Life must go on.  I don’t know how many times I said that last week, as I returned to my routine on Monday, wandering around the city in jua kali mode, watching the smoke on our skyline from a distance, all the while thanking my (possibly nonexistent) guardian angel that me and mine were all safe, and then berating myself for thinking only of myself while others were not as fortunate.  In talking to others, I got the same impression, that we are relieved to not be involved but also yearning to get involved.  That's why we had the massive lines at the blood donation centres and record amounts raised on the mpesa number.  For some reason the Westgate attack managed to break through the apathy we have perfected, the apathy that sees us shrug when 100 plus people are killed in Tana River, when 40 plus policemen are murdered in Baragoi, when 41 people die in a road accident in Narok?  We are apathetic, until the violence lands on our doorstep, attacking our aspirations of western style living, our Art Caffe's and Java's, our Nakumatt, our Converse.  Where is our empathy for the tragedies that do not make it onto CNN? 


Are we really?

If you were online, you can't have missed the bile directed at either Al Shabaab, Somalia, Somalis, Somali refugees in Kenya, Muslims, basically anyone with any remote connection to the frontier districts, or a mosque.  Fortunately, talking about Muslims and terrorism no longer washes with us, we've learnt better, and the few ignorant idiots were quickly silenced.  #weareone!  Not that the bile stopped, it just became more vague, 'they' were the enemy, 'they' needed to be kicked out, or killed, or better still, captured alive and hung by the balls till they died.  That's another thing I saw, constant reference to torture, a la Jack Bauer, another notable mention.  From Jack it was a quick leap to the cops, and the army.  Oh my...  There were all manner of military/police/combat specialists mouthing off about the incompetence of our boys in blue, or green, talking about how the siege should have been handled within hours, and how they needed to storm the building with cruise missiles and shit.  The internet collectively ganged up on the cops and soldiers, until finally, running out of random terms to throw at each other, we kept quiet long enough for the voices of reason to be heard.  It's not the men on the ground who made mistakes, its their bosses.  Cue renewed anger, this time at the higher ups, the army honchos and the inspector of general things.  Problem is, shouting at those ones is a bit risky, because they have guns, and phone taps, and a convenient blanket of national security under which to hide their nakedness.  That and the fact that you risked being called 'unpatriotic', the worst possible slur at a time like this, for asking how 10-15 idiots were holding several truckloads of badass battle hardened KDF chaps at bay, in a mall, for days.  The cops and the army were off limits, because they are our first and last line of defence, these patriots are our...say it with me...heroes.

Alas, the mob needed a new target, and the digital government was only too happy to oblige, helpfully engaging in meaningless propaganda via twitter, and getting skewered because of it.  If there's one thing we've learnt during our digital revolution, its that Kenyans online are a mean bunch, and quite idle, and mobile data is pretty cheap.  Woi...  Gova was drawn and quartered, and then reassembled so we could do it all over again the following day.  Their incompetence was just what we needed to distract us from more serious issues.  The ministry of interiors and its hapless cabinet secretary with a chronic case of foot in mouth disease.  The ministry of da fence and it's perfectly coiffed and very mute lady boss.  The ministry of foreigner affairs and its speculative mkubwa who thought to float Al Qaeda theories on international TV.  The secretary for tourists who was quick to assure all wazungus that the country was safe, despite the nasty stuff on SKYNEWS.  The president who felt the need to...wait, we couldn't say anything bad about prezzo, he was grieving, woiyee, that's why he could barely read on Saturday night.  The deputy president then, he who rushed back home to lead us, claiming that the attack was specifically planned for when he was away, because he is oh so important...no wait, he invoked the 'living God', so we couldn't mock him either.  Lucky for us, there's always parliament, and Sonko.  These buggers chose to focus on 'the failure of our intelligence to prevent this attack', not realising they were exposing their own lack thereof.  They said the 'unpatriotic' things we couldn't, or wouldn't, say and for that they got some internet love too, bless 'em.  If there's one thing we've learnt from the internet revolution, its that we all detest parliament, no matter how many houses they add.

That's what we spent out time doing last week, throwing bile at those deemed worthy, all the while wrapped (warped?) in our flags, talking about how unified we are, and how we can never be defeated by a bunch of thugs, sorry, terrorists, and how much we so dearly hope our new found unity will last forever and ever. Ahem.  This is the same country that was at each others' throats only a week earlier, thanks to Hague TV, but throw in a couple of wagaidi and voila, #weareone.  Now that the siege is over, and the politics of blame and reshuffling has begun in earnest, watch us descend into our all too familiar anarchy, but before we completely lose our focus on the greater good, kindly go to the Kenya Red Cross and become a member.  Donate, continuously, better still volunteer, because there will be other crises after this, most of them blissfully ignored, and this is the one organisation we know will be there, come what may.

I sound cynical, yes?  Good.  I am cynical, very much so, I refuse to be lulled into a false sense of security by meaningless platitudes.  If we are one, then why does all this oneness not care about the carnage currently going on on our roads, refusing to hold anyone and everyone to account?  Why does your one not care about the other one who's claiming millions in expenses and allowances for trips not taken and meetings not attended, even as we still have a Judiciary holding court (quite literally) under trees?  Why does one ignore the funerals of others not related to mkubwa and therefore less newsworthy?  Why is the one denying the fact that there are families still looking for their missing loved ones, instead preferring to keep repeating silly press statements?

Today's track is 'Soobax' by K'naan, off his debut album, 'The Dusty Foot Philosopher'.  I could talk about why I picked this song, but the lyrics are self explanatory.  Incidentally, the translations are not mine, no doubt Doc, he who claims to speak the language, will let me know if they're off.  “With rapid drums and heavy synths, K'naan's message to criticize and challenge warlords who have pillaged Somalian soil comes to fruition in "Soobax." Although there has been a great deal of controversy with this track and religious values, K'naan openly decided to shoot the video for it in Kenya as he still decided it was something that needed to be done regardless of the slack he was receiving.”  K'naan :: The Dusty Foot Philosopher - album review  Watch Soobax - K'naan Official Music Video, if for no other reason than it shows our city in a light we don't see too much of any more, and then visit his site and sample his new (somewhat gentler) album.

Basically, I got beef, I wanna talk to you directly, 
I can't ignore, I can't escape, and that's cause, you affect me, 
You cripple me, you shackle me, you shatter my whole future in front of me, 
This energy, is killing me, 
I gotta let it pour like blood, soobax...

Dadkii waa dhibtee nagala soobax,
(You have exasperated the people, so come out with it)
Dhibkii waa batee nagala soobax,
(The troubles have increased, so come out with it)
Dhiigi waad qubtee nagala soobax,
(You've spilled the blood so that it drains on the roads, so come out with it)
Dhulkii waad gubtee nagala soobax...
(You've burnt the root of the earth, so come out with it)

We are one?  No, not really.  There is us, raia, and there is them, the idiots in charge.  That's the bad news.  Good news is, we, the raia, are stuck together, for better and for worse.  We can fight all we want, ignore each other till the cows come home and the chickens roost, but we are going exactly nowhere, not unless you have another country to move to.  Might I suggest we all stop with bullshit propaganda and feel good nonsense, and get on with it?  Wait, that is a hashtag I can live with.  #fuckumbaya!  Its a clever pun too, no? No?  Perhaps not.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I'm calling the journos bad names, because they have tested me to no end...

