“I am a poet!!”. That is what I told my friend last night when she asked me to write this prose piece about my current elevated heart rate. No, I am not suffering from HBP. Never have, thank God. Even when I was ultra “Fluffy”. You see the cause of all this hullabaloo is a girl. Who knows not my existence or my name. Ok, maybe my name. My pen name. But I will tell you about that in a moment. I am essentially a poet. I like rhythm and the ups and downs a poem goes through. I can feel the music in a piece. Know whether it should be a Hip Hop or Rock song were it ever to be used as so. Another thing is as a poet I don’t have to feel all naked to the whole world. I can hide within my persona. Say something means something different. Also, partly, us poets look down on prose writers. Hehe don’t burn me at the stake. We inherently believe that ours is a superior art form. Why, I don’t know. Anyway, this was one of the few reasons for the strong refusal to write a creative piece especially one that is factual, in prose form. In the end Shiku won. First I would like to thank her for listening in the first place. Though I had/have to part with 2 burgers (What this woman won’t do for food). She is lucky she has the “burn calories like rubber” gene that one. But I digress. So Shiku agrees to listen to my love (more of a crush) woes in exchange for 2 burgers and tonnes of eye rolling and those silly tear-filled Whatsapp laughter smileys. By the end of it all I have typed over a thousand words (my estimation skills are really bad). I have like a hundred typos. Courtesy of typing on a touch screen phone. This I will never get used to. I miss my Nokia E6-00. Yes, I am that ancient. It is then that she suggests I make it a blog post hence why we are here.
This story needs a simple back story. I am picky as hell. Ok, hell isn’t so segregative maybe heaven. But in my entire life I have had 3 real relationships. There is a 4th one I don’t count because it was forced on me. That trick girls pull of telling all their friends you are the one before you even kiss her? So you have to become the boyfriend to avoid looking like an asshole to a bunch of people you have known for less than 24 hours? Well, never falling for that again. Let me be labelled an asshole but life is too short. I have a friend, Neema, who has worked in a morgue and is the proud author of the Morgue Chronicles. She drilled into me (Zosi would shout “phrasing” at this point) the fact that you get easily replaced when you die way before EABL had that idea (Awesome Ad by the way). You will notice how easily I get off topic. I am such a scatter brain and possess the attention span of the offspring of Dory from Finding Nemo and Chowder.
You will therefore forgive me for all the comments in parentheses. But that is just how my thought process is. So back to being picky. My 3 relationships. No breakup is easy. Last one was harsher than all. So I kind of gave up on love blah blah. But that is not what the post is about.
This post is about poetry, crushing and She. We shall call her Celesste (Don’t mind the spelling 🙂 ). I started writing poetry at the age of 14 in Form 2. That was almost 13 years ago. Yes, do the quick math of my age. Anyway, my poetry writing teenage self was motivated by a crush at the school across (We actually used to call it Across, Ax for short). This was the famous Alliance Girls high School. She was a class behind in Form 1. So the crush, had all the Shakespearean poetry I had read in an Encyclopaedia Britannica by the age of 12 come crashing down around me. I wrote and I wrote on some old exercise book. My love poetry is too strong. It has so much hopeless romanticism in it, it would have the strongest of girls running for the hills. I told Shiku that last night when she proposed I tag this new damsel in the poetry I have written for her (You can find the 3 poems here, hapa and ici). I however don’t know how I knew that then but that Form 1 girl never got to read the odes dedicated to her chocolate skin or her eyelashes and body in a maroon uniform. When her name was mentioned I used to lose my appetite. It was no better that my friends started calling me by her name. It’s no wonder I grew so thin (I have proof, I look like I will keel over before my next meal). Lack of appetite, hot ears, cold sweats and a sweet throbbing headache were just some of the symptoms of liking or maybe over-liking a girl for me. I thought it would always be like this. It is a sweet sickening feeling (like the smell of Dinitrogen monoxide, wooii I am such a geek) that you hate the fact that you love it. But that was not to be ever again for 12 years till 5 days ago. My thoughts are now re-grouping and I think I finally get why my boss calls me 106.5 FM (I will explain that on another post if this prose thing works out). Let me introduce you to Celesste.
The following events take place between 1900h on Saturday 2nd May 2014 to 0000h on Sunday 3rd May 2014. I had just arrived for the BAKE Awards at the Intercon (Thanks so much for this Ray, without you, I would not have known of BAKE, registration or obtained a ticket. You are God-sent. Add that to getting to lay eyes on this Celesstial-my spelling- creature). This was my first time. I had not been so willing to attend because sometimes I enjoy my company and my inside jokes (The Divine and Bandit are an awesome comedic duo). However I had to show up for this one. My friends Owaahh and Liz Lenjo Kagz were on the list of nominees and I would never be anything less than supportive. For Owaahh mostly was to make sure the plagiarists(
not Ghafla) did not win or something like that. For Liz, it was finally about getting a sit down with a friend/sister I had known for over 9 years but barely got to meet ever so often. So we get there at 7 PM with Zo and she leaves me alone to go change into her awesome boots (Seen here). That meant I got to choose where we were to sit as we waited for the rest of Sanaa Book Club members (We call them InSanaaNites and we have a Facebook Closed Group, Twitter account and a WordPress blog) to arrive. Being my first time, I was overly eager to see what happens so I chose the second row, center, right in front of the dais. I am barely paying attention to the room by then because:
1: I have over 4 Whatsapp groups active and I don’t want my messages to pile up
2: Despite not being shy, my eyes really are. I have the notion that you might learn all I am thinking by looking into them and so they avoid other eyes unless when they want the person to really know I mean what I am saying.
