Today, I’m wearing a Sir Charles Njonjo British-made pinstriped bespoke suit, just for the sole reason of knowing that am wearing it, a rose in my lapel and a watch on the chain, am literally dressing to the threes. I’m as hot as hell, so to those fucked up uncles of mine, I will soon start using your photos for Twitter memes. I can’t wait for season two of ’13 Reasons Why’, I really enjoyed season one, not that I got to watch it, probably I learnt about the whole series from trailers, spoilers, books and hearsays.
My wife couldn’t let me, she controls my TV remote now. Her love for soap operas have taken her hostage, she can’t do anything as long as Tenelovela is being aired, you can’t even move in the house, you will disrupt her attention… she thus prefers to watch alone. Not that I hate it, I just married the devil and his personal assistant. But they always told me that marriage is hard, it’s a test of life, a chemistry exam, how to mix personality traits, behaviours, emotions and attitudes to get a best match.
I ignored that and assured myself that marriage is what you make it to be, how tolerable, loving, caring and resourceful you are, will determine the span of your vows. Growing up, I wanted to be a young dad, so that I don’t have to educate my kids till I retire. But now I don’t even want kids… I do, but not with this bitch as their mother. I’m a liar, a cheater and often attached to sex, but lately have been losing my key strengths.
We are driving to town (Nairobi CBD), in my 1998 2000cc Toyota Corolla, a fifth hand vehicle that she made me buy the year preceding last year, a pre-condition for our long, loving and understanding marriage. She claimed that she was fed up with ‘those filthy public transport vehicles’. She has reduced me to her chauffeur, running her errands and driving her around. After all she is my queen, isn’t she?
A scrap metal on wheels, a vehicle that I have serviced several times and until it’s no longer serviceable. Three months ago my insurer refused to insure it, they called it an assured risk. By their words, “… insurance is not like gambling, we pool resources by insuring the most unlikely events, thus we cannot insure that thing, I’m not sure if I should called it a motor vehicle, something carrying a 99% chance of causing an accident.
I tried to beg, “… only God is the driver, I’m just a body behind the wheel.” They rebuked me, “But we are not God, are we?” Since then no insurance company has considered my request. Not that she even fuels it, my pocket has to bear the burden of my stupidity. Her most favourite song is playing on Kiss FM, ‘I’m a bitch by Meredith Brooks’ She enjoys the song very much. I’m not even sure she grasps a word from the song given that she doesn’t even understand English.
A mixture of slang and broken Swahili makes her mouth keep vibrating. She tries to sing along but the lyrics keep missing her. Anything rhythmic to her is worthy closing eyes and pretending to be in paradise. The message from that song is so compelling, I find myself smiling. The song best describes her, I guess, only ironically. When she notices that I like the song, she tunes on to the next station hoping for a rumba, lingala or zilizopendwa kind of songs.
Today is our anniversary. This is my second year in this toxic marriage, I stopped bragging about it when I realized it couldn’t make me any more of a man. Stuck in a traffic jam, this Nairobi will soon kill me. We are heading to shags to give a full report on why we haven’t had kids yet. That cockroach I call a wife is sitting next to me, I mean that metaphorically, I really hate her, hate is such a strong word, maybe dislike. Ever since she was mounted on me, she has been a devil to resonate with.
Just an extra mouth to feed and fill my toilet, her specialties I imagine. Beyond that she does nothing, apart from gossiping, watching, sleeping, complaining and occupying space in my house. They say you can take a person out of the village, but you cannot take the village out of her. Imagine last night she made me sleep in the guest house, because she claims that I snore. Every morning she wakes up, caresses my face and then slaps me, African love I guess. Or maybe to remind who is in charge.
“Aye Grace, we will be late.” That is her name, which means the one who was born out of God’s favour. “Wait I have to do my hair, you know have to look pretty…” She said that like half an hour ago and she did shave her hair last week, so I don’t know which hair she is talking about. When she is done she approaches me with a rephrased quote from the Snow White and the Huntsman movie that she was watching last week, “Victor, Victor, on the door, who’s the fairest of them all?”, “You are, my Grace”, “That is my husband”, “Now shall we go”.
