On the first day of Christmas my true boy said to me, “But Potash, don't you know it is Christmas?”
“Aaaish, nini...” I said to him my eyes, one moment fluttering open and quickly crinkling shut the next as a ray of sunlight hit them square-like through that ever growing space where the wall and the roof have sworn never to meet, “of course, I know it is Christmas, I just cannot afford it.”
“Clearly,” my true boy said to me kicking a can of Kanee into a pile in the corner. The can flew over the short distance and, save for a momentary clutter, soon settled into the eerily impotent silence of emptiness amongst its peers. It became like them: returned soldiers from the futile battle of escapism; carrier corps broken by a war that was not theirs to begin with. Cannon fodder. And we, with our human battles- sub-human, it could well be argued- quickly forgot them our hearts and desires yelling: “can them brew master, can them and we will kill them quick!”
I turned round to face him and with an instinctive flip of thumb and index finger: “Choma hiyo fegi!”
“Wacha moto,” the boy aaaahed, “Beggars point is bados.”
“You guy you malizaed my Kanee,” No, I was not complaining, boys don't play that way, I was just pointing out the obvious.
“There was bilas hapo,” he stared me down his bearded face devoid of emotion, its eyes sunken, its cheeks hollow. A face that only a new can of Kanee could lit up.
“Sasa unatakaje?” I asked while thrusting my hand into my cut-off jeans shorts, tugging at my penis (inadvertently dislodging a few pubic hairs in the process) and bringing the hand to my nose. “hmmm.”
“Hmmm.” He nodded ambiguously which was all the confirmation I needed to the fact that I was not in dire need of a birth, yet.
“Sasa aje?” I prodded and reached for the cigarette for which he obliged me this time.
“Manze si Kanee imepanda” I mumbled just to drill into his head what exactly were meant to be thinking about. I mean, like there could be anything else?
“Itakuwa aje sasa?”
“Ah,” shaking his head, “si hivo tu... lakini kuna vile Sir Godi atatumind.”
Where we live, God is good all the time. And even though he does not come through for the big things- jobs, money, self esteem- he is reliable when it comes to providing you with means to forget that you do not have those things: drugs, alcohol and, if you are so inclined, litter upon litter of progressively younger pussy.
“Kuwasha ni ka everyday,” I observed with conviction, “Hivyo ndio maboyz tunaishi”
“Ehh,” he agreed but the first trace of emotion crawled into his face to betray a lack of conviction, “lakini vile kumesota raondi hii, naona tukirudia mudi.”
“Eish, mudi si ni noma!”
“Dai tu hivo boy...” he reached into the corner and grabbing one of the empty cans turned it around, idly, on his hands. I stood back waiting to see him turn into Gollum. “Wee, dai to hivo...”
“Aih,” he started, flinging the can back into the corner, “Potash uko na mbao hapo?”
"Zii,” I replied upturning a chipped coffee mug to reveal all the money in my possession: a twenty shillings coin, “niko tu na mbao ya mafegi za kudoze.”
“Kwani ulikuwa unataka aje?”