TURBULENT TWENTIES

Be careful how you drink in those parties

Time flies when you’re having a good time. Cue the wake-up call

In Summary

• You lie to get time off work to party with friends. Tomorrow never comes, or does it?

Image: PEXELS

Bad things have happened to me. Actually, good things happened first, and then bad things followed like the law of nature dictates. Apparently, you must suffer for every ‘fun’ you have. But let’s get to the good things first.

The other week, Victor called me, saying he is graduating on Friday. He wanted me there to witness him watch the online graduation proceedings from the comforts of his bedsitter. He is my friend, but I am not that idle, so I told him my boss is on my neck with schedules this high, I can’t make it.

And then he mentioned something about an afterparty, which made me realise I was not so busy after all, and even if I was, of course, I could create time. In any case, what is the essence of this life if not showing up for your friends?

So I told him, “Omera, I will be there like yesterday.”

Now this past Friday, I explained to my boss that my brother was graduating from Mt Kenya University and I needed to be there. “We are orphans. It is just the two of us, you know. I have to be there for him,” I explained.

Stay guided, though, that even in another life, Victor would never be my brother. Also, the last time I checked, Min Jii (my mother) was breathing down my neck, demanding to know when I will graduate.

And I always tell her, “Soon Ma, soon,” when all I want to say is, “I will graduate when I want.” Sometimes I want to tell her I’ll probably never even use the computer science degree once I have it. You know, to see how she reacts. She doesn’t understand me at all. She doesn’t understand that for me, life is not a straight path where you’re born, go to school, get trained to do something, and then do that till you die.

I follow my heart. I never want to do something just because some paper says I should. Whatever I do should be my truth. It should scream in every molecule of my DNA. Michael Angelo’s was art, Pablo Escobar’s was drugs, and mine is to write.

I digress. All you need to know is Min Jii breathes alright.

My boss let me have the day off. On one condition, that the next day, which is a Saturday, I would have to sit down with some fellow, ask him a bunch of questions about his life, and write about it. Easy pissy. Interviews are kind of my thing. No sweat at all.

“11am. Don’t be late,” he reiterated as I left.

I got to Thika at about 4pm. The party was awesome. Victor outdid himself. Great music, food and fine willowy girls with red lips that I like. And most importantly, drinks with human names, you know, Jameson, Johny Walker, Hennessy.

Victor does know what a party looks like. In our clique of friends, he is the first to graduate, even though we joined campus at around the same time. We are so proud of him, having kept faith in the system to the very end. Most of us lost that faith a million years ago.

About two weeks ago, Jackson, the friend from Multimedia University, called us, the boys, over for lunch. We got there to find him brandishing a Kenya Airforce ID card. That ninja, who has never even thrown a punch his whole life, is now somehow going to protect us against al Shabaab. His broke ass even got money to buy us lunch, which is not chapo-dondo. We were shocked.

I still can’t believe it. He says he will resume school later but we all know Jackson has always hated school. If he has found a way out, there is absolutely no way he is going back.

And then there is Brad, who is in the same school as Victor, pursuing the same course, joined at the same time, yet somehow, he is still in the second year. He is always running this business or that business, and hardly has any time for class. I’m sure I will graduate before him. Me? Well, you know all about me and my identity crisis.

Again, I digress. Up to this point, everything was going perfectly. Well, besides the girl in tight leather pants, who asked me what it is I do for a living. In this Nairobi, if you say you write, they will probably say, “Yeah, but who do you REALLY do?” So to quickly get off the conversation, I said I study computer science. To which she responded, “Huh, you must be very clever.” I may have said something along, “I was clever when I was 10, now I’m very smart.”

I was on my sixth bottle, and that is the last thing I remember from that night. The next time I came to, I was lying on Victor’s couch, and it was just a few minutes past 4pm.

If you think that is scary then you should have seen my phone with eight missed calls, all from my boss. Well, get me job vacancies because I’m very unemployed currently. Bad things have happened to me.