All posts by kimanthisamuel

Writing is a hobby I acquired back when computers were a privilege rather than a necessity for modern evolution. Almost two decades down the line, I still consider myself a novice. I'll get better.

Switches and Suicidal Vixens

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It has been a while since I wrote anything. I’ve been struggling to maintain my balance in between my job, a couple of businesses I started here and there, and an older lady. My job is something I’ve been handling for a while now, so it didn’t pose any problems except when I was texting and sexting this lady. My businesses were proving to be exactly what I did not expect. I met a few con-men here and there, a few thieves here and there, rogue employees and cunning clients. I learned what I could when I could. I’m still learning. I’ll get the hang of it sooner than you think. You wait and see. The rest of my time over the past three months has accumulated over seven thousand text messages from phantom lady. I call her phantom lady because she illegally fished my phone number from places where I trust that my personal information is kept private at all times. Let me answer you before you start asking why I didn’t ignore or warn her before things got heated up. Her English was perfect. In this digital generation that we put up with, text messages have become a messed up business of under spelled words if I may, deliberate confusions between ‘x’ and‘s’ and pathetic punctuation or even the absolute lack of it. Her messages were precise and easy to read. She started a conversation like an arsonist starts a fire. It never stopped until one of us put it out before we slept.

When I put my rig together a few months before, I felt I was alright for that period in time. Extended display with three screens working separately and together at the same time like an extension of my brain kept me indoors every time I wasn’t at my dead end job. When you put together a computer from sensitive and expensive parts then make it work just like you wanted it to, the gratification is intoxicating. I got used to switching between movies, computer games, the internet, e-books, magazines, hip-hop, music videos, and software. I hardly looked at my phone. My life became a relationship between me, this machine and everything in it. We had a good thing going. This is where I partied, did my drinking sprees, wrote my almost complete articles, did my life plans, calculated my savings, income, and expenditure and saw the world when I wasn’t out working out. This is where I lived… in my virtual world. I always thought to myself, “How would it be if I found someone with my exact taste for this stuff? “What if I found someone who would never keep pressuring me to go out clubbing or for aimless excursions on the white sands of this coast? My question got answered when the conversations started… or that’s what I thought. Honestly, the conversations were enticing and entertaining. When we finally met, the over-the-wire chemistry poured over the brim and temperatures rose to unbearable levels. Maybe it was the adrenaline rush doing all the unbuttoning and grinding, maybe it was just pure ignorance born out of the carelessness of our reckless nature that is our youth, and maybe it was genuine heart to heart communication in sync with the moment and our bodies. I have no clue what it actually was, but contact beat conversation. Two days down the line, I had a relatively distant relationship with my machine and a close relationship with phantom lady and my phone. Phantom lady would sing along to my favorite tracks when I played my type of music. We never danced because we wouldn’t get that close to each other without forgetting about the music altogether. What we had now was something that we wouldn’t say no to… until the messages got too much and I couldn’t take it. The good thing about machines is the fact that everything is run by a switch or a button. I couldn’t switch this attention seeking chat machine off even if I switched off my phone. She knew where and how to find me. There were no buttons, codes or firewalls to keep her away from me.

I value solitude. After spending my day around all sorts of people at work, and on my way to and fro, my place is the only place where I can be absolutely free. I can think clearly and throw my hands around when I’m listening to Tech9ne’s albums without anyone giving me the weird ‘you’re-losing-it’ stare. When phantom lady graced me with her increasingly frequent presence, my absolute indoor freedom fizzled away. I felt like she was changing me. I’m not complaining about a lady’s company, I’m just saying it’s not comfortable not knowing when she might show up just because my phone is off or she got bored at her place and didn’t think to ask me whether I was at my place or not. I got bored a few weeks ago and decided to end all contact and conversation in general. I called her and tried to explain what I had told her when we met. I wasn’t ready for a full-time relationship and there is no way that I would accidentally fall into the bottomless pit called love anytime soon. She stayed quiet. I’ve always known that silence is consent so I imagined everything was fine and under control. What I didn’t know was that she had a full grown psycho mentality locked somewhere between all those dreadlocks on her head. Two days later, she went full psycho and the suicide threats started. I thought to myself, “good riddance… if that’s how you wanna go out!” What I didn’t know was that all her suicide notes had been written to strategically point to me as the source of her misery… To be continued…

