…and yes, you get points for guessing that right. More if you can name the tune.
Chapter 1: Be strong, love
For my dear, dear friend, who may read this for distraction. I know you’re in pain, I know you’re hurting, I know what you’re going through. I wish I was near you, to hold you, and give you a hug, and drown you in ice cream, and say it will be okay, and beat that boy to a pulp for hurting you. You feel like the world is ending, and nothing I say can ease that for you. Just know I’m here, which is nothing, but it’s all I have to offer. It’ll be over soon. ((((you))))
Chapter 2: At the pool
Today I spent six hours swimming, and it was absolute bliss! Not sure how many calories I burnt, but it was sooooo fun! Of course I also lost my most valued piece of jewellery, the tiny gold stud I wear on my nose. Irony of ironies, I took it off to avoid losing it in the water, but I can’t remember where I kept it!
Well actually, I can, but it’s not there, so I must have put it someplace else. I’m SO in mourning. But I had probably outgrown it anyway – the piercing was a sweet-sixteen rebel thing [rebelling against the nuns forcing us to…okay, that’s a story for another day, but it rebelled successfully on a million different levels, ranging from faking Islam by looking more Nubian, to disowning my un-learnable mother-tongue. And it was real cute too].
The gold stud was a gift that cost 9 sock at the time [circa 1997, so I can’t imagine what it’d cost to replace it!] But I know a few people who’ll be glad I lost it, including you. Sigh. How I shall miss my little goldy. I suppose I could replace it with something less shiny, but (a) I – apparently – have really thick nose, so the jeweller had to customize the thing to size, and (b) I have the strangest allergies, so I can’t wear anything without caflon or carats.
Chapter 3: The curse of the introvert
There was this really cute guy at the pool today. Granted he was a bit on the chubby side, but I love to cuddle, so I don’t mind a little teddy-bear on my men – as long as it’s just a little, and his was very just-a-little. He had this dark look, kinda moody, and I didn’t once see him smile. What is it with this pull women have to moody men? I imagine it’s something to do with wanting to cheer them up and be the ‘sunshine’ in their lives.
Anyway, the guy had very Kenyan features; I got close enough to see the Maasai beads with the Kenyan flag that everyone wears abroad but never at home. And I’m pretty sure I heard him speak Kao. I did want to talk to him, but each time I played the conversation in my head, I couldn’t get past “So, you’re Kenyan?” Okay, I’m a … well, actually I was a little hungry, and I was more than a little drooly, and he could swim really well, and it was a really small pool.
I understand the game is to establish eye contact then look away to show availability, but what can I say, I’m lame. The best I could do was talk to princess very Kenyanly, throwing in a lot of stuff that only a Kenyan would say, and hope to catch his interest. It didn’t work, and I was busy cursing and smiling when he walked away after three hours of silently whatever-it-was-that-i-was-doing.
But I did get chatted up by a lifeguard, and by this old guy from New York who was at the pool with his nine year old son and paid my dala-dala fare. The man has lived in New York, and he thinks Nai is scary!! Apparently kids there have ‘a killer instinct’ so he much prefers Dar. Maybe I should have got his number…
Chapter 4: Black is…
So my hairdresser got this bright idea to dye our hair black. Princess’ is usually a shade of brownish-red that had us worried about marasmus in the early days. Now’s it’s blue-black. Still getting used to it. And after hours at the pool, her skin has tanned to a lovely shade of chocolate. Apparently coconut oil beats tanning booths hands down. My face still stings from the burns, but I’m wondering how long my little one’s tan will hold out. It’d be kinda cool if she looked a little more like me …
Chapter 5: The stupidest thing I ever said is…
“I will always love you.” Oh, I meant it when I said it, and continued meaning it for a long time after that. He was the guy I fell in love with over and over and over again, and just when I thought I couldn’t love him more, he’d buy me a book I’d been wanting, or write me stupid note, or cook me ugali for dinner and I’d fall all over again.
