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See My Life

A girl I hadn’t seen or spoken to in a long time called me this past Sunday morning. She was one of those girls I knew back in my high school days and may or may not even have flirted with (OK, and possibly even written a couple or so letters that began with words like “Bombasticated to” and ended with things like “Dedix” and “Forever Yours.”) You know how, sometimes, you try to pick up a girl but don’t really care if she says No because, what the hell, you were just doing it for kicks anyway? Girls you don’t see yourself introducing to the old fogeys or giving your M-Pesa PIN anytime in the unforeseeable future. Like girls that, after one and a half ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ cocktails, say, “You know what, I’ve always thought Larry Madowo’s eyes are super cute. Aren’t they just dreamy?” And you want to respond, “Aaah, Sure. Pray, tell, wouldn’t it just be awesome if I called up Larry Madowo and his super cute eyes to come pay your bill?”

And then there are those mamis you try to tune and are really serious about it. The ones that tell you “No” and “Stop wasting your time” but you just won’t budge, at least until you smash. So you keep on keeping on (I hate that phrase by the way), Hoping one day she’ll say “Yes.” And just as you feel she’s about to, something happens and you two lose contact. And it sickens you to your stomach. And, for two straight days, you do nothing but stay in your room sulking; refusing to talk to anybody, watching Tyler Perry movies, and listening to a bit of Adelle.

She was one of those for me. So when she called me that Sunday morning, I thought to myself, “Well, who said there was no such thing as fate?”

She wanted me to meet her in town, I asked, “Where in town?” and she said, “Just call me soon as you’re in town” and I said “Okay.” I like a little mystery every once in a while. Every man does. Keep me in the dark, treat me to a surprise now and then, sugar. Even during migwatos, surprise a brother ever so often. Don’t do the same things over and over. Roll over one time, hell, stick your tongue out, bite my toes, lick my chest hair, scratch my nose, swat my ass, pinch my ding dong. Hehe. [Okay, now everybody knows I’m on some ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ shit. Great. Moving on.]

We met along Kenyatta Avenue and she took me to Subway and ordered us a large Pizza. Let me digress here for a minute; Ladies, if any of you ever feel like taking me out anytime in the near future, here’s a little heads up – I hate Pizza! Pizza neither qualifies as a lunch nor dinner date to me. It doesn’t even qualify as dessert. Or appetizer. We might as well just stay indoors and make some popcorn and drink sugarcane juice. I don’t get how people love that thing. I mean, is it just me or, does Pizza always look like dog poo, cat poo, Luhya poo, and drops of elephant piss pound into one and microwaved? How could one person ever be filled with such malice as to invent such a thing? And even more people dumb enough to consume it? This is why, fellow Men, we need to marry ladies from the Village. Let us continue the legacy of Chapo-Madondo. Marrying a city girl will only leave you drowning in debt, and with children hooked to nonsensical things such as Pizza and Hotdogs and sijui Burgers. Children so fat they look like they should be cut open and their intestines fed to the poor. But it’s none of my business.

We sat down and she asked, “How have you been?” I said, “Never Better.” Yet what I really wanted to say was, “I’m jobless, broke, hungry, deep in debt, and angry that Manchester United keeps dropping points, so, I’m not Great.” She said, “How long has it been again?” and I said, “I can’t remember exactly. But we must have seen each other last around the time Pastors didn’t have private jets.” Then she asked, “What do you do nowadays?” And because nobody really understands that being a ‘Writer’ is a fulltime career, I said, “I’m in I.T.”

“Ah, So you’re those chaps I see in movies that can hack into Police Databases and World Bank and stuff?”

“Yeah. We’re bad ass like that.” [Of course I can’t do that shit. Hell, the first person in my class couldn’t do that shit. I was just tired of arguing.]

“So life must be good, huh?”

“Well, I’m not complaining.” [I am. I really am. Anybody wanna pay a brother’s rent? ] “What do you do yourself?”

“Oh, I’m in sales.” [Inner Voice: Of course you are. All you women of nowadays are.]

“What do you sell?”

“Used goods.” [Inner Voice: Run, Ian. Run!]

 “You mean, like, car parts and stuff?”


We sat there for over two hours; catching up and talking politics, fashion, life, relationships, Chapo, Whiskey, and that face Men make when climaxing [She said we look like starving monkeys on their third banana tree] And then as we left, she asked, “Where are you headed to?” and I said, “Juja.” Then she said, “Aaah, I’m headed the same way, I can drop you.”

“Drop me?”

She said, “Yeah, I’m on my way to Thika. I can drop you in Juja. I’m parked just across the street.”

And drop me she did. In a sleek Mark X; a car so smooth it felt like we were on a roller coaster. Later that evening, I went to my local and bought myself a glass of whatever I could afford. Then, when I was halfway drunk, I looked back at my life and repented on all my sins. I said, “Lord. I’m sorry for that time I broke my Mum’s thermos and blamed it on my big brother. I’m sorry for the one time in high school they had stolen all my boxers so I also picked some that weren’t mine from the hanging line. I repent for all the times I called Form Ones ‘Mabao’ and snatched their food and stole their Blue Band. I want to sincerely ask your forgiveness for all the women I’ve thrown shade at for cooking crappy Chapos, putting on too much make up, or wearing smelly weave. I want to kneel before you as I seek repentance for the gazillion times I have walked into Mwikali’s and pretended like I had been there all along and ordered sosa without taking the actual meal first. Also not forgetting that time I wore my then girlfriend’s Mothers’ Union on my head and said her *you know what* smelled of ground up guavas.”

And then, mid prayer, a voice came into my head and whispered, “See your life.” Because here was a chic I had supposedly been pursuing in high school but now, about four-five years later, was driving a sleek Toyota Mark X while I continued to drink fifth generation liquor and rant and rave about how Chapo-Madondo was the best thing that ever happened to mankind.

Lord, See my life. And shine your light upon me as well.

P.S: This piece was written on a ‘high’ note [see what I did there?] so any errors in spelling, or otherwise, are grossly unintended. Blessed Festive Season Folks. This is probably my last Mister Left article for the year so, till we meet again, Be Good. And Keep Your Chin Up. We meet again next year for more useless stories. Adios.



  1. MisterLeft 15 December, 2016 at 12:19 Reply

    Welcome to MisterLeft, Achieng. This is where we never learn from our mistakes but are always happy to share. And we are glad you are here to see our mistakes. Thank you Achieng.

  2. Biko 14 March, 2017 at 15:56 Reply

    the first time i read, i never commented because i din’t want the excitement to push me over. Stopped once more, a millionth over – amazingly i still liked it, just as the first.

    nice piece Ian. am calmer, made me look at my life too before writing this.

  3. Stephen Obunde 25 December, 2017 at 16:39 Reply

    Just a few years back I used to call form one’s Mabao in St. Mary’s School, Yala. I hope I will not be praying in a similar fashion soon.

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