Rejected

 

People who have not been close to death should not speak about it. Death is an academic Degree; you are only an expert when you have survived it and won the hat. Personally, I know death. I have seen death. I have dressed the scent of death on my body and ground my teeth in its darkness. I have been dead, buried in the unequivocal desert of its nothingness, yet, I am still here, or am I not?

 

It began on a Sunday – I am a church person. Meaning I go to church because I was born and brought up in church. If you ask me about my beliefs, I might stammer a little as I concoct an appropriate response but what you should know is that I go to church. I play the Piano and I have pretty decent vocals. My church congregation loves when I lead the praise and sink into a trance when I lead the worship. I am pretty good, but death does not care.

 

That Sunday, which is like three Sundays ago, I left church midway. I had earlier alerted my piano player intern that I would leave in the middle of the service for an expedition in another county. I was to leave in the company of two others and my girlfriend who was not really my girlfriend because the church does not allow the idea of boyfriend-girlfriend association. It is a law I have plenty of reservation on because I am also a believer in love. You do not stand in front of love and ask it to stay on pause because your church does not allow it. It does not work like that. When it rains it pours, and there is nothing you or your preacher can do about it.

 

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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]

Upside Down

I was born a boy, or at least I thought I was until I had my first period at age sixteen. I was used to boy cardigans, shorts, boxers, vests, shirts and the like. My background was a humble one, where the only thing that mattered was that we had food at the end of the day. A meal a day was our entitlement, and I am not cantankerous, that was way better than other families in the neighborhood. I had a mom, only a mother who conceived me as a result of her night job as a commercial sex worker.

 

 

School was toughest, while boys prided themselves in football, catapults, throwing stones, exploration, fighting and automobile toys I was not amongst them. When the girls were preferential on plaiting, manicures, pedicures, dolls, and gossip, I was also not amongst them.

 

 

I was a fence sitter in the world I was born into, and there was nothing I could do about it. I was a loner, sticking to the shadows and the dark corners watching my world all around me crumble into a thousand and one pieces. I was alone physically and emotionally. I knew I was not normal, and therefore never tried to be ordinary. My world was upside down.

 

*

But then normalcy is a figment of human beings imagination, In Africa, elephants and lions at their parks have their lives turned upside down too. Elephants attack their human neighborhoods, destroy their food crops and stumble on anything that stands. Lions escape from the parks and roam the streets like human beings. This is simply man’s doing, elephants are conventional creatures, they follow the same path to the river each day now and fifty years to come. The moment humans develop a road or a fence blocking these creatures from their usual path to the water; these animals feel threatened. What they used to know no longer exists and they are frightened by every aspect of this discovery. Lions take to the streets from Nairobi National Park to Lang’ata and invade human space while elephants leave the Tsavo to the maize and millet plantations annihilating everything in their path.

 

*

Puberty was late. I know this because, at thirteen, the girls had begun whispering and desolating themselves speaking of their first periods. The boys had started lifting weights and staring at each other’s chins waiting for the first beard to sprout. I was in neither of these groups, but I still put on boys clothes.

 

 

At some point at the age of fourteen, depression took over, and I would cry myself to sleep. My mother would wake me up in the middle of the night so that I could stop screaming. Whenever she was at work, I would cry all night long until the neighbors go accustomed to the shrill therefore never came to my aid. I longed for someone to hear my scream and respond, understand what I felt but that never happened because my judgment in this world had been passed, no normalcy would be bestowed on me.

 

 

My mother pulled all strings to make ends meet, and when it was not enough, she pulled more strings until there was no more left. She preached values and Christianity to me with the hope that I would become a better person than her. She applauded good grades and condemned laziness, yet secretly beneath her iron skin and tight eyes, I could see the fear beneath, wondering what exactly to do each time and prompting questions to forces unknown for the mystery bequeathed upon her inexperience.

 

*

 

These wild animals go out on a rampage, the Leopards of Nakuru National Park leave the park to oust life unnecessarily from livestock, draining one after the other of blood then moving on eccentrically. Elephants instill fear on the very core of humankind by stumbling upon a lone farmer working on a lone farm in the rural wild. Elephants go ahead in Botswana raping Rhinoceros and killing them for sport. And the question that prevails is why the world largest and the serenest land mammal is turning into a despicable monster.

