In campus, we used to call women books. That was the best inside joke ever invented by man. We described clueless women fully, including their sexual anatomy in their presence, and sometimes they contributed to the discussions unwittingly.It was funny in the most evil way.
Here is a verbatim conversation we once had in a cybercafé inside campus when the most beautiful woman in campus, then a first year and us in second year, walked in. She was not only beautiful but had the roundest bottom and the most waspish of waists.
ME: You know guys I was telling you about that latest Achebe book (the word book instantly meant the presence of a woman worth noticing, to which they-my friends in the cyber-looked up).
PLATO: Aah, seen the book. I especially like the review in the middle of the back cover (back cover meant the back side and that would make ‘the review in the middle’ of the cover her ass).
ME: I tell you. I saw the New York Times review and they said it is worth every penny. Highly recommended. (To mean that any man would be willing to spend all his earnings and toil just but to lay her).
GRIFFO: Looks like a book I can terrifically enjoy, any day, anytime.
ME: Definitely, Acehebe is one hell of a writer.
To which the chick looked up, wondering why anyone would be a literature enthusiast in the year of the Lord, 2009.
Yes, we had fun with that. Sometimes, we would go into Griffo’s room and found him with a lady and sit there describing her and she will be clueless.
“I can see you are into some anglo-saxon literature,” I would say, meaning she was light-skin.
“I’m changing my literary tastes, African titles (referring to dark skins) have become a little boring.” Griffins would say. And the chick typical of them not wanting to be left out would interject…
“You guys like reading, I envy you. I can’t read anything, unless for exams…”
To which we will laugh rapturously. To us, getting laid=reading. So if I asked Griffo, “have you read the book, what is it like?” he would reply,
“It was a great read. Though not as good a read as the recommended read” (to mean his official girlfriend).
A lousy lay was a bad read. A loose woman was an equivalent of a book in the public section of the library. A self-respecting woman was a book in the reserved section of the library. A slightly older woman was a book in the graduate section. The number of women in your life was your library. The more the variety, the better your library. The less, the more the urgency to refill your library.
Boy, we had fun. What made this joke the lovelier was how spontaneously it worked. It was original, evil and funny. Those were the days. Now out here, we meet less often. But the bonds are still tight. Occasionally we meet for beer, but the rifts have begun to appear. Of course career, marriage and life happenings serve to widen the rift further, but we do try. So here is my update on what is going on in my society. My friends have not given permission to share the details, but I have taken the dramatic license. So should I pull down this blog, take it that a friend requested me to pull it down for the too much information, therein.
Anytime from now, my boy Bon-I will be a proud father of a son. I wish the son will not take after the father. Sons are a blessing to the father. Always. And daughters somehow, a punishment for the bad things we men do to women. It is a relief when you learn that a little of you is growing in the womb of the your wife or girlfriend. I suppose men tend to be more committed in the event it a boy in the offing.
Political correctness demands that we say a child’s a child, but deep within, a man’s heart definitely rejoices when it is the son who pops out first. And now in our clique, it is Bon-I who has the honours of becoming a father, three years since we left campus. Bon-I was the bad-boy in our clique. The one you would expect will marry in his early 40s, after drinking and partying through his 30s. But hell, NO. He is a collected man. He recently whispered to me, he is ready and up to the task and no less proud that a man’s sole reason of existence is to have a son. A daughter is OK. But a son, that is as good as it gets.
Three years on, I have been thinking about life lately. How times change. How we grow old. We are now men. Searching for answers to life. Searching for that first million. Searching for that beautiful woman to wife. Searching for that meaningful job. Searching for that business that can rake in millions. Searching for that dream car. Searching. And searching.
One of my campus crushes is on the verge on her dream wedding. It is sad seeing a woman you never summoned enough balls to tell her that you loved her being walked down the aisle by the least likely of men. Another such chick that I tried in vain to seduce is pregnant with the least likely person you will imagine. Imagine, the prettiest woman you know. The one, you beg for her number for three weeks, before she gives that suspicious Yu number that works for a day and stops.
