Tuesday, September 22, 2009

When A Man Loves Auma

‘I wonder how she would look naked’ was the first thought that crossed my mind when I first set my eyes on her. She had just dropped her cell-phone and she bend over hurriedly to pick it leaving my innocent eyes with no choice but to look at her heart shaped derriere.

If they say men think 50,000 thoughts a day, there was no way any of the other 49,999 thoughts would top the thought that I just had after that incident in the hotel restaurant. Some women put the danger in the word dangerous.

I was in Kisumu for a few days and was seething at the treatment I had received during the last three hours. The plane that I had booked had tried to bump me off after some more prominent Kenyans felt they deserved to be on the plane as they were expected by their constituents during the funeral rituals that they seemingly must attend each weekend.

No perfect imagery was necessary for the telling fact that the people we elected are more prominent when they come to bury us. There must be something we aren’t doing right!

I had checked into the hotel only to learn that they weren’t spared the electricity rationing that was still ongoing in this land. My laptop battery was as flat as my intern’s chest it gets and that meant that any last minute additions to my pilot script of the TV series were going to be on hold.

I had gone over to the restaurant and was sipping the rather horrid tasting strawberry iced tea on the account of the hot sun and engaging in flirtexting when my activity was interrupted by the curvaceous work-of-art woman. I wished my textual conversation had such an effect on a woman; making her phone drop in shock.

As she got back into a homo-erectus position, she, who had just been in a hum-dinger position glanced around with a half-smile playing on her face. If those Kenya Power and Lighting Company people had an iota of seriousness, they would tap all that brightness from that smile and generate enough electricity to make me charge my battery.

She walked over to the counter at the entry of the restaurant, let a few words elope from her mouth to the waiters ear -and only the waiters ear- and then pulled out a piece of paper from her bag and handed the piece of paper to the waiter. She pointed at her glittery watch and then she caused her hips to sashay out.

Interesting. There was need to waste a few more thoughts about the contents of the piece of paper but the iced tea tasted even worse and I decided to push it away. There was a newspaper at the table and I decided to while away my non-electric time.

Unfortunately, the newspapers continue to carry the same inane stories about the political circus.

‘What sort of name is Smokin?’ I thought to myself as the left side of my brain went: Guess the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission is now a ‘No Smokin Zone’!

I may have been engrossed in one or two more stories because when I looked up, there seemed to be some darkness creeping into the room. I tossed the newspaper back and it went over the table and landed at the feet of some guy who was walking in.

‘Hii stima inarudi saa ngapi!’ he thundered at the counter in quite an animated voice.

I had been asking myself the same question and I thought it wise to voice that fact.

“Alloys,” he said and offered his hand.

I often don’t press the flesh because it it so politician-like but in this case, I thought about the hand sanitizer up in the room and I said, what the heck. I also introduced myself.

“Good to meet you brother,” he said and shouted at the waiter to come over. Before long, some beer bottles introduced themselves to our table.

Before much longer, politics wormed its way into the conversation. Alloys was complaining how the crass ‘political class’ was playing with our lives. Apparently, he informed me that there was no consensus on the constitution that was being written.

“Recently, the Experts were at the Coast with political parties and they couldn’t even agree on whether Miguna and Kivutha should be part of the process. Who are those two anyways?”

Come on.

“They are the Principal’s Advisers on Constitutional Affairs!” I said.

Alloys didn’t even miss a beat.

“All the affairs that I have had are constitutional!”

Inevitably, the conversation entered the sphere of legality or otherwise of affairs. Alloys said that he was married but he was in town to spend time with a girlfriend. He let out a rich laugh and ordered another beer.

“It doesn’t bother you?” I asked.

You could discern that he was least bothered. And he went on to boast how he could never live in a country like Uganda that had tried to tinker with laws forbidding adultery.

“When I was in the States, I tried out the services offered under the website Ashley Madison. That kind of an open society pleases me! But it was expensive!”

I had come across the website after reading an Intellectual Property Law magazine that discussed their slogan: LIFE IS SHORT. HAVE AN AFFAIR.

