Dear Mother. Part One. By Mukiri Gitiri

 

 
Mother, today I would like you to listen to a story that happened many years ago. I would like to suggest that you lose that judgmental temperament you are always carrying around the house, at least until I am done.

 

 

 

What was that mother? You promise? Okay. Now, it was five thirty in the evening. I remember feeling awfully tired but also happy and excited for my first weekend in the University. I had just survived a five-hour lecture on calculus. Math was never my thing, I will not lie, and I only pretended to like it so that I could make you happy.

 

 

 

Mother! You promised you would be silent! If you start judging this early, I will take this story to father instead. Okay? In my defense now that you asked when I applied for a course in campus I specifically signed up for intense Chemistry and Biology. To this day, I have no idea why there was Calculus, Algebra, and Statistics in my unit courses. To be entirely honest University was a disappointment, I had expected to be marveled by the lecturers, the lecture rooms and the students, turns out the lecturers were just old and tired educated heartless morons, the lecture rooms were similar to the ones in Chogoria Primary, only that the seats were sponged and the students were just a bunch of competitive social climbers trying to figure themselves out. That is a long sentence mother, let me catch my breath.

 

 

 

I hated small talk with my classmates. I disapproved a lot of things. Come to think about it; I was probably a sad and frustrated girl doing more observations that associations. On this particular day, I left the class in the company of a girl friend of mine, headed to the hostels. It was a silent walk. I loath silence but at the moment, my inexperience would have had me talk about Calculus differentiation and broken test-tubes, so I held on to my silence like a mother does her child. I did not want to be the buffoon that brings the classroom out of class. This was University, studying ended the moment you swept across the classroom door frame.

 

 

 

Alternatively, I would have started a chit chat about lipstick, weaves and camel toes but I did not even know what a camel toe was.

 

 

 

What was that mother? No! I am not going to tell you what a camel toe is. You can google after this story is ended. Now, as I was saying, I was really bad in conversations. I had stayed away from the close girl to girl friendships because I could sniff trouble and drama from a mile away. Another reason I was bad at this kind of engagements is that my knowledge outside the classroom was as tiny as a teacher’s pension. I could not even tell the difference between Beyoncé and Rihanna. Yes, mother, I could not tell shit!

 

 

 

I am sorry. Yes, I will mind my language mother. I had cool roommates though. They assimilated me into a gang we called the Room 3 divas. We even had a Whats App group. I had always felt that they were to cool for me. I mean, they could rock a thigh long dress and six-inch strappy heels on their second day on campus. Oh! And Rihanna’s signature red hair covering one eye. They were clearly absolute divas.

 

 

 

Mother, correct me if am wrong, but there is a scowl expression on your face. Can you wipe it off? I do not like it. As, I was saying before you rudely interrupted with that damn scroll, I was one of them, not by any qualification, but by the geographic existence in the same room. They would dress for hours as I watched and learned and then they would ask me how cool they looked. My opinion mattered mother, I was important. I was their coolness thermometer, measuring how cool or hot they looked. When you do this for a while, you are bound to pick a few tricks, soon I had to throw away my baggy trousers and flat shoes you bought me, no offense, and I just had to. I started becoming more like them and less like me. We would dress up together for class now, and take selfies later. I would have shown you those selfies mother but my phone mother, my phone was the Huawei Ideos you bought me, its pixels was almost zero mother. Not that I am complaining, but I needed something that would flatter my face and put some beauty filters, something that would paint me to their standards mother. I am not a liar; I just needed to fit in.

 

 

 

Now this particular Friday Evening, most of the people were headed out from the hostels for drinks and stuff like that.

 

 

 

No, mother, the drinks were neither coffee nor tea. Others were strolling chatting loudly in English with some occasional loud laughs hugging, smooching and touching. Yes mother, touching. I was bored, so when I got a call from my cool friends, the ones from the land of fish and English, I did not even think twice about it.

 

 

 

See what I did with the words mother? Fish and English? Come on, you can laugh a little. This is a funny story mother. That day mother, I rocked a 1950’s floral skirt. Its length would have made you kneel before God. Don’t curse mother; I had a pair of stockings inside, everything was well covered.

 

 

 

When the boys called, I was overwhelmed. All my life I had been a good girl mother, a little backward and uncool, but good. Your kind of good. I was a determined uncool girl. It was the first time a boy had called me on my Ideos Phone mother. I love to stand out mother; maybe I got it from father’s side of the family. I hoped back into my cubicle, took off the stockings and put on grey boots. As I said, mother, I was a determined uncool girl with pretty grey boots, a short skirt, a tiny top that would make you ask where they had taken the rest of the material and an immensely adventurous spirit. That day mother, I left my decency in my dressing cabinet together with the rest of the material for the top I was in.

