Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nairobi Dating: Shreds of tenderness.....

“Mannu are you gay?”

The questioned only warranted a hearty laugh from me. I just threw back my head, hand in the pocket and laughed. No qualm was felt because the accuser was a friend.

This was the first gay slur of the night, another was on the way. And I took it easy.

Often from lunch together with her or I typing and reciting a poem for her in the quiet office had culminated into the diatribe, and more friendly others. That is why I just shrugged it off lightly like water off a duck’s back.

Mannu, the first time I saw you I thought you were from Turkana (That’s kind, the last one said Kordofan). Dear you are so backwards (I know because am always infront of you). I can never marry you (So you were even contemplating it).

That was how we shared the jabs, and the two gay slurs came about yesterday in a Nairobi dating which we had on a road.

The major ball of contention between us was her always keeping on me to leave the office earlier.  She badly wanted my escort, which was ok. She wanted to evade the high fares, fine with me. And most serious was that her mother wanted he home early, which I didn’t mind.

But after an incessant nagging for me to hurrying up I would be forced to cut short my inveterate internet proclivities to go home with her.  

I would be rushed from the office to the lift, but immediately on ground floor she would change.

“Mannu, there is no need for the hurry let’s just stroll” she curtsied taking my arms tenderly.

And I would feel thoroughly irked; the erstwhile busy girl suddenly had the all time in the world while I had been cut from internet.

“Your mother called and we are going to catch the mercurial fare so let’s roll” I replied waltzing her around the parked cars, human and traffic jam to the bus stop.

The first matatu shouting our route number would be a welcome. Her idea of a little street chit chat (Mannu you are so silent) wasn’t taken lightly. With my arms under her armpits we boarded, not taking any chance with the mercurial Nairobi bus fares.

“Are you ignoring me? You are so silent.” My standard reply was to point at the speakers right above us (They are bursting dear, we won’t communicate).

That was how it was for the past three months of internship, but yester-night to finish her stint she caught me flat footed.

Yesterday I wasn’t hurried out of the office, no. She gave me a free rein on the computer as I enjoyed Def Jam poetry and Maya Angelou reciting her verses on the Youtube.

As we strolled to the bus stop without the customary waltzing my silence infuriated her to the first gay slur?

My laughter was suddenly arrested by her eyes boring into me like red point of a laser before the trigger of a M16 is pulled. Other bystanders looked at my ears curiously for a stud.

“You have ignored me for three months” she accused me coldly. More commuters, now attracted by her fuming looked at my ears Dr. Willy Mutunga style.  She reached into her hand bag for her ‘street shoes’ and bandana to protect her hair against the dust, ignoring everyone.

“We are going for a long walk and we need to talk, no matatu today” she hissed.

Say what! I have the fare girl, I will pay today. C’mon Nairobi girls shouldn’t be walking. It’s 7 o’clock, just look at the watch dear it’s late. Anyway you complain that I always walk too fast for you.

“Follow me” the girl we will call, not her real name, Dorothy commanded.  Hell hath no fury. I obliged knowing I didn’t need nuclear science to know I was in a hot soup.

For philosophical digression; never taunt, because you can’t miss, a missile from a woman. And when the hunter turns the hunted from a wounded prey with a bruised ego, then he won’t go far.

The dearth in my part with Dorothy was her need to bolster her ego since except me, all the men including two fellow internees, had had their heart in her hands. I was not keen to join the queue from a kilometer away.

I survived her with my silence and mature deep furrowed face which made her open up about her office mishaps. You see when you are silent with an ear for conversation you tend to hear more that what you bargained for, but back to last night….

A tall lean figure (me) and a petit diminutive girl hand-in-hand strolled from Ronald Ngala, past Nairobi River to Kariokor Market past Ngara (With passengers and motorists staring at us). Amid the evening traffic she deftly hanged on my arms all the way to Pangani (where I flatly refused to go any further).

We haggled a truce; I badly wanted to be home (without her) even though she hinted about being this  being her last night before heading back to college.

To glean what we talked about, I let her rumble on about the details of men in a confined office messing up their egos. I wasn’t keen into jumping the bandwagon of her dating history.

The second gay slur came when I told Dorothy she was like a little sister to me. I shrugged it off as I boarded a matatu home. Without an option with my determination she followed me in at the last row seats.

“I had to survive, all those old men beating down on me I just need to be crafty to avoid the dustbin” she said as the matatu pulled out (The office talk was just that, office talk).

 I felt her pain, nothing sucks like amoral incessant of men suffering from mid-life crisis and still watching porn on their phones on a ego trip.

“I had a beautiful siz in you, I treasure the memories” I assured her, which was badly needed.

“I hope you won’t judge me”

“I didn’t, even though I knew what was happening, I won’t start judging you now”

“I will miss you Mannu, am leaving for college tomorrow”

“Good luck dear”

“Good luck”

She gently stroked the hair on my hand as other passengers looked uneasily. We didn’t care.

That was 9.58pm yesterday night, as I and Dorothy went to the estate together for the last time.

But now as I type this on office computer, the wailing sailing emptiness of her absence haunts. This nest has suddenly grown small, fellow internees have grown wings, and Dorothy was the last.

She went with a piece of my heart, in shred of tenderness of Nairobi night dating…. 

1 comment:

  1. hehehe great read. ua descriptive powers r incredible. u sound like u r regreting...