What would you be doing up at 0121 hours? Watching Power? The series. I hear Ghost is dead by the way. Having a repartee with your friends maybe? Enjoying some raunchy time with your significant other? I use significant very loosely here? Deep asleep or losing your sleep thinking about property you spent sleepless nights trying to accumulate? The youngies will probably be on those whatsapp groups saying “aki nimekumixx xweetheart”. You know, putting the queen’s language on its death-bed.
It’s eerily silent. Save for the occasional barking of dogs. I can even hear the sound of coffee am taking working its way down my gut. Am up at this time to bang some 1500 words. I earlier on in the day drafted something to post here but inadvertently deleted it. I have to rewrite at this time.Here we go.
January was here just what? Three minutes ago? Right? I still remember how I braved the blood-chilling cold of the wee hours of the morning at KICC to usher in 2015. I specifically singled out the TSO event as that was the only place I knew I would start my year sane. I believe how you start greatly influences how you end. It’s just an intrinsic belief I have. . Clubs were crazy. Clubbing then would mean that I would not be able to cut off the habit. At this time I would probably be imbibing some harsh liquor. (My pockets don’t have much to say. Don’t think in the lines of whiskey or some 18-year old scotch.) January is gone. And here we are. 200 days into 2015. It’s already August.
August is a month dreaded by most, if not all Kenyans. It, sort of, opens a Pandora’s box. Brings back memories people would rather not remember. The woes that come with the month would rather be discussed in hushed tones. As if August would hear and inflict more pain. This is a month that is perennially viewed as not-so-good. It’s characteristic of the grim reaper. It has taken away many lives. Lives of people that were well known to us.
Memories pains are forever etched in our minds hearts.I coincidentally write about death in August.
Lately, thoughts of death have incessantly pestered me. They seem to have grabbed a seat in my head, sat down and refused to leave. I now have to let them out. Death comes, takes people we love, people we know and walks away. As though to show it’s superiority over men. Mortal men. It shows neither remorse nor mercy. We cry. We buy tissues. We hold memorial services. Heck, we pray, sometimes all night long (the attendees of night vigils can understand this) to escape the cruel hand of death. Despite all these, it comes back. Unannounced. Takes people who are even closer to us and this proximity is enough to alarm us. I have always thought of it as something that only happens to “those other people”. Those who have clocked a certain age or are so sick that death is almost obvious. I flip through the obituaries section of the dailies and most of the times do not recognize a soul. This gives me a false sense of hope that the monster is not aware of me. Maybe I am ignorant or biased. Or both.Let me digress
I have not lived on this earth for a long time. Am on the last year of my first half of my third decade (feel free to calculate my age; it’s a matter of public knowledge anyways.). I have my fears. I fear anything that has life except human beings. I can’t keep a pet. I find them creepy. I am afraid of flights, which probably explains why am not fascinated by private jets and only take a bus down to the coast. I also fear hell. Like the real hell. The bible only makes it hard for me. There’s a terse statement in the good book that describes hell as a place of “Fiery furnace”. My worst fear though is that of death. Not the actual monster, but the activities that follow after death. I shudder at the thought of being lowered six feet deep. Soil shoved on the coffin I will be put in. That can only imply that I CANNOT come out. In my sheepish thoughts I imagine, even if I resurrected minutes after my burial, no amount of knocking at the coffin would be heard by the very people that buried me.
After I die, people will flood my social media platforms, with RIP messages. My village ex-girlfriend will hear the news that “Mwaura Is Dead” and come to my burial with a kid or three. Her husband will possibly be that man who flogged me one day after he found me stealing mangoes from his farm when I was a kihii. My friends will mourn me. Others will pretend to mourn me, especially those that were enemies of my progress (Those after reading this won’t share, he he). Slap-up meals will be aplenty at the funeral and people will eat to their full. They will drink and laugh, some pretending that they are trying to get over my death. Fake people they are. Presumably I’ll have cleared from THE university (I know you know it’s UoN) and my former school and class mates will learn of my demise while going about their activities. A committee will most likely be formed to contribute for a fallen former comrade and not all of the people will contribute ofcourse. Worse still, not everyone will attend my burial. Few people know who I am. I am still a “smallwig” in this field. Not like kina Bikozulu and Magunga.
I can imagine the blanket of grief that will cover our home for days, probably years, after am gone. My family will mourn the loss of a son. The ONLY son. My mum will no longer have any son to pride herself in. She will go to those chamas she goes to and when other women brag of how their sons are making it in life, she’ll remain mum. Her son will be long gone. He will have taken her voice. Annually, she will visit my grave and light a candle in my memory. Hot wax from the candles will pour on her fingers and her face will contort in pain. But this pain will be nothing compared to the loss of her son. Tears will cascade down her cheeks but she will make no effort to wipe them away. My dad will try, in vain, to comfort her. She will be inconsolable. No parent wants to bury any of her children.
My one and only will undoubtedly miss me the most. I was all romantic like some Alejandro in those Mexican soap operas. Random hugs from the back and little gentle kisses on the neck. Dinner dates at some candle-lit private bandas. Road trips down to the coast. Game drives in the Mara. Coffee dates at café Helena. Movies at IMAX (Okay, romantic is relative). She will not bring herself to imagine that she will have to spend the rest of her life without me. The near perfect relationship will be no more. (Disclaimer: This story does not necessary represent a revelation I had about death. That I will die. Soon. Or any time.)
Where was I? Okay, August. This month alone I have seen people, my age or younger, prematurely die. At UoN, one Ezra Momanyi succumbed to cancer. At Moi uni, one Dorothy Nyariki died after involvement in an accident. Closer to me, a pal, Patrick Ndung’u was hacked to death after he was allegedly caught stealing from his relative.May their young souls rest in perfect peace. They all are people I can relate to. This refutes my thinking that death only happens to ‘those other people” or people who clock certain ages. Prime ages. Succinctly put, I am astounded by the brevity of human life.
What I would like to say is that there’s no age that is right for one to die (at least from the perspective of most people). There isn’t a specific manner of how one dies. It’s everyone’s wish to die peacefully, neatly tucked between their sheets. But we all know what they say about wishes.
You wake up in the morning and hope to go back to sleep. You make plans and hope you’ll be around long enough to achieve that. By the way, Youngies don’t have plans. They have bucket lists. Plans were for their grandfather’s uncles. They are sophisticated.
Be a good dad. Do not brag about how you take expensive cognac but can barely take care of your family. Be a good mum (mums are always good though). Don’t fleece people when you get a chance to.Care for humanity. Read more books. Write. Start a business. Do all you ever wanted to do keeping in mind that you do not have forever. There isn’t a guarantee of your life span. Only death and taxes are certain to be there. If you haven’t started doing it, start. In the words of Lewis Caroll, “It’s best to begin at the beginning.” And this is that beginning.
This is the beginning of my blogging. I hope to see you on Wednesdays and probably Saturdays.
Every day you have is your life. Live it.