Have you ever sat down to wonder how your children might look? Will they have your eyes or hers? Will they have that weird laugh of yours? Will they take on her nose? Will they inherit your wit and smart mouthedness that will bring your palm inches to their face in fury? Thick as thieves? Bright as Phillips LED lights?
It’s not just about walking into a coffee shop and feeling afraid of pulling out your ancient HP in a sea of white macs. We’re in a branded world. Brands mean everything. So the lady with glasses and a floral top with a coffee mug in one hand and slender fingers quietly tapping on that white machine wants nothing to do with you or your laptop. She’s not a windows type. So you order a coffee. To – go. Because you can’t stand the intimidation.
Then there’s the guy that looks that works IT. You know them. Chaps in checked shirts. Neat chin. Shaved beards. Slightly unkempt hair that’s made to look unkempt but it is actually the style. Leather satchel maybe brown. Usually brown. Ignored mug of whatever on the side. Furrowed eyebrows. Furious banging. Ocassional look up and the distant nibble on a sandwich. Like the sandwich is an after thought. A forced kissed by an annoying girlfriend. Sometimes your eyes meet. He nods. Warily. Too engrossed to give you an after thought. It’s a polite nod. Like he’s afraid you’ll ambush him later at a cocktail party and give him shit for ignoring you.
“So java right?” You slightly slur. A few whiskies was all you needed.
“Yeah. A bit outdated though” He’ll say. Without the slightest idea what you’re going on about.
“You’re going to act like you don’t know what I’m talking about? Java? Kimathi Street? You saw me. I saw you saw me. You saw me see you.”
He doesn’t want that. So he nods. Goes back to his work. Looking up once more to see if you’re walking over to him. You don’t. He carries on. Your coffee is ready. You walk out. He goes on about his business. Banging on his mac.
There’s things you can’t help. Like feeling out of your league. Like Arsenal in the champions. Sticking out like a sore thumb. Or a girl from the countryside. With the fresh scents of udder cream. Arimis. Hanging out with the cliché city girls. Their polished nails. Exaggerated lashes. Even more exaggerated accents. Smelling of Gucci something or dior that. Talking about the latest trends. Discussing weekend plots. Taking selfies. Debating filters. Having a grand commission on hash tags. Writing affidavits naming their sponsors. Ecetera Ecetera.
Like the first time I met her. Won’t say she walked straight out of the cover of vogue. But she walked straight out something. Heaven maybe. Comfortable in her own skin so much so that you felt comfortable in it. It was a meet up. A first time thing. Never having met before. Each of us having hidden behind the anonymity of a phone number. I had the usual jitters. Clammy hands. Doubt. What if she didn’t like me. What if I didn’t like her. What if she smelled of peeled onions. Ever met someone that smelt like peeled onions? It’s tear rolling.
Sometimes you meet someone and there’s a spark. Like when two magnets get close to each other. An instant attraction. You get the feeling that you’ve known them for a lifetime and two. It wasn’t anything like that. It was more of a delayed reaction. Remember chemistry? I don’t. So I don’t have any good references. But it was there. Maybe neither of us knew it at the time. Maybe we did. It’s not important now. We were complete opposites. I was the weird guy with all the weird things going on. She was the normal girl with all the normal things going on. I was the introvert. She was the extrovert. Maybe it had something to do with opposites. Maybe it had nothing to do with opposites. Maybe it was purely intrigue. There was just something about it. The whole thing. The way we blended.
My thinking is abstract. If that’s a thing. Like a painting. Not an expensive one at the louvre. Just a painting. Abstract. Doesn’t really make sense. Unless you really pay attention. And that’s what she did. Paid attention. Took a look at my mind and decided to see its beauty. Rather than the randomness of its thoughts. When someone pays so much attention to what you are you kind of start paying attention to what they are.
A lot happened in between. Between the first meet and now. Somewhere along the line she became an IG. Not the photo sharing app. An interim girlfriend. I’m still trying to figure out what that means. But what I do know is if they had her eyes. The kids. The ones I’m wondering how they’ll turn out like. It will be just fine. Alright