It’s about to rain. The weather seems to hold a grudge against these dwellers, I included. The clouds are dark and heavy. Brooding and morose. Gloomy and sulky. Dark patches here, darker patches there… They give the impression that we have exasperated the gods. A rumble erupts from one corner of the horizon making everyone near a window to take a glimpse outside. Another one rocks the universe and we think we have seen enough as the lights flicker on and off… KPLC caught off guard –as always.
As my eyes get accustomed to the darkening horizon, the steel grey clouds tend to melt into a monochromatic landscape. It is a beautiful sight only that the roads will be wetter than socialites with Konshens around and the walls of Jericho will technically crumble to pieces. My thoughts are interrupted by a brilliant flash across the edge of the adjacent building that flickers dangerously and dies off. It is not a bolt, streaking to earth, but more like an almighty camera flash that coverlets everything at once. It is dangerous and life threatening.
Moments later comes a rumbling thunder that shakes everything from the napier on the slopes of the Aberdares to the horse hair strands on Vera’s head. Streaks of pure white current crackle against the stormy blanket of grey, palling hot silver clouds with it’s blinding incandescence, emanating the might of an imminent tempest. Jagged bolts of electricity endlessly stick out, filling the sky with undying flashes of vivacity.
I am in awe only that at the back of my mind is the too real nightmare I am going to encounter some hours away in the endless Mombasa traffic. I suddenly miss Nairobi. I miss the tusker. I miss the lions roaming the streets. I miss the breathtaking view of snow capped Mt Kenya back in shags. I miss dancing to Ohangla music. I miss nyama choma. I miss the Sheila Mwanyigha.
My thoughts are interrupted by a bolt of white hot lightning that breaks the utter blackness that has engulfed the skies, cleaving it in parts, but just for the briefest of moments.
A storm brews on the cold horizon promising nothing but winds to level even the mightiest of skyscrapers to the soil. The slow pace of the Swahili culture has been quickened by circumstances in the streets below. Okuyus scamper in all directions with their merchandise on hand, unable to make more sales, chased behind by a promised, unforgiving pour-down. Mkekas disappear from the streets faster than Kiraitu’s accent since everyone opts to face the wrath of nature from the comfort of their over perfumed traditional sheds.
Right on cue drops start coming down as if they weren’t entirely committed to the idea of raining. Its dark. I can feel the taste of the salty ocean winds down my throat.
What began as some high winds, some thunder here and there and a smattering of rain has built into a storm that threatens the survival of generations. The unforgiving winds scream instead of howling. All at once the rain is falling in expanse sheets and there is no place to hide for anyone still on the streets, since pavements are either overflowing with shelter seekers or raging waters.
They are driven, hard, merciless and torrential. The palm trees at the shores do not sway, they creak, bend and moan as their fine limbs are ripped away and their pointed leaves clutter with the winds to the endless depths of the ocean that has suddenly engulfed them. Coasterians hunker in homes that are not cozy places of shelter as they would ordinarily be in adverse weather, but are vulnerable agglomerations of concrete, metal and stone. There is nothing we can do as the violence around us tears apart what has taken decades to build.
Its almost 5 and I can’t imagine driving home in such madness. Cars have stalled on the streets with some submerged in raging flash floods. I want to stay on until the skies calm the fuck down but I gotta go as I can’t spend yet another night in the office.
‘’Hi’’ A soft feminine voice comes from my left hand side breaking me from my reverie.
I turn around to see Maya, glorious as ever, smiling down at me. Everything about her is in place. The thousand dollar human hair, the silver metallic watch and single matching ear dot, the pearl necklace on her graceful neck, and the jewel on her left hand that glitters like the sun-kissed ocean lapping the sands in the summer sunlight. She is organized, punctual and strict to a fault.
I have been calling you
I have been listening to the storm…
She is the perfect definition of professionalism. In a grey skirt suit, she exudes elegance and sophistication. She is standing upright, her eyes slightly hidden by her black rimmed light glasses but I can feel them on me. In her well manicured hands is a blue file, inside it neatly clipped ream of green papers. They are government documents evidenced by the coat of arms watermark in each of them. Her fingers look soft, softer than mine and I suddenly get the urge to hold them.
Can I feel your fingers? I ask Maya.
Never mind… I retort..
The rain outside continues to pound, felling dreams, trees and walls indiscriminately. I completely forget Maya’s presence as I worry whether or not I will make it home tonite.
”Maya” I utter her name absent mindendly
“We need to deal with climate change”.