When I left the Palace on Sunday morning, I was a frustrated ‘men’.
If you can remember, I had just lost the last vestiges of glory in my Queen’s eyes and heart after depleting my marital bonga points. That is to say that I was having problems satisfying Queen’s tastes of class at the Palace. As you know well, my Queen is a woman of class, at least in her mind.
I headed straight to Happy Valley. Of course, my detractors will tell you that I went there to drown my frustrations, but that is a product of their fertile imaginations. The truth, and nothing but the truth, is that I went to call myself into a small meeting about my financial recovery programme.
The usual suspects were there but the braggadocio that dominates their conversations was missing. Unlike normal times, their tables were not beautified with coloured waters but had a huge thermos flask of hot water. My immediate conclusion was that Mrembo had run out of stock because it was still within the season of conspicuous consumption that bordered on madness.
“Happy New Year sister and brothers,” I greeted them.
The reply I got told me that I was not alone in financial Sahara.
“Let us learn to tell one another the truth. The truth will set us free. If life is hard, let us say so,” said Mhesh.
“Thank you. You have spoken like a dozen wise men. How can we say it is a happy new year when we have nothing on our tables?” wondered Professor.
“When some people eat to their fill, they should cover their stomachs. It is not that the doctor has prescribed water to us,” said Kimunya.
I did not require a professor of psychology to know that I was not alone in the financial Sahara desert. At that juncture, Chairman told Mrembo to do the necessary. Soon, a humongous boiled head was placed at our table. It was accompanied by such big intestines that reminded me of my sons’ description a few minutes earlier. He had said they looked like a snake that had been cut into pieces.
We descended on the serving with so much relish that a visitor would be forgiven for thinking that we had just been released from jail. We escorted the whole ‘mess’ with mugs of soup and by that time everyone was sweating profusely.
“Bring plenty of cold water now. We need to push the meat down,” Chairman said. When Chairman asked for water after a hefty helping of meat, then something in the heart of my hearts got touched. In the spirit of being my brother’s keeper, I momentarily forgot my own tribulations at the Palace which had brought me there. I empathised with my brothers.
You will remember my telling you about the generosity of the Nairobian immigrants on account of my invaluable ‘chauffeur services’ using my Concorde...They had purchased alcoholic drinks for me. But to offer them quality chauffeur services, I forwarded their generosity to my ‘stock’ with Wambu, the lead usher at Happy Valley.
“It is bad manners to labour in the cold of the night and eat in the same horrible condition,” I announced, meaning to share my ‘stock’. By then, the overzealous Wambu had delivered my heart’s and mouth’s desire.
“The balance is thirty, excluding my allowance,” she said.
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Now, Wambu is both good and bad. Although I had already decided to ‘promote’ my brothers, she had already announced to the entire brotherhood that I had a huge stock.
“Take good care of my brothers on my account,” I announced. And that is how my whole December stock, which I had intended to sparingly and silently survive on for the whole of this month of Njaanuary, was whittled down in a flash. Have I not told you that free beer this side is gulped down at high speed just in case the buyer thinks otherwise?
It was when Wambu announced that the stock was over that I remembered what had taken me to Happy Valley in the first place—it was to meditate, in the sweet company of my desires, on the best and quickest way out of my cash crisis which had landed me into marital Siberia.
And without the right frame of mind to meditate, I had yet to come up with a strategy to get me out of my current financial black hole.
For the last one week, I have joined the Happy Valley camaraderie in taking hot water in the hot sun of January. But being the survivor that I am, I shall soon leave that desperado’s corner. From me to you, I wish you a prosperous Njaanuary, nay, January.
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