Idiot Press!

Sincere condolences to all that lost a loved one, this is a difficult time for you, but know that you are in our thoughts.  Apologies if that sounds clumsy, I'm always at a loss when it comes to handling grief, my own or others', there is nothing to say and everything to do.  May you find the strength you need to get through this tragedy. Same goes for the survivors, those who were in the mall and managed to get out unscathed, physically at least, and those who were injured but have managed to pull through. And for the rest of us, seemingly unharmed in the comfort of our homes, we're left to pick up the pieces. We donate what we can, where we can, to whomever we can, and we help others get back on their feet.

That was the public service announcement segment of this post.  It shall all go steadily downhill from here on.

It should probably go without saying that I am a very angry woman right now, such as I tend to be most days.  I'm round about ready to make like the gavana and slap someone.  Still too soon for the slapping jokes?  Sorry.  I am not amused...

What is it with the media, our media in particular?  Exactly what is their mission, to sell as many papers as possible, as much advertising space as they can squeeze into an hour of prime time?  What happened to the seemingly noble goal of informing the public?  These bastards, that's right, I called them bastards, are not in the business of dispensing information, they're selling news to the highest bidder.  How they can spend the better part of the day repeating obviously erroneous information given to them by the government is beyond me.  For crying out loud, you can't keep telling us the terrorists are burning mattresses when we can see thick plumes of (decidedly not mattress-like) black smoke rising from the building, for hours.  Ask the fucking questions already!  We spent four days watching news broadcasts that consisted of little more than dubious tweets from the interior ministry, endless (and inane) speculation from reporters 'on the ground' (read, way down the street from the mall, and yet they were carefully clad in flak jackets, and in one particular instance, a helmet).  We spent four days reading updates and live blogs that featured...guess what?...tweets from the interior ministry, staring at the same three pictures of policemen carrying children, and the mattress smoke.  We spent four days getting news, real news, from outside the country, because our press decided, apparently unanimously, to report nothing but the official line being spun, all while engaging in most useful, yet somehow very condescending, #weareone patriotism and kumbaya bullshit.  Seems these days our media's first order of business is government propaganda.

Now I understand that reporting on an ongoing crisis is difficult.  The scene of the tragedy/crime is inaccessible, the government is running an operation that allegedly requires discretion and/or secrecy, its entirely possible that the media was gagged, by force, this as the army sought to deny the terrorist idiots information and airtime.  Slight detour, even as the gova/army was claiming propaganda, they did realise the wagaidi inside the mall probably had some form of internet access, right?  Buggers were probably watching mkubwa on Al Jazeera, thereby negating attempts to control information getting to them.  All I'm saying is, war spin in this day and age needs to be a bit more sophisticated, the natives have iPhones.  Detour over.   This is all speculation on my part, its my attempt at understanding why any right thinking journalist wouldn’t question the dodgy statements coming out the minister's mouth, and the even dodgier releases on the ministry's twitter feed.  Mattresses?  There is no fire?  The fire is out?  We are in control?  There are no hostages?  There are no bodies?  He's not completely shit-faced drunk in front of the camera, he's grieving?  There was no light-bulb moment in any of those newsrooms, someone sitting up and saying, “Hang on, we is being bamboozled...”?  No no, these buggers were too busy making money selling us 'no-news today' news, basking in their unfortunately more than 10 minutes of fame, 'engaging' with facebook and twirra, and generally wasting our bloody time.

Do you think I'm being too harsh?  Perhaps I am, but they are called the fourth estate for a particular reason.  In theory, the press is the custodian of public interest.  In theory.  In reality, The Nation prints a List of Westgate mallvictims – UPDATED, a list that proudly proclaims the cosmopolitan nature of the deaths right up top, and then proceeds to list people like cattle, only bothering to put in details of a token few, they of relevant fame and/or importance? The list is incomplete, by the way, but why should that be of any concern to those buggers? In reality, The Sunday Standard prints an article claiming National IntelligenceService report warned of Nairobi terror attacks, and then goes ahead to state therein, “NISsubmitted a Situation Report dated September 21, 2002 — Serial No.184/2012 — which indicated that at least three suspected terrorists were in Nairobi planning suicide attacks on undisclosed dates." September 21, 2002?

In reality, our media is simply another part of the establishment. God forbid they actually do something not in their own self interest, like actively pursue the whereabouts of the approximately 59 people still listed as missing (Kenya Red Cross).

I'll say it again. 

Idiot press.


I need a bit of distraction right now, you?

After spending the better part of yesterday glued to the internet, reading updates and scrolling through pictures, and after a long night of watching suspect TV, I woke up to more live coverage of an empty street, and the Citizen guy still going on about the 'fluid' situation (I don't think he's being sarcastic).  I need a break, something to lift the mood.  

To wit, a little bit of stand up.  Fair warning, all are crude to some extent, all these comics are hands down certifiable and irreverent to a T, and at one point you will want to slap someone, possibly me.


It bothers me.

Let go, my ass!  Oh come on, you have to have seen this coming, no?  There is no way an OCD idiot like me was going to sit back and go with the flow, just, what the hell do I look like, some tai chi loving hippie?  No no no...  I am not cut out for this easy going nonsense, I must have plans, and structure, and a list.  No really, I must.

You have no idea what I’m on about, do you?

In May I decided I was going with the flow, this as I attempted to turn around my dismal dating fortunes.  Woi...  I’ve managed to end up in what is either the easiest ’relationship’ I’ve ever had (not sure I get to call it a relationship, but that’s a story for another day), or the most elaborate pretence at an ’easy relationship’ I’ve ever had to pull off.  Seems that even when presented with a chance of achieving simple pleasures, I will somehow find the hardest possible path to get there.  Not only do I scupper my chances, unintentionally I hope, I then proceed to engage in delusion, denying said scuppering, to myself.  I am my own worst enemy.

If I was a better blogger, I would now describe how I feel, complete with emoticons, and perhaps a loose GIF, but alas, my tool box has all of two tools, and none are particularly descriptive.  Instead, I’ll play you a tune, or two.  I know I’m always ranting about covers and what not, but this one blew the original out of the water,  even though, strangely enough, it’s almost identical.  Maxwell didn’t change too much of Kate Bush’s original, if anything he stripped it down even further, and because I know you dont believe me, Ive put up both.