Hmmm. Hmmm? Hmmm.

This was one to keep. I don’t know how to say this in a PC kind of way, but Alloys had the words ‘Potential Client’ written all over him. What next? Life is short, kill your rich dad?

“Auma is the name of the woman that I came here to see,” he said. “Well, not really to see, but to... you know…”

Life is short. Finish your sentences.

“I met her at a seminar,” he continued. “It was perhaps purely accidental but those who say a human can visually undress another and thereby make imaginary love at first sight were onto something that only Wet Wet Wet could surmise. I felt in my fingers, felt it in my toes and if she hadn’t quickly looked up, the feeling in my shorts would have grown”.

Tell me about it. I almost had one of those when I got where we were, I silently thought.

“It is…” I started but was brought to a halt when the lights came back on and there was a collective yelp from everybody in the place.

“My brother,” Alloys said. “This is going to be a lovely night. You know, in my community, you don’t eat in the dark. If you know what I mean!” and he laughed.

I think I should get going so that I can charge my laptop,” I told him. I also really just wanted to get out of the scenery and take a shower.

“Hey Waiter!” Alloys shouted. “Bring me the room keys from the reception!”

The waiter asked him what room number he was booked into and he said it was 409.

Strange, I was in 410.

“Did you say 409?” the waiter asked. “I think there is a lady who left a message for you at the Counter”.

Strange, I saw a lady leave a message at the counter.

“And you idiots didn’t tell me!” Alloys frowned and asked for his message to be brought. His face looked mid thirtyish and he had some furrows across his forehead that multiplied when he frowned.

The frown dissolved into a smile as he read the message.

“She was here!” he announced and frantically reached for his cell phone. There was boyish excitement as he informed the party who picked the phone on the other end that he was at the hotel. “OK, I will see you shortly.”

Strange, some people call me OK.

We walked up to the rooms and I wished him a shagadelic night.

I had barely opened my suitcase when I heard a knock at the door.

I hadn’t ordered any room service. But that puzzle was to end as soon as opened the door to find Alloys standing there.

“Hey brother… do you have some merchandise?” he asked me.


“I mean, condoms. I don’t want to rush to the supermarket now! You never know, these fellows could have stocked the Hot Contempo range!”

I didn’t have any merchandise.

“Oh damn”, he said and threw his hands in the air. “I have to go!”

I plugged the laptop and switched on the television and started channel surfing. There were the usual boring stories on the NEWS and a few uninteresting series going on. My new TV series had to be better than these series, Thought Number 49,800 for the day or somewhere close registered on my mind.

I then dialed for room service and placed my order after I finished my shower.

I may have dozed off because the next thing I heard was pounding on my door.

“Heeey,” I remarked and went over to open the door with my lips ready to utter the words: ‘Why did it take you so long’ to the Room Service chap.

Only it was not Room Service. It was Alloys! Naked! Well, almost naked, since he was wearing merchandise.

“Help me, please” he said. “Auma… she is not breathing!”


I followed him to his room and there lying naked on the bed was the same woman I had seen in the restaurant. Boy oh boy. Turned out that she had started breathing fast as Alloys touched and caressed her and he thought it was the usual excitement associated with love-making but when she went quiet then limp, it occurred to him that she was having some seizure. It was as if the lady of our dreams had misread the tagline to LIFE IS SHORT. HAVE AN ATTACK.

A panic-stricken Alloys had tried to revive her before running out to call for help.

It is a pity. Nobody teaches us what to do when someone on top of or under you suffers an epileptic fit or asthmatic attack.

It was also a lesson for me. Be careful what you wish for!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

More Than A Woman

‘You are the most confused brilliant person I have ever met!’ Pastor Wako stated as he looked into my soul. It was easily the second best compliment of my life.

If you are a Wonder Woman (or a Wonder Man) and you read that and wondered what the best compliment of my life was, I will have you know that this was when I was at Club Sikiliza and a man approached straight me and said: You have lips I would love to kiss.

