Storymoja

Celebrating East African Writing!

Kisima Estate Community

Written by Eric Kamau

Hello there, it’s so good to see you. You know, its been a while since I’ve talked to someone, hell anyone. I guess I should formally welcome you to Kisima Estate Community. You’re a visitor? Oh! How convenient, it makes everything so much easier. Oh! You want to know my name, well, I don’t know how to put this. I’ll try to make it as simplistic as possible. Technically, I have no name, but you can refer to me as The Wanderer, or simply, Wand. Strange, you say? It must be for you, for me its just the norm. You are in class 5, how nice. You’ve have come to visit your aunt, Mrs. Wanjia, strange, I’ve never seen you before, I wonder….

You want to know what wandering is, I’ll tell you. My good boy, you must be an avid reader of the Good Book, what? You don’t know what that is? What is the world coming to? The Good book is The Bible, God kid, you must be daft, no offence. Anyway, you know the story of Cain? The dude who killed his brother, yadda yadda yadda, you remember his punishment? To walk, or rather wander earth eternally? That’s the same deal here, though without all the added complications that Cain has. I’ve met him by the way, a good guy, though a bit on the mental side. Between you and me, I think he’s gone looney from all that wandering.

Anyway, I digress. Immortality is overrated, not that I’m saying I’m immortal; I’ve never tried to find out, you know, some experiments are not worth the risk. Maybe the fact that I’ve lived for more than a century is proof enough for me. I don’t know why it is so, and frankly, I don’t give a damn, unlike some like me out there. Yeah, you heard me right, there are others. Not many, but they are there. Some of them spend their entire time musing and mulling over these questions. I pity them. Why don’t they just enjoy the ride? The others who like me have seen the futility of the exercise, live quietly, not raising eyebrows. None of us wants to become a lab rat. Life glides past us, and we’ve come to adapt. It becomes boring after sometime, so we find hobbies to occupy the endless flow of time. For me, I watch estates…

Ah! The puzzled expression. You have mastered it perfectly, I may add. Yes, estates. No…no, not the houses, the people. My own very version of fence watching, although without the obvious lecherous intentions of what’s–his–name characters. You see, I have come to realize that watching estates, the people who live there, the socio–political structure (believe me, estates have the most complicated ones) the underlying tensions between neighbours, the intricate intrigues, it like watching a never–ending episode of Desperate Housewives, or having great sex. Now, my friend, let me assure you, I have gone far and wide, travelled to places you can never even begin to imagine, I believe your imagination is too simple for that, again, no offence. But I’ve never seen an estate as alive and healthy as this Kisima Community Estate…

Let me start you off generally. Your aunt must have a great income. You see, this is an upper–middleclass residential area, and believe you me, personally, I believe it is more expensive to live here than at Muthaiga. Great place to raise kids, you know, all quiet and serene. So peaceful. You must have woken up early today, the sun is just beginning to rise. You like watching the sunrise, that’s…I don’t know….cool? That’s the current lingo, isn’t it? How fast it changes, hmm. Doors opening and closing, husbands and wives getting an early start for work, avoid that perfectly damned traffic snafu ever–punctual on that perfectly damned road to town, the great sprawling mass that is Nairobi. That kiss exchanged at the door as the hubby goes to work, head that middle–size but highly successful company, and bust his nuts off to earn the cash so that that insane mortgage can be paid on time, so that I can get that expensive shoe the wife has been eyeing blatantly at that particularly dear designer shop, and that the tuition for that particularly dumb kid at that particularly expensive school with that particularly corny name. If you asked me, I’d say, what a waste…

You see that man over there, tall with a sprawling beer–gut? No? He is holding the expensive-looking briefcase, no! Not that one, can’t you see that one has an expensive briefcase? Learn to tell the difference, jeez! Finally, kid, you should have your eyes checked. His name is Mr. Kimemia. You see his wife, the mouse of a woman? Yeah, I’ll tell you about her later, now the hubby, he owns a rather–successful brokerage firm, which a few years earlier had been down in the dumps. Everybody of course speculated after sudden shoot up from the bottom, most called it luck, how the value of the stock he’d suddenly invested on a certain company literally sky–rocketed, but he knew the secret and luck had zit to do with it. A little insider trading here and there and he was a rich man. He ought to be happy, but he wasn’t. Apparently he wasn’t the only one who knew. Ah! Yes kid, you are not as dumb as you look after all, you said it not me, blackmail. A sizable chunk of his profit…

