I woke up at 9pm, some makarao doing msako were leaning on the car
The closure of bars including our local, Teke Teke Wines & Spirits, over curfew was like shutting down maternity during labour. But our president is also the country’s Chief Kanyui and pubs were reopened on condition tipplers ate something inside 30 minutes. Kuekelea tumbukiza, ideal for preventing the vagaries of gout, takes two hours, yawa!
But the way tipplers were being rounded up by cops for staggering on the strength of four pieces of mutura and 10 beers haileti shangwe. Drinking indoors is safer but then there is that small matter of the nagger, Nimo, my bed mate. There is a way she shoots me dagger looks whenever I am thanking my warm body with a cold one.
I am yet to finish paying bride price after ‘breaking her leg’ and putting her in the family way since the 2010 World Cup and every sip appears like I am drinking to pee her ruracio. “What are you teaching your daughter, alcohol in the house can turn her into a woman of the night!” she often hisses making the beer taste like the pond where hyenas remove their ngotha to pee.
I once stepped on the tail of a jirani’s cat it meowed, jumped, clawed on my back
So, I am left with no option but to drink down stairs, inside the jalopy at the parking lot. But after two sips, there is a knuckle knock from a frowning face resembling burning jwala: “What are majirani going to say, na wewe ni Baba Mtu?” the nagger shrieks before the tap! tap! sound of her blue bathroom slippers slapping her soles as she ambles away.
Besides the nagger’s growl, drinking inside the car has other inebriated challenges. Consider peeing. We live on the fifth floor. Now picture me running towards the ankle breaking staircase with a bursting bladder, sidestepping kids riding bikes. I once stepped on the tail of a jirani’s cat it meowed, jumped, clawed on my back I seriously considered a five litre jerrycan as portable urinal below the steering wheel.
My face mask was on the fifth floor. My bladder was bursting. Then more karaos leaned on the bonnet
I dashed to the house with a torn T-shirt at the back, past the disapproving eyes of the nagger and into the bedroom unisex loo. You know that shruuuu! sound, the hose pipe pee peculiar to drunkards? It was so loud the toto woke up wailing like it had been shot by a bullet from a homemade gun. I rushed back to the parking lot before the nagger unleashed a list of soothing lullabies. Rocking a baby to sleep halfway through a drink is like being on forced quarantine on your second sip.
It was warm inside the car where Franco’s music got me dozing off. Curfew is at 7pm sharp. I woke up at 9pm. Some makarao doing msako were leaning on the car, swapping stories how lockdown is good business: “kwanza saa hii nika shika kamoja bila mask after curfew hiyo ni Sh30, 000 without bargaining.”
My face mask was on the fifth floor. My bladder was bursting. Then more karaos leaned on the bonnet, lit cigarettes. Others sipped at quarter bottles from their blue trench coats. The one chewing miraa told the rest “hapa ni mpaka morning!”