I can’t keep up with her, she is carrying anything and everything she has, from clothes, shoes, even utensils. Until am forced to ask her, “Kwani unahama na nyumba yangu?”, “Wee wacha watajuaje tumetoka Nairobi”. With all that make up, I can hardly recognize her. I thought I married Grace, now am seeing a resemblance of Rihanna, the weird one. She has sprayed herself with every perfume she could find including mine. Now she is smelling like a mixture of whisky, smoke and cabbage.
We arrived at CBD just to realize that we aren’t the only ones travelling, where did all these people come from, “Nilikuambia tuamke saa kumi”, that bitch comes up again. “Si wewe ndo ung’orota mpaka saa tatu”, I shut her down. “Aiii mimi nichoka”, “Rudi basi kwa nyumba”. I leave my one shilling car with my cousin, hoping he will revamp it for me. We finally get to catch one of these things that resemble vehicles, enroute to shags. My wife, my dear Grace can’t keep it to her mouth.
She keeps singing, begging for food from fellow passengers. I’m ashamed, maybe I should leave her at shags. Take the problem to its source. I contemplate. Imagine that awkward moment she starts to kiss other people’s kids. And yet she is the one who refused to have kids. That it disgusted her to see pregnant women, craving for stones and soil, changing diapers. She literally termed kids as liabilities.
When I suggested that we hire a maid she feared that it will end her marriage, competition in the house would sent her straight to the morgue. Even my parents who I have always thought that they loved me, have been helpless these past years. Maybe the definition of love changed while I was being forced to cook smashed cherry potatoes with fried sauced chicken, that she saw in a Mexican soap opera.
We never even had a church wedding, only that traditional fantasy of exchanging mugs of busaa, nakedly dancing in a maize plantation, ringing bells to signal chasing of bad omens from our union and consummating the marriage in front of the village witchdoctor. In the morning those old ugly looking men spat on our chests and told us to have at least 12 children. And off we went. It all started with a call to go to shags, 2 years ago, from my uncle who was pretending to be sick, little did I know that it was an ambush.
They wanted to sermon me but didn’t know how to get hold of me. I rarely visit, they visit me. That is my rule. The whole agenda was that I get married. “Where is your wife? Our in-law?” They poked at me. “I’m still dating”, I answered. “Dating! What’s that? We have found a very young sweet and beautiful wife for you. And we think you should marry her.” “Never! Never!” I tried my trick of going mad. Shouting, throwing kicks here and there, and strongly shaking my head. But it couldn’t do me any good.
They know me inside out and all my tactics. “If you can’t marry her, then we will have to disown and expel you from our hamlet. You won’t be associated with us and you will not inherit anything from your father”, they concluded. “But”, “No but, we have waited for long, we thought you will graduate from university with one of those brown ripe bleached ladies, which we would have denied obviously but again you didn’t. So standing before this honourable gathering of elders to tell us, never, is outrageous, disrespective and benet an educated dwarf like you.”
They gave me no choice, the boy child under siege, not one to defend me. So I took her. I hoped I would marry her become a pain in the ass and force her to go back to her parents. But she has stuck with me throughout with ridiculous rules. Nimekaliwa chapati, I can’t go out with friends to have fun, I can’t have any contacts of ladies or call any lady friend apart from relatives only. I can’t sleep out. You know I suspect someone is trailing me.
As am writing this article am straining not to get caught. I can’t hire a maid regardless of her being a terrible cook, the last one I brought, she locked her up in the garage. Can’t even wash clothes clean. I’m doomed. My Grace, my disgrace. Believe me, I have googled and googled on how to get rid of a bad wife. I’m even thinking of writing a book about her. Maybe I should title it, ‘My disgrace in Grace’. No sooner we arrive at shags than World War 3 starts. It’s going to be a long night.