Conversations

Dear Stardust,

How are you?

How does the sun look like where you are?

Is she bright yellow up above you, or tangy orange as she travels home? How does she look like?

And you?

How do you feel right now?

I spend my days writing these letters to you, talking to you the best way I can, using what I have.

Sometimes, I feel like I could pour my heart on paper more than on a device.

The internet never forgets.

I want you to behold my handwriting, to see how I slant my consonants, hide my vowels…

Stardust, I guess I just have better conversations with you when there is a pen and paper between us.

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Silence

It’s you…Stardust.

It’s always been you.

I don’t know what to make of these thoughts, that stir my mind, set it ablaze you’d say.

For a soul so unknown, you love fire, like the air you breathe.

It will be ten o’clock in fifty-eight minutes.

I’ve had a cup of tea for supper and you are probably watching National Geographic, stretched out like a big cat on that brown couch you have.

You’ve had a cigarette for supper, but you will fix yourself something to eat, because you know how to whip up a meal when you’re motivated, and nothing motivates you like hunger.

I keep talking to myself, my words bounce back to me, these four walls know more about my emotions than I do.

So, I’ll write you another letter before I go to bed tonight.

And it will be something like this, “Dear Stardust…silence.”

Person Lying on Bed Holding Blanket
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Drowning

“Have you ever felt scared while on a boat on the lake?” you ask.

It is four o’clock in the evening. I am in bed, trying to regain my composure from the nap I was taking. How is it that you still have my phone number?

How is it that even when I have been miles away from you I can tell exactly what it is that you are doing?

So, I stretch out on the bed, sit up- look at my hair that’s half undone…braids on the right side neatly done, on the left, a chunk of hair to be braided by dawn.

I do not wish to talk Stardust.

I do not wish to welcome or relish the silence we create between your questions and my answers.

It’s been happening…and my mind wanders even as you hold, waiting for a response.

I do not know what scares me Stardust…not anymore.

You sigh, let out another easy laugh and say “I feel like I am drowning every time I think about you. Do not immortalize me Love, I do not deserve it, have you ever wondered how many kids we’d have by now? I mean, if I wasn’t such a jerk, we would have two…maybe a girl who looks like you, and loves me more or a boy, who walked like me…I don’t know, these post on facebook of parents congratulating their toddlers on graduating just got to me. What’s so epic about graduating from kindergarten? It sucks that parents pay thousands to get their kids a good foundation and then they go to public school and suddenly the parents can’t even fork up motivation fee for the teachers, saying that the government offers free primary education, how messed up is that?”

You light a cigarette…I can feel it, miles away.

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I look at the time, walk to the next room to turn on the kettle. A cup of tea could do me good, ease my nerves…and I want to cry Stardust. You don’t know this because you talk about your dreams and I sit on the floor hoping the cold would numb my sorrows.

I want to hold it all in Stardust, because you have turned me into your Therapist, and every time I hear your voice, it’s like I am drowning, so who will save me Stardust when I cannot even save myself from your memories?

 

Flame

My love is like a flame.

It knows your name,

Accepts your shame,

Keeps you safe from blame.

My love is like a flame,

It knows how to ignite,

Even when we don’t fight,

It gets you just right.

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My love is like a flame,

Forget those lines up there and know that it knows how to keep the temperature right, a little bit of heat, a little bit of zing, a slow burn, or full on roast.

My love is like a flame, isn’t it odd that I am the one who gets consumed by it?

A little more to the left

“How do you do that?” You asked.

I was seated reading Tyrants and sipping coffee, my legs folded beneath me and as always, my heart a steady reminder of this proximity we have.

You draw me to your weakness, and I draw you to what you could never have.

I looked up at you, my eyes casting a quick glance at the cigarette between your fingers, the pack beside you on the window sill and smiled…you let out an easy laugh, and I smiled once more, “how do I do what?”

“How do you reign in silence?” you asked.

I put the book down, walked up to you and reached for that cigarette…gently placed it in the ash tray and sat beside you.

You smiled.

Did you know that when you smile, your left eye twinkles more than the right? It’s like a star finding it’s way home, releasing the light from within.

