I hate having to work on a Saturday. I hate it more than I hate Jimmy Gait’s fashion sense. It doesn’t help that it is only once a month that I am expected to report to work on a weekend. This is because the Friday nights before such Saturdays my friends always come up with such enticing, irresistible plans. This makes being at work the following day a dreadful experience. More dreadful than being tied to a chair and forced to watch KBC for four few hours.
It is Saturday morning as I write this. I am seated on my desk and my head feels so heavy I am considering going for a CT scan. I am wishing I could detach my head from my body and place it on the table so it can leave me in peace. I had to be punctual today because I suspect my boss has me on close watch. Last month while I was meant to be working I happened to be 130kms away making merry in Embu. My boss found out that I was AWOL so if it happened again I will be kicked me out of this company.
Luckily there’s not much to do today and I hope it stays that way because my mind is not with me. I am actually on autopilot. At least I get to keep myself busy by typing away. That way if my boss had set up a spy camera in the office, I will still appear to be an industrious, committed employee.
Having been out for the better part of the night, I had been operating on energy saving mode since I woke up this morning. Even as I headed to work the only thing that would have attracted my attention was if someone set me on fire, or if I came across a freaking Range Rover limousine. Yep, this morning while coming to work I saw this gorgeous, out of this world Range Rover limousine!
This car (or should I say automobile) was sparkling white and spotless. It looked like it had spent the better part of the morning in a sauna. The way it was gleaming I suspect it had been massaged with Nivea body lotion. The windows were tinted to provide the occupants with their well deserved privacy. That’s a smart move because if I were to see an acquaintance being driven in a Range Rover limousine I would catch up with the ride in traffic, go over and knock on the window and beg him/her to let me in.
Okay maybe that wouldn’t have turned out too well since there was police escort just in case a crazy man tried to cause disturbance.
I saw the ride and I was like bloody hell am I seeing right… did someone spike my tea… did CMC start making Range Rover buses… oh wait is that a Range Rover limousine! Are the Cash Money Brothers in Kenya… In short, Joey was transfixed. The sight of its sheer beauty wiped all traces of sleep from my head. I am sure this is how I looked as it passed.
Some random guy took a photo of the ride at NPC Karen and posted it on twitter. This ride is so awesome I wouldn’t be surprised if the newlyweds will be having their after party and honeymoon inside it. If I happened to set foot in that car they would have to tow me out.
The Range apparently it costs 50K an hour to hire! In the future, whenever the couple fights and things get ugly, it’s not the vows that will keep them together but the memories of the ride they took in that limousine, and the money they spent on it. One of them will go like, “mama/baba nani, before you pack your bags, do you remember how much it cost us to hire that limo on our wedding day? Unless they can refund our money there’s no way we’re getting a divorce.”
If I owned that car I would live in it. Then instead of spending so much on rent I would only be paying parking fees. Heck I wouldn’t even need an office. I would report to work but perform my duties from the car. If anyone needed me, my office would be conveniently situated in the basement parking.
That car can probably drive itself and I have a feeling it can even engage you in a conversation. I imagine when you’re bored it tries to cheer you up and says something like:
“Sir you look gloomy today, would you like to hear an interesting story?”
“Sure go ahead.”
“You won’t believe the cat fight I witnessed last night on the streets. Boy didn’t those chicks tear each other apart. One had her weave ripped right out of her head.”
“C’mon man why didn’t you wake me up?”
“I tried sir but you were passed out.”
“At least tell me you recorded a video.”
“Oh crap I should have thought of that, shouldn’t I?”
“At times you’re so dumb it hurts.”
“That’s a mean thing to say sir.”
“Just shut up and take me home, will you?”
“You mean your parking space right?”
Okay guys I will head on home now before I infect you with my psychiatric disorder. It is half past noon and I am starting to hallucinate. I can see my bed giving me suggestive looks. Thank God I have the week’s post because if I get into that bed this afternoon I might just wake up on Monday morning. This boy is heading home to sleep.
Whenever I’m visiting my parents I brace myself for two things: The first is overfeeding – I get to test the elastic limit of my stomach every time I go home. The second is dealing with that biting cold. It gets so cold there if you stay in one position for too long you risk turning to ice.
If my mom gets wind that I will be visiting, she excuses the house help and takes over the kitchen. She prepares the food herself. And she knows that I am a bit challenged when it comes to matters cooking so she makes enough for me to take home. Today I came home with so many chapatis and enough pilau to last me a couple of days. My fridge even sounds different today. It sort of grunts when I only have tomatoes in it. Today it’s humming.
My folks reside in Ngong. It gets spitefully cold in my neck of the woods. If geologists were to dig a little bit deeper, they would ascertain that Ngong is in the polar regions. You can cover yourself with three blankets and still search for a sweater. In fact, getting into bed is like stepping into a cold shower. You prep yourself mentally before getting in between those sheets. At night, the beddings are as cold as frozen chapati.