I should be crying but I just can't let it show, baby
I should be hoping but I can't stop thinking
Of all the things we should have said that we never said
All the things we should have done that we never did
All the things that you wanted from me
All the things that you needed from me
All the things I should have given but I didn't

Oh, darling, make it go away, just make it go away

Let me give you the run-down of recent events, a quick summary (brevity? A girl can always hope...).  Dont worry, despite the lyrics above, this is not a sad tale, I hope.  It might come back to bite me in the ass, such as my tales tend to, but such is life.  Remember the guy I had a most excellent afternoon with?  Well, I have since seen more of said lovely gentleman, and it, he, has been pretty amazing.  He is...  Hes different.  That doesn’t sound very amazing, does it?  Let me try this again.  The man is intriguing, and sexy, opinionated, pushy, funny (clever funny, not just funny), and sexy (have to put it in twice), intense, complicated, unorthodox...  When I say the man is different, I mean that he is like no man I have ever been with.  Which is not to take away from men I have been with, all God’s creatures are special and all that jazz, all I’m saying is that this creature is a bit more special than the others, and by a bit I mean a lot.  That said, I quite like the special ones, the more special the better, if for no other reason than because they are seldom boring.  So what’s the problem then?  Apparently I struggle with unorthodox, and this from me, the self proclaimed queen of not doing things the way I’m supposed to.  See, for all my fancy talk of walking my own path, my default setting is still, well, narrow.  Perhaps limited is a better word.  I’ve realised that I get easily frustrated when thrown into new territory, relationships that aren’t the standard relationships.

I have to pause here to contemplate how much I have to tell you for you to understand, without telling you so much that it becomes awkward.  I’m not holding out on you, I’ve just come to appreciate the value of restraint, and discretion.  No one likes an over-sharer.  Stop laughing, I do see the irony of that statement, what am I if not the consummate over-sharer?  But that was then, and this is now, and I know bett... ah fuck it!  Just work with me as I dance the fine line between ’Aaaawww!’ and ’Eeeewww!’ inducing moments, yes?

You know how I keep saying I’m not looking for a husband, or kids?  I’ve been saying it long enough that it’s become my opening line when I meet a new man.  Watch the ’married with kids’ types leaning forward eagerly, waiting for me to eat my words.  No such luck, my lovelies, I’m still on my (possibly misguided) bus.  The flaw with my plan?  Making that statement, up at the beginning, is working against me, because it’s quickly translated into ’I’m not looking for anything serious’, right?  Don’t worry, you can nod.  Makes sense, I guess, except that’s not what I mean.  What I should say is that I’m looking for a relationship, a ’real’ relationship (not sure what that means exactly, but it sounds right), with a certain level of commitment and what not, just not one that will end up at the end of an aisle, or in a maternity room.  Just because I don’t see myself wed in the future, that doesn’t mean I want to be single for the foreseeable future.  I want a boyfriend, scratch that, I want a man, my man.  In theory that’s quite a simple concept, but in reality, not so much.  My problem, and I’m desperately hoping someone else here has the same problem, is that when push comes to shove, I often revert to old behaviour, saying what I think I have to say, for whatever reason, whether or not it’s true.  For instance, say a man I’ve just met asks if I mind us taking it slow and getting to know each other before making any decisions, my reply will be, ’Sounds perfect!’ complete with hand across brow, wiping off imaginary beads of tension, followed by relieved laughter.  However, at this point my mind is busy working overtime, asking me, ’Kwani, this guy is getting cold feet already?’ or ’Commitment phobia? Again?’ and so on and so forth.  This while my gut is slowly twisting, working itself into knots, wondering how soon it will be before I can let my guard down.

This is my problem with age, all attempts at optimism are thwarted by the fact that you know better.  While the girl in me is always eager and raring to go, the woman I’ve become is quick to rein in the (delusional) fantasies.  ’Whoa there girlie, where the hell do you think you’re going?’ she asks, fixing a leash around her other’s neck, ’You know we can’t go running off with every boy you meet. What if he’s a serial killer? Or what if he’s your cousin?’  My older and more rational self is disturbingly reluctant to let her emotions run wild, seeing as how she’s been to hell and back a couple of times, sometimes of her own volition, admittedly.  She prefers caution to optimism.  Ah hell, who am I kidding, I am a complete pessimist these days, always have been I suspect.  I’m waiting for things to go wrong, and not just some of the time, all the bloody time.  I may say I’m not, I may say I’m a changed woman, but once a man appears on the horizon, I revert to type.  Safe distance trumps messy intimacy.  I would rather deny wanting anything more than the odd shag, rather than deal with the fact that I do want more than the odd shag, and perhaps he doesn’t.  Why put myself out there like that?  But if I don’t put myself out there, then how will I find what I’m looking for, that mythical relationship with a grown man, I’ll say it again, a grown man, who is not looking to settle down and reproduce?  Yes, mythical. I’m not sure it even exists outside of my addled mind, but that’s beside the point.

The point is, I claim to be looking for unorthodox, which is just fine, different strokes and all, but shock on me when I find said unorthodox and I start thinking in the most orthodox of ways.  I don’t want to be tied down (obviously I’m not being literal...), but I’m bothered by the fact that the man doesn’t want to tie me down (also not literal)?  Eh?  Dammit!  I can’t win, not with a mind this confused.  Right now I’m trying to talk myself out of talking myself out of what is for all intents and purposes a good thing.  I don’t know if it’s fear of the unknown that’s making me chicken out, or if it’s my good sense finally kicking in (insert hysterical laughter), but half of me is saying, ’Run, run and don’t look back.’  And before you self righteous ’you must get married, reproduce and join Women’s Guild’ types get on my ass about this, know that the other half of me is standing there, arms akimbo and shit, asking, in quite a harsh tone I might add, ’Run to where exactly? Si this is where you want to be, you said so yourself, many, many times. Bloody nkt!’  It’s not that I’m reconsidering my ’no marriage no kids’ stance, I’m just troubled by the options being presented to me at this point.  This is not quite what I had in mind.  I had pictured a cross between muchos fun dating (I need to get out of the house, and for some reason I expect someone to do it for me, get me out that is.  I know, very silly...) and comfortable intimacy (staying in the house does have its benefits, no?), but without the underwear washing bit.  What seems to be on offer is not much of either.  Is this what unorthodox means, I wonder?  Those are my issues, remnants of fairytales not yet erased.

When it comes to this lovely man, I fear I may be acting, or at least talking, in a duplicitous manner.  I am not saying what I mean, and I’m not sure I mean what I say.  Turns out my mind and my mouth are not in sync, and once you throw in my langa bastard of a heart cum soul, then things go awry, fast.  My mouth says, ’I’m just looking for something casual, nothing too complicated,’ which, just for the record, is what I’ve got right now, at least I think I do.  Problem is, my mouth is an adept liar, that bugger has been known to proclaim great love for Achebe, when in reality I’ve never read the man.  My mind, meanwhile, is screaming, ’Woman, what are you smoking now? Tell the man you want a man, you silly cow!’  You gotta love my mind, it feels no hesitation at calling me names, that baby can swear in four languages, five if you count my crap Kuyo.  My heart cum soul (heart sounds too mushy, but soul sounds so touchy feely, no?) likes to wax poetic, as poetic as I can pull off with my limited alliteration skills, saying something along the lines of, ’But I want you to want me too...’  Yes, it likes to channel Marvin Gaye, and no, I have never bothered to find out why, it’s easier to just ignore it.

