You get into the office, but it’s not your traditional office. There is a pizza box on the desk laying open and it’s half eaten. You walk in and nod to people around you – it’s a Monday – so no time for the cheery good morning banter. You take a seat and pull out your monstrous silver block of a machine and let it warm up. It feels like an old Peugeot 504 that needs to idle for fifteen minutes before you can get anything done, so you leave it on the desk and go get a cup of coffee.
You get back to your seat and the machine is all loaded up and ready to go. You start going through the morning motions checking your emails, replying to the one you think are important and ignoring the rest. You see you don’t sync up your work email with your personal phone. It’s a little trick you picked up, it reduces stress levels by 50% or so. Plus, you’re young and it’s too early to start taking work home. The coffee isn’t gourmet, you’ve had gourmet coffee only once. Now you make do with local grinded coffee and hot water. You don’t complain though because it’s Monday.
The day drags on like a lit cigarette – slow. Someone haphazardly hands you a slice of pizza. Not out of courtesy but because it’s laying in their work-space and they want to get rid of it. You try and imagine how that slice of pizza feels, unwanted. Not good enough to lay in someone’s space. If only it could talk. You begin to imagine what a pizza slice might have to say.
“Do you think you’re better than me? Do you think you can take me out of my box and hand me over to some guy like some piece of food?”
“But… you’re a piece of food.”
“That’s regressive thinking. I’m not food I am an expression of art. People love me. Do your hear me? People love me. People that hate themselves and don’t care about calories love me! Who loves you?”
You politely accept the gesture and take a bite off the cold vegetarian pizza. You don’t understand vegetarians or why anyone would opt for that lifestyle. You hate how the cold green thingies taste like and the after taste that lingers on your tongue. Meat never tastes that bad. In fact cold ham is the best, almost divine. On the list of cold things that taste good it’s second only coming after beer and maybe revenge. But you don’t want the poor slice to feel left out and not good enough so you pretend to enjoy it.
Ever had a beer or two? Ever smoked a cigarette afterwards? Do you know how that feels? The lightness that rushes from your veins to your head. How at that particular moment you’re carefree. How it only lasts as long as the length of the cig? That’s a feeling you now miss and it’s just a memory of a weekend that was. You’ve been staring at your screen two work sheets open with data to sift through, word documents with half-done reports staring at you. Your coffee is cold you didn’t even finish it. Your phone is vibrating – messages. None is important save for a few, okay one, one person is important. You ignore the rest and reply to only their particular messages. Every time the phone pings you get that feeling. Remember the feeling I was talking about? They have that effect on you – it’s addictive – the best part about it? You make them feel the same way.
For some reason you’re staring outside the window and watching the clouds gather. You begin thinking about the rains, it’s been a while since it last poured in Nairobi. You know you don’t miss the rain. People always say how they love the smell of it or the comfort it brings at night when they want to fall asleep or the way the city becomes green and has a blanket of fresh air. You wonder what city they live in. The city is a mess when it rains. Sewers overflow and the place stinks, you spend hours in traffic jams, and you get home too tired to even notice that there’s the sound of rain so you fall asleep anyway. Then there’s the social media warriors who will glorify having a partner at this point. How the weather is only good for cuddling and making love in the mornings. You find it ironic because after letting the world know they are unemployed you wonder how they plan on getting contraceptives. Maybe they don’t even plan on doing that so you wonder how they will raise the child. Then it hits you that now on social media, single mum is the new in thing. Epiphany?