About that Bucket List

So I came up with a To-Do List on the 24th of October and I was supposed to have done a few things by today. This is, therefore, my progress report.

1. Publish a new note/story on Facebook.

I did. Not a story, though. I have been having a little trouble putting those together and I won’t rush my head out of its state, so I wrote something I’m scared to call a poem. Scared because some of my closest friends are fantastic poets and they would likely brow beat me into adhering to the rules of of poetry or whatever. Against my gut feeling I’ll share the note with you anyway. If you’re a Facebook friend, you’ll notice that I edited it.

Four Men in a Room

I saw them coming and rushed to let them in,

Only one tool box and a few pipes,

Each of them rushing about in an dusty overalls.

It’s not because I am overly polite;

I just want to be the last one at the door –

So I can leave it wide open.

Because there are four men in the room.

 

I’m the first to speak up at the branch meetings,

Even if I am not making a project presentation,

I always have something to say –

The only woman in  the IT department,

With a background in law and human resource;

And often the only one on the council,

Because there are four men in the room.

 

My favourite song was on when I boarded,

The matatu remained half full for a while,

Then all the ladies got off at the next stop.

Did that guy really look at me “that way”?

He noticed too.

I know what I felt –

When the tout tapped my shoulder,

Asking my fare too hastily.

Giving back change,

His hand pressing on my palm lingered too long.

Because there are four men in this shrinking space.

 

My male colleagues are mostly okay;

Good stories and great humour all around,

Big business ideas and stupid childish dares.

But their talk gets coarse sometimes;

In the coffee room where it always does:

The foul Christmas party rumours,

Office politics quickly turning sour,

Lingering conspiracies about the last intern.

Because there are four men in the room.

 

We go out with the guys every end of the month;

A fancy restaurant and pub in the uptown –

They play jazz on Friday night and happy hour starts at 4.

We’ve been friends from high school and college.

They always make me aware of myself –

The little black dress and push up bra;

How close we have to sit;

Our feet meeting under the table,

Someone’s eyes constantly in the other’s way.

I walk around with my drink,

And never finish what I left half-way –

If I went to the bathroom or the dance floor;

Because there are four men at my table.

 

The girls and I had pizza last week,

We went on and on and lost track of time –

The last ones out of the joint,

Everyone went in different directions.

A group of young men walked in my direction,

The closer they got the more frightful I grew.

They whistled and made stupid noises;

It happens to all the girls, I guess.

Because then there are four men and just them on the street.

 

My uncles came home to visit on Sunday.

My older brother and father had been home all day.

They sat and talked as I served steaming ugali, managu and chicken stew;

One hot pot after the other,

I always tie a leso when the men are home,

And throw on an old loose marathon t-shirt.

It’s what my mother taught me to do.

I didn’t ask why and I know that they are good men,

But I also know the statistics –

And I watch the news.

Rape happens closer home than elsewhere.

So I don’t stay around too long or dress up;

Because there are four men in the room.

 

S. Ogugu 2013

 

2. Chai with a friend

I did have juice with Kerry and we had a pleasant chat after a really long time. We both have a wardrobe revamp on our minds and probably a clothes swap. I just told her I dislike most of what is in my wardrobe now and she can have whatever she’d like. Beryl invited me to their place to pick out clothes from her collection – and she has great taste in them too – and I am now waiting to plan for the same when we meet up for cake and coffee at a legendary spot in Nairobi called The Mug. Below is a sneak preview in to the amazing fresh cakes they have on offer. Here’ there’s red velvet and I think tiramisu (it has been that long!) along side hot chocolate and house tea/coffee. This joint is definitely the place to meet up for that monthly treat and catch-up session following a long month and after your cheque has finally cleared.

IMG_1895[1] IMG_1896[1] IMG_1898[1]

 

3. House Hunting

Didn’t really happen. I haven’t had the time or motivation to look my my new nest. Until I have met my other goals for the rest of the year – or come so comfortably close that I can assume it’s as good as done – I will likely move out at the beginning of or sometime early next year.

However, I will start looking around. The dream is still the same, though – a high density mattress big enough to fit into a king size bed, one light and one heavy duvet with covers and sheets to match, and soft pillows and comfort air pillows (a pair of each) with white pillow cases. That’s it. Then it will be pouffes and cushions with rugs on the floor.

*sigh*

 

4. Family Lunch

This one happened on the very day and went very well! I got to hang out and chat with one of my favourite aunts and to talk about my new place of work and plans to have my own place. She’s pretty awesome and supportive – and she keeps it real. I also got to meet up with Grandma and of course my uncles  – one of whom had asked us all to hook up after a being out of the country (which is really where he lives) for several months.

Other than a chance for my monthly fries and chicken ritual, it felt good to chill out with the family and share a couple of good stories and lots of laughs.

 

5. Read my newest Novel

Well, that’s not exactly how I put it in the post,but the point is made. I had started reading a great book which the boyfriend got me as birthday gift (I knew what I was getting 6 months in advance and it was still sweet how he had his brother drop it at home because he was out of town), but was not able to get through the first 100 pages because… I’m not quite sure…

What I know is that I am now on page 317 and it ends on page 477. How’s that for progress?

Of course I will go through a micro-depression because I will miss engaging in the lives of the characters and meeting them during my lunch break and in the evening before bed, but it’s okay. I already have a new recommendation and I am certain that I have it on my book reader, so I’ll live…

Turns out I didn’t have it, but it’s now downloaded (thank God for Google!!!) and ready for portable reading once I’m done with Ngozi Adichie’s latest. Since I’m all about mind games today, here’s the clue for my next read:

Please don’t die, you old fool. It’s too early for you to check out. You don’t deserve to doe like this.

 

 

Thanks for keeping me accountable!

 

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