Posts Tagged ‘in my head’

Superman saved me that night; he came in through the window. I didn’t even know I had left it open.I knew it was him because I heard a slight whoosh when he glided in. Plus,he had a cape and I don’t think those are in fashion yet. I live on the fifth floor, the house in the corner with the red door. All other houses had black doors. I painted it myself. The landlord threw a fit when he saw the *wet paint,do not touch*sign I had stuck on the wall but I think it was the smell of freshly baked brownies that really made him ring the door bell. By the time we were on the fifth piece of chocolate goodness it was all laughs from the bad puns. He asked for a wet wipe for his red finger tips, ‘next time,read the sign man’ I said as I ushered him out of my big red door. That was the last time I ever spoke to him face to face but I’d always get the usual monthly email reminder when rent was due. I preferred it that way, no need to get too social with people who you are in business agreements with.

When his wife was sick, I baked brownies and made cheesy shrimp pasta and took it over. He wasn’t home. That month I didn’t receive the email, he probably wrote it and forgot to hit send. I paid my rent on time either way.

Superman came into my bedroom; well, the space that is my bedroom in my dainty studio apartment. He took the knife from my hand and bent it halfway. He looked in shock at the blood dripping from my hands. I will save you,he said and whipped his cape to the side. Another whoosh.  I’m making blood sausage (mutura), you can stay for some if you want. I had just gone into the bedroom to check on the window, just in time too. Sorry about the knife, let me just bend it back,yes? He said as he got cozy on my couch, took the remote and flipped the channels. Guess what program he lands on; Justice league; narcissistic much?

Wonder Woman saved my life that night. I had left my kitchen window open. I really should put a child lock on those things. She took the rope from my hand and threw it out the window. The goat was watching silently in the corner and jolted past us soon as the rope hit the ground. Thankfully the red door was locked so it just sat downdown infront of it dejectedly . I’ve never heard a goat sigh but I’m sure that was the sound the poor thing made. We’ll have to use your lasso to tie him up or he’ll get poop everywhere. My bad, didn’t know the rope was for him, WonderWoman said sadly. She carried the goat with such ease and walked to the balcony. She took the lasso off her belt and tied the goat onto the rails. She stood there for a bit and just gazed at the clear sky. I never thought superheroes got sad. I think you could use a hug. I whispered as I took her in my arms and squeezed. She cried on my shoulder, her tears stung like hot acid. Ok that’s enough, I only have the one layer of skin. I make bad jokes in uncomfortable emotionally intense situations. Go keep superman company on the couch, the blood sausage will be ready in no time. I told her and ushered her into the living room.She walked to the living room space, said a flat hello to Superman and sat down on a pillow farthest from the alien man. I wondered what that was about. I divided the mutura; half for me and half for the barbecue the tonight. The Home Owners Association in my apartment building throw a party biannually. That’s when you get to meet the big wigs; private developers,real estate gurus,the kind that own half of the ground you walk on; corner office CEOs and other forms of gold toothed business moguls. They hand you their glossy matte-laminated cards and flash empty smiles, there is no soul in those eyes,just tinted windows. We are together you know, tuko pamoja, they say as they whiff past you to the open bar.

I prefer staying behind the grill,feeding their thirsty stomachs; shoving juicy,meaty goodness down their hungry throats. The blood sausage is divine Anike,they tell me as they go for another piece. I take a few plates and serve the watchmen, I give them the best cuts. After all they let me bring in the goats and chicken for the barbecue among other things. They even help me tie them onto the rails on my balcony and feed them if I’m not around. They also water my precious herbs when I’m away.

Superman and Wonder Woman make an entrance. Together. I guess they made up. Superman in a black tuxedo and wonder woman in a long cocktail dress. A bit much for a barbecue but you know aliens and their big gestures. They immediately become the life of the party telling and retelling the story of how they saved the girl in the apartment with the red door. The one who makes the brownies? The barbecue expert? I let them have their moment,they probably really need it. Time for dessert! I move to the dessert table. There are a few cakes, truffles,a three layer pie and my signature brownies. I have to make sure everyone takes just one otherwise there was going to be a riot. I put in extra chocolate and more than just a dash of my secret ingredient.I grow my own herbs. Everyone always asks what herb I use specifically. If I tell you it won’t be a secret anymore would it? I say with a chuckle. I served every piece with a generous pouring of hot fudge, a scoop of French vanilla ice cream and a spray whipped cream around it. I get a knowing smile from each person as they leave the dessert table. They’ve all tasted my brownies before but it’s always a new experience each time. That should hold them over for a while. I say to the other servers and walk back to the grill.