 

 

 

No. No mother, do not gasp like someone just died. I am still here, am I not? Shall I move on with my story?

 

 

 

Okay, mother. Now, I got to the boys’ hostel across the school. You will not believe what these boys gave me; they handed me a FIFA pad! A FIFA pad mother! You know what that means? They did not look at me like the sexual object I had tried to transform myself into, mother. To them, I was a bro. Maybe my grey heeled boots did not make me tall enough, or my legs were not long enough to be sexy, or even I had always overestimated the prettiness on my face. I was disappointed beyond words.

 

 

 

Do not look so relieved mother; the story is still far from over. These boys mother, were not only from the lake but also from Nairobi City. The good side of the city where there are tarmac roads and gated communities. The kind of Nairobi that is green and cool, colored by flowery yards and fences. The kind that they do not have to use Mwi Sacco or MSLs matatus. A different kind of Nairobi where their fathers made collection cabinets of wines and expensive vodkas. Alcohol that was more expensive than the school fees we paid at school.

 

 

 

The kind of girlfriends these resourceful boys had used to put gel nails; you know what gel nails are mother? I too didn’t know. The only gel I knew is that one girls in my primary school would use to force their hair to curl. Oh and silica gel from my chemistry class. I was a sad little girl mother.

 

 

 

When a boy from the next room came in and invited me to the next room for a private party, I thought that it was your prayers mother, which had landed me such an opportunity. I hear you praying for me in the middle of the night mother, make sure you will never stop mother.

 

 

 

So your prayers landed me to a private party. By the time I got there, there was smoke from all kinds of smokable drugs, even bhang mother. It turns out bhang is not only for demented, hopeless people but also cool kids too. The smoke was mixed with the stench of alcohol that made me flinch with inexperience. In the room, there were guys already rubbing their crotches viciously on the behinds of other cool girls with even lesser material on their clothes than me. It was fucking awesome!

 

 

 

Sorry, sorry mother, I got carried away in the heat of the moment, I will not curse again. Well, if you want me to finish the story here, I can.

 

 

 

What was that mother? No, I am not ashamed of myself. Your tone is rising mother, take a deep breath mother. I would like to continue with my story. Now, this guy, that had been sent by God, courtesy of your prayers to save me from the bro-zone, poured me a drink, and another and another. Only the first gulp was nastier than the look you give me when I pile dirty dishes in the sink. The more I drank, the more my clothes felt loose, and the more I became a better dancer. I swung my hips in all kind of angles, and the boys loved it. They loved me, mother! I swear they did!

 

 

 

I was so drunk that when the party ended, and one of my male party mates carried me in his arms to his room and started to work on my clothes, I did not have the brain capacity to stop him.

 

 

 

Tears mother? Really? You are going to start crying for something that happened four years ago? Well, if it gives you any peace, I did not lose my little pink flower. At least not that day.

 

 

To be continued…

Feature Image by Mukiri Gitiri

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Guns

 

 

Then again, we are all children.

 

Fighting with our mothers and fathers about education, drugs, and wrong choices. Rebelling against rules, claiming we are grown-up and moving out.

 

Fighting with our brothers and sisters, trying to put out past trouble fires but mostly trying to make ourselves feel good and superior.

 

Fighting with our girlfriends and boyfriends, hiding our ignorance, attitudes, greed and hidden agendas. Quarreling and screaming at each other relentlessly until peace is a narrative that used to but no longer is.

 

Fighting in our professions, for promotions, respect and pay rises, but mostly for happiness and fulfillment.

 

Slowly losing our childhood, piece by piece…

 

Then we only have wrinkles to tell of our battles, painful tears to mourn the lost, anger towards our dead vitality and nostalgia for the child within whom we had been too eager to throw out.

 

Then again we are still children, bestowed with the chance of choice. While nations are made through wars, like Kenya was molded by the violence of our freedom fighters, America by the guns of the founders and Germany by the massacre of their dictators, humanity is molded by peace, humility, patience, understanding, kindness and happiness.

 

But maybe guns are just quicker.

 

 

Photography: Mukiri Gitiri

Words: Dennis Peters

[Mukirivity– Ingenious art and text made comparative]

Tales of Trails

I am a slimy snail, slugging away indolently across a wet piece of wood in the month of April when the rains come down hard and washing away January and February’s transgressions.

 

I leave a trail behind me which contains pieces of me, my DNA and tales of my mistakes and misfortunes with human beings.

 

There was Alex, then there was Ted, Frank, and James. Before all that there was Ken.

 

Yet I loved them all but couldn’t keep either. The longest was Ken, who was also my first and in Alex, Ted, Frank, and James I was looking for Ken.

