Monday, June 26, 2017

MR. ALMOST

Courtesy:chobirdokan

I was woken up by the soft splattering  sound of the morning rain and his warm masculine hands holding my fingers above my head."I love your nails" he murmured in something that sounded like a drunken voice.I love his voice in the morning. It's just the perfect way to wake up.It's something between a croak and a husk and it could wake you up from any sweet dream.

Several minutes later I was standing in the middle of the cast iron roofless bathroom that so gracefully stands behind his grass-thatched house.As I scooped the lukewarm water that he'd so dutifully boiled using his three-stoned fireplace and poured it on my back, several things crisscrossed my mind.I had known him for years, yet I knew nothing about him, save his name.What made him happy?My nails perhaps. Just my nails?

I kept wondering if he was real, if he was psycho, or if he was a keeper.I knew he loved me, but I couldn't quite place that love.I was there, right in that bathroom in flesh, but my mind had left me, my soul and my heart had conspired to leave, to explore the possibility of understanding him.

As I stepped out of the bathroom, he was standing right outside with an old tired towel that appeared like it had wiped more bodies than a mortuary attendant's hands had.I looked at his rather cold face and was met with his ever smiley eyes and for the very first time, I noticed how clean cut his facial features were. Eyes that could see right through you and a jawline that said: "I am he".We were both stuck in a moment of awe; I can't exactly explain what got him staring, but I can tell you what got me staring.

I briskly walked back into the hut, avoiding eye contact with his eyes and voila!just like magic, breakfast was served, stir-fried sweet potatoes and African tea spiced with some rosemary and lemon grass.I didn't know so much about him but I sure knew he had a good taste in the fine things this life has to offer.I included.*wink

We ate in silence and no one said anything about the previous night.Perhaps the tea was that good.Good enough to just make you want to gulp it and do nothing else.Even so, more thoughts flooded my mind. I wondered if he had any aspirations, about what kind of future he wanted, if he was just an average man or if he wanted to be extra. Amidst all these thoughts, I saw a bright future, that maybe one day he'll build a better house, that one day he'll be able to pipe some water into that house, that one day his bathroom will have a roof, and that his spring metal bed will be a thing of the past 
.
He suddenly opened his mouth to say something when I was rudely interrupted by a call from the chomelea guy asking me to go pick my basin. 

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

KILLING YOUR HUSBAND 101

If you can picture a little dark puppy that has been kicked too many times and is lost in a crowd of strangers, then you'll have Ted, my ever so quiet colleague. This morning he is looking a little more beaten than he usually is, perhaps he had a bad weekend or he forced himself to come to work today.Wait, maybe he went out on a drinking spree last Friday and woke up on Monday morning at the same spot he was when he ordered his last beer.

Ted's desk is situated directly opposite mine and that makes me quite uncomfortable.Uncomfortable because each time I look at him, I am reminded of my own self, my sick in the head husband, his family which is ever sticking their noses into our affairs and the constant emotional and physical abuse that I have had to take from him for four years.

Courtesy:CIO.com





 I'm pretending to be concentrating on typing nothing on my computer but behind all the pretense is a broken nose, a black eye and several bruises hidden under my turquoise blouse. Last night was just like any other; Anger, insensitive words, jabs, knives, brooms, insults, rape.But tonight, for the sake of Ted and every other black puppy out there, I will kill Joe. I bought some poison last week but I didn't get to use it because after leaving for work on Friday, the next time I saw him was on Monday evening. Then I told myself that he deserved a slow, painful death, so I bought a knife.A butcher's knife.I am going to skin him like a pig is skinned before it's meat is cut into pieces and sold to the rich and the poor alike.Except I won't sell his pieces.I will stack them up in my fridge and dissolve him in nitric acid, a piece a day until he is all gone.
His nosy family which always defends his actions will call me and ask about him.I will tell them that he left last Friday the way he usually does and I haven't seen him since.

We will look for him, together, like a family does.I will be the one to report his case to the police as a missing person and gracefully pay the most popular daily to put up his picture on the front page.We will cry together like a family, except we will be crying for different reasons. Mine the tears of a widow mourning her husband and theirs the tears of the uncertainty of what could've happened to your loved one.

