Celebrating East African Writing!
It feels like there are diminutive demons in my head pounding isukuti drums, a bom bom cacophony of beats that go a decibel higher whenever I move my coffin-heavy head. A piquant numbness freezes my mouth, my tongue inert amidst the aftertaste of last night’s brandy. A rivulet of saliva draining down my cheeks has formed a wet patch on the pillow. I can hear myself wheezing a crude noise from my throat, sooty like an exhaust pipe from the previous night’s cigarettes. When I shift to gather phlegm, the drumbeats intensify, and my head sinks slowly back to the wet patch.
My morning glory elongates, poking at my potbelly. I wish my boycotting eyelids would have the same enthusiasm. My right hand reaches down, touching the member. I feel the residue of lubricating jelly. If I am stroking it or cooling it down, it is not clear to me. Nothing is clear to me.
As the hand disengages its elbow brushes on skin, warm and soft. The touch ends the eyelids’ boycott with an alarming swiftness. They open to a dull cream wall. This is not home. Where I’m I?
A man is lying next to me. Not really a man but a boy, with waning blackheads on his brow. ITS petite shoulder blades peer from beneath the covers. I give the covers – once yellow – a contemptuous look. They are the type with ridges flowing lengthwise like longitudes on a globe. ‘Motel Ngara,’ in washed-out black block letters is stamped in five-inch intervals all over them.
Then IT stirs inaudibly. ITS irises stretch wide, coated with auspicious clearness, unlike my languid ones. IT flashes a blinding set of white teeth my way, forcing me to return a smile, which within seconds I regret proffering.
IT invades the space between us, closing in on me with ITS sylph-like body. ITS hand strokes my unshaved beard, draws my chin towards ITS mouth. Our bodies touch, the noses rub at each other with a strange ticklish sensation. IT is naked. I am naked. We are beyond control to remember how and why we are naked. We start nibbling at each others lips and our tongues caress, spreading saliva all over as if it is Blue Band margarine meeting Supaloaf bread. I hear IT hiss, passionate sounds of youth urging me on.
The gathering intensity of ITS delicate hands stroking my torso send me to violent delightful jerks, making the bedcovers slide to the floor. ITS kisses descend to my neck area, igniting me to frenzied grunts that only drive IT on. ITS mouth grabs my right nipple like a perfect match to a dovetail joint. I fart. Ecstasy. By this time ITS head has started the journey down south, lingering for a second or two on my navel. Sweat is rolling down the sides of my head, to be soaked by the thirsty pillow.
I have credit card applications to approve later in the day. But I find my torso rocking to the up-and-down movements of ITS head, which is crowned with a smart slice of chemically-treated hair. I try peering at the motel’s flaking ceiling to distract the wave after wave hitting my beach. The last time I felt a headjob this succulent, decadent, I was an unremarkable seventeen-year-old in Form Five. A starry-eyed mono in need of a hero – I was the best under-20 scrum-half in the country – performed the honours behind the school’s swimming pool, Lenana School’s trees purring an amorous mantra, the stars of that cloudless night our blanket.
IT props ITself on my knees sending a spiky sting from the ‘weak’ right one, the one I fractured playing the Elgon Cup, which ended my sort-off rugby career. I twist my waist sideways as I lift IT away. The face creases, bewildered by my action. My stranded mouth mumbles an apology as I jump out of the bed, tripping on the fallen covers and nearly crashing to the cold floor. I hear a curtsy-like ‘Sorry!’ as I slam the toilet door.
‘Fuck! Motel Ngara,’ I curse.
‘With IT – a boy – in bed.’
Well, I could not have taken a sausage funga to my place in Runda.
The events of last night, like some blurred PowerPoint presentation, flip through my mind. The staff party at the bank’s sports club on Thika Road. Drinking copious amounts of brandy. All my direct sales representatives have hit sales targets and I am treating them on the bank’s tab.
Images of club hopping in Westlands, hunting for a captivating twinky before ending up in town at pub on Kimathi Street frequented by university students. From the balcony teeming with barely-legal youngsters I eye the statute of the Mau Mau Field Marshal, illuminated by radiant luminous green rays from the bulbs planted on the pavement.
I slip onto the stool next to him.
He nods a response. I offer to buy him a beer as I order mine. I catch a sparkle in his eyes as I fish a crispy one thousand note from a wad in my wallet. When I order for his second beer he asks me,
‘Are you on facebook I add you?’
