Thursday, 29 August 2013

One woman too late



I am sitting at the bar, waiting for a friend who told me she was “at the roundabout” an hour ago.  Nothing much is happening.  Two men sitting to my left.  They are eating crisps dipped in avocadoes smashed with tomatoes and chilies.  Talking about internet marketing.  They each have Coronas in front of them.  I do not understand that beer.  On my right, a fifty-something old man, showing the pictures on his phone to his, female “working class” twenty-something year old date.  I wonder about them for a bit. Wonder what kind of pictures.  Nothing else concrete.  Just wondering without actually thinking.  Thoughts that never quite form in the head kind of wondering.

Across the room – two white men sitting face to face across a small low table.  One pudgy.  The other sleek.  They take turns to go to the bar to buy themselves one beer at a time.  Strange.  It’s not a self service bar.  Maybe they like chatting to the bartender.  She is a nice looking gal.  With a mohawk and dark horny rimmed spectacles.  Awesome combination. 
The men on the left are joined by a third.  No space for him – so they all move to the couches just behind me.  Two Indian men join the bar.  Carrying big fat brown cigars.  

They are sitting where the fifty twenty duo were sitting earlier. The duo must have left when I was reading the drinks list painted on the wall just near me.  Strangely named drinks these.  I don’t know any of them apart from Long Island Tea.  That one strikes a chord in me.  Four deep repulsive chords.  I once had four of those island teas.  Correction - three and a half of them.  I cannot remember the other half.  The next day was agony.  Self inflicted long island agony.

Neve walks in.  She is the friend I have been waiting for.  With her is Jenny.  Jenny’s her friend from school.  They went to school “in abroad” long ago.  Jenny stayed abroad, but Neve came back home.  As the evening progresses I find out that Jenny has a number of kids, is single and is doing well financially, spiritually and morally.  Financially, it is obvious – she has just bought herself a top end car.  Spiritually – she has it down pat too.  She has just shopped for some nice African print wear for church and the pastor at her church knows her.  Morally - it all depends on your perspective.  Live and let live is her philosophy.  People should enjoy their lives.  Who is she to judge if God does not judge.

Right now Jenny is not happy.  She has been waiting for Neve for three hours.  She is hungry.  She still has yesterday’s hangover crowding out her brains.  She was supposed to have seen her mum. She was supposed to have shopped for safariboots and bata bullets. She was supposed to have bought some nyama for the chapatti and kunde being cooked right now at the house she is staying.  She is staying at a friend’s house.  The friend is not there, though a niece of the friend is.  The niece was with her yesterday incurring today’s hangover.  

Jenny could not eat whilst waiting for Neve.  She is couth like that.  You wait for your date and you eat together.  Neve has no apologies to make. “You know I have always been late. You cannot expect me to have changed.  These people from London!  When they come they expect to be handled with care!”
Neve has hit off a conversation with the cigar men to her right.  Types and tastes of cigars, individual business interests.  

Neve has spotted a man.  A very tall finely muscled handsome man with a nice buttock.  Ohh the buttock. She spotted the buttock when he walked past on his way to the gents.  She followed him and bumped into him accidentally deliberately.  I'm so sorry. Who knows what else she told him, but right now she cannot keep her eyes off him.  Her unbridled interest is embarrassing to behold.  I turn discretely and look at him.  Turns out he is the Corona eater who was earlier sitting to my left.  I had not noticed anything special about him. Still don't actually.  She wants me to call him.  Chat to him and get him into conversation with her.

Me who?  Yes me.  Never ever.

Jenny has no qualms.  Excuse me.  Yes you.  A moment please.  Can I please talk to you for a moment.  Thanks.  My name is Jenny. How long are you going to be here for?  We need to step out for a while.  I'm from in abroad.  I need to get some Kenyan food. My friend here was wondering if you would still be around when we got back.  She really would like to talk to you.

Corona;  I am not staying for long.  Just another half an hour.  

Jenny; Then could she talk to you right now.  

Corona man; Uhm, my wife is coming to join me just now.

Jenny; Really?  Good try, but we are Kenyan women and can see through that.  Where you from?  How long have you been here?  Your wife – where is she from?

Corona; I am from abroad.  I have been here for a year.  My wife is Kenyan.  I met her here and we got married.

Jenny;  All in one year?

Jenny turning to Neve;  Sorry gal, you are just one woman too late.


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