• by
Forester Gustochronicles

The voice that wakes you up in the morning. That feeling that makes you jump out of bed however much sleep is sweet. That excitement you have about waking up the next morning before you even go to bed. The energy that jolts your whack ass up for work lest you and your son have marbles for supper, yawns for lunch and at least water for breakfast. Lest you start living on trees because your landlord couldn’t let you stay another month. He says he has children to feed too. And a woman to buy nice clothes.

The roar of a Subaru inside my head zooming past me on Thika super highway wakes me up every morning. Its loud voice reverberating in my stomach way before it zooms past us. I have not seen it yet but yes I know that’s a Subaru legacy coming. How wouldn’t I when my love for Subarus and that for my girlfriend are next door neighbours? So the Subaru overtakes the kiKenya mpya bus am plying the Thika superhighway in and I can still feel its movement an hour later. The feeling when that B.M.W X6, X8 overtakes your noisy Chania Sacco matatu and you want yours too. You want to wake up tomorrow and work harder.

See when you are in that Kenya mpya bus and a Mitsubishi Outlander vrooms past you. This time it’s being driven by a woman. And you begin fantasizing. Fantasies about your girlfriend still sitting her cats with campus boys on her trail after class, after church, in the hostel, in the market wasting their 30 bobs on smokies for her instead of saving them up to buy a Subaru!! And you visualize her behind that wheel. Driving on that highway. Nodding to her favourite jazz music or some Israel Houghton jam. She dropped akina guruneti n kana funny when she met you. Akina sijui gafage gacathi wa thuo haha… I know she still listens to them sometimes when am not there haha… Muthoni lemme not continue. Where was I? (I love those jams btw)

Si u have ever peeped from on top of that your kabus into a land cruiser V8 n there’s a woman behind the wheel. That kafeeling. Envy, ecstasy, you can’t tell. But it’s not even the woman behind the wheel that makes me craziest. There is a way women sit in those driver seats cjui it’s the accelerator pedal that’s high ama? Her dress or skirt or whatever she is wearing is way above her knees revealing acres n acres of flesh. Thighs my people. Thighs. Just when you are about to begin fantasizing, the holy spirit slaps you back to reality and you can hear him say “TABIA MBAYA Gusto!! That’s probably someone’s wife in the first place. (For those who can’t hear him, he sends another Subaru N12  just next to the woman’s V8. And you are no longer interested in the many hectares of skin you were engrossed with) And you want your own wife to drive n have her dress reveal skin when you are in the passenger’s seat. Because you know that makes you go crazy and when you get home…!!!

You also want those baby on board stickers at the rear mirror of your car. Who doesn’t??!! You can’t think of your children going through the same problems you went through with P.S.V matatus. They never used to stop for school going kids. Ati because we were paying 10 bob instead of 20. And we’d stay late on the bus stop until another kacanter lorry would come to our rescue (Bless you canter owner. bless u). And even when our parents started giving us the full 20 bob, they still despised us. As if our 20 bobs were made of clay. Different from that of the ‘big’ people. Nkt! So you want to ferry your kids to and from school daily. Pick them like your affluent neighbours used to be picked sijui from Lions schools na wewe mlikua mnasomea Kafarage day C.D.F Primary.

It’s these voices that wake me up. I need no alarm clock. The noises from my boss who pays me peanuts saying am late for work. AGAIN!! The heart-wrenching abuses she hurls at you all day long just because you are 10 mins late. If only she knew the time you woke up. If only she knew you waited for a whopping 1 hour before a Manchester matatu came to your rescue. And you had to part with 150 bob. 50 shillings more than the normal amount you pay on a normal day. And today you have to make do without lunch. If only she knew.You cant tell why you wake up with blurry eyes and your pillow soaked. Drenched. You are sure that’s not saliva. But you know you loathe the boss’s noise. Makes you feel like crying all the time. You cant accept, though, that they are tears. You are a man. Men don’t cry.

So you wake up determined. How you’ll work hard today. Because your tomorrow is made today. And if you had worked harder yesterday, you probably would be in a better place now. You wouldn’t be here today. You would probably be waking up at 11 am to catch a flight later in the day. Kids probably homeschooling (hio aiwezihappen kwangu. Waende wapigane mateke na watoto wengine shule wakauke kama baba yao. Wacheze chobo ua wajue maisha ni kujiredeem) aaahh uuuhmmm sorry. Where was I? You’d pro’lly be sipping coffee at a meeting in Kempinski with some int’l delegates to discuss issues that could be handled by interns but u know u gotta show u working even if you are not really.


So today you woke up. Early. The vehicles u see overtaking your Kenya mpya bus, no longer make you envious. Before they got there, they used to be where you are. Everyone is on their timeline. Your Subaru is coming. The good life you’ve always wanted. The family. You are just being hardened for the future. So that when you get there, you will respect the ladder that brought u up. You will respect those in the place you are right now. You’ll will inspire and mentor others climbing up behind you. You will pull them up. You will be thankful to God for the far. And even when your pay gets to six digits figures, you will not fail to tithe and give offering.
But for now, you gotta grind. Grind like your life depends on it.