Hera Mudho

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You should have known that there was no other way this would end other than badly. You should have picked up your cue when he called you and told you to stop chasing her just as their relationship was taking a plunge. When you first met him, you knew you couldn’t take him. His shirt barely fits, and his handshake was firmer than pliers on a nut. From a quick assessment, it was easy to tell that he had spent some time lifting metal, but then quit and gained some fat to keep the muscle warm. The result is a mammoth. A tar bathing mammoth with morning sunshine eyes. There is nothing sweet about those eyes. They are just yellow. Too yellow, like a pair of uncooked breakfast eggs. Scary motherfucker. Literally. This dude must’ve laid someone’s mother.

You should have left then, but you kept on sending her those messages. Telling her that her legs are kick ass. Well, now you just got your ass kicked.

She lies on your side and you wince. Your side is on fire. Feels like he broke a rib. Hell, your whole body is burning from ache. Your jaw feels like it will soon be swelling bigger than mandazis in hot oil. Your little finger has become a sausage. You look at it and remember why you have always preferred smokies. Your right knee cap stings, same to your left elbow, your kisogo and your chest.

“Aw aw aw aw! Don’t touch there.”  You whine when she puts her head on your chest. “Do not go there. That is a crime scene for God’s sake.”

You laugh. She laughs. You hear the neighbours downstairs laugh.

“I want to hear what they are saying,” she says.

They all have different versions. But they were not there. You close your eyes and the scene replays in your head.

It is her turn to cook.  As a general matter of principle, the host of the sleep over cooks. She is too lazy. You order in from Naked Pizza, watch three episodes of 2 Broke Girls at her behest, and just as you are about to call it a night, the doorbell rings.

“Go ahead. I’m right behind you. It must be Otis,” she says.

Otis lives just above her. He was supposed to come pick some food, but he took his time. You head to the bedroom. She takes too long. You pay close attention. That is not Otis. Otis has a deep baritone that is under-utilized. It should be the voice over for a commercial selling something morbid like an insect killer. Something that should be kept out of children’s reach, and probably has a skull and lightning on the package. When Otis raises his voice, you feel your manhood tremble.

This voice sounds dramatic and slurry. It drags on too long and asks silly questions like “After four years, this is what it has come to be?” And then it gets really corny, “I loved you with all my heart.” The conversation gets animated, and then the voice thunders, “Where is he?”

“No! You cannot go there. Leave him out of this.”

“So he can be in your house at 10pm, and me I have to beg for just five minutes of your time?” Now this voice is just being jealous. You giggle. Osogo Winyo sang that hera rach ka rumo. You agree; love sucks during its sunset moments.

“Where is Randa?” He thunders again. “He is hiding in the bedroom?”

 Footsteps. The door swings open. Oh shit.

He stands at the door, eyes half closed.

Your first thoughts are “Who the hell still wears baggy jeans with side pockets? What is this, 1999? Does it have an 05 sticker on the back pocket? Do you still refer to women in miniskirts as manyangas?”

He looks at you for what feels like five minutes. He is just staring at you. Then he walks in. You stay on the bed, fiddling on your phone, checking your Facebook to see how many likes your last photo has received.

The slit-eyed polyphemus approaches. Your insides melt. But you have to show Helen of Troy over there that you are Paris – the slayer of Achilles. He lowers his head until you can see your reflection in his eyes, and then exhales. The polyphemus has been drinking. His mouth is a brewery. His breath is a whirlwind of toxic fumes from a concoction of beer, a failing tonsil and a defunct, decomposing brain.

“Okay, now leave.” Helen of Troy barks.

What happens next happens so fast you do not see it coming. All of a sudden, this big fat ugly giant duckling starts singing. Something by Fabolous and 2Chainz.

When I feel like it, I do shit when I feel like it. *3

He sings, thumping his chest, saliva foaming in his mouth, trickling down to his chest.

“A chimpanzee mating dance, really?”

“Oh, you wanna dance? Let’s dance.”

Helen of Troy comes in the middle. A blow sent your way grazes her shoulder and lands on yours. She starts to scream. The pain registers just as another one finds your ribs unguarded. Damn it! Drunkse are supposed to throw sloppy blows, not ati pack such insane punches! Which crossbreed is this? Drunken Master and 2Chainz? Lord help us.

“Stop it, Mtungi. Stop this. What do you want?”

“I want him to leave.” He is pointing at you.

You choose to be the bigger guy and you step out into the hallway. To the living room. She comes back to the middle. He grabs her and throws her out of his way. She flies away like a cartoon character and lands at the end of the room.

“Okay tough guy. You want us to settle this as men, right? Then let’s go outside.”

That must have pissed off the inebriated devils inside him. He starts singing again.

When I feel like it, I do shit when I feel like it.
When I feel like it, I do shit when I feel like it.
When I feel like it, I do shit when I feel like it.

He beats his chest and it resounds in the scantily furnished living room like a drum. Helen of Troy is making frantic phone calls. He comes at you again.  Stands right in front of you. You do not see that left hook coming. A thousand needles are prickling your jaw. You take it like a man. She screams. He pushes you out. That is it.

