One graceful lady, the blue book and the hapless me

I like female legs. I like them when they are healthy, shapely and without freckles. No sooner I approve of the face than I run my eyes down to confirm the legs department. While fellow men first rush their eyes to the bum or breasts, I have a mysterious fixation with legs. They are my fetish in the physical attributes of womanhood. I’m continuously frustrated by the pants that women wear; hence it comes as a breather once I stumble upon a beautiful woman in a skirt with particularly nice legs.

I have done crazy things for female legs. Once when I was in campus (I can finally use this line, he!he!), I followed this lass with exceptionally long, fine, fresh legs from graduation square to Chiromo. For those unfamiliar with the University of Nairobi, that is a damn one kilometer walking uphill. The chicka had the beauty and brains to engage us (me and my really weird nigger Plato) all the way to Chiromo before she disappeared into one of those quaint academic buildings before giving us her number after too much bullying and treachery.

Turns out the upscale, highly precocious charge was a first year. She spoke the Queen’s language pretty eloquently with a distinct accent that bespoke some decent upbringing. She exuded some patrician demeanour and given she tolerated our insufferable company, she was intelligent. My X-ray vision and X-rated mind saw a good body before her intellectual mettle won us over. She had one of those unrehearsed voices, soft as a bell that can sing an unknown neo-soul number in an uptown mall and the patrons will not exactly tell which is great; the voice or the song?

So much for legs. But that is not the story here today. Just demonstrating my crazy obsession with legs, even though this girl cast a memorable impression in my mind, rather ironically. In retrospect, it must have been my pubescent erotic preoccupations, not at all regretfully. For my troubles, I received a belated birthday card with bottomless tall women from her. Height of perversion or twisted humour?

I hate Kisumu. Every time I find myself in Kisumu, I want to get out immediately. The sweltering heat in the lakeside has a way of tampering with my often fragile health. The flies in the Backstreets of Kisumu are scary. I remember once while having a nap, a low flying fly landed on my forehead startling me out of my dreamy siesta thinking that an helicopter had landed on my face.

Hell, Kisumu is bad. The prostitutes there are the most vulgar and the roughest, in the physical sense of the word. Not that I throng the red light street or the bars but at my age I definitely have had my fair share encounters with the women of the flesh. The bodadoda men cannot spell nor pronounce a number of words. We can as well as enlist them; shall we?
-Civil behaviour
-Common sense
But they are very eloquent on a number of words
-Bad manners

But every once in a while I find myself in the Sun City. It is the closest to home. I have a number of folks settled down there and cousins I am so fond of. So inevitably, anytime I am in Kisii I must end up in Kisumu. This past week I was down there for a different kind of visit and it turned out to be an entirely blessed outing. For I met the most beautiful, graceful, angelic woman in my life. Phanice was her name and we shall come back to this, a little bragging on the way there won’t hurt.

Of blue and red books
There is an incomprehensible excitement that engulfs one once you get you national ID. It is freedom to get into clubs without necessarily being frozen or reasoning out with bully bouncers who leave their brains in the gym. It is the freedom to get into some buildings without being unaccompanied. Heck, it is the most important document before you own your first ATM card. And to some of us it came courtesy of hard work and the subsequent HELB loans.

Next comes the red book, or the drivers’ license. This brings the excitement to mess around the road without being locked. It is the realization that you can be trusted behind the wheel and the big bro can entrust you with his car during the weekend. It generates that good feeling that you can at one point drive a car, your own preferably.

But the blue book or the passport is the ultimate document of prestige, though not anymore. There were days when owning a passport was the extreme luxury of the rich. It could take up to six months to obtain the blue book and the immigration ministry was the mostcorrupt. Those days are gone and nowadays with Kshs 3040 and ten days or less of waiting you have the blue book in your hand, expectant of your travel outside the country.

My journey and the blue book
I will be travelling out of the country briefly later on in the year. The journey is one of those prearranged tours that require adequate arrangement and all documents must be ready two months prior to the date of travelling. That is how I was summoned into an office and the guys arranging the journey asking me to produce a passport pronto.

I lied that I have one and could produce it the following day. It pays to have individuals in some specific places. I called my very helpful boy, Henry at Nyayo House and he was not in town and those available could only deliver me a miracle in two days.

I liaised with my wicked friend Caleb who linked me with a chap called Evans down at Kisumu. Evans is my clansman, a highly enthusiastic chap, sharp and quick with stuff. When I called him, he told me he can hand me over a miracle in a record 8 hours but I had travel to Kisumu. Hence I was in an overnight Easy Coach travelling down West. I can’t understand why individuals pay double for the murky services…

The most beautiful and graceful lady
I walked into the lobby at exactly 8.03 am and it was unseasonably chilly in that Thursday Morning. There were handful individuals who had turned up to apply, process or collect their blue books. I met Evans who in the speed of lightening did the necessary before he told me to turn up later at 2pm and take my miserable-self back to Nairobi.

At 2pm I was back at the lobby and there no more than fifteen individuals, all from various ethnic, racial, and age backgrounds wearing the forlorn look that Kenyans now don courtesy of the price of Unga.

Then I saw her. As expected of all the typically beautiful women she was standing by herself and luckily enough, not feigning seriousness fiddling with the phone and updating on Facebook on how slow and bureaucratic the immigration office was operating.

