How many here have ever taken a patient for medication? I mean the scenario where you rush a patient to hospital and upon reaching the doctor, your patient’s symptoms seize to exist – the signs just disappear and refuse to unveil. When you started the journey to this place, your patient’s eyes looked red, he was with a running nose, also, he was giving the weirdest loudest continuous coughs you’ve ever heard from a human being. He coughed all through until you approached the gate to this health center. Nonetheless, all the burping stopped the moment you stepped in this compound. You went on and explained how your patient had literally been undergoing hell on your way here, and how all the suffering halted the moment you set foot in this compound (your patient cannot talk, he has no speech).
So the doc instructs you to wait at the sick bay with your patient until his symptoms resurface. And because this patient of yours is a man, you don’t bother buying him any fruits or light drinks because the breakfast he took at home should just sustain him till you return to your crib. Also you don’t buy him any foodstuffs because you are annoyed that he’s keeping you here over nothing, you also want to exasperate him so he can become hungry and angry. Perhaps the damn symptoms will start resurfacing the moment his intestines will start running up and down looking for something to churn and finding nothing in there. So you starve him but still he shows no signs of any illness, he just stares at you with his big round eyes.
That’s what happened to my dear Compaq, this time I’ll be gender imbalanced a bit to make my Compaq a he. A boy – my bwoy. My boy started feigning sickness on Thursday evening but I ignored him because he is a man and men should not just be rushed to hospital ati due to mere headache or stomachache or cramps – hehe I’m told there’re boys who nurse cramps. Anyway , sicknesses like Malaria are instead meant to harden men, and to boost and strengthen their body immune system. So that evening, I send Compaq to the shops to fetch the normal 500 ml Ilara milk packet (where I come from evening tea is a compulsory basic need, so I’ve been used to it). After he has left for the shop, I lift one of the plastic chairs in my room, take it outside, and take a pew there. It’s then that I start thinking about why I’m not living my life right cause my age mates (21) in, let’s say Europe or just here in Kenya, are already at the peak of their careers, living and spending lavishly. Purchasing lucrative and expensive cars for themselves and for their moms and dads. I feel misplaced.
I am in a pair of shorts, my torso is enclosed in a grey t-shirt, under my feet are my beautiful green akala sandals – by the way have you seen those green sandals around? Like I said, I’m relaxing on a blue plastic seat. A few meters just in front of me is some guy doing laundry, before him are three basins and a bucket. And a heap of clothes. I walk to him.
“Boss, sasa hizi ni ngapi ngapi?” I querry.
“Ah, hizi cheapest ni chwani (fifty shillings),” he runs his hands through the heap and one t-shirt attracts his eye. He dangles it in the air to show me. “Like this one goes for 300 bob, si you take it?” he mutters.
“Ugh! Boss, but I have a similar tee-shirt and I acquired it at Ksh 1, 200! How comes you people are such cheap?”
“Usijali, hii ni biz buda,” he reaffirms.
“Naelewa, do you really make enough profits?”
“Why not! I have done this business since I was a fresher bana.”
“Interesting, why did you just decide to sell second hand clothes and not anything else?” I ask.
“The urge to be self-independent. Also because I saw that hustling after finishing campo would be tough for me. You get me?”
“Yea, I get you, and why did you just choose this particular biz – as you call it?”
“Oooh, I had bigger dreams but I couldn’t raise enough capital to start them.”
“Oh! So the issue is capital?”
“Exactly,” He affirms.
“So does your girlfriend ever find it hard to introduce you as her boyfriend before her friends, now that everyone knows you as that guy who sells mtumba over there?”
“Hahahaha, ati that guy who does what? Hehe, I currently have no girlfriend. But I’ll consider getting one maybe three years later. By then, the fashion boutique that I opened in Nairobi along Muindi Mbingu Street will have thrived. I will no longer be referred to as that guy who sells mtumba over there as you put it. By the way, I now pay my school fees and send some money back home every month. And I don’t bother anybody for pocket money.”
Our conversation is rudely interrupted by Compaq –my boy, who trudges in with something that looks like a packet of wheat flour on his head. After a keen look at him, I realize he’s carrying a packet of Jogoo maize flour on his head. I want to burst out laughing, and at the same time want to wail when I spot the jogoo flour on my boy’s head. He’s a grownup and I don’t expect to see the unga on his head. Secondly, I don’t remember sending him to collect flour, neither have I ever sent him to fetch any kind of flour since we started sharing a room. I however assume that maybe some other comrade has urgently commanded him to drop the jogoo thing in his room before he goes back to the shops to get the milk I requested for. So I chill and again steal a gaze at that guy who sells mtumba over there as girls call him.
“By the way that roommate of yours told me you write, hope you are not planning to write this bullshit about me!”
“No damn it! Do writers dress the way I’m dressed? Have you ever seen a writer in green akala sandals?”
Compaq interrupts again. I realize that jogoo maize floor is meant for us when Compaq makes for our room.
“Wee Compaq! Where is the milk I sent you?” I rant.
He removes his tongue the way dogs do when they are taking water and says he thought that’s what I sent him to buy.
“And where is my balance?”
“Oh! I didn’t even ask for it.”
That’s how it dawns on you, and how you get to learn that your Compaq has developed memory failure. He can’t remember the simplest things (equate that to when a laptop develops a memory failure – that it becomes unable to save your typed works and other files).
When Friday hoots its way in, Compaq now completely fails to sustain himself for more than two minutes. Life runs out of him as soon as you boot him up. You struggle with him the whole day but all your efforts to keep him alive for more than five minutes hit a metallic wall. No fruits. He shuts down as soon as you switch him on.
The next morning (Saturday) you resolve to take him to an IT guy so he can check him and fix all faults in him. You sit your Compaq on the table in front of the IT chap and explain how he has been epileptic since yesterday – how he shuts down as soon as he boots up. After your description, you now switch your Compaq on, and sit there with the IT guy staring at Compaq and expecting him to go off by himself but he disobeys you. You wait and wait and wait and wait for him to shut down. He doesn’t. Two days later, you are still waiting.