Moments 2017

 

I have too much to say about 2017, but I have a limit of 2000 words. If you need a bathroom break, please rush now and while you are at it, kindly do so silently.

 

 

Esther Wanene.

I feel I should start by recognising my editor. It would be rude not to. While the blog bears my name, and the photos bear Mukiri’s name, it would be easy to forget the paramount role Esther Wanene plays in every Monday post here. She is efficient, she is thorough, and she is my 2017 unsung hero. Her blog is youngmomblogsite.wordpress.com. There she inspires people; she tells you her story as a young single mom. There you meet Leanna, the light skin princess of cuteness and smiles. There you meet stories, milestones that people go through daily, and there you will find faith, hope and the truth about God’s will in our lives.

To illustrate just how efficient this girl can be. On one fateful Sunday afternoon after all the lovely effects of good whisky from the previous night had worn off, and only the nasty ones were left; a splitting headache, Essy texted. She was demanding a post from my hangovered self and truth be told my creative side of the brain was shooting blank synapses on this day. My post was supposed to go up the next Monday at 11 A.M. and here she was asking for a post.

“Where is my post”, she asked.

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Beneath a Suit

 

He gets to the office a little after eleven o’clock on a usual day. Usual days are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Monday and Friday are special days, do not even get me started on Saturdays and Sundays. He puts on a suit but what intrigues me is what he has beneath that suit.

First is a smell. A lethal stench that appalls anyone within a twenty feet radius. It is the whiff of fermentation, staleness, anger, hate, boredom and crises. It is the scent of something unwanted and displeasing. A repulsive scent that suggests laziness, bad relationships, failure and neglect. It is the highlight, rather, a drift of the middle age. The smell of last night’s mistakes, arguments, unfaithfulness, overspending, disorganization, chaos and wastage. It is obnoxious.

Then there is his piled up paperwork on his desk. A desk that is accustomed to underutilization. The seat behind the desk stares into space, waiting and anticipating for something that never happens. The computer placed on the desk has its network cable disconnected and the power cable switched off. It is supposed to be processing files, serving customers, fulfilling the company’s mission and vision, instead, it just sits, disconnected from the global village, alone and isolated, feeling odd amongst its peers. The support stuff often dust the desk occasionally but the paperwork is not their jurisdiction so it breaths in all kinds of brown dust.

The first thing he does in the office is to send the guard for the day’s newspaper which he sits in the office for an hour going through. He likes being up to date with current affairs, one would think it is for the noble reason of being informed but a closer look reveals that the paper gives him arguing points amongst his mates in the course of the day. They sit by the office kitchen talking about history of politics and politics of history. Discussing trends, presidents, testosterone and girls.

After lunch is usually the peak of his day. He loudly boasts of the number of beer bottles he poured down his gut during the lunch period. His workmates listen in silence, the scornful ones responding in murmured silences. Deep down they know that he needs help but all of them are either to restrained or solely apathetic. He then engages the office ladies in a heated discussion accompanied in uncanny flattery. He boasts. He loves doing that shit. He thinks of himself as a personality infused with charisma, little does he know how many enemies he creates in every gratification he declares upon himself.

By the time the office clock stops at four, it finds only an after-scent of a combination of his inexpensive deodorant, his ego and his fermented lunch snack in the office. He has managed to get an intern to do his work as well as recruit a peer for an evening politics discussion over two or three. One turns to two then to three and four. By seven o’clock, the peer workmate leaves for his family just about the same time he asks for a half-litre KC vodka to spike his beer.

Eventually, it is only him, a table full of empty bottles and a lot of stories with no one to listen. The clock hits ten and he staggers out to the streets. He heads home to a family he rarely sees or speaks to. He eyes are red as crimson, knees weak as a fig tree, stomach empty as a temple on Friday night and a gut full of toxic death. He gets home on motorbike, barely holding on to reality.

On Fridays, he leaves home directly to his favorite seat by the beer shelves. He never goes home on Friday evenings, On Saturday he comes home, hungry and moneyless reeking of whatever girl got paid to do a job that must never be spoken of in broad daylight.

On Sundays, he is nowhere to be seen while on Mondays he lies on his bed until midday nursing a three-day hangover, occasionally quarreling with his wife or his children who lost trust in him. The people that once looked up to him but now look down on him, waiting and wondering when he will choke on his drink and give them peace because they lost the patience for change. Change is a mere mirage, mainly an outcome of false hope or pretense that never lasts long. People never change. Situations change, relationships too but people hide their wickedness burying the reality behind their dark pupils, but deep deep down, the devil reigns playing catch ball with his horned allies.