“How is it that every time I am with you, you ask me questions that require answers beyond my comprehension?”

“You make me sound like a Philosophy class!”

“And you…you make me feel like I am attending a soul-searching session, how about that?”

“Can I have my cigarette back please? You are giving me ideas and trust me, none of them, involve the distance you’ve carefully crafted between us.”

“You still feel miles away from me?”

“You, Love, are like light…you drive away the dark, you also unveil things that I prefer to be kept hidden away from not only you and the world but also from me and that scares me…it freaks me out that as tiny as you are, you can illuminate even the parts of me that I never wanted illuminated.”

“So, I am light…”

“Love, you are nothing but light, you are what stays true in both the dark and the light and if you only knew how powerful that is…you’d never hesitate to be mine.”

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Exits and Orbits

You are my puzzle. Sometimes, I orbit around you until I’ve had a view of you from every angle and then I leave.

You take these exits like you do your medicine, not so well.

“How come you’ve never asked me for anything?” you ask.

“What do you mean?”

“You know…like say ask me to buy you a book, treat you to dinner or buy you something like I don’t know…the things chicks ask for.”

“Are we in a relationship?” I ask. You shrug your shoulders, look outside…it’s drizzling now, my neighbor’s cat is busy calling out for her man…sometimes she makes me wake up in the night thinking someone dumped a baby right outside my window. You follow her movements with your eyes.

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Cats are your kryptonite.

Women are like newspaper leaves; each page a new story.

You smile and gently rub my feet. I know where you go to when I put you on the spot.

What astounds me is how easy it is for you to run to what wounds you, memories of a time when the one you looked up to, up and left. Remember the time I yelled at you, “I am not your Mother! I am here, I haven’t left and you are doing everything to make me leave!”

It was the only time you ever asked me “please leave…” and I was too stubborn to leave, so you left and never came back until the next morning.

You found a memory of her at the bottom of a bottle, in the warmth of another woman…and simply declared “you are too close, we’ll only be friends, I can’t let you any closer.”

Do you remember this day?

Do you remember those words?

I can taste them on my tongue. Sometimes when I close my eyes, I see your wounds and gently apply some salve to them…and you always lie there, serene, with a smile on your lips…your hand gently wrapped in mine, and in my dreams you are bliss. In my dreams we orbit each other, you are my sun, I am your sun.

In my dream every word is said through our eyes…every emotion felt through touch and when I dare to open my eyes, they are nothing but exits and orbits.

You look at me and smile, then let out another easy laugh, “I love how you go into your world when I am ready to answer your questions. Marry me, the next time you come to me, come not as a friend, or worse off a listening ear, but come as Mine.”

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Make or break; safeguarding a relationship

It is 8:15pm as I write this. I had tea and a chapati for supper then took a motorbike to Nakumatt where I bought a 250ml strawberry yoghurt. I bet you don’t really need to know that, but I am prone to digress, for it takes a while for a story to develop. 

This will be my last night in Bungoma and I am not looking forward to sleeping early because last night all I heard was the sound of someone snoring like a truck.

I sat up in bed from 1:44am to 3:45am reading Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie. The snoring ceased at 4:20am and by then I could not go back to sleep.

What’s more important in a relationship? 

A lady asked me this particular question at the restaurant where I was having my tea for supper. She’d joined her friend, someone called Milly, yes, she said “Milly with a y sio e!” They were sharing about a friend who seemed to make wrong decisions thinking she was doing the right thing. This friend was struggling to save the trust they’d built with a certain guy and her actions seemed to generate the unexpected results.

They turned to me, “what do you think? Like, don’t you think she should forget him, I mean if you don’t trust each other why stay together?”

“No, but why would you walk away without sorting out your problems, Milly,imagine leaving a guy and constantly wondering why things went wrong, si utarudi kwa ex yako kila time,” added Fannie. They went on for a while as I stuffed my face with chapati hoping for a clear exit because they did not need my opinion.

