I want my simple life back. Simple, thought-free life. The waking up with no worries at all. The occasional lie to the parents that you were coming down with a severe case of the flu only to catch up with the missed Ben 10 episodes – that by the way you wouldn’t have missed had your family agreed to miss the funeral of the aunt of your mum’s Chama chairlady’s husband. The tea and bread every day without ever complaining. The occasional trip to the dentist that did not even cross your mind minutes after living the orthodontist’s.
I miss that life.
The life where school and education and exams were not a fuel for anxiety and panic. Where reading John Kiriamiti’s ‘Life in wherever he was then’ felt equally as important as revising, minutes before a main exam. Where acing an exam was expected rather than hoped for and the occasional 94% was deemed a failure, but just for thirty minutes before reviewing the paper with Mr Karanja and forgetting about it forever. And ever. Feeling very tempted to type Amen.
I miss the cute oblivion about our mortality.
I was very slow. Last to leave the dining hall. Last one to leave the dorm. Class. Library. Field. Swimming pool. Talent’s night. I was always last and it never turned a strand of hair gray on my head.
Every day, I’d wake up in my small cubical in Samburu Dorm and pray to a God whose existence these days is something that has shifted from an irrefutable truth to a shaky topic of discussion. I would occasionally ask God to forgive me for “conscious, unconscious and subconscious thoughts, words and deeds I had thought, said or committed against Him and against my fellow man” because I did not want to go to hell. I wanted to go to heaven. I still want to go to heaven, but not one with milk and honey only, at least one with a liquor store, a KFC store, YouTube and cats. These days, I pray to avoid going to jail, because in this life unlike the next, I still have my bitch-ass light skin frail body and I hear people get raped. But I never worried about anything of this sort before.
Mortality. Everybody dies. That’s the biggest thief of my joy. Because I am part of everybody. You know who else is part of everybody? You, my twin sister, my sweet ex-girlfriend Elizabeth, my genius cybercafé attendant who always seems to know how to make everything on the internet free and accessible but illegal, Riggy G, John Cena. Oh my! BIKOZULU!!!! Mr. Bean. Steve Carell (Michael Scott from The Office and/or Evans Almighty).
And anything can kill you. Commonly, it’s heart disease and suicide. But also, traffic accidents, being attacked by stray lions or a sick dog, snake bites, too much cold, too much heat, too much food, too much booze, meat, lack of meat, a fish bone for Pete’s sake like poor Owang’ Sino the Chief of Kimbo. Cancer. And this never crosses your mind until it does. One day, you will be taking a cab from Westlands to Madaraka then a poorly serviced Embassava on Mombasa Road decides to remodel the Honda Fit you are riding in. Then you realize, you could have died, that’s if you don’t, and voila! Taking cabs or Mombasa road, or public transport or Hondas or even travelling becomes a trigger for your fragile anxiety and existence.
I want the life where sharing a bottle of water after a football match with twenty others would not come across as a risk factor of getting herpes. Or even kissing Amanda behind the school dining hall. She doesn’t have herpes. I’m just saying, it would be a thoughtless effort. And honestly a dream (or 7 million dreams) come true. These days, an itch on my back will flood my mind with questions. Is this how I go? A pimple on my arm that will grow and become septic so they’ll have to amputate and then eventually die because I lost balance and had no arm to hold on to anything so I trip and fall on the highway. Splat! An Embassava ends me.
I have to think about everything every single time. May this cough be from a chronic disease that I may have contracted from kissing my cat. On the mouth. With tongue. A new sort of Furry Virus. Will my securities and stocks trader decide to disappear with the pennies I have saved since high school? Will I be a great dad? Will I be a dad? Will I be married? Will I even get over Elizabeth (not the queen who died on my birthday, but the queen I hoped would give my descendants birthdays) or worse, Amanda? Will I have money? A lot of it? Will Manenoz ever explode and become the next big thing? Will you love this piece or has my quality degraded like the quality of Clabu chapatis? Do I already have a child out here and my baby mama is waiting for me to strike gold?
Too many questions. Too much worry. Crippling anxiety. I want my simple life back.
Reach out to Sarush on instagram or twitter on @mksaruni