What Happens In The Blue Room?

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I haven’t written a decent sentence in five days. I’m in a bit of a creative slump, something that happens once in a while. It’s like walking through dead air, a place with no gravity. A place with no walls.  I do nothing but sit on the balcony under pots of my dying ferns (I’m unbothered with the emotional rollercoaster that plants subject us to) and eat nuts, bananas and succumb to the compulsive urge to make eggs. Occasionally, I play Spelling Bee from the New York Times App and get distracted quickly by something trivial.

If you look at me seated there you could be fooled into thinking that I’m in a state of deep reflection when what I’m thinking is, “Where the hell did my power bank go?” I’m not one to linger in bed at 5 am, but the last few days I’ve been lying in bed till 6 am doing nothing but watching videos of people and their dogs on Instagram. It’s despicable. But it’s a familiar tide I know how to ride. Before I’d panic. I’d think, Oh shit, what if I was never a writer? What if I’ve always been a Quantity Surveyor? The other time while I sat on the balcony eating my groundnuts a small bird suddenly perched on the railing and gazed at me with what I imagined was curiosity or passive aggression : Hmm, human with a big moving jaw. After getting bored with the staring match I said out loud, like I was addressing another human, “You can’t have these nuts, they will choke you.” It looked at me with its small hard beady eyes and thought, Oh it’s not worth it, and flew off. 

Occasionally, I will go swimming at 11 am when there isn’t anyone in the pool except this one showy fellow with 2% body fat. At the end of his lane is always a plethora of unnecessary things; fins, pull buoy, snorkel (Jesus), a massive jug full of some colourful liquid, and a small stool! For no reason at all, he annoys me. How he takes 15 minutes stretching before he jumps in like this is the bloody Olympics. How he dabs at his face with his towel, like he doesn’t want to ruin his foundation. I normally get this urge to hold his head under water and as he thrashes about I shout, “I’M SORRY, DO YOU NEED YOUR DAMN SNORKEL? DO YOU WANT TO SEE CORALS DOWN THERE?” 

On Sunday evening I went for a walk with Kim and he told me about this boy in his class who spends a lot of time staring out the window. “Sounds like me when I was in school,” I told him. He ignored me and said, “He has autism.” That word sounded foreign in his mouth. I was surprised he even knew what that was. He’s ten. 

“Are you guys kind to him?” I asked him. 

“Yes,” he said. “But he keeps to himself. He spends a lot of time in the Blue Room.”

“What happens in the Blue Room?”

He said he didn’t know. 

As we passed outside this house I said, “What a strange looking house!” Then he said something very bizarre. He said, “When I was small I was always so scared to pass outside this gate. When I’d pass here with mom, I’d walk quickly as I look away that side.” I looked ‘that side’ and then back at the gate. 

I said, “Why? What is scary about this gate?”

“It has eyes.” He said. “Can’t you see?” 

I looked closely and saw the eyes! Things kids see! 

You know how sometimes you watch a wildlife documentary of the vegetation of game parks burning because it gets very hot during certain seasons? And animals scurry about, running away from the raging fire? And some die in the fire. And others have to move territory and engage in vicious fights over those territories with other predators resulting in fatal injuries? How you sit in your living room with your hand in your shorts (that’s how I watch TV, at least) and think, Oh, no! Can someone put off that fire and save these poor animals? But then you see after a few months, grass sprouting from the dark ashen land, and the landscape turning a wild green attracting birds and more animals and it’s almost like there was never a fire in the first place. 

That’s what this creative zone I am in; of a raging fire burning down everything. It’s only if this fire burns down everything that new vegetation will grow. It’s a beautiful process but not when it’s happening. When it’s happening it’s rubbish. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I have a Guest Writer today. 

Gang, it’s Joe Black. Remember him? The young king of debauchery, which means I cleaned out some really bad words from his piece but left some because then it wouldn’t be JOE BlACK, would it? Because a clean JOE BLACK is not JOE BLACK. (Dunno why I need to have his name in caps]

Anyway, JOE?

