There was a time right after my undergraduate that I landed a job as a store attendant in a bikini shop. We sold men’s swimming trunks too, but men in Kenya had rather hide their pot bellies and unkempt pubes in their cargo pants and bask by the poolside while sipping a beer. My boss was a stoic white lady of Russian decent whom I had to convince I was gay by showing up each day in a shiny glass magnetic stud on my right ear. I had to have my regular pants slimmed and texturize my hair to resemble that of LL Cool J. I even learnt how to apply lip balm and lick my lips to maintain character all through my working hours. Thus for eight hours daily; five days a week I played a gay version of myself. I even had my woman clip my eyebrows occasionally when they seemed to fall out of place. I invested in a “man Bag” where I stored my paraphernalia. The money was good and times were hard, but nothing prepared me for the outcome that I would be hooked to it.
I remember meeting once after work with one of my female friends from college (while out of character of course) and thinking how unlucky she was doing what we trained to do instead of the outlandish course my life took. Most of my days were filled with sending out emails of the store’s updated catalogue to potential clients’ personal emails. Our store was in the snobbier climes of Nairobi in a mall whose name I choose not to disclose. Our customers were vehemently middle class which meant they mostly tipped in excess of KES 1000 which is roughly 10 USD. They used words like ‘exquisite’ and ‘forward’ to describe a swim suit. The occasional bored housewife married to an expatriate would show up after doing the school run and we would spend hours on end trying on swim suits that best accentuated their body. In days like those I would get KES 5000 in tips and she’d probably order in for a chicken or pizza as I aided her exploit the variety of swimwear we had. However, this was a rare occurrence that happened like 10 times in my ten month stint at that joint.
This is how I used to fill my hours the rest of the time. I always had in my possession chocolate to ward off hunger since I could not afford anything decent to eat within the mall. Chocolate, because gum was too mainstream and I did not want to come off tacky and no peanuts because it leaves my mouth smelling like a sewage processing plant on a hot day. I would painstakingly use the chocolate to sketch perfectly detailed skid marks on the swim suits in the bargain section before returning them into their box. This was my way for getting back at the wife-stealing, selfie-taking bimbos that brought along their benefactors and accorded me less respect than you would a rabid dog. The beauty about this was none of them ever brought back a swimsuit to complain! The problem with all this is I may be a horrible and vindictive human being but given a chance I would do it again.
It so happens that any unconventional truth becomes fact when it remains unchanged for a certain length of time. That being said, and speaking from experience, I believe that a real man’s heart, with copious amounts of testosterone in his veins, cannot be broken by a woman. Not really anyway, the worst that can happen is the woman in question managing to chip it in a new place. In any man’s life, (even the gay ones unfortunately) there is only room for three women; let me rephrase that. There is only room for three great loves. Be that as it may, these great loves only come once in a lifetime and in no particular order. The tragedy is that one man may have met the entire trio of belles by the time he breaks his voice and the other may meet third on his death bed as she administers hand jobs to his unresponsive middle-aged member see? Fortunately for most men age is never a factor, in any case these situations almost always have a happy ending (read: Anna Nicole Smith/ Celine Dion).
The Starter Love
This is genesis, where it all started. The starter love gets the full brunt of an inexperienced man. She gets to date a man in his most raw form when he can barely successfully meet any of her three cardinal needs which are food, Range Rover and WiFi. The starter love is a diamond in the rough herself because she is usually only too glad to be dating to care about the flaws of the idiot she’s dating. This serves as the binding agent for this relationship; her need for security and his need for sex. Unfortunately for the starter love, her bliss is never permanent. She may be a good cook, great in bed and even approved by his then clique of friends but her fate remains the same. She unwittingly engineers her own downfall because the man she dates irrevocably changes when his self-esteem grows too big for her to accommodate. He is constantly bugged by the possibilities that he could do better than her and in that light the starter love exits stage. She either continues living in her naivety or becomes the proverbial ‘good girl gone bad’ but that is the story for another day. The best starter girl does for the man is build him up to the asshole that he eventually will be.
The Halle Berry
The adage goes that you do good until you know better, and once you know better; you do better. This is the upgrade woman that replaces the starter love. She embodies the fantasy that the man had been conjuring in his head during lunch dates with starter girl. She wears darkness and strength equally well; the girl is half goddess and part hell. She is the epitome of femininity hence the name Halle Berry. She is the kind that men feel privileged to be sharing room temperature with let alone have Sunday morning brunch naked in bed while binge watching wedding shows. This woman definitely has her shit together or at least she seems to be. She does not cook and clean because she is too posh for that. She has all the red flags but every man is so grateful to have someone so exotic that they’d overlook anything including her brother being a cannibalistic mass murderer. The Halle Berry in every man’s life torments him in such ways he never thought imaginable; she wants to be texted 14 times an hour to be reminded how beautiful she is. She wants to have sex in a rental car with the windows down in the traffic jam, while upside down updating her Instagram Bio, and takes offence when you call her ridiculous. The Halle Berry’s role is to drain the said man of his strength and whim, convert him to a humourless drone that tends to her excessive needs. Halle Berry serves as karma’s tool to kick the wind right of the sails of his high-flying pimp ship. In most cases Halle Berry destroys the man in the most beautiful way possible by the time she leaves he understands why storms are named after women!