Tuesday is the start of this story.

He is a friend, workmate, brother, uncle, dad, cousin, grandfather, follower or ghost follower. We all have someone that needs to slow down on his drink. We don’t want him to do therapy, therapy don’t work on no black man, neither do we want him to join a support group because that’s a Western thing, yet we don’t want to lose him because as much as we have fangs and serpent poison on our tongues, we are still humans before we are anything else. Our cynicism is proportional to the number of times we have been disappointed hoping and praying that he will get better.

He never does, God hates alcohol so he even ignores all words that end in ‘hol’, he spams such prayers and it is then that we have to be little gods ourselves and show that our humanity goes beyond faith and hope. The popular and Iconic writer, Bikozulu, once said, “What they need is simple acts of love from people they care about”. Shove an alcoholic on your bosom and show him love and the alcohol will find the exit on itself. Get him a gift this Christmas that is not a bottle of whiskey or a bible and you will have planted a yearning of sobriety in him.

We all start drinking because it is fun in high school or in college. Turns out it is fun. Eventually, when college is over, a girl walks out on us, a job becomes too hard to obtain, a scar becomes too tough to rub off and life shows us utter callousness and we think to ourselves, maybe we need to have fun like we once did. Maybe we need a little inebriation so that we can reach our fun nerves that make the world soft like toffee and the music fulfilling as paradise. We set on a course that becomes difficult to abandon.

Now we drink when boss man fires us, when girlfriend leaves, when laptop breaks down, when the day becomes slow, when the day was too fast, when we are hungry, when we are full, when we have a lot of work, when we do not have work or any day we find ourselves alive. The scary part is that we cannot stop. Soon we have no any real human connection, yet a lousy job we hate, a toxic relationship, a minuscule salary and a lot of stories with no one to listen.

We are 45 years old now, life is no longer ahead of us but behind us. That is when we get to the office a little after eleven o’clock on a usual day. Usual days are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Monday and Friday are special days, do not even get me started on Saturdays and Sundays. We put on a suit but what intrigues me is what is going to be beneath that suit.

 

Feature Image by Mukiri Gitiri

 

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Dennis Peters

 

 

Blackouts

 

I work for Kenya Power now. I know I said I was working for Pan Africa Life a few months earlier and NHIF before that, but life is short you got to experience as much hiring and firing as you can, whatever brings food and good whisky to the table, right? A good friend of mine recommended me for the job, probably tired of me staying on my couch making money using a laptop. You know humans unless you sweat or leave early in the morning in a suit then you do not have a job. Be it as it may, I am entirely grateful for the job. This time when I head to the chilly, hilly Nyandarua and Grandma asks what I do for a living, I will not have to start explaining about the internet and Facebook, instead I will simply say, Kenya Power, and people will bow in adoration while the elders will give me a standing ovation spitting on their chest as a form of Agikuyu blessing custom. This Christmas I do not have to explain to anyone how writing makes me money. The only writers people respect are those that write for New York Times. I suspect grandma thinks am either a thief, a watchman or a hookah exactly in that order.

 

Now, I have received the light and accepted it to guide me daily. I work with a company so big your head would spin trying to comprehend the kind of corruption that goes on in these old offices. I work for a company big enough that whenever we blink, the entire country goes on Twitter to complain. Millennials probably do not understand that we have not always had electricity flowing through our veins until we got redemption by the light of the country. Without us, Christmas trees would be mere bushes, Kenyans on Twitter would be Kenyans ain’t Shit and Bikozulu would just be Biko. No Zulu. The only Zulu we would know would be Shaka Zulu. Kenya Power, the light and deliverance of the country. Well, until I get fired. This time it might not take long am afraid.

 

The other day I arrived at 9.00 am instead of 7.45 am, blame it on traffic in Nyeri. Lol! I am kidding, there is no traffic in Nyeri, I had just been reminiscing with some old friends the previous night over a beer until the clock hit 4.00. The day before that, I had been to work at 8.00 am but unfortunately, just about when I was going through the day’s paper about how Trump is going to cancel a trade deal with the Pacific Countries just to make only America great again and not Mexico or Canada. The paper was interesting, I mean there was Machakos chaps trying to impeach and arrest their governor, then there was the pope giving priests the power to forgive abortion, Baba being accused of graft and accusing others of bigger grafts and so on. Usual stuff. I did not notice the boss walk in only to find an accumulated paperwork on my desk. I was sure I was getting fired, but here I am. A living testimony that bosses give second chances to repulsive morons.

