My meeting is long. It drags on till after lunch. I wonder what everyone on this table would think if they knew what I was doing before I got here. This meeting is not the most exciting thing in the world to be taking part in and it’s even worse when you haven’t had any sleep. I instinctively touch my neck again. What a naughty girl you are, Samantha! Rob must be thinking of me too because as things go, when you think of someone, the universe conjures them up. My phone buzzes with a text message from him.
Him: Did you make it on time?
Me: I did.
Him: I just woke up.
Me: And you’re thinking of me? You’re in trouble.
Him: Trouble, why?
Me: You like me.
Him: Are you thinking about me?
Him: Then we’re both in trouble.
I put my phone away and can’t keep the smile off my face. I Google more about what we did last night concealing my phone under the conference table and periodically steal furtive glances at the screen. As the conversation continues to swirl around me I come across the death erection. It’s also called angel lust and refers to a post mortem erection observed in corpses of men who died via hanging. This is supposedly so commonplace that an art historian, Leo Steinberg, wrote about it in ‘The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion.’ The book, published in 1983, shows previously censored artwork depicting Christ with deliberate exposure of his genitalia. The sexual components in thousands of revered icons of Christ were suppressed by the Catholic Church for several centuries but are now available for viewing.
Startled I look up to find all eyes in the room on me. Someone clearly asked me a question.
“The death erection,” I blurt out.
“What?” my boss asks. Oh crap, crap, crap. I think quickly.
“Yes, the death of elections. If the outcome is always disputed and causes so much strife, why not write a satirical piece calling for the death of elections in Kenya?” I say recovering well.
“Not a bad idea, who will you put on it?”
The rest of the meeting carries on with no incident.
The next day Rob calls. We speak for half an hour and he runs out of credit. I call him back and we speak for hours. He is actually a pretty interesting guy. I think I like him. The day after, he calls again. Same thing, he runs out of credit. Seeing a pattern developing, this time, I don’t call back. He sends a text message:
Him: Aki I forgot to top up. Can you send me credit?
Wow. What? I don’t know what annoys me more, the way he starts that sentence …” Aki…” or the floating of a test balloon to see if I’m good to finance his ass OR the fact that he sounds like a freaking slay queen. Ok, I get that someone may legitimately run out of credit. But of all the people he could ask for airtime, he asks the lady he is supposedly trying to get with? Or have gender lanes becomes so blurred that men and women roles interchange at random?
Me: Sorry, no mpesa.
Him: Oh nooooooo! It’s ok I’ll survive till tomorrow.
I don’t respond. What the hell?
The next day he calls. This time we talk about the list he insisted we write. It turns out that on this list is the requirement that we talk everyday. And I had to make sure it happens.
“Why me?” I ask.
“Because I get overwhelmed sometimes with work and how would you feel if I went 5 days without calling you?”