However soon enough due to the constantly ON Internet activity, my phone soon beeps at 15% power. So I switch off data, engage power saving and pocket it. Then for lack of something better to do I start admiring the decor and looking around for anyone I might know. I have enough writer friends. But before I could find one I knew, that’s when I saw her. Seated on my extreme certain direction (Yes because right or left will reveal her identity) was the most beautiful person I had seen in live form (3D anyone? No? OK ).
As in really, I am not exaggerating, that was and is still my perception. I understand that people see things differently so leave me alone and my opinion. She was busy talking with the lady she was sitting with and so I had no way to catch her eye. I added that to the night’s checklist though. I had no idea who she was. My mind tells me celebrity, socialite, radio presenter etc. No prejudice or negativity but I ain’t got time to chase around that kind of woman. They have their kind of men. To each his own.
It is later in the night. She has eluded my no longer shy eyes till now. Then a certain blog wins a certain award and she stands and walks to the dais. Yes, right by my strategic sitting space. Oh madonna mia!!………………………………………………………..That was how long JP and I had our jaws on the floor. Zo now practically hates us. As in really, 2 guys who were supposed to be her dates. Owaahh is looking down. Pretending to pray (the atheist he is or is it agnostic?). He knows there are eyes boring a hole in his Megamind (Not a joke on the size of his head but his mind, really he is a genius… 🙂 ) daring him to look up and make a comment. Oh the intricacies of this book club. That has never discussed a single book to date I dare say. All we do is drink and give each other writing ideas and also get each other jobs. So all in all it works.
Celesste looked amazing. Yes, I now knew her name. She was given a chance to say thanks and her voice had me singing “Alouette” by Gilles Dreu in my faux catatonic state. When she walked away to go back to her seat. I swear, this Carlos Santana and Chad Kroeger verse played:
Like a gift from the heavens, it was easy to tell
It was love from above that could save me from hell
She had fire in her soul it was easy to see
How the devil himself could be pulled out of me
She sat back down and my eye game continued. She finally looked at me and smiled (This account might be fictitious, she could have been smiling at a bulb for all I care). I was in a different world by then. I got totally wasted on her (Phrasing!! hehe Zo). I mean I was drunk on her. Ok, is there a better way to say this? I was feeling drunk the rest of the night from the experience of having seen her. There!! Anyway, time moved slow and time moved fast (This sounds like the Charles Dickens’ “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” phrase). The night was over, she had won. People ganged around her. Taking photos, saying congratulations etc. There was no way I was going to walk over and say hi to her in all that melee. Hold up before you judge me for being timid. There is one thing guys are afraid of when approaching a girl. Not the lady, not the rejection, no. It is the rejection in front of people who know you especially silly, blogger type Sanaa (yes that is the short form of the club not SBC) people who would not let you hear the end of it. So I hoped for a chance alone that never came. We walked out of The Intercontinental at the same time. Of course with my “entourage” giggling at my torment.
Fast forward to this week. I have found myself reading a blog that is not so manly in this century. I have written 3 poems about her but not to her. My ears still burn hot, my appetite goes away and I break into a cold sweat when my best friend who for some reason we work together with calls me Messi (that is not his spelling). He spells his as Messy, a play at the first poem I wrote about her “I am a MESS”. I have hope that she might know of my existence one day. For what is life without hope? The hope to wake up tomorrow. The hope to get promoted. The hope to get some supper. The hope to get some 😀 . The hope to live to see another day. All I can do for now is exist in this state. Write out all I feel and maybe kill it like I once did in form 2. But I know it will not be easy. It took 3 years then. I wonder at this stage in life how long it will take.
This is not sexual attraction, not a kind of love. No, it is a crazy need to know her, hear her speak again, exist in her interpersonal space and show her the crazy levels she has taken me to. All this might never be. But as I told my insomniac partner last night. It really does not matter (Though even if she does not fall for me she might still fall for my hair, hers is longer than mine hence no jealousy like I have faced before).
She has done wonders just by her existence. Because of her I have regained some discipline and self-control I had long-lost in campus. I am back to working out at 6 AM. I am back to doing the few karate katas I learnt in high school. I am not taking sugar anymore. I am writing a post at least every week. And most importantly she has rekindled that hopeless romantic, belief in soul-mates that I had lost. It does not have to be her. All that matters is that if she could make me go nuts as I have now. Then in the future someone else would too. So for now I say thank you Celesste.
This is The Divine Bandit writing on behalf of Edwin Mukabi. 🙂