Please note that while this discussion is being had, the unlucky bastard is sitting there waiting for the answer to his simple question, ’What do you want?

That bloody question!

Why can’t we just leave well enough alone?  Why must we go poking into each other’s heads?  I say we because I am disturbingly fond of asking it myself, despite the fact that I should know better.  I never give a straight answer when asked, hell, most times I flat out lie, even when I’m being completely honest.  It’s not that I don’t want to tell a man what I really want, it’s that my mouth often gets in the way of my mind, which in turn always gets in the way of my heart cum soul.  If I can’t be straight with myself, then how the hell will I be straight with someone else?  And why do I think they have it any easier than I do?  How do I get over my own issues long enough to, a. stop asking foolish questions, and b. stop giving foolish answers.  I am, for lack of a better way to put this, cock-blocking my own ass.  Surely that takes some skill, no?  No?  What, other people do this to themselves too?  Probably, we’re not all that different, are we?

My love child
I know you have a little life in you yet
Whatever you need
I know you have a lot of strength left
Give me your hand
I know you have a little life in you yet
Give me your hand
I know you have a lot of strength left

’This Woman's Work’ is my go to song for romantic angst, it plays in my head whenever I’m mulling (read, obsessing to no end).  I realise it reads like quite a sad song, but it sounds like the complete opposite.  Like I said before, the lyrics aren’t a perfect fit for the post, but the song is.  It’s that rare combination of tight control and a voice that's threatening to fly away, I don’t think I ever understood the phrase ’soaring melodies’ until I heard this man sing this particular song.  That tension, between rigid structure and chaos, that's my definition of a ’real’ relationship.  In case you were still wondering.

It bothers me that the clarity I claim to have found is so easily disturbed by the addition of an unknown into my equation.  It bothers me that I can’t let go of my silly issues long enough to enjoy myself, despite abandoning my lovely lists.  It bothers me that I’d rather pretend to be the woman who wants nothing, than be the woman who really does want something.  It bothers me that I can’t, or won’t, trust myself to trust him, or anyone else.  It bothers me that it’s easier to lie than be fragile.  


Why aliens don't like Africa, and such like fiction.

Why don’t aliens land in Africa?

I like science fiction.  I truly believe that one day robots will take over, and that aliens live on Mars.  I believe that I can move things with my mind, I'm doing it right now...  See how I'm making your eyes glide over these words?  I is telekinetic baby.  And clearly not very intelligent.  I like to watch movies set in a galaxy far, far away.  I like aliens, especially the vindictive ones who just want to kill everyone for no reason.  I like to watch a bunch of 10 chaps get knocked off by some strange mama they gave a lift to in the middle of nowhere, just because, and kumbe she's actually the great evil on her way to earth, or Los Angeles, to start a new colony with her miracle babies who sprout from her pinkie finger.  I am a sucker for Darth Vader, and Captain Jean Luc Picard.  'Event Horizon' is one of my favourite movies to date, as is The Matrix trilogy.  Slight detour, I had never read science fiction until last year.  As stupid as this sounds, sci-fi was, to my mind, a visual art.  A book about space travel, and it's not a comic?  Why that's absurb, she thought, ignorant.  I know better now.  Detour over.

So in all my years of watching the earth get invaded by octopuses with strange goggles, I am yet to see an alien land in this here Africa.  With the exception of District 9, a most brilliant movie that upset the Nigerians to no end (perhaps understandably), I have never seen an alien in my vicinity, at least not on screen.  What the hell, man?  These buggers are racists!  Kwani, me and my kind aren't worth abducting?   What, only white people get probed up the butt?  Actually, keep the probing to the wazungus, serves them right, they've been sticking it to us for ages.  However, might I suggest abducting a few choice specimens from amongst us?  I have in mind a couple of idiot politicians, and the guys who make the ads on radio.  I have digressed.  I want to see a UFO over my city, dammit. I want random gun-toting aliens (higher life form and you haven't figured out a more efficient way of killing us?  Bloody nkt!) to cruise my skies, blowing shit up.  I want Thor, in all his hammer swinging hotness, to land in my dessert, sorry, I meant desert (did I really?).  Africans of the world unite!  We need us some aliens.  And before you write this off as a misguided rant, keep in mind that alien invasion = civilisation.  For as long as we're not on screen being invaded, then we're the langa Maasais jumping up and down at the end of the movie (Independence Day), after the (usually) American hero has saved the world.

I demand aliens, forthwith.

Why are zombies cannibals?

Wait, this is one of my more intelligent questions.  If these buggers are dead, and therefore not discerning consumers, being that their brains aren't working, then why can't they eat grass, or paper?  I'm just saying, the whole needing to eat human flesh after you die makes no sense.  It's not like you need the protein to build muscle, you're dead, no?   Why, for that matter, bother eating at all?  Sustenance?  Pleasure?  The urge to spend eternity chewing?  This zombie story makes no sense.  We don't need them in Africa, them and the vampires can stay right where they are.  Drinking blood to stay alive, yet you're undead?  No no no...

Why didn’t those buggers use the giant eagles to get to Mount Doom in the first place?

I love Lord of The Rings, but that plot had some serious holes in it.  Those hobbits thought to walk to the mountain, only to be saved by the eagles once they got there, too many pages later.  Did it not occur to Gandalf to call up his giant chickens, way, way at the beginning, and just fly there?  I'm guessing Bwana Tolkein couldn't contemplate writing the return journey, seeing as how he'd spent kendo 1000 pages writing the journey there, but come on man...

Why do female newscasters have the same hairstyle?

Speaking of peculiar fiction, what is it with these weaves on TV?  I call it 'the Lillian Muli', that ka Julie Gichuru hairstyle with the luscious locks falling just so, as seen on every station at 9 pm (the 7 pm ladies favour shorter cuts, in line with the Kiswahili, ethnic, feel of the show, sorry, broadcast).  I don't mind Julie's, because that's her hair (as in growing from her head, as opposed to purchased with her money) and she's worn it so for ages, but those other ones are suspect.  I don't mind a good weave, mind you, I mind that they all look identical.  It's kinda creepy, these women look like Barbie dolls, complete with the plastic smiles and perfect make-up...

Why do mechanics never know what's wrong with your car, but still insist on trying, and the key word here is trying, to find out?

In the realm of good tales, the mechanics must be small gods.  I've concluded the mechanics' curriculum includes a semester spent learning how to frustrate their customers.  Don’t laugh, think about it.  Have you ever taken your car in for repair, only to get it back with the same problem, and possibly others to boot?  Boss, kama hujui, sema hujui, don’t waste my day pulling out random parts to fix the bushes, and its always the bushes, and then putting it all back together only to realise, 'Haiya... Madam, kumbe taa haiwaki...'  I know that, you (unprintable), that's what I came to you fo'!  True story, unlike this next one...

Why do politicians claim to be such good Christians?