 

Beyond that, the job involves a lot of travelling. We travel into the heart and soul of the Nyeri rural. Where people welcome people from Kenya Power with warmth and respect. Where people do not mind whether you have been working for the company ten years or ten minutes, they will still take off their hats when they greet you and thank you for bringing Maendeleo into their village. Where the chief calls for a meeting in her office and everyone appear well dressed and the moment she walks in, everyone stands and takes off their hats. I do not know if you twitter people know that you stand and take off your hats for senior people. I actually do not think you think anybody is senior to you that is the reason you are busy tweeting the president calling him Kamwana and accusing him like he is your little brother.

 

We might have lost the big unnecessary protocols and reduced the distance between the government and the people, but in the village, the government is the choice of the people. The government is God’s selection to guide the people just like the Levites of the good book. Locals put Waru in your car boot and carrots when you leave because they know that in town, all you eat is Supermarket GMOs. Sometimes you even sleep hungry, but you do not mind, as long as you have the internet then you think you are better than everyone else.

 

In other instances, I have stared blankly at poverty. Looking at a roof that leaks whenever it rains, sometimes even more than under a tree. I have sat back on my couch writing but wondering about a family that can barely afford three hundred shillings for a metallic meter box just so that they can enjoy the privilege of several bulbs. At such moments, I have found myself wondering why I think my phone is not trendy while people out there are wondering where they can get three hundred shillings.

 

But mostly, the irony of life has caught up with me, and the most I can do is shake my head. Yesterday in the office, there was a blackout. I am not sure anyone gets the intensity of this fact. There was a blackout at Kenya Power, and we had to stay idle for thirty minutes waiting for the power to come back. Grace, a workmate, seemed unperturbed by this fact while I could simply not settle down and marinate on how the source of power could lack power. It did not make sense. It is like walking into a bar, and the bartender asks you casually if you have a cold beer.

 

I know sometimes I take too long to cook up something decent for you to read but you all know how hard it is for a brother trying to get hired and then fired a little while later. It is all about making ends meet.  But you people, we will ongea later, if I continue typing I will get fired before Christmas, and that is a risk I cannot take. Grandma has to hear the good news first before I break her heart with how I was fired. Let me get back to making major Kenya Power decisions like whether you people really need those electricity guzzlers you call coils in your bedsitter hostels. I know you all recognise the blog name change from dennispetersblog.com to dennispeters.blog, sindio? Ama you people did not realise? That’s just mean. Take it easy out there, alright?

 

Feature Image by Mukiri Gitiri

 

 

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Dennis Peters

 

Of Men and Suits

My first suit was a disaster. I often recount the activities of that early chilly Sunday morning that lead me to drown in a ditch and shake my head. I loathed that suit, I hated that it had one slit instead of two. I hated that I had to put it on with a tie, more than everything, the fact that it was not well fitting angered me beyond figurative language. I just could not get why I had to put on that suit. So, that early chilly Sunday morning found me in my worst moods because Mother had decided that that Sunday I had to put on this suit. I had to go to church in my green bad-fitting suit. As if that was not enough I had to put on a black tie. I hated ties, still do but then, the hatred was undefined because they used to be the rubber band ties that were always tight around the neck as if they were made for people with suicide tendencies. So that they would not hustle if they decided to end their lives, they would just pin the stupid tie on the wall then choke peacefully to their last breath. I hated those ties.

 

So this suit, I had got it after being one of those cute flower boys in a certain wedding. I was cute when I was a small boy, Mother’s friends always confused me for a girl and I hated that shit. Being called a girl at the age of five was an insult to my manhood, a knife through my tiny balls but then even language was a disaster so I just held on to my peace and pierced balls. I guess this was the reason I have always felt the need to prove myself as a man. I needed to show the world how masculine I was but it has not always worked out well or me. For instance, at the age of thirteen, while playing basketball in floaters on Mothers half vegetable garden, half basketball court, I slashed my foot with an iron sheet and I could see my whole heel hanging on to the rest of the foot like its life depended on it. Later during surgery, my heel was consequently chopped off like a bad behaviour and I wore those damn floaters for the subsequent six months. I was a man now, a man who could withstand pain but a man without a heel. I digress.

