that called in swore to no changes whatsoever. According to them we are still at the very same place we were in the 60s. The other guys who were of the contary opinion could only mention negative impacts. The one thing they both agreed on however, was that the only way we were getting out of this mess of underdevelopment and unpromising leaders was if God himself intervened. It does not get any depressing.

By the end of the show, only one thing gave me solace and that was the fact that most of the guys that contributed there voted during the first ever general elections in 1969‚Äč. They have been around for a while, they are allowed to get tired. 

We, the young people however are nowhere close to getting off the hook. The sooner we begin to realise this, the better. I’d rather we sound bitter now than when we’re in our 60s. I for one am looking to retire peacefully. Maybe even travel some more at that time.

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A letter to my unborn daughter. Things I wish my mother told me.

Dear daughter,

I’m sorry,  but that’s how they taught us to begin our letters even though I hate that word dear. It know it means well but I can’t always help but feel like it’s fake polite. Also, I am calling you daughter because I still haven’t figured out what I’ll name you. I have been considering my mother’s name for the longest time.

The year is 2017 as I write this. You have not been concieved, God! You have not even been thought of. I may or may not have met your father already though ‘not’ seems like a more definite statement considering the space I’m currently in.

I am writing this because I want to be the first person to give you a heads up. I want you to have an idea of the kind of world I brought you into if you haven’t‚Äč already noticed, seeing as how you’re either thirteen or seventeen as you read this, again, I haven’t decided. Which brings me to my first note ( I want to say point but this is not a lecture and I’m trying to be a cool mom- you have to let me know when I’m trying too hard, lol- do guys still use that?) to you. 

Be patient

Rome was not built in a day‚Äč, the guy that founded KFC started cooking chicken at 65. Albert Einstein did not speak until he was four and he did not read till he was seven, but he’s still one of the most celebrated men in history. Thomas Edison made 1000 fails while inventing the light bulbs but we use them now, don’t we? The point is; however long it may take you, with the right amount of determination you will get to your destination. Sometimes you’ll get lost but it’s okay to seek guidance. You’re not perfect.

Embrace your weirdness

I wish someone told me this while I was younger and trying to figure myself out. That it’s fine to be different. That our differences are what make us who we are. Embrace your height, your weight, your fivehead, your dark skin, your kinky hair, your full lips and whatever features you think are extra. You are just but above average. When you realise this, you will live a happier and more fulfilling life.

Love

To love and to be loved are the most beautiful feelings in this world as well the most painful when you don’t find the right people. God and family should always come first. God will always have your back and your family will always be there for you. Fall in love with beautiful places and people that have the same vibe as you. Don’t be afraid to have your heart broken but never settle for what doesn’t make you happy. Most importantly, love yourself before‚Äč anyone else‚Äč.

Do stuff

Make mistakes and learn from them. Don’t be afraid to try out new things. Try different foods, visit new towns, sing in public, laugh hysterically, dress in all black or in rainbow colours. Just live a little. Only in this way will you discover your purpose.

Pain and happiness are two sides of the same coin.

I have mostly talked about happiness and good vibes but the world is not all sunshine and smiles baby. You will go through some tough times, some really horrible times that will make you hate life and possibly even think of ending it, but life is too precious to be lived half way.  Those things happen and you should never give up. Deep within you’re a warrior and you will find the strength to push on if you look just a little harder. Bad things don’t last forever.

Womanhood.

Yes, this is a topic we must discuss. Unfortunately in my time we are still battling alot of things as women; I’m talking male chauvinism, unequal employment opportunities, gender based violence, arranged marriages etc. I hope these are things you will just learn in your history class. You are many things baby girl, a woman is just one of them. That should never stop you from being anything you want to be. It is also not reason enough for you to be reduced to a voiceless servant that lives only on account of what a man dictates. Your place is not in the kitchen and neither is it at the bottom of the chain.  In Maya Angelou’s words, you are a woman phenomenally, phenomenal woman, that’s you.

Prosper mama, the world is yours to conquer.