Ngong is a great place though. The air is fresh and the environment is serene. When we moved there it was not half as developed as it is today. Our nearest neighbor was like three football pitches away. I remember asking my big bro if there could be cheetahs roaming that area. I thought we’d moved to the wilderness. It would be the last time I would ever see things like roller skates again. For the first time I saw kids playing with those homemade paper balls. Some of the natives looked at us like we were E.T. But we soon got neighbors from the estates. And I could see the culture shock on the kids’ faces when they realized Ngong was no estate.
I got many neighbors that were about the same age as I was. Soon we were a clique. For the boys, as we grew older our favorite past time changed from climbing trees to chasing girls. Back then I didn’t fare too well when it came to charming the cuties. I was tiny, shy and I always seemed to say the wrong things. I didn’t know that girls like to be flattered and I would come up with all sorts of awkward lines like, “Look, you’re shoes look like mine!” or “Those matutas on your head make you look like Medusa.”
We’re all grown up now. We’re all caught up in varied livelihoods, each one of us chasing our own dreams and ambitions. We do not get to see each other as often. Some have stepped up and started families. Occupation has also proven to be a mean wedge. Our ‘base’ is no more. Base was the place the boys met up and shared stories.
At times I go for long without visiting my hood. There’s even a time I went home and the watchman refused to let me in! As I was trying to open the gate from outside an intimidating voice from the other side demanded to know who I was. I gave him my name and he was like, “Unataka nini?” I told him that I lived there and he was like how come I’ve never seen you before. I realized it was not a drill so I stepped back lest he chops my hand off as I insist on opening the gate.
At some point I gave up trying to negotiate with him and I took out my phone to call my dad and that’s when he let me in, probably fearing that I would put him in trouble. But even after opening the gate he escorted me to the door and he did not turn back until he heard my mom shouting with excitement. Luckily it was not the house help that opened the door. Any sign of hesitation would have seen the watchman drive an arrow through my temple. I wonder if it’s the same guy that was on duty when thugs attacked my folks and made away with my mom’s laptop in the middle of the night. He was probably all braggadocio because I am small and I don’t look like I can slaughter a chicken.
Anyway, I am a different person when I get into my parents’ house. I compose myself and I act like the person I was meant to be when I grew up. I do this out of reverence toward my parents. I do not leave anything to chance. I never take my calls in the living room. I excuse myself and walk to my bedroom when my phone rings. Once I picked a friend’s call while seated next to my dad and the bugger on the other side was in a noisy club shouting, “Dude hebu bring your black ass to town asap these drinks are not going to drink themselves!” Of course I acted puzzled and hung up claiming that it was a wrong number.
My dad engages me in intelligent discussions. I sure hope I come off as intelligent after all the money he spent on my fees. My mom is always marveling at her newest gadget. This weekend it was her newly acquired smartphone that runs ICS OS! Mind you she is like 55 years old. You should see how excited she was about her new acquisition. The features puzzled her and she had like a thousand questions which I patiently answered. Some I answered twice… or thrice. I wouldn’t be surprised if I go home in the future and I find her DJ-ing on the decks with Beats by Dre headphones hanging over her head.
In other matters, why is it that only two religions have celebrations that are marked internationally as holidays? Our brothers and sisters who are into Buddhism, Judaism and any other -ism out there out to campaign to have their religious festivals celebrated globally. We need more of these holidays.
Eid Mubarak to all our Muslim brothers and sisters!
Dear readers, Joey is constipated. He has been since last week. It’s so serious a vein is about to pop on his temple. Okay don’t get disconcerted yet; my bowels are fine, it’s my mind that is not. See over the past week I have been unable to translate my thoughts into writing. A week ago I had what could possibly be the best weekend of my life and I thought I had a wonderful story to share until I placed my fingers on the keyboard and my mind froze on me. It was extremely frustrating. The only person that can possibly relate to what I was going through is Pamela Jelimo. In the Olympic 800m finals she thought she had it until her legs faltered.
Last week, on my Facebook fanpage I promised to post something midweek and on Monday evening I took out my laptop hoping to bang a few words. Sad thing is, I couldn’t even finish the first paragraph. At least Jelimo seemed promising in the first lap. I was not hard on myself that evening. I actually empathized with myself. I was like, “It’s okay Joey don’t be depressed. That happens once in a while when one is exhausted. It doesn’t make you less of a man”. So I put my laptop away and hopped into bed; I still had Tuesday.
Like Jelimo, I thought I’d put up a strong performance on the last lap. She’s done it before and so have I. On Tuesday last week I excused myself from work early since I wasn’t feeling so good. I spent the whole afternoon in bed, woke up at 7pm and had my lunch/supper, then switched on my laptop. Unfortunately, the cycle repeated itself. My mind simply refused to function. I felt like that ass (I could have used the word ‘donkey’ but I am not so proud of myself)… So I felt like that ass that obdurately stops in the middle of the road and refuses to move an inch.
On the second lap, not only was the Russian closing in fast on Jelimo, but the finish line seemed to be moving further away the closer she got to it. She could feel the gold slipping out of her fingers. And that ‘Oh shit I’m screwed’ look she had on her face, Joey knows it too well.
