Celebrating East African Writing!
The following takes place between the hours of 6am and 4pm. Or maybe longer, I really can’t remember.
6.00am – 7.15am
I wake up with my brain feeling like it is wrapped in a ball of damp cotton wool. It is a rainy Tuesday morning and the traffic holds profound promise of the devil’s gridlock. My bedroom stinks like an unwashed hound of hell. I get out of bed and head into the shower thing. I call it a thing because it is too small for the term ‘cubicle’. Inside fifteen minutes, I am dressed and sitting down to my breakfast. Coffee and Mary Jane. If there is one thing that beats the stress that occupies my daily existence, it is the presence of large amounts of THC in my head.
7.15am – 9.00am
After breakfast, I carefully wash my hands and spray my entire flat with air freshener. Can’t have the neighbours complaining about suspicious odours coming from my house, oh no. I get into my little Japanese car, crank up the trip hop on the tinny stereo and head for the town. I have a nice buzz going in my head as I sit among the hordes of motorists, listening to Tricky telling me about Burying the Evidence.
I work as an analyst for a large auditing firm in Westlands. My office is in a remote corner of the building on a floor reserved for storage of defunct equipment. The beauty of my workspace is the isolation. Nobody visits the floor and there is a wide ledge outside the window where I can smoke my brain cells into submission in relative peace.
8.30am – 1.00pm
I get to the office late as usual. Nobody notices. See the thing with weed is, if you smoke enough of it, you have to be stoned all the time or quit it. I don’t want to quit. The skunk I had in the morning is wearing off.
I left half a joint in my desk drawer yesterday. I sit and root around for the ashtray in the drawer with one hand while I switch on my PC with the other. I light a cigarette (tobacco, mild) and leave it smouldering in the ashtray for scent camouflage on my desk while I grab a pair of small scissors and dash out onto my ledge. The scissors are makeshift roach clips. As I slink back in, Tea Lady is placing a steaming cup on my desk, giving me her baleful glare. Whether for being late and messing up her tea round or for getting her son arrested for peddling reefer, I’m not sure. Hey, leave me alone, I’m high.
I research a few things online, type up half a report and then cruise the net for porn. There is nothing else to do; there is nothing else I can do. I will finish the report after lunch because I have a presentation at four. Oh look, it’s lunch time.
1.00pm – 4.10pm
The main bus stop near The Mall is where my dealer malingers all day. What happens every three days or so is I beep him and we meet up in the Gents at Sarit Centre. He sells me the pre-rolled joints at thirty bob a piece. Today he doesn’t call back. I wait, fervently smoking a cigarette (tobacco, light) in my building’s parking lot.
After ten minutes, I head over to the bus stop. My guy isn’t there but there is another guy willing to sell me some herb for fifty bob apiece. I part with two hundred bob. On my way back to the office I am accosted by two dusty looking plainclothes policemen.
Now, I am in a dilemma here. I could part with three K (which I don’t have), or face the wrath of a magistrate who could give me anything from probation to thirty years. Fifteen minutes later, I am Ksh. 1,200 and two joints short. I morosely traipse back to the office. I smoke one entire roll in ten minutes and browse some more porn.
At precisely 3.58pm, I copy the report onto a flash disk and head upstairs for the meeting with my boss. I am soaring on sensi. The nicer areas of the office are vivid, the girls are pretty and their plethora of scents is intoxicating. I look down upon these minions of the corporate world. They don’t know how nice I feel. I am so high the kites are looking up, wishing they could be me. As I knock and enter the boss’s office, it hits me; I didn’t finish the report and the flash disk has more porn than an open air DVD market in Thailand. This is turning out to be a very bad day. It’s completely stressing me out. I need another joint.
© Stephen Mwangi Ichungwa 2009
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