The title men and marriage came to my mind immediately after I met up with a friend, precisely in the matatu on my way back home. He and I had been talking about a man. And marriage. The man we had been talking about was a mutual friend of ours.
I say “was” because this mutual friend hasn’t been friendly lately. The friend thought he was withdrawing because he had a baby early this year, with someone he has managed to keep a secret till now.
We don’t go around tracing people’s wives. But then you see, the guy and I were great childhood friends. He is from my clan, which means his name was and will always be Faya. Or Moto. In return, he would call me Boset. And I always thought that was beautiful.
Moto and I went to different schools, but our friendship would grow more profound each time we came back for our holidays, mostly when we were in high school. We were birds of a feather—the black sheep of our respective families. We would bond over the craziest things, like girl’s bums. What else would a boy talk about anyway? It seemed like he was oblivious to the fact that I was a girl. All I would do is listen and watch—something about macho not having pazia.
Then we became adults. With responsibilities. Like stooping into a DBA202 class, still drunk from last night with nary a pen. Or ensuring both eyebrows looked alike—anything but reaching out to one another. We drifted apart. The same person I would spend all my time with grew into a perfect stranger. All I know is that he cleared campus and came back home. Why do Kalenjin men always come back home?
He momentarily updates his WhatsApp statuses with pictures of the baby. She is a pretty thing. Her eyes sparkle, and she probably smells like a baby. Have they come up with a name yet for how babies smell? But he doesn’t talk much about her and the mother. Lately, I feel like he has been avoiding me. And I can’t stop wondering if there’s any possible way I could still show up for him.
READ ALSO: Red Lipstick.
I heard that we could only show up for people to the extent that they allow us to. Moto is now a married man and things have changed. I don’t know what happens to people when they get attached to other people, but it feels like they run out of love to give out. Accommodation gets scarce. They disappear into these people they get attached to. Then they change. Gradually. When you thought they liked the colour green, turns out they liked girls with piercings and tattoos instead. The point is, you realize that adulthood has moulded you into characters that are worlds apart with nothing in common.
Marriage scares me. No, change scares me.
Sadly, marriage is all everyone is now talking about, especially here in shaggz. Everywhere you go, you’ll always find an old-timer telling you that they have a son about your age. And while saying this, your hand will be interlocked inside their soggy-skinned ones. You just wanted to shake their hands in greeting. But then now they are holding on to yours as if they speak for their sons. Old-timers pimping out their sons. It’s funny, especially when you imagine how they would bring up the conversation with their sons later in the evening.
Ps; same place same time next week for Men and Marriage II?