The Florence Nightingale
The density of a man’s skull reduces in direct proportion to how bad Halle Berry bruised his ego. The man usually craves Florence so bad that he literally aches (But it really only is Blue Balls). Florence may not stop traffic or make love all night; she may not prepare gourmet meals but she laughs at the man’s jokes. Florence reminds him how much she loves him every day nursing his insecurities so that he never has to second guess her love for him. Florence does not always get it right but she is worth it because she is so full of love that she soothes the souls of all the people around her. The man shapes up gradually because even Rome was not built in a day. Yet its very foundation was built on ruins. Florence ends up getting the proposal because she is not a demon but she is no angel either; she is an imperfect angel. That makes her the best candidate to ride with into the sunset…
Ever man, in his heart of hearts where reality surely dwells, knows whether or not he has already met these women. He knows whether he is still in the search for any one of them and what he has to do to better his chances. These are the chaps with a glitter in their eye whenever they spot an eligible female. Then there is the lot who know that they have squandered their chances. These men make you appreciate why people them smoke their lungs black and drink away their livers into the wee hours of the night.
I lost my virginity in a strawberry scented room with a Barak Obama poster on the wall to the sweet mellow night time music of KBC English Service. It was cold and the blankets seemed to weigh down heavily on my skinny frame as I wrestled with my then girlfriend; an equally scrawny bird with a great big ass (or so I thought then came Nicki Minaj). I was confused to say the least and I desperately nursed a semi seeing as how The Backstreet Boys were playing their hit song ‘Drowning’. I remember the anti-climax of never quite managing what we had set out to achieve that night and sitting there dick in hand (literally) wondering what the fuss around sex was all about. Many years have passed since that night but unfortunately that memory remains as vivid as they come. I shelve these things in different parts of my brain in the hope that I never have to revisit them yet the slightest provocation triggers them. People seem to have one-night-stands ever so often or entire relationships and forget them entirely. I am physically incapable of doing this.
I kept a journal in my teen years and sometime into my early twenties. I read it today as I cleaned out my room and ended up taking a two hour plunge into my pubescent mind. It was awesome, my outlook of the world and the way I believed in absolutes. In a way, I’m still idyllic in some ways but the core of my being never quite changed. I retained my cynicism and an untainted love affair with words since clearly this is how best I express myself. I also avoid getting too involved with people because the end of any relationship however trivial leaves me feeling like I did that night I lost my virginity. This took me to some shit I have been dealing with lately.
I lost a cousin in the recent past; he was as close as they come. His death was untimely, the details to which I shall choose not to share out of respect for him if no one else. I have memories about him taking me to the mechanic’s to fix my bike on a hot Saturday. He had on those half-coats and a tucked shirt, black leather boots with the laces undid and round rimmed shades to match. I remember him showing me how to sharpen a knife and how to do a proper push-up. He loved reggae music and was himself an artist to some degree before his demise. Last night I found myself thinking of him as I played my reggae playlist. It is surreal to think that he is no more let alone sad. The problem with people is that God produces one of each despite there being seven billion of us.
There is all this residue information about him in my mind. Like the way he used to smile when he blushed, the Scooby Doo branded tie that he gave me in 2011. I remember his flawless round chapatis, his graceful ways and open mind. The tragedy is I cannot recreate his presence even with all this information floating in my mind, and that’s what gets us all in the end…
There are only two ways to find unconditional love in this world. The first is to charm the masses in an intimate way. To command emotion from the human beings at a primal level, like Fidel Castro or Nelson Mandela. This would call for tons of character and charisma that boarder that of the Biblical Moses. In any case, this calls for a lot of personal input in the way of time and/or personal sacrifice. If you happen to be a regular slob like me and like things easy and quick please pay me undue attention for the next 300 words for I shall be handing you pearls here.
Get a Dog.
Have you seen that movie ‘Marley’ starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson? No? Well, that movie is the inspiration behind Bobby. I named him Bobby after Bob Marley the Reggae icon; it was a no-brainer because I couldn’t call him Marley as that would have been too cliché. Bob was purchased from my friend John of Shujaa Dog Breeders and Trainers for KES 19,000 which is roughly the equivalent of USD190. I felt it was a steep price for a five month old puppy whose only promise for a bright future was the fact that he was the healthiest at birth relative to his four siblings.