Boy was she beautiful? At about 5’9, chocolaty complexion-skin colour of desert honey and a well coiffured natural hair, this lady seemed intimidatingly beautiful. She was flawless. She had that face that indicated she was unlikely to cheat on his man. She looked 23-24, contented or in old slang, had her shit together. She had long legs and her black skirt’s hemline was right at the knees revealing some really promising thighs and even better going higher. Her grey, light pull- over augmented her breasts so well and with my vantage height I certified her subtly revealed cleavage as the best. She was grace personified. She was elegant, class and completely unaware that she is the most beautiful woman in the planet. It helped that her hips gave her a waist that will make her enemies with the wasps in the region.

I was the closest to her age racket. I was the only probable person who could talk to her.
Problem:In spite of my towering height, I don’t have an instantly recognizable presence. Many a time, my friends have had to add, a journalist/writer, shamefully embarrassing me when it turns out that the women they so much want to ride on my name to lay have never actually come across my name anywhere.

Predicament: While our eyes locked, she gave me that look that told me that I was as erotically inspiring as the pillar she was leaning on. Occasionally I have that unsettling feeling that I look wooden. This was one of those days.

Trouble: I am a poor dresser. I have never quite believed that a man should invest in good clothes. I was in my black shoes, material trousers and a shirt that had taken me about one hour ironing and once I had put it on, it looked like it had been snatched from the mouth of cow.

Relief:My instincts told me that she really wanted to talk to someone. The building was boring. The turned on TV was unclear and predictably had one of those Afro-sinema series was on mute. Only individuals talking on phones in their mother tongue made the room seem to be having life…Ever heard a Kisii rap over the phone…You would want to die. So I moved towards her, gathered all the balls I could master and put up the most authoritative voice and spoke in a regulated bass trying to sound intelligent.

“Have I seen you in Strathmore?” I asked…
“Nope.” She said radiating some humility that made me like her instantly. Any chick with half her indescribable beauty would have an attitude that can explode petrol tanker.

“ Then I bet I have seen you at UoN…”I said…
“Never.” She said firmly but in a friendly manner and ready to take on my next guess.
Thing with monosyllabic answers is that you can hit a dead end unexpectedly if you prove to be a sucker. May be my height made her give me one more chance…
“I can’t for the life of me, figure out but I have a feeling that we have bumped into each other, either in some college or some high profile meeting…” I said trying to be as believable as possible maintaining my subtle twang, so cautious not to betray my rustic upbringing.

“You’re talking to the wrong person. I have never been to a Kenyan University.” She said in a voice not so remarkable, but sweet and I had to keep on pressing. My trick was to associate her with prestigious institutions so that to give an impression that I regard her highly. I have used that trick and all the women swallow it hook, line and sinker.

“Anyway, I am Silas. Here to collect my blue book.” I said eager to sustain the conversation.

“Phanice. I am here to replace my mutilated passport. I’m supposed to be traveling on Monday, wonder if they can help me fast enough…”

Damsel-in-distress! I have read enough mafia stuff to know that damsels-in-distress while vulnerable are one thankless bunch. I pondered if I could show her how connected I was but that stunt doesn’t work with any woman with functional brains. With such women, you just have to be straight and to the point. Any attempt to impress will fall flat. I proposed that Evans could help and she readily accepted my offer. Evans promised to help her, without ripping her off. I was making some headway.

Phanice was to travelto South Africa for some job before taking up her masters at Rhodes Universities. She is a rarity. Not many women have the beauty conduct themselves in that characteristic grace like her. May beautiful women have the diva complex that really pisses men off.

But Phanice is a woman comfortable with herself. Thankful to God for her beauty and graceful about it. Doesn’t look down upon guys, for if she withstood me, she can withstand anyone. Phanice can’t bitch. In our ensuing conversation, she proved very objective even when I got deliberately petty. Oh my Phanice!

I was excited in her company and after Evans had offered to help her, we got out of the building and she called someone to come pick her up. On our way, a red Mercedes pulled over and a gentleman, definitely Luo came out. The clean shaved dude with well-tended beard was slightly shorter than me but tastefully and fashionably dressed. The kind that money transformed his looks (I’m not hating), albeit he had some semblance of a pedigree.

He gave her some warm hug and I hated her tight breasts rubbing his chest that was obviously hairy and scary. It hurt. The gentleman gave me that look of a man who is completely not threatened. For all he cared I could have been a cousin or an electrical post. Phanice introduced me and to people like Phanice in the upper middle-class where you are defined by your job, career or level of schooling…

“Meet Silas. An interesting chap, just met but he has been very helpful, I can have my passport hopefully (she turned towards me) tomorrow?”

I was absent minded silently praying that the burger was a brother or so but…she turned to me,

“Silas, This is Joel, my fiancé,”

He gave a firm, respectful handshake calling me by my name and made a dry joke about my height, to which they both laughed, more to sound friendly than for the joke. We parted and she wishing me the best of luck as I finish campus and asked me for Evans’ number. We parted unceremoniously. I took one long look at her legs and I said to myself…Rhodes University-Masters…I wanted to call Joel to tell him how lucky he was but on second thoughts, I didn’t want to act like a genius for stating the obvious.

Now can nature tell me why I will never meet a beautiful woman who is not taken or without issues?

I am back in Nairobi.


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