 

If I survived the entire Sunday with this suit, the only thing that should have scared me from then on would merely be the apocalypse. Unfortunately I did not. This suit did not only make me look bad in front of the girls it also had bad energy. So my sister and I are busy brushing teeth at the edge of a deep flooded ditch, right? Then I think to myself, what if I fell into this ditch? I would be at an advantage, for one, I would not have to put on Mother’s stupid suit. Two, I would put on something nicer and look good in front of the girls and lastly, I would have won the battle for my five tough years by putting something else other than what Mother had deliberated on. I did not have time to finish that last thought, the next thing I knew I was gasping for breath under dirty water swallowing gulp after gulp trying to call Mother for help.

 

I do not remember that moment quite well but the story is that my sister screamed, really screamed. When she saw that Mother was not responding as quick and her tiny cute brother was dying she took it upon herself to pull me out with her eight year old girl strength. She pulled really hard but all she could manage was keep me afloat waiting for Mother to respond to her 911. We screamed in unison. Like a choir. But my scream was often cut short with a gulp of dirty water. At that particular moment I realized that a bad suit would have been the end of my long five years. That after struggling to live life for all that time, a bad suit would be the death of me. That people who wrote my biography would finish their last paragraph on a sad note saying…

 

Dennis Peters after a long dedicated life was killed, by not just a suit, a bad suit!

 

I could picture the readers of my biography reading that last part with tears in their eyes wondering what they would do with their lives now that they had finished the biography. See, I was reading this book by Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist. I know I am the last one to read but leave me alone. So I was at work on my usual teller job, there were no customers, actually there were customers but I did not give a shit, I am an intern not a full time teller. I have a life. That life was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. So I finished the book and ‘The Boy’ had got his treasure and had known the language of the universe and I was there seated on my teller spin chair wondering what I would do with my life. I felt like Paulo Coelho had stolen a great deal of my time and there was nothing I could do about it. I was lost. I turned around and saw everybody moving on with their lives like ‘The Boy’ had not just got his treasure under an old Baobab tree outside an old church. Like ‘The Boy’ had not just spoken to the wind and sun like they were buddies. These humans just do not get it, do they?

 

I digress again! [We probably have to formulate a policy about digressing from the main point].

 

So, Mother finally showed up at the nick of time. Just before I passed out and culminated my long sad life. If she had not shown up, this is one of the stories that you would have a sad ending and I probably would not be the one writing it as I would be so dead. Mother pulled me out. Mother was strong. She did it with only one hand. After she had made sure I was alright, Mother picked up her slippers and beat my butt thoroughly. She is the typical African Mother and she went like…

 

Unafikiria sujui umemejiangusha ndio usivae hii suti… *Thud on my butt* Unaona kama wewe ni mwerevu sana *Thud on my butt*

 

My sister also received a thorough beating, I do not even know why… smh! Aki si mom showed us maneno.

 

I was crying but not because of the beating, I had come close to near death experience and survived it. I was a new man that had been given the second chance of life. It was then on I decided that bad suits would never hold me back again ever. In this second shot of life I made it my life’s goal to have the perfect fitting suit, right colour and right tie. After my twenty first birthday, (which was last week and y’all forgot, Issorait), I was on bikozulu reading how people struggle with their careers, relationship and lives and remembered that green suit. I discovered that I had been playing around with my second chance at life so I quickly dialled 0725946049 to Muchacho Collection  and my good friend Maurynn Mwambi answers the call, she is my suit guy, technically she is not a he, therefore, she cannot be a guy but she likes to be called that. I do not know why we cannot call her ‘Suit lady’ but that is a story for another day. Maurynn makes my suits.

 

She makes them the perfect size and perfect colour. She has something for everyone. So, I simply do not get Mafisi Sacco, see, they try too hard. A gentleman with a good suit does not even have to try. You will have more than two ladies here and this is not even Eritrea. One of you here show me a guy with a nice suit who does not have ladies drooling all over him, one of you just lift you hand up and point to me just one guy and I will tell you the reason, scratch that, Maurynn will tell us the reason. It will either be that the suit is not well fitting, or the belt is brown and the shoes are black or the suit is checked and the shirt is also checked and he looks like some flowery chap under the hot sun in Siaya, Nyanza. Anyone? Anyone? No one? Alright.

 

Photo by April Wambui.

Suits by lamuchacho fashion house [LM_fhs] (lamuchacho Collection on Instagram).

Muchacho Collection Home delivery: 0725946049.

‘Quality, Comfort and Style’ – lamuchacho-fhs.