I took him home to my parents who live in Murang’a which is in Central Kenya. My parents are middle-aged folks with a nurturing spirit that is only rivalled by that of Florence Nightingale. I knew Bobby would be in the right hands. The only problem with my parents is that they have a way to spoil anything they nurture with too much love. Yes, there is such a thing as too much love. For instance, Bobby was raised on Dog food for most of his puppy years, thereafter; he was introduced to beef which is only served boiled and cold. Occasionally when the beef is not present he is served with Ugali made from maize flour that is fortified with blended fish. That may not mean much in first world countries but it is definitely champagne life for a dog in Kenya where a dog’s main diet is left-overs from the master’s table. Thus Bobby is spoilt in that way.
In many ways Bobby is similar to Marley from the movie. He occasionally chews on shoes and he has destroyed at least one pair of my favourite moccasins. There was a phase where he would pull on all the clothes from the clothes line and my parents had to re-do their laundry. Then came the dip-in-the-mud phase where he would find the nearest puddle and douse himself in some red mud all over his fur. However, do not mistake Bobby for the cuddly canine I describe him as. He may be clumsy and may sometimes venture outside the line but on the right command he can easily maul your heart out.
We live in a beautiful time of jealousy envy and greed. My parents live in the snobbiest part of the town where almost all households own a car and nobody uses the pavement. Seeing as how I have no car, it is in that light that I keep a regular schedule walking Bobby whenever I am at home. Nothing says I am better than you to a fellow social climber than a healthy looking, well-groomed canine pulling on a leash. I am addicted to the marvel of security guards and the motorists who lower the tinted windows on their Camrys and Lexus RX300s at the speed bumps to have a glimpse of my canine companion. The ogles drive me crazy and I feel like Franklin from Grand Theft Auto V complete with the cargo pants and wife-beater to match. I couldn’t think of a cheaper way to harness the rock star experience…
I don’t date fat women. As crass as that may sound, it is the truth. I can be friends with them though because unlike skinny women, they are very warm individuals in most cases. I also do not care much for short women because most of them are short tempered and ruthless in their dealings. Indeed short and fat are relative terms, so to put that into perspective; in my world any woman less than 5’ 7” is short and those weighing a gram more than 65 kilograms are fat. Citing my dating history, my sample size may not be large enough to satisfy a panel of snobbish college professors, but my personal prejudices are dearer to me than my own genitals. Thus I shall stand by those controversial sentiments.
That notwithstanding, I had a girlfriend in my starter years that I could not go beyond second base with. As usual as it is with these things, I could not tell why despite the fact that her frustration was mounting exponentially. Many a time I found myself mulling over the issue wondering whatever it is was the matter. I even questioned my own sexual orientation and began toying with the thought that I could have been gay. I imagined how disappointed my father would be, and the way it would worry my mother (her husband’s depression that is, not my men love). I combed the internet ceaselessly for answers, Reddit, yahoo and some creepy Google groups that I am ashamed to mention. Than romance fizzled out primarily due to the fact it was not consummated. The mounting frustration was slowly growing into resentment and thus I kicked in and severed that union. I was a gentleman about it and never quite disclosed what really the matter was. I did manage though to do what a typical teenager would do; I projected my inadequacies into my relationship and made her feel like it was all her fault.
In truth, most the women I had seen naked in my teens were centerfolds on playboy magazine and pop stars like Beyoncé. I was conditioned to expecting that the female human body was for the most part hairless. I also thought pot bellies were a reserve for new mothers. They say that hindsight is 20/20 and that could not be more true than in this case. When I come to power in the year 2030, I shall make pornography legal to match with the moral decay of the time. However, not all types of porn will be allowed. The only type that shall be in circulation will be the unedited versions of homemade couples with pot bellies and hairy pits and pubes. The same standard will be mandatory operational policy across the board for the advertisement industry. The crew for National carriers both rail and air will be under strict instructions to show preference for qualified women with acne and other physical blemishes that are otherwise frowned upon by the plastic society of present day. Last and most important, body shaming will be an offense punishable by death and/or life imprisonment. I am the future embodied; Vote Masharia Kanyari for president 2030!
