That being the case,read this…
“Thairu!”she calls out my name with her loud obnoxious voice…knock knock…That is my daily alarm.Knocking, is the lady next door,she is just closing her business,she is going home.She is collecting all the unpaid dues.I happen to owe her two hundred and seventy five shillings.Two nights i have drunk at her bar without paying,She sells the local slum brew Busaa.
“Thairu!! i dont have all day you filthy son of a…” Before she finishes hurling this obscenity i swing out of my bed and open the door.My eyes are still half closed,the stench from the near by sewwage slaps my face as she puts her foot at the bottom of the door.
“Pesa yangu iko wapi kijana?ukiendelea hivi i swear nita ku…”She starts saying..
Im counting some coins left on the table to hand it to her,i give her Ksh 160/= and promise to hand her the rest in the evening,before she can call me names i slam the door on her face.She can be a bitch that one,lately she has changed she used to be lenient with her debtors but since the young man she was living with left her,taking half her money,she has developed some really tough skin.
As i seriously contemplate going back to sleep,i realize its almost 7.30am,i must rush to work.Dont for a second think im such a hard worker,my rent is due.I search for a cleaner pair of jeans as i fell last night coming from Agathas(bar)its coverd with mud.There is a pile of dirty clothes at the bottom of my bed,i rustle through them and find a trouser i wore thrice,considering that i wash cars for a living,i dont need a suit and a tie for such,nobody notices if you recycle your clothes.
I wash my face and head out.I live in Mathare Valley.
I get into it a matatu and head to town where i spend my days washing the rich peoples cars,lately things have been looking down,people prefer having thier cars washed with the new pressure thingy.We are slowly being put out of business.My phone is ringing,its my mother.She rants about how she does not know what im doing in Nairobi and its the planting season back home.Between my fathers disapproval of everything i do,and my mothers disappointment,ill take my chances on washing cars at Kirinyaga road.
I get to work,there are no cars to clean,it is still early and am hungry.I cruise to Shirus to have breakfast(on credit)I feast on two chapatis and a cup of tea and get back to my work station,where we seat with the rest of the car washers and trade our drunken stories. Ndungu brings up the topic of siasa,politics this ensures a heated debate about some fellow seeking the governors seat in Nairobi, normally i do not participate in such,I have bigger(or smaller)fish to try,in this case my next meal or the roof over my head that might not be mine if i don’t come up with rent.Whoever said its never easy was wrong,life for me is nothing near easy.
“Ama aje Thairu?” kariuki asks for my opinion and i realize i did not even get the question as i am not following the conversation,im lost in thought.
“huyu ata haelewi!”Ndungu interjects.
This discussion goes on for about thirty minutes when a two cars drive in and people get busy.
The whole day no other cars come,i told you we are being put out of business.What can you do with Ksh 200/=?The cost of living is not coming down anytime soon.Between you and i,i might be joining my mother for planting,i am assured of free meals accommodation and who knows, i might get my self a village girl who will be intrigued by my vast Nairobi knowledge and agree to marry me!
In the mean time,i will go at Agathas,have a jug of busaa and retire home and sleep on my spring bed.I have heard tales of people who miraculously escaped poverty, won the lottery or something,im convinced this will be my only hope.
A day has ended for me.