2am and the party was still lit. Second round of meat, drinks and dessert was underway. Superman and Wonder Woman were seated by the bonfire. Wonder woman’s legs stretched out towards the fire, the slit on her dress coming up to her ample thighs. She had a curious tatoo running from her left ankle up and disappearing graciously into her dress. Focus! Don’t burn the meat Anike! She smiles my way, I wink and smile back. Your rack of ribs is almost ready! I shout to her. Don’t forget your special barbecue sauce! She shouts back. She drinks that stuff like juice. That woman can eat. I love it!

The Green Lantern saved my life that night. When I heard the whoosh, at first I thought maybe superman had gone up to use the bathroom. He never just walks anywhere that one. The green, glowing alien knocked the lighter fluid out of my hands and took the lighter from my other hand. Fine then, you can light the fire yourself. I snapped at him and walked away. He came after me, swooshed in front of me on a green skateboard. Sorry Anike, I lit your fire,better get to it before it goes out again. Sorry for snapping at you, I told him and pointed to where the other aliens were seated. He turned the skateboard into green roller blades and rolled over to them. This guy with his antics, sha!

Dawn crept up on us like a teenager sneaking back home from a party she/he was forbidden to attend. As the first rays of the sun hit the ground, everyone kind of paired up with whomever was closer and headed for whoever’s home was closest. I called cabs for a few,including Mrs. Maanake.I was wrapping up the last of the meat for one of the guests to take home when her and her partner for the night walked up to the grill. Would you mind holding on to these and calling one of your cab guys for me please. She smiled as she handed me the man’s car keys. Mrs. Maanake lived on the fourth floor with her husband. Sometimes before he took his usual long business trips,he’d come up and ask if I could check up on her once in a while. She gets lonely you know,he’d say. Of course,tell her she can come over anytime. We’ll bake brownies,share recipes,you know,girl stuff. I’d tell him and somehow that gave him peace of mind. Convinced him that his wife would still be his and his alone when he got back. Let me know when you’ll be coming to pick them,I tell Mrs. Maanake as I put the keys in my jeans pocket. You are such a gem Anike. She smiles and goes back to smooching the gentleman by her side.I know I’ll get the full lowdown when she gets back. I don’t know why she shares stories of her escapades with me or why I look forward to hearing them every time. I guess I like to live vicariously through her.

The aliens waved from a distance signalling that they were about to take off too. Are you sure you can fly in that, Wonder Woman? I ask her pointing to her beautiful dress and stilettos. You are a funny woman Anike. She shouts back and whoosh! All three of the them disappear into the night’s sky.

The watch-men help me clear up what’s left and carry the grill to my place. Thanks guys and good day. Good day Miss. Anike. I go into the kitchen, get a tub of pistachio ice cream, a large spoon and collapse on the couch. I was still riled up from the excitement of the night so I knew I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep for a while. So I just sat down, music playing in the background and fantasized about all the superheroes in my life; saving me even when I’d never admit I need saving.

The lit mosquito coil scent soothes me believe it or not. It reminds me of days gone by,  a past I cannot get back and part of which maybe I wouldn’t even want to get back. Some find it choking or simply irritating, backward even.

‘Can’t you get one of those plug-in mosquito repellents?’ one would ask as they see me unfolding the metallic holder.

‘Or maybe even a net?’ another would ask as they saw me struggle to separate two coils so gently so they wouldn’t break in half (that was a very valuable skill back in my day). You wouldn’t want to break a coil in pieces and have your mother scold you about how you now want the whole family to die of malaria because of your carelessness.  Melodramatic much mummy?  Times were simpler then.  Back in Primary school, when the only real worry, at least for me was finishing homework on time. I also worried about how I was going to get in the popular girls’ good books because that would put you at the head of the juice-line at break time. The juice line wasn’t anything official. The popular girls created it every break time underneath the big mango tree at the centre of the school compound. They would have ready to drink juice that came in packets with fancy flavors like tropical and mixed berry. I remember vividly standing in line to take a sip from the juice box and a tiny piece of chocolate chip cookie. I savored every bite (it was just the one bite though). Even now every time I buy myself a juice-box I feel like I should pat myself on the back like I’ve just achieved something big.

I used to wish I could be one of the popular girls; but maybe not, I’m sure I’d be drunk with power, make the little brats build me a shrine or something. Maybe that’s why I’m not a millionaire now? Haha! Yeah, maybe not.