It's a busy day at work, but my mind is not settled. After tonight it will be all over.I am excited and scared at the same time.Excited because Joe will never harm me again and scared because I have never murdered anyone in my life, I have had some thoughts cross my mind but I have never pre-empted and planned one.

At exactly 4.32 pm my phone beeps with a message notification. I can see it's from Joe but I am hesitant to read it because as usual he is either asking me to prepare supper for his boys or he is informing me that he won't be coming home tonight.Nevertheless, I make up my mind to open it and shock on me, he is asking me about what time I'm getting home.Is he planning to kill me too?Has our marriage reached a point where he thinks we can both take poison and die for love?Did I do something wrong?Did I forget to blend him some juice for when he comes back from work?With all these questions competing for answers in my mind, I simply text back and say "I'm leaving the office in ten".No response.Anxiety.Ted is observing me wondering what's up while at the same time trying to hide beneath his geek glasses. Where did he buy this pair of shitty glasses though?

I pass by Karanja's Kitchen Household Shop and ask for the sharpest most expensive butcher's knife they have.Karanja is not in but I am met by a lousy looking, very light skinned girl whose eyebrows look like they had an argument and each is walking in the opposite direction.She's bubbly though.She says in a thick Kikuyu accent "Umeamua kufanya upgrade ya kishen? "I nod in agreement while giving her the kind of smile I give Joe when we are out in the public attending some wedding or doing barbecue with his friends.

I get home at about 7.30, the weapon that is going to brighten my life safely stacked in the inner pocket of my trench coat.Our  Luhya watchman is looking extremely jubilant, perhaps he was given some before he left home for his night shift.My hands are shaking and I'm sweating profusely but I manage a "Habari ya jioni".

Lights are on in my house and that means Joe is home, probably cussing and smoking his lungs out.He is definitely practicing out the kind of insults he's going to hurl at me when I open the door.
"Well boo, you're having your last supper tonight, and when we slip into bed to sleep the day off, Imma slit your throat, slit your stomach open and say hi to your intestines. The intestines that I feed with my 10k salary while you spend all your money on booze and women," I mutter to myself as I ring the doorbell.
Joe does not hesitate to open the door as he usually does when he gets home before I do.I don't have a spare key and sometimes I have to wait at the door for 30 minutes before he drags his feet to open up.Joe is handsome.He is not averagely handsome.He is handsome. He has these eyes that are always saying "hi good to see you" or "goodbye I can't wait to see you again".His full lips are to die for and Johnny Depp has nothing on his nose. My husband is quite a looker. This evening he looks a bit sassy, unsettlingly sassy actually and as I walk in he gives me a light peck on the cheek and I reward that with the same smile I gave the girl at Karanja's shop.
I lump my handbag and laptop bag on the sofa and what I see on the floor almost makes me lose my breath.If I recall correctly,  I almost choked. Dinner is all set with beautiful scented candles all laid all over the floor.Before I can even process this, he reaches out behind me and helps me take off my trench coat.Joe bought me this trench coat to appease me one time after I found a strange luminous green thong in the pocket of his leather jacket.He had insisted that the thong was mine and I knew it wasn't.We both did.That afternoon he had a pretty navy blue trench coat and a bunch of flowers delivered to my office, then we lived happily in unforgiven lies everafter.So I remember the knife and quickly snatch the coat from him saying "I'll take it to the bedroom" He interrupts and softly says " No, tonight I need you to rest, I'll take it"...

My throat ran dry and at that very moment, I wanted to call Ben, his best friend, and colleague and ask him if Jesus had paid a courtesy call to their office.I let him have his way and as he briskly walked into our bedroom a light streak of panic ran through my heart.What if he finds the knife? What will I say?is this the night I die?He'd severally beaten me something good for very trivial things.What would he do if he figured out that I wanted to kill him?