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Life and the ‘Dash’

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I engraved a gravestone once. It was easy. Dictating somebody’s entire existence on a block of bricks covered with a layer of white cement. Someone handed me a rusty four-inch nail and instructed me to write what was on the pamphlet in his hand. The pamphlets were ill printed with misspellings that could raise the dead. The dude didn’t wake up…I suppose you can’t really care about spellings when you are six feet into the ground. I was shaking. I couldn’t even fit all his three names on the gravestone so the gravestone fixer, swaying from the effects of the local brew, had to spread another layer of wet cement to correct my mistakes. I imagined, after kicking it on this galactic orb for close to forty years, a rusty nail is used to explain the only indelible details about yourself after you kick the bucket? A rusty nail for fuck’s sake! Your name, blah, initial, blah. Your date of birth, a dash, your date of departure, death…  and that’s it. Nobody gives a hoot about what you had going on where the dash sits. I believe the dash is the most important part of a gravestone engraving. That is why I decided to write a book, a few blogs, a few videos in the future maybe, a couple of websites…you know… my dash.  This is not my book. This is just a contemplation of what entitles a person like me to be remembered and respected even after my expiry date. Well… respect is relative, but memory is imperative. Lately, I’ve been trying to distinguish between responsibility and achievement. Building or buying a house is an achievement, isn’t it? It’s also a responsibility, isn’t it? No one is going to remember you forever based on the fact that you provided shelter for your family because it’s a natural human instinct. People do that every day. I’d really hate to have two dates and a dash on my gravestone and nothing else. If I croaked tomorrow, I’d settle for something simple like, “Published some incomplete blogs on the internet that no one seems to read”. I can ‘live’ with that. And inspire a sense of humor at my funeral.

Of Dingy Pubs and Labour Day

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I have never celebrated Labor Day before. This year was different. I woke up earlier than I normally would on a holiday. Party was calling. A few days before this day, eleven people sat around a bar table and planned a massive chicken eating party on Labor Day. It started as a joke. Thirty minutes later, we had raised enough money to buy twelve chickens. Most of my friends are old-school folk. When it comes to eating chicken, everything is edible according to them. I was in for a ton of surprises. I couldn’t wait to see someone eat a chicken’s head. Besides, I’ve never seen a bunch of hung-over men cook a meaningful meal before. This was going to be awesome.

I showed up at the venue at some minutes past noon. The venue was a small pub in the neighborhood. When I say small, I’m literal in all senses of the word. Two unevenly sized tables had been put close together in the middle of a random array of plastic chairs and wooden benches. The place reeked of chicken blood and broken eggs. I was glad I wasn’t there when the bloody slaughtering mess was happening. The two tables were filled with keg beer glasses and bottles of the native palm wine. House flies were all over the place. There was a woman. Her left breast was hanging out of her top. One of my friends was holding an infant in his arms as he staggered to the rhythm of a Jamaican song in the background. I stifled an urge to throw up as I greeted the crowd. I escaped to a corner close to the window and lifted the curtain. The curtain was filthy. Someone had used it as a hand towel. I smiled.

Ronnie was chopping onions into a large sufuria as Peter poured capfuls of cooking oil over the onions. I could see a half-covered plastic basin filled with chicken pieces. The charcoal stove was red hot when Maich placed the sufuria on it. Ronnie poured all the chicken meat, potatoes, tomatoes and a handful of salt into the sufuria at the same time. I held my breath as the tiny stove wobbled because of the weight that had been placed on it. Ten minutes later, everything was calm. I could hear the food sizzling under the lid. It seemed like they knew what they were doing after all. Kim gave the infant back to its mother and sat down to drink with the rest of us. Kim had spent the previous night in a bar just like the one we were in at that moment. He hadn’t slept a wink. His speech was slurry and meaningless. His endurance was quite wanting for an ex-military officer. No wonder he quit.