***

By JOE BLACK

Whipped, mobbed, jailed. All in 24 hours. 

Well, Blize, you hit the trifecta, didn’t you? You might ask. 

Calm night, as cool as any you’d ever expect in Kiambu, full of din and sin, and you’re boi’s chilling. With Niv*, of course, a wiry, wily fella that thrives on opportunities, whom I’ve known since childhood and was working at some PS shop which has since been shut down, because it’s 2020 and it’s at the height of the Pandemic but I’m happier than a squirrel with a nut. Cliche, yes, but I can not get over Chappelle’s stunt on Nutty Professor and Eddie Murphy’s retort, “It’s your world, dog, I’m just a squirrel tryna get a nut!”

There was something about the pandemic, was there not? The frenzy, the tension, the Apocrypha mania that we all thrived in. Or maybe I was alone. But I had Niv. Got this house at the outskirts of Juja, a two-bedroom bungalow, sweet as you’d like, with a nice ass view of the teeming Gatundu forests, vines galore, and streams of water so pure, so fine, you’d have to drink on your knees. 

Me and Niv, living like kings at our elegant bungalow for which rent is dirt cheap because well, there are no takers. Everybody’s left for the country and those who are around are broke. But I’m as preppy as I’ve ever been; feeling like COVID’s a blessing, it’s evened the playing field and I’m not on any drugs, just recently got off methadone and managed to do this without getting any major hiccups. The place we’re staying in has two other bungalows, and a row of bedsitters for the paupers, a class I’ve long left( a couple of months) and currently hold leviathan disdain for. I’ll be back, of course, but that’s neither here nor there. 

Mmph, why should anyone be poor? 

I ask myself as I sip on Moët courtesy of Sandra*, a neighbour in one of the bungalows and the crux of this story. 

See, Sandra’s a ten. I have never met anyone more perfect than her, at least not in person, but severally on the hub. I describe her numerically because it puts things into perspective especially when you think of George Carlin’s brilliant summation, 

Y’know, all my life, I’ve never fucked a ten but one night I fucked five twos and I think that ought to count”. 

You know how you meet these extremely beautiful chics but with always a noticeable flaw? Pretty, perhaps, but with no sex appeal whatsoever. Goddess-like but with a voice raspier than mine and with the cigs I smoke. Or with the finest tetás; perky and loquacious, pointing straight ahead, and standing at attention like an NYS graduate on the pass-out parade but all that offset by zero nyash? Once I met this fine bird on a mat from Pipeline, so beautiful I had to compose myself for a good half an hour before I could strike up a conversation and that’s saying something since I consider myself a regular lothario( As a man thinketh). Well, your friendly neighbourhood Casanova slides in with the classic, “What’s your name, what’s your sign? Tell me what your interests are, who you be with?” Unleashing my inner Biggie, even going a little cross-eyed for full effect, she goes like, “Naithwa Njackie”, and proceeded to heavily shrub with each other word. I have nothing against accents, I especially find the Meru accent exceedingly alluring if it’s coming from a chic and not from Mwenda when he is in one of his moods and is ranting about how it’s so dry in Meru and cops are fleecing him, all in an attempt to stiff me off my veve. But, and this is no exaggeration, her breath was like the whiff of death and that dichotomy struck me forcefully. Mind, I’m not implying that given half the chance I wouldn’t have sucked on her face but you get my point. 

Well, not Sandra. 

