Raindrops in a Bucket.

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She looked up. The clouds had started in from the East, dark and heavy, silently crawling up the length of the sky heading West. She wasn’t sure it would all fall, but some of it was definitely getting off here. The tall grass had been browning, on the verge of breaking clean off at the middle before it rained last night.

” Chum, grab the other end. Let’s get the table back inside,” she called to her younger sister. Rain bugs littered the area outside the front door. They’d been swept from behind the sofas by the hundreds, wingless, half dead. Strange how some things are born to die.

The air was crisp but she was in a long light dress, nothing underneath and a beanie hat on her head. Chum was sitting on the edge of the door. The light was fading.

” Mum knows we don’t have tomatoes or charcoal for the jiko?” the elder asked.

“I told her,”

” Did she give you money for them?”

” Not yet”

” What are you waiting for, go ask her,’ this was said as she went herself.

Her mother sat on her bed, traditional music playing from the phone in her hand.

” Mum, we need money for tomatoes and charcoal,”

” I already told Chum to come for it”

The girl walked across the room to the green vanity table that held her mother’s purse and opened it. She found the bill she needed, took it and left.

Soft drops of water hitting the roof and the cemented ground drew her attention, but she grabbed for a broom and quickly swept up the stray bug wings that had fallen into the dining room. Chum went up the stairs and turned right to their rooms to grab a couple of jackets. When she returned, her elder had finished and had gone to put aside a mop and bucket. They meet at the door. She gave her a pink jacket in one hand, and her phone and the money in the other. She didn’t think about it, simply slipped on the jacket and shoved her phone in one of the pockets. The drops were heavier now, and numerous. Chum pressed the button on the umbrella’s handle and it opened up. They walked to the gate and she stepped out first while Chum angled herself out. They set a brisk pace.

At the fork ahead, a group of boys were standing around talking in the rain, among them was their helper boy, but he started back for the house as they drew closer.

“There is no rain,” he said, as they passed one other.

” Speak for yourself,”

The two took the right. Their umbrella shifted upwards in her hand as the wind dug in. So she tilted it to the ground, moving forward like a soldier in battle. The road was darker because of the weather, but most of the houses had their gate lights on so they could see where they were going. A few people were about, probably being chased in now by the rain, and the black soil under their feet was starting to grab hold. The shop appears to their right. Chum spotted carrots in the dim lights and sighed. She went ahead then stopped under the aluminum extension of the ramshackle box-like shelter and started choosing tomatoes. Her sister stood a couple of feet away and took out her phone, Chum’s voice and the soft sound of gentle rain in the back of her head . A few minutes pass then she turns to her.

“Hand me the note, please,’

“What?”

“I need to pay,”

She stared at Chum, her mouth a little open.

“Wha…?” she breathed, “don’t you have it?”

She was already feeling her pockets. There was nothing there. She stared a little more.

What the hell…she wondered, her head going over the recent events. Yes. She was in fact given the money, when Chum gave her her phone. So why does she only have her phone? Where was the money?

“I gave you it together with your phone, remember?”

She hadn’t touched her pockets since they left the house. How could she have lost it? She turned in circles where she stood, staring holes into the ground. Then she looked up at chum. The shopkeep was also looking at her now, the bag of vegetables near his hand.

“We need to pay”

“I’ll pay via phone,”

And she did, in a state of utter shock, as her mind fought to process what the hell just happened. Immediately after, they bent down, started worrying at the ground, poking and moving objects as they retreated from the shop.

” This is the one thing that hasn’t happened to me in a long time. I can’t remember when last I lost money. I feel like I’ve just been blindsided. How did this even happen?”

By this time they had their phone lights on, both of them darting eyeballs all over the path trying to spot something rectangular and brown. Everyone they passed seemed to just be pocketing something. As they turned the corner to their house, she was in a state of ironic disbelief. It was really dark, after seven pm and the rainy weather wasn’t helping her, and, hopefully, anyone else, see. The last stretch to the gate revealed only dirt, grass and stray cat. No lost notes. She wanted to laugh and cry at the same time.

Perhaps it hadn’t even made it out the compound. Maybe it fell out when she put on the coat. Then she immediately recalled watching the helper boy walk into the compound behind them and groaned inside. It was gone. It was likely already gone.

How did it happen?

The rain drops were loud as they landed in the mop bucket, splashing out the brown water inside. So distinct from the gentle taps on the concrete ground.

And How did she not notice?

Of Highways and English Debutantes

That blinding flash of light that chases the life out of you.