Several seconds later he emerged from the bedroom with a familiar grin on his face and I knew that all was well.My game plan was still intact.We spent the next several minutes munching our food in silence. The food was super delicious, I wanted to compliment him, but then again I  told myself that you don't say such sweet things to someone when you know pretty well that later you're gonna kill them.So I kept silent and once or twice I caught him stealing suggestive glances at me.His smile is so heavenly it can make you forget how much of a bad day you're having. I remember teasing him once that his smile can make cramps go away in an instant. Oh, Joe.There was a light moment in my head and I didn't even notice I had a smile plastered all over my face; Not the one I give him when we step out, but a genuine, real smile that came from my heart, not until he softly asked why I was smiling so shyly.
Before I could utter a word, he held my right hand, with all the food all over it, and looked into my eyes like he hasn't in ages, perhaps the last time he looked at me like this was when he asked me to marry him.I froze...
I woke up at 6 the following morning, two hours later than I usually do, the air was filled with Joe's cologne and so was our bed and the living room and everything in between. I had to skip breakfast because otherwise, I'd be late for work.When I got to the office Ted was there, in his usual spot, looking as beaten as usual.I felt sorry for him but then I said to nobody in particular : "Suck it, last night was the best night of my life!"

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

THUG IN A SUIT

I met this guy at an art exhibition event at the Louis Leakey Auditorium at the Nairobi Museum.By the way how, many times have you been to the Nairobi National Park?Let me not ask you about the Nairobi Museum.We Kenyans have a stinking habit of wishing for everything we don't have and not appreciating the little we already have.Is it even little? It's too much.People travel from all over the globe to come and spend time with animals at the Mara but back here we just lenga them like they're finishing our oxygen. Just like they lenga you when you're new in a company, people treat you like you've come to steal their jobs...unless you're an intern, which they'll love by the way.Some of them will even buy you lunch and offer to shine your shoes.Why?Because you will do all their dirty gigs, which by the way makes up 75 % of what their job description is about.They make you  a wheelbarrow.
Photo:collins



I digress...now back to our story.Once in a little while I just like to go out and smell the air outside my house.So on this particular day at the museum, I met Ted. Ted has the features of a serial killer.Not in a malicious way , but he has an emotionless face and body.My job has taught me to listen a lot to the things people don't say in conversations. Their body language, the emotions they express with their faces, what they do with their hands, the intensity with which they say their words blah blah blah.And within the first 10 minutes of conversation with a stranger, usually I will have given them a personality.

But this Ted guy was just there.He wore old looking, beige ankle length boots, a pair of  navy blue khaki trousers and a grey sweatshirt.This should have given one an impression that he is an easy cool guy but that would change immediately you looked at his face.He has a deep, cold but emotionless stare and you'd easily spot him in a crowd because he wears eyeglasses with overly strange polka dot themed frames.

He was standing a meter away from where I was, staring at an abstract painting named "Wind and the wild". I just love how you can get so much information just by looking at a good piece of art.Just like in poetry or music, you consciously get into the shoes of the artist, and I just adore how much art expresses emotion; Love, pain, anger, hunger, you name it. He was staring at the painting, I was staring at him.I was lost in it....trying to place him.I was not even in that show room...I was probably in the deep of Niagara falls trying to save my life while at the same time trying to understand how such beautiful things came into existence(I mean the Niagara falls)
 I was startled from my sequence of thoughts  by his voice
"Hi" he said casually
Do you see why I say this guy has the mannerisms of a serial killer?I didn't notice him turn or even walk towards me.All I know is that he was suddenly standing in front of me with his polka dot glass frames and a smile that was obviously faked.Or real...I don't know.

'Hi,' I responded ,obviously trying to remain cool.We spent the next few minutes talking about art, poetry and music.

