Friday, January 29, 2010

An Essay on Space

Definition: (in thesaurus) room…breathing space…freedom…liberty…legroom…gap…opening…universe…cosmos…area…

White space: The space on a page to ease your eyes, often used by journalists and print enthusiasts to make you feel like you are not reading as much as you think you are.

Outer space: The world outside of our own that nations everywhere are fighting over, in an age-old dance of dominance, as if man could actually own land and the cosmos are in our control.

Personal space: A concept alien to most Kenyans, especially when standing in queues, that is supposed to provide breathing room, sweating room and fidgeting room. Ideally at least a hand length from the person in front of you. Again. ALIEN to most Kenyans. See also justice, logic, youthful governance.

Airspace: The area above us, often polluted with helicopters that use half of annual taxes.

Space (a) : The expansive distance between several people’s heads that results in close-minded thinking and incredible incomparable astounding stupidity.

Space (b) : Closely related to (a); an indefinable word used to express indecisiveness in relationships, supposedly to allow for better decision-making and take away a feeling of entrapment.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Mr. T. Chronicles : Chapter 1- The Beginning

It was a dark, stormy night.* Fortunately, I was inside a warm living room*, sipping on a glass of semi-glamorous and entirely sober Alvaro*. Those loose, unnecessary cover-ups that are an excuse to get together and drink. For my other friends, of course.*

It had been a pleasant evening. Ribald jokes, lewd humor and good not-too-stale gossip. I was ready to call it a night.* You know the rule: leave while the party is still kicking, instead of in the wee hours of the morning when the sun is rising and it’s the first light you’ve seen in 24 hours. I don’t pull those moves, bana.*

The door opened. One can never be too late for these things, I thought as I uninterestedly and yet automatically turned to the door to see who it was. It didn’t really matter, of course. It was just subconscious movement, preprogrammed. There was no one there who I didn’t already know, no one I was particularly interested in*, so –

Well, well. For once, my genius was wrong. (This was a rare occasion.) A man walked in. Unobtrusive, but…not at all bad-looking, on the whole. I wonder who invited him? And who he was? And if the person who invited him was female? Not that I cared.*

My questions were soon answered when my friend Marion (owner of the afore-mentioned living room) squealed and said, ‘Everyone, this is Michael. We work together.*’ Wonder if they were taking in any new employees? I watched her hand on his elbow. Not a possessive we’re-dating-and-I’m-watching-all-the-women-in-this-room. More like a be-nice-to-him-he’s-a-newbie. Score.

I’m a very friendly person.* I like to make people feel comfortable, and at home.* Even when it’s not my home.* So in the spirit of true hospitality, I went over to Michael. To welcome him to the fold and all.* And in a normal, lust-free voice*, I said ‘Hi. I’m Abby. Marion and I went to school together. Do you want a drink?’

He looked at me. A friendly gaze, guarded, but still friendly. As if to say I don’t know anyone here, but give me about 5 minutes and I’ll be back on top. Where I’m used to being. Me imagining him saying those words didn’t help my composure. He said, ‘Sure.’ I led him to the minibar.

This wasn’t going to be so hard.*


* Lie.