Month: December 2019

Lastly

Lastly

Starting this Alcoholics Anonymous thing, I didn’t even have money to buy a domain. I just closed my eyes and said that whatever happens would happen, and I can attest that LOTS (not the wife) have happened. I am supposed to write a goodbye 2019 piece today. All the writers are doing it, and I should emulate them. But I have sat on my laptop about 6 times already and I don’t know what to say, or rather what not to say, about the year. So I settled on randoes. I often write just for the sake of it, and I chose, for your benefit, the most random things I could fit into one post. Hope you like it.

***

  1. Reasons Why Cadbury Eclairs Are My Favorite Candy(17-02-2019)

On most days, I like to consider myself a healthy eater. I eat my vegetables and avoid constant intake of meat. I even try to have the recommended eight glasses of water. But despite my greatest efforts, I have a weakness that I must say, I am not quite ashamed of. To err is human right? Well on some of these days, in between my fourth and fifth glass of water, my sweet tooth lures me into sinning with one thing; Cadbury eclairs. Most days I can help it, but some days, the desire becomes unbearable.

I am not one of those girls that would die for a bar of chocolate, but these Cadbury temptations come in a devilishly delicious chocolatey taste that leaves me craving the mere unwrapping of them. The wrapping is easy to undo, as you just have to twist the ends to get to the creamy goodness. They are a combination of milk, chocolate and toffee that gives off a devastatingly pleasant smell that has my taste buds watering every time.

Cadbury eclairs come in a creamy smooth center of milk chocolate wrapped with a lusciously chewy, unique caramel toffee (Cadbury 2019). Having the chocolate on the inside makes me feel like I am on a treasure hunt as I try to chew through the outer part made of toffee to get the chocolatey treasure. It melts easy, and the toffee is not as hard as in other candies. Some people have a problem with the toffee being chewy but I don’t. I feel the chewing is part of the Cadbury éclair experience and I love all of it.

It does not help that they are easily found in all outlets that sell sweets. It is for this reason that I always need some extra cash on me at all times since it feels like a crime to get to the shop, look at Cadbury eclairs right in their purple wrapper and not buy them. I always find myself getting a few during any time I am sent to the shop. This single piece buying however tends to leave me craving for them even more, meaning I have to buy them in packets of fifty or a hundred. Be warned, however, these eclairs are incredibly scrummy, so once the packet is open they won’t last for long.

I never go anywhere without a few pieces of Cadbury eclairs in my purse because you never know who needs some chocolatey goodness. They make me happy just by being there, but they also make people happy when you reach in your bag and bring out a piece of éclair for them. I like candy that brings happiness in the world. I had to eat two while writing about it because just thinking of them makes me want them. I have never met anyone who does not like them. So, what are you waiting for? Go get yourself a packet of Cadbury eclairs right now!

  • The written myth (17-12-2019)

There is a myth, that writing is therapeutic. That morphing thought into letters that make paragraphs is good for the soul. This same myth is used for people who journal. People who have found it calm to put down their feelings of the day, the week, the month, on a notebook with a pretty cover. I don’t believe it. I love writing. I love that I did this MIRAWU thing this year. But I have also realized some kind of deviation to this writing. The truth is: What is therapeutic is the telling part. Having to give your account of things. How someone made you feel, or a situation, or a dog. That, is therapeutic, no doubt. But the part where I have to turn it into something readable when my own brain refuses to comprehend itself? Well…

  • Green (5-08-2019)

Everything is green.

Who even likes the color green. Is there someone who goes outside right now and is like “Damn, that’s my favorite color in all its glorious shades out here”.

Really. Who likes the color green? Who when they were 6 years old writing only in pencil at school had a scenario like this…

“Nancy, what is your favorite color?” And Nancy said Pink

“What about you Peter?” Peter said Blue, and when someone else said Black you thought “Hmm, John must be a very dirty boy, he likes black because it doesn’t show dirt. Then you were asked and you said green.

And what do you do in January when all is dry and those who enjoy brown are the happiest? Do your hearts break when a leaf falls because the world becomes a shade less? Are you saddest when the climate is dry?

It is so green right now that even house plants tormented by household secrets are vibrant.

I don’t understand people who keep house plants. Why would a human put a plant in a tin just to place it under the roof when we were inexplicably explained to how plants require the sun and water to flourish? It’s like having foreigners take you from home, fly you to space and tell you to survive without oxygen just because they have more power than you. Having house plants seems like a huge disappointment to mother nature.

  • The Heart (24-06-2018)

I fell in love this past week.

With a stranger.

I don’t even know his name.

We also lost Avicii, I wrote a new story at work and I got a new sweatshirt.

I met him at the stage where I get matatus for home. Well, I didn’t really meet him like officially, he just sat next to me while I was going through my poetry book. I tried to look uninterested and mysterious so that I could at least have an edge in his thoughts even though he found me eating a fabulous smo-cha because we don’t even get tea at work.

