The Mechanic

Where I work, it is a whole lot of street full of mechanics. If you step out of my office, chances are that you might step on a mechanic. If you trip and fall, a mechanic will help you up. I am not a mechanic; I just work in a company that sells solar products. On this road, like any other, there are several food places. I can’t quite call them hotels or restaurants or even cafés because they are nothing close to these.
On the far right, under a guava tree is one such eatery. The ‘chef’ popularly known as Nic is such a happy and jolly fella. He cooks the tasties mandazi on the street and sells them at 5 bob. His food though is bland. No taste, hardly any salt but he has the most of mechanics eating there because of his fair prices.
Next to him is a make shift kibanda. This one has benches and a table. Where Nic sells a plate of beans and chapati for 60 bob, here the same goes for 70 bob, maybe because they have a wooden table, I wouldn’t know.
Next to her is another make shift. Actually, two. They share tables and chairs, the way chicken inn and pizza inn do. But their kitchens are a tad different. When I say kitchen, I don’t mean an actual kitchen, no, just space besides a wall, where there are several jikos lined up against the stone wall, let us call it an open kitchen for now. Most women go here, because it has plastic tables and chairs? And big umbrellas? Your guess is as good as mine. The food is well cooked, tasty too with a big bowl of kachumbari sitting at the center, the kachumbari has more pilipili than all the debts Kenya owes China, you get the drift? Me too. Here, most men come as well, because the lady who serves them has a behind that rivals Vera sidika, big and round. She knows they ogle all the time so she dresses in short tight skirts. If your man works along this street, it is either he comes home with a hard on after eating here or he wanks off at the yard.
Then there is yule mama mkamba. Hers is right outside my window. When she cooks, I suffer, and most of the times from constipation. She cooks omena on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I suffer good people, I suffer. This is where I mostly eat, because it is right outside the office. I mostly eat green peas and rice or chapati. The four tables make a small circle. She knows all her customers by name.
I always see him, the mechanic, I know he is a mechanic because of his dirty overall. You may expect dirt and oil beneath his fingers, like most mechanics but lo! His fingers are clean, and trimmed almost painted with a colorless nail polish, I suspect he does manicures every weekend. I can’t compare his fingers to mine. His beard is well trimmed, his head clean shaven too. He eats alone and barely talks. I have seen him every single day that I have eaten here. He never looks up from his food until he is done, then he pays and leaves. I have never heard him talk. I don’t talk either, I eat silently hoping that the food will not choke me as I swallow.
Today he sat next to me, he looked at me and smiled, that hideous smile that unnerves someone, I managed a quick smile then went back to my food. Hot steaming green peas and rice, my everyday treat.
“You should try ugali and managu sometime.”
“Mmmm.”
I almost choke, something I am always careful to avoid.
“My name is Joe, beautiful dimple.”
I blush, involuntarily though.
I chew and chew and finally swallow. Because I didn’t want to talk with food in the mouth, my mama told me it is bad manners.
“Thanks, Joe. I am Diana.”
“How is it working along this street?”
“It is an experience of some sorts.”
So we get to talk, and my big mouth out of my curiosity asks him,
“How come your fingers are this clean? I mean…”
“Are you saying mechanics are dirty?”
“No, but they always have oil under their nails.”
He laughs, raises a brow and chuckles even more.
“Diana, I have a life outside of here.”
“Are you saying mechanics don’t have lives outside of here?”
“Huh! No, I use gloves when working to protect my hands, unless whatever I am handling does not need gloves.”
“Oh I see.”
“I am a DJ, in some club along Kiambu road.”
“Oh okay.”
“You should come and watch me spin sometime.”
“Okay.”
He finishes his food, hesitates for a second then pays for my food as well.
“See you around Diana.”
He smiles and walks away, pulling down his overall to reveal a tattoo on his left arm.
My curiosity is piqued, I can’t wait for tomorrow lunch……….loading….

