Bachelorhood is as treacherous as it is exciting. Sometimes I stagger into my bachelor pad late in the evening, whistling, a paper bag of supper in hand and I look at the darkness that engulfs my house. It’s a lonely darkness, an eerie abyss of a planet without an atmosphere. A darkness that says no one is in the house to hold fort while I’m away and I won’t smell onions or hear the TV unless I left it on and Kenya power has kept the faith.
I remove my keys to open the door and sometimes the neighbor will open hers. You know, the one who has a habit of sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. The one with two kids and a husband who drives a Toyota Mark X. She looks at me and because I’m built like a bag of bones, she pities me and invites me for supper. I decline because I know she’s not really inviting me for supper but for an interrogation and I hate those. I like my life private. (Even though I’m here opening my closet door wide open) If it was up to me, we would never exchange words apart from a casual raising of eyebrows to acknowledge each other’s existence.
My keys are dangling on my fingers. I hold one between my thumb and forefinger and turn the lock, then squat the way those video vixens drop it like it’s hot and turn the padlock on the lower lock and gain entry into my man cave. The first thing that greets me at the door is a trouser and one of my socks on the carpet. I remove my shoes and proceed to the kitchen with my paper bag and pretend the trouser and sock belong on the floor.
The paper bag contains a piece of liver, as it does, most times. I love liver because it’s soft and it doesn’t get stuck in-between my teeth like red meat does. On a good day I have washed the dishes but on a bad one they’re all piled up in the sink waiting for someone to wash them. I pick two sufurias, a plate and a spoon and wash them, then fry the liver and make ugali and that is that. (I wanted to get into how I cook my liver then I realized this is not Mandi Sarro’s YouTube channel, sorry guys.)
I go into the sitting room with my plate of liver and ugali, but before attacking the food I dash to the bedroom and pick up a duvet to strangle the cold. The silence is deafening, so I turn on the TV to suppress it. I get bored quickly because it is the usual corruption and bad Kenyan TV mambo jambo. It is at such times I wish I had someone to talk to. Someone to share dreams with, someone to bullshit the night away with, someone to be weird with.
After my meal I leave the plate on my coffee table, wash my hands and have a glass of water before proceeding to the bedroom. I change into my sleeping boxers and a long T-shirt then look at my bed, afraid of how cold the sheets are before gathering the courage to jump in. I toss and turn and tell myself sleep will come more easily if there is someone to hold, someone to make me feel warm. I pick up my phone and arrange something for the weekend with a skirt.
I will clean up and do a bit of shopping before she arrives and the pad will look more of a house than a cave. I will sit back and enjoy the presence of something feminine around. And because my mom prays day and night for her only son, the girl will be a good egg. The kind that can shake things up in the kitchen. I never meet the ones who ask,
Or tell you,
“Food imeiva, enda uweke yenye utashiba.”
I always meet the ones who bring a bowl and a jug of warm water and make sure my hands are clean before I dig in, so that, God forbid, I don’t get a stomach upset. Sometimes they will scream from the kitchen something like, “do you like your food with ketchup or vinegar.” And I smile because I know that wouldn’t be a question if there was no ketchup or vinegar.
We will talk; I like talking especially to a bird that is in my house, a bird that might one day become my duchess. I will pick her brain to try and figure out how she thinks and she will pick mine as well. Sometimes I will fail her cunning tests because women have a bag full of those, especially the ones who have read, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” and taken Steve Harvey’s poppycock to heart. If we have a thing going, she will spend the night and share my bed and we will talk some more. For some reason I like talking in bed too. I never understand those women (not that I have been with a continent) who, when it’s time to sleep, give you their backs and all you have is their hair on your face. You breathe her weave and if you’re asthmatic you might get an attack and then they will say you got killed by a horse. No, that is not how I want to go. I love to talk in bed because in bed people are vulnerable, people have their guard down. The stories in the bedroom are only whispered and murmured because they can bring entire superpowers crashing to their knees.
Because I only meet good girls, she will wake up in the morning before me and make tea. She will cook all my sausages without knowing that I cook two a week (because the way my finances are set up, I have to check in with the savings…) Seriously if you haven’t watched some Kevin Hart Stand-up comedy go and watch that shit right now. Hilarious guy.
She will bring the plethora in the bedroom, my lips still sticky from her kisses which now have a peculiar flavor of strawberry and morning breath. I will start feeling a little bit like the man but then there will be a point in her stay when I will start wondering when she will leave. She will go to the bathroom and bathe and I will think, bingo! She’s preparing to abandon ship. But then she will come back to the sitting room and remove her Peter Marangi equipment and take her time painting her nails while blowing on them and moving her hand in a flurry. I will think that has to be all, but then she will remove my towel and wear one of my T-shirts and then go back to the couch and start thumbing my remote and I will wonder why I showed her how to use the damn thing in the first place. I will start hinting that she needs to get going by saying stupid things like, “I was scheduled to meet grandma today.” Never mind grandma has been gone for four years now.
“We’re really close.”
I will chime after seeing the trust oozing out of her face like pus.
“She’s one of the few people in my life who would be lost without me.”
I will continue with the cockamamie and she won’t buy it, so I will be forced to make another excuse and another one till it becomes a full blown fight. Then after she has left I will take a seat by my lonesome couch and the abyss will attack me again, with the ferocity of an atomic bomb.
The bachelor pad is a sacred place, it is a sanctuary. This is where a boy becomes a man. This is where you learn how to pay bills and ravish women. This is where your manhood is unlocked. A bachelor pad is like a newly married couple’s house; you don’t come over unannounced and no guest spends more than three days here, because it is not designed for guests. It is designed for testosterone, for the male who is becoming a man and he cannot become a man until he sits down, by himself, on his couch on a freezing day and realizes it’s actually easier to watch her blow her nails (even though she could be blowing better things) than try and convince her to come back again after evicting her unceremoniously.
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I like to think of myself as a reader who writes, a Pan-African who thinks with the tips of his fingers, but when I’m not molesting the keyboard I’m usually destroying yogurt (not Frusion) or staring into the vastness of space.