When all this is over, we will write stories with movement.Stories that for the life of us, we would have never written with pens. That’s what freedom does.Noel Cynthia.
This is where we’re at.
I can’t wait for when all this is over! This month was supposed to be fun but we are not posting anything hilarious. There’s nothing funny about this situation. Corona has finally stopped reggae. Online writing is the new cartel business. All we can do is wait it out and pray things get better, fast!Now while we wait, let me give you a quick prognosis of situations on the ground. As told by a majority of the populace.
First off, working from home is a scam.A fairytale. For those who were doing it before, congratulations.You’re better than most. Straighten that imaginary crown because it ain’t easy out here. 30 minutes in and Netflix,Showmax,Hulu and all their siblings,including Selina (that show where a man drowns in a baby pool) starts seducing you with a pop up of the top 10. Like the gentlewoman that you are, you say all work and no play makes Noel a bad girl. You decide to have a ten minute break. You blink twice and it’s 4:00p.m.Nothing done.
Zoom and quick calls…
Then follows the conference calls.Ladies haven’t told you how it hurts to dress up and apply make up for a mere video call. It hurts because your boss has never seen you without it and you know that when he does, he may call the IT guy thinking that someone has tampered with the systems, stolen your identity, laptop or both.You can’t risk it.The big brothers and sisters aren’t having it any easier either. First week was fun. Being the smartest in the room, telling lastborns what to do. Catching random chicken on whatsapp. Three weeks in and you’ve mastered all the 15 tunes on looloo kids, the toddler channel on YouTube that has 24 million followers(still shocking).
Then we have this lot who were few months in. Forget whiskey. Now, relationships are the only thing on the rocks. Ladies and gentlemen have to “buda boss” their way out of the sitting room because mum and dad are around.This is Africa, forget the movies. You can’t call someone’s child sijui bae, bear,love before your dad,unless they’re known and accepted. Try it and you’ll sleep on the roof. So if you’re served with broski, or budaboss, don’t take it personal.Things have changed,maybe even for the better. So adjust accordingly.
This year started fine,we started fine. Now we just watch movies, eat all the time and pray this virus will be teleported to the outside world; anywhere but here.However,in the midst of all this chaos, we can at least make lemonade out of Covid lemons. I don’t know about you but I’m making a clear bucket list of what I’ll do when all this is over.
When all this is over…
First, I’ll pass by Sarova Stanley. Why? because I crave appropriate human contact and the doorman at Sarova is the coolest in town.He’s always wearing a smile and a big personality: waving, nodding and shaking hands as he works his shtick. He also calls me lady, not madam. Plus, he’s Congolese, so we will have small talk in French.
Then,I’ll go to the dapper brother’s cloth store at Sarit to get a pair of happy socks for a cousin of mine. I saw the man without socks in the house once and it was downright depressing. I told him to get pedicure but he won’t have it. You know there are straight men out here, then there are very straight men.He is a very straight man.We’ll go for happy socks.
At noon, I’ll go join an amazing karaoke street artist who plays behind Naivas, with a rendition of “I feel good” by Pharell.I’ll record it then post it and tag him on Instagram . For lunch, I’ll go to a new fish joint.Though I’m not one to take a picture of food with my phone,I’ll take this one and share it. I know it will be so good that I’ll ask to meet the chef. Then I’ll look at her gifted hands and say…
“you see these hands,these hands are meant to fry fish.”
Then I’ll tip her.
Will it really be over?
Later in the afternoon, I’ll go shift my hair to dreads and dye it maroon,then send a picture to my mum, who will videocall me, hand on chin,staring like someone died. She will look at me with lone eyes and wonder whether I’m carrying a mop on my head or it’s the high dosage of antibiotics she’s taking playing with her head.That’s if she doesn’t faint first. She won’t say anything at first, at least not with her mouth,mostly with her eyes.
But when I get home, I’ll find men and women flocked in the house, annointing oil on hands, humming to old hymns. She will ask me to stand in the middle of the already formed circle and one of them will read from the book of Proverbs,while avoiding my eyes.Then they will in turn start praying for me as though they are casting out demons. For hours. In between, I’ll ask to go to the washroom but mama Monika,the one with the white headscarf, will chime in claiming that those are demons trying to escape. If asked to explain,I’ll try saying that it’s my form of free spirit expression.Owino,the male intercessor will gasp.
It will all be over… for me.
After dusk they will finally break into singing. And then mother will finish the session with another prayer condeming the demons to leave my hair and my heart. At this point, I will be sobbing while chopping off my dreads with scissors.Later in the night,alone and laying in bed, guilt eating at my heart, mum will walk in saying,
“You’ll stay here for a week,you need to get yourself together.”
That,my friends, is how I’ll find myself in forced self isolation on my first day of freedom.
What are you looking forward to when all this ends? Let me know in the comments section.While at it, stay safe.