I’m seated in this really rickety and battered matatu – where I live we have the worst; very old worn out hand me downs; rejects from all other routes. You could drop a coin right in the pothole from your seat with some accuracy. I’m trying to get to downtown, hope it won’t stall as I’m already running late. All the hustle, noise and traffic. I stare at the people around me. None of whom interest me enough to think about. Maybe a misplaced hairstyle or straight bad hair day on someone. Or a harassed guy who forgets to iron his shirt. But today, I don’t want to watch people. I check the time. Crossing my fingers. I’m not missed at the office before I get there. It takes me so much will power to get out of bed these days. Days I’d get up with a spring… Where did you go?
I look out of the window. A new building coming up; what huge windows it’s got… and as I stare into the vastness, my mind wanders… When will all these ever make sense? Sometimes everything seems so empty. Meaningless-like chasing the wind-one of the wisest men in history related.When will it ever make sense? Or is it just me? Do these huge empty windows have answers?I want to feel alive. I want to hear the rhythms of my heart. Excitement. Live.
My phone rings. Just a subdued tune. I get really ticked off by wild tunes though on peoples’ phones. My girlfriend wants to know what I’m up to in the evening. Plans are all set for a drink-up. I should be ecstatic. Elated. But I’m indifferent. Humph! It’s the same old shit different day. Same old routine, just like every other weekend. Seems there are no more interesting people left to meet these days. Sigh! Same old music. Same old places. Same old people and not to forget same old hangover.I check the time again. Can’t this bloody traffic move?! It’s starting to get hot, stuffy and sticky. I’m now more worried. I’ll want to throw up from the nauseating smell of sweaty armpits than I’ll be late to work. I take a deep shaky breath. Remove my jacket and thankfully the lights turn green. We are finally moving. I suck in a lungful of fresh air! It isn’t really fresh. This is the city and fumes are plentiful. Life.
I look out the window. Again.What a bright and beautiful day. I wonder if I’ll get time to go for mass today. I have been focusing a lot on spirituality lately. All in my quest to feel alive. First week was great!!!! It’s been a long time since I felt so vindicated. The priests are great and a verse a day truly keeps the soul refreshed. But now it just feels like routine and I’m worried God will be mad at me because I’m no longer feeling as enthusiastic. I’m sure He can see how I begrudgingly I drag myself there. Hmmm… I’m going to have to talk to Him about how this isn’t working. My love for God is still strong despite my obvious weaknesses. But it’s not about that today.
Drat! I almost missed my stage. I poke the ‘kange’ and ask him to ‘shukisha’. I can pull the slang. Too late. The driver is nonchalantly speeding away and he rudely retorts: “hapa hakuna stage” reminding me why I hate public transportation. I’m so pissed off. Now I’ll have to walk an extra distance that I don’t have the time for. I wonder whether I should be sorrier for my feet or my heels. I’m too late to mull about it. That X6 again. I need to start dreaming about that car again. It’s been a while.
Get on to work. Autopilot. Beat pending deadlines. You know the usual. Do what you have to do. I wonder for the umpteenth time if I’m really in the right profession. Shouldn’t I have even an iota of passion for this.. Sometimes I feel I could walk away. Pack a backpack; point randomly on a map of the world and road trip there. Maybe I will find life there. But isn’t that what people work an entire life to do after they retire. Yeah!! Back to work. The rent won’t pay itself. Neither will my shoes, hair or nail polish. Girl got to look good despite all.
Woohoo! At the club now. At least here comes temporary urban excitement. I have never been here before. Love the ambience and the change from my ‘kawaida’ hanging out dens. It’s so classy and beautiful! I’m chugging down at the pints. I think I will definitely not hesitate at shots today. It’s Friday and it’s been a long week! I’m been introduced to the crowd. One of the guys is trying to chat me up. I watch him sizing me up; looking at me the way a starving street kid would look at really good food. I hope he doesn’t try to get close to where I’m seated. I’m just not in the mood for crap tonight. And crap is what they are these days. I know his type… Falls in the category of all the 90% of guys in a club on a typical weekend… either married, cheating or looking for a fling. I sip faster. Actually in all due honesty, it’s more like a gulp. If I’m tipsy this won’t be so hard. Small talk. People change sitting positions. Apparently the females and males aren’t seated symmetrically. Yeah right! He’s now seated close to me. I’m a bit wary. Lessons have been learnt from past experience with such nights. I know better. Gone are the days of being naïve and careless with myself. And my heart too.
Usual chit chat. I see through him like clear glass. He tells me loves me at some point. Ha! Really? I give him an exasperated smile. He asks me if I’m seeing anyone. He’s thrilled when I tell him I am not. He proceeds to tell me he’s married but he thinks we should get to know each other better. I wonder if some men ever think about what they say and how half of it is actually an insult to a woman’s intelligence. But these days’ I guess things are easy like that. People cut to the chase. Cards are laid on the table. You tell me what you want, making conclusions.
My short-lived excitement is now out the window. I’m listless. He tries to touch my thigh. Whatever attention he’s trying to get from me is getting on my nerves. With all the energy I can muster to keep calm I shove it away and excuse myself. The nerve! After a coupla shots I’m now getting high; not really up to dancing and I feel I’ve had it. I tell my girl I ain’t feeling the crowd and so I head home. I’m sure there are plenty of women who’ll feel his “vibe” within twenty minutes of my departure. Feelings can be bought with a round of tequilas and cheap talk. Every one to their own.
I’m lying in bed wondering what it is I want to feel. I mean I have a rich life; what most people would call exciting life. I fluff my pillow feeling a tad ungrateful. Is it me who wants a jolt of electricity through my veins to feel alive…? Who’d I rather feel pain than feel nothing at all? Is there any such thing as an emotion junky? I’m I an excitement junky? Have I felt all the highs and lows that life has to offer to the point any feeling I get is just mediocre… Moan! Bleh!
I think about what the priest told me during my last confessional. He knows I am a law student so he’s fond of unleashing on me all his philosophy albeit to my chagrin. Philosophy has never been my cup of tea… He asked me to think where I wanted to fall; in between the stoics’, epicureans’/hedonists’, cynics/sceptics and nihilists. Yeah–I was also stupefied. Just to make it clear, a stoic is someone who is seemingly indifferent to emotions, unaffected by joy, grief, pleasure, or pain and represses feelings/endures patiently. Epicureans/hedonists are devoted to the pursuit of sensual pleasure, especially to the enjoyment of good food, comfort sensuous and luxurious living without the fear of God or death. Cynics on the other are characterized by the practice of severe self discipline and abstention from all forms of indulgence. A nihilist is someone who rejects all theories of morality or religious belief often in the belief that life is meaningless. I really don’t know where I fall. It’s complicated. I think I’m a little bit of everything. I don’t like thinking about it. Makes my head hurt.
I set my alarm hoping tomorrow I won’t have to feel the same-like I’m following motions. I just want some passion. A little ‘pizzazz’. Some fire. Some bubble. Conventional just won’t do. Maybe it’s my attitude. Hmmm… I should read that ‘secret’ book again. In the meantime I should come to terms with the fact that there is no life out there in some darned undiscovered planet and thus no aliens are ever going to invade earth (particularly my hometown) and shake up things for me. I have to find the bubbly feeling myself. Got to do it my way. A girls’ way. My way.