This Nairobi weather will be the end of me; not just me but a bunch of some other reserved souls and relationships will suffer the most. At one time it is chillingly cold and the other minute the dark grey clouds are giving way to a sun that’s unsure of coming out. It is keen on being seen but the responsibility of shining on over a billion practically cold souls is intimidating and too much to ask. So it (the sun) prefers to stay next to the moon behind the clouds and let the shivers freeze the world. At times it gives in to the pressure and ultimately comes out with a vengeance, keen on proving a point. The intensity of the heat at times is so much that shades can’t offer shelter nor fans stall the sweat beads.
It is on such a morning that waking up is a struggle between my responsibilities and devilish voices inside my head. One demands action while the other takes comfort in the warmth of the blanket and the calmness of the body, soul and conscience. The voices insist that I should sleep on but I was raised to know better.
The morning hustle, the crazy transport industry and my determination not to be fired sees me at the office quite early to catch up on what’s trending, who was assassinated the previous night and Vera’s location, before the bustle, calls and endless engagements when office hours kick off.
Once in a while I find myself in fancy establishments, struggling with a wireless connection to catch up with mails, demands and assigned tasks.
I am sitting at the balcony of such and the lights have just gone off. I have to wait for the backup generator to fire up for my slow internet connection to find its way back to my machine. Next to the building I have confided myself in, is a fancy ultra modern restaurant that serves the who is who in the Kenyan social circles. The self made personalities who don’t mind spending 500 dollars a night are sprawled around the round hand crafted tables enjoying their insanely expensive cups of tea.
On the far left table of the restaurant, I spot a Greyed white male specie’ with a flashy young lady. She is as dark as Kenyan coffee but pretty anyway. The notion that yellow defines beautiful takes a backseat as I stare at this creature of wonderment.
She is smiling, revealing a set of not so neatly arranged white teeth but the overall effect of the smile is infectious as the ageing Homo Sapien seated next to her starts to grin. He must have said something funny like buying her the latest Rover model since she is now laughing. It is classy laughter. The kind of laughter you hear from Jullie Gichuru during her “who owns Kenya” light moments or Maggie Kenyatta when Uhunye throws a jab at the “Parables” guy. On her left hand wrist is a diamond bracelet and a matching ring. It is shining, in its own light, defying the cold weather and the dull clouds. Her hair is charcoal black, wavy and struggling in the sense that some part of it is stuffed in a dull black head scarf.
Shielding her from the cold is a black coat and her polka dot dress accentuates her not so visible figure from the envious, anxious eyes interested in consuming her whole. Her expensive looking rolex watch brings out the “women can do it better” mantra that has been shouted from rooftops by wannabe feminists who crawl back to their husbands after misinforming others who lack an anchor in terms of belief and self drive. Sitting beside her is a black handbag big enough to fit chocolate man’s ego and that of all his clansmen.
From where I am sitted, I imagine the glass that forms all walls around me is translucent in that anyone outside can’t see me but I can feel some eyes on me. Unlike the restaurant that’s full of people, I am alone in the adjacent lounge. I imagine that everyone outside is wondering what drives my drive to be working when others are having their breakfast but deep down, my BS meter screams that they all don’t give a rat’s ass.
Business deals worth millions are struck as the waiters and waitresses stand patiently beside the tables awaiting their next order. In their red shirts, black pants and matching bow ties (for the men) they unwearingly listen to an order here, another there and like obedient school children note it down and continue to make the deliveries from the high end chefs at the far end of the restaurant.
I can feel her eyes on me as I pretend not to stare at the rather not so appropriate relationship by my ancestral standards. The gentleman sitting next to her follows her eyes since he can feel the drift in the connection they were sharing. His forehead is shiny and nose protruding just like all who came before him. His ‘not so wrinkled’ of a face seems wafty and creased. He is tired but there’s a faint glow behind his English grey eyes.
On seeing me, his whole self is engulfed in petty insecurity. I can read him from where I am seated. After spending some few countries on her, he expects that all her attention would be his but that seems not to be the case now. Her focus is on my charming outlook (haha) rather than his monied egoistic presence. On their table, I make out some keys which from the logo, I can tell belong to the only benz in the parking lot, which happens to be the latest Merc Special Class 550V. I am fixated on the exoticness of the car forgetting that I have more important things to worry about like the instructions given to the security guy approaching me from the couple’s table.