It’s weird.

Seeing things unfold in slow motion,

Puzzle pieces clicking into place,

Showing you clearly how heartbreak will come.

You hold your breath, turning blue, hope tearing up your insides.

Doubts thumping against your chest, propped up by each puzzle piece secured.

A new world this is, an unfamiliar playbook for a familiar pitch.

It’s weird.

Watching the picks strike your heart.

And knowing any moment now, it will shatter.



I am terrified of two things: Snakes. Dentists. And maybe not necessarily in that order. But the gap between the two is quite skinny.

I was about 11 years old when my mother took me to a dentist in downtown Nairobi. I thought we were headed to one of those back-alley salons where radio-shows ring out via shrill sounding boxy machines and ladies rap ki-jaluo as they pull and manipulate your hair into a semblance of braids.

We arrived at the dentist’s at about lunchtime. She seemed rushed. She was an older lady of Indian descent. I sat in her chair and she never spoke to me, only to my mother. I was nervous, and I clasped my hands together in front of me as I often do because of nerves. I wished she would look at me and send a reassuring smile my way.

Nope.  Continue reading

Lost and Found

So, I thought I’d lost you.

Somewhere between dried up tears

and choked up bitterness,

I thought I’d lost you.

That smile that was never fully freed

and that laugh that always fell short…

made me think you were gone.

I couldn’t remember your name

and I could barely recall your face…

That face that was never really open

and that look that always seemed cold.

Your anger was always palpable to me

and your bitterness needed a lemon…

I thought I’d lost you forever.

To heart-ache’s graveyard and

to no-rainbow-no-sunshine’s hell.

You had forgotten how to smile

and how to let someone make you

feel so…so…so happy.

Happiness was a foreign concept,

inspired only by self-sustained moves.

You deserved more than that,

more than self-serve joy and glee…

I am not asking you to believe in fairy tales


Nor am I asking you to put blinders on and leap

from your safe hiding place

into the unknown.


I thought I’d lost you.

When tears ruled the day and all we had was

our ‘what-if’s’ and our ‘why-me’s’ or our ‘why-not-me’s’

and so we hid. From them who hurt us the most.

And them who never saw us when we stood

right in front of them offering our keys, our selves.

Our love.


I thought I’d lost you.


But you showed yourself.


And I welcome you back…

with a whole-heartedness and fire

that needs no quenching…


Let’s let love back in.

Written October 10, 2010 10/10/10


The minute hand on the clock seemed to hover over the roman numeral twelve forever. His right eye twitched as he tried to will the hand to move, for time to pass by. He desperately wished for the next minute, for the next thirty to fly by. Or he wished he could give his breath for the last fifteen to never have happened.

His left cheek burned from the slap that had knocked him onto the floor. He called it a slap because he was too masculine to admit that she had shared her best right hook with the side of his face. He could feel the cold tile against his right cheek, and could feel the grout between the tiles. He wondered who laid the tile, if she had used Njoroge like he had advised or if she had, as she tended to, gone her own way and used her own person. He wondered if she had called Maryanne. The lady with the purple dungarees, tattered and torn, covered in paint but she swore that this Maryanne was the best Man-Friday in Nairobi. His right eyelid had not batted since the hit, and he stared at the clock. Why did she have a clock in the bathroom? Did she time her bowel movements? He had never noticed. But then again, he had known her for only a year, started dating her a mere four months back. He had never observed her toilet manners. He remembered liking that about her. She never did anything unladylike in front of him. His mother’s words came floating into view, “A real lady never farts or pees in front of her husband”.

He remembered his mother clearly now. Why did he remember her now as he lay, sprawled out on the cold bathroom floor, staring up and sideways at a clock that did not Continue reading

Roller Coasters

I don’t do well with emotional roller coasters. I also don’t do well with real life ones, either.

For the emotional ones, the unforgiving combination of my wild imagination and a ready-to-go slideshow of all the heartbreaks and disappointments that paint the walls of my memory only serve to stoke the flames of what-if’s that seem forever lined against my heart, waiting in the shadows to drop and blow up my heart.

I know…dramatic.

I try to avoid roller coasters. The real ones and the emotional ones. Especially those placed in my path by others. I react in one of two ways Continue reading


Splinters of sunshine piercing an armor

that has been gathered, fashioned and built over eons,

packed over time, steadfastly rooted in never-again and what-if’s. Continue reading