 

He was left with the biggest part of me and I need it back. I’m fading out, my shadows are whispering and my heart keeps knocking. I need all these pieces back before the mist clouds my eyes, my skin becomes grey, and my soul lifts off.

 

I tried my best in all these unions but trying is always never sufficient. Made supper, nursed their egos and gave them a good time like a lady is supposed to but like everyone else, I was inadequate, I was possessive, I was a crazy bitch and I burned Ted’s ex-girlfriend using hot water.

 

Maybe we try too hard when we are just supposed to live.

 

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Photography: Mukiri Gitiri

Words: Dennis Peters

[Mukirivity– Ingenious art and text made comparative]

Green in your Eyes

 

It begins with a nibble at the tip of a cookie, a tiny puff at the edge of a lit cigarette or a pinch of a powdered flour into your whisky glass.

 

First, everything is noiseless, perhaps too silent. Then the edges start to fade off into an approaching mist on the horizon. Just about when you have begun settling in, your heart starts to beat faster and faster and it is like you have been racing a medalled athlete or like you just had sex, good sex.

 

Then you are uncertain of the future. You cannot find home and the green in your eyes starts to cloud your sight, reason and judgement. You are unequivocally scared. All you want is to go home, but where do you find home when the green extends beyond the skyline and meets the blue in the sky at a distance edge?

 

You feel alone and you renounce the nibble, the puff and the pinch. You pray to God that he gives back your sanity, you promise him never to put yourself in such a situation over and over but he watches you from his righteous seat leaving you at the hush absolution of experience.

 

Finally sleep takes you home and you lie still on your bed, nothing is certain anymore, not even waking up the next day.

 

 

Polite Advise: Please don’t do drugs!

 

 

Photography: Mukiri Gitiri

Words: Dennis Peters

[Mukirivity– Ingenious art and text made comparative]

Six-thirty Deadline

Boss man says its two days. Two days is two years, I have forever, an eternity to deliver quality. Two days is paradise, so close to three days, yet so far from two hours.

 

Are we drinking tonight? I can hardly decide but two or six whisky shots never hurt nobody. A good time equips the mind with the agility and aptitude.

 

No longer two days, now it is just but a single day. But my head, my head feels like a pounding sledgehammer. Last night, did someone add vodka to my beer?

 

Just let me sleep in today, just four hours. An active mind needs repose to rekindle and rejuvenate. I did not say this, Science man said, on nutrition channel.

 

Four hours is relative to eight hours. Furthermore, it is game time. Soccer. It’s Manchester United, everybody is watching. I’d be a buffoon to miss this game. So, four beers and roast meat as we watch the game, Yes?

 

Two hours to six-thirty. I need coffee, I need cold water, I need silence and I need a miracle. Time to get to work.

 

Six-thirty deadline, more like Six-thirty deathtime.

 

 

Photography: Mukiri Gitiri

Words: Dennis Peters

[MukirivityIngenious art and text made comparative]

As Dark As it Gets

January 1:
It was a cold dark night… as dark as it gets…
The air intense.. the alley welcoming with a sort of gloom about it.
When I was younger my parishioner said that in the absence of light darkness prevails, yet in these moments of opportune bliss and pleasure I often wondered how right he was and even still how good it felt to be bad….

 

The alley narrowed and my eyes spotted my prize
A young blonde, stooping low to pick up something on the ground, her skirt lifting tediously to her effort, this was going to be easy.

 

I became one with the darkness and a generous smile plastered over my face before my butcher knife oozed smoothly from my coat side pocket….
This would be easy,

 

The alley was welcoming and the night was dark as dark as it gets.

 

Photography: Mukiri Gitiri

Words: Francis The Lone Puppeteer.

[Mukirivity– Ingenious art and text made comparative]

Life is Serious

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

 

They told me art is shit. Art is not engineering or business. They told me I had to be serious with life because good fortune never came to those who took life in an easy artistic convention.

 

They forced calculus on my back like a yoke. Each day I had to solve for x and y in algebra. In class, the teacher screamed history and civics. I only saw her necklaces and bracelets and thought, Goddamn, the person that did that was good. But the test came and it was neither about bracelets nor necklaces.

 

But I learnt how to take life seriously.

 

I grew up and learnt to take my happiness serious.

 

I attend my digital logics and statistics classes. I do not pass that much but I am fine and you should be alright if I am alright. I have listened to you enough now it is time you listen to me.

 

Let me paint the world, let me show you the world through my eyes. Let me show you that life can be easy and artistic. Look at my eyes, do you see the light in them when I paint?

 

Photography: Mukiri Gitiri

Words: Dennis Peters

[Mukirivity– Ingenious art and text made comparative]