I have done this Moments series for five years now. There was moments 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and now 2018. Some of them I think I was a teenager not even sure what I was doing here. I borrowed the idea from bikozulu, scratch that, I snatched it away from him like an armed robber because, well, we all got to start somewhere and my beginning did not necessarily have to be a zero. Now it’s going to be the sixth year, time is rushing and soon it will be ten then twenty.
Every year I have come here to write my annual final moment’s story series, I have always had a feeling of emptiness. Kind of underachieved and lacking in one way or the other. I never get to understand why and certainly, this year is not any different. Maybe it is the vanity of life, a constant feeling that there could be more that could have been done and the idea is to learn to live with that feeling.
I have a broken tooth. I don’t know how it happened. One moment I’m chewing sugarcane, the next I have half a molar. By the way, let me just ask, is there anyone else out there that had their teeth stop multiplying at 28? Mine stopped at 28. I am missing four teeth, I plan to question my grandfather this holiday whether it is genetic. Now, I have 27 and half a tooth and I walk around town smiling like I have 32 teeth like everyone else knowing full well I have a secret I can never tell.
I have a theory. Aliens have invaded earth and can transform themselves to humans. They look like us, they even smell us, hell, they even speak like us. I think one has replaced my girlfriend. She has started using words like “reclusive”, “promiscuous” and “innate” in casual conversations with me. The other day she was giving a lecture, as usual, and I was not listening, as usual, and she said…
“You need to atone for your mishaps”
“What did you say?”
“I am not repeating myself!” and then she continued her lecture. She is a hub of information, this one, I have a home encyclopedia in audio that comes with a pretty face and natural wit. I am pretty sure she is not the real one. The one I was used to, used to say the word stimuli instead of stimuli. If any of you aliens out there has my stimuli girlfriend, keep her. I could get used to this new one.
Tough welcome in Nairobi.
I don’t mean to be a Whinny Nancy but this year has not exactly been a walk in the park. You guys know Whinny Nancy? Is it a phrase? I just found it at the back of my mind while typing this. Do we call someone who loves complaining a Whinny Nancy? Who is Nancy? Poor girl probably had a promiscuous, innate and reclusive boyfriend and it is no wonder she kept whining. I hope she is okay though.
I graduated! All my classmates and friends graduated last year though. I had one extra year to repeat a single unit for like the fourth time, but it does not matter. I was in a gown, you people saw? Even posted it on Instagram. I missed the event though, my dad and I decided to take a tour of the school and then lie on the grass and chat instead of listening to long speeches under the hot tents. The grass was really green in Nyeri in April, it was irresistible. I, however, felt that my dad felt that I had never taken that first undergraduate seriously. But I graduated, you people saw me on Instagram in selfies and long black robes? I hope you did. I think graduation is supposed to be important or something. Mostly, something.
Then I came to Nairobi. I got arrested (Read Here). I got confused (Here), almost got married (Here) and stopped being confused (Here). Just to be clear, I never expected much from Nairobi. I knew from the word go, I would hate it, and yet I still came. Now I think I am a Nairobian. I have been here for close to one year. When I go back to Nyandarua people will call me, the guest from Nairobi. I see an achievement somewhere in there, or is it just me?
Then came the first job, then quitting the job, it all happened really fast, I could not even keep up. One day I will sit down and tell you what really transpired. Maybe after I grow beyond that frustration.
Now I have this new cool job where I go for these press briefings in important places and take important notes then write a business column. It is all pretty cool and new and Nairobi’s social life is quite something I am learning to take slowly in tiny sips like a fizzy cold drink. The other day I was in this event at this building and I met these people and they were so cool. They could talk, smile and act Nairobian in a way I really admired and it all seemed so natural to me. Maybe my problem is watching too much without jumping into the action. Maybe that is where I get lost and keep whining that the city moves too fast. But then, I got to ask myself, if I stop watching things moving from the sidelines, how will I get the story?
I started writing feature stories from interviews from real people. That is so cool, yeah? (Read Here)
I have published around 40 stories this year. Each story is approximately between 1500 and 4000 words. This means I have written between 60,000 words and 160,000 words. A book is about 80,000 words according to many professional authors. This means that we actually have a book here. A short story collection! I was sleeping and then this fact just came rushing in like an angry tornado in my mind. Then I started thinking, what if I was to double my hustle to twice as much next year, have the same number of words here and the same number of words in a huge manuscript? That would mean that by Moments 2019, we will have a book! Right?
I have read a lot of amazing books this year. I stopped at 38 books about four weeks ago. I have been carrying around ‘The Appeal’ by John Grisham but I have not quite started on it yet. I love fictional law books as is this one, I am scared if I start I will finish and then I will not have it anymore. I have read ‘Zoo’ by Charles Chanchori and even wrote a review, (Read Here). ‘Drunk’ by Jackson Biko had me stop midway and tweet him not to kill a baby, up to now, I still do not understand whether he really did.
Africans are so good at telling stories, I will bet you that you can point to any African book, read it from cover to cover and you will not get bored or disappointed.
BAKE Award Nomination.
This has to be the highlight of the year (Read Here). Aki you guys are nice, thanks.
She never really speaks a lot, in fact, she only writes one single story every year. She wrote one this year, (Read Here) and one last year (Read Here), but she provides a feature image for every story and that is so cool. Thank you.
It is difficult to imagine some of the things that have happened. 100 years ago we could not fly, 200 years ago we could not conceive the possibility of an automobile, 8000 years ago we did not have religion, a little over 60 years ago Africa was a jungle, a little over 70 years ago we thought the atom is the smallest naturally occurring element until we split it and we had this huge amount of energy we could use to kill each other for sport. It is possible to look at the current situation and feel like you know what you are doing but you really do not.
60 years from now we could be sharing this planet with aliens, 200 years from now we could have moved to another planet after destroying this one. 8000 years from now we do not know what exactly it would mean to be religious. Possibilities are endless, so my parting words of wisdom is that you know very little and it important that you understand that you know very little. The moment you start feeling like you know a lot of things is the moment you stop being intelligent.
Does that make sense? No?
Merry Christmas and a very happy, fruitful and prosperous 2019.
Last one here to close the book and return it to the book shelve, next year we open a new one.