There was art and then there was high tea.Tea and coffee and Milo and cocoa. Why do they call it high tea and then tag along every other beverage?There's some things a village girl like me will never get to comprehend. Just like the pizza craze.I grew up in a small town in Western Kenya and the only pizza we knew was chapat. The first time I set my eyes on pizza was when I joined the University of Nairobi as a first year.I had my own share of testing waters and trying new things, pizza being one of them, but I have never lost sleep because of it.What's pizza though?Is it not wheat and some meat or vegetables? What makes women...sorry chics in this city go kuku over it? Is it the toppings?Is it the cheese? Or the thrill of belaboring yourself with that huge box? Perhaps one of these fine days I'll stop craving mahindi boiro and start craving pizza and gikmakamago(things like that)

So Ted and I headed over to the catering stand, walking toe to toe like we'd showed up at the event together.He is quite a talker.One of those people you have a conversation with and ten years later, the conversation is still playing out in your head, like a James Bond movie.
The coffee had such a rich, refreshing aroma, you could tell, by just that, that it had been brewed well well.In  situations where I have to choose between tea and coffee though , tea always takes the day.Don't get it twisted, I'm not a tea person.One day I'll tell you a story about how sometimes I wish ugali was a usual thing at the breakfast table.

We found a table, at the far end of the garden.I then set my sling-bag on one of the chairs and sat on the next while Ted sat across the table. He likes his coffee black and sugar less. By the way, sometimes men cringe from the thought of speaking to a lady or even asking her out because they fear being judged, talked about or even rejected . Lol...I read somewhere that some of us are still single because we walk in packs of ten mean, judgmental looking women...sorry, chics.

You know what, if you think you're being judged,you're right. We judge every word you say and everything you do.We judge your clothes, your taste in restaurants or ice cream joints, we judge your shoes, your haircut,  your toothbrush.We judge your cologne, your friends, your words.We absolutely judge everything.

I will not tell you what I thought of the glaring fact that Ted likes his coffee black and sugar less but I can tell you something about how he kept the conversation going. Never a dull moment.See, even men have blonde moments where they totally have no idea of what to say about the topic on the table.There's this one time I was having small talk with some dude.We talked about so many things and then at some point I asked him this
Me:How is the shilling doing against the dollar?
Him: Hiyo ni nini?
Me:..................
He is the same guy who told me he is a foodie and when I asked what kind of food he loves he told me yeye ni foodie wa viatu. That he does that in his free time
Now Ted is a chatterbox but he is a knowledgeable fella.He may be wearing polka dot glasses but is not lacking in this area. Whether you want to talk about Beyonce's baby bump or Danielle Steel's latest piece of work, he is game. He actually remembers that in the third episode of season 2 of Game of thrones, Craster bursts John Snow spying on him, captures him and beats him something good. We even made a toast to both agreeing with the fact that John Snow has a pretty face.I think he was about to be born a girl then God changed His mind because no one would get into his character as well as he does.

I noticed Ted never let on  much about himself. Our conversation mostly revolved around things that were neither me or him.

I never realized how fast time had gone and by the time I remembered my home is about 40 kilometers away, it was 6.27pm. That is how you know that you have had a great time. Free advice gentlemen; irrespective of where she stays or the workload of things she needs to do at home, if she keeps asking "Ni saa ngapi " or if she keeps saying "it's getting late" ,just shut the f up and see her off.You're boring AF.

So at this point I decide to request for an Uber. Five minutes later the Uber guy calls and as I try explaining to him my exact location, this suave stud excuses himself for the washroom.Boy did he have a nicely rounded, masculine bumper!

The Uber driver had a thick Meru accent, the type that makes Meru's add an o at the end of the word Narok and end up calling it Naroko. So we had a bit of a hiccup trying to locate each other because he kept asking "Uko musiam hiw?"Are you at museum hill?
I'm done with the call but Ted is not back. After waiting for about three minutes I decide to take off.If I have ever waited for you for 10 minutes then you should call a press conference and address the nation because you're special. I am not a good waiter (is there anything like that?)
So I get up, straighten my dress and lean sideways to pick my bag...
My sling bag is gone.

