Thursday, October 12, 2006


Brethren, our reading today comes from the Book of Nemesis. Yes, Nemesis: the Vengeful God.

“ ..And the Good Lord revealed himself to Moses in form of a burning herb. Behold when he was done inhaling, he went down the mountain bearing two tablets. One tablet was of Mandrax and the other of ecstasy. And all that was in the beginning…”

Now before we jack you for the pastor’s testes money, let us hear the Testimony of Brother Potash. He that was delivered from the Power of Darkness!

It was a beautiful Sunday morning, back when I was still living in the city. Yes back then when I was living a life of debauchery and sin. It was that kind of morning, you know, when you have a can of Napshizzle, two gaffs and a whole fifty seven bob left over from the previous night’s dunda. Hell, I even had a Take Away, and it was not from Munyiri’s Fish and Chips. You feel that vibe, eh?

Now this Take Away wasn’t so bad to look at. I mean I have seen worse, you jua- like those with three epidermis layers: one baby powder, the other hydrocortisone cream- fair and lovely ya kadogo, eh- and the original layer, all rubbery now. (All that below a ‘me-is-roosey’ weaves looks like Michael Jackson got a sex change.) But this one, zii… this Take Away was timam. On point dadi! It had two eyes, a nose, a mouth and two ears- all where they are meant to be.

In between its ears was a grey area, but I could understand, after all Napshizzle and grey matter do not mix. Besides who is perfect? Some got their cleft lips, others have squint eyes and I got my piles. That’s God’s image all up my arse! It is a little wonder then that Sunday school taught me to ask God to give me serenity to accept the things I cannot change. And those things include haemorrhoids and getting drunk and taking away the last moron I see at the shebeen before I pass out.

She smiled at me. Her lower incisors were chipped. That explained the sore lacerations on my tongue. A moment before I had been thinking that I had cut my tongue chewing muguka bila Big G. Suddenly, I made a mental note to get a Tetanus shot and a rabies one too, soon as there was sufficient blood in my alcohol stream.

I grinned at her but it came out a scowl because a bunch of demons were using the few brain cells the alcohol had left me as a Geisha like wanking aid. She turned around lazily but certainly not without effort. It occurred to me then that she was on the plus size. You know the kind that is too fat to fit in a movie seat. (Maybe that is the plus side of the plus size, they save you on movie dates. But I cannot afford the movies anyhow and also I always was of the opinion that only plants should get flowers.)

“sema sweetie…” That was her speaking not me. Now, too many Morning Afters have taught me that if a mama calls you ‘Sweetie’ in the morning, it means that she cannot remember your name. And I am usually not offended because even I cannot always remember what I was prostituting myself as the night before. Was I Potash? Just Potash, the professional bum or was I masquerading as Potash, EDB, XYZ- Project Management Consultant? Maybe I was Aku Kuku Manga, a madinka refugee from South Sudan. (Okay, enyewe that last one is reserved for Odieros. It has suggestions of a Mandingo the size of an AK- 47… oh, I dream of Africa… Shidwe!)

But what does it matter in the morning. The end must have justified the noun. What is in a name anyway, the late Billy someone used to ask. A name is just a tag. But talking of tags, what was hers? It must have been Carol, Susan or Mary. You know, something so unremarkable you could as well name your daughters; A, B or C. It had to be something like that because I can never forget a Mueni, Akinyi or Wakonyo and not just because I had been screaming their names all night, eh! But lenga that storo… kill that vibe mpaka like baadayes…

She put a podgy paw on my upturned cheek. It was as though she was turning the veve glob- tuksin- beneath it. Then her face went solemn like. You know that look a mama has when she remembers that the CD broke. (Eehh, some of you jamaas is asking, what CD? I jua your maneno … wacha tu!)