Maybe I should start with a little background.

I have been on attachment for the last one month. What we basically do is report to the supervisor in the morning then go out to source for news and interesting stories then come back to the office and write about what you found then send the article to your supervisor. It doesn’t matter what time you get done, but after you send it via email, you have to see your supervisor to make any corrections and give background information to the article then she or he posts it and you are free to go.

There are these mamas who work around the office as information officers. I have seen guys there too but it is these mamas that make tea in the cubicle next to the one that we attachés sit at. It is also not regular tea. They make that kind of tea that smells like it comprises of one-part water, two-parts milk. Then we sit there while the air is filled with the tantalizing aroma of amazing tasting tea, I imagine, and listen as they slurp it from white-ish stained coffee cups as our stomachs grumble for chips mwitu.

I don’t like those women.

Back to my superficial love story.

So this particular Tuesday, I was done for the day, and they had just finished their tea, but I only remained with enough coins for fare home and probably a smokie or boiled egg if I wanted to save the 5 shillings for later. I walked to the stage listening to Thomas Rhett and he was still dying a happy man in my ears, as I looked lovingly at the egg (I decided to keep the 5 shillings) when I spotted him. He was everything I have been telling myself I am not going to get involved with.

Fuckboy haircut. Check

Rugged-slimmed jeans. Check (they were black though, and only torn at the knees just a little bit)

Light-skinned. Check

Walks in a group of similarly dressed guys. Check (They brought him to the stage)

Ray bans. Check. And really weird looking ones for that matter.

I go into the mat after I finished my egg and I was satisfied I could survive the agonizing walk from where I would alight to my parents’ house because these guys couldn’t build their house next to the highway because of supposed “noise”. Humbugs!

This was when he sat next to me and paradise floated to earth for a while, and being me, I freaked out and put my earphones back on, perused through my book a little bit more then felt more self-conscious since I don’t like showing it to people and he was secretly looking at it. I think.

He asked me what my name was. He actually asked if my name was “Marion” and in my head I went “Who in Hell’s fire is Marion?!” But I quietly asked him to repeat himself even though I had heard him clearly. He cleared his throat and in the most amazing man-child’s voice, he repeated. I told him I was not Marion. Then I contemplated taking his phone and putting in my number because nowadays I hear girls can also make moves, you know… “Shoot my shot”..but then I started imagining what we could have in common.

I saw us together doing relationship shit and I resisted.

He asked me where I live, and I told him, then he said I couldn’t be his Marion.

Who in Hell’s fire is Marion!??

I was in love that night, and kept asking myself if I could find him the next day and if he could get my number and text me them eventually call me and he’d ask me to be his girl and I would say no because I have vowed to not date a guy like him, then he would fight for me and it would be cute and I would get back to my puppy Zumbik and forget all about this new found love.

Long story short, on Wednesday, I was at that stage at exactly 4:07, the exact time as Tuesday, or a few minutes earlier, but who was counting? And I didn’t see him.

But I did see him today as I shopped with mom in town for weekend goodies. Guess I am not in love anymore. “The heart is a treacherous thing”- Liam Neeson as narrator of The Huntsman, Winter’s War

***

Thank you for sharing your stories with me, and for being here to read what I made of the stories told to me. Thank you for making MIRAWU possible. We resume on 9th January with possibly another series. For now, it’s a wrap with Alcoholics Anonymous.

Rain 2.0

Rain 2.0

Her mom died when she was 16. A form 2 student at St Mary’s Lwak Girls’ High School in Rarieda District of Nyanza. She remembers the face of the form one student who came to call her from class on that day. She remembers looking at the girl’s face and immediately feeling a cloud form around her chest. She knew before she was told. Before the Kiswahili teacher said her name out loud and asked her to the Deputy Principal’s office. She knew in her gut that something was terribly awry.

It was an accident that did her mother in. An exhausted matatu driver in the Kisumu heat. Her mother, in the seat right behind him, her bag clutched to her chest. No one in the vehicle made it to tell the story. The media relied on witnesses. People who were minding their business but who concluded that the driver “must have been drunk” because he swerved on the road like a madman. People who said “he must have not slept a wink last night” so he was dozing off behind the wheel. These people had no business making such conclusions to an accident that they were not affected by, but they were human, and human beings have the urgent need to explain that which has no explanation. “The truth is,” she tells me, “At least the way I recall it is, there was no head-on collision. In fact, there was no other vehicle that may have startled the driver on the road. There was no bend, no bump. It was a straight tarmac. But the driver still went off the road and caused an accident that killed 14 people, including my mother.”

She remained with her stepfather, her bio dad having passed away when she was 3 years old. Her memories revolve around stories she was told and three photographs, one of him, the second with her as a toddler and the third with her mother in it. She held on to these three photographs as if her life depended on it. She scanned them, framed them, had them reproduced just so she could immortalize the memory of her parents.

