Brown, tall, and struggling: That was my first perception of the reserved man seated behind his phone at Comfy Inn: Kahawa Sukari. He was sporting khaki pants, white t-shirt and an expensively maintained afro. He wasn’t what I call an eye candy. He was delicate in a manly way: a trait I hate because we, (ME, MYSELF AND I) don’t know how to handle ‘delicate’.
He held conversation but not eye contact. He isn’t shy; he eyed the waiters and I was thankful for that. Truth is, we met through social media and it was a blind date. I didn’t want a situation where I would have to tell him that I don’t date men I meet from online. He paid for our half kg goat ‘choma’ and two sodas. He paid my fare from Engen to Githurai (10 bob) because he wouldn’t let me because he is a Kenyan man with an ego the size of Mt. Everest.
“Is he really a guy Uchumi would want to hire?” I heard cassia, the annoying second me who pops up when uncalled for to question things that are far from concerning us, ask.
He transferred. He transferred. And then he transferred. In the midst of all this transferring and shifting and adapting and moving again, we lost touch. He was at Eldoret, pathetically self-obsessed and growing humiliatingly ugly by the day. He was a man bitter at life. One who, to people without patience, would be considered garbage.
Flash forward 2015.
“Hello there?”
I say “hello back at ya” but cassia is there airing her non minced comments to me “boss, this is Facebook. Hello isn’t an exactly accepted way of starting a conversation with someone you last heard from in 2012”.
Like people with nothing much to do, we keep up a healthy internet conversation. Facebook becomes whatsapp and an occasional call at office hours (because you know, we wouldn’t want her Excellency to be suspicious, would we?). We met at Jambo Grill, Thika Road. He drunk tusker at 2 pm, I opted for water.
He is married. He wants to be Christian grey (rem the 50 shades of sin?). He is now a manager at an economically malnourished Uchumi. He is FAT, shaved bald and sporting badly fitting material trousers. Did I say he is married? (Am not making conclusions) He is still brown and still sports an ego the age of Mt. Kenya.
New management at Uchumi means the closure of Uchumi Meru branch. A FAT, bald and badly dressed man with a nativised version of English-Meru becomes the new TL of Uchumi Karatina. And thus, a heavy set man sets camp at Karatina: a town where shapeless men are sneered at. Either you are fat with a bank account that can shame Pattni’s or you are fit sexually, physically and emotionally.
We met at Karatina; Karatina Uchumi to be precise. Shape is taking place, because, you know, no one is immune to Karatina and its traffic demands. We happen to have a heavy, bizarre sexual desire and so we have to fit in or grow out. Fitting in seems like a better option than Safaricom. He is smart; donning a well-fitting black material trouser, a red Uchumi uniform shirt and a black half sweater. Am surprised because smartness is a trait we had left at 2011, so was decency and self-esteem. He is slim and handsome again; the power of employment related stress, pressure and a fifteen hour shift not to mention the lack of wife cooked meals, home comfort and not using Kimeru as the language of transaction and interaction. Let’s throw in there the fitting in coin and the Christian Grey dream too. His sense of humour is back and so is the afro, though at its infantry stage. But the most important bit of it, is that I have my friend back: with all his idiocy, sarcasm and upside down humour.
Ladies and gentlemen please meet Senior Thamwero: a guy of bizarre and depressing habits but who is hard to pass by.



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