It's not just in Kenya, all over the world there are politicians running around claiming religion and/or God, and then they turn around and bang a hooker, or smoke the odd illegal drug, or steal the odd million, or slaughter the odd innocent.  Si they just tell us they’re the spawn(s) of the devil and get on with it?  We'll vote for them either way, it's not like we're particularly choosy, look at our prezzo(s).  Yes, this is a swipe at my crying-in-church DP, and no, I will not let it go.  This story of buggers claiming miracles, just, it must end.  Brother Paul is still running his scams, all the while still leading a church, and a political party (in this case we can conflate the two), and he hasn't been lynched?  Perhaps the question should be, why do Kenyans claim to be such good Christians?

Why do men say they like curvy, dark, mature women, with natural hair, then turn around and date super-skinny, yellow yellow, weave-wearing girls of dubious intellect?

If I read one more survey of Kenyan men claiming great preference towards:
a. curvy
b. dark skinned
c. smart
d. natural hair wearing
women, I will slap someone.  Listen, if men really, really, really liked such women, then women wouldn’t spend all their time trying to look like Beyonce.  They spend all their time, and money, trying to look like a skinny, yellow yellow, with blond hair and a spectacular ass, because that's what they see men chasing, and because they want their own Jay Z (read millionaire).  It's simple cause and effect.  The day men stop lying to surveys, is the day we'll start believing them (surveys and men).

Why do women claim to want nice guys, when they don’t?

While on the topic of pure fiction...  If women wanted 'nice guys', then the phrase 'nice guys finish last' would never have been coined.  Women, we do not want nice guys, we only say we do so as not to look foolish, or shallow.  It's understandable, but it's also a bit confusing.  We need to stop lying to these poor bastards, before they kill us with their niceness.  Dammit, a woman can only take so many soft caresses before she snaps and does someone she regrets.


Why do they make leather shoes and then add on a plastic heel, with a piece of paper stuck to it?

This one only women will understand, I suspect.  You know how you buy a kick-ass pair of 3-inch heeled suede pumps with hand stitched detailing?  You know how the heel of said pump is covered in some pretty pattern, to match the detailing?  You know how, a few missteps later, the pretty pattern is peeling off, and the shoes are all of six months old?  You know how you take it to your favourite cobbler and he says he can't fix it, because it's paper, and he only fixes leather, being that he's a cobbler and all?  Say it with me...nkt!   Why do they make a shoe that can last 5 years, and then stick on a plastic heel covered in non-waterproof paper, a paper that will peel off once our rains start, a paper I can't replace?  And just to show they're completely insensitive to our plight, they then discontinue that line, because why would they keep making a shoe someone likes?  I know they want us to keep buying shoes, but what the hell?  I'm going to buy more anyway, you bloody idiots, I'm a girl.  They tell us to buy real leather shoes, ati they'll last us a lifetime.  Lifetime, they say.  Fiction, I say.

I really liked those shoes...


Nairobi, the green city in the...scum?

How on earth did we manage to pull off a trifecta of shitty elected officials?  This has to be a record, somewhere, having a langa senator, and a langa governor, and a langa women’s representative.  I mean really?  This takes skill, is all I’m saying.

This week has not been very kind to my city.

First there were the City Hall riots, pardon me, the strike by City Hall workers, they who congregated in the city after downing their proverbial tools (ahem...), a congregation that was then violently dispersed by riot police.  This pretty much meant the roads were a complete mess on Tuesday evening.  It took me a whopping one hour and forty five minutes to cover a stretch that normally takes me thirty minutes to cover in traffic, five minutes at night.  At one point I was close enough to the gate to my abode to see the padlock, but I couldn’t get there, and as tempting as it was to abandon my tuktuk and walk, I couldn’t pull off the road and park the bloody thing, because this particular road has no ’off the road’ to speak of.  I was in traffic long enough to update all the software on my bandia phone, install and uninstall truecaller (slight detour, I got the creepiest call a couple of weeks back, in the middle of the night, from a man threatening to ’acha maiti hapo kama hutafungua mlango, huyu mtu wako hutamwona tena’.  I was very scared, until I remembered that I live alone, and I’m single, and therefore there was no-one who could conceivably be left at my door, dead or alive.  Note to would be gangsters: get your facts straight before you wake me up at 2 in the morning, wrong numbers are most unpleasant, especially when they involve misguided extortion.  Bloody nkt!  As I was saying...), I even had time to catch up on old articles I’d saved but never found the time to read, back in July.  Now that I think about it, those two hours were very well spent, all things considered, so I guess I owe the geniuses at City Hall a huge debt of thanks.  Or not...

On Wednesday morning, we found out our governor saw fit to increase county charges and fees across the board.  Ksh 25,000.00 to bury someone in a public cemetery (not including morgue fees and such like) and Ksh 50,000.00 to hold a crusade?  I don’t know about those hesabus, seems a bit silly to me to charge a bugger planning on fleecing the masses only double of what it costs to bury one of them, at least charge the prophets per head, no?  No?  I thought that would be a brilliant plan.  This is the problem, VAT price hikes had only just begun to hit us, with prices of everything (no matter how removed from this VAT story) going up, even the price of your favourite prophylactic.  As citizens, we were already kinda upset, and feeling a little poorer, and then this bugger unleashes this list?  Daktari, what the hell?  You couldn’t have waited a week or two?  I guess he figured seeing as how we were already bent over and whatnot, might as well shaft us too.  And what do they plan to do with this money?  Build a brand spanking new mansion for the governor priced at 120M, or perhaps implement the vaguely titled ERP project of 350M, or maybe spend 103M on county media services and consultancy... read it for yourself here, Nairobi County budget.  Do you know what the best part of this story is?  We are being asked, nay ordered, to give more money to bunch of geniuses who have not delivered what they are supposed to deliver since kendo the early 80’s.  I was born in ’77 and I have never known a Nairobi Town/City Council that worked, therefore, if it ever worked it was before I saw the city, really saw the city, which means before I was 7 years old.  Yes, I know it’s not a very scientific theory.  Sue me, I’m from Nairobi and we don’t care about facts.   

Case in point.  That same Wednesday, I saw glimpses of matusi’s being thrown in Sonko’s direction, but I ignored them, figuring, he had probably done something foolish, again, and was now claiming he didn’t.  I was half right.  Come Thursday and the story was in the mainstream press; the man had abused someone, a woman, a woman allegedly of some standing in our society, and he did so on national radio.  Oh joy!  The first I read of this saga was in an opinion piece on the Nation blogs, in which the author referenced the name calling, for the most part only in the title.  Now my curiosity is always piqued when a man allegedly calls a woman a prostitute, so off I went to Wazua, to finally read the thread I’d ignored the day before, and lo and behold, I found a link to the abridged audio clip, the insult portion of the conversation.  My week just got that much worse...  Our senator is, and some would argue always has been, not the sharpest tool in the shed.  A hugely popular tool.  A somewhat effective tool, depending on it’s purpose, but not a sharp tool.  He was asked a simple question, in simple language, two languages actually, but rather than answer with a bullshit PR statement along the lines of ’we are looking into it’, this bugger goes off on a rant of slightly epic proportion.  First he talks shit about the woman, his interviewer, going to Carnivore with her cigarettes, and then asks who has paid her, then what she does with her million bob salary, then concludes by threatening her and some chap who talked shit about his daughter, telling her to take her horniness and shove it.   Ah yes, he also asked her, ’Who fucks you?’ Slightly epic that rant (epic would have been if he actually threatened to beat her).  The internet was frothing at the mouth, ready to carve him, and her, a new one.