“You don’t go to church, sweetie?” she queried
“I do. I mean, I even go for Kesha at ‘One Love Licker Store…’ I replied
“Blasphemy… Ngai!” She screamed.
“Huh? Isn’t blasphemy the prerogative of the non-Christian?” I exploded dripping sarcasm.
“What is prerogative?” She asked.
“Oh fuck… anyway, the only godly butt I kiss is a cigarette one!” Quoth the Potash.
“You will rot in hell, sweetie, you will… “The girl yelled.
“Cool at least that will give me an answer to the stock question: What are you up to these days, Potash? Currently, I am rotting in Hell!” I stated philosophically.
And all she could say in response to that was; ““Shidwe Pepo baya!”
“Now you are not only being judgemental,” I remarked, “but you are also blaspheming the devil”

That is the moment she plugged her years and started screaming like a proselyte on the Day of Pentecost.
“Get Up! Get Up!” She was mouthing. “We are going for Morning Service at the Glory Church…”
But I am not the kind to get up on Sunday morning; I just Get it Up!
Morning Glory….

And thus another soul- yet another proselyte- was won over to the Potashian Sunday Morning servicing!


Anonymous said...

Thats hillarous!

Amber said...

I have just caught up with the vibe that you went for the writers retreat... And I was so jazzed cos it means that in a few years time we will have in this Nairobi of ours a seroius powerhouse of writing. Keep going!

You so deliciously upset my sensibilities that I will probably keep reading you, even before you win the Caine, et al prizes.

POTASH said...

Mhhh... remmy, had to check out your blog.

Lol at Mrs Blog's sis feeling 'Knickered', no wonder I tell her she sounds like some girl from Murang'a.

But let me shut up, otherwise at this rate you and I might not get to be inlaws.

@Amber: You have a penchant for showing up on my more salacious posts. Are you projecting, or expressing a worse pathology?


Uhm, anyway, where did you get the vibe that I went for a writers' retreat.

Isn't it amazing how suddenly my name is being associated with all manner of things I couldn't afford...ati sijui being at Hidden Agenda with the smitta...!

Sunny D said...

Potash, very well written.. too funny, I love your blog :-)

chepkemboi said...

Hi Potash,

I said it before, you need Jesus.

And, I second Amber.

Keep them coming

makanga said...

I'm sure Reverend P also has daily morning devotions, quick lunch power hours and sunset celebrations.

makanga said...

I'm sure Reverend P also has daily morning devotions, quick lunch power hours and sunset celebrations.

makanga said...

I'm sure Reverend P also has daily morning devotions, quick lunch power hours and sunset celebrations.

Amber said...

Probably trying to stop expressing, and now enjoying vicariously by reaidng your posts. It is unlikely though that it could be worse...

I see you are not denying that you could be, *wink, wink* you know, prize-winning writer material.

POTASH said...

SunnyD... thanks as always for the head up.

@Chep: Maybe Jesus needs me more, if there were no sinners like me to save, he would be out of a job.

ehhh...keep who coming...The Take Aways?

", you really need join my congregation. I have a job for an usher... ushering them into the Holy of Holies!!

@Amber.. you never answered my question but the retreat I think you mean, well I went as a blogger!

Amber said...

I know that you went as a blogger, as did four or so others... Infact, if you look up one of those blogs, then you will get the answer to your first question. Your second one, it is a small world, that is why it is called a global village.

njoki said...

Potash,quite a gentleman, aren't you? unexpected.There is morning after conversation with the 'Take away',and even the hint of of a Sunday morning spent in glory. cynic that try to be, I thought that 'Take Aways' where hasseled out in cover of the early morning light, and admonished not to steal anything on their way out. So Bravo to you for your morning glory servicing.hope you get more converts. as always Lovely read.

POTASH said...

Amber, well you are not even good at being anonymous, sijui undercover. I knew your real name and details within five or so minutes after you know what...!

So you have to act real nice or else I will blow your cover. yeah I am gangster, I have no inhibitions and no ethics. Hola!
PS: I am reading your short story,want feedback?

Njoki, as always nice to have your reading. Oh ati a gentleman, okay you do not really have to go on and be sarcastic, do you?

Ish I hav a hangie and here comes a booze.........

POTASH said...

maboy mtaani wanasema ati roundi hii Potash anaishi Kibabi... eish, now friday i got The Binj to buy me a couple of Tuskers in tao, then this boy walks in and goes: Aih, Potash, what's with the shirt sleeves and cufflinks? The last time i saw you you were hustling!"
Of course I am still hustling, ain't like I am living it up for shit...
Then Minutes later this blogger I have a big crash on bought me a pizza in westie.. hapo ndio mliniona.
Mi sikubuy...ala!

