The first time I had money talks I scoffed, then laughed and then thought that person was crazy. Because what would money say? Imagine all the secrets it has. How traumatized a thousand bob would be having lived three months in a stuffy bra only to move into the skinny jeans of an adolescent teenager finally ending up in the hems of a scruffy bartenders weave.
Money would have deep set issues. It has been abused. Blamed for things it has no idea about. Exchanged in bureaus like a cheap hooker, especially if it’s the Kenyan shilling. Maybe a Delilah. And it would hate the dollar and pound that got traded at a higher value. In a bar somewhere in Grogan it would order a pint of senator and take a long swig. We’re all valuable right? It’d ask some two hundred shilling bloke so torn up central bank won’t have him. Nah, it’s a myth. The chap will say in a voice as torn as it’s serial number. You see they say that, make you believe it, but today I’ve been rejected and not ati once. But thrice. He’ll say shaking his fist (cartoon one because really? notes? Fists?) with only three fingers up. He’ll continue. By a passenger in a bus. By a customer at a market and a hooker. I’m even worthless to them, hookers. So value? Fuck you brother. The two would sigh again and swig some more only to offer themselves up to the bartender as payment. Talk of self sacrifice.
But you know money does talk, in subtle whispers, in crisp pressed suite, in designer wallets, in visa cards, in expensive colognes and of course in a flat round bottomed glass with cognac. I don’t normally mind my business, I like my business buried in someone else’s business looking for some business. My business is the coffin your business would be buried in. I’m the writer, funnier, male and wittier version of a desperate housewife. It’s how it works when I’m out there without my earphones.
So some people think that they have money. Maybe they do, in morsels, savings and an almost sure bet on a betting site. These guys will not shut up about their money. They will talk big things and retweet their sentiments so much you almost believe them. Like this chap at a kalocal somehwere. Won’t name the place or the chap because he reads me. This guy makes it his business to make his bank account my business. I’m the third wheel in his money relationship. But the thing is this guy doesn’t have it. He always had it and that’s where the problem is. He’s always eager to ask me for a round then marinate me with stories of last week when he was baked. The bottles he bought. The mama he went home with. The stop over at KFC. But when I ask for that karound, to taste taste his riches even though small he clams up like a pedophile priest caught pants (robe?) Down.
These guys are the loudest and will make you feel worse than Maina in the morning. In theory he has plots from Ruai to Kapsabet. He has a few matatus on the route but is dealing with an errant crew that shortchanges him. He’s always planning on buying an expensive car and it’s always next month. Never in two years like us normal people. You know two years is enough to dream about it then mourn over the fact that it won’t happen right? But one month? It’s not even long enough to know if your pullout was a success. So this chap tells me he’s landed a mega deal. It’s running into the ten figure realms. He could take his wife to Josephine’s salon and tip her for good measure. Pesa otas nigga. I’m genuinely happy for the guy. I have to be because by law of moneyed friends, it always trickles down either in solid cash or in kind. He wants to talk. Fair. Enough.
In the few months I’ve known the guy he’s only ever bought me drinks once and he still expected a refund in the morning. So when we meet and he buys two quick rounds I know the chap is lubricating me for some lies. The kind of lies that will fuck you over. A. Good. One. But no one says no to drinks. Sex yes. Drugs yes. Bad relationships yes. See what I did? Hehe. But never drinks. This covers milkshakes, coffee, latte, water and spoilt bets (kukunywa maji). I signal the waitress to open one and lean in; ready to be lied to; I even felt like a woman character in a Tyler Perry show. Strong. Independent. And full of bullshit. Which to be fair is only ever fed to her but why she keeps eating it only Perry knows.
“You guy remember that ka deal?” He starts
I don’t know if you know this but if a guy starts a sentence with ‘you guy’ he will either lie to you or talk about what you did last night or both. So ladies watch for that tell-tale. If he starts with “you guy babe, si you’ve lost weight” slap him, on the cheek and with a divorce hehe.
“Yeah. Imecome through?” I reply sipping gingerly on the beer.
“Ofcourse… But there’s a ka issue…”
Again guys, ladies, that line ‘ka issue’ it’s always a big deal. This is what he says before he tells you he has a wife and that’s why he can’t move in. Or you can’t move in. This is what he says when he told you to go shopping on him and then you call for the cash. This is what he says when he promised movie night but the guys (usually people like me) derailed him. It’s never a ka issue. I’m sure when money went missing this is what akina Ben Gethi called to tell Hunye. “You guy, my guy there’s a ka issue so don’t freak kesho when you see the paper.” Back to story.
“I need like kitu 3 em ivi.”
The way he said it was like people walk around with 3 million like change. Like we have 60 million in bags in our cars. Like it’s not a big deal. Like you should just have it laying around for moments like this. Ati “ah don’t worry let me get it from my car.”
I stop sipping on my drink and look at him long and hard.
“This is Nairobi bana you need money to make money.” He follows up with a grin. “And si ati I want you to give me the cash. aah no. Me I know you don’t have.”
“So what do you want?” I start; before it hits me this chap looked at me and thought I don’t have 3 million. I don’t know about you but that’s kind of offensive. I mean what about me says I don’t have 3 million? Ama it’s like a badge people with 3M wear? Membership card you flash around?
Though he was right, the closest I’ve been to 3 million is total word count on this blog, I just wanted to know I look like the kind of person that has 3 million bob. Like what does it take? I mean other than actually having it. This chap doesn’t even look like he has three thousand bob. He’s the guy to take a jav meet a mama and spark conversation with “you know my car is in the garage…” Then babble on about oil filters and fuel pumps and leaking radiators and broken T- belts. Ama that’s what it takes? The only problem here is if I do that I will sound like a mechanic on internship. Back to story.
“When akina nani come here don’t tell them that storo for the deal.” He says. Ignoring my caught feelings that I did not even show in the first place.
“Why would I even? And kwani you’ve not told them?”
I grin inwardly. I’m feeling special again.
“Yeah something like that”
“Cool and thanks for the drinks.”
“Don’t mention it you’ll sort me kesho.”