Why her as well?  The ’her’ in question was the ever modest Ms Mutoko, she of the ’don’t write your filth on my wall’ fame, she of the ’average people lead average lives’ fame, she of the copy/paste fame.   She has her fair share of ’haters’, people who think that verbal smackdown was well deserved, just because.  Others claimed Sonko was simply defending his daughter/family/ego and things got out of hand when he was prodded.  Apparently crude insults are warranted when dealing with an ’arrogant’ woman, at least the way they tell it.  I was sceptical, thinking it was just the normal internet rage at matters inconsequential, until I listened to the full clear unedited audio of the exchange.  See, she wasn’t just asking harmless little questions about Sonko’s now infamous handouts, she was, in her own special way, condescending as hell as she did so, down to the ’...by the way, sir, you're not doing anything I've never done, you are not special...’ response.  You could practically picture her sneering down the line, as if to say, ’negro please...’  As far as interviews go, that one was not particularly well handled, and by that I mean it was crap.  Turns out, Sonko did try to answer the question as best he could, acknowledging that he is not in a position to make a statement on government plans, but he was endeavouring to make a change as best he knew how (listen from 2:13).  I have to admit, the man made some sense, in his own special way, but round about 4:00 things went south, and he gave up the quest at making his case, and she got onto an even higher horse.  When the interviewer spends more time mocking her guest, and not listening, that's a crap interview.

That said, a crap interview doesn’t warrant resorting to cheap insults, and snide insinuations as to her sex life, as Sonko did.  That’s small-minded thinking if ever I heard it, and, even worse, it’s very bad politics.  The best way to deal with a smug bastard is to ignore their patronising bullshit and use their (often times fake) intellect against them, no?  All the man had to do was ask her to make a suggestion, any suggestion.  Put the bugger on the backfoot, scrambling for answers they most probably don’t have (being that their job is to talk without thinking), while your assistant cobbles together a fluffy sound bite that you can then use to sign off, because at that point you need to leave, fast.  But not our Sonko, no sirree bob!  He flew off the handle, after painting himself into that corner, and attacked the person and not the issue.  Cheap and stupid politics, but I can’t honestly say I’m surprised.  Despite his temporary makeover earlier this year, I suspect the man has no interest in actual government (the act of governing) and policy making, not if his rumoured antics the last few months are anything to go by, all he seems to care about is a fancy office and a big title, and telling 'the man' to go fuck himself (he doesn't seem to have grasped the concept that he is now 'the man').  Just what this city needs, no?

Which brings me to the question of the day.  Who voted for this bugger, and why?  Don’t tell me no-one voted for him, he won his election with the largest margin in this city, he thrashed all and sundry most comprehensively.  Of the 1.2M people who voted, about 800,000 voted for his ass.  Those are Ukambani type percentages, my friend, rarely seen in these parts.  Watu wa Nairobi, really?  No, I didn’t vote for him, I voted for Omtatah.  Stop laughing, it seemed a very wise choice at the time.  Not so much any more...

And then came Friday.  We like Fridays in this city, for us Friday is a day we work in the morning, then spend the afternoon ’having lunch with a client’ (read ’eating nyama and having a beer or two to open the gullet for the weekend’) or ’getting our hair done’ (read ’getting our hair done for the hopefully hot date we shall have in a bar so dark he won’t even see your hair but who gives a fuck it’s Friday and we’re gonna get laid’).  A Friday in Nairobi is a day for humour, alcohol and/or sex, and anything that doesn’t fit within those parameters can wait until Monday.  No really, if you want to do anything foolish around here, do it at the end of the week, we’re too busy trying to funga to pay attention.  Or so you would think.  Our governor saw fit to test this theory for himself, and he roped in our women’s rep, to ensure he had our complete attention.  Woi...  That slap!

I shouldn’t talk about this story, not yet anyhow, but I can’t see any way around it.  See, it’s one thing for me to take shots at Sonko and Caroline, I have a history with those buggers, at one point both have been on my list of people I will one day slap.  I may have also thrown a loose brickbat at ’Manzi wa Nairobi’, in passing, so perhaps she’s fair game too, and I voted for the governor, thus I have earned the right to call him names for acts of great stupidity.  Thing is, that slap has so many bloody dimensions, two thirds of which are the stuff of most excellent satire.  I want to talk about it, but first I want to laugh at these two idiots, long and hard.  I want someone to edit that clip into a ’bitch-slap’ GIF, but I cant even call it a ’bitch-slap’ in the most generic sense, meaning the slap given to someone acting like a bitch (as in ’punk ass bitch’) to snap them out of their silly behaviour, because the sensitive people with feminist leanings will, well, bitch-slap my ass for being insensitive to the plight of the women/children/disabled/oppressed/marginalised/insert any other NGO term that could apply...  From what I’m reading on the forums, this slap has transcended City Hall foolishness, and entered the realm of gender and empowerment.  You try cracking a joke about that and see how long you last.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to launch into a defence of my governor’s actions, sorry, make that my gavana’s actions (pole boss, but you lose the fancy title when you start slapping buggers in the office).  The man had no business slapping anyone, male or female, that’s just silly, and surprisingly short sighted for someone with as great an ambition as his.  He has no business in City Hall that one, not if he can’t figure out how to fight without fighting.  Hang on, given City Hall’s history of thugs in gowns and chains, perhaps he’s an even better fit than we thought?  I’m just saying, his violent tendencies are pretty much a prerequisite for City Hall, all we need now is proof he can fling a chair with one arm and he’s sorted.

See, there’s no way you can talk about this shit without having a bit of a chuckle, no?  No?  I need JayK, he’s the only one who could offend without offending, or without caring who he was offending, or offending us all while making us feel special.  Good times, no?  Back to the saga...

So the gavana was a spectacular ass of a man in slapping the woman.  I don’t care what she said or did to him (he claims she laid a hand on his little governor, but eish... the man completely lost it, even he was surprised by the slap), there is no excuse for losing control like that, not for a man in his position.  The woman could have spat in his face and he would have been expected to remain calm, and before you accuse me of being too hard on him, the same would apply if their roles were reversed.  That’s why those buggers have a code of conduct (despite all evidence pointing to the contrary).  The only thing he has going for him right now, and it’s a tiny little thing, is that he slapped that woman.