Si mngecome tusifiane Kiuzee...!!

theemmas said...

tell God about your blog, He'd love it...
i enjoyed reading it...keep at it potash.

POTASH said... the way, thanks a lot for being a determined reader!!

modoathii said...

wazimu wazimu wazimu. there's a ka-vacancy at mathare. i was turned away. we even tried to bribe them but wapi. sasa naona wewe una visa.

niko ndani ya church yako. naeza saidiana na makanga. makanga awaleta mimi niwaweke kwa couch...wawike ouch (didn't just say that)


alexcia said...

Hizi ni sketch ama kumalizia, kupata mwisho wa hadithi ni ngumu?

BTW short story inanilemea -- naskia nikama nahitaji usaidizi was editah.

Anonymous said...

Potash, I just read that you're featured in Kwani 3 (or did I? I think I did.).

That's excellent news despite... you know what :-).

I think you're destined one of Kenya's finest, and then I'll be able to boast that I knew you when ...

Take care of you...


Anonymous said...

I can't believe I lost my comment... oh well... it was pretty long... perhaps your blog objected to my blogging on your blog.

In brief then: I was excited to read, on Alexcia's blog, that you're writing for Kwani now.

About time!

I think you're destined to be one of Kenya's finest despite my beef with ... you know what:-).


Anonymous said...

Ok seriously, I'm not dim.

There was a first post which I lost and then the second, and then I think a third. Please delete the second if I posted it. Sorry, you have no email and and and... :-(.


POTASH said...

Modoathii... You and makanga are in. Alafu i skia Amber wants autoerotic asphyxiation so tutamhang hapo mbele kama ule msee who hangs on a mbao in Catholic ushaona?

Alexcia: Ish story zangu hukua freestyle. I do streem of consciousness and no edits. First thing at the top of my head goes...

They tell me that after poetry, the short story is the hardest genre to master, and i agree with them.

Usaidizi wa editor..mhhh..there is a Summer Literary Seminar this December, labda ucheki kwa website ya Kwani? juu ya hiyo story.

I would also like to read your storo, kiubeste. Si you know how to send out these things? Just put (C) at the bottom of each page alafu unisendie

Vee said...

Niiiice... I'm beginning to like your style...

POTASH said...

Rombo... well your beef with me on F-, well si we sorted that. As in I said I cannot shake what is not mine to sahke!
Anyway, nice to have you back again.
I am feauturing on Kwani 4 and not the third one. I am in the one coming out round-a-bout december

Jay said...

Dude, as always u inspire to aspire! Settin up another blog, will let u know...when are we catching a cold one, actually to be realist, many cold ones?!!

POTASH said...

vee.. lool, I guess I am an acquired taste.

Jay, hey wassap. Yeah you gotta get your ass blogging real good. I know you got the real deal. Uhm, si you know where I am furniture at. Every friday nite, I will be there. Should call you one of these days though!

Iman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Iman said...

oops, deleted myself... should I take that as a sign?

You know whose comments I miss, that Keguro kid. Will he return? I guess I will just have to keep on to find out.

In any case, reading your posts like this from the archives is so enjoyable, I can't imagine how hard it must have been for people to have to wait for god knows how long for your alms. On the other hand, I am doing everything to keep myself from jumping forward and reading what you are presently writing. Maybe a more pronounced magical realism? Some more of this updike-esque stuff? Potash is one of the most compelling fictional characters I have come across in a while, and your confidence seems to grow with every post.

Also, blogging in first person is an interesting device for your fiction, I am rereading my Barthes so you can imagine the calculations going off in my head as I read your stuff.

Finally, your writing has the same bite that Zadie Smith's does - i know, i know, you don't like being compared to other writers, particularly dead white ones blah blah, but how about a live (half)black one? Caine? Pshh. I am thinking Booker. And no that isn't your cue to go into a cultural imperialism tirade. it's a compliment, take it.