I woke up with a nagging craving for avocados, the feeling that attacks you with spears and arrows the pain bites. I didn’t know where it came from but it stuck like a thorn and kept nudging at my culinary senses for action I almost gave in. I’m not an avocado guy. I think they are a fruit for primbles and I’m not a primble. The avocado feeling didn’t give up. It won me over.
So what did I do?
I got out of bed and did 47 push-ups, turned my door key clockwise, unlocked it, walked to the fridge, and there, lounging before my eyeballs were two beetroot colour looking avocados, resting on each other like they were cuddling. Those two were in avocado love. I picked one, got the kitchen knife with the blue and red handle, sliced the fruit and got it ready to kill my silly morning craving. I felt like a pregnant woman. This was last Saturday, the day before I turned 28. I ate half an avocado alone. Then took a bath and went to town, first, passing by my workplace.
The floor at the entrance was soapy, filled with lather, being cleaned and scrubbed of all the dirt it gathered from our feet the previous day. One of the women who was cleaning blocked me from getting in. She said I needed to get a life. Her name is… I won’t mention. She insisted, if I wanted to get in, I’d have to clean after my feet.
“But why?” I asked.
“Can’t you see what we are doing here?” she said.
She’s a tough woman, fire spitting sometimes.
“I can see it. You’re cleaning, of course. I’m not blind. I have four eyes,” I said, pointing to my spectacles. I thought she would laugh. She didn’t.
“Why don’t you just let me in?”
She looked at me and said, “Because I’m already tired.”
They had cleaned the whole place, the only part left was the entrance, and I wanted to walk in, in my dusty shoes and soiled soles. I did not enter. I’m nice sometimes. So I went to Nakasero Primary for the 4040 book launch.
I had seen a poster that said a team of great minds had sat under a tree and thought their brains out to write children’s stories. I like children’s stories but I’m not sure I would entertain kids through words. I’d probably send them to sleep with my stories which, to think of, makes me want to write a children’s bed time story now.
Outside Nakasero Primary, the music was muffle. Teardrops ran outside the school gate and the guards were eating chapatti and chicken. One, the one with a missing front tooth, waved me through. I walked in, got my name logged in at the entrance, strolled around to catch any familiar faces. I found three, all women with the full creation of God’s art and his light shining on them. I said hello to them and bought four books for my niece. Topped that with a cone of ice-cream which I licked like baby enjoying a swing session at a children’s playground. My upper lip got numb. I was alone.
Then I went to the chicken table. Those chicken pieces looked like a chef’s masterpiece. They could turn your eye into a pineapple. I bought one, got it sprinkled with sim sim and guess what it became, sim sim chicken. But when I launched my teeth into that piece of chicken breast, I could have extracted the salt to preserve fish at the shores of River Nile in Pakwach. Looks can be deceitful. That was the end of my chicken experience.
I took the road to Aristoc, Garden City and walked into the aroma of books and sites of places far away. I picked three books; The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises and A Moveable Feast, both by Ernest Hemingway. That was it. I stepped out and sat at the benches overlooking the water fountains, a place I had sat at with a chic earlier this year. Kids were riding on toy donkeys, going up and down as their mothers clapped and urged them on, taking pictures and recording videos.
Isaac, a quiet boy with round cheeks, green shoes, rabbit fur-like hair and an attitude of a soldier was in the game so much he knew what he was doing. He rode the black donkey with a fluffy tail. A girl in a pink shirt, a pair of shorts with Cuba printed on it, her face painted with butterflies and dandelions, was struggling with the mechanics of her donkey. Was this a sign of how tough physics might get for her when that time comes? I thought. She rode the white one with a large black dot at its butt. I watched them go round and I wanted to become a kid again.
Then I got tired and went back home, made myself a cup of tea, had dinner, went to the john and took a dump, flushed the shit down the drain, brushed my teeth and took a warm bath, washed away all the shackles of 27. I wiped myself clean and got out of the bathroom a dry man. I said a prayer of gratitude, opened Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, read three chapters and it was past midnight. I slept in Adam’s suit and woke up in the morning of my 28th birthday, with an erection.