That beautiful woman whom you say Hi to on Whatsapp or Facebook, 17 times before she replies a hesitant ‘hi’ and switches off completely. You know her. That light skin. When you meet her she will tell you ‘I’m always online, but I rarely chat.’ Or that inane line, ‘Guys keep stalking me, that is why I switched it off’. You know such? Well. One such girl is pregnant with the most ordinary, mundane chap I know. Think of a boring Ole Lenku.
A couple of women my heart has ever hankered after have pictures of their children in their Whatsapp profile or Facebook. Some stupidly in love have pictures of their boyfriends in the profile pictures. Boyfriends with rusty teeth and ugly mustaches. Women were created to break our hearts. Two of my exes recently did their weddings. And for heaven sake! Can people stop sharing photos of their children or sweethearts or weddings on Facebook? We know you are getting laid, spare us the torture of thoughts.
Anyway, the boys are fine. My boy Flex followed his heart into animation, and it is great seeing a production he co-creates has made it to the prime-time TV. Guys you have to subscribe to that Makarao thing being advertised on TV. Besides, being inanely funny, raw with wit, and a script taken straight from our police force, it is created by two young men after my heart. Flex and Flex, that is the way to go.
My two other boys, Ben and Paul decided to burn their brain cells some more and nowadays sound brilliant than when we finished our undergrads eons ago. They have not indicated any intention of marrying. Certainly overwhelmed by the scarcity of marriageable women who will not demand nonsensical weddings. My buddy David, is now a senior civil servant in the Department of Immigration and can’t even buy tea in town. I saw him last in 1956, summer. David, we used to be buddies. I missed that memo that indicated we are enemies. Kevo is competing with me on the potbelly front and he looks likely to outdo me. He nowadays perambulates through African capitals. Way to go, Kevin. While in Kigali, marry some cool, tall Rwandese chick. Way to go. My other buddy, David Osiany is lost somewhere in the CORD echelons, and boy, the sooner you rise up the ranks the better. And that mbuzi choma is looooooong overdue.
Now, my boy Griffo is in Eldoret. Griffo is a good testament of the saying ‘be careful what you wish for’. Back in campus, we used to play this little game where we acted like old men in the presence of younger women. So in the presence of a young woman, we will play some old music(probably soul or rhumba) and start things like…
“Baba, do you remember that shifta war of ’84?” I would ask.
“Eish, we survived that and lived to tell…those were the days,” he would retort.
“And by the way, where did you go, after dismissal from the service?” I would ask, feigning some air of curiosity.
“That was the time; I went back to Lokichogio and tried goat farming with disastrous results…” He would say without any hint of irony. And the girl in our midst or any other young person will be puzzled. We would claim that we were suspended from campus in 1988, and only recently readmitted. Of course, it was doubly disappointing when some took in the lie hook, line and sinker. And the less daft chicks would discern the lies.
But more disturbingly after campus, Griffins will find himself in Maralal and Lokichogio through Isiolo working for some NGO and leading a regretful life. I will end up in South Sudan closer to the border of Chad, under the oppressive heat of the Sahara. Goodness! How we survived? It is like that is what we had wished for. Literally.
Griffo alongside Bon-I were responsible for the widespread vandalism along Uhuru Highway and University Way between 2008-11. We liked pulling down those KCB, Cooperative Bank and KEMU billboards and displaying them from our windows in our cubes in Hall 9 and Hall 11.
Now, for his sins, Griffo is condemned to live in Eldoret. Eldoret is a shitty town. Imagine you pay to enter a night club. Despite the good name, Eldoret is a sleepy town. Nobody in Kenya really gives a damn about Eldoret. Eldoret has at least 2389 colleges and half them as well as the business are named Moi. The town itself looks like it is stuck in 1973. The tallest building is five floors and the most exciting thing about it are those seven-aside, Face-Me matatus that were phased off everywhere in Kenya in 1983. That is where Griffo spends his days and he hates it. He hates the stubbornness of the Kale folks. More worryingly, the Nandis over there don’t give a f*ck that he hates their stubborn asses and their guts. That is what you get when you vandalise hoardings in highway when drunk.
Anyway let us see how life pans out as we grow older into manhood.