After downing three pints of beer, I became a part of the drunkenness. I couldn’t stand the fact that the stinky meat smell had miraculously turned into an alluring whiff. I was getting hungry now. I kept stirring the stew. The meat was cooked, but the potatoes had a long way to go. I even borrowed Kim’s motorbike to go fetch some more charcoal. I made it to the vendor and back in a few minutes. The stew was almost ready. After rekindling the fire in the stove, I knew everything would be ready soon. Arthur was in charge of any gatecrashers at the venue. He was so hungry but he still managed to yell at strange gatecrashers who approached the table. By the time the stew was cooked, Jones and I had decided to cook the ugali together.

Cooking ugali for eleven hungry and drunk people is not as laid back as it seems. Drunkards are choosy and proud. Everything had to be done perfectly. I placed the cold water on the stove shortly after I topped up the charcoal in it. I grabbed the newspaper and tossed it over to Arthur as I sipped on another glass of beer. We were quiet for a while. We waited. Kim was busy trying to explain how to efficiently slaughter chicken. He was too late.

When the water started boiling, Jones stood and walked confidently to the sufuria and reached for a two-kilogram pack of maize flour. He was good at it. He blamed his cooking proficiency on his lengthy bachelorhood as he vigorously stirred the huge lump, although I sensed his strict wife had something to do with his ugali cooking skills. She hated drunkards. I wonder how many times he had to cook for her just to get back in her good graces, but I know better than to openly tell a drunk man that he was a henpecked husband especially when this close to a pot of boiling water. I gave him a hand once or twice when he took a break to sip on his beer. At some point, he declared that we only needed five more minutes before the ugali was ready to eat. I was doubtful so I asked him how that was possible. He reached out and grabbed two used packs of maize flour and tore them open. Jones then spread one pack cover over his right palm and arm as he used the other pack cover to tilt the ugali sufuria towards him. His intention was to flip the cake of flour and water. What happened next was hilarious. As Jones flipped the ugali, it slipped and slapped the floor of the bar. I couldn’t hold my laughter. Everyone was on their feet staring at the white lump on the floor. Jones grabbed the huge lid covering the meat and used it to meticulously scoop the ugali from the floor in one scoop. We all agreed that the bottom part of the ugali was out of bounds… I don’t remember much after that. I needed to be severely shitfaced before I ate ugali that had seen the floor of a dingy pub.

Expressions of an underachieving overachiever

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I’m dwindling. I had plans. I have plans every day, but the frequency with which they change is amazing. I’m always running around in circles when it comes to plans. The circles never change, but they differ because of the arrangement of priorities and timely targets. On one day, I’m on plan number one from circle number seven. On the other day, I’m on plan number seven from circle number one. I get things accomplished with time but I lose my grip on another half achieved plan in the process. I guess I haven’t mastered the art of focusing on one objective till I’m finished, but I’m afraid of the fact that concentrating too much on one thing that has the probability of failing altogether might leave me depressed, disillusioned and discouraged in an unrecoverable way. Besides, knowing too much or everything about one thing is not healthy according to me. Sometimes I stall, sometimes I just self-sabotage and sometimes I postpone and procrastinate. I don’t think I work hard. No…I work a lot. There is a difference, you know. If I worked as much as I did on something that I loved, I’d obviously see a remarkable difference. A remarkable difference if I could make it generate as much money as the scarcely favorite gig that I circumstantially toil every day except Sundays. I love a bunch of stuff. The things I love revolve light years away from each other, but if you put them together, they’ll give you a masterpiece on a silver platter. I love computers, engines, and music. When you love all that stuff, it’s evident that you love books as well. I picture myself as a proficient software, sound and mechanical engineer who can work magic on any turntable, motor engine, MPC or mixer and write a book during his free time. It’s kind of a mixture of Dr.Dre, Fatman Scoop, Keith Duckworth, Jackson Biko, and Paulo Coelho in one package (I think Jackson Biko is a proficient writer, but I’ve never seen his book… Oh well). Sometimes a voice in my head yells, “Focus man!” I listen to it, but only in the heat of that particular moment. Most of the times I hear that voice, is when I’m working for a salary so I fix myself several cups of coffee just to get through the compulsory part of financial deadlines. I don’t complain. I mean, I hardly complain. I’m an adapter… just like every other being on this planet. Everything I do is a means to an end.

