I don’t write as often as I should yada yada yada. I write because I simply don’t have the qualifications for a life of organized financial crime. That takes a Business, Procurement or a Law degree in this country. As far as a legitimate source of income, all I can really do from home is write, and the prospects there are dim at best. To date, I’ve composed 227 entries for this blog, and I’ve managed to publish exactly 22 of. But I have a better excuse this time round. I was practicing for a marathon which I have decided not to participate in. The only people who think a marathon is an admirable goal are the ones who need to justify why they spent five miserable weeks training for an event no one else cares about. Most people would rather dry hump an electric fence than listen to you talk about your hop, step and jump escapades. The only thing that finishing any sort of long distance marathon proves is you value neither your free time nor your life. The real winner in a marathon is anyone who didn’t run at all, which is why after five weeks of practicing, I decided not to run and stick to writing. In a marathon, once the mileage hits double digits, runners have to use Band-Aids and Vaseline at key points on the body to avoid friction. Things got so bad at my practice sessions that I started running without a shirt on (Race enthusiasts, when your hobby makes your nipples bleed on a daily basis, you need to sit down and take a hard look at your life choices). In my defense, I did them when I was young and dumb. I’m not any smarter now, but I am lazier, and that counts for a lot. Extreme distance running puts unnecessary wear and tear on every tissue and organ but offers no pleasure or utility in return. Real life situations call for short bursts of speed, not meandering darts to nowhere. No one in human history has said, “I could’ve escaped this danger if only I could hold an eight-minute pace for just over two dozen miles.” If you’ve read this entire paragraph, this is how to use a lot of words to confuse the enemy. By now you don’t remember what it is I was talking about. If you have a problem with mosquitoes at your house, you open the windows and let them all inside then close the windows and sleep at a neighbor’s. It’s called confusing the enemy. That said, forgive my inconsistent writing habits.
There is that moment when you are watching something wrong like a steamy, salacious video with some form of body lotion or petroleum Jelly in your hands, then the internet speed doesn’t agree with your hand to gland decisions and decides to freeze and buffer… There is that moment that you look into the screen and see a reflection of what you are doing…. That is the best definition of the moment of truth. I needed a proper definition of ‘Moment of truth’ before telling you that I experienced one, without the other parts in the detail. The only other better description is when after standing in the sun for two hours in the old fashioned pure leather jacket, you smell like a cow so alive that you can feel the dung, and you have to wonder if it is possible to live the rest of your life as a goat in Moldova… People, beyond the now proverbial slay queen, there is a Slay Boy. I saw it, I know it and I met my moment of truth.
Here’s the story.
My friend Samson is an architect. He lives well, in a good house with air conditioning. I believe Samson played an ill-advised game as a child, where his four-year-old sister led him around with his eyes closed and predictably, she sent him into a wall… It is the only way to describe the half cracked front teeth. He smiles and he looks less and less like an architect. His history of substance abuse is long and humiliating. For Samson, alcohol isn’t so much an intoxicant as it is a liquid dignity remover. And he is a serious one, he is the type who insists that his drink must be served with that glowing stick that looks like a cracker, for no reason. Not his birthday, nothing, but he is willing to pay for it. Imagine sitting on a table where whatever is served, even water, is literally lit, and severally for that matter. He is extreme, and was the reason he was sacked from his first job: Samson does a lot of face painting when drunk. Unlike other people who just shave off their eyebrows when drunk or text their ex-girlfriends their social media passwords, Samson has his face painted. I don’t know where he gets these face painting people at night or if he has his own face painting kit somewhere in his car. One fine Thursday morning in May last year, after a previous night of serious substance abuse, he forgot to wash off his face paint from the night before. He walked into the office late, straight into a meeting, and wondered why everyone was looking at him with that face like a terrorist had just walked in. It was so serious that he was sent to the HR for further communication, and it needed the HR to show him his face on a mirror before he could see there was a problem. But one thing Samson has is a tidy brain. He is smart. Very smart.
Samson has been married for 4 years. They have these spells with his wife where his wife goes weeks without speaking to him. He has no clue what he did in most of these spells, but we assume the wife is mad. They have one of those right now, and is probably why I found myself at his place in Kilimani on Tuesday night. Samson, his wife Nyarkochia and a guy I later learnt is his brother in law. His name, he said, was Gerald. At first sight, Gerald looks like someone who would take a permanent job as a mermaid. He had a neatly combed Afro at 7:37pm, that is shaved to an equal length, and his light blue Sweat pants are confusing. I don’t know where people get light blue sweatpants from in this city. You look at him closely and he looks like the type of person who will have a problem using the word ‘nevertheless’ properly in a sentence. He was also very quick to give me his Instagram user name and made sure I followed him on Instagram within the first eight minutes of our conversation. He has 54.2k followers. But I didn’t judge him. I only judge people by criteria on which I come out ahead. That’s why I estimate your value as a human being based on your writing and the ability to discern a wifely chapati from a hotel chapati. If those standards gained wider acceptance, I’d be Time magazine’s man of the year. So, I did not judge him, at all.
