This post has nothing to do with location.
Today I turned 25…quarter century. Mid-twenties. I used to laugh at people in their mid-twenties, it sounded so far away. An 18-year old I know laughed out loud when I told her my age. Karma. It’s an unreal feeling if I linger on it. I suddenly see the conventional leering at me with its girlfriends, weddings and family. Anyway, those are details.
Today I wish I could go back, to when it was simple.
To when we used to watch this guy and his iconic eye bugs. He since passed away.
And when we used to go fiddle with the TV aerial on Friday to watch Lois and Clark; learning that spectacles are a fantastic disguise, what a simple lie. Simple lies for simple times.
The past was so simple. I used to be entertained by this woman:
That’s Supergran, in case you don’t remember. I’l give you another try just in case your TV used to be locked even on weekends:
I wish I could go back to when the only care I had in the world is that my mum wouldn’t find me sitting with the mandazi lady on the road home from school, keeping her company and getting mandazi in return. It was so simple.
Today, I would wonder why the mandazi lady is taking such interest in my 3 year old nephew, I would warn him against strangers. There is unmentionable perversion to worry about these days, you don’t let random strangers hold your kid in the matatu, the way random strangers used to let us sit in their laps when the 14-seater matatu was packed with 20 people.My mum did eventually expose my sordid affair of roadside pastry and cooking fat with the mandazi vixen, and that was the my first LEGENDARY ICONIC beating. I cried so much, I had sniffles, I think they’re called….you know how as a kid in tears, you could only stammer and gasp for breath because you were wailing.
Mum: Ati what will you do from now on? (raising the mwiko)
Me: I’ll go st-st-st straight h-hooome
This memory still cracks my sisters up because they were glued to their front seats for the whole performance.
Life was so simple. I remember how I would run off to the railway lines, something else I wasn’t allowed to do. I used to run there with my neighbors the 3 brothers, Jimmy, Mkanzi and Joseph. They had another brother Shikoli, but he used to be a loner. He never joined us, and he never spoke either. I dont’ think he was let very far from home because he was ‘strange’, in retrospect, he was mentally disabled. I remember as a kid wondering why he never used to talk yet he was bigger than all of us. And on Sunday, I used to sit in their sitting room watching Ramayan. I still remember the guy that looked like a monkey. He was scary. Consult your local Hindu for a refresher on the stories of these gods.
I remember Wakesho walking me home, she was in standard 2, and an only child. She lived with her mum in a very neat house, and she didn’t seem to have a dad. I really wonder what happened to her, because even now I remember how nice she was, such a kind heart. An 8-year old walking me home, walking me and my 5 year old massive head. I only outgrew it when I was 13. I would love to meet Wakesho now. If you know Wakesho that used to live/lives in Satellite, please seriously let me know. I was only 5, I didn’t know people had 2nd names.
I wish I could go back to when disease and sickness was a foreign concept. When comas were on TV. When you would be left in the carpark at Kenyatta or Nairobi Hospital because kids weren’t allowed into hospitals. (Are they now?)
I wish I could go back to when I didn’t understand chivalry. When this guy with brand new boots came to see my sister with flowers. I remember her throwing the flowers away after he left. Marvin, that’s what happened to your flowers, just in case your mid 30-year-old self reads this.
I wish I could go back to the first time I bought someone flowers, and how the waiter at Java gave them to the wrong person – it was meant to be a surprise. I guess someone got surprised, I always think maybe whoever it was really needed flowers.
I wish I could go back to the time I didn’t know what it meant to break a heart and worse to break trust and to experience the same.
I wish I could go back to the first time I felt intimidated by the person who saved me from my early 20/21 year old self. I shudder when I think about the mess our meeting helped me avoid. I still remember the wittiest thing that she ever said ‘ Blue band is one molecule away from plastic’ I think that’s the funniest thing someone has ever said to me.
I’m a quarter century, I don’t know why I am considering going back to wearing my loop, and get a piercing or 3 and maybe a tattoo.
You only live once.