The neighbour across the hall is staring from the window, doors locked. You realize you are on your own. This diabolical asshole will just keep them coming. This plan of yours that makes you imagine that he only wants to jab two blows at you to soothe his broken heart is not working.

He charges. You duck. You grab him. Your knee meets his face. He lands on the balcony railing. You hold him. You look over the rail. The plunge would be four stories deep. You want to throw him over. You flex your muscles. You can lift him. He is panting helplessly in your ear.

But you spare him the flight.

You loosen your grip. He pushes you away. You regain your balance on the stair case.  He throws a kick. You grab his leg and pull. The sound of his head drumming on each step on the way down warms your soul. He lands at your feet on the lower floor. Your devils waken. A mania stirs inside your stomach.

Finish this guy, Randa. It whispers inside your head. This time you listen. You wrap your right arm around his neck, and you squeeze. You squeeze it hard. You want to wring the last puff of oxygen out of this asshole who is only mad at you for being chosen. You want to listen to the mania inside you, to degenerate this bloody ogre into a comatose, imbecilic, useless and unprofitable existence.

The neighbours come out. They ask you to let him go. You loosen your grip. They detach you from his neck.  He lurches to his feet.

They stand there, the neighbours, shooting silly questions when all they really want to ask is the generally understood but never explicitly stated question, What the fuck is going on?

He jumps right in.

“Nimepata huyu jamaa na bibi yangu.”

“Mtungi, I am not your wife!” Helen of Troy’s voice pierces through the burgeoning crowd of on-lookers and nosy househelps.

“Do you keep saying that to convince yourself that you are not hallucinating?” Monster eyes stare at you. “Look buddy, I am only asking for a friend.”

The story is told properly. They broke up two months ago. But he has been unable to move on.

He starts kicking you. You grab his leg again and pull. He falls. You start kicking him. You put your power behind those kicks. You are kicking whatever you can. His head, his sides, his knees. You are shouting at him – “What the hell is wrong with you! What’s wrong with this ugly pussy-ass nigger! You cannot even sing for shit! WHAT. THE. FUCK. IS. WRONG. WITH. YOU. MOTHER. FUCKER!!!” The mania sends you into a rabbit hole. Every question is a kick.

They pull you away. All of you are escorted outside. A kamkunji is formed.

“Yaani wewe umekuja hapa kupigania msichana hakutaki na sisi tuko hapa bila wanaume?” A lady shouts at Mtungi.

He removes his shirt to showcase his overflowing twenty litre jerrican of a stomach that spills over his 05 jeans. Oh Lord, don’t let him start singing again. What is he now, Rick Ross?

A pick up screeches into the parking. Otis steps out with his housemate, Jomo. Jomo looks angry. You’ve been told before, Jomo doesn’t get angry often, but when he does, he is a raging bull constantly seeing red. Which is why as soon as the handbrake is up, a baseball bat is wielded.

Mtungi and Otis walk away.


“I would have called you Helen of Troy, only that you did not command a thousand Greek ships. You commanded a weakling and a drunk.”

She sighs.

“I cannot believe I dated that guy for four years.”

“You loved him.”

“He was never like this.”

“Hera mudho, Jaber. Love is a dark hole. You never see his flaws until you step out into the light.”

“Then I do not want to be in love again.”

“We cannot be sure about that. But you can be certain that if we dated and lived together, I wouldn’t wear those manyanga, dot com jeans. Unlike that thing with nothing but time and beer on his hands.”

Silence. The laughter of hanging hyenas comes from the ground floor.

“Oh God. I am now that chick next door with boyfriend drama.”

“Just be glad that Robert Alai does not have correspondents here.”

You know this is going to be fodder for a while and then it will lose its taste and things will move on.

You listen to them outside. They are telling blow by blow accounts of what they perceive to be what transpired. Your body is still aching. Outside, you can hear them wonder, “Eeeeh, na si huyo mnono amewekelewa a good one!” “Lakini aje sasa, na vile huyo mwingine alikuwa mdogo?”

You draw the bedroom window curtain aside. The new Madaraka houses are not good for much. But when your timing is just right, you will catch the soundless half-moon drift in and out of thickets of cloud. And then after a while, when the pillow talk gets boring, you will notice how Helen of Troy’s breath changes pace as she slides into sleep, her head still on your debilitating chest. You let her.

Meanwhile outside, the tales of the hunt are told in favor of the hunter, because the lion is too busy auditioning for the X-Factor to tell its own tales.

When I feel like it, I do shit when I feel like it.
When I feel like it, I do shit when I feel like it.
When I feel like it, I do shit when I feel like it.

Sleep takes you away on swift wings.

[PHOTO CREDIT:  Manipulation by Osborne Macharia]


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  1. hahaaaa… laughed all through! Kwanza the part, “When I feel like it, I do shit when I feel like it. ”
    Fiction or reality you say? Either way, It was a good one

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