That’s right, I have no intention of defending Manzi either, she can fight that battle all by herself.  What?  Don’t look at me like that, any woman who steps up to a man like that has the balls to take care of her own damn self.  Revoke my feminist card if you want, but I refuse to defend a woman who chooses to act like a man, a crude man at that, ati because we both wear skirts.  She’s a politician, just like him, just as foolish as him, perhaps more so given that not too many months ago she was in the news for another slap she allegedly received at the hands of the would be Gavana.  She’s not some wee little thing who was abused by a big bad man, she’s a tough as nails hustler, ready to throw down with the best of them.  Frankly, I’m surprised she didn’t slap him right back, strong black woman like her could’ve gotten at least one good lick in, the man is not that big (hence his use of a sneaky pre-emptive strike, no?).  Although, one could argue that she did in fact get a good lick in, first, if he’s to be believed, no?

Still too soon for the jokes?  Dammit I got jokes aplenty...

’But what if she was my mother, or my sister, or my aunt?’ you ask. Well if she was, I suspect someone would have taught her better, ages ago, as they did me.  Any woman with half a brain knows not to fight a man like that.  Verbal confrontation, in his face, physical intimidation, will always end badly, usually for the woman.  Despite all protestations to the contrary, we are the weaker sex, physically, best if we admit it to ourselves and stop trying to play the game on their rules.  Women, smart women, fight dirty, and smart women politicians fight dirty in the press, playing to the public gallery, hell, perhaps Manzi's doing just that, who knows?  Storming the gavana’s office?  What the hell for?  I’m curious, Madam Manzi, what made you think this particular man, generally regarded as an inflexible man, would be inclined sit down and talk to you and your people, assuming City Hall workers are your people?  Or did you think he could be bullied, because you’re such an important person in this city?  What was the expected outcome of that little stunt, other than a two minute slot on the evening news?  On the up side, you did get the slot...

I voted for the gavana, though I was duped into believing he was less of a thug than the others (his campaign posters were really very good, and I am a sucker for a pretty picture), so I accept responsibility for part of the mess we’re in, but I didn’t vote for the other two geniuses, those ones are on the rest of you buggers.  With our top elected officials acting like idiots, I think it might be time for us to start worrying for our city. Then again, we’re not that much better, now are we? Ah well...


Football made in...Africa?

Its only on this continent where a white coach can accuse a black coach of racism, for calling him a white man.  Malawi report Keshi to FIFA for racism  Apparently Mr Saintfiet was unhappy with the decision to stage the next World Cup qualifier between Malawi and Nigeria in Calabar.  Seems Mr Saintfiet “was citing a British Foreign and Commonwealth Office advisory (read here) that described Calabar as a no-travel area because of fears of terrorism and violent crime.  Malawi requested FIFA move the game.”  Well then, if the Brits say its a no go area, then I guess you shouldn't go there, because we all know how accurate those advisories are (see their advisory on Kenya, where they warn you not to go to Eastleigh, because of the terrorists, and “Beware of thieves posing as police officers. Always ask to see identification.”, because our cops will always show you their ID's, or not...).  

One thing though, didn’t our own Harambee Stars play in Calabar not too long ago, without incident?  Yes, it's that Calabar, where our venerable (ahem) Stars were allegedly mistreated.  Also successful host of previous qualifiers.  But that's beside the point.  Point is, Bwana Keshi called a white man a white man.  What he actually said was, “If he wants to talk to FIFA, he should go back to Belgium. He is not an African person, he is a white dude. He should go back to Belgium... All other countries play in Calabar. Calabar is one of the safest places in Nigeria... He is mad. I wish I could say it to his face.”  Racism?  Really Mr Saintfiet?  

Its only on this continent where two games can end 79-0 and 67-0, on the same day.   True story.  Apparently two teams, Plateau United Feeders and Police Machine (real names) went into the last day of the season tied on points, with a promotion spot up for grabs.  I assume they were also tied on goal difference, hence their attempts to outscore each other.  Feeders won their game 79-0, scoring 72 goals in the second half (that's about a goal every 40 seconds or so, on average), while Machine won 67-0, scoring 61 in their second half (a goal every 50 seconds, on average).  Now, I've never played a competitive game of football, but a goal a minute seems somewhat ludicrous, given that there are two teams on the pitch, ideally playing against each other.  “A journalist who saw Bubayaro's defeat against Police Machine, and who asked not to be identified in order to protect his own safety, told BBC Sport: "In the second half, we started witnessing outrageous own goals, free-kicks and terrible goalkeeping. Feeders blasted goal after goal past Bubayaro. Officials of the club turned into emergency ball boys, instead of retrieving the ball from the net, they quickly threw another ball into the centre circle. It was ridiculous, because the losing side didn't make any effort and the officiating was abysmal, with controversial calls being made and unaccounted additional minutes played."” The owner of Bubayaro immediately disowned and disbanded the team, and all four teams received 10 year bans from the Nigerian Football Federation.  All I want to know is, who came up with this brilliant plan?  Everyone knows to not score more than 10 goals in a fixed match, they should have gotten tips from us.  Remember Mumias Sugar, Bribery probe for Kenyan football champs?

And just to prove that specialness is not unique to us natives, Shakhter Karagandy “has been warned by UEFA that if the club continues to slaughter sheep before a game it will face possible sanctions.”  That's right, these buggers killed a sheep before a game, all traditional like, inside their stadium.  Seems they like to do that in Kazakhstan.  Not a problem, right?  Wrong.  According to the geniuses at UEFA HQ, "...animal slaughter on a football pitch or in a stadium before, during or after a UEFA competition match - or with reference to a UEFA competition - is totally improper, and will not be tolerated.”  Now while I care deeply for animals and stuff, come on...  Animal slaughter?  Ritual sacrifice?  That's a bit hysterical, no?  To quote their coach, “All I can say is that every team and every club has its own pre-match traditions and rituals.Shakhter Karagandy warned with Uefa sanctions over sheep sacrifice When asked if they planned to repeat the ritual in Scotland, the man answered in the affirmative, and when asked where the animal would come from, he replied, “As far as we know in Scotland the agriculture is very developed so it shouldn't be an issue to find a sheep.” Now this is a white man who can come coach in Africa.  Sorry, a light skinned fellow.  Let it not be said I'm a racist...


Life is too short...

I'm of two minds on this post.  Half of me wants to pick up from the last post, and talk about the response I got, seems the bulk of my vocal audience (as opposed to those of you who prefer to suffer in silence) were of the opinion that I was smoking cheap drugs (which I am, but that's beside the point, no?  Don't bother disagreeing...).  The other half of me wants to lenga everything and get back into the flow of things, now that I've wrapped up my most pressing work and I have time to pay this neglected house some attention.  Onward and upward, or reflect and ruminate?  Ruminate it is.