But let us not lose focus here. I was involved in some Divorce Proceedings and had invited the good Pastor to the meeting where the couple needed to salvage what was left of their marriage.

I had mentioned to the couple that to my mind, marriage is unnatural. The thought of someone leaving his family and going to live with a total stranger from another family and sharing with such stranger basic amenities and recreational facilities like a bed would creep even the most non-feeling of humans.

‘Marriage is a long-time conspiracy between religion and the state to simply maintain social order, enforce responsibility and sort out long winded inheritance issues,’ I stated as the wide eyed Pastor Wako looked on.

‘Go on’, the Pastor stated as he sipped his Jesus Juice turning his rather holier-than-thou attention from the estranged hornier-than-thou couple to me.

‘Religion rams it down our throats us that for a man and woman to start living together, they have to seek blessings from Deity. This is so much that some people think those who live together are in a doomed relationship. A sinful relationship’.

The Pastor laughed.

‘The state, with its obsession with documentation and title dishes out a piece of paper as some sort of ‘legalization’ of nuptials. If you ask me, there has been a form of ‘marriage’ between the religious canons and the state’s laws on relationships which is probably the most scandalous marriages of them all!’

‘Our Kid, you are a typical Divorce Lawyer’, the Pastor stated.

Some people think that Divorce Lawyers are the scum of the scum, but obviously, such people forget that there would be no Divorce Lawyers if there was no marriage.

Most people live Soap Opera-ish lives and there is no greater testimony to this than when a client walks in and after you have disarmed them (am not talking guns here!) they start dishing it out on their marital woes.

One of the things I always ask for when a client asks me to commence dissolution of marriage proceedings is the wedding DVD.

And this particular case had been no different. When the lady client Mary called my office sobbing on the phone line, my usual protective secretary who screens all calls crumbled at the sobs on the other side.

‘I will see you’, I told Mary and gave her a three o’clock appointment.

When she walked into my office, her pregnancy was visible.

‘ODM!’ I found myself muffling when my visual acuity reported to my brain that she was indeed with child. Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t paid any membership to a political party, it is just my usual way of using three initials to say ‘Oh dear me!’

‘Hi. I heard you are one of the best Divorce Lawyers in town’, she said as I ushered her to the seat.

‘It would be more of a compliment to me if I was considered the worst!’ I said and instantly liked her short laugh. If a woman can control the way she laughs, she can stop talking when you don’t want her to yap.

She got straight to the point.

‘I would like to end our marriage.’

Another good sign. She didn’t say ‘my marriage’ as most clients often did.

‘What is your husband’s name?’ I asked.

‘Joseph’ she replied.

Please don’t tell me the two of you had planned on calling the unborn one Jesus, I silently thought as it hit me that I hadn’t seen too many Mary-Joseph relationships.

‘How long have you known each other?’ I prodded.

‘We have been married three years but we have known each other for five,’ she said.

She went on to tell me about their early days and poignantly told me about the ‘romance of my life’ as she called it. She agreed to send me the wedding DVD.

‘What has happened that had necessitated your seeking the option of dissolution of marriage?’ I asked.

I avoid using the ‘divorce’ word because it really connotes negative feelings in people. Like most unpleasant human events, I think a euphemism would do. If you don’t think so, well, you are free to call it the ‘death’ of a marriage.

‘Joseph is … he has been … adulterous,’ she said.

She proceeded to give me the low down on her husband’s affair.

‘I would like to talk to your husband,’ I said.

As it turned out she had no objection and he had no objection. In fact, he had been shocked to discover that she was at my office initiating the process of divorce.

I also viewed the wedding DVD which she sent to me the following day. It was in this recording that that is where I saw Pastor Wako who was the celebrant of the wedding.

Mary was right. Joseph could be the ‘romance of my life’ for any lady. It was a truly Cinderella wedding that had me observing them both as they took their vows. Which was truly a memorable scene.

Pastor Wako was posing the question: Wilt thou Joseph, take this woman, in the Holy Estate of Matrimony…’

Joseph interrupted him.

‘This woman?’ Joseph thundered.

