I woke up to two things: a splitting headache and a text from my younger sister. The former was not as serious as the latter,why, well she is in campus and has run out money. I know how being broke on campus especially on a Friday sucks, so ignoring the headache and nausea, I got ready and set out into town.
My first stop was the Naivas supermarket to simply buy a soda, not just any soda, but something bitter sweet like Krest. So, there I was at 9am in line waiting to be served by the cashier. See in Naivas, they don’t have the express counters, any cashier can serve you, so that means you can be in line for half an hour to buy a life changing product like Krest, but don’t freak out, I was patient. It felt good to be out of the house and see the city a little. There was a guy right behind me who reeked of new cologne and an aftershave gone wrong, but I couldn’t check him out without being obvious, so I took a step back and told him he could go ahead. He smiled and said thanks. He said and you can quote me on this “you look lovely,” now isn’t that a great way to make a recovering invalid’s day!
As we were still talking, I heard the cashier shout “password” and turn his attention to the customer care desk. Why is it that when you are in a hurry in the supermarket these two things happen? First, you find yourself behind someone with a full trolley. Second, you find yourself behind someone who either spends more than they planned for and the cashier calls for that password and the guy who has it is either upstairs or ten minutes away from you.
I got a second text from my sister.
I waited and paid for the soda and walked to an Mpesa agent within the supermarket and sent her the money she needed. After that, with three sips of Krest down my throat I felt like taking a short tour and buying stationery just to remind myself that life is worth living and I had better resume my writing. The calls and texts from my friends asking about when my next book would be out suddenly filled my already aching head. So, I walked to Uchumi supermarket to get some pencils and a scribbling pad. After that I made my way down to the post office to check if we had mail and since Mega plaza is under construction I found myself making an eye connection with a danger sign “Warning! Watch out for falling objects.” The next thing that came to mind was how could I do that? I was walking under and right beside a building under construction because I had to. It was the only way to access my mail and these guys were telling me about falling objects and not offering any helmets. The sheer madness of it had me smiling all the way to the post office and out.
But, I was not prepared for what came next. As I was leaving I ran into the guy I had met at Naivas. He smiled first and said “we meet again, unanifuata ama ni mimi ndiyo nakufuata?” I shrugged and stepped aside thinking he was walking in the opposite direction but he stepped beside me. “Naitwa Mose and you?”
Okay, hold on a second, I know guys always have an agenda. A guy does not approach a girl just for the sake of approaching someone and though I was tempted to ask him what his deal was, I knew he would step back. So, I told him I prefer to be called Arch and he laughed.
“Yeah, I thought so too, I follow you on Twitter. It’s nice to finally meet you, though unakaa poa sana in real life.”
I turned back hoping to lose him and said that I wanted to check out some books at Nakumatt. I only had three hundred shillings with me but even then I was sure I could get a couple of books, if not one then two. The guy followed me all the way to the BooksFirst section yapping about how he did not read much, but he read the newspapers.
Reading a newspaper is not active reading. It is sourcing for information not building a creative imagination or traveling on a journey with a Writer.
I started looking around and caught up with Fred, he showed me the latest selection they had on offer and shared his insight on the new books I could buy. As we talked I noticed Mose taking a backseat until he finally said he would go and check out the home theatre systems downstairs leaving us to the discussion of to read or not to read. Then Fred turns to me and says, “Your boyfriend does not seem interested in books.”
“He is not my boyfriend.”
“Serious? I just thought…”
“Don’t apologize Fred, it’s okay, I will come for these four books kesho, usizirudishe kwa shelf. Sina pesa ya kutosha.”
“Ni sawa kama hujanipata ulizia Brian atakupatia.”
I walked out of Nakumatt and walked to the place where I could pick a mat home. For the love of Geography I don’t know the name of that street I just know iko karibu na CFC Stanbic bank ama nyuma ya Guru Nanak hospital. I scouted for a 44 and got into one immediately it came to a halt right before me. The Driver goes, “msupa niaje,si ukae na mimi hapa mbele?” I hop in and before I can say hello those big yellow paper bags make their way beside my leg followed by a woman eating a slice of watermelon.
Watermelons are like sugarcane, they cannot be devoured in silence. There is always that iss sound that comes with each bite and this woman was a beast at it!
For a short while I enjoyed the sound of her enjoying that watermelon until I saw my next stop. The Driver told the conductor, “huyo msupa ni family ya mine” when I was reaching for a twenty bob coin to pay him. The conductor smiled and wished me a good day and I turned to the driver to see him wink as he drove away. And do you know what the best part was, I came home and turned on the computer but it wouldn’t start, thanks to a blackout.
So, I set my tablet on battery mode and typed this as the words came to mind. What a day!