It is a Saturday afternoon; the air is pregnant with humidity. I sit outside my father’s house on a plastic chair enjoying the company of Bobby the family dog. He is a bit out of breath and he keeps panting harder each time I throw the stick for him to fetch. I envy his energy, with that type of zest, I could actually change the world instead of bask. I engage the beefy yet agile German shepherd in this mundane game that he seems to enjoy so much. I could care less about nature but the power is out so I cannot waste away this afternoon on my Xbox. It is 17 degrees Celsius and I cannot help think that this is what they call summer in Europe. We really do have fine weather in Kenya, explains the British exodus that marked the last century. Poor Brits were ousted by the people of central Kenya through merciless guerrilla warfare. Had we known better we’d have had you stay, maybe Pierce Morgan would have been a half black.
The sun is now weak at best, thicker clouds cover the sky. Temperatures have probably decreased by a degree or two. The power is still out and the boredom is slowly killing my will to live. I remember a contact; the guy; who supplies me with my recreational prescription meds. I call the guy.
I have a vial of Pethidine in hand, a sterile needle and syringe. Just we are clear. I had never used this drug before. I have always steered clear of anything that has a he potential to conjure an addiction. I took an educated opinion from my dealer that it would send me to the other worldly experience, something like what Steve Jobs did with LSD. True to his word it did
First you feel the prick of the needle, and then the drug slowly eases into your veins. At this point I felt my whole body go cold, like being hugged by a reptile. I seemed to black out from what I can only compare to a thousand orgasms. I have no idea how long I was out but when I came to my boxers were wet at the front, I was nursing a semi and I had snort all over my T shirt. In hindsight, I was in a very pitiable state, but Bobby did not care, he was there dutifully staying guard in case someone decided to harvest my organs. Given that my motor skills seemed to be somewhat restored I made a beeline for my notepad and this is what I jotted down, word for word.
“This is life. I have been screwed over by people in more ways than a prostitute from Amsterdam. I have had passionate fights with my family over trivialities. I have witnessed shit that has changed me forever. I have blamed my current lover for things old lovers did. I have lost family members I never thought I could do without. I have quietly and intentionally orchestrated the death of some of my friendships. I have had my fair share of laughs, a few cries and embarrassments. Yet today, under the help of prescription meds, with semen in my boxers, snort on my collar, none of these matter.
In this moment, I profoundly understand that everybody has a past and I can finally sit back and acknowledge that shit happens to the people who can handle it. This is who I am, and nobody has the right to change that, including myself.”
PS: Any drugs that the author of this post may have used were purely for research purposes. Masharia Kanayri is not a habitual drug abuser neither does he condone the recreational use of prescription drugs.
First of all, I want to admit that none of this is cold hard fact. No scientific methods of research were employed in the compilation of these findings; better yet you are not obligated to like contents of this here post. Capiche?
Now that we have ousted the elephant in the room, let us take a jab at the issue. There are only three men in any woman’s life. This as I have come to establish is not subject to the place this woman comes from. It stands unaffected by her race, hair colour, number of sexual partners or the colour of her eyes when she has too much to drink. These men are namely, Father, Husband and The One that got away. Let us look at each one.
In every woman’s life there is a father. It matters not whether she knew him or not. Either way this man sets the tempo upon which all men in the said woman’s life are expected to dance. Most women have a father they adore or utterly despise and/or hate. There is no middle ground with the poor men that have been placed on this podium. The father figure cannot alleviate his image if he is despised and little can be done to lower the lofty position that fathers who are adored enjoy. In truth, every woman has such a man in their life. Some visit theirs occasionally, some hardly ever think of theirs and some marry the man (read Celine Dion). The beauty about having this title is that you are enough- absolute in every way.
The One That Got away
There is the guy that every woman thinks about when you talk about heartbreak. He was your whole galaxy but to him you were just a single star. You occasionally have erotic dreams about the two of you together and you regret even having liked, heck, loved this man. The guy she thinks about during roof top dances, forehead kisses and beach bonfires at the movies. This is the guy that inadvertently taught the woman the difference between somebody who loves them and somebody who would do anything to keep them. She learnt that she could miss someone with every fibre of her being but not want them back. Any woman reading this has someone in mind…and I did not even have to say his name!
A woman’s heart is a chamber of secrets, throw Harry Porter and his magic wand. One of these secrets is the fact that she is hung up on someone. However, we all are and thus this evens out at some point. The husband’s sole purpose is to fill in the time; the stuff that life is made of; between Mr wrong and the present. This is of course because women never really forget The One that Got Away but they certainly release him. They stop allowing their history to have any meaning for them in the present.
The main perk of being husband is that the bar is set incredibly low by the asshole that preceded you. You are allowed to grow fat and unattractive; you even get the right to bore the woman in question. All you need to be is reliable. Mr Husband should be available for family outings, fund baby showers for friends who she admits are not really friends and many of the trite activities that married life consists of.
All in all, the wisest woman of all agrees that men are just whom they are and this is life. You are best taking them as they are and better yet accepting them for the form in which they exist