Bae and bibi ya Bae
My neighbor on the right has a five year old daughter who sings things like- bacas bacas this gal you wan-
But would you expect less from a house that plays Vybez Cartel in the morning? They have exactly three dj mixes that they play every single day of the week. One is a gospel mix that the wife will put on on Sunday morning.
The other two, a rough 105 matatu mix that is just someone shouting obscenities in dancehall lingua franca, and a bongo mix which the man of the house plays when he is cleaning his Probox, doors to his house open wide while I’m trying to respond to facebook comments on a client’s page without being rude, or smug like Safaricom.
My house vibrates when this music is playing. The mirrors on the door make a crackling sound you would hear if there was an earthquake happening in Moshi Tanzania. I get a drumming in my ears, and my heart beat rate increases. I have had a peep at this family. Vybez Cartel, the husband has a head that has a shape, that explains a lot. The wife calls him bae in a slay queen's voice. I’ve had a look at her too and my opinion is she doesn’t qualify to be calling her husband bae, maybe baba Shanaya or baba Tamara. But if that’s ‘what rocks their boat’- I hate that phrase but I need to use a phrase like that to spell out my disgust.
Bae’s wife has a clothes’ line that goes across my door.
She hardly hangs clothes on it but her neighbor does. This neighbor has an obsession with clothes washing. She has two women that come to help her with washing every week. Two women that have marital problems so they go for church prayer meetings every day. The washing is then hang everywhere, the wet shoes go on top of my shoe rack, and the rags too, but I remove them when I am feeling like a warrior.
So last week the line was really sagging and it got to me and I decided I am done, I cannot watch this and do nothing about it. I know Biko Zulu said to be a good writer, don’t be part of the story but whatever, I climbed on a stool and redirected the annoying Kamba. It was Madaraka day.
Anyway, Sunday morning I woke up to various sounds. Vybez cartel and his wife and the laundry obsessor. They had gathered to put back the line across my door. They talked about how they were gonna buy a washing machine that washes as it dries..'you don’t even have to keep checking, it rinses the clothes out itself’ says he. I roll my eyes. The wife is singing loudly to the song playing from their dj mix mp4.
I’m smiling, thinking of all the confrontational scenes I could make.
Me, a single woman
A single woman who they probably suppose is in her 20s.
Me, a single woman that lives with a cat.
She, the town wise sharp tongued woman in her twenties with a bae for a husband. A bae that drives a Probox and listens to dj mixes at night.
Me, the infp whose body produces tears instead of words in confrontations.
Me, the recovering anger management strata.
I have managed to stay out of Langata women’s for this long.
But I had to do something about it.
After a whole day of deep thought I knock at her door and tell her the obvious.
'Your line sags too much, find a way of raising it up from my door.'
-Oh okay, the clothes are not mine but that’s a good idea- and she squints her eyes like she likes my suggestion but I know and she knows she will do nothing of the sort.
'Coz you know, it might break one day,' I say.
( I will snip it with scissors or light it up one evening when my pms is not tolerating crap is what I mean)
She has a good singing voice, is what I was thinking. She could get into Tusker Project Fame and be a second runners up or something.
The laundry obsessor has baseline beauty. Beauty that you could draw.
The kind you would use as a model checklist for a model sheet when auditioning for cooking fat models.
She has a no nonsense aura but her voice betrays her. It undulates and has a gaagaa undertone to it. She would win an argument but he would not win Who’s smarter now?
With a teenage daughter and an adolescent boy, I kinda pity her.
But her boy is alright, he has a cat too and when I moved in and was doing my best to ignore everyone, he smiled at me and said sasa?Are you the one moving into that house?
Have you brought your things?
So I open my door and my cat peeps out.
Oh you have a cat? What’s his name? I have a cat too.
He runs into his house and drags out a fat cat.
The father says in a sullen voice- shut that door-
You cat is very beautiful. I tell the boy.
So of course, line or no line I cannot start fights with the mother of such a pleasant kid, because he reminds me of my kid cousin.
But Happy doesn’t like their cat.
He has become bffs with this pure white rogue of a cat. It belongs to my neighbours on my left. I call the cat George, he has a long spout and looks like a George.
He used to come and eat and then go. But now he checks in for a meal, uses the litter, humors Happy with a bit of horseplay then falls asleep on my bed.
He is not well mannered though. He will climb walls to bring down the bag of omena, breaking glasses in the process, but if Happy likes him who I’m I to refuse them a friendship?
And I like George’s family though I wouldn’t recognize them on the street. They are very quiet and prefer to be unheard.
I have always felt it was unfair to give Househelps names like Mboch and Maid but I now understand the derision. There are two such beings in this plot. They live on the second floor. Boisterous beings that bring the house down with their noise and gimmicks. When they have done their washing in the morning, they pour down the water down the stairs and it comes cascading down like Victoria falls followed by the kid one of them looks after.I think she is always trying to run away.
After washing they lean on the balcony railings to gossip in screechy loud sounds. Then one will realise the child has ran away and will come down calling on the child, stopping by Vybez Cartel to flirt and complement him on his wonderful music collection.
When they sun comes out, they go outside the gate with the radio singing from their kabambe phone and make everyone coming in uncomfortable with their staring.
There is a cat too. It lives under the stairs where the communal bin is and sleeps on one of the motorbikes packed close by at night. He is a brownish color, long fur with half a tail that was either bitten off by another animal or nipped by a human. It twitches unorthodoxly.
But he is alright. Has a very tiny voice and runs away from people, Happy invites him and trys to play with him but he’s too old. If this wasn’t July already I would try shave off his fur, but I will brush him someday if he’ll let me.
He’s a sight, which makes me wonder why Happy doesn’t like the laundry obsessor’s cat which is well taken care of.
So I’m holding up, until I snap.