The other day, an old friend of mine, Daniel Okello, 25, arrived in my hometown, the land of milk, honey, and beautiful women. Paradise.
A disguise – training young, upcoming ruggers – had made him make the journey. It took him to the Kakyeka sports field in Kamukuzi division where he spent most of the day. Financial doldrums, hunger and a need for a comfortable place to lay his weary self brought him home later that evening.
Being the connoisseur he is, I was entertained by his news from the city and tall tales which I never questioned for any iota of truth. After more than a decade of listening to him lie without abandon, it was something that came to me ordinarily.
He told me his stay would be ephemeral, so he had to make the most of it. He savored the taste of my mother’s cooking, and guzzled the Nile Specials I had promised him, engaged in a debate with my parents about the history, status quo, and future of both the country and world. He also explained to them why my love for introverted exhibitionism was keeping me single. A thing I would have to berate the idiot in him for. The length of his mouth preceded him.
Then it occurred to him. All I took from the towns and cities I visited were the bearings of red light districts, recommendations of which he was in dire need. He said he was on fire. That it had taken him a long time since the last time. That he was starving, so much that he thought priests were making jokes about him. He could not help but wait to show the local girls who had been bred on milk what he was made of. That he was more than determined as he had even come with a rubber on his Somali-like schlong.
We wished my parents a good night’s sleep and hit the streets. Drinking, dancing and hopping from a bar to another was not a task. It is such a small town that walks did not require us to enter negotiations with the boda boda riders.
Having gathered enough exhilaration and Dutch courage, we stumbled to the only brothel. I gave him enough money to last a worthy treat. With the international standard being two dollars, it was not much.
After all that had been invested in him, all the time and energy that had been spent till this, his very special moment, he was in and out before I could find an unrevealing position on the street for I did not want to be identified as one partaking in the activities going on anywhere near the same street. He had properly tucked in his shirt like a man who had meant business.
However, something striking let him off. I could, without inquiring, figure out that he had not done it as hyped before we walked into the night.
He said it would not be worth it. He said it would defeat his morals and beliefs. Unbeknownst to me, my friend’s life had unfolded in more ways than I could possibly imagine. He said his God did and would not sanction it.
Ongata Rongai, Kajiado.
Monday, April 7, 2014.