Love,

Cool mom

If water could talk

“Life could certainly be better, if not okay,” you think to yourself. But you don’t know that because all you have ever known are bad days; which to you are just days. Days when you have no food. Days when the landlord threatens to lock your door. Days when your mother back in the village calls you complaining of back and shoulder pains. Days when you’re told that your brother is out of school because of unpaid tuition. Days when you can’t sleep because when the dark creeps in, so does your insanity. Days when the only answers you get from your job applications are stares of disgust. Days when you are afraid to talk to your mother because you can feel the disappointment in her voice. Days when you have to walk from Umoja to South C just to wash the clothes of girls with long nails they literally hold the future in their hands. Days when it rains and the sewage water that passes in front of your door gets in to the place you exist. Days when you cry and shout at God for allowing you to wake up every morning even when you beg him not to. Days when you look at your KCSE certificate of 80 points that took you six years to get and laugh at how they always told you education is the key to success. Days when you stay in bed all day because you have not eaten for a while and the sun outside is unkind, plus your neighbors have started looking at you funny telling their children not to play near your door. Days when you think about your father and wonder what it must feel like to be in the other world, God you would give anything to join him. Days when you stand in front of the local pub of your area hoping that someone, anyone would at least notice you, remind you that you’re a woman and it’s still there somewhere. Days when you just want to throw in the towel and meet your maker.

You remember how you were once a happy person, both inside, out. When you had you’re entire life ahead of you and the future was definitely looking bright. When you were just a young and bubbly little girl who believed fairy tales and happy every afters. Then you begin to wonder where things went wrong. At what point was the reset button hit? and at what point did they shift delete your happiness?

Was it when you turned five and found out your were going to have a little brother? Was it when you got your first 50% in English in class six? Was it that day your father raised his voice at you for the first time ever? Was it when your mother tried to make you understand why it was a big deal because the man at the office took your fathers job away? Was it when you had to move to your Gul ka Mwamba because you could no longer afford the town life? Was it when you stayed out of school for a year because you had to help your mother raise money for your fathers medicine?  Was it when kids from the neighboring school would make fun of you when they came to buy mangoes worth ten shillings with one shilling?Was it when you came home from the centre one day and found nobody in the house because they had all rushed your father to the hospital? Was it when you got to the hospital and you could hear your mothers voice from the gate? Was it when you got to the room your father was and found that they had not even bothered to cover him? Was it when you fell down on your knees and could not even remove a sound? Was it when you felt both pain and anger because he did not even wait for you to say goodbye? Was it when you threw pieces of the poem you had written for him in his graveyard? Was it when you screamed for the first time since he left because they wanted to take him away from you, forever? Was it when you struggled your way through high school courtesy of your village chief? Or was it when you left your teary mother and brother crying as you boarded Nyaugenya, the only bus that went to Nairobi. Nairobi the city of greatness.

At least that’s what you thought.

All you have ever wanted is to make the only two people that matter to you smile and to become a writer, but you failed terribly.

So you didn’t think it would matter if you took those drugs. Drugs that were ideally meant for rats and bedbugs. Drugs that you stole from the man at the street. You could not even go down with respect and dignity for heavens or hells sake. Nobody would even miss you anyway, you convinced yourself as you mixed the powder with water. While stirring the water and watching it become one with the powder as it moved in a circular motion, you wondered what it would say if it had a mouth. Would it beg to left to settle, would it tell you to stir harder until you were tired and could no longer stir or would it just choose to shut it’s mouth and go with the flow. And in that moment,with that image in mind, you gulped the mixture down your throat eyes shut, body and soul surrendering to wherever it is you would go next.

You laid on the floor and tried to block the memories that were forcing themselves back in.  Memories that you held on to for so long they eventually just slipped. Why were they even still there? Why was your father looking at you admiringly? Why was your mother holding her new born son crying and smiling at the same time? Why were you watching your brother tell his little friends that he has the best sister in the whole world? Why were you looking at yourself in uniform, smiling at the social studies text book telling your classmates that you wanted to be just like Waangari Mathai when you grew up? Why?

With tears all over your face and a stomach that feels like it’s taking a series of punches, you are in the sewage in front of your door saying sorry to everything and nothing in particular.

 

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What is left.

Picture courtesy of Google images.

There’s a knot in my stomach
And a hole where my heart used to sit.

There’s a lump in my throat

And words begging to be let out.

There’s flood in my mind

And thoughts that need to be laid to rest.

There’s drought in my eyes

And tears that have had enough.

There’s numbness in my mouth

And lips yearning to be locked.

Damaged and dysfunctional is what you left.