It must have been about 3 pm the next day when I received a text message from an old friend. Well, not friend as in friend, as the Gikuyu say, of the front seat but, you know, one of those people from the collective masturbatory days of Oh-Potash-is-Like-a-So-Amazing-Writer-Man!
The text message serves no other purpose in this narrative beyond waking me up to the realisation that I was sprawled in a ditch and the world was spinning around me, scratching and howling, as though God had learnt his physics from the M.O.B DJs. I looked this way and that way hoping to lay sight on my true boy and ask him what holiday the rest of the world was celebrating and there he was slumped against a tree.
It was obvious to me that he was unconscious and the two guys standing over him were trying to rob him. “Hey you!” I yelled and trying to dig myself out of the ditch but, merely, managing to prop myself up on one leg, spin and fall back into the ditch. Well, butt first, this time round, if it makes any difference for you to know.
With one arm slumped over the edge of the ditch, the other, a crutch, wedged firmly on the floor of the ditch, I posed for a moment to collect my wits. I took a deep breath- I at least recall doing so mentally- shook my head vigorously and with one hand started to pick out muddy bits off my chest, knees and face and all the while trying to figure out where the fluid on those places had come from seeing that the ditch itself was as dry as my throat.
I hauled myself out of the ditch and saw that my true boy was still right there- slumped under a tree. With two guys still looming over him. Obviously, the guys are robbing him, I said to myself. “Hey you!” I yelled. The two fellows turned towards me with the mechanical slow-motion lean, silly grin and all, of the happily drunk. Two jets of urine clashed somewhere between them, their grins exploded into the loudest of guffaws and they, ignoring me, went back to their good-humoured peeing into my true boy's mouth.
I kicked myself for having taken them for thieves and, penis in wobbly hand, joined them in their oh-so-exhilarating-in-a-lumpen proletariat-sort-of-way sport.
Giving it deeper thought now, as I peek through this rapidly-turning-opaque window of sobriety, I do recall that what crossed my mind then was that the the alcohol buying world was celebrating the day of Pentecost. Even as I sought my boy to ask him, my mind had long concluded that the good lord had done gone and finally sent us a helper. Like for real. A drunken helper. A helper to drunkenness. Whatever. But, a guy, all I can say is that long before I ended up in that ditch and him by that tree, it had been raining alcohol all sorts. All things nice. In fact, what I can tell you now is that my last memory was of everyone in the wines and spirits speaking in tongues.
Mother tongues, I tell you. And we were all mighty fluent.
I mean, it is funny- and I know you have laughed parallel with me- but what is this thing about Gikuyu men getting drunk and immediately reverting to Gikuyu and particularly to the tone deaf howling of Gikuyu gospel songs?
Me, I have a theory, but first allow me to down this Kanee.
Ahh, man, my throat is like a burning bush. Everything is illuminated.
My theory is... wait, wait, let me light a cigarette; a torch to guide me through the murky depths of theory formulation.
Eish, I have a light but no cigarette. Will be back in a sec...
Allah is beneficent, I went in search of a cigarette and got a full one- yes a full, virgin stick- and a level (half a can of Kanee).
So, we were where? My theory... indeed!
My theory is that part of the tranquillity that this consumption of alcohol business- business of consumption alcohol(?)... consumption of business alcohol (?)... wtf?- brings is achieved through taking you to a place of primal instinct; a place of either childhood or the most bestial rationality encoding.
Now this place, if you will allow me to borrow from Freud and Nietzsche (two random guys one Jew and one normal dead white guy- the better if we haven' read them- is more than sufficient academic homage for our theory construction, no?) I will call the Atavism of Higher Inebriation (AHI). When the Gikuyu man arrives at the AHI- a place where the lone brain cell remnant contains only the basic life support (my yet to be pee reviewed data suggests that basic life support, unfortunately, does not include bowel movement)- he reverts to his earliest cultural/ civilising encounters: lying on a dirty lesso choking on his own stool, and that of other toddlers, and surrounded by the wails of mothers too drunk on the blood of Christ to remember their diarrhoeic offspring.
Quite an unbecoming state of affairs, you say, if only to be seen to be a man after my own heart.
Unfortunately, there is a (and quite the rare sort it ought to be noted) kind of Gikuyu man who, Nubian gin totting (the mental picture of tots or shots needs to be banished because you know we quaff it by the glass-load), cigarette butt dangling, arrives at the AHI to find nothing. This is the sort that- and I will gladly let you call me a heathen if it means that you understand that I am that sort of Gikuyu man- having been successfully indoctrinated, goes on, in later years, to attempt a reversal of the process.
A successful reversal of the process has immense, and particularly positive, real world implications. These kind of men make great drinking company. This not because they supply the alcohol but because they bring to an alcohol laden table the camaraderie born of argumentation, polemics and controversial turns of the alcohol-laced point that is the glue that best binds alcohol to the human brain cell. (It is a documented fact that every man, Kikuyu or otherwise, of a certain age imagines himself a bar-room intellectual, or as with most African traditions- marked as they are by the anthropologically proven lack of Rationality in the Africa- where the notion of intellectualism is unimaginable, non-existent and intolerable: soothsayer; diviner. Whatever it is Africans have that is analogous to the Western notion of intellectualism).
Now, I do not know if you are following my drift but what I can tell you for certain is that I do not...