I like to call her my most expensive (favourite) mistake. A laptop that I bought and named Estelle. A Hp Envy M6. That name is drippy with class. It’s such a name that you’d give to an exotic dancer. A stripper. Like the ones I’ve seen on TV. Estelle. She was vel. Her complexion, satin silver. Slim, embodied the perfect curves and edges. Oh, I could even touch her screen. She had Beats (by Dre) audio. And the movies I watched were never anything shy of 1080p. She was panache. My baby. She blew me…my mind- idiot, she blew my mind. A powerful machine- cutting edge. The first thing I ever downloaded was Bastille’s Bad Blood album. The second, a Kim Kardashian movie. You won’t find it on IMDB. My friend, Andrew Ngure is a big fan of that movie. Mutiso begged me for that movie. Hehe. Have you heard Lucky Dube’s Sins of the flesh?…anyways, it was a long time ago. She was very expensive. Sometimes it felt like I was showing off. Old man really complained. He thought it was vain.(I’ll get back to this). We all possess something expensive, no? Something that’s left a handsome dent on our finances. We should never apologize if we get a tad too extravagant- life’s too short. Just don’t make it a habit- vanity is a disease.
She always felt so cold every time I brushed my fingers upon her skin. What? We were in love. A love that was as sweet as wine. I’d switch her off and wrap my arms around her, protecting her from falling and hugging the floor. Gravity is always jealous. In the morning, I’d press the power and watch her pur back to life.
The road wasn’t always smooth with Estelle. She’s never going to read this, so I’ll just say Estelle was a bitch. She was pretty…pretty high maintenance. The &M& key stopped functioning. She’d switch off while I was in the middle of FIFA. Attitude. The surface she was on always felt hot. Not because her ass was fire, because I overworked her a tad. I made her sweat. She could handle it. That’s not what she said, I just assumed. I can’t wait to talk about my dream car. I’ve already named her Meredith.
Estelle fell into a coma. She stopped responding every time I tried to turn her on. A laptop. Playing hard to get. So I ask a cousin to help me out, there’s no way old man is finding out about this.
My cousin, Martin. Cool guy. One of my idols. (Part 2 of No Role Models will be titled Fathers’ Day.) He’s agreed to help. We spend the better part of the Eid afternoon looking for spare parts for both our laptops. He hasn’t given his laptop a name. Has had it for 9 years. Some first generation Toshiba model. An old dame. Loyal to him and only him. She’s grown on him. Let’s call her Martha. She’s doing just fine as we speak.
Most gadget repair stalls were closed. But we’re lucky to find one next to Nairobi Sports House. It neighboured a sports boutique. The owner spoke like a Njuguna. He looked sporty. And ready to get that pesa. Call that Sporty pesa. He looked like he didn’t believe in the rest that’s guaranteed by holidays. Like he likes Monday. He’s all about the grind. Getting that extra shilling. Nothing screams rugby enthusiast than the Kenya Samurai jersey he wore. Shujaa. Inside his stall were jerseys. That’s his grind, he sells sports jerseys. A 32-inch LED tv rests at an obscene angle high up above the merchandise. Njuguna and his friends were watching Euro 2016 highlights. He’s sold countless jerseys during this Euro Finals month. They watched how Ronaldo inspired his compatriots towards victory over the Welsh. There was some banter about Germany and France. Not worth it. We all know how the game ended.
Martin and I sit silently after . I’m worried about Estelle. I missed her. I silently promised her there’d be no more FIFA. No more Kim Kardashian. Her feelings would come first. She just had to wake up. I pressed my lips with worry. I felt like I was in a hospital’s waiting room. At the same time kina Njuguna kept insulting Ronaldo. And here is when banter becomes noise. The number of people who hate on Cristiano is ridiculous. He will shut people up some day. It’s how I used to console myself. Until…
Njuguna’s friends are proud Bukusu and Luo men. They’re all Kenyans. Oh. And they were all Gor Mahia fans. Boasted about a talented teenager who’s been nicknamed “Marcelo”. Left-back reloaded. Hatari.
I turn back to Martin. He’s reading the Standard. A headline screaming something about Ababu Namwamba switching sides, sort of. One of the proud Gor fans sees this screamer of a headline.
He tries to be funny,
“Na huyu Namwamba amenunuliwa na millioni ngapi.”
“60 million. Na Kalonzo amekuwa tu on-loan, mtaona his true colours.” Banter? The Kenyan political scene is also full of transfer rumours. He questions the loyalty of the leaders to the mwananchi. He’s tired of how alliances shift. The way agendas just turned mediocre. Promised to be mean with his vote. All this was after one of them had announced that ManUtd had bid 100 £ million for France’s Pogba. We laugh. Glory.
“Siasa hazitusaidii.” Martin whispers to me. I get no concrete answer from him when I ask who he’s voting for next year.
Millennials, are we voting?
I change the subject. I ask him about Spain. He’s spent some time in Valencia. I ask him about the weather. The politics. The food and culture. The ladies must be smoking, yes? . What impressed him the most during his time in Spain?
“It’s summer over there.” He reminisces. “The people are generally friendly. Mind their own business. Wametulia.”
He adds,”The air was salty. But I never got to go to the beach.”
Why? How do you not go to the beach when in Spain?
“Everything about that place is magical. It’s a city of art. I’d spend hours admiring the architectural style. The food is great, the wine gives you peace.” Eh. My bucketlist has a new entry.
They have wine that gives you peace? They have Asconi? Because that wine gives me peace.
I ask if he took any good photos. He says he has a friend, some Japanese photographer. He admired the professionalism. Imagine a Japanese man making love to a camera. His name is Yang Wang. They were one. I have a friend, photographer extraordinaire, Michael Kabora, he makes love to his new camera as well. I’ll ask him if he’s given it a name. He’s awesome with the camera. God bless your talent Kabora.
“How’s the night life?” I want to hear more.
“Clubs open at midnight. People just go dancing. Their culture is full of dance. They’re moderate with their alcohol intake.”
“And just how corrupt are their leaders? Surely, you must have some dirt. Does everyone pay taxes?”
“No, si nimekwambia wametulia. They had some county elections one Sunday, the media was impartial with their coverage. It was all calm. People just voted and got back to work.”
Politics is only for those who have the time.
He says this and I remember tear gas Mondays. And the complimentary police brutality. Eh. Okay, we can hate Monday.
He was impressed by the most random acts. From the window of his apartment, he once saw a driver pull up to a red light, in the middle of the night, none other in sight. Waited for lights to turn green, and then drove off. Is that what they call evolution? I know what I would have done instead.
The fundi then informs me that Estelle needs a new motherboard. I won’t be talking about how depressing this is. I don’t write using my laptop, I use a white Lumia. I had an iPhone 4 before this. But I moved on. This one is a loyal beast. I’m sentimental, it’s hard to move on from this phone. Every time it falls, I pray that it’s not the end. Gravity. Samsung have sexy phone offers though, I just might…
About Estelle, I’m at crossroads. Fixing the motherboard would feel like I’m betting on a dying horse. What would Jesus do? I really wanted her to come with me to Spain one day. Shit.
Sometimes this plays in my head.
GIRL: Do you read TheWriteDavid
BOY: A *right David ? What’s that?
GIRL: Noooo…hehe.. The blog. THE. WRITE. DAVID. The writer uses all these emojis and stuff…
BOY: Nope, I’ve never found an interesting blog to follow.
GIRL: You will hate this one. He once said that Adam Young from Owl City looks like a version of Messi that pays taxes.