It all begins with a smell.
Silence stands tall between mother and I. Once in a while, the silence leans back and the fire cackles, a log burnt to embers splinters sending sparks flying all over the kitchen. Some sparks find our clothes- our dirt clothes- and drill holes onto the ageing fabrics. Mostly, I ignore them but mother, always with reflexive gestures, brushes them off. She reaches for another log but all the wood is gone. She rummages in the dirt around her and gathering a handful of tinder, throws it into the fire. It bursts into flames.
A breeze creeps in through a gaping hole where, with all their discordant shapes and sizes, the flattened out tin cans that make our kitchen's walls refuse to meet. The breeze sends a plume of smoke in my direction. I choke as the strong smell of burning Meru oak imprints itself into my childhood memories.
We lapse back into inertia. Silence stands up straight. The smell hovers.
Silence leans back again. The sufuria on the fire boils over. Mother sticks a calloused thumb under the lid and flips it over. It clutters over one of the three hearth stones and on to a corner. She reaches for her cooking stick, stirs the contents of the sufuria. She turns the cooking stick around and uses its handle to poke the fire.
The moon gapes at me through another hole this one high up where a section of the the wall shies away from the roof. I lean back- playing peek a boo with the moon- but she spies me through a constellation of holes and tears on the tin roof. In a few minutes, yet another bland dinner will be served. But this one I will have to miss because my phone rings and yanks me out of my day dream and into the _ _.
I did not name this place. She did. The white girl leaning over me. I ask her how I got here all the while trying to crane my neck and check the place out. My neck is immobile. Held in place by a neck brace.
Suddenly, things race through my mind. The strip bar. A stripper with her legs around my neck. An out of body experience. A drink with John the Apostle. The beginnings of a story ... the middle of a story... an end blurred out.
That day was the 10th of April 2008. I had, once again, lived to die another day.
The challenges of being a blogger who is not anonymous, and yet chooses to tell real-life stories, has finally caught up with me. I wrote the final three episodes of the Sleazemeister series, throughout last night, on note paper while lying on the floor of the kitchen described in this episode. Those three episodes were, in order of appearance: White Chicks; Miscegenation and Coitus Interrupters. Those episodes covered my experiences over the period May- August 2008. (August being the time when I wrote the first Sleazemeister episode.)
But as I lay there watching the kerosene lamp flicker, and eventually go off, my mind raced through the last one month the culmination of which was an episode titled Paradise Lost. This episode, written this morning, was a sort of afterword to the Sleazemeister that reveals me to be recently returned to Kiambu. Again.
So where are the posts? They will not be published here but I hope to turn them into a chapter in my memoirs. At that point, assuming I will finally make some money out of all this writing, I will have someone to deal with the legal issues- my publishers- and enough resources to not bother about pissing off some hoodlums and a string of lovers and sex partners both past and present.
The import of all this is that the Sleazemeister series has had to end prematurely and on a rather lame note here. I can be convinced though to make a limited edition PDF of it. But that is just a thought.
In the meantime, now that my return to the blogosphere has been firmly established, look out for new stories from the here and now. I might be back in the city by the time I write the next post or I might still be in Kiambu. Wherever I am, I promise to write. So see you all next monday.