The month just took a turn for the better, the cold is letting up and the sun is making a comeback. I sometimes think of the sun as a guy at a club trying to get a drunk girl home. You know how that goes, sometimes she just isn’t drunk enough and no matter how hard you try you don’t get to the honey pot. The panties don’t come down and the thighs don’t part. You end up in bed with a semi-drunk log that just won’t stop turning. You wonder why they’re turning yet it’s your nightmare. So back to the sun, this was that month it had taken a semi drunk girl home and couldn’t get her panties off. Hence the low hanging clouds. The earth, well, the earth is the honey pot and no matter how hard this guy tried he just couldn’t get through. Thank God he found that extra bottle of vodka and topped her off now we bask in the glorious heat. Way to go sun – moral of the story? Always have back up alcohol in the house.
Where were we? Aah, coffee houses. So the cold forced me to do something I rarely do – coffee dates. I mean, the month was at that treacherous bend where a single slip up could render you a victim of the rickety-diesel smelling green buses and their grey suit wearing conductors. Here you’ll be subject to a plethora of characters from pick pockets, pastors, book vendors, reforming hookers, and old mamas that don’t understand an earphone means please shut up I do not want to talk to you. Should you pluck a note higher than fifty shilling from your pocket, the pastor will take a keen interest in you and the blessings to be bestowed upon you, the pick pocket will shift his brown KNH envelop in your direction and the reformed hooker will reconsider her life choices. But you won’t have a note higher than fifty shillings because you slipped up. So your pockets will jingle as you rummage through them for substantial coins, the pick pocket will shift seats because they are not looking to sleep hungry, the reformed hooker will whisper a prayer for you, the old mama will still talk to you throwing in a ‘maisha ni ngumu’ statement and the pastor will overlook you when collecting the said offering.
Despite all that I still went out for a coffee date. The cold called for it and it was just supposed to be a coffee date. The time was set at four and I was meeting a potential Mrs. At most my calculations had me at a couple of lattes, with all the essential extras including the controversial croissants that people don’t know whether to eat or drink. With that I could pull off avoiding the green buses. It was going to be close but I would pull it off.
I head off to this establishment along Kimathi Street popular for its sophistication. Ironically it shares a name with a programming language so I’m guessing this adds credibility to the sophistication part. I take my seat next to a window and whip out my phone, just as I am about to signal for the hostess, one comes over and hands me the menu. Her name is Esther – I won’t go into depth about how she looks because this is not about her. I say I am waiting for someone and ask for the Wi-Fi password. She gladly types it into my phone and calls me sir as she leaves. Do they get paid to do that or do I just look like some successful entrepreneur? Anyway the internet connects and my phone pings. Mrs. Potential says she is running a little bit late but will be there in ten minutes. I figure ten minutes isn’t really long and I signal for Esther ask for some house coffee – the cheapest. She happily obliged but she walks away with a gait that says “I called him sir and he orders a measly house coffee the nerve on some people” in a polite kind of way. I don’t mind her though being in a green bus would ruin my reputation more – besides only me, the cashier, her and God would know what’s in my cup.
Mrs. Potential arrives and she looks like a boss. White chiffon top, hair tied into a bun, a flowing cream trench coat with winged lapels, and a checked linen skirt – black and white. She spots me, I don’t bother to get up because she’s already bended over pecking my cheek by the time I turn. She mumbles a quick apology and makes a statement that almost scares the shit out of me. You don’t know scared until its middle of the month and you’re in a fine establishment and your date lets that “God, Si I am hungry” statement. You can almost feel your wallet shrivel, bank account giggle and then thunder in the distance like God is doing the traditional van dam teren teren. Esther comes back, she gives me a look of approval. Like she suddenly understands I only took a house coffee to wait for my date. She hands her a menu and compliments her top. My eyes are fixated on Mrs. Potential, Esther probably thought I am deeply in love, mine was a bid to distract her from choosing something that would send myself back to the green bus jingling coins like a Christmas song. Needless to say, the date went well. I hope to see Mrs Potential soon, but I won’t not if she has a knack of showing up hungry to a date. As for now, we are approaching a street popular with thieves. The grey suit wearing conductor has already sounded three warnings in what I think is kikuyu influenced English. I do not have money for a new phone or a window. Plus this pastor is giving me the stink eye.