Anyway, Scents can take u back to a very specific point of your life. It’s like you are back there all over again.

I remember the soap I used to use back in high school. I was a real tomboy back then. A sleeveless ‘School of hardknocks’ tee, black bandana (I had a collection) covering my short hair, baggy side-pocket pants; the ones with the zipper at the knees that you could turn into shorts (I had a collection) and sketchers was my signature look. I also had a pair of those shiny, reflector Sean John jeans, if anyone still remembers those. They were baggy of course and I had a plaid blue shirt to match and a blue fisherman’s cap, because, why not.  I loved blue and grey and black. I only discovered other colours in college and I kinda went colour-crazy when I did. The combos I’d wear, eish! I wasn’t happy till I had the whole rainbow on in one outfit.  One time, still back in high-school,  I remember I went with my mum to buy school uniform and the guy behind the counter asks ‘Kijana anavaa size gani? (What size does your son wear)? I honestly should have been offended but I just smiled to myself as if to say, “Mission accomplished!”

I remember the lotion I used to put on back in 2005 to 2006, just after high school because that was when I fell for a basket- ball player. He was my neighbor.  I could sec catch a glimpse of him and he of me even if just for a few seconds. It’s true, I was hopeless.  He had an interesting African (specific country hidden) name that still echoes in my mind sometimes, 10 years later. Let’s call him Nani for purposes of this particular story. Back then, Nani was a phenomenon in my books. He was 6 feet something tall, he had a beautiful physique; a tight six-pack, chisel shaped biceps, well-toned legs, a jaw to die for and amazing eyes. He was somewhere in the middle of a dark and light brown. He had this deep, coarse voice. I could listen to him all day even though all he really seemed to be interested in talking about was what party he was going to and who got trashed last weekend and bla  bla bla. I, know, I’m ashamed that I would shut up just to listen to that but a girl was sprung sha. Even now if I smell that lotion anywhere I get the chills. Sometimes I buy it just so I could remember but also because it’s very good lotion.

This was my journal entry the day we met…

Sometime in January 2006

So we met these two guys Arnold and Nani-it’s French. Two of the sweetest guys I have ever had the pleasure and privilege of meeting. And no, I was not the one who introduced myself in some odd, corny way but Nani started. I almost collapsed, believe me. He is polite (courteous),sweet and drop dead gorgeous and so is his bro Arnold.

Suffice to say, I was whipped from the get go so when he asked me out soon after, February 2nd 2006 to be precise according to my journal, how was a girl supposed to say no?

I remember the smell of his sweat mixed with Deodorant after practice. I would probably find it gross now but back then I even contemplated getting one of his sweaty t-shirts from his gym bag and maybe not giving it back. You know those times when you really aren’t a stalker but for a second you come down with a case of stalker-tendernitis but logic kicks in soon after?

I’m not a basketball fan but I used to sit through hours of his practice sessions just daydreaming of being a flippin’ basketballer’s wife and having cute basket-balling children.

He turned out to be a complete jerk in the end though. Have you ever been phased out of someone’s life till you are completely out but you still think you are in? Once in a while, he would pop back into mine, flash that award winning smile, give me that signature bear hug, plant just one amnesia inducing kiss on my lips and in that moment I could swear that if he had asked me to go back to him I would have. And then two minutes later he’d go back to being a jerk and I’d kick myself for even thinking about going back.

I got stood up a lot in our, I’d estimate 3 week relationship. I could be wrong about the length. My journal tried to warn me but I didn’t listen.

Journal entry Later in February  2006

I just have one question; it’s recurred in my mind more than once. How come a guy can know a girl for just a couple of weeks and already fall for her? I mean he’s even told me he loves me a bunch of times. I mean, I do have feelings and can sometimes like a guy a lot after just one or two days but I would never say anything unless I’m sure I want to really go out with them. I hope he just doesn’t want sex because that’s a no-no. I need to really get to know him better, the swimming date will be a great opportunity to do that. I hope it works out. Hope I get a swimming suit and swimming cap. Hope both are fly and fit properly in and out of the pool.

Later that week…

Oops! Got stood up on the swimming plot. Ouch! I was devastated. Who can blame me? After gathering psyche for 1000 people for just one date. Anyway there must be a good reason why he didn’t show up. Hope he kujas (comes) with it soon coz I’m running out of guesses.  

