How I Met Your Grandfather

I’m writing this after a brainstorming meeting with a brand I write for. I’m having a hectic week and I was wondering if I will be able to pull off a post on this blog today. “Give an excuse on your stories,” I thought. “I have a headache.” That would swing nicely, eh, ladies? But then again you know what they say about excuses… everybody has them and they stink.

I enter Java after the meeting, Java Westland’s Square to be specific. I open my laptop and wonder what to write. “Come on, give them the excuse already,” the evil side of me tells me. If you ever hear anything unsavory about me, this was the side responsible. “It’s when you are all out of juice that you have to do it the most,” the clear-headed side insists. It has been winning a lot lately and my life has been going well so I thought I agree with it on this one too.

“Let’s continue with Katana on Trial,” The clear-headed side continues and I start writing the story. I’m loving this story, let me give you a taste of what is coming in episode 14. ‘The witch doctor did not get many things right, but he got one thing right. “There was another person that was keeping Beatrice from loving her husband fully,” he chanted in his ostrich-feathered garb and stomped his foot, the ankle bracelet made of lions’ claws making a jingle.’

The story is going swimmingly until the evil side of me taps me on the shoulder again. “You have been writing this story week after week,” It says. “Perhaps today you can do something different,” it adds. I try to ignore it but its voice is deafening and makes sense quite frankly. I consult my clear-headed side and it also thinks my evil side has a point, and since it is the one with the points, it will take over this story from here on out.

I am still at Java Westland’s Square if you are wondering if I have left, well the clear-headed side has left and we can finally have some fun. I have just been served the Classic Lemonade. By a waiter or a waitress? A waiter. He is warm but I would have preferred a waitress. Someone with a thick body like my grandmother’s porridge.

Let’s give this story legs, I mean, we could go on about waiters and waitresses all day but not when there is a Mr. Njenga and Mr. Gachau going on about something behind me. These guys are in suits and have a big file on the table full of spreadsheets. They fit the bill of the Mzee driving a Prado with a plot in Kamulu. They give off the vibe of people who are now ripping the benefits after having built their own businesses.

As they speak and I write exactly what they are saying, I feel like a criminal but at the same time, it feels exciting to be a fly on the wall. Of course, they could squash me with one of their spreadsheets but that would only make things more interesting, wouldn’t it?

“Mr. Njenga, habari yako?” a balding mzee says. I literally have to look behind for this imagery and I think we might have made eye contact. I should up the ante, go to the table, shake his hand, and tell him I am his long-lost son. I mean, I even have a black and white photo of him and my Mom in front of KICC in their youth. Do you think that would increase his blood pressure?

“Habari Mr. Gachau,” the mzee across him says. I can only see the back of his head so I can’t quite tell who this jape would work the best on. None of them is light skin so I would really have to sell this story. “See Dad, we even have the same eyebrows.” Eureka! “And that kids was how I met your grandfather.”

“Give me a sandwich and tea,” Mr. Gachau is saying. He could get away with ordering a sandwich and tea but it is what he says next that raises my eyebrow (probably raises his too, because of our similar DNA for anyone asking). “Make it ice tea,” he says confidently then realizes his mistake and quickly self-corrects. “Hiyo ice tea ikona sukari, ama mnawekanga nini?”

Now, who would you say introduced him to iced tea, his daughter? Let’s go with that. I think this was a meet and greet because they don’t get into the meat of the file on the table. I would have loved to know how men make money in this city besides, ‘Ni mungu tu.’ They also don’t stay for long. As they get up to leave I stand up to follow them but the clear-headed side of me catches me out of nowhere. And this story that had just gotten legs and was starting to run has to end abruptly.


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