Those ominous logs, that we graced with our beaten up behinds. Papa julu and me. Papa julu is long time friend, confidant, brother, and anything that comes out of 18 years of friendship.That was us, with a bond so strong covalent molecules would shudder in our presence. His heavy lakeside influence made me a Luopean, by association – but do I say! My, ukambani and coastal origins according to him gave him that X factor, by association he was as powerful as karumanzira and could whip up Kamote. Maybe this explains the bevy of girls that lined up behind him. We were ages ahead of our time, this was even before sauti sol discovered that sitting on a chapati could ‘lock’ ones love.
Not much was known about us… Not much really is, mystery was key to pull off all the crazy stunts we did. Stunts borne from idleness, bruising our bums on those ominous logs talking big and dreaming bigger. Notably with a bottle of fanta inconspicuously open and hanging between our fingers. We would stare into oblivion, until “madam wa Mr Price” showed up. Always elegantly dressed, always carrying shopping bags from the most exclusive stores and always stepping out of a Lexus, Mercedes Benz or the occasional corolla. We figured the corolla must be a cab guy for when the ‘man’ is away on business.
“Ah papa julu, pale huwezi tembelea ka bado unatembea” I’d retort
We would laugh, make more crude jokes and sip from our Fanta bottles. She would watch, from the corners of her eyes at this odd pair, and we would escort her – with our eyes of course, milking every possible ounce of viewing pleasure from her sashaying derrière. Bums, she must have thought. We didn’t care, maybe she did – but she would so often send a smile back our way. Not all hope is lost. She would get into her house, we would look at each other, fist bump and sip on Fanta.
Some days the Fanta would get the better of us, sugar rush maybe. Never mind it was discoloured and tasted nothing like Fanta. The logs would itch, feet would tingle and we would embark on a journey. Looking for spoils – otherwise known as ‘tu-dame’! Our mission was to slaughter. But for some reason they didn’t exactly fall for the crude slang we spat, unkempt hair and rowdy nature of the eastlands boy. Plus we reeked of Fanta! So much for the bad boy hype that was sold to us. Many times our attempts would leave our egos bruised, and we would nurse our wounds, and bruise our bums on those ominous logs and as usual, we had a Fanta in hand.
This one time after failed attempts at slaughtering we were walking back to our logs, heads held high listing reasons why those ‘tudame’ weren’t good enough for us. Fanta obviously in hand sip by sip until we came to a stage, ‘Kisumu ndogo’ they called it – the container shops that characterized it weren’t exactly an eye sore but Papa Julu swore the real Kisumu was nothing like this! Coming towards us was a group of rowdy eastlands boys with fantas! Most probably from unsuccessful slaughtering missions – I do not understand why we did it as a group. From a distance, they eyed us we eyes back. An altercation was eminent, been the little guy I was a firm believer in the saying ‘Its not the size of the dog in the fight…’
Papa julu was already geared up
“Tunadunda na hawa mapaisha!”
We simultaneously took what could’ve possibly been our last sips, tightened the lids, and put the bottles in our jeans’ back pockets. Ready to lock horns, ready for battle, ready to die! For what? We didn’t know but this was a nigga moment! From where we come from if someone just doesn’t like how your shoes sound when you walk you could get beat! We didn’t like them, evidently they didn’t like us. The distance between us closed in, my fists were clenched, jaws clamped up tight and my eyes blank soulless red windows. Papa julu, the big guy he was my rock nothing could possibly go wrong. A few seconds before we laid it all bare we saw it. I did and papa julu did to. It was a flash, a glare, a silver reflection that burned our eyes. One of them wielded a knife! Forget about dogs, fights and sizes – dogs dont carry weapons! In an act of absolute bravery (Samson would be proud) we took to our heels. Flight, to fight another day! Yes this was bravery, why? Because we convened at our ominous logs and decided it was!
We are now older, more refined and having no problems slaughtering. But to papa julu and me, those ominous logs tell a story, a rich history of teens that lived and seized the moment! Logs that caressed our bums during times of heart break and that saw the emptying of one too many Fanta bottles. Ever so often we grace our ominous logs and relive the days when we were who we are, undiluted by societies expectations, unruly and of course enjoying a Fanta.
Just in case you missed it, slaughtering is direct translation for ‘kuchinjia’ which basically means vibing a girl. We were not murderers!!! But though to date we still kill… haha