The idea of an externally imposed time schedule is what I’ve been stressing about lately. I have very irregular sleeping patterns. I can stay up all night reading, listening to music, playing games, watching movies then sleep for only four hours and sometimes I can sleep for three hours in the afternoon and stay up for thirty-six hours. Sometimes I can sleep for a whole day and half the night then wake up at three in the morning and start doing push ups and listening to music. There is nothing I need more than my own schedule. The idea of freedom… that’s what I’m working on. When I was a child, I thought freedom was all about adulthood. My dreams were big… huge. They still are, only this time reality checks are much more relevant and something they call ‘bills’ came up when I left my mom’s house. I always had a feeling that money had something to do with being free so I figured out how to make enough to get what I needed as I figured out how to make enough to get what I wanted. Multiple months down the line, I got slapped by the realization that there is no such thing as enough money. That does not exist. ‘Enough’ was made for bottles and containers, not human beings. I’m struggling to find myself. I hope I don’t run off a cliff just to see whether wings will sprout off my shoulders.

Closed Maze?

                 the maze

How? How does it happen? How do you manage to put so much trash in your head?…  How goddamn-it? How then do you flush your system, your body, your mind? A probationary period maybe? Just to be clean in body, mind, and soul for the mystics or the spiritual? How? Tell me. When do you change for the better, maybe the best? Is there really the best? Is it ever enough? Does the urge for much more make you better or do you enslave yourself to a cause that is endless to the grave? Are you better than anyone? Do you associate your problems with your environment,  or with the people around you? Or with your origin? Is it better to live for purpose or to live with the fear of failure? Is it better to live just to breathe, eat, fuck, then die? Is it easier to just row the damn boat till the waves just knock you over?

These questions are like a maze. A closed maze. No answers, no way out. Psychologists, psychiatrists, people of acquired knowledge have problems too, don’t they? How would you know? I wouldn’t see one. I’ve never visited one so I don’t know. Dealing with people is hard. Especially if your intellect allows you a wider view of every situation compared to the people around you. Who do you compare yourself to? How do you choose? How do you decide which path to follow? They say listen to your heart. My heart doesn’t talk. Hell, how does a heart even choose? Maybe it has a brain of its own. At least that’s what my brain tells me. Or is it brains? To choose a path is hard. To find a way is easy. Things that don’t make sense seem easy to understand. A quantum physics book, for instance, is understandable but complicated at the same time, even completely easy to a few people I know. On the other hand, simple decisions like ‘quit smoking’ or quit some crazy shit are far much harder… but it’s simple, isn’t it? What are all these questions for? Raking a brain for answers that are practical and possibly achievable over time is a hard task. Why? Because every dawn changes at its pleasure. Let’s see what tomorrow brings with it. Answers, questions, maybe decisions to behaviors that need not be questioned… maybe no changes maybe the changes of a lifetime. Maybe. We’ll see, won’t we? Yes? No? Are you sure? I don’t know. So I close my eyes and leave tomorrow’s plans for tomorrow. I can always take a pen and pad and count my chicks before they hatch. I’ll think about it. I’ll even question myself all over again and see what I come up with.

Mtwapa Nights

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Lean lady by the seaside
I see you slipping away in your blue slippers
I see you, you know
Being coy when you let your seat slide
I see you peeping away when your brows quiver
I see you I know
I’m being a boy but I’d rather shiver than let my carelessness glide
I see you we know
But I wonder do you ever
Run out of options this low
Lean lady by the seaside

Lean lady by the seaside
I see you sipping away at your smooth glass
I see your comfort sorrows you know
I see your confrontations with impending dawn and the hourglass
I see the need not we know
Not to ask questions and miss the point below
I see the constant vibe in your glass
Uniformly weighing sanity, sobriety, and vanity 
And I wonder do your triple beams ever 
Opt to evade this compulsive commotion
Lean lady by the seaside

Lean lady by the seaside
I see you spilling away at your cigarette
I see the smoke billow within, you know
There’s competition spelt all over your periphery
I see you realize contest you know
I see you need a podium we know
To poise your stature and promise it matches a below evasive beauty
Desperation is a fragile boat to row
I see you see it inspires you, I mourn
And I ponder ways to alter fate for you
Lean lady by the seaside

Lean lady by the seaside
I see you smiling away as if to snicker
I see pride that comes with choice you know
You see the doubt inside my sentience
I see that you now see, you know
I see we both fight intuition, inhibitions, and false pretenses
And I presume…. No. I hope. I will.
That these snicker-inspiring choices,
Don’t distinguish what we see in the precipice
You and me both
Lean lady by the seaside