Diana Mosoba

Man on the edge of the cliff

I don’t always respond to my inbox, actually, I ignore messages most of the time, but not when the man says it’s a matter of life and death. So, I responded, he said he wanted to meet. He wanted to talk, there was some kind of urgency in his message, he sounded hurt. I did a quick sweep on his timeline, he was as real as the SGR that snakes from Nairobi to Mombasa. His name is Chris, 35 years old. His profile picture is of him and his wife, a beautiful woman by standard and two little girls. They look happy, they are happy. The picture was not taken in a studio, no! They were on holiday, from the background, I guess they were in Dubai. Why would he want to meet with me? He said we could meet at Brew Bistro, Ngong road, on a Monday evening?
Chris has an audit firm, located along Mombasa road, and he has a home in Syokimau.
I wanted to get there early and scout for a convenient seat, in a corner where I can see everything going on, see everyone and what they are up to. A seat that I can bolt from should things go South, but when I got there, he was already waiting for me. At the balcony, a jug of beer on the table and two beer mugs, one full and the other turned upside down.
“I didn’t think you’d come, Diana.”
“You sounded urgent and almost desperate.”
“I was desperate for someone to talk to. You don’t look like the type that takes beer.”
I didn’t answer immediately, I hate when people can read me that well. I moved my chair a little back, just for the sake of it.
“You are right, I don’t drink beer.”
“You can order anything.”
There is a drink they make so good, they call it the virgin mojito, that’s what I wanted. He flagged a waiter and made the order for me.
Chris is 6’4 ft, that’s tall, right? Dark and well built. He was in a pale pink shirt, you’d be forgiven to think that the shirt was stitched on his body, it fit him so well.
“Why did you want to meet here? Mombasa road could have been convenient.”
“I met her here, I have a lot of memories in this place.”
“I presume you are talking about your wife.” “Yes.”
He looked at the snarling traffic below, nostalgic even. For a minute I thought I saw tears well up in his eyes, but when he looked at me, they were dry. And a smile that did not reach his eyes. You know that smile that says, “I cover emotions well?” That kind of smile.
“Are you okay?”He took a deep breath, almost too deep. He took out his phone and scrolled through, looking for something, then he stopped, looked at whatever he was searching for hard, almost wistful. He then turned the phone to me
“That’s her, that’s my wife.”
The woman staring back at me was beautiful, I am not just saying it because I want to complement her, no. She was beautiful, she had this smile, like she had trained all her life to smile like that. Like a model, or an international actress. Her jawbone set, her teeth white, a sparkle in her eye. Her hair, every strand in its place. Short or bob as is commonly known.
“She is beautiful.”
“And intelligent. She is a lawyer, we met here. She was with her friends, I remember how she was dancing that night, care free, she was happy.”
“Is she not happy now?”
“I don’t know, she could be happy, but not with me.”
“Mmmmmm……”
That’s what you say when you are not sure of what to say or how to respond.
“Where do I start?”
“How about you start from where you are seated?”

Lesbian

“Six months ago, I walked in on her having sex with her friend, her best friend.”
“What?”
“Yeah, Bella is her best friend, she always came by the house especially on Saturdays.”
He paused and gulped his beer. I still don’t understand how people drink that thing, it tastes like shit. I also gulped my virgin mojito and set my glass down carefully. I felt like I was treading on eggshells. Let’s call his wife Cate.
“So, let me get this straight, your wife Cate and her best friend Bella…”
“Yeah.”
He made the longest sigh i have ever heard. This man was hurting, that I could sense. Despite his macho look and muscled arms, he was hurting.
“I’m sorry, Chris.”
“No, don’t be, I just want to get this off my chest.”
“You have never told anyone?”
“What am I supposed to say? Hey, I came home one evening to pick my laptop because as usual, my boys and I spent Saturday evenings together drinking beer and telling stale jokes, to find my wife in bed with another woman?”
I don’t know how such a question should be responded to.
“We were happy, I was happy, she seemed happy too.”
“Maybe it has nothing to do with you.”
“A lot of things made sense after that.”
“Does she know that you know?”
“I came home one evening, Bella comes to the house every Saturday morning, they cook together and catch up over a glass or glasses of wine. Usually, I read the newspaper and flip the Channels waiting for 5 to go out and meet with my friends. This day was no different, I was out but then one of my clients wanted me to do something for him. I sneaked away from my friends and rushed home for my laptop. We were not drinking far from home so I figured I’d quickly run and do it before my friends noticed I was gone.”

Spanish Music

He paused and poured himself more beer, he licked the foam, and he seemed to enjoy it.
“When I got home, there was Spanish music playing from our bedroom. I didn’t even know she liked Spanish music. She was full of surprises this woman. Have you ever listened to slow Spanish music?” “Huh?”
“It’s romantic and sexy. It’s kind of puts you in the mood. I was in for a good quick one before going back to the club. I unbuttoned my shirt but when I got to my room, our bedroom.”
He looks up and there are distant traces of tears, and regret. His voice is full of pain, a tense emotion that also engulfs me.
“Bella was shaving her privates.”
At this moment, I have this crazy image going in my mind.
“I was awed at first, watching someone else shave my wife. Then she crawled like a snake and kissed her. I was shocked. Before I could react, they were tangled together, they had toys. I was rooted, helpless, betrayed, I felt pain to the core of my heart.”
He paused and took his beer, swirling it in his mouth before swallowing, like he was reliving that moment again. He took a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his brow.
“I turned and walked out, went back to the club.”
“You didn’t ask her?”
“No, I haven’t.”
“How are things between you two?”
“She disgusts me. I can’t look at her.”
“Hasn’t she asked anything? Wanted to know what’s wrong?”
“She has, but every time she talks to me, I just want to strangle her, so I leave. She actually thinks there is another woman. Oh well, there is another woman.”
“What are you going to do?”
“For now, I am the man on the cliff, if I jump I die, if I stay, I’m already dead inside.”
“You have your two daughters to think of.”
“I know.”
He takes another deep breath like a burden has been lift off his shoulder.
“Thanks for coming. I’d better get home and help my daughters with their homework.”
“Thank you for talking to me, trusting me with your story.”
He finished his last beer, took out a few crisp notes and put them on the table and walked out.
The man on the edge of the cliff, betrayed, hurt and broken.

