Sunday, October 26, 2014

throwing out my efforts at extrovertism to the dogs



One day in the days of my teenage hood, my cousin and I were walking to an aunt’s house. So he turns to me and says
- I’m ready to have a good time, but your problem is the minute we reach the party you will want to go back home. Seriously Gathoni, you are difficult, and we now sometimes you don’t even want to see any of us-
I may have given a grunt, or a giggle, I don’t remember. But I was always hearing how I should not isolate myself.  I would jump at the option to take the cows out to graze; cows don’t ask questions like why are you bored, or smiling to yourself.
I can’t count the many times I have opted out of a party, and the many times I have not been asked co they knew I would say, 'no thanks.'
There are two that I have never been forgiven for missing. 1996, my mum goes out and fixes me with a socialite aunt for a party. I dressed up and went to the aunt’s house; my cousins were dropping names of the guest list, and I was in terror and horror- an evening party? With no time limit? I don’t remember how I escaped but I remember spending the day with a shop keeping aunt, and getting a serious telling off from my mother.
The other was after college, 2010; there was a goodbye dinner, and I had a self imposed deadline to hand in a novel manuscript that Friday. I was gonna go but my laptop, I suppose form overwork, froze.
‘she said something about finishing some work’
Many times, I plan to go out for something but then it hits me:
1.       I went out yesterday
2.       I would like some silence
3.        I don’t have the energy for small talk.
And the usual questions
"Rain got you yesterday?" 'No'
"You are feeling sick?" 'No'
"Are you on your period?" 'No'
"You just want and rest eh?" 'Um ..Yeah.'
I want to explain, I am feeling alright, and the minute you go out I will sing along to Green Day. I am not annoyed and  don’t hate  any of you, I’m not lonely, I am not silently judging you and if you don’t ask me to a cook out, I don’t mind. I can only handle that kind excitement once, every two weeks. I won’t be resting anyway, I will re-arrange my furniture and synchronize my spice bottles by lid color and start another sewing project.
In trying the right words, gestures and facial expressions to improve my social networks, I stumble upon -27 problems only Introverts will understand- So happy to understand there are other living humans  who  find unplanned phone calls mentally traumatizing- honestly if you are planning to call, text me, let me know  you will call, and what you plan to talk about. That way I can organize my head and not sound like an impatient telephone operator.  I cannot solve problems on my feet. I admit.
And just because I enjoy listening more than talking does not make me an eejit.
 I remember someone asking me- Don’t you have anything to say? Cc, honestly love, you never get a word edgewise. I bet I should have explained I got more out of social Interaction my listening.
And maybe if I had responses, I would have to write them all down-tomorrow-after- thinking, coz that’s  what  we do. We think to talk. And for that, extroverts brand as slow.
 One time, someone said to me, ũguo nĩguo mũndũ aritaga (you get foolish by staring blankly into space)
We are dreamers, that’s how we get things done. If I had not dreamt in my younger life, about 90% of the things I have experienced would still be undone. Come of think of it, I practically built up every event in my head.
I feel like I have been handed a fresh new notebook, not  that I would  join an introverts’ support group
-hello, my name is Gathoni, and I am an introvert… Cringe
No, we would rather be reading the dictionary.
 I don’t have to try to be extroverted to fit in. And that is Ok.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

not open to agreement on Jonker walk, karaoke night




She sits across me and glares at me,
With a half eaten chapatti on one hand
Thick dhaal curry yellowing her other fingers.
She says- didn’t they teach you History in Africa?
- I say, Kenya.-
She says same difference.
-I’m tired of hearing it-
So I say, we have our own history, the migration, colonization
I can’t believe your Education system
-I can’t too, I say. Chemistry,  honestly. I could have done without that-
Slave trade;
she states,
paying her share of the bill, is an important piece of history.
-And so is modern slavery, I say- my grandmother worked coffee farms, 6years old-

What is that compared to the number that was sold ?
-She was a former chief’s daughter
goats as far as the horizon, all driven away in one  night-



She’s walking fast, back to No. 20, Jonker Walk
I’m not bothered, I walk as slowly as any long legged human can,
and pausing  by the bridge
I think:
The only history I’m interested in is:
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

pic(malaysiaedition.net)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

when my props came down



I am working at home again and very glad about it. If I had stuck to it, probably I would already have taken that trip  to Jamaica, bought a car, or a scooter at least.  Over ten years ago I had the big idea to work from home, but it turned out to be nonsense. Kenya was still catching up on online work. It still is, but phew, like the natural hair wave surging now, I sure hope it stays and saves me the explanations.. I remember going out and buying a new laptop- to help me work- but I lacked the courage and patience that years have taught me. 

So when I laid out my plan, it said I would launch on 1st October. I did and it has been rather interesting. At this rate I should write a book for caregivers on how to keep an aged relative occupied. My granny, after breakfast and medicine will ask why I can’t get her a panga  so she  can dig about the compound.  I will tell her why you don’t go pull out the weeds in the back yard. She’ll come back 20 minutes later and ask exactly what I’m doing. 

Why haven’t you finished. Is it that animal (the computer)? Is it giving you trouble? 
 Yes, it’s slow.
She’ll then lay on the couch, and play with the cat- the neighbor’s cat who has taken permanent residence in our house. We have named her  Filis .
Then she’ll say. You should plant potatoes.. this land going to waste. And you should have a panga.
I go out and ask the shopkeeper to lend me a hoe. I give it to granny. 20 minutes later, I call her in to have gruel. She asks.. is this work too hard?
Yes it is, I say.
But God will give you a job one day.
This is my job.

This question and answer goes on until seven, or  five when I’m not writing about kinetics. I feel sorry for her, but what to do lah?
Her boredom has reached a boiling point. She is bored to shreds. I could suggest she counts her hair.. but I’d get a telling off. I took her to look at the train last evening. Well, trust Rift Valley Railways to be two hours late. So we never got to see it, and the screaming hawkers by the rail way line gave her  a migraine.

Today, we went out to scout for a panga. We we we. Kumbe she had an agenda. There is this rosebush I love to plant, the one that grows and twirls and finally produces tiny pink roses. I planted one two years ago. Two weeks ago, my mother and I spent an entire morning tying it to the bathroom bars to get it away from the door, directing it to the roof. It gives a good shade...and she says to me.
- This plant is male-
-Why?-
-It has never flowered, two years now-
-I think maybe it has not matured-
And few days later, a bunch of buds sprouted just above the door to prove her wrong. Today, when I was at the meetings, and mother was at the salon, granny gave it a rough chop at the base-whack- and I almost fainted when I came back and saw the withering leaves.

'How can you not know Curacao? Didn't they teach you history in school?'
"Well, I know Jamaica". 
'You can't be serious.'

And I made a note  to myself to Google before asking an honest question like, so is Curacao a city or a country and where did the population migrate from?
That's the drift of my  next blog post

Efficiency, why we must learn to be.

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