 

[Of Men and Suits on Kate Njenga]

 

 

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Dennis Peters

 

The eulogy

index

I cannot possibly come up with a noble reason where I have been, what I have been doing, why I did no publishing, whether I came across a near death experience, if I was waiting for Kidero’s grass to grow to write again or most importantly why I owe you more than five stories. But I will do even better I will give you a job! A well paid job, a job you will do at the comfort of your bed beneath your sheets. The kid of job you will toss and cuddle, turn and wiggle in bed the entire day but still get paid.

I got your attention, didn’t I? I know I did. I want someone to make my eulogy. I am nowhere near death but I need a well written eulogy. I want a captivating story that will make my mourners dance with exciting electricity. I want a good story about how I lived this life, of how I wanted to live forever but time became as scornful as a jealous ex-wife.

A good story that will soil the publishing boys and girls at the press with envy.

I want this eulogy to cover the story where I fell into a pit one Sunday morning. How mom thought I did it on purpose so that I would not put on a certain coat I abhorred. How my beautiful sister, Kate Njenga, screamed as she tried to pull me out from drowning in water covered with filth. I want someone to use words to describe the astonished priceless look on her face as she called out for help. And what’s more? I want someone to write down the love, laughter and joy the Njengas have brought me throughout the years.

Who is going to pick up that pen? Sharpen it until my grievers can feel the sharpness of it’s nib. Who is going to raise their hand and write my eulogy? A fascinating tale that terminates with a heroic demise. A hilarious story of a legendary writer born in 1995 and started writing on July 2014. Will they need photos? I have got several hundred GBs of good pictures capturing all kind of moments, selfies included. I will hand them to you if you are interested.

I got one request be though as it may. Let there be at least two selfies on my eulogy. Let them write that I did a selfie at least once in every one and a half months. They should know that I once thought a selfie stick is used to beat up male humans who took selfies and let the caption be as good as a doughnut’s factory slogan, ‘Eat before you die’.

My eulogy booklet has to be as big as True Love Magazine. Bikozulu will write on the last page and since he does not know me yet, I want him to tell a story of how I came to Intercontinental Hotel May this year for BAKE Awards 2015 with feverish anticipation to see him and got the second biggest disappointment in life when he did not show up. The first one was when mom finally broke it to me that Santa is not real. Let him feign the disappointment of having not met me in a hilarious story and let Magunga and My Dear Doris tell him of how good I looked in a new black suit that day.

And if it happens that I will have published this book I have been struggling with, I want my eulogy to quote it as often as possible. Compare and contrast me with my characters as well as put its plot alongside my long happy life. My books are bound to be fast selling and revolutionary so I hope all my bereaved cohorts will have read all my books. So, you see? My eulogy has to be large – like True Love.

My mourners better design this magazine in an orderly and neat concord. If they cannot print it, I will be fine with a published soft copy. But the frames have to be magical as the rainbow not like they made it in a hurry, sort of like my death happened unaware, No! let them not invest in the coffin, use that money to hire a designer for my eulogy then cremate my lifeless body and spread my ashes across the oceans where people do not swim.

dennispetersblog has to be kept running even after my well prepared departure. My two daughters will be writers, my son – not so sure but my daughters will definitely be good writers. They will make words dance to their rhythm every time they pick a pen. They will convince the alphabets with their beautiful intelligence and make beautiful stories each time either tries to compose something. They will say that they got it from their dad because in the words, my children and I will always be one. They will chief edit my eulogy.

That pretty girl, Oh yeah that ONE pretty girl that made my life worth ambition, the one that was always first to tell me how good my written stories were, the one I spent my entire life with. Now do not cry over my life’s culmination, No! Make a spoken word instead, has to be good as Teardrop’s or something. This work of poetry will make people shed tears with nostalgia but not you. You have to be strong for our daughters and son. Let your pretty face with that unearthly smile get plastered all over my eulogy to give my mourners a fine warmth sensation. And the podium, my lady will speak on…

Lastly and most important, my eulogy has to be in Times New Roman Size 14. No Calibri or Old Text English, this is my eulogy not an art book dammit! I hope my eulogy gets nominated in BAKE Awards as best artistic eulogy, a new category that will be introduced after those chatty chaps in Nairobi see my eulogy. They will therefore hand my gang a maasai trophy and a t-shirt and my gang will be happy. In my death, a good story shall be written.

Happy First Anniversary to DennisPetersBlog!!!

The Writer:

Dennis Peters

Dennis Peters