Today I took advantage of a chapatti.
That doesn’t sound right, okay, today I ate a chapatti.
Still doesn’t sound sensational enough.
Today I ate a cold chapatti.
Now before I tell you where I am headed with this, let me tell you about my morning.
Now si my alarm wakes me up at 6:30 and I lie in bed for a full thirty minutes listening to Jeff coveing for G-money, the I spend like twenty more minutes thinking about if I really do have to go to work. They don’t pay me enough to wake up on a cold day.
But anyway, I wake up, because the threat of being jobless is real. I apply deo, I wash my face. I brush my teeth while wearing clothes. All this time I am still sleepy (don’t judge me btw, I took a bath jana usiku)
Now si I start walking, no running to the stage, cause I have time-management issues. Then I realize I am hungry. Because I didn’t work hard enough, I live in a place where it’s muddy when it rains. I can’t walk back home, cause I walked carefully, and I don’t have time, or money, for shoeshine. So I buy a chapatti. I don’t know about you, but in my place we have more chapatti makers/sellers than we have people. I buy one chapatti. A hot one. Top of the pile. Its golden brown and the spots are really dark. That’s how you tell a yummy chapatti.
I decide to eat it sai sai. But I can’t eat and walk against the large crowds that are walking against me. People will call me a showoff, sijui I’m eating a hot chapatti, when they can’t even afford a cold mandazi. Sort of like those people who buy new toothbrushes every three months when the rest of us are in a committed relationship with our Colgate toothbrushes, you know what I’m talking about.
Now I put it in my pocket. Like I said, it’s really hot. And i realize it warms the inside of my pockets. I decide not to eat it. The weather is cold and I realize it can heat me up. So I keep changing it from pocket A to pocket B. The guy checking people for guns and knives and grenades checks me twice, ati I’m exhibiting ‘suspicious behaviors’. Anyway. I get into the bus. The chapatti by now is doing wonders for me. Sijui I’ll be buying them everyday because of the reason above.
The bus starts moving. I almost pull out the chapati.
Then the kid In front of me starts wailing.
“shosho, wapi potty?” she asks her grandma. Her grandma tells her to pee in her pampers.
She spoils my appetite.
The bus isn’t stopping just so she can susuu. Eeeh, si the kid is feisty. She turns up the volume. People’s necks start craning. Scowls start forming. People are telling her grandma with their stares. “control your child” but Kenyans are timid people, and nobody actually says It to her face. Plus the grandma is something else. She has a screw face. “kojoa kwa pampers juu hatushuki!!”.
Its awkward as a Jay Z-Solange reunion n the bus now.
I look outside. I see a guy peeing on a fence at KRFUEA. The kid
should teach his uncivilized ass something. I almost open the window and call him out. Then I remember not all Kenyans are timid people. I hate black eyes. And you can’t see and bite chapattis with a black eye. So I bite my tongue.
Then I realize I am hungry.
My stomach is grumbling now. I’m between a rock and a hard place. If I get my chapatti out, now I’ll definitely look like a showoff cause the bus is silent. If I don’t, I’ll probably suffer Irreversible brain damage, because this hunger is real.
I decide to give the kid my chapatti. She has now realized that the crowd is on her side and she can’t get spanked by her grandma, and she is now putting on a show. The crowd is laughing now, feebly though. Remember the grandma is bad news. Kenyans love entertainment. And the radio is off, kwa ivo there Is no Maina Kageni and his cock and bull stories to listen to, so anything will do. The kid should be a politician.
She stands up on her grandma’s lap now. She is bawling for her potty.
I take the chapatti out.
I give it to her (grandma took out my appetite), she smiles, and takes It. She starts struggling with the wrapper.
I just killed the crowd’s entertainment. Now the stares are fixed on me. If I had earphones and a china phone, I’d put Maina Kageni on loudspeaker and pacify the crowd. But my Nokia isn’t loud enough. And plus my phone is allergic to b.s. Just ask my charger.
Grandma sees baby unwrapping the chapatti. She grabs it and asks where baby got It. Baby points to me. Grandma returns it to me. All this time, notice people are staring. Now I feel like a Kidero at Baba’s homecoming. I put the cold chapatti in my pocket.
Later, as I eat the cold chapatti, I’ll feel like Christ Kirubi. Not cause I’m old and rich, quite the contrary actually. But because I took advantage of something hot, and reduced it to something cold and unwanted. I would dispose of the chapatti, but I am hungry, and a new chapatti in town will be expensive. So I eat it, in the solemness of the office.
I decide I’ll carry packed lunch tomorrow.
Today. Tomorrow. Forever. Refuse to be an unwanted chapatti who cant do anything to save himself. And if you can’t avoid it, at least be a hot chapatti.