It is true that when a couple openly express their views and emotions, it fosters an understanding that with time builds on trust. On the other hand I have seen couples who in their need to be open and be true, drift apart. It’s not that they did not love and cherish one another, but in their communication, they managed to push their partner away rather than draw them closer.

When such situations arise, three things could happen and if I could dig into some psych understanding, these are; fight, flight, freeze. Let’s call them the 3 F’s.

The disconnect in how they communicate and express themselves can lead to a fight, or it can make one to opt out of the relationship either emotionally or physically and finally it can stagnate the relationship, where the couple cannot grow psychologically or emotionally and it’s a constant case of ‘it’s complicated.’

Milly and Frannie went on debating on who was right and which action was best so much so that they did not see me make an exit. If they did then they did not mind my absence as much as they minded my presence, but between you and I, the friend they were talking about was Fannie. 

So, Fannie, if you are reading this, I hope I spelled your nickname as it should be. I also hope that you look within to understand your actions, were they initiated as reactions or to support what you wanted? I am no preacher of love. I however love writing and reading romance novels. I am also not a guru, if I were, I’d be having a show on “Love,here’s what I did” on TV. All I know as I type this is that inasmuch as we speak the truth, and strive for openness in any relationship, there’s also the need to safeguard trust in how we pay attention and focus on how we express ourselves and the effect it has on the other person.

A friend was once given the silent treatment for six months because he told his expectant wife “unakula nyingi sana.” She said, her decision had nothing to do with hormones but when he told her that she almost went to the kitchen gorged the baby out of her womb and inserted into his stomach. She felt as though she was the only one who was involved in conception. 

Now that I think about it, I reckon she might have thrown everything at him had her hormones been involved, but hormones or not Fannie, words can slice and sink deeper than claws. 

My kind of love

It is a day unlike no other, the price of chocolate has tripled, red dresses are sold everywhere, sloppy music is playing and restaurants are busy preparing menus for ‘table for two,’ and the best part is ‘I am single!’

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Well, it’s not my fault, it’s just that I am picky.

I do not appeal to anyone out for a visual treat. You’ll not catch me in a dress, heels or make up- especially make up! I have no idea what the difference is between a concealer and foundation and why they have to cost more than four books at #BooksFirst.

I’m the one you saw walking with a spring in her steps. The one who has read earphones on and a backpack the size of a suitcase.

Yes, that one in sketchers, black shorts and a red-tshirt…yes, that’s me.

But, the hype around Valentine’s has never been my kind of love, not even when I was in a relationship. It’s a beautiful feeling to be in love and be loved in return, but to spend and demand for so many things on one day, reminds me of a two year old throwing a tantrum in a candy store, we can’t buy all the candy!

My kind of love is:

  1. Reading a book (in peace) and this would sometimes involve listening to Emeli Sande or Rebecca Ferguson…while sipping some coffee
  2. Writing, this depends on inspiration, you might be telling me something and I might just reach out for a notebook and start scribbling, or you might turn in bed at night and find that I am seated on the bathroom floor writing something…please do not interrupt me when you find me like this.
  3. I do not like confrontations and if you love to argue a lot…may the heavens send me a daily dose of tolerance, because I walk away just as fast as I smile.
  4. Eating chocolate cake. Please, let’s not argue about this!

 

5. I have some kink in me, and I don’t know if it comes from reading all those BDSM novels  but there are many ways to enjoy champagne, cream, and grapes.

6. Getting on the road, simply carrying a change of clothes and getting on a bus or train to an awesome destination.

7. Children, there is something about spending time with toddlers that gets me smiling and when I am off to volunteer at some childrens’ home, please do not interfere.

8. Chapati. We shall not argue about who makes ISO Certified chapatis.

9. Fried chicken, mine’s finger licking fantastic! End of story.

10. I’ll listen and watch a football match with you…I will swoon over the handsome players, before the game, and after, I will wonder who does their laundry…and that’s about it, kindly do not involve me in your #SportPesa predictions, if you lose, you do so on your own, and if you win, you share your spoil with me.

