Hangovers are the devil. You feel as if you are trapped inside an active volcano. As if your body is no longer yours. As if there is a band beating drums and playing pianos inside your head. You are hungry but your appetite is gone. Sleepy but your head won’t let you. Your memory is obscure. Your joints are numb. You curse yourself. How could you drink that much on an empty stomach? How could you mix vodka, gin and whisky? You swear never to get that wasted again. At least I had a good time, you console yourself. I work hard every week. I deserve a little fun. And it’s not like I spent too much money anyway, you continue. In addition, I came home with a pretty girl. So was it all worth it? Of course! Wait, maybe not. Who cares? It’s already happened! This is the last time, I swear. Deep down, you know that you will do this again next weekend. And the weekend after next. And the weekend after that. But let us cross that bridge when we get there, shall we?
The best cure for a hangover is moderation. Reluctantly sipping a smoothie, hoping you do not puke all over your Turkish carpet. Switching channels on the TV that is on a single-digit volume looking for something interesting and tolerable at the same time. Scrolling through your phone lazily, before putting it on Flight mode. You cannot talk to anyone right about now. Regretting last night’s decisions in peace, before you get lucky enough to catch a quick nap on the couch. A tap on your shoulder awakens you.
‘Wakey wakey!’ she whispers.
You drag your stiff body up. The fine girl you picked up from the club last night is standing in front of you, with only a towel wrapped around her. She has one leg clutched behind the other as if she is pressed and might just pee on herself.
‘Oh, hey. You’re finally awake,’ you say. You are feeling better. Your headache is gone and the drums and pianos have taken a break.
‘Yeah. I’ve even taken a shower,’ she responds, shyly.
You take a look at your wall clock.
‘Shit! It’s 12.00 pm already!’ you exclaim.
‘Yes. I am already late for an audition I was to go to. I should bounce,’
‘Oh, right. Let me see you out,’
‘First, I need a little favour.’
‘You don’t happen to have a pack of sanitary pads here, do you?’
This catches you off guard. You stare at her as if she has some kind of infectious disease.
‘What? My period is irregular,’ she lashes out.
‘Oh. Uhm, I don’t think there is any here. But I can rush to the shop down the street and get you a pack,’
‘I will appreciate,’
You pick your bunch of keys and slothfully drag your feet out the door.
You come back a quarter of an hour later. She grabs the pack and strides to the bathroom. She comes out shortly, all dressed and ready to go.
‘I have washed the bedsheets and hang them on the hanging lines at the balcony. They were a little stained,’ she says.
Again, you stare at her, bewildered.
‘What?’ she asks.
‘Last night when we…you know… were you…’
‘Oh, God No! I wouldn’t do that to you. It just started this morning,’
You are not convinced. You have seen this kind before. This is the price you pay for a promiscuous lifestyle. Weird bunch of characters. The other day you came home with one whose breasts were secreting milk, despite her adamantly claiming she was neither pregnant nor had ever given birth. Another one had her pubic hair falling off by itself. Just like that. She said it’s her body’s way of detoxifying. Another one refused to leave and assumed that you two were now a couple. She even invited her younger sister to move in. But at least this one was leaving early, and on her own accord. You did not have to lie to her that this was your brother’s house and that he was in the army, and that he was on his way home from a mission in Somalia.
In spite of her irregular period, this one is not that bad. She understands the one – night – stand dynamics. We meet at the club. I take you home. We have a good time. You leave first thing in the morning. No feelings. No attachments. No questions. No moving in. No inviting your sister to move in either. You see nothing. You hear nothing. It’s a good thing she is leaving because you have a dozen text messages from Natasha. She is demanding to know why your phone has been off. She wants to know what your plan for the weekend is. She wants to hang out. From her tone, you can already tell what she wants. Sex. Joy is still not responding to your charm. Besides, your newly acquired friend advised you to ignore her for a little while. And after last night’s shenanigans at Kiza, you don’t think Lilian will want anything to do with you. At least not today. So you respond to Natasha in the affirmative. She can come over. But first, you need to buy a new set of bedsheets.