 

*

At the age of sixteen, on a weekend doing laundry with my mother, the unexpected occurred. I had my first period. My mother was petrified beyond words and after she directed me on what to do she told me I had to convert into a girl. The woman in me was becoming dominant and claiming human rights perhaps chanting, ‘what a man can do, a woman can do better and in heels.’

 

 

It was horrific. I had grown up being a boy and practicing the values and absence of values in males. You see, I was born with both genders physically. I had always thought myself more of a boy. Mother took me to the hospital where an old lady in spectacles announced the dreaded news that my female organs like the uterus and ovaries were more prominent therefore the objective would be a prescription to reduce the hormone testosterone until I was wholly or almost a girl. I declined the offer and cried a lot. I was determined to remain a boy even in the blink of impossibility.

 

 

The next day we returned to the hospital, and I was prescribed estrogen inhibitors to prevent my girl organs and promote my male organs. The hurdle with this is that the doctor could not determine the results, therefore, I was on my own setting a path full of uncertainty but then who is ever definite when it comes down to life?

 

*

Meanwhile, global warming shifts the marching of the penguins in the Arctic; polar bears face extinction while another series of animals are already extinct. Human beings have their character of being mean and cynical whenever it comes to issues of life and death; therefore, the wild cats are gunned down in the streets by the same people supposed to protect them. The two thousand remaining rhinos in Africa are hunted for their tasks while the elephants are also facing extinction continue to be the most hunted animal in the black continent. This is just a single bit of an illustration of what a little adjustment to routine can do to the world.

 

 

What then was I to make of myself who had my whole life upside down? Writing my rules as I encountered them because there was no Google or YouTube to tell me what to do the morning I woke up and found my sheets drenched in blood, red as crimson. When my mother had enough of the misfortune and decided to consume the same powder used to kill rats herself and leave this world? I was an eighteen-year-old living in Bondeni Slums in Nakuru in a little wooden house just a few meters from the mosque with no one to answer my ever multiplying series of questions hoping that one day it life could be normal.

 

 

I am still not certain whether I will marry a man or a woman or if any will ever accept me. Adversity has taught me better than to be hopeful. I still scream at night, now in a more civilized way where no sound comes out and its more of a soudless hiss. Upside down is my normal and I will serve you at Magnolia Resort in Nakuru as your waiter on the bar, and you really won’t find out that my life is not even a fabrication in your imagination. I will be dressed up as a lady but who cares anyway?

 

 

Upside Down.

 

*

Feature Image by Mukiri Gitiri

 

The Writer:

 

InstagramCapture_51ae2f42-6453-4b96-839b-5e65680bd0c1

Dennis Peters

 

A Day in Nakuru

Just about the time you get to the junction at Bahati that separates those willing to go to Solai and those about to move to Bahati and beyond, the pressure changes and the scent of something very familiar fill your nostrils. Nostalgia kicks in and all you want to do is tell everyone in that Matatu that you were born here, you grew up here, and puberty happened to you in this place, you even had your very first sexual encounter within this region, and there is nowhere you know better than Nakuru. Then, of course, you turn to the person next to you and notice that she are busy playing Candy Crush and do not even give a shit, so you keep your calm.

 

 

Both my sisters studied in this region, both in Bahati Girls, so this junction is very familiar, I never missed any visiting day. Visiting Day meant good food and good drinks like Christmas; I would have been a buffoon to miss any. Last week when I got to this junction traveling from Nyeri to home for the weekend, what was at this conversant junction was a rude shock. A new encounter that sent me into a frenzy of anger and unanswered questions. We had hit a traffic solid wall.

 

 

Kids from the Nairobi are used to traffic. I have friends who plan all their schedules an hour early because of traffic in Nairobi such that it becomes part of them their entire lives, – to be one hour early. Us, people from other places than Nairobi, we do not appreciate traffic delays. We frown when we hear that politicians are having rallies at Afraha Stadium because we know that that is an ordeal that will throw us off our plans and probably waste thirty minutes that we would never be able to recover. We hate guests, and it is not about the guest that makes us hate them it is because we like order and fast flowing traffic.

 

 

I closed the book I was rather enjoying, Blackass by Igoni Barrett courtesy of Kate Njenga. A magnificent book and it is true what they always say about African Literature, once you go African you can never go back. Blackass is a book I would recommend anyone to read. I digress.

