BROTHERS KEEPER

by bantuh

There are four of us in the car, four lads cramped inside a weathered Mitsubishi Cedia, barreling from Nairobi and steamrolling into a little hick town on the outskirts of Eldy, for a funeral. The car is such stuffed with testosterone, so much as if any one of us risked even a feeble whiff of a fart, the whole car would explode with masculinity lathered with patriarchy. We had to get to our destination before Mishkys grandma was rested and so our idea of beating the time clock was to wake up to a drizzling naked Nairobi night in an attempt to beat speed-guns, starved cops and the madness of traffic. Fat chance.

Gitzie is a rookie engineer which means he is still wafting in the miserly life of a student, half broke, half relying on allowances and with a shit idea of what to do with his brilliant mind. He is seated on the back right in a chilled poise of unfeigned nonchalance. His body language is that of a millennial who would rather be elsewhere than be bandied in a car with a posse of older millennial’s, all male- a girl would have been refreshing. He is an overly optimistic chap, he thinks life will unfurl like a maidens knickers on her wedding night as soon as he clears Engineering School. Poor sod has no idea of the gang bang life has lined up for him. He reminds me of my youth and my wild ambitions way before life came knocking and had my ass for dinner. He is young, amiable, tactically brilliant and sees more silver lining on a cloud than the chaps at the meteorological department. Save for the green behind his young ears, he is a top-notch lad with a good head on his shoulders. He is a broke gentleman.

Dwallo doubles up as our driver, he is also a businessman, dogged like a Southpaw, he never goes down easy. He deals all things appertaining to business provided it makes him money, he will sell, he will supply and he will deliver because he is all under one roof. Initially he started off as an IT chap, cables, wires and all that shebang before he figured out he wasn’t a day job chap. And so he hung up his codes, threw his monitors and keyboards over a parapet and started his stints with businesses- he has sold cars, distributed soft drinks, flirted with supplies; heck he even had a fast food joint which was on an obscene roll before some  bugger in the oriental tried a hand at bat cuisine and from then on, shit went downhill on a Ferrari. He is like an answered prayer, variant and yet still in a way glaringly inconsistent; business life is a dry humping fucker. Dwallo’s mind is a whip falling on a naked body or a shrill cry piecing a night in an eerie hamlet, it pierces and hurts, shapes and carves. He is a lad sharpened by experience, which is a fancy name for loss, being squared here and there by Nairobians sharper than he is and lacking in ethical boundaries. The other rest is taken up by a largely unstable economy, a pandemic flung in between and a string of bad luck which seems to hover above every entrepreneur and freelancer in this town. He is however relentless and seems to make his bones from whatever misfortune that swims his way. He is like a cat with nine lives to still spare because he is a man that goes on and on like a poorly done song, painstakingly without end.

Nyaks is the décor in this rugged commute of unfortunate souls. He is the breath of fresh air. We are goblets, wooden goblets, he is a wine glass with a sparkling drink costing two kidneys inside. He is a smooth cavalier, fine in his dressing, articulate in his speech and mannerisms when the rain falls with the sun shining and he is everything good a girl would want to see in a lad, he has many birds on an insanity mode. He earns his wages from standing in-front of cameras and burying it, probably it would explain his underlying sophistry but we never know, the lad oozes distilled finesse. He is well mannered like a just serviced vehicle and yet still upfront with his words. He says shit as he sees fit because he happens to be one of those lads who cannot suffer in silence. He shoots straight, like an errant trigger-happy copper.

I am the one writing this story.

In a way, everyone in this car is loud and unreserved, this could as well be a boys club- a poor mans version of a boys club. Gitzie is the only reserved bugger, almost as if he weighs the sanctimony of each word popping from his mouth or simply because of his moral standing. He talks intermittently, in a low growl of a drawl seemingly suggesting that he is a man of few words and also because he thinks words are a boomerang, he doesn’t want them to come back biting his ass.

Nairobi is nippy and we are having to pee after every thirty minutes because the cold is playing a mandolin tune in our bladders. We tell stories and bitch around to keep each other happy and lively. The car has no music system because it is old and if per chance it had any, the simple act of turning it on would force the poor thing into a breakdown. So we banter about unmentionable irrelevancies. We whine about girls, especially the ones in Nairobi. That these were sent to remind us to live justly and to walk humbly with our God. That they are mafiosos with our hearts, they exhaust without refilling and hop from one heart to the other to wreak havoc faster than a crab scuttling on a beach at night. They are deities without a ringing conscience, ringers if you ask me.

We talk about brotherhood and the question of the bro code pops up, almost sporadically, like a weak line.

I think the bro code is the devils gesture of pissing at humanity and our perspectives on morality and I tell this to everyone in the car who bothers to give a squat.

I might as well have crooned for Sanaipei Tande and expect an encore. The bro code is sacrosanct to this small clique of ne’er to dos. If the code says that a brothers girl is off the map, she is off the grid to all the brothers in the circle whether the brother is still scoring with her or not.

“What if it was the brothers mistake that the relationship went to the rocks? Is the damsel still a no go zone?” I inquire.

“Precisely, she is still out of bounds for the lads mates”.

“You mean that if any of you here philanders here around like a lewd Frenchman and happens to lose a good girl, the rest of us have to form a virile protectorate around her? Like the best that we can be around her is form a wreath of harmless eunuchs and nothing less?”

There is a hint of bewilderment in my voice as I ask this question, almost like I already have an answer and nothing these chaps will say will convince me otherwise.

“Exactly that! For me if anyone of my friends goes out with an ex of mine, I would suspect they had had a thing going on behind my back, which is nothing short of betrayal.”

The fuck.

Personally, what my exes do with their lives and their entirety is their damn business and I kind of expect the same. You are not soul mates with girls you once dated, you need to detach your entitled ass and allow them to live their lives without your sorry self hoovering over their tits like a misbehaving cloud. If it happened not to have worked out, there is nothing personal to it, you are not the problem we are, take a hike son.

“The fuck are you niggas smoking?”

What kind of entitlement makes people hold interests over other humans like a sharecropper on squatted land? What kind of brotherhood rewards folly with honor? What are we, a band of pirates or members of a society that operates on a mainland with rules and regulations? This whole concept was a buzzard nipping my earlobes and I didn’t hide it.

“You all are my homies don’t get me wrong but I am not the chap that will blindside your moments of wild. You are allowed to trifle with folly once in a while but it should never recede to a level which dents your future, I am no healer but I make a bloody good embalmer. “

And so I look at Gitzie dead in the eye, I know he has a lass tucked somewhere and I remind him that if he hoes around Nairobi and gets his ass dumped and I happen to have reached the age where a man wants to dig his roots deep and his ex happens to be the kind of woman that would make a happy home. I will throw my lines her way and if she feels the vibe, we will walk the sunset together, fuck the code.

There will be no bad blood between the two of us because we know how to separate family from our personal issues. If it happens that the two of us will stumble down a church isle together, Gitzie is still my boy, he will wear a suit and get assigned to a bomb ass looking bridesmaid, for old times sake.

Probably the whole crew thinks I am a backstabbing fucker.

I have no codes. I am an orphan and my only code is to stay alive, be happy and make a shitload of money while at it.

Win, win, innit?

Also, Gitzie says he was on my side. Good boy…

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1 comment

Lopur Narumbe November 26, 2020 - 10:27 am

Superb. But why this short?

Reply

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