Now, living with her stepfather was not as bad as anyone would expect. She got along well with her stepbrothers so it was almost smooth sailing. But when you’re an orphan in a house of kids with their biological parent, you notice some things. You will realize that you never get the last piece of meat. That sometimes, the father picks his children from school early so they can go eat chicken without you. You notice small things but these are the ones that dig a hole into you, taking a piece of the soil each time.

“He made you feel left out?” I ask.

“On the contrary. I think he was establishing boundaries. Making it known whose father he was and whose he wasn’t. And I kinda respect it.”

“What do you mean “respect it”?”

“He didn’t try to be my father. I had a dad. He lived in the three photos under my mattress. This strange man who sired sons with my mother before her death was not my father, and he never pretended to be. But then he started drinking”

It must have been the stress of raising three teenagers on his own, or it was that time in a man’s life that he decides alcohol is the answer. A midlife crisis of sorts, except his Lamborghini, was the walking John and his friends. Nevertheless [Ha! I used it after school] he did drown, far and deep. Rain was forced to become a part-time mom to her step-siblings, but it wasn’t as hard as it may be thought. The boys were practically grown by this time. All she had to do was make the big decisions. Things like what to eat for supper and who to send for milk from the shop. Sometimes it got hard, really hard. The boys did not listen, she had a migraine, there was no food in the house, the stepdad had slept in yet another trench that night so he didn’t come home till the sun was well on its way overhead.

Then, one evening, right after they had shared the scraps of a collection of previous meals, her stepfather came home at 8.13 pm. She remembers because she always waited for the 9 o’clock news, and they had not aired yet. She remembers because when he walked in, even his own offspring was surprised. “Ah daddy, leo umekuja mapema aje?” they asked in delight.

“Did you not share the same enthusiasm as your brothers?” I ask.

“Step-brothers,” she corrects me. “And no. I think it was mainly because a part of me always sat down for the news to wait for his dilapidated body to show up on the screen, murdered by unknowns.”

Damn.

“I didn’t know it before then,” she continues. “Before that night when he came home early. But on that night, as his sons were hugging him at the door, I immediately knew why I felt an overwhelming sense of disappointment.”

He came home that evening with a “guest” as he so amicably put it. “Huyu ni aunty yenu. Msalimieni.” He was in high spirits, and there was no percentage involved this time. “It was weird. One day, he was the big bad wolf. Huffing. Puffing. Breathing fire, and then…just like that, he changed.” It was like one minute he was chalk and the next cheese. Nobody understood it, but they accepted it.

For the first time, in a long time, he was present. The man he had grown into over the years shed his skin and there he was, brand new, her step-father, doing the best he could. “The first thing he did was secure a job,” she recalls helping him with his applications. They wrote and rewrote his cover letter to fit his ‘brand’. They went out as a family to pick out the suit he would wear during the interview.

“Just like that?”

“Yup,” she answers. “With a snap of the finger, we were having meals like a family again. He was asking about our progress in school. He became interested in our lives, and not just the boys. He talked with me as well. I mean like…actually ask my opinion on things.”

“How did that make you feel?” I poke. “Considering you had thought of him turning up dead.”

“I won’t say I wasn’t skeptical. In fact, I cannot say I was entirely happy about it. But there he was; a changed man. And you cannot hate a man for being his best and doing all he can to fix his errors. So now I love him, not because he changed, but because he became the father I never knew I needed.”

“Who was the woman that came in with him?

“Nobody knows.” She only brought him home that night. Her step-father insists it was her mother. That she had had wings, but he had also been a drunkard at the time. People generally tend to deviate from anything said under the influence. Heck, there are crimes you can get out of simply because you were under the influence. The words of a drunk man are not to be believed –Mirawu 2019.

But she says he still insists it was her mother that saved him. She says she remembers a woman bringing him in, but she cannot trace her face. She could not tell you if the woman had teeth or a scar running from ear to the corner of her mouth. She only saw a woman, and her step-dad saw her mother.

I was left not knowing what to make of this story. I didn’t know what to say or do so I just allowed the conversation to die a natural death.

“I love my dad,” she texted after a few days. “I don’t want the story to sound like I don’t. He is amazing. I know this because it comes so naturally to him. Being a dad. He is great at it. And he has shown me countless times that he is changed. I don’t care that he never apologized. Apologies are just words. “I’m sorry” and you think they changed. He showed me. Showed us. And I appreciate him for it. I love him for it.”

I texted back “Okay” because that is all I could afford.

***

I’ve been doing this thing, called it “No Write November”. It is a lie. A lie I told myself to console this evil thing going on in my head that I cannot figure out. I know. It sounds either cliché or weird, depending on who you are, but I have been thinking of giving you guys a post, and we are here, right. That’s for being with me during No Write November.

Rain 1.0

I love the rain

How the drops sound on iron sheets

How my body feels in my sheets

I love the smell of the first drops hitting the soil

And the sound of roaring thunder like it hits foil

And as it grows colder outside

My heart fills and bursts like riverbeds

©mirawu