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Monday, March 28, 2011

bad decisions

For some reason I thought if I spent the whole holiday hangover I would enjoy it much more. In the quest for this perpetuity I was drinking with a couple of my friends in town.

We soon got roaring drunk and yet the liquor kept flowing, karaoke seemed like a good idea and so we sang to our heart's content and the consternation of all other revelers, best thing about karaoke bars apart from the opportunity to lose yourself completely inside the music and sound of another is that they give you all these free shots if you embarrass yourself. So I got drunker, at this point I would say “am very 'unk” the extra syllable seeming like way too much work.

But it was a Tuesday and all good things end even faster on weekdays. We walked to the stage in town. I now live in an incredibly accessible place. In kileleshwa near the main road meaning a 46 mat will take me within yawning distance of the house. And those matatus never end, ever or so I thought. They take a small break between 5 and 530 in the morn then they are back at work. I said good bye to my friends and entered one.

What follows was something that in retrospect was incredibly dangerous, forget retrospect as I was living out the rest of the night I kept thinking how stupid I was. To add a little background on this day I had worn a 3 piece suit with a coat that fit so perfectly god could have been my tailor, at the bar I had spent money foolishly reasoning that all I needed was fare home and a little extra in case of anything therefore rattling around in my wallet was a lonely 100 shilling note wanting for company and being denied it completely. That was mistake no. 1 of the night, though this was a tossup, getting 'unk coming really close.

The second mistake was not to tell the conductor to drop me off at methodist. The third was to fall asleep in the matatu. I woke up and the surroundings were vaguely familiar though strangely alien, this was nowhere near home, I was at nakumatt junction. Immediately I called a halt to the journey and dropped off. The road was deserted of all but light which was pretty cool, the only thing more ominous than a deserted road in the middle of the night is a dark deserted road in the middle of the night.

I gamely stood at the stage, my lonely 100 shilling note having fled me at some point leaving it's oh so feeble little brother, the 50 shilling note in its place.15 minutes later I decided to ask the guard at junction whether I was just exercising futility but he assured me that if I stood there for a while a matatu would come, he looked at my suit and wondered aloud why I ddin't just take a taxi home, I told my story hoping to elicit some sympathy, as it turns out people who toil through the night have no love for those who drink it away and then blame drink for their predicaments.

I waited a little more then I remembered I had a friend who lived quite close to junction, the kind of friend who would put me up for a night or a month without all but the most necessary questions, I reached for my phone sure I had credit(thank you airtel for making such a sentence possible!) but the phone had died. So I went back to my waiting game, hope having fled the building despair now my only motivator.

Like all the American movies I had watched I would stick out my thumb and hope-dangerous I know- from experience I know that a guy on a motorcycle is much more likely to give a hitch hiker a lift in the dead of the night, I have no idea why, maybe they are just more prone to risk. But when one stopped and I told him where I was going 250/= was their lowest price. You know now as I write this I keep thinking that it would make more sense to come back home and then pay one of these guys but right then that thought did not occur. When the 2nd motorcycle driver asked for the same I gave up on that course of action.
I went back to the guard and saw he had this night house right there in junction, I pleaded with him to let me crash there till 5 am so I could then get home but it was like an appeal to a rock. Then the other guard came and he was not in the least bit amused by me or my situation, believing that having made my bed I should sleep in it, or at least not ask to share their's. I asked them to at least watch over me, I told them I was scared of dying or being robbed and while the place seemed safe I didn't feel that way. I asked if I could sit somewhere near the gate so they could keep a better eye on me. But the guard got mad and threatened me with his rungu. The next day I found out that the engineering student who was beaten at westie had died, the day after all of these shenanigans of mine was the day of the riot when club psys left the scene. And when I heard that I thought I should have told this guy I was in Nairobi university maybe he would have been more helpful then. But I was scared, I was all alone in the middle of the night, I had no way home, noone nearby, no form of communication so I did as asked and went to wait at the stage.

At this point my worst fear was hat I would fall asleep and never see it coming. So I stood for what felt like hours. I saw the guys who deliver papers come by to drop them off at the junction. I talked to them and they seemed amenable to drop me off but they wee going to kawangware and couldn't help, I saw a security van going on their patrol but they told me the same thing. And so I stood, or rather leaned on a banister.

I remember thinking that this wold be an excellent time to sort out my thoughts about life and philosophy and religion but I couldn't bring myself to think about anything else, I couldn't even think about all the girls I currently had crushes on. All I could think about was the dark and the terrible, horrible mistake I had made.

Thankfully a mat finally came along. With as much emotion as I could I told these guys my story. I told them all I had in my pocket was 50 shs. I told them that I was drunk when all this happened and I believe I was finally talking to fellow drinkers because they agreed to drop me of, at a stage that was out of their way, for a measly ammount of money that barely covered their fuel costs. I should have told them how much I appreciated what they had done for me and that I would defend matatu drivers and touts whenever people make those generalized sweeping statements about them, but I was too tired to think. I got home finally and flopped into bed.

Next day-no hangover. Maybe there are guardian angels.