 

 

Our driver parks the vehicle beside the road like everyone had done and we begin the wait. I was not sure who we were waiting for because the roads had been cleared but it wouldn’t require a bachelor of science degree to figure out that it was either the president or some egocentric politician who was headed to our town. The wait was uncomfortable; we had been seated in the same matatu for three hours and my ass threw in all sort of complaints about my weight. But an ant has no duty to quarrel with a boot, so we all held on to the shreds of peace we had.

 

 

It was not long until someone in the matatu casually exclaimed that ‘The Prophet of God’ was on route to town that was the reason for all the commotion. Immediately the matatu doors flew open, and people started sweeping the roads and singing praise songs to God. The Prophet Doctor, Awour was the reason for all the fuss.

 

 

Now, let me confess something, I am not a religious person. I try, but I am not, Actually I do not. I am not an evolutionist either; I appreciate Darwin’s work as a scientist, but I see a lot of stupidity in his theories. Truth be said, I do not care much about where we came from really, I am just here to serve my time and go. I appreciate however religious people, I have been on that side of life too. Therefore I know their antics is to preach to me whenever I throw in comments that differ from the good book. However, I have read the good book, and I can tell you a great deal about it. I also know religion is as important to a government as much as a budget because religion stands for order and allegiance to a supreme being who punishes the evil.

 

 

There are things I do not appreciate, one is switching on the T.V and discovering that the person who made me wait beside a road for thirty minutes because he has an escort is busy filling up the airwaves selling hope to the needy and recruiting multitudes to a lifetime of voluntary slavery. I know that I waste a lot of time on the T.V. I watch stupid shows like Young and Hungry. Am I proud of it? No. Do I know if Gaby will ever date the guy that is always hitting on her? No. Do I watch the show because Gaby is entirely hot and blonde? Yes. So, I am not a person who constantly has a full plate of activities, but I would like to have the choice when and when not to waste my time.

 

 

Dr. Awour signifies everything that is wrong with our society today. Yes, I know there is Facebook too but this time I am particular. This generation, all the young people move to the city and big towns to grab opportunities and grab a piece of the large pie we call life. What we do not pay attention to is the population we leave behind, the hundreds that never got to high school or those that quit high school half way in the village, the thousands of our parents with very little education and all they do is plant a few crops, harvest and feed then repeat. The old, who have no one to take care of them and slowly poverty gets to them, and they live one day at a time never knowing when their kids in Nairobi will come back. This is the population that have become devastated with life and therefore it is not a surprise that when a Dr. Awour appears selling false hope and healing poverty and disabilities like he has the almighty on speed dial, the entire flock, flocks behind him and exalts him to a place only God should be.

 

 

I do not have anything against Dr. Awour except stopping me beside a road. In fact, I admire his hustle. Many live to eighty years and beyond with neither an escort nor such a bushy beard. I appreciate that a man got to hustle and bring food to the table, buy like three Range Rovers and use an entire floor of Merica Hotel anytime he is in town. What I do not understand is the hundreds that spend the night outside the same hotel hoping for a miracle to be bestowed upon them because the prophet of the gods is in town. What my very intelligent brain cannot fathom is those sweeping the tarmac for his ‘holiness’ vehicles to pass through.

 

 

Life is tough, hope and faith are what makes the days go smooth and the future look brighter. I might be an ignorant clown behind a laptop, but my eyesight is clear enough to point out our mistakes. Hundreds of you are in the cities and in big towns having a good time with a five-figure salary at each end of the month forgetting the people we know and left in the village. I have been keeping tabs on them so I will tell you what they are doing, they are in Nakuru streets singing Hallelujah and celebrating an early second coming. They are spending a sleepless cold night in the fields in flocks waiting for a miracle from a mean God who will only bless them if they stay awake all night, cold and hungry. They are blinded, not physically but by a baboon beard guy claiming to have God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in a Whats App group.

 

 

The very sight of this desperation hurts me like a bullet. It is better when the callous Al-Shabab terminates life because they do not torture them first and play with their sores then feed them to the mongrels scavenging in the dumpsites. We cannot ban the imprudent prophet from appearing on our airwaves because he has the money to pay for it, we cannot even ban him from gathering people by the thousands to Nakuru in a court of law because the only lawyer I know is Magunga and he kind of quit law for blogging, so we have no hope on that field. What we can do however is visit those we left at home, not even to give them money as much as see them and spend time with them such that they do not go to Dr. Awour charades and deceit gatherings. We can call home and find out how they are doing because I might not believe in God but my belief lies with the people, with each an every one of you. My faith is in humanity.

