It will be a cloudless Saturday, the sun will be up in the sky smiling, setting the scene for a day worthy of songs. Your day will start with the rigmarole of getting out of bed. You will look at the clock and the hour hand will be kissing 8:00 am, softly like a lover who is not in a rush. You will scroll through your phone and maybe drink from the tea of a local celebrity breakup and thank God that your private business is not online for all and sundry.
You will let your feet out of bed, stretch your hands and mouth a yawn, inviting a new day inside you. You will have breakfast and go on to brush your teeth and jump in the shower, or jump in the shower and brush your teeth, whichever you prefer because hey, the sun is up in the sky and it’s smiling. Maybe a bit too widely but it’s smiling still.
You will go into your wardrobe and wonder what to wear even when you know your dress your choice. You will scroll through your clothes and wonder what someone wears to a book signing event. You will go to your phone and look at the book again. Blue, black and red, “Should I color-coordinate?”
You will slip into that black dress you love, the one that brings out your delicate curves. You will wear that blue jeans trouser you get a tonne of compliments in because God knows you might meet someone at the event who might want to take it further than a third date. The hour hand will be locking eyes with 9:00 am by now, asking, “Tell me something exciting about you?” and 9:00 am will stare blankly and say 9:01 am. You won’t linger to listen to more glib from the clock because lingering will mean being late and you’re not one for tardiness.
You will get to Upper Hill and because you haven’t been there in a while you will wonder where this concrete jungle came from. You will also wonder where the heck Nairobi Club is, but you won’t be worried because the chap behind the event believes in something bigger than himself and he’s generally a good person so he will be on call the entire time.
You will get to the entrance and when the guard asks where you’re going you will say you’re here for a book signing shindig. You will say ‘shindig’ to sound suave even when you could just say event. You will gain entry and leave the guard scratching his head wondering if shindig is a type of food for rich people. Later, when he is having his lunch he will look at the meal and wonder if it has some shindig in it.
You will walk into a building that resembles ancient Greek architecture in every way. Huge columns in milk white color with stains of old money. It will dwarf you, make you feel small and insignificant but you know you’re big because size has nothing to do with what’s on the outside but everything to do with what’s on the inside, and on the inside you’re a giant, you dwarf the building.
You will walk into the foyer. There will be a bar to your left with raised chairs and you will look at it and wonder if you should have a whiskey or a gin and tonic on the rocks. You will look at your watch and the hour hand will be in conversation with the minute hand. “10:30 am,” it will be saying. “It’s 10:30 pm somewhere in the world,” you will be thinking but then you will decide you don’t need to be buzzed. That is not how you want to meet someone who might want to take it further than a third date.
You will turn your head to your right and walk to the reception area. You will meet Kioko, smiling just like the sun, “How is work?” you will initiate small talk to calm your nerves. “Good, good,” he will say while directing you to the ballroom where you will meet me or my niece or one of my sisters and get a gift bag with my book, my business card, a bookmark and some trinkets.
The whole time you might be thinking, “Whoa! Kumbe this writing thing pays. You mean scribbling some words on a piece of paper can get you to host a book signing here.” It will make more sense after I pick up the microphone and thank Duncan, one of my readers for arranging for us to have the space at a discount.
Inside there will be music playing. Not loud enough to twerk but softly enough to network and make your next business or relationship move. With a glass of juice in your hand and maybe a samosa in the other, you will move through the crowd, the book signing going on in the background while your life unravels in the foreground.
Your turn to get your book signed will come and you will think, “I’m having such a great time networking.” And you will let someone else go before you. But then you will realize networking isn’t going anywhere, at least not for the next two or so hours and you will decide to have that book signed after all.
You will put your juice aside and grab your book. “I thought you were taller,” you might say to me and I might reply with something like, “Tallness is all in the inside bebe.” And we have a laugh and I will go on to ask, what you are most grateful for, or what do you want to happen in your life at the moment? And you might think for a bit and say something like, “I want to take that young man over there to mama, haha.” And I will write something heartfelt and sign your copy so you can get back to networking.
After I sign your copy you will ask questions. ‘What does it take to write a book?’ ‘Who did the design?’ ‘Why did you kill Marion?’ ‘What is the process of publishing?’ ‘Why are you single?’ and like the sun or Kioko at the reception desk, I will answer your questions with a smile. After, I will read a chapter or two and you will be free to leave at your leisure, unless of course, you’re too busy networking.
You’re invited to my book signing event on the 13th of April 2019 at the Nairobi Club from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Reserve a spot by purchasing the book. Buy Goods KSH 949 to till number: 727506. Drug Paradise is a continuation of The Engagement with a Part One and Two. Download the first three chapters free below. For enquiries call: 0759 369 436 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org