You know how sometimes you don’t listen to your instincts and then that whole decision comes back to bite? Well, this one bit and chewed and regurgitated my sweet behind. You live and you learn though.  Let’s just say I have a love-hate relationship with that particular scent.

I look back at 14-17 year old me in high school and I am in awe of her confidence. Being a late bloomer (the hips, boobs and booty kicked in way way later) wasn’t exactly fashionable in high school but still she was so comfortable in her own skin and her own style and her own awkwardness. Fast forward to 18 year old me who had just lost her mummy to cancer and moved from a laid back, evenly paced  life in a Coastal town to the ‘Big,Fast’ Capital City. She was struggling with identity and self-esteem issues mixed in with a major crisis of faith, basically at her wits end. Somehow she survived.  I think maybe as the years went by the two finally found a balance, each learning from the other. Her faith kicked back in, full swing; she discovered her beauty inside and out and she continues to discover very interesting parts of herself. She is still an emotional blob but she owns it. Haha!

I can’t wait to get to 35 and look back at 30 year old me. I already have a few scents I will definitely be talking about!

P.S: Watch the kind of mark you leave in someone’s life while you are in it and if/when you leave it. Those things last for a lifetime.

In my head from Nairobi to Kisumu.

I took a flight to Kisumu a few days ago. We almost missed our flight actually. We got to the airport at 5pm for a 5pm flight. I know what you must be thinking and you are probably very right. We walk in (stroll in) having already accepted our fate, planes don’t respect traffic jam rules do they? We go up to the counter to ask to change our tickets to the next day hoping the fine won’t be ridiculous. We hand in our e-tickets to the lady at the counter and she just looks up and smiles and not a tired, ‘I’ve been smiling all day and I don’t even like people’ smile. It was a sweet ‘seriously guys?’ smile. I think she saw how embarrassed we were for getting to the airport at the time of departure. She quickly consults a colleague and what do you know, turns out the flight had delayed and we could actually make it if we start sprinting right that second. She quickly prints out our boarding passes; we say a big thank you to the ‘Pride of Africa’ peeps and rush off! As we go through the last check point, we hear our names announced over the P.A; #celebritiesmuch #weoutchea. We get to the boarding station, hand in our tickets, the lady and gent there give us knowing smiles, we return a nervous laugh and onto the tarmac we go. My seat is at the very far back. I make my way down the aisle.

Welcome to 35 minutes in my head, on a plane, from Nairobi to Kisumu. 

Polite disclaimer: Science or any form of logic not allowed (will not make sense) beyond this point…..

‘So many bags in the overhead compartments already, where the heck is mine supposed to fit? Yaay, I found a spot. I got the window seat. Score! I’m seated next to some random dude who insists on chatting me up and he really needs a mint or ten. Just smile and wave Cynthia, just smile and wave. The pilot is welcoming people onto the flight over the P.A. He has a really soothing voice. Do they train for that? Does the trainer have to measure the soothing capacity of each aspiring pilot’s voice? Can one fail the ‘soothing test’ and have to retake the class?

Maybe I should have been a pilot. Ha-ha, who am I kidding, I panic at the thought of riding a bicycle on the main road and I am the only human being I have met who dropped out of driving school. 

They are doing the safety thingy now but I can’t see the attendants (back seat things). Well I guess we are winging it. It’s ok though, I watched the first two episodes of Lost so I can totally handle a plane crash like a pro.

We are moving. Wow, planes are huge! Imagine a traffic (flight) jam on the platform and runway. Planes everywhere bumper to bumper; hooting at each other.  

Some pimped out planes on the sides trying to jump the queue, wings tilted almost touching the ground. Tiny charter planes trying to make their way between the lanes. Helicopters just hop-skipping their way through the runway. Airport traffic police trying to untangle the mess. Pilots screaming at each other through their intercoms.

Pilot 1:“toa hiyo bamba hapo kizee!”(Get that tin out of the way!)

Pilot 2: “Si uruke!”(Jump over then!)

And then Pilot 1 actually does.

The plane is taking off. Suck it gravity! Oops maybe I shouldn’t have said that. What if gravity is in a bad mood and she decides to pull the plane back and smack it on the ground and because I was the idiot who dissed her, the back of the plane where I’m seated gets blown off.

“I’m so sorry your Excellency Madam Gravity”

I start to get that bubbly feeling in my tummy as we ascend to 26,000 feet above sea level. I love the clouds up here, they look so fluffy. We are flying between two layers, the bottom poufy and cotton-candy like and the top streaky. OMG! We are in a flipping cloud sandwich! I wonder if that would catch on if I hash tag it. Maybe. All my 11 followers get ready to tweet this mad hashtag yoh!!! I really can’t speak hip.

