This thing called ‘living’ (Surviving?)

Posted: July 5, 2016 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

I watched my younger cousin stagger down the road, most likely heading to the nearest watering hole. His left hand was swollen from a previous brush with thugs. He’s an angry boy. At only 22 he has already lost his father to the bottle and his mother to her own pursuits. My uncle had come home drunk one night, fell on the ground, and hit his head and that was it. My aunty had never cared for the boy much so my father practically adopted him. But still the damage had been done and as African as we are, we all push the pain down and move on. Life is hard enough without constantly trying to sort our ‘issues’. I see myself in him a little. I am angry too; years of pain have made sure I will not leave this life without breaking a few glasses and putting my fist through a few walls. Alas, my being a lightweight when it comes to alcohol tolerance (and for this I thank God daily) I cannot indulge as much. Unlike my cousin, I can’t down a glass of vodka straight from the bottle at a go. I definitely can’t follow that with two pints of local brew at 25 shillings a glass and down it with a bottle of tusker and top it off with a tot of brandy and still stand up and walk or even crawl to the nearest bar. I’m too afraid to risk ending up in a ditch a few yards away from home. I’m too easily embarrassed  to risk losing control at a club and have to be carried home even if it is by my friends whom I love and trust with my life. So I take my anger out on my pillow and I write down the pain in black and white. But it’s not enough, I still feel the monster growling inside me. I pray, I cry, I tell God. I need help sometimes, I think we all do, we just don’t have the time to stop and seek it. I need to meet my deadlines at work, I need to meet up with this friend and that and listen to their problems for a change, I need to silence the voices in my head from time to time or I will get lost in there.

My knack for empathizing with those close to me doesn’t help much. Sometimes, my friend comes to the office frustrated about life in general. Our salaries have delayed again. Landlords don’t want to hear that. KPLC, Nairobi water, other debt collectors all lining up at the doorstep waiting for their dues. He was angry, and justifiably so. By the end of the day I think I was angrier than him. It’s not the first time it has happened and it will not be the last. I’m an emotional sponge, I absorb it all but unlike a sponge, the excess doesn’t drip off. It just stays inside until I let it out but sometimes I just don’t have the time. I still have to drag myself out of bed every morning, walk to the stage 5 minutes away, get on that matatu, get off at the last stage and walk the 10 minutes to work. But not every day is a bad day and those are the days I live for. I get to the office and it’s all smiles and it’s not even pay day, it’s just simply a good day. Those days I sneak glances at him and hope he catches me because his smile kills me every time, like a flipping long glass of crispy cold tusker lite (or passion juice? for the teetotalers) after a long hard day or a long really good day.

We all have similar issues I think, aside from the more common daddy/mommy issues which only the lucky few will ever really solve (since some of us don’t even know we have them). You have the ‘I’m not where I want to be’ issues, the ‘I may be addicted to *insert vice here*’ the ‘Sometimes I just want to die’ issues, the ‘My boss is a complete *donkey*’ issues and the ‘My government is useless and everything is its fault’ issues. Maybe issues are good though. Reminds us of reality, humanity as it were. I don’t think human beings can survive in a world where everything is always awesome. Now that would be weird.  For you who is about to correct me on this; remember how you secretly want to bitch slap that guy/chic who is always so cheery and sunny and smiley at the office looking like he/she walks on clouds, eats rainbows and poops roses? There you have it. And that is why our bodies were created with pain receptors because God knew one day you would stub your toe on the corner of a table or get punched in your face or put your hand through a wall. He knew that one day that boy/girl you thought was the one, yeah the one who could do no wrong, the one you made that halo for, that that same person would take your heart put it through a shredder, take the strips, blend them into pulp, pound it on a chopping board, throw it on the floor and run over it with a steam presser . That is why we are born with the capability to feel hurt and sad and angry. To top it all off, we are born with the relentless urge to survive in spite of all this, otherwise we would have all at one point or another, downed that bottle of pills, driven off that cliff, walked onto that highway during rush hour, made that belt into a noose or blown our brains off with that unregistered gun and the human race would be extinct. Unfortunately some have; I cannot judge them nor explain why but for those of us who still find a reason to get up in the morning and even more to be grateful for it I say, ‘Well done’. As much as there is terror and the potential for it round every corner, there will always be something to live for, someone we cannot imagine leaving behind and that, well that has to be worth something.


  1. Joseph says:

    Awesome….that drinking part…and that ,,*my issues part*… you got talent…hold that pen tight…

    Liked by 1 person

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