I've just come back home from a loose afternoon plan with the fellas, one of whom, I should probably tell you, is the ex I talked about 2 weeks ago.  Yes, I meet up with him, and others, every couple of months, and no, there is no drama.  We sit, have a couple of drinks, eat whatever is available for eating, talk about all manner of nonsense (and I do mean all manner of nonsense, everything from hair (or therein lack of these days) to politics to the four reasons why every man should have a favourite brothel), seek counsel every so often on vexing problems, have the odd argument about, well, anything really, but usually the fights tend to focus on foolish things done/dated/shagged...  See, this is my relationship with this particular bunch of not too intelligent gentlemen (I mock them, and myself), it's easy, no domestics (well, none of great seriousness).  The fact that I dated one of them is not an issue, most days its treated like an event that never really happened, kinda like Gladys' suspension (I must go rant about that on the other side, bloody nkt!).  In one of the few conversations I remember having with one of said fellas, about the ex and that relationship, he asked me why I went out with said man, then frowned when I replied, then shook his head several times, then took a sip of his beer, and then said, “I don't get it.”  And that was the end of that discussion.  Men.  You gotta love 'em...  I have digressed somewhat.  The point I was trying to make is that I hang out with my ex, just, and not just the one I talked about, others too (I'm making them sound so many, when in reality they are but a handful.  Shame man!).  Not all the time, not even that often depending on work and stuff, but often enough that we don't lose touch.

My question is, is it really that strange that I'm friends with the ex, good friends?

Stop nodding.

Whenever I get reactions on the blog that confuse me, I turn to one of the more silent members of our little group for an unbiased opinion.  This man, let's call him Blue, is quite a chatty bugger, always open to a random discussion (are you noticing a trend here?  I like to have random conversations, even with strangers, although I'm not sure I get to call this man a stranger any more...).  Now he's fond of giving me an unvarnished opinion, preferring chat to a comment on the blog, so he can really let rip.  Usually, Blue's comment is along the lines of, that was an interesting post (not) Alex, but why did you say...  And then he interrogates me for a couple of minutes, picking my brain to get at the unsaid.  On the last post however, he said nothing.  Not a damn thing.  That's usually a bad sign, by the way, that's his way of registering unhappiness, not disinterest.  When he's disinterested, he tells me.  I prodded him.

What did you think about that post?” I asked him, mentally bracing myself.

It was quite strange,” he replied, code for 'were you high, woman?', “the comments were lovely.”  Uh oh.  “Do you know why I said lovely comments? I said lovely because these peeps have seen through to what you are actually saying...the half-open door and stuff, the keeping a light burning and stuff. And then nobody is being judgemental... Though one questions the wisdom of attending this ka wedding...”  He paused, waiting for me to digest what he was saying.

That's the bit I wanted to ask about, what's that about? Does it sound like I'm still pining over this man?”  I was frowning at this point, about to get slightly upset, and by slightly I mean very.

Hahaha...you wish them the best and then go to their nuptials...say with me...kai nikii?”  I assume he shook his head at this point, confounded by my stupidity.

Hence the reason I shouldn't attend this wedding?”  For crying out loud, the wedding is bloody fiction right now...

You should not attend anything!”  I pictured him slapping his desk for emphasis.  Not that he actually would, he's a bit of a softie this one, fond of harsh truths, but soft all the same.  I picture him as a bear, cuddly, but with claws.

Why not?” I banged out, belligerent as ever.

Then all you have written lacks sincerity,” he sniffed, all haughty like.

Exasperated, “Explain it to me like I'm a 6 year old...

There is a pain in cutting away long ties,” he typed slowly, tapping out each letter like it was an invaluable pearl of wisdom (this conversation was being had online), “if you are not prepared to feel pain... A little bit like our old hoarding convos, use a sharp knife and cut. Attending socials like weddings, christenings, itegas, etc etc is just not optional.”  I could see him leaning back in his chair, very satisfied with his most lucid reply.

So let me see if I follow you correctly, because I am no longer involved with the man, romantically or sexually, I have no business being at a social event? His social event? Because of our history?” What he didn’t know was that at this point I was ready to throw my computer out the window.  I was not amused.

Are you being disingenuous?” he scoffed, I suspect chuckling at my naivete.  “Your history is long and turbulent, and like we all know, such relationships are powerful and many would argue...toxic. Hence the cut, see?

And this one is toxic, or appears to be so?” I responded after a minute, his logic starting to seep in, and scare me.

I wonder whether toxic was a fair word to represent the passions between the two,” he softened his words, probably guessing that I was shell-shocked.  “It is unclear to me why anybody would want to complicate things for themselves...where there was nothing further to be gained.

Nothing further to be gained?  What the...

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what this is all about.  Why hang on to something that's gone?  On the other hand, just because one thing is gone, does that mean everything is gone?

I've talked about my relationships with my exes before, at length, so it comes as no surprise that I am in favour of hanging on, after the end.  Thing is, my definition of hanging on isn’t the same as yours, I'm guessing.  Ignoring the possibly (but not always) messy 'no strings shag' that these relationships tend to end up as, there's something to be said for a friendship beyond the romantic.  Call me stupid, but some of my closest friends are men I've dated, broken up with, and now want nothing more from other than the odd meal.  In my head, these are people I cared deeply for at one time, I liked these buggers, for more reasons than because they were good kissers, or that they made me feel like I was bloody superwoman.  I hated them as well most probably, must have for things to have ended, no?  But as with all things emotional, the strong feelings have long since passed, love and hate alike.  Given enough time, and a measure of distance, the bad is ultimately forgotten, if not entirely forgiven, lessons learned and all that jazz.  As I came to learn, those break-ups were my fault too, only it took time to see what part I played.  There's also the minor fact that it's often easier to blame another, rather than own your demons.  Problem is, once you make your awkward peace with you and yours, all of a sudden their failings seem almost understandable, less reprehensible, almost human (emphasis on man, you gotta love these idiots, they are not the brightest creatures on the planet, but, thankfully, neither are we).

Does this sound like a load of self help malarkey?  Too much kumbaya bullshit?  Tough titty!  And just to be clear, whilst I have dealt with my issues and I'm now as happy as a fucking lark, do not mistake my calm for idealistic flowers in my hair.  Yes, I still harbour some resentment at the shitty way I was treated, but, in retrospect, I wasn’t exactly the nicest person either, was I?  Yes, that man cheated on me, but for as long as he is no longer mine, what's to stop me having a random chat with him on a Monday afternoon?  Yes, I suddenly vanished on that dude, preferring avoidance to the awkward discussion about how my, umm, let's call them needs, were not being met, but if he can look past my cowardly actions, then who am I to deny myself the benefit of his business acumen, and him my chicken tikka?  All I'm saying is if I was friends with a lover, then just because we're no longer lovers, that doesn't mean we can't be friends.  

Life is complicated, black and white is an abstract concept best left to fiction, and the papers.  If I went around bumping off everyone who ever did wrong by me, or me them, then I would only have my mother to talk to, because she can never be silenced (bless her!), and my mechanic, because he owes me a bloody silencer (don't bless him...).  Listen, we all make mistakes, we all fuck up, some of us fuck up monumentally, and then we get up and carry on.  

My point?  I'll be damned if I'm going to keep carrying shit around, and I will be further damned if I have to listen to someone tell me how important it is that I should.  Forgive me, but life really is too short.