11. Ignore everything and you’ll be in trouble, but allow me some kink and writing time 🙂

xoxo

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The Toy Collector

I am a collector.
I like my women like my toys.
New and shiny.
I don’t have time for cuddles, if she’s broken she’s forgotten
I text her “goodnight”
If she replies in under a minute, I send her an emoji of kisses.

I am a collector.
Fine women, fine memories.
No attachments, no responsibilities.
Sly ones on twitter,
Fly ones on Instagram,
Both fly and sly on Facebook.
If she says she likes me a lot,
I send her an emoji and ask her to coffee.
She’ll say yes.
They always say yes.

Then one day, when I meet another fly one,
I drop her and pursue the other.
Like I said, I am a collector.
Why court when you can flirt?

Thing is, I found this one mama.
She is beautiful, like magazine beautiful
She is intelligent, her words cloak me with wisdom
But, when I think of her, I think I’d love to keep her,
She looks at me,
Spends her day as she sees fit,
She texts me when she wants to,
Answers my call when she feels like it.

I’m a toy collector who’d love to be kept.

Lunch with the Lady.

“It’s okay, I am really glad you agreed to come I know you must be tired having worked like a slave the whole week. I mean, don’t you get tired of being around tables and food and restaurants in general?”

“Sometimes I do, but it’s my job and it pays the bills so I tend to let it be what it is.”

“Yeah, I’m sorry. Okay, so what do you want to talk about?”

“You.”

“Okay, what do you want to know about me?”

“What do you do and what do you like?”

“I am in HR. I have a couple of side gigs and all mainly doing exhibitions. I like dancing and shopping, that’s what I can think of right now, but I also like to meet people get to know them and things like that.”

“Great because I cannot say that I like dancing, or shopping-but since I love to bake I always find time to shop for ingredients and cooking utensils.”

“You bake? Like cake cake?”

“Yes, cake cake.”

“Sheesh! That is great, like I don’t know any guy who bakes, like seriously, do you also cook and stuff?”

“I do stuff, and yes, I cook sometimes. I have never slept hungry with food in the house.”

“You are serious Walter, aren’t you?”

“You find me funny?”

“No, yes. Wait, no, it’s just that…ghai! You love baking, I am impressed!”

“Do I get the job then?”

“What job?”

“It’s just sounded like an interview right there.”

“Now you are being funny! But listen, you know I do exhibitions and events like that, so how about we have some of your stuff for our clients to snack on and things like that, I’m sure it could be great.”

“Thanks, we can work on that.”

“Sure and hey is it cool if I ask you something, I mean, we barely know each other and I don’t want to offend or get in your business or something, but do you smoke?”

Walter looked at Ruth, her brown eyes that had once held him in his place were on her milkshake. She used her straw to swirl the drink around, but in that time she did not meet his eyes.

He thought of Bella, that chick he’d dated in campo, who kissed her anywhere they were. They had been voted best couple the night before they broke up because she felt like he was going to die of cancer and leave her behind. Bella had clearly never watched A Thousand Ways to Die! He looked at Ruth thinking of all the ways he could get past this, but he was done with secrets. If she was into him then he would not pretend.

He pulled out the pack of Embasssy Lights he had in his pocket and pushed it towards her glass. She looked at it and slowly lifted her eyes to meet his.

“Is it a turnoff?” He asked.

“No, I am not sure. I haven’t been around a guy who smokes, it’s just that I saw you some day in town and you were smoking, and it was like…”

“A blow?”

“No, like an hallucination.”

“So…”

“You are an Embassy Lights kinda guy…okay, but you do know that cigarette smoking is bad for your health and cancer is real and stuff like that.”

“It’s written on the pack. I read it every time I pull out a stick and light it. I hear it in my head when I take my first drag, and when I puff, It’s there in that white cloud of smoke, and it goes on until I step on that stub and continue with my work. I also believe it’s “cigarette smoking is harmful to your health.”

“I’m sorry. I did not mean to piss you off.”

Walter shrugged and took his pack of cigarettes and tucked it neatly into his pocket careful not to mess it up. He wanted to say it was okay, but the words could not make their way past his throat. He could see it happening, being high on love and then down when it went wrong. It was Bella and campo all over again and he was not doing that again.