After the Russian whooshed past Jelimo and went for gold, our athlete must have thought she could still get the silver. Likewise, on Wednesday (it was my day off) I knew I wouldn’t be able to post in the morning but I thought I would have something by midday. But all I had were hard, dry thoughts that were refusing to come out. I pushed and pushed but nothing came out. It hurt like a b!@#$. I was so angry and frustrated.
There’s a scene in the movie 8 Mile where Eminem walks to the stage and after being handed the microphone he chokes on seeing a myriad of frenzied eyes staring at him. He does not utter a single line and what follows are jeers and callous remarks of derision. In my mind I could actually hear those hushed curses from my audience. The same way Eminem turned away from his audience, I couldn’t bear to look at my stats over the course of last week. I was embarrassed. For the first time I hoped that people would just forget about Joeytales for a week.
I was a troubled lad and on Friday I considered ditching the pen. I told my colleague that I didn’t think I could keep this blog going. His response, “You don’t have to write.” I liked that remark. It was exactly what I wanted to hear. I am not paid to do this. Joey and Joeytales do not share an oath.
In the wee hours of Saturday morning, I lay awake in bed. Sleep had deserted me at around 4am. And as stared into the unnerving darkness, it dawned on me that I cannot quit writing because it’s something I love to do. I thought about the wonderful romantic moments my mind and fingers have shared. I realized that writing to me is like a fulfilling romantic relationship. Even in the best of relationships there are those moments when partners do not see eye to eye. Regardless, more often than not they share delightful moments that leave them breathless. Moments they wouldn’t trade for anything.
I enjoy writing. I am always laughing with my laptop. I could be busy typing away when a thought crosses my mind and I just burst out. There are times I even question my sanity. There are times when my mind thinks of something so silly my fingers blush as they type. My mind and fingers just need to tie the knot already. This relationship is not about to be broken!
Thing is, I act on whims. I do not always finish things that I start. Being a tech guy there are countless times when I’ve made a resolution to teach myself a new skill, gotten myself tools and tutorials and even made a schedule, but deviated a few days later. I thought about blogging many days before I got me a blog. I wondered if it was just a whimsical endeavor. But when I made up my mind to blog, I made a pact with myself that I would keep it running for at least one year.
When it comes to blogging, as much as I enjoy writing, I do it for the masses. I am like that greedy pastor who revels at seeing his congregation grow week after week. One day I might just pull an Esther Mwende on you people. Anyway in about 10 months this blog has managed to attract a small gathering. Hundreds of loyal fans drop by every week. I cannot bear to disappoint you guys.
On my first week of blogging I was expecting to get about 100 views. To my surprise, at the end of the first day my first post had 354 views. That week the blog attracted about 800 viewers. I was elated. I thought I was right on track. I felt like that shaky, amateur artist who gets onto the stage for the first time but performs so beautifully he leaves the audience in awe. But the only reason I got so many views was because I had left a comment on a popular blog and people were curious to see what I had to offer. I took a shortcut.
There was a dip in the week that followed. The total views didn’t even get to 400. In fact, in the weeks that followed, I would get less than half the views I got on my first week. I was frustrated. But at the same time I was pleased to see that there were a few people that actually thought that I was doing a great job.
Presently, on a good day I will come up with something brilliant that will be shared across the social media and attract scores of readers. But that does not happen too often. I am never on a winning streak. It’s all hills and valleys up in Joeytales. On average, my views are still in the hundreds. I appreciate those among you that drop by week after week. I am not going to quit on you.
Last week on Friday I was introduced to this awe-inspiring blog. 5pm rarely finds me on my desk on Fridays but at 5:30 I was still seated with my eyes fixed on my laptop screen. The writer of this blog calls herself Noelle and I had been reading her blog posts all afternoon .She is brilliant. Her writing is sublime. She seems to have the right word for everything and her imagery is unmatched.
At some point I even felt like Noelle is misplaced. I am not sure she belongs in the blogosphere with the likes of Joeytales. To paint the picture vividly, I would say she is like that graceful violin maestro that dresses the part and plays gloriously before a stupefied audience. The audience gets lost in her music as they watch her performance. On the other hand, Joey is that guitarist in dirty jeans and a t-shirt written ‘U Dig Me?’ playing a guitar that’s a little out of tune. In short, Noelle humbled me. Thinking about it now, I am more energized to improve the standards of this blog.
I just realized this post is a little too long. In summary, Joey seems to have lost his mojo. But I have a strategy. I will look for Jelimo and the rest of the Kenyan athletes that performed dismally at the Olympics and we will sit together for a group therapy session. We will appoint David Rudisha as our therapist. I imagine I’ll be sitting somewhere in the circle and as guys introduce themselves my turn will come and they will stare at me because they’ve never seen my face and I do not look like I can run for shit. And I’ll politely introduce myself and make them understand that as much as I’m not as prominent as they are, I can relate to what they are going through. I imagine the ever modest Rudisha would say something like, “Guys don’t beat yourselves up too much. In life, sometimes you win and sometimes you fall. When you fall, you to dust yourself, you ngarisha your fiatu and you work on improving yourself.”
PS: I put up a few photos on my Facebook fanpage that summarize the story that is causing the tension between my mind and fingers. You can always like the page and get updates.