About that dope piece of art up there, talk to Collins Thinktank Okello

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

HOW TO START A BLOG

Courtesy: sarcasmlol.com
There is no greater agony than
bearing an untold story inside
you.
Maya Angelou
Hello lovelies,
I have received quite a number of requests from some of you guys who want to get into blogging but do not know where to start from. So I have put together a few tips that I hope will be of help to you who placed requests and to any other  reader who might be interested in the same. It isn't much, but I hope it will make sense to someone.Most of what this post is about are lessons that I have learnt in the past one year.By the way, www.beinglynn.com is celebrating it's birthday this month and there is something very special cooking for you guys.Watch this space
Starting a blog with no proper research or direction is like testing the depth of waters with both feet.(Perhaps this should be lesson 1😍😍😍

1.Find out what your interests are.

See the  most beautiful thing about writing is that you can write about just anything. A pen , a tea coaster, a dress, a day in your life.You can even develop a story just from a statement someone said.So when you're starting out, it's important to single out the things that interest you other than groping in the dark. Sometimes this takes time.In my case for instance, when I started out I wanted to do creative writing....entirely. But then I later developed an interest in writing about fashion and food and lifestyle in general. I have always had an interest in those two, except I never thought I'd be interested in writing about them....As you know though, we live to learn and there's always a some more of you left to discover.

2.Choose a name 

After settling on what you want to blog about ,choose a name that best represents what your blog is about.Is it about food??is it about fashion?is it about technology? is it a bit of everything?

3. Make use of readily available resources

Blogging doesn't have to be an expensive affair. Actually what matters most is the content of your blog.It is an investment yes, but you don't have to splurge in order to have a great blog.
Google has provided a platform where people can create free websites and so has WordPress.All you need to do is log on to www.blogger.com with your Google account and the rest is a walk over. Blogger has several templates that you can use to customize your blog and the dashboard is pretty simple to navigate. The same goes for WordPress. Just go to your browser and key in  www.WordPress.com and from there you'll be given a pretty simple step by step guide on how to create a blog.
The only limitation these two have is that you won't be able to customize your domain name.It will either be lynn@blogspot.com or lynn.WordPress.com.
Moreover, you will be restricted to only  utilizing the built-in templates provided.

Otherwise if you're willing to splurge and go all the way, you can get a customized .com or a .co.ke domain name for less than 50 dollars.That's about 5000 Kenyan shillings annually and thereafter get a web designer to customize everything to your preferred taste. Most web designers in Kenya charge averagely 200 dollars (About 20,shillings) for the registration of a domain name, designing and hosting.The price tag can go higher or lower depending on what your preferences are.


4. Learn from the best.

You have registered your domain name...Now what?I think this is a universal rule that applies to any venture that one wants to get into.You see, people who have been in the game for some time have learned lessons from mistakes that they usually hope that those who come after them don't make, which is solely my motivation for doing this post. If you follow www.bikozulu.co.ke, www.misterleft.com or www.justjoykendi.com then that makes the thousands of us.I can swear I've read all of their posts 😚😚😚
Read and read and read some more.
One of the reasons why I draw inspiration from these people is the kind of fierce and passion that they put into their writing.No fear or favor.  And that brings me to my next tip:

5.Don't limit yourself. 

“If it sounds like
writing, I rewrite it.
Or, if proper usage
gets in the way, it
may have to go. I
can’t allow what we
learned in English
composition to
disrupt the sound
and rhythm of the
narrative.”
—Elmore Leonard

There is no rule in art, just expression.
If you wake up and all you want to do is insert a Swahili word after every English word, so be it.Just like I said in my first point, a writer should always keep an open mind.Don't restrict yourself to things you feel people will enjoy reading while suppressing some of your best ideas.Do not try to downsize you imagination and if one morning you wake up and all you want to talk about is your hair pin or your tattered boxers then so be it!Allow yourself some space for vulnerability
That is the whole point! 

5.Give time some time.

Giving time some time is as simple as saying give yourself some time.Be patient with yourself.Rome was not built in a day and neither will your blog be.Allow yourself room for mistakes, allow yourself to grow.Learn from those mistakes and make changes where necessary. Give yourself a break.Every good thing that was ever built or made took time. Patience patience patience.
I don't know if there's a better way to say this.😉😉😉
Wishing you the very best in your quest.
So go ye and write your hearts out.
Don't forget to subscribe, share and comment.

Yours truly, Lynn

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