Of New Years and New Year’s

444056I’ve been around for a while now. 2015 started unlike 2014 did. This year, I opted for not minimal New Year resolutions, but no New Year resolutions at all. You see, one thing I noticed about resolutions, is that they are exactly what they are… just plans with a fancy name based on a date that has no effect on any natural aspect of our dear mother earth. New Year would have been a life changing experience to witness if maybe the sun didn’t stop shining for the whole of New Year’s Eve, or if all our injuries and illnesses got healed prior the first day of the New Year. If all our mistakes and ill-doings of the previous year were wiped out and replaced with life changing epiphanies of success based on our individual needs and wants, then  I would pick out a pen and paper, my computer, smartphone, or calendar and plan for a New Year experience. Our emotional attachment with this date has become an excuse for getting away with what we planned for but didn’t achieve in the course of the previous calendar. For others it is a dream of rebirth and transformation mostly experienced a midst behaviors that they want to change. Back when I used to celebrate the coming of a New Year, a friend of mine, half drunk and one hundred per cent high tugged at the sleeve of my shirt at 12.00am and whispered to me, “Happy New Year bro, this year I ain’t drinkin’ no more. I’M DONE!”… He called me and invited me for a couple of shots of some fine brandy a few nights ago after yelling,” Happy New Year sleepyhead, I’m so fucked up right now. Come drive me home!” I hung up on him. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the emotional impact of pulling out a whole year experience off the walls of a house and replacing it with a new array of calendars and how some email subjects and email contents of the New Year to bosses and clients have the wrong year in them. I understand how the marketing teams of most of the companies I’ve seen keep sending season’s greetings to clients and members of staff all the way to ten full days after the first day of the New Year (I mean, even my computer’s word editor insists that I have to capitalize ‘new year’ even if both words are in different parts of the dictionary in small caps.). What I do not understand is the undying ignorance and forgetful nature of people who have the same New Year resolutions for four to five years in a row. What I do not understand is why most people have to wait for over three hundred days to make life changing decisions. Naturally, the human race is a social species. The aspect of being part of a group when it comes to life changing decisions is a source of motivation for millions of people all over the world.

A friend of mine got shot the other day while he was trying to stop a robbery. He didn’t know that the robbery he was trying to stop was a success and had already turned into a getaway. He was being all that nature made him out to be… a hero. He’d been home for the New Year celebrations and had just got back. I’m sure he had a few plans or ‘resolutions’ up his sleeve and I’m almost sure that dying during the first week of 2015 wasn’t part of the list. I’m sure kicking the bucket isn’t one of anyone’s bucket lists unless the individual is a basket case, which would make buckets inapplicable all together. He hadn’t planned for random multiple public mourning ceremonies with huge speakers blowing music that he probably never listened to just like he hadn’t planned to be the unsung but slain hero of an efficacious stick up. I’ve been watching people all week make money off his story in the name of mourning. Nature has a crazy sense of humor. As much as I wouldn’t know what specific people plan for at the beginning of a new year, I know that the unpredictable nature of tomorrow is supposed to be reason enough to do what we have to do today in order to reach our goals. The New Year is a viable opportunity to set a starting point for under confident people who feel that they need an extra ounce of encouragement from a loud crowd.

But let’s face it. If we changed our lives based on a fixed calendar date and at the same rate and time in different places all over the world, all we’d have is change to celebrate and no one to motivate. Everyone would be a winner, an achiever in their own right. No one would ever have time to recognize another person’s efforts and progress. Innovation and new talent would be ignored if everyone had something extraordinary to show for the previous year. The fact that some individuals and groups of people actually do make a difference whether negative or positive (Depending on what you consider positive or negative) in between the year or over a few years creates a platform of comparison which in turn encourages us to do what is necessary regardless of the date and time. There is no one time in this planet that a single personality would see themselves as a complete success in all aspects of life at the end of the year. What we need is not a universal crowd inspired by broadcast messages and social media shout outs. What we need is to ensure that the same enthusiasm to change directions, tendencies and behaviors is kept alive all year round in order to prevent rewriting resolutions and plans every time a year ends.