My prostate says: ‘If there are 40 million + 1 Simbas, then I am one of them. If there is only ONE simba, then I am the ONE.’
Is it just me or is Nairobi throwing tantrums with the weather? You just don’t know what to wear! One minute you are sweating like Akitala Lokitchok Njoroge mining oil in Turkana, the next you are freezing like an eskimo in Uplands.
I am going to Nairobi hospital, and have to make my way through the bevy of the lower class Nairobians in River Road before teeming up with the more familiar self-pretentious middle class at Kencom.
Speaking of Kencom, this place is always flocked with people. I think you can find everyone here. Hawkers, thieves, hawkers, thieves, hawkers and thieves.
I think it is written somewhere that if you come to Nairobi you must stop at Archives or Kencom. Everyone is always standing there waiting for someone. If you wanted to send Kenya into a state of emergency just rename Kencom. Call it Comken. The number of Nairobians that will get lost.
Mayooo! Or paint Afya Centre blue. The country will probably be shut down.
In the spirit of the constitution.
Getting My Ride
I choose the nastiest looking mean ‘manyanga’ because WTF dude? I am a millennial. And I am cool like that.
The driver is a middle aged man, in his prime 40s. I wouldn’t want to say he is in a midlife crisis, but seriously dude? What’s up with the poison tattoo?
We have been at this bus stage for 17 minutes now. He is an Arsenal fan if his patience is anything to go by.
On his windscreen is two balls. White and red. Small balls. Aha! Knew it. Arsenal fan.
He stands up to stretch. He must be very tired as well. He fondles with the Arsenal balls. I wonder what must be going through his mind.
“I have bigger balls than yours,” he is probably telling himself.
He looks disheartened. He doesn’t believe the words he said himself. I spot a silver wedding ring on his finger. He is not recently married. His face is a museum of experience. Nothing fizzles him.
He has seen it all. The good. The bad. And the ugly. But it is the ugly that really touched him.
He fell in love with this hawker. She convinced him that her fruits were the best in the market. And her pudding? To die for! Her fruit juice was bottled at the source. Heck! This one could sell milk to a cow. At that time, she was young, energetic and full of life. Didn’t give a rat’s tail about no bastard. Then, being a hawker was no big deal. There were no Kanjos to breathe fire down your neck as they train you for the Olympics. Anyone could sell anything. But most importantly, anyone could buy anything. And he bought her love. But she sold her life.
It’s been 7 years. Her family is asking who cursed them. What are they waiting for? Do they want them to die before they see their generation? Her cucu is telling her to dump the man. Guka knows a Mganga kutoka Tanga who can help them with their problem.
But he wouldn’t hear any of it. He refuses to believe that there is a problem. He knows that it is only a matter of time. God will open doors.
But she cries herself to sleep every night. The neighbors make fun of her. Her husband is a bus driver. A barren bus driver.
He has refused to go to the doctor. What problem? I will wait for God’s time.
She is contemplating leaving him. She is tired. But what will the society label her? A prostitute.
Goldigger. She is probably the cause of her husband’s lack of children. She is the barren clown.
Even though the doctors told her nothing is wrong with her. But doctors can be wrong, right? Right? Right??
Yesterday night he almost beat her again. The first time he was drunk. He almost caused an accident on the road that day. He was frustrated. Some baby had vomited all over him and her mother was non-apologetic. He felt as if God was mocking him. So he decided to punish his wife instead. He thrashed. And smashed. And bashed. And crashed.
Today was different. Today he was just moody. He was looking for an excuse to leave – an excuse to justify himself. He couldn’t handle the truth. He slapped her. Real hard.
“Barren woman!” he hissed. Went off to drink with his boys, all whom were advising him to flee the ‘devil’.
Itabidi umeacha uyo mathe manze. Uyo ni mchawi! Mbona hakupati mtoto.
Johnny, we bado kijana. Unataka kufa bila mtoto?
We acha upuzi! Nitakuletea siz yangu kama umeshindwa kutafta mke mwengine!
As he fondled over the ball, balancing tears, he couldn’t take it anymore. Clients kept streaming in his bus – but he was lost. Drowned in his own thoughts. He didn’t hear the women shouting at the back. Or the men threatening to beat him up. Or the conductor pleading with the irate passengers that the driver was ‘sane.’
He was lost. A man who was supposed to know the way – deeply lost.
Did he feel dejected? Possibly.
Could he crash the bus? Probably.
Did he give a damn? Not one bit!
He takes a deep long look at the balls. His balls. He squeezes them tightly in his hands. They deflate and inflate immediately.
Regrets, Regrets, Regrets
As he turns the ignition key, the words of the doctor have never rung so clear in his mind before. He should have taken the test earlier. He knew this would eventually happen. His father had warned him before. His family had that history. He thought he was the Messiah. The special one. Not today son. Not today.
How will he tell his wife? How will he even start?
‘John, you have prostate cancer. It is spreading very fast. We need to put you through chemotherapy. It has eaten your balls away,’
If only he had known. But he always knew. The signs were always there. Especially the burning pain when urinating. It felt like someone put your body on fire, and chopped you piece by piece.
Like ants eating out on your flesh from inside. He knew something was wrong. But like most men, he chose to ignore. Because that is who we are. We’d rather hide from the problem than face it. We are men. We don’t want to be weak.
He takes another look at his balls. His two small balls on the window. His life flashes before his eyes one more time.
A small kid raises his hand at him, tells his mother he wants those balls on the driver’s window. He throws a tantrum. But he wasn’t going to give in. Not this time round. The baby finally shuts up.
He smiles. No one was gonna take these balls away. Not even prostate cancer.
Not his balls.