But s**t happens, and the spell broke, and the boy is history. Today, I was listening to a rock tape I made once, and it had all these songs I chose for him, and I had to skip over most of them. I burst out laughing at one or two, amazed that I ever felt that way. I cried at others when I couldn’t hit ‘forward’ fast enough. Sigh. Humans sure are fickle. Or maybe it’s just me.
Chapter 6: It’s official – we OLD!!
I hear people talk about how smell can take you back, how a whiff of cologne or the smell of baked cookies can transport you to a whole new place. For me, what does that is music.
I heard the ‘Shomi ngolova’ song today, by TKZee, and suddenly I was back in that room, listening to Hits not Homework with Jimmi Gathu and watching some crazed rugby players doing a demo of the Kenyan version…hehehe.
Those in the know know why I am giggling. Let’s just say it involved sagging jeans, large boxers, and a cheeky precursor to Applebeez, and it was way cooler that Kuku dance, wink wink, nudge nudge. Oh pleeeease tell me someone knows what I’m talking about, some memories are too wicked not to be shared!
In other news, I heard that Rihanna/TI song, the one with the squeaking, and I assumed it was some soul show on radio. But then I heard it again, and again and again, and I was like WTF?
First of all, as I recall, the song had techno beats, not words, and the genre was then called funk, I think. So this new one, now I don’t know. Apparently she done bit the sampling bug. I have to say, it’s worrying when a song is sampled by a kid who’s never heard it, yet I remember the song when it was Top Ten. Top of the Pops I think the show was called. Or BIG for the Germans. I now know how my mum felt when she found me singing Lauryn Hill’s killing me softly, and she kept going on about some chick called Roberta Flack.
Chapter 7: Better the devil !
In one of the numerous arguments about how Kenyans are rude and Tanzanians are polite, I attacked with a fact. I said I preferred Kenyans coz they tell it like it is. If you’re a fala, they’ll just tell you you’re a fala. None of that ‘tafadhali naomba uniondokee mara moja’ nonsense. A Kenyan will stab you in the eye and run, while some others will hug you with the knife still in your back.
Yesterday, I got hugged, and I got stabbed. And today, I got hugged again. I played along, all nice and sweet, did the deed, held the role. Later Princess asked me why I was being so nice, ati had I forgotten what the person did to me. And I taught her a valuable life lesson – sometimes, you just have to pretend.
But guess what, this fat lady has sung, and she’s gearing for killer guitar encore, so Jimmy Hendrix better be watching, coz CB’s batting for the home team.
Chapter 8: Hope!
There was this couple at the pool today, they must be in their forties or fifties. They were muslims, hijabs and all, indian-looking, a bit on the larger side. In fact, very much so, in a less than…well, I don’t want to be rude, but russian dolls come to mind. They were with their kids, seven of them,six girls, one boy.
The first thing I noticed is the kids’ accent was so heavy that half the time, you couldn’t be sure they were speaking [punjab? or gujeratt?] or English, which was pretty funny. They were playing watergames, which princess joined in [oh the joy of large families!], and the dad was filming them on his phone and grinning with pride. For once, princess seemed lonely being an only kid.
Then I noticed the parents. They were in the pool by themselves, and he was teaching her to swim. I’d seen her swim with her daughters, and she did pretty good, though she wasn’t very confident. So the kids went away to the baby pool and the man stayed there with his wife, coaching her.
He had this look of pure adoration, and she was all giggly and girly when he touched her, and it was just so amazing. I mean she was…visually..you know, and so was he. And there they were happier than puppy love, even after sijui how many years together, and with the kids clearly showing on her! then some guy brought them food, and they all sat together and ate and laughed, it was just beautiful.
I know I have issues with headdress and arranged marriages and shrouding women and stuff, but that old couple, totally shapeless and totally in love, that right there is what marriage should be. And I’d so love to find it.
Without the covered hair and the lost shape of course.
I’m really glad you’re safe. You need to get a new phone.