You can call me anal-retentive. Not only because I love to cross my T’s and dot my i’s but also because I question the least of questions, Doubt the most basic of answers. I spend so much time thinking about things I hear people say as they walk along the railway line from kibera towards Industrial Area. Their musings as they mill about staring into the sky waiting for that small white plane to drop Unimix and varied rations. Sometimes that plane comes but most times it doesn’t. Then I cannot help wondering: “ What are they thinking, now? About tomorrow?”
Tomorrow? Maybe them. Not me. I think about my last job. I reminisce on the pleasures of my last meal. Not that I enjoyed it. Hardly. But I am a realist. And in this life my true realities are in the past. My hitherto experience. What will be- the future- is a vast desert streaked with the few and far in between mirages of ‘a job if I can get it’, and a “ meal if I can afford it”.
As for the here and now, well, I wait.
Yesterday, I tried, yet again, tried to make it all work. Really I did. But once again they wouldn’t let me past the factory gate. It is always the ‘first so many guys’ at the gate that get hired for the day and I always make it first. I am always the first one after the ‘so many guys’. Then sometimes I make it first; first before the ‘so many guys’- but on those days the foreman shouts: “Hakuna kazi, leo”.
See it is easy to get tired. Tired of walking. There comes a time when you feel like you just want to sit and wait. The only problem is that you have the time, to sit and wait, but you have nothing to wait for.
Hey, maybe I can ask those kids over there what they are waiting for. Maybe I can wait with them too. The interesting thing is that every time I ask them what they are waiting for, they tell me that they are waiting for something to wait for. And they say it with the most thoughtful of countenances. Such sincerity I can never help but join them. Join them in their sitting and waiting. Waiting for something to wait for.
So today, I wait. Wait for something to wait for. And this while sitting with Timi. Timi my favourite homeboy. My boy that writes stories like I do. Stories that no one will ever read. Maybe we can review each other’s work. Have a pseudo- intellectual conversation on some dead poet or other we read a decade ago. All this as we wait- Timi and I- waiting. Waiting and talking. Talking and waiting. It is as though waiting for Godot.