A horn blared right into her ear as she went to cross the highway that ran at the northern boundaries of the small town. She stepped back fast onto the curb, her heart and secured her books against her chest as the Canter sped by. It was a double carriage highway with two lanes going both directions. There was a stone bordered dirt path separating them, and a dog was trapped there. It had a limp in one of its hind legs, indicating it had been run over once already. Long-distance trailers and smaller cars zoomed by, making it impossible to cross. The dog kept inching forward into the road then yowling and stepping back when oncoming vehicles hooted at it. It made such heart wrenching whimpers and yelps that the girl had a mind to jump into traffic to save him. She stood there for a minute, aching in the pumper, watching the animal struggle to brave the work of man, but she was late for class, and she needed to be gone. As she started ahead, she kept turning back to see if it was still alive. She really hated that she couldn’t help. She doubted the animal would make it against the trailers.  

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Walk With Me.

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The scent of the air after it rains gives me the most poignant feelings. I have never experienced the like in all my years. It takes me to another time. Another place. I’m waiting for you under the eaves of tall dark-green trees. There are lone cottage houses standing in thick white mists. You approach and we stand just outside the wood where the grass rolls for miles. The absolute quiet is bliss and a gentle breeze slides against our ears, teasing our clothes and glancing off our ankles. We’re going for a walk.

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Deliver me from Middle Aged Adults.

 

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Let me tell you something. Listen, no, no listen. Let me tell you something. 

This is going on in my head, even though I don’t know really what I would say in defense of myself if they did shut up. I am sitting in my chair at work, listening to my colleagues as they tell me all the things they’d like to me change about myself. Sometimes it’s in the back of an SUV and my parents are upfront lamenting the pitiable excuse of a woman I have become. It feels like I’m drinking battery acid. I don’t know that I bring this on to myself but I can’t help the entrance of royally garbed self-loathing into the hall of  my thoughts. She looks toward self-doubt who stands across the floor bearing an air of tolerant boredom like a bachelor at a ball in the middle of a London Season. They have danced too many waltzes in my head we all know the steps by heart. The ambient ball room atmosphere, however, belies a turbulent raging storm of emotion. 

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So wait

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Longing for bridges that might prove difficult to cross,

whose termination I might not find as promising as I had thought,

I know this yet I still look to the horizon,

that I might decipher its approach

For there develops a restlessness in the known,

 

The challenges that come with one’s desires,

May be more hard-hitting than those chosen by fate,

More profound than any known at pace,

so wait

Chaos Theory

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The large buck sort of jumped into vision. It was down at the end, on the side of a tall, green thicket fence. The front yard was sprawling with natural, unruly green grass and acacia trees, native to that part of the unknown world, that spread over and out, right into a Lake beyond. The buck’s legs were tucked under its body, and it looked so relaxed and at home, despite the soaking wet leaves, the cold drizzling air, and the presence of humans a few meters away. Its coat was muddy brown and the antlers were a striking vision even from where we were standing. Continue reading “Chaos Theory”

…Like the Duchess you are.

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I distance myself from my feelings so I never know what I want to say when I want to say something. I mean, I know I need to say something but I don’t know what because I don’t know why. It’s important for me to know why because I need a reason for things. I need to know structure so I can deduce meaning and then understand what it is that must be communicated. It’s hard to do that when you aren’t close to your subject matter. To understand it you must become it. Lol, I avoid that. I avoid association with that icky yucky, sticky cesspool that is human emotion. Whenever I feel it coming on (much too frequently these days for my peace of mind), I actively ignore it. It’s there, and that’s frustrating enough, but I make sure I don’t give it a voice. It mustn’t take hold. I never allow it to take hold.

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The Wind was at My Back; The Last Leg

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As I stood at the edge of the crater, bent over, hands on knees, looking out over the open landscape, the orange light illuminating everything I thought, good God I’m going to feel this in the morning. And I did.

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Parallel to the Ground; An Experience.

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We might have stopped perhaps twice before we left the town proper, but I can’t tell you with certainty. I was largely oblivious between us leaving the house and us branching on to the bypass that flew across the Naivasha – Nairobi highway.  The scenery was nothing to write home about. You had dry savannah land from before you left the Nakuru town centre, all the way into Naivasha….and… also out of it. The Mt. Long’onot National park (where we were going), was situated to the right on the outskirts of town coming from Nakuru; the highway outside to the left. You could skirt the town on your way to it.  But anyway, as you head towards our destination, a quiet kind of green, a silent green shimmering against the silvery background of the Lake named for the town, sorta sneaks up on you. Continue reading “Parallel to the Ground; An Experience.”

A Marriage of Convenience; The Beginning.

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I was sitting in the back of a car, wondering how I’d gotten there. My friend at the time was riding shotgun and our driver could be described as wearing a black turban with his white hair peeking out beneath it; a Sikh. I don’t know how they’d met each other but she’d asked me along, now that I think about it, to bring life to their party. Not a well thought out move on her part. He was very quiet, sure, but I can’t say I’m much better.

Continue reading “A Marriage of Convenience; The Beginning.”