The bottom layer looks like flocks upon flocks of sheep sleeping. There’s one that looks like an alien baby though. Uuh! There’s one part up ahead that looks like the clouds are swirling together, like the water did before they ‘released the crakin!’ on the Clash of the Titans movie. That would be fun, no?

I wonder if our pilots are trained for alien invasions. What if a huge alien dragon spider thingy appears like; 

“Run, Kenya Airways, Run (insert evil laugh here)!”

 Would our pilot know what to do or would he just park the plane, get a parachute and with a ‘see ya suckers!’ jump off the plane? 

I wonder what I would do if we have terrorist in the plane. They stand up with machine guns they assembled while on their seats somehow (technology dude) and asked for me specifically.

“Give us Cynthia and we will let everyone else live”

Would I be a hero and give myself up or would I be an absolute woos, tear out the ID page of my passport, chew it up and swallow only to find out they have the passenger manifesto and they could find me anyway. Then I would be the idiot who got shot on a plane with her passport stuffed in her mouth.

Ah, they are serving juice and nuts. I like the tiny tumblers and the tiny packs of nuts. I like cute, tiny things. I recently made a friend buy a bulb just because it was cute and tiny. In my defense, we were on a budget and this little thing was the only energy saving, fluorescent bulb in our price range. Later, we get to her place, she fixes the bulb and the little thing is so dim it barely lights up the top half of the sitting room. It’s like the little bulb that (couldn’t) could. 

I eat one pack of peanuts and decide to re-gift the other one. Maybe I’ll give it to my friend, to make up for the dim light bulb. The pilot is speaking again, something about it being a rough landing. ‘Bumpy ride’ he calls it. I wonder if part of the co-pilot’s job is to look out for cloud bumps. Dude, watch out, big bump coming up ahead he would say. They should really mark these things, the pilot would joke then they’d both laugh out loud. Pilot-humor is weird. 

I wonder if pilots would get first dibs when we invent flying cars, I’ll stick to the ground personally because I think that is you have an accident in the air then you plummet to the ground that would be a double accident, no? There would be a negative % chance of survival. You’ll be turned mush or ash, road-kill (air kill?). I really don’t want to die ugly. I really don’t want my spirit to be looking down at my lifeless body when I die thinking; ‘Ouch, I did not know my limbs could bend that way’ or ‘geez Cynthia, that’s the look you went for?’

We start to descend. The butterflies in my tummy start to wake up. We are flying over Lake Victoria. It’s huge! I wonder how deep it is and whether anyone would survive if we crash landed in it. I really should have paid more attention to the safety routine thingy. Its ok, I’m sure my superhero instincts will kick in if anything happens. We all have them right? It’s like the ‘mummy-switch all women supposedly have. It’s supposed to help you stop thinking( and saying out loud) that some newborn babies look like aliens and why the heck do people insist on posting photos of everything their babies do. ‘aww, baby burped today’, #babythings, #mybabycuterthanyours, #blessed, ‘baby’s first nap’, baby’s first smile (it was really just gas)’, ‘baby’s cute booties’. I mean, I love cute little things as much as the next guy but have you watched Rugrats? ; Those tiny humans be cray cray!

What was I saying? Oh yes, the lake. I think maybe we might survive if the plane doesn’t explode on impact. That would suck. I thought the hyacinth was a lot more than it looks like from up here. Maybe we could hold on to those as we wait for rescue. I’ve watched National Geographic though and there are a number of scary things that live in fresh water lakes. I really don’t want to swim with the fishes.

The plane takes a right, mid-air like it is turning a corner. Air roads are funny. What if a pilot deviates from the flight pattern? Would he be going ‘off-air’? Hahahaha! Get it? #idie . Would he land in a ditch? Climb onto a cloud pavement? NTSA air squad would be on his case eiy. Hahaha! A girl has got jokes.

We land smoothly.

Stink-breath guy seated next to me asks if I know how to get to some hospital in Kisumu. I tell him I don’t know, I don’t live in Kisumu, I’m just visiting. He really isn’t the least bit interesting person to talk to is he?

You should all thank him though because if he weren’t such a dull conversationalist, you wouldn’t have just spent 35 minutes in my head, on a flight from Nairobi to Kisumu. Thank you random guy!