You are not listening, you should be but you are not. Your face is inexpressive like you are lying on a cold bench in the morgue. Your movements minimal, the only thing alive is your eyes but even them are lazy to make all the movements she is making across the room. You follow her with your eyes to the edge of your cornea then you fall back like the Germans retreating after seeing that the American were not bullshitting about the Nuclear Bombs. So when she moves to the back of the room your pupils will retreat back to the middle staring, but nothing in particular.
Suddenly, she asks a question. She is looking straight at you and so are you to her. Only difference is that she looks as if she is about to pounce on your throat, slit it like a hungry lion and you are just there relaxed as if you are in Bahamas wearing beach shorts staring at girls in bikinis. Your face is impassive as if no one can see you but not for long.
Martin!! I asked a question.
She retorts and you skip back from your hazy delirium. You are awake now. You can see her clearly, not the bikini model but the teacher in class. This ain’t no Bahamas, you are in class and your calculus teacher is glaring at you like you just insulted calculus. Said that calculus is cheap mathematics and that algebra is better. And now calculus feels hurt and his mom, the teacher glaring at your confused face, is out for blood.
You reply meekly hoping that she will leave you alone and go look for blood elsewhere but you are wrong. So wrong that I do not even know how you made it to campus. She is not going to leave you alone, who do you think you are that she should let you roam free? Like you had fought against racism all your life and now the US government had finally had enough of your yapping and decided to let you use white man’s bathrooms? Are you Martin Luther or Dedan Kimathi? Did you fight for independence or against social injustice that liberty should finally be given to you? Are you Maya Angelou fighting in the streets for women out there claiming that skirts are as good as trousers? Are you? You are not, so do not ask for freedom. You are a student that was absent-minded in class and now you should be dragged to the school’s graduation square, you head put under the guillotine and consequently chopped off like a bad toe nail.
Yes! That is what you will get in your graduation certificate
She says in a resigned tone and lets out a long sigh. She has done her part and chased the ignorance out of the student. If the student did not let go the ignorance delightedly, then that is not her part to play, if the student fails, doesn’t mean the government fails to get her salary.
You look at her remorsefully, she looks broken hearted. It would have made tonnes of difference if you had got the question right. Maybe even stopped the Third World War or El-nino. Problem is that you never even actually heard the question, and even if you had, you would not have had an answer for it still. Reading books has been furthest from your mind recently. But what have you been doing?
You are a village pumpkin, you smoke and drink everything that looks or stinks of alcohol and cigarettes. The bottle and you are close like a man and his shadow. You love your drink that is why you have to pledge your loyalty every day from 4pm. The smell of vodka turns you on that is the reason you cannot attend class past 2pm like you are scared the bar tender will be lonely, that the bottles at Sabina Joy will feel hurt if they remain full. You had your shit together once, then you used to comb your hair, take a shower and put on a nice deodorant but now, your alcohol bottles would consider it cheating if you spent time in the shower. Your weed supplier would break down in tears if his favourite customer came to him with a scent of a nice cologne. So you stink, a stinking person cannot put his head around a simple calculus unit, stink and education cannot inhabit the same body therefore you cannot grasp shit in that class. It is not your fault, the drink! Blame it on the drink!
You are a politician. Right now standing outside are posters everywhere telling everyone to vote you in as the student’s financial secretary. You put on suits and spend a lot of time in meetings making decisions for your subjects. You are a naturally born leader. You inspire people with unearthly charisma, your cohorts would literally follow you to your tomb. Your voice advocates justice and your walking style signifies service and authority. Your ties are thick while youngster think that slim ties are winning you do not, because you know better. You know that thick ties command respect and illuminates experience. Right now you are thinking of your campaign strategy, of a speech that will contain charming words and promises to make the people vote for you and not the other candidate. You will study calculus later and still get an A, you promise yourself but you will not tell that to the teacher.
You are a prostitute who sleeps with anyone with a wallet. A prostitute is a harsh word so let’s just call you PROSTITUTE in caps. You love money more than you regard for decency. You service grown ass men every weekend for a few thousand shillings of which you burn with your wardrobe and shoes, worse if it is alcohol. You have aborted more times than you can count. It is actually strange a living thing can exist in that gut. You gut speaks to you often especially when you are in class. It lets out a cry that incriminates every living cell in your body, demanding to know why you have to keep doing such animosity. You are nuts and turns out nuts and class, really don’t go well.
You are a business man, a few minutes ago you were thinking about your three grocery vibandas around school and your girl-shoe business. Your shoe business is doing well. A profit of 50% is not small money. You have employed more people than most millionaires. But you think Kimani your manager kibanda one is stealing from you. You cannot prove it but you know it is happening. He used to bring you 6000 daily when you employed him but these days he brings you 2500 and says business is bad. You have noticed that his eyes are overly red shot these days. He is drinking too much and cannot even run the business right. You come up with a resolution to fire him but he is your friend so you have to be careful. Very careful before you lose him forever. That is when the teacher shows up with a question for you. Who needs books with a six figure in the bank?
You are an artist, you hold art with a higher regard than your books. You have a way with words such that when you put them down in poetry and music people fall in love, break up, get married, divorce and then make up. You words are living things and right now you have this pretty lines dancing inside your head. You cannot wait for the teacher to finish so that you can put them in paper and paint. You do not have to learn calculus, you say it beneath your breath, in any case you hate what you are doing in class but you have to do it anyway because father said. But your mind is wild and free, painting the world and the people in it.
Well the teacher’s time is up and she heads for the door. She is confounded. She wonders often if what she does really changes young people’s lives.
To hell with this guilty conscious, I wanted to be a dancer.