That other house there, the one where the wife just drove off, you see the look she gave Kimemia as she passed him? The sly wink? Did you see that it was received and reciprocated in turn? Right there in front of his wife, and he thinks she does not notice it, but I think not. Notice the way her lips have just tightened? Hell hath no fury, my man. Now Kimemia has gone of, and who is that out for her early morning run? She’s an eyeful, isn’t she? Bah! You’re too young to appreciate. Anyway, her name is Mary, and she’ a 22 year old widow, whose husband ( he was 50 by the way) died and left her with a truckload of money and a big house. He was perfectly healthy at the time of death by the way, and isn’t it just curious that his death had coincided so perfectly with the day their pre–nuptial agreement had expired? It makes you wonder…

Another one over there, you see him, just sitting there on the curb, staring into space. He looks dishevelled, doesn’t he? He’s been out all night. Partying. Morning found him there, how he got there, I’m telling you he has no idea. His name is Eric, cute kid really, grade a material, if only he could just learn for all his brains to just control his drink. But deep down, he hates it. Its just a far cry to try to get the attention of his dad, whom he positively idolizes, but will never admit it. His father, Mr. Enrol (What kind of a name is that?) does not care, or seems not to. His mother is heart broken at the rather obvious fireworks (the bad ones) between the two most important people in her life, but she’s at a loss. Of course she does what any rich heart broken woman with money will do, she hires a shrink. The same shrink who is treating Mr. Kimemia for stress, and has a particularly nasty spot for cheating spouses. She can see the obvious signs in her Kimemia and it just about drives her crazy. Luckily, she is such good friends with his wife…

I see you are fascinated. I am too. Let me continue, sure you wont be late for school? Well, if you say so. How I love this estate. Its coming more alive, isn’t it? The, people are coming out. Now, I want you to look carefully, generally at the people out there. Look carefully, you don’t notice a particular trait among some? Its very hard not to notice…God, kid what’s up with you? Ok, let me lead you, no need pouting. See that lady over there, the one with the dress in flower print? Yeah, she is a university student, Ciku. I think she’ majoring in…bah! Whatever, it is not relevant.  What is relevant, you see how she keeps scratching herself? You know, at all the wrong places? Yeah? Now, look at Mr. Etyang’, you see him scratching too? Down there? He is an old man, approaching forty, and that lady in that strict suit is his wife, and she has a bottle of pills in her hand, although you can’t see them, they’re penicillin capsules. Now, you must be wondering what is the connection, and you probably think you have it all figured out, yeah? Well, no! It isn’t what you’re thinking. He’s not Ciku’s type, and neither is his wife a lesbian, well, Ciku well, let’s say she’s not picky, and she’s rather attracted to the bad boys and girls, like Eric. Now, look at Eric again, see him? He’s all scratchy scratchy too. Mr. and Mrs. Etyang’ drive off, and as they pass Eric, Mrs. Etyang’ gives him a particularly dazzling smile, which he acknowledges nonchalantly. Mrs. Etyang’ likes them young, and as for Eric, you can’t really blame him can you? He gets it wherever he can, to hell with the provider, furthermore, he need the cash, and Mrs. Etyang’ is not at all stingy. Scratch scratch. Now, that all is on the table, I wonder who has the original bug…

Now look those two. Don’t they just look cute? The queen bee and the pretty shrink who also happens to be her best friend, as well as cohort. The pretty shrink had found out about her husband’s infidelity, and of course, she had run to her, the queen bee. This had been about six months before. Fortunately, the queen bee also knows quite a bit about her husband’s business ventures. She wants a divorce, and she is determined going to get the better part of it. so, she is ripping of her husband through the shrink, and when she reckons she’s milked him enough, she’s going to file a divorce, and get half of the property. Sweet, isn’t she? By the way, I forgot to tell you, she is a gynaecologist, and she happens to know about the bug doing rounds about, after all, all the victims were her patients. She connected the dots, and she’s yet to find a way to use that to her advantage, but as she watches Mr. Etyang’ pass by in his vehicle (it’s a rather fine vehicle) a plan starts to take fruit in her mind. Not so much of a mouse now, eh? Whatever must be brewing…

Hey kid, there’s your aunt and she seems to be looking for you. Time to go now. What? You’re thanking me? Whatever for? Nice talking to you anyway, I know this has been much of a monologue, but it was most entertaining. Now, where to next? Hmm. Hey kid, ask your aunt, Joanna isn’t that her name? Yeah, ask her what is up there in the attic she always keeps locked…

© Eric Kamau

One comment on “Kisima Estate Community

  1. jeytee
    February 29, 2012

    Whats the name of the young boy you talking to son? Nice piece though!

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