The art of spinning a tale has eluded me for a while now. Like smoke off a cigarette butt, it is caressed by the wind and vanishes unaware of my sorrows. I thought about it at 4am sitting on the cold cement floor in my bedroom, one leg stretched out to accept the cold and the other folded as though being introduced to the cold. I think at 4am, often write at 2am and clean the house from 6:30am when nothing but cold water reminds me of chores that are to come.
What usually starts with a word, a feeling and ends in a composition has left me thinking of what should not happen.
These thoughts keep me company as I take strong tea, brush up my hair and tie it in a bun and leave for work. I plug in my earphones and click on ‘No longer slaves’ by Jonathan and Melissa Hessler. I walk to work, slowly making my way past Uzima University (they have a new bus and students whose attention is always on the road and not their destination), Frank’s place– he makes the best chips and has chilli sauce for days. I walk past the Carpenter’s shop at Robert Ouko who walks into his shop every time he sees me approaching, mistaking me for my sister, he never fixed the drawers she had paid him to, in September 2014.
My feet advance me towards the Le Savanna Junction, where motorcyclists speed past you’d think the traffic police were right behind them, by this time the song I am listening to is almost ending.
So, I slow down and watch the vehicles speed past me, children rush past me to school and I take in the stench of the latrines of St. Mary’s Kibuye Girls. At this time, I am tempted to start dancing as Usher’s song, ‘No Limit’ starts playing and then I realize that I don’t got that same master p he’s talking about, but even as I smile and laugh, the people walking past me think I am crazy. They would not know the joy of listening to lyrics and not the beats of a song.
I walk on past Mountain View estate, four tuk tuks are parked, and the drivers in their seats ready to take passengers.
I make my way to the coca cola shop across the road, buy two sachets of Nescafe, hand the man twelve shillings- careful not to brush his fingers, he has yellow fingers- the kind Magda calls tinted fingers. He smiles, ‘have a good day today.’ I nod and walk past the woman who sells tea and hot mandazi to the boda boda guys every morning. She has a purple head wrap today. I love the yellow one, it’s the epitome of fresh sunflowers.
By this time, my playlist has reverted to either some Daughtry or what I always call mellow music. It gets me reflecting on my life and why I work every day. Who names their playlist ‘Sober?’ Seriously!
I cross the road, look at how much dust my feet have gathered and this time Justin Bieber‘s Sorry is playing and I am tempted to start twisting my ankles and swinging my hands in the air, but the office is only two minutes away, besides, I walk past The Neurosciences Center, I cannot unleash my crazy right there. So, I keep my cool and let my soul do the dancing.
And as I reach out to push the gate open, Kings Of Leon comes on and I suddenly wonder why I tap the shuffle icon on my playlist because clearly Sex on Fire is my jam and now I am officially under the complete scrutiny of the HR department and cannot wiggle, now do you understand why the art of spinning a tale has eluded me?