I was looking for a part time editor .Our first meeting was at a popular restaurant along Kenyatta Avenue. We met for breakfast. She looked completely hungover. She ignored the menu and ordered two Tuskers and two double shots of whiskey. She must have read my expression because she said, “It’s 1630hrs in Tokyo.”
Then she stepped outside and smoked a cigarette. Her mind was sharp and she read rapaciously. She was quick-witted. She mentioned volumes of books I had not read and quoted people I hadn’t heard of.
During our second meeting – three weeks later – she was hungovered again in the morning in the middle of the week. She had a big greasy breakfast and mumbled that she needed to smoke. She rummaged through the breast pocket of her denim shirt for a packet of Sportsman and a blue lighter, said, “Hold those thoughts,” and stepped out to smoke. I sat there thinking about her Sportsman. Sportsman is to be smoked by long-distance trailer drivers with stained nails and huge blood shot eyes. Or those probox miraa drivers who ensure that the veggies arrive to the youth on time.
When she came back, she told me about the strippers at Kendas, a bar where she was a regular during the pre-covid era. Or of her other invasions into the night. She has this arid sense of humour and so when she was telling these fables she would tell them in this humdrum voice, as if she was describing going to choose seedlings at a creche in Malindi. She was out of her mind. I thought to myself; what the hell have I gotten myself into? I told her, “Look, I think you are a souse.”
“You fucking don’t know me,” She hissed.
“Yeah. But I know that the imbibing you describe is not normal.”
“There are two types of tipplers,” I told her, “The ones who fall in ditches and have scars on their faces. And then there is you.”
“Me?” She sneered.
“Yeah, you drink daily, or every other day, and chiefly, you drink into the ungodly hours of the night and you never miss work. And you are probably good at what you do. You are a high functioning inebriant human.”
She stormed out. She didn’t speak to me for a couple of weeks. Last week she reached out. She video called, there was a cigarette dangling from her mouth. “Aye, Sir! We still on with the editing on your book?” The audacity she had. Ferocious she was. This was a gamble that I knew she wasn’t going to let it slide easy. “I’ll need to discuss this with you when you sober”, I told her.
“I hope your book doesn’t have one of those happy endings.”
“Not my cup of coffee”.
“Then that’s great, I’ll send you my invoice.”
Last week she reached out again. That was highly unusual of her. She’s the type of person that’s always on the move.
“Whatever plans or movies you’ve slotted in for the weekend, cut them off. You shouldn’t probably stay home and Netflix. I’ll get the first bottle of whiskey then see if our agreements align.”
I told her that it was cool with me. I’ve never had a major fight with my significant other, it was the usual normal scuffles. But I needed a break from the avalanche that just stormed. I needed time out on this one. It was wrecking things apart. A pal of mine told me that he’d be at the same event that my part time editor would be at. So I thought, “why not?”
I got a voice note from her asking if I could drive her to the venue. I met her when I was a bit fatigued. She was hungovered as it was quite the norm. But definitely I could have fun for a couple few hours before sleep finally over came me. She had a masculine car. I’m writing it down that her car gave me some essence of peace. I wished last weekend I’d shave. Hope I’d have written all this scripts playing in my head into some worthy TV shows.
At some point I knew that in the middle of the night that I’d get into bed and wished my significant other would be there with me. For the little moments that I’d had saved, they’d soon become distant memories, and soon enough they’d be wishes I’d wished that I should have revisited in some other life time. So in a way I was hoping during that night, something hopeful would turn out. The night turned out great. Sunday was just more of an effervescent. I read her article that Sunday morning when I was half way asleep. It was more of a sad song, I told her that I’d get back when I was once done solving my problems by hitting the road and letting the throttle wide open.
See, Sundays are for the open roads and letting the throttle wide open. Smile per gallons seem fair enough. I hope that she finds the peace she seeks. I live in a world where chaos thriving seem to be the norm of the day. On that Sunday evening I went to bed and forgot that I ever needed an editor, or that I should settle issues on my other side.
For now? In a different town riding that motorbike. Open roads, winds bracing me, and a helmet that has got the inscriptions, “Smiles per Gallon. Imagine If All Of Us Could Live In Peace.” Perhaps the sky would break down in to a wail by the introduction of 3 drops of rain on to the visor.
N.B: Save your money that you were going to spend on that date, buy a book from me. Chances are it’s going to suck. You don’t have to be stuck sorting out filters on social media. The books have none. Amwadeghu Blog is now also accepting support from M-Pesa. 5338319 is the till number. Whichever the amount will be gladly appreciated to keep this space running. You can also purchase 88,000 Acres of Bad Shit & Boonies from https://maktaba.amwadeghu.co.ke or pay via the above till number also. I had missed the modern jazz taarab from this other side.