The Pastor was thrown off the senses and as he later told, this for the first time in his rendition of vows that he had ever been interrupted.

‘She is my love. She is my life. She is… a combination of both. She is the love of my life. She is more than a woman to me. She is more than a woman.’

Mary looked on lovingly. Hmmm. As I watched that DVD, I actually thanked small mercies that Joseph didn’t say those words during this era of Caster Semenya. I wouldn’t trust any woman whose names begins with the word ‘semen’ or indeed whose name if you re-arranged it gives you ‘A secret man? Yes!’

The Pastor had re-posed the vows: Wilt thou Joseph, take this love of your life, in the Holy Estate of Matrimony, to be thy wedded wife? To continue loving her, to comfort her, to honour her and to keep her, in sickness and health and forsaking aaaaaaaaaall others, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?’

Joseph said the words ‘I will’ about six times and was only stopped by the Pastor who had told him that they were not going to be there the whole day.

Sometimes I think I have the best job on earth, being a voyeur of marriage life.

When I spoke to Joseph, he didn’t want to end the marriage. He admitted to me that he had cheated on Mary and appeared remorseful about it. Most men I spoke to went ahead to justify why they cheated but he didn’t. He didn’t pull that ‘monogamy is monotony’ line nor the ‘I believe in monogamy with adultery’ line but he told me it was hard to stay faithful.

‘Dude... you said SIX times during your wedding that you will be faithful!’ I reminded him.

‘You attended our wedding?’

‘No’, I told him. ‘I watched video evidence of the wedding’.

This ceremony called ‘the wedding’. Truest celebration of optimism that I have ever seen. A sickening intention to endorse our dreams. Throw in the commercialization that has set in and you need a puke break. I only watch Nonny Gathoni on Sunday at 6pm for potential clients. Like Mary and Joseph.

Joseph agreed to have a joint session with Mary and when I spoke to my client, she was inclined to have them discuss this issue as long as they came out clearly and said what they wanted to say. The Pastor was more than willing to accommodate them and we had a meeting just the four of us where I decided to say a few words about marriage too.

Difficult questions were posed. Did he sleep with that third party? How many times? Did he use protection? Questions that most people never pose because in the context of relationships, people never want to find out. Questions that in the courtship period people never want to find out.

The Pastor was with me on that one. Before marriage, he has asked his wife what would happen if she ever found him in a compromising situation. Would that be the end of the relationship? She had said it wouldn’t but he had nevertheless never strayed despite the temptations. For a man who proposed by telling her ‘Nataka niwe Wako’ when he was already named Wako, it must have been tough asking those questions before getting into that estate.

Joseph stated he was willing to work on his marriage. He wanted Mary to continue being more than a woman to him. He wanted her to be a mother to their child, a lover, a professional career woman. He wanted his marriage to remain undissolved.


‘Well I say marriage is unnatural,’ I continued my ranting, ‘It is just a lottery. It is civilized gambling and betting. But there are no other options, perhaps. Marriage is a desirable evil.”

Mary and Joseph laughed. His hands were on her tummy stroking it gently. It was as if he was doing it just for kicks.

‘So in your view, is faithfulness important in this desirable evil of marriage?’ the Pastor asked.

‘Faithfulness is just one of the components of marriage. That is why adultery is just one of the four grounds that one can use in dissolution of marriage. The most important thing is respect.’

‘Respect?’ Pastor asked.

‘Yes. Respect. Some form of adultery is obviously disrespectful… like the guy who brought his girlfriend home and told his wife to sleep on the sofa of the one roomed house.’

‘What?’ Mary said.

‘Yes he did. The wife poured hot water on them whilst they were in bed. Now that was disrespectful. Joseph said he used protection with the third party. That was not disrespectful cheating. But you need to be more than a man to survive a marriage.’

Joseph was very apologetic and Mary said she was willing to work on their marriage.

We ended the meet with a prayer from the Pastor. The Pastor gave me a card and has invited me to speak to couples at his church. I told him I would consider it but I think the clincher came when the next day I received a text from Mary.

You were right. You are the worst Divorce Lawyer in town