Samson could tell I was bemused by the entire look and demeanor of his in-law. Samson does not love his brother in law, but he needs to stay married. He has a two-year-old daughter, and it would be such a shame to lose both a wife and a daughter because you sank your brother in a pub’s urinal, and made him taste his own piss while repeatedly shouting “EXCALIBUR”! So, Samson has the right amount of pretext and ignoring ability to live through days with his brother in law around to stay married. But I am neither married to Nyarkochia, nor do I pledge allegiance to her father’s homestead, so I let him have it.
Gerald’s Instagram has HD pictures. Gerald clearly gets photographers to take photos of him in pristine suits to publish on social media. He looks like the type of person who has a good job, fantastic income, and a good taste. So, I asked him where he works…
“Nafanya biz, kuhustle tu hapa na pale. Madeals tu ‘bruh’… Eh.”
If you don’t understand this coded language, it can be loosely translated as “I am unemployed as (Insert Curse Word Here), I have no income, I may have some shady means of getting money and I am not comfortable saying it, but by all means, I stunt for the camera. In fact I am at my sister’s house right now because if not for her, I would have hunted someone’s puppy, roasted and eaten t it with a banana. I am broke, but I look good.” In short, Gerald is the type of man who looks good for nothing. Contrary to what magazines may tell you, being out of shape makes me incredibly sexy, at least from an evolutionary standpoint. The lower you are on the socioeconomic totem pole, the harder you have to work with your own two hands to make a living. Inert men make the best husbands and fathers because they have the income necessary to raise a family – or to pay someone else to raise it for them. The reason men dress up is to avoid being naked. You can look good, for something. But not Gerald… You must understand the SlayBoy phenomenon properly to proceed.
I deliberately engaged Gerald in a conversation. I picked up the following: He picks his captions with impressive quotes that in no way relate to his interests, abilities, location, activity or true activities of the picture in question. He takes a lot of photos, of everything. He gets into a club, and intentionally confuses his 50k plus Instagram audience with a caption. He may be at the rooftop of Brew Bistro on a Tuesday night and caption it as “Business”. This photo, was taken by someone else who was forced at gunpoint as I was forced to follow him on Instagram. He has limited mental faculties. What excites him is who said what about his picture, who liked it, who commented, who took a screenshot of his snapchat story. How he looks is very important. He has no plan for the solid future that does not involve how he looks. He is not interested in women. They are interested in him. He has no clear commitment to any particular woman out there. While his phone is buzzing with messages, all his women are divided into time slots of responses, but none of them is given utter importance. You chase him, you get him and leave when you want. He never chases you. And he hardly gets drunk. Hardly… It’s not good for the gram. And when he does, his phone is off. He leaves the club without breaking a sweat. He smells fresh, with his cologne still as strong as it was when sprayed from the nozzle.
But he does manly things, has manly friends, mostly Slayers like himself, eats like any other man.
I looked at Samson and wondered how he could bear with it, but apparently, we can all do it. The world is full of complex responsibilities, which is why college instills in us the skills we need to avoid them entirely. There comes a point in a college student’s career when he or she realizes that the required reading absolutely, positively needs to be done, but won’t be done. The same goes for assignments. No term paper that’s worth starting early. With a little planning and a lot of panic, there’s nothing that can’t be overcome through the power of procrastination. If you have gone through a Kenyan University, you can deal with a Slay By properly, by not dealing with him at all. The only thing Samson asked is that I describe him in writing. If I show up in hell Samson, I have a perfect excuse. Until now I have been a Saint. Anytime I walk through metal detectors, they make that high pitched ‘Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah’ sound that come with the Saint emoji. Any stain on my character is your doing.
Ladies, if you’re dating one of these, you’re better off knitting crotchet vitambaas and selling them on OLX. You don’t need to believe me… But you’re a minority. A small group of diehards still believes the earth is flat anyway, and a sizable minority suspects the wind is just a lie perpetuated by the media. You say you’ll believe in Slay Boys when you see one. They’re there… I’ve seen them. Also, I have years of experience at finding fault with every social happening, and queer men are no exception.
Later when I was leaving, he said these exact words. “Gimme your digits, we should link up.” Ladies and gentlemen, if you see me in some photos looking strangely smart, know that I have been radicalized. Pray for me.
Again, I had nothing to say… I just needed to keep the blog active. Enjoy the weekend.