Leftover

I had a short piece published in the Kwani 08 election issue. I had not expected it to get published. It was to be a much longer piece. But I stopped writing it at some point. It bored me. I asked myself “Why am I writing this?” I had sent in what appears in the 08 issue a couple of weeks before. I thought it would be trashed as I didn’t think it was good. Was surprised it came out. Below is what was leftover and unsubmitted. I stopped at this point.

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Sunday, 3nd March 2013

9:45am – A housefly lives and dies within a hundred metres radius of where it is born. I have lived in Westlands Constituency all my life. All the generations of houseflies I ever saw since I was a small kid grew up with me. The Musca Domestica. Back in the mid 1980’s, the boundary for the four runs was the 3rd Parklands Avenue road, and, waiting for the hardball to be fetched from the road, I would try and put to sword with my cricket bat a naughty housefly. In standard six, on a field trip at the City Park, I saw a dead monkey with a nasty cut on its stomach, and there were hundreds of houseflies all sitting around the open wound, sucking offal juice. I am always wary of drinking the sugarcane juice at Diamond Plaza because the houseflies swarm over the sweet juicy stems. They hang around the cane crushing machine. But I drink it anyway. I am on the bridge over Waiyaki Way and it is my intention today to explore my homeground the day before elections. Because I don’t think I am really Kenyan. I am not Kisumu or Mombasa or Garissa, I know nothing about those places. I am not even Nairobi because I know nothing about Mathare or Roy Sambu. I know only my few hundred metres radius. I am a Westlandsian.

9:52am – There is the Esther Passaris billboard at the Sarit roundabout. She has put on too much lipstick, maybe because she wants to hide her smile. She looks bitter behind that smile. Her eyes see everyone looking at her and she seems to hates it. She looks like the kind of woman who would be very difficult to live with. An ugly billboard.

9:53am – On Sunday’s you don’t look for life in Westlands on its streets. The roads only have the cars. All the life is hiding inside the malls.

10:09am – And, because it is a Sunday, it’s still early. But they are trickling in. Young couples coming in for breakfast at Java. Young black men dressed casually in shorts, t-shirts and slippers or baggy cotton warmers, t-shirts and sandals or blue jeans, t-shirts and sneakers. And all the black women looking fresh like strawberries. Like Saturday night never happened. Looking calm and happy. Young brown men, the Indians, dressed in shorts and displaying their hairy legs. Legs looking like some kind of loofah. Fibrous. Young middle aged brown women coming in with their kids. The brown kids eating pancakes, licking the maple syrup off their lips, watching their mothers talking with other mothers.

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