Diana Mosoba

js creative media_Inspiration

Inspiration: Resurrection of Lazarus.

Over the weekend I travelled to Shagz. That is not why am writing. I brought that up as an indirect way of apologizing for keeping you guys without something to read on our website. I already know you like us and we must explain anytime we take long without posting something new. Yaani relationship yetu imefikia hapo and we can only be thankful.  Like a typical African, I must update you about the usual stuff you people don’t give a damn about.  Upcountry was good, it is raining…et cetera.

While travelling back, something (I can’t remember what) drew my attention to the story of Lazarus and more specifically his resurrection. Lazarus’ resurrection is among the many miracles mentioned in the Bible that demonstrate our Lord’s power. I am not going to narrate the whole story because I know your Sunday/ Sabbath school teacher did a splendid job. I will highlight the important points that I want to talk about today.

Jesus learns of Lazarus death and decides to go to Bethany (Lazarus’ home town). He tells his disciples that Lazarus was just asleep. They did not comprehend what he meant. First lesson; our challenges are so small before our God. Imagine someone is dead and to Him he is just sleeping, meaning he will wake/ rise up again. God is telling us today that all those difficult situations that we think are the end of us are just too little to worry Him. He will fix them and we will rise again!

Jesus goes to Bethany four days after Lazarus’ death (and burial). Jesus actually says, ” … and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.” I think this is an answer also to a question or rather a statement one of Lazarus’ sisters makes when Jesus gets to their home. You remember Martha telling Jesus that if He (Jesus) would have been around, her brother would not have died. The greatest teacher once again reassures her that Lazarus will rise.

God works in his own time. When he thinks it is right. Not us. Sometimes I tend to think Martha was indirectly saying, “Sasa ulikuwa wapi kabla akufe?” The response is calm and comforting. So comforting you would think it is fantasy. That is our Lord. He knows when to walk in and lift us. On a lighter note, someone would call Jesus a ‘joker’. Yaani he is coming four days after Lazarus has been buried. He is already rotten and there is a foul smell in the tomb. But that is nothing to Him. The response still remains “He will rise again”.

Most times we write off others or get written off according to the situations we find ourselves in. People give up on us. We give up on people. We give up on ourselves. We give up on health, financial crises, relationships, careers, tasks, talents …name them. In our mortal understanding, there is nothing that can be done to bring back the situations mentioned above to life because they ‘have been dead for four days’. They are rotten. But Jesus is walking in to do what he does best; not just resuscitate but resurrect! When it was plain obvious you are dead financially, emotionally, politically, academically… He is just about to shock many!

Jesus tells them to take away the stone that was covering the tomb. One preacher once wondered why He couldn’t just command the stone to roll away because he was able. He had changed water into wine, healed the sick, cast out demons, calmed the storm, was about to resurrect Lazarus… So why not command the stone away and raise Lazarus instead of giving people the burden of rolling away the stone? This is my understanding, Christ wants us to be part of the process. Even our constitution talks about public participation in processes that affect the public and people have gone to court when they feel the public wasn’t involved as required in law.

Our Saviour doesn’t want to be taken to court (again…haha. This time before Maraga and not Pirate). He wants us to participate in our miracles. He wants us to do something about what we are asking for. You want Lazarus raised? Roll away the stone. I will raise him up! You want to do well in your academics, read, study well. I will help you pass! You want financial breakthrough, start a business, save, invest, start out, good health? Eat healthy, live healthy? A good relationship? Grow it, nurture it…I will lift you! Pray for the miracle you want, fast about it…but guess what, Christ is telling you that is not enough! Rise up and do something. He will do the remaining which is beyond our ability.

Lastly, when Jesus saw Lazarus’ sisters weeping, he was moved. I remember many years ago a classmate in primary school giving the shortest verse, ” Jesus wept” as her memory verse during those Saturday afternoon sessions in church and we thought it looked funny. The bible says, “… seeing them weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled”. Our Lord is a Lord of compassion. He understands how we feel when hit by challenges. He cares. And that is why he walks in to comfort, reassure, restore, reestablish and resurrect us; like he did to Lazarus. Believe!

PS: And you people doubt me when I tell you am an aspiring pope! You better not.