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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Men who do dishes

men doing dishes

I have always found it improper for men to do dishes. It is like using a whole transit lorry, those that are fond of that Gilgil route, very large, very old and very slow, carrying containers written MAERSK, a word I cannot even pronounce, is it an initial? Anyway, unless you have been on that Nakuru – Nairobi highway, you do not get it. It is like that huge truck with that enormous container being used to deliver a single tiny package, say, an infinix phone. It just ain’t right.

All I am trying to put across is that men are born and raised of mettle, their bodies are essentially metal built. When we were young we were often told not to cry like girls and I never not once wanted to be a girl so I never cried. One day I fell from mom’s boutique which was on the second floor in a certain town, Nyandarua County, I rolled over and over down the stairs and even as I went down I knew I would not die or cry. I was not a girl. So I survived. Not a single tear was shed, actually there was, much much later when mom had told me sorry a hundred times and constantly asked if I was okay. Point is I cried because of sentiments not pain. I was not a girl.

But men should not do dishes at all. Have you ever imagined doing that Bachelor of whatever you are doing in school for four dramatic years, I call them dramatic because campus is like Hollywood too much drama of people trying to be who they are not – actors, but that is a story for another day. Then after you are done and graced in a six figure ceremony later you end up updating Internet Explorers for companies for people like us computer scientists. Or running a Kibanda for our School of Business brothers and many sisters. Your talents and achievements have been misused, washed down a dirty gutter leaving you naked and humiliated.

The other day I was coming home from school and my neighbour was doing the dishes outside. The dishes were so many and to add on that he had his kid tied to his back. Any good person would have wanted to help out, take the baby or something but I am no Mother Teresa, I just watched a little then ran to my house to type this story. So there he was scratching a sufuria and turning it round and round, poor sufuria. You could even tell from a distance away that that sufuria was in anguish. Now, this guy is one of those big guys who probably used to play rugby in high school then stopped. He has a very large stature and big hands. I would like to imagine that his kid could comfortably sleep on his palm and turn comfortably! He is huge like that.

I wanted to ask him where his wife was but then that would be wrong, suppose he asked me what I needed his wife for? No. I am very well endowed with martial arts but not enough to face a giant carrying a baby, plus, those large hands would probably snap my neck aimlessly and I would lie there trying hard not to cry – like a girl. My option was only staring, no one can ask you for staring at them unless they are women. Women feel insecure when you stare at them, they will wonder if they have white hair or green kales on their teeth, and if they do they will mock you for stalking. Piece of advice, leave them alone, do not say shit, let someone else do that on your behalf, okay?

The thing with men is that they have got so much energy, energy that can work an entire day in a construction site and come out unfatigued. Hands that can dig or type the whole day and finish without any blisters. It is therefore undermining when we are asked to do dishes. We do not say it but it is true. We will not do it as aimlessly as ladies do. Ladies have a way with dishes that just speak volumes of ease. They will grab that pan gently and scratch it like they are friends, like they have known each other for a while and the pan will assent to be cleaned and the end result is magnificent. I cannot do nothing like that, I have always thought the harder you scratch the cleaner it becomes, No?

I later learnt that Mr big hands had annoyed his girlfriend (not married) the previous night and she had left without the baby and with a whole bunch of dirty dishes lying there. She should have at least done the dishes, don’t you think? Now it may appear as if am quite fond of gossip but I learnt not to cry but never to say NO to a good story. Decent tales add spice to the day, gossip or not, plus the government have always suggested Nyumba Kumi, this is my way of contributing. If Jay was caught red-handed cheating – I want to know, you remember Jay from Moving Out. He was busy with another lady when another lady showed up, dammit! Chuck your phone and take the video and when I come home from school we will share these videos, pity where we have to and laugh a lot even when it is superfluous.

Neighbours are imperative as though it may seem. I remember the first day I had come to Nyeri from Nakuru, the red sticky soil had assailed me quite often and I had to watch how people walk in order not to slip. Hilly and muddy never thought I could one day walk comfortably. But life is all about learning, I bought better shoes, adopted better walking style which lowered my centre of gravity and I owned this place like a bad behaviour. Now Nakuru is a strange place but Nyeri is home. They say a lot about it on the media but those are just outsiders, inside we laugh, eat, sleep and talk the same language and when Chania River, Muringato River, Zaina River and Sagana River continue to flow around us, we feel safe and are one with the flow.

Dennis Peters

Dennis Peters