It was mid-April, 2008. Above us: an overcast sky that was all thunder and lightening but no rain. Like a bull with premature ejaculation. The street was empty. It looked dead, but only to a stranger.
Standing there, smoking in silence and exchanging swigs on the bottle of Viceroy, we knew that from behind the shadow of darkness, more than a dozen eyes were watching the street. Lurking in alleys, peering through peep-holes on boarded up windows. They watched and waited. They knew we knew they were there. We knew it was not us that they were watching and waiting for because we knew that they knew that we, like them, were creatures of the night. At least Dinda was and because of him we were protected from them.
The police with their guns, the thieves with their bigger guns and the prostitutes with their disease-ridden bodies. They were watching and waiting for you. Waiting to take your money or your life. Most likely both.
“That blog is just a crutch, Potash,” N.M broke the silence. He was not looking at me and seemed to be addressing the plume of smoke he had just blown into the air. Dinda swigged from the bottle, hesitated and instead of passing it on to N.M., he took another swig emptying the bottle.
N.M. stared at him. For a moment.
N.M's eyes moved to the now empty bottle. Dinda shrugged and hurled the bottle at a nearby window.
“Mbwa!” screeched a female voice.
“Malaya!” N.M. laughed.
“Kimya!” A man barked somewhere up the street.
The sound of two guns being cocked, simultaneously, down the street.
Everyone knew of the others; that they were there. Everyone knew what was needed of him or her: that they mind their own business.
Everyone returned to watching the street.
Everyone but us. We piled into Dinda's car and drove off.
“Tao?” Dinda asked, N.M. N.M was riding shotgun.
“Eee,” N.M. responded. “Tao ya chini... huko juu niko na bill?"
“Ya kuma au ya pombe?”
“Pombe.” N.M. said. He passed me a cigarette and lit one for himself.
“So what I am semaing, Potash...” N.M. said. He unbuckled his belt and turned to face me. Dinda started fiddling with the stereo.
“You are blowing smoke into my face,” he said to N.M.
“Fuck you,” N.M. responded. “Just shut up and drive. Let me for a moment tell this bastard what is real and what is not?”
“Why say it while Culture can sing it?” Dinda asked and pushed up the volume on the stereo.
“Yo!Yo!Yo!” Tony Rebel's yells tore through the car as he introduced Hungry People, his collaboration with Joseph Hill and Mighty Culture.
“Why, oh, why, poor people 'ungry again?” Dinda sang along with Joseph Hill.
With one hand on the steering while and his eyes on the glove compartment, Dinda leaned over and pulled out a half smoked joint. He lit the joint using the car's electric lighter and then stepped on the accelerator rushing us towards hell or the city centre, whichever would come faster.
The Fates huddled. Deliberated. They called God but, inaccessible to Immortals as he is to men, his phone was off. “Hello, this is God's phone. I am sorry I cannot take your call at the moment. I have gone to Hell to find a fire. Bloody Global Warming has turned my house into a freezer. Leave your name...”
They called the Devil.
“El diablo...,” a high pitched voice with a Shona accent answered. The Devil listened briefly then apologised: “I am sorry I cannot do a conference call right now. God is, down here, sobbing in my house and flooding my kitchen.” In the background they could hear someone sniff back tears while blubbering something about Kyoto and how his E had turned out quite unequal to MC2. “Which would be fine,” the Devil added, “if he wasn't trying to use another one of his sob stories as an excuse to smoke up all my weed.”
The Deities otherwise engaged, the fate of three miscreants, driving recklessly drunk through the Nairobi night, was left to, well, The Fates.
“Everyday I am ashamed I gave those farts life,” Clotho bitched. “What do we do with them now?”
“I have given them more than a full measure.” Lachesis yawned and went back to her knitting and following of the Obama campaign on T.V. “Damn, I wish I was a nymph,” she cooed. “I would go down there and fuck that Negro!”
“Let the inevitable occur.” Atropos said reaching for her shears. She was referring to the three miscreants in Nairobi, of course, but her partners could not be bothered. Clotho was slumped by the fire drinking cheap South African wine from the bottle. Lachesis was, her eyes glued to the TV, now trying to weave her vestigial fingers- past a colostomy bag and folds of skin- towards her crotch. (The last time she had ogled at Obama that hard, Stevie Wonder had tripped on stage).
“Damn shears!” it was Atropos again. She had dropped the shears down the lavatory hours before. She had been, once again, using office equipment to shave her pubes.
In Nairobi, a silver bubble of chrome and thumping reggae crossed the Tom Mboya street line and entered the Third World section of the city. Its occupants, too intoxicated to be thankful for Global warming, a lachrymal god, a devil too busy saving his weed rather than damning the world and three witches with no office etiquette, staggered into a strip bar.
As fate-or maybe the gods who watch over us creatures that run in the dark- would have it, we found the city centre long before we could reach hell. “Hell is filled with good intentions,” I muttered under my breath as I stepped out of the car. “I have bad intentions, my brothers,” I said to N.M. and Dinda, “take me to heaven.”
“You speak my mind, home boy,” N.M. laughed.
“Welcome to fornicators heaven!” Dinda said his hands in the air and his groin grinding against the air around him.
The Saga Continues in the Next Episode: Humping Humbert or Misleading Lolita in Nairobi.