*Alan Shadowrine*

Boom, I think I hate my life. Why should I not? I’m seated on the rabbit gardens situated at the entrance of Nyeri town from Nakuru side. I’m thinking of hitting a blunt but, that guy on the bench underneath a Croton tree, with a red Coca-Cola tee shirt looks like he is manufactured in Kiganjo Police Training Institute, main campus.

I may strike a joint and sleep on the cold confinement cells if not lifeless on the bench of Gakere street.

Unfortunately, I can’t start to wander around like a drunken cork because, the policeman with a fat belly and some loosely hanging ass warned that he would shoot me dead if he saw me loitering around Nyeri. With my freedom of movement virtually at risk, I don’t know if I will survive this Corona period. Whoa, forget it.

There are few cars passing by, and the people in this garden are seemingly so beaten by life. They are all waiting for the darkness to start falling in so they can go home, if they have one. For me, my nights are comprised of epic encounters with the police. I got some mbwa kali on my ass last week and I literally ran through a fence. I lost a shoe and my knee hurts.

So, let me sit here for a bit before the police on county Land cruisers start owning the night in the name of a curfew. Plus, the gardens have inclusive and absolute rights of farting absently or consciously. Breathe in, for I am about to tell you the story of my street life.

You might have come across me along the streets, outside the Tuskys mall begging for ‘tea’, or rummaging through dirty bins of the municipal council with a rugged pair of shorts, a torn button less shirt, an oversized hood, a pair of dirty unlike shoes, shaggy hair and of course a bottle of cobbler’s glue protruding from my hood. You may have seen me sleeping in the dirty ditches at midday, snoring loudly and hardly caring about Corona Virus, you may have run away from me, you may have called me “street kids” behind your masks and walked away from me like I am an alien. For that is what life has made me. Me and my brothers.

Before we lay dead on the roads, several bullets stuck in between our forehead and our chests, blood flowing from us in payment of the havoc and mayhem we cause, before we receive the painful torture from the warden police officers, behind the angry bars of maximum security prisons, before you stare at us with a sinister look on your face, disgusted by our look, just before we are wiped out of  existence by Corona Virus, lets tell our story, the story of we the kings of the streets.

On cursed Monday you will find us on the stretch of the dusty streets of the roads and in the noisy overcrowded bus stations. We will be in tattered shoes and sick from hangover from the glue the town cobbler supplied that weekend, fresh and cool. We will enter into the classic barber shops at Samrat building, and the barbers here will have our heads to try out whatever shaving style the human mind of a barber can compose. Not forgetting the new New-York hairstyle they saw in the movie called Thug life. Otherwise, we will be at the main stage, tapping on the windows of the PSV cars, and begging ten shillings from you for tea and coffee, which of course will befall the ears of a hearing deaf. You will probably lock us out, which won’t hurt us so much because we are used to that and because we really never care about the response that follows after the stimuli we induce.

The lazy Tuesdays will find us in the ditches of the town streets and in heaps of garbage demolishing them in pursuit of something edible. Here we will munch down the two slices of super-loaf bread the kid that goes to some group of schools threw away, we will escort the bread with some remains of ugali or its coatings that remains at the bottom of cooking pans, we will rain on the marrow in the bones of the meat some other fellow left behind and we will wrap our balanced diet with some yellowish liquid in some Fanta bull cans. We will tear every polythene bag, smash any can, poke at some human shit wrapped in baby diapers, scratch anything that can be scratched, we will look for anything valuable and we will walk on to the next bin before other town gangs scamper for the new garbage before us.

That sounds pretty awesome, like we are the street surviving gurus, we complete the incomplete, finish the unfinished business and save the world from too much disposal, too much spillage, and too much wastage of scarce resources.

On blessed Wednesdays, midday sun will catch up with us at the central park, and our gang leader will be pissing against a signboard with something like “Onyo: usikojoe hapa.” Some mates will be overturning the do-not-litter dustbin looking for something not worth littering. There will be noises of confusion among us: when to raid the newly opened chips and snacks café, who stole our master’s underpants that he had left hanging on the fig tree across Chania river to dry up after the Sunday shower.

We will draw our afternoon, sketch the evening and spread out for the rest of the day in the county council’s stadium or the central park of the town. Night will find us lying on the grass that doesn’t grow, underneath the roofs of the deserted dilapidated and incomplete buildings that partially protect us from the demons of death that roam around at night. Here we will snore like old Ford tractor engine as the moon walks towards the west, with glue stuck in our mouths, cigars and weed in the multiple pockets of our hoods and some coke running in our wild blood like the demons of hell.

On Thursdays you will see us chasing after the county municipal cars that have come with fresh supply of garbage from the Roses apartment. We will cling to the black and locked windows of your fancy car to induce some mercy in your hardened heart. We will cautiously tap your window; we will stretch our hands to you before you send us away. And we will match briskly like that’s nothing, but we will not walk too far, we will be at the car parked next to yours, where we will try and play our cards right with these new beings as we wait for the gods of nature to soften your heart and let us in, or curse you and your invisible descendants.

On Fridays you will see us on the run as some uniformed and armed security officers from strict departments madly chase after us. Personally, I dread the sight of the G4s officers. With their huge brown dogs from Germany, you can never have a roof under their premises, whether it’s raining manna or hails. The few of us whose limbs are innately strong will run from the inhumane officers but will unfortunately be caught up by the flying bullets pursuing us.

By dusk, you can be sure to find us or our bodies in the county referral hospital with gun wounds. Otherwise you will find the remains of our bodies covered with some white sheet in the far end of the stinking morgue where we will reside for the incoming weekend, and if no one will claim to be part of us or to know us, we will be dragged into the dark forests in the darkest of nights where the wilderness will lay our souls in pieces and feast on our remains. Forces of luck have apparently found a resting place in me; I trust them every single day of my existence to lead me home.

On Saturday, you are sure to find us cuffed in those stinking police cells for mistakes we know and some we don’t. We will cry out to our mamas who are far away from the world of imagination, and our souls will weep, for the mistakes of the city bandits belong to us the chosen few. If some of us escaped the Friday omen, we will rock and roll with your girlfriend at the 019 bar. Saturdays will as well find some of us fighting for the greying and rotting bananas at the edge of the town’s food market, where only the fierce and the strongest of our gangs best survive. We love free fruits. Free things are always the sweetest.

On Sundays you will definitely spot us at the banks of the river as we jump into the flowing water with absolute insanity, naked as you were when you messed up with your first chick and you put some visible protrusion in her tummy. We will dive into the cold water with no clue of any existing danger, we will somersault in the water, raise our buttocks in air with our heads down as if grasping for some air with our asses, we will laugh and shout and wash in there until some uniformed KWS officers with elephant guns will shoot us out of the damn sweet recreational facility. If lucky enough we will manage to grab our only clothes and run to hell with them, otherwise we will run after our nudity, our manhood screaming up and down leading the way as we closely follow behind him. We will laugh with our hearts smiling at the chance of ending the week gracefully, and our minds calculating the commencement of yet the same schedule for another seven days.

Should there have been a better way to live, we possibly could have weighed the alternatives. We are not always as bad as we are told, plus, we are just trying to survive, as all people out there are. Is that all? No, I haven’t told you about my girlfriend yet. Oh, and how we once arrested a policeman and literally made him forward match a couple of times. I just have to go, there is a police Grand Tiger coming, and remember I was promised a bullet if I were spotted in town?

Let’s catch up later in the streets, just don’t forget to be a little kinder when we meet. You’ll notice me, I don’t have a mask yet.

@Shadowrine                                       #Stay the f*** @ home.

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