‘Yes.’ I answer barely audible in the music din.
He tells me he is a first year student at Uni, intoning the word ‘Uni’ like a Mexican soap opera actor.
My fellow managers at the bank think something is wrong with me. At the managerial cafeteria over lunch I once joked about the stress of hitting sales targets having stolen my morning hard-ons. The IT manager remarked: ‘Your engine is dead. You are not climbing Mt. Kenya?’ The PR manager also chipped in: ‘If you are shooting, if you even shoot, you are shooting blanks.’ Rapturous mirth followed just because it was a woman saying it.
I flush the toilet when I realise nothing is coming out of my bowels. The rushing sounds of water wake me from the anaesthesia of thought. Damn! There was a missing ritual. The ritual of flushing down used protection. I am a demon when drunk. Five years ago, I caught gonorrhoea. Stupid me!
I emerge from the toilet. IT is lying on top of the bed, stroking ITS pencil manhood. I scan the room for evidence that protection was used. Phew! I spot the torn condom wrapper on the bedside table. It is a feeling similar to one I had when I passed my CPA exam.
Our eyes meet as my hand reaches for the used condom on the floor amidst crumpled tissue paper. My fingers lift the condom and my heart stops. I see no cloudy liquid inside.
I look at IT.
IT looks at me,
‘You started using it and then you got rid of it.’
‘You said you were negative. Are you?’
‘And you?’ I ask.
‘Do you doubt me? You are the first person to ever go inside me.’
ITS face creases again. I smile. Two months shy of 40; I am still a conqueror of virgins. I look at IT hard. ITS eyes don’t meet mine. IT shifts on the bed.
‘Don’t worry. I’m negative. I go for regular testing. And I don’t sleep around.’
‘What about me?’ is what I should ask instead I query,
‘You know so much?’
IT stretches ITS frame like a snake basking in the morning sun.
‘I watch movies. I was with someone short-term. Nothing penetrative though.’
I want to believe IT. At least IT is open enough to admit IT has been with someone. Lying is the legal tender of this community.
‘Why did you allow me to fuck you?”
IT blushes, inhales heavily, fingers nervously tapping on the bed then IT raises the soft eyes that twinkle like celestial bodies on a clear night and says,
‘I really like you. You were so gentle with me. You are my type of man.’
We are soon necking and tonguing. We do not use a condom.
When am I showered and dressed up, I hand him a one thousand shilling note.
‘This is for your taxi home. I will call you jioni we go out of town….’
ITS hands are unmoving, planted firm on the pillow. ITS face creases in disdain, the pupils dilated ferociously. For an indeterminable moment I worry having offended my sweet, new conquest. When I make an approach, I catch the sneer on ITS face.
‘Unafikiri nimekupakulia za bure? Even on a bad day I make five thousand. I want ten k now!’
IT snaps ITS fingers like some Laquisha off a cheap African-American sitcom. IT kneels on the bed, flinging off the covers. Then IT steps up and walks right up to my chest, eyes blazing like the flames of a Bunsen burner.
‘I want ten K now. I know your name, Gerald Mwandemi.’
IT waves a business card, drama queen style. I back off, heading towards the door.
Tributaries of scorching sweat run down my armpits.
‘I know your name, the bank you work for, your work place, and your phone number. If you want peace, give me my ten K. Or I will come to work and tell everyone wewe ni shoga ’
I open the door and step out.
IT follows to the balcony shouting,
‘Shoga! Shoga! Shoga huyo! Amenitomba usiku mzima na hataki kunilipa!
I fly down the stairs cross the motel lobby and emerge at the parking bay. I reverse and fire off towards the gate. I can see IT emerging from the motel, NAKED. An apathetic guard is taking his time opening the gate. I hear a crashing sound. A rock and broken glass rest on the back seat. I eye IT through the gapping hole of the rear windscreen. Fuck! My brand new Mercedes E 320.
A crowd is forming.
©Jaye Mwanga 2011
If you would like this piece to be the Story of the Week, please vote below on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being weak, and 10 being excellent. The numbers will be tallied on Sunday 27th of March 2011 and the story with the highest figure shall be Crowned Story of the Week on Monday 28th March. Be sure to fill in your name and verifiable email. You can include your critique/comment after the vote.