I’ve never really been attracted to the unusual. So it came as a surprise to me when I went in search for a talisman. Legend had it that it possessed the
powers to make all your dreams come true. What better way to chase your dreams than to find the talisman? Riddle me that. At least thats what the flyer said. I was no Lara Croft or Richard Leakey the most luck I’d ever had at finding lost relics was finding the partner to one of my socks at six in the morning when my eyes were half closed and dew was just settling. But nonetheless I packed up a bag and set out to find it – dreams are dreams and mine had to come true.
In all fair honesty I want to write and tell you that I threw my back pack into the back of a rusty jeep wrangler and I jumped into the front seat turned the ignition. Maybe throw in how I pressed down on the clutch shifted into one and let up slowly as I jerked clumsily onto a rough road heading up a mountain. More so I want to tell you that the mountain was antagonistic in nature and had a thick ring of black smoke at the top of the crater that threatened to blow at any moment. Maybe even say the ground shook with tremors from the belly of the beast. But no none of that is true I just simply got into a bus and headed towards the CBD.
The whole way there I cursed under my breathe. You see I had forgotten a very important piece of equipment – my earphones. This meant that now I was susceptible to small talk and involuntary eavesdropping on the most weird conversations. The bus did not disappoint. The lady next to me reeked of raw fish, her skin was all wrinkly and dry and she kept fumbling with a phone that might have been invented way before Graham. It was archaic not to mince words. I was busy on mine trying to look occupied. Looking back I think this is what gave me away. She must have loved how I swiped and scrolled with such elegant expertise that she couldn’t help but ask for my professional help.
“Kijana habari yako?” She started
Stretching her hand to reach mine I was petrified. Her nails were quite overgrown and it looked like she substituted her palm for a handkerchief eons ago. Germs are real people the lady on the dettol advert always asks me to be 99.9% sure. I wasn’t sure about this so I smiled and nodded my head.
“Mimi najaribu tuma pesa lakini yeye anakataa” she continued referring to her phone like a person. Maybe a mummy if you ask me.
“Madam, mimi siwezi kukusaidia” I said
“Unajua hizi vitu ni za dunia” I said shrugging shoulders showing despair hoping she relents.
She did. She kept on fumbling with her phone. Cursing in her mother tongue. All I could hear was “matek” remind me to ask my jaluo friend whatever that means. I just clung onto the hope that she did not curse me. These old people have a way to invoke the worst of the world and unleash it on you. I was not looking to go another three months on a dryspell this wasn’t Egypt and I wasn’t Moses. I looked out of the window and just as I was about to drift and think about this talisman another lady was up in arms shouting at the top of her voice.
“NO! TUMA PESA! BOBBY SILALI NJE TENA!”
Hers was more comical. She had one of those finely bred horse tails sitting perfectly on her head. The red smudge on her lips oozed forced sophistication and she had winged eye liner. Now I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean but a lady friend disclosed to me that a winged eye line is the epitome of eye lining. I thought the epitome of eye lining was taking the eye pencil breaking it into two and throwing it into a fire because eyes are naturally beautiful. But that’s just me. Anyway Miss horse hair was furious. Apparently she was used to the guys antics begging the question why she just didn’t learn.
“No. No. No. I’m not using my money.” She continued “Si last time ulisema hivo na hukurudisha? Eeeh?”
“Wewe unaona ma girlfriend wengine wakihangaika kama mimi?” Her voice got sombre and she bust into tears. I smiled and shook my head. They do this to themselves so no remorse from me. It’s clear she has her own money.
The whole time the bus was snaking it’s way towards the CBD. Finally. I was getting closer to finding the talisman. I tried to recall the directions and it hit me I should’ve taken a picture of the poorly drawn map at the back of the flyer. Sigh. It’s never that easy when you want your dreams fulfilled. I resolved to finding it by piecing my memory and asking around. After all the city was my home. We got into the CBD and I was happy to alight. My first stop was one of those shops that sell re bottled perfumes. I gave the guy a hundred bob just so he could spray some scents on my jacket. I didn’t want to fulfill my dreams smelling like fish or diseased vajayjay. Pardon my vulgarity I just get so excited at the thought of fulfilled dreams.
A few minutes later I was on the back roads pacing down the streets glancing at buildings, street names and lighted signs. Then I saw it. First it was a blur until I got closer. The neon lights flashing on the board boldly read TALISMAN. I had found it. All that stood between me and fulfilled dreams was an open door and a man in a black suit that looked like he had been carved out of the mountain I was talking about earlier. He had this affiliation to my identification. I tried as calmly as possible to explain that I just wanted my dreams fulfilled. He smirked and brushed me off demanding I.D. since when did I need an ID to fulfill my dreams. It felt like a David and Goliath moment. I don’t have a sling or five stones but this giant was going down either way. Okay he did come down to my level to whisper into my ear asking for a bribe. That counts yes?
So anyway I got in waiting for my dreams to come true. I hated every bit of it as much as a warm blooded Nairobi man can hate a club full of naked women. Sigh. The only thing was I need not had my jacket sprayed. The place smelt the same. Lesson learnt.
Moral of the story: You can smell like fish when going for fishy business