Sex with your husband usually does not last long. It is slow, structured and predictable. There is not much foreplay. He kisses you slightly on your lips, descends down to your neck, rubs your nipples for a little while before lowering his briefs and sticking it in, not caring to know whether you are wet or not. He holds you by the back of your thighs and thrusts his body back and forth. It is a large body. A large stiff mass of fat. You lay still, like a dead fish, with your eyes closed. Occasionally, you moan and bite your lower lip. Sometimes you grab the sheets by the tips of your well-manicured nails. This kinda invigorates him. His breathing intensifies as he rams himself inside you even faster, with drips of his salty sticky sweat dripping down his face. He mumbles some gibberish as he releases inside you, his jaw clenched and his knees straightened like a flag pole. He then rolls over to his side of the bed and in a minute or two, starts snoring like a freight train. A faulty, rusty archaic freight train.
You cannot remember the last time he had made you orgasm. He always leaves you feeling dirty and worthless. Like you are some piece of old unattractive furniture. Or some kind of depository where he can dump the misery from his political baggage. You dash to the shower and turn it to maximum heat. You wash away his scent. You scrub off the traces of his semen still oozing from inside you. You feel better. Clean. Attractive. Female. But still aroused. You open the bathroom door and take a peek at your husband. He is sound asleep, farting his ass off. You dim the lights and step inside the hot tub. This time, you turn it medium heat. You lay against the edge, drop your head backwards and close your eyes. Your hair absorbs the foam floating at the top of the water while your face absorbs the vapour escaping upwards.
Your right index finger finds its way down to your crotch. It strokes its way around searching for the boy in the boat until it finds it. It rubs against it. Up. Down. Left. Right. All this time, your mind is replaying scenes from yesterday. Sam’s house at Kahawa Sukari. How he had tied your hands with one of his ties and spread your legs across like a pair of scissors. How he had rubbed a chilly ice cube from your lips, down to your neck, around your nipples and crushed it into your navel. How he had wobbled his tongue against the very place you are rubbing. Up. Down. Left. Right. How you had felt the earth move when he had gently but firmly made his way inside you. How you had climaxed and called out Sam’s name before flaking out in spasms of pleasure. The rubbing intensifies. Deja Vu. The earth is moving again and you are silently calling out Sam’s name. Another climax, courtesy of Samuel Kibe. You cannot help but wonder, how the hell does he do it?
You can tell that Isak Baraza had sex last night by the way he behaves the morning after. He will wake up early, shave his beard, wear his best suit and replace his leather belt with suspenders. He will whistle his favourite song as he reads the paper during breakfast. He will chatter about what he intends to do today and catechise his wife and daughter about what they intend to do. It is in the middle of all this cacophony that your cell phone rings.
‘Good morning. Is this Ms. Natasha Baraza?’
‘My name is Michael. I am calling you from ABC Insurance,’
‘This is in regards to an insurance claim for vehicle KCA 332D Subaru Impreza, insured under ABC Insurance in your name,’
‘Insurance claim? What do you mean?’
‘Well, I presume you are not aware?’
‘Aware of what?’
‘The vehicle was involved in an accident last night at…’
‘An accident!? Where?’
‘At Ruiru. The vehicle is currently at Ruiru Police Station,’
‘Oh My God! What happened? Is Sam okay?’
‘Are you able to come down to our offices today? We will be able to answer all these questions,’
‘Wait a minute, is Sam okay?’
‘Ms. Natasha. Please avail yourself at our offices as soon as you can,’
And the line goes dead.
You stay affixed on your chair, staring at your cell phone, completely perturbed. Your husband and your daughter goggle at you. You were so engrossed in the conversation that you had forgotten they were right there in front of you.
‘Mom, is everything okay?’ Nina asks, with a piece of toast falling from her mouth.
‘Who is Sam?’ Baraza breaks his silence.
You leer at them, disoriented.
‘I have to go. Please drop Nina at school. I will explain later,’ you say and disappear into the morning sunlight.