 

 

That is about all for a weekend in Nakuru. Otherwise, you guys are doing okay?

 

Feature Image by Mukiri Gitiri

 

The Writer:

 

InstagramCapture_51ae2f42-6453-4b96-839b-5e65680bd0c1

Dennis Peters

 

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]

Three Figure Confession- Part Three

 

Three Figure Confession- Part One

Three Figure Confession- Part Two

Father, somehow I have learnt from the school of life, if you really need something and you are determined enough, then nature always conspires to give you your desire. A man like you would call that God. Well, there is this other part when you do not actually need something at all, when you are just minding your business and then BAM! You get text saying that ‘I’m pregnant’. A man like me calls that Satan.

 

 

After I started writing, I built a brand for myself and many knew dennispeters from dennispetersblog. With such kind of an advantage, girls came easy. I quickly learnt the art of confidence and luring a girl to come over for the weekend. It did not take long to get Cheryl to notice me. We walked on the green gardens of Dedan Kimathi University at night and told all kinds of stories, she told me about her Ex-boyfriends who unsurprisingly were rich and older. I was not surprised that she had fallen prey to the rich and elite hyenas of the town just like all the others but I did not care. Cheryl was my redemption, she gave me peace and let me play with her hair. Beggars are not choosers, I had to be contented.

 

 

God was faithful, I asked him for just a girl to spend a night with, and instead he gave me a girl to spend my life with. Cheryl was studying nursing in Dedan Kimathi University. Regularly when we met, she was in those long white coats they have in labs. She was not invested much in her course though, her desire was modelling. Every weekend she had a place to go, somewhere to be and a story for me whenever it ended. I love stories father, and even besides the fact that it is almost an hour since I started telling you mine, more than telling, I love hearing stories. All kinds of stories. It seemed Cheryl had just found all the right buttons to punch, therefore she spoke and I listened.

 

 

She told me about boot camps. You probably do not know anything about a boot camp but just like you guessed, in boot camp there is a lot of naked booty. Boot camps are held the week before a beauty pageant. The models go for a retreat at some expensive hotel both male and female models and they have good food, gym, good time and new seasonal boyfriends as I came to learn much later.

 

 

In one of those events, Cheryl met Mr. Paul. Mr. Paul worked in the county government offices when he was not busy chasing young girls. He drove a Toyota KCE X-Trail during weekends and drunk Johnny Walker Red Label at White Rhino’s lounge during lunch breaks. I never met Mr. Paul. They had an arrangement with Cheryl, my Cheryl, which involved money and sex between the two of them therefore none worth my apprehension. I was not brought to the light about this arrangement until earlier today when I took Cheryl to Outspan Hospital to deliver our new baby girl when she got all teary and mushy.

 

 

Cheryl had a confession. There was a chance the baby was not mine. In fact there was also a chance that the baby was not Mr. Paul’s but I was not listening to that when she lay there on the delivery bed telling me of the four guys who could be the father to our Daisy. I had named her Daisy, Daisy my little pink flower. That did not matter, then I was looking at my life for the past nine months since Cheryl announced to me through a text that she was pregnant. I received the news with a confused mind and a disenchanted soul. How I quit school to make money for our daughter and her lovely mother with gorgeous hair and a skin that reflected the sun like a silver mirror or the moon during Ramadhan. Looking back, she never said, ‘we are pregnant’, she said, ‘I am pregnant’ and I just assumed that I was the father.

 

 

So now father, my confession starts after her confession to me earlier today. After I had heard enough from her, I left my sinful angel on the delivery bed and started walking towards here. On the way here I might have burned Cheryl’s stuff and mauled a Toyota KCE X-Trail. Regrettably, I might have also buried my very large kitchen knife in the throat of a county government worker who usually have shots of Johnny Walker Red Label during lunch breaks at White Rhino’s exquisite Lounge. More than that, I might have painted the exorbitant couches at White Rhino with the distinct color of blood.

 

 

These are my sins father and most of them happened today so there might also be police sirens outside this church hunting for a certain blogger from Nyeri town. Police cannot get me out from confession so let us make them wait a little longer.

 

 

Forgive me father for these are my transgressions.

 

Feature Image by Mukiri Gitiri

 

The Writer:

InstagramCapture_51ae2f42-6453-4b96-839b-5e65680bd0c1

Dennis Peters