She was classically beautiful, with a decidedly Habesha cast to her and a mix of the European, piercing gray eyes, courtesy of her mixed heritage, an aquiline nose topped off by chiselled, high cheekbones, a rosebud mouth just yearning to be kissed and luscious flowing curly hair with brown highlights. Her voice was melodious with a slight lisp, like the slow trickling of a mountain stream against pebbled banks and whenever she’d call me, “Joseph”, I’d get weak inside and get combat ready to defend her against even Thanos himself. She always called me Joseph, a name I can’t stand, but coming from her it made me feel warm and fuzzy, but if any regular person calls me that, the gloves are coming off. That’s strictly for tens. You would think being that pretty had hit the superlative but no sir, Sandra had one more shot in her locker – her body looked like a peak Michelangelo sculpture; an arching long neck, rounded 32 C-cups( I saw her bra), flat tummy with no hint of the superfluous on it and a navel ring to boot, compounded by a massive derriere ( she just didn’t have cake, she had the whole bakery) and miles upon miles of legs. Niv used to say she must have been created by a sex addict and, although I found it a tad blasphemous, I can’t think of a more apt description. 

She was cool, down to earth, nonchalant, and totally oblivious of her physical perfection, and the effect it had on others. We became fast friends and would chill at her place for hours, smoking pot, playing FIFA( she’d royally thrash us), drinking wine, and reveling in her beautiful presence. 

Naturally, there is a reason why a girl as beautiful as her, who could easily grace any magazine’s cover, hold her own against models, strut on Victoria’s Secrets runway and have everyone drooling, and be at home on any luxury yacht, or the arm of a billionaire, would be chilling with us, regular-ass folk. 

Well, Sandra was stone-cold crazy. 

Oh, and moneyed too, I should add, which together with how fine she was, and the fact she always bought everything from fine liquors to high-grade zaza and whipped us some delicious meals which she took great delight in, did a lot to mitigate this in our eyes. We never knew where she got her money from but we were perfectly convinced she was on OnlyFans or one of those cam-sites. Still, we found no evidence of this despite putting in hundreds of hours poring over all the possible sites and there’s nothing to numb your brain more than looking at thousands of naked chics with your boy and you all have to pretend you don’t know the other guy’s bricked up and will be heading to the john presently to go at himself like a billy goat, but a bit of self-love never hurt anyone now, did it? This one time though, I caught sight of a delivery package ( she was always getting deliveries), and although it was properly wrapped up in an unassuming brown paper, it still clearly read, “anal sex toys” and I, who had only assumed there was one toy for the rear end, was pleasantly surprised to discover that there were, in fact, multiple, given how heavy the package looked. 

A quick rundown on her mental state. 

Sandra regularly saw ghosts and she’d get so scared she’d come to sleep on our couch with the both of us being forced to sleep in the living room as well, wondering why she didn’t just choose to sleep with one of us instead so we could exorcise her, if you catch my drift. These were always tense nights because you never knew when she would break into an ear-splitting scream in the middle of the night. Or when you would wake up and find her face an inch from yours, staring unblinkingly at you while you were asleep. She would also randomly start chanting in a language we never figured out but it had to be a real one because who can go on for hours on end in a made-up language? She would also buy live chickens from the caretaker who reared them, slaughter them herself, and hang them out to dry. Rabbits too. This especially made Niv paranoid as hell. He was always saying, “Bro, this chic will sacrifice us one day”, and made sure never to black out at her place. I had no such inhibitions, myself, and regularly kipped it on her couch in the vain hope that she’d call me to her room for my two seconds of honest work. 

Oh, and Sandra was a money burner and I mean that literally. A trip to the bank meant one of two things; that I and Niv would be given a wad of cash to get clothes for ourselves so we would stop looking like “niggas in Kenya”, or she would sit cross-legged outside her house and proceed to light up money, note by note, watching it burn while she sang nursery rhymes, or chanted in her strange language. Jarring, at first, but we eventually got used to it. Not so the Reaper; a guy who lived in one of the bedsitters, who was behind six months on rent, never changed clothes, or talked to us, or even looked at us without the purest of contempt in his face, and whom we called Grim due to his pale skin, mean demeanor, zombie-like gait, and permanent whitish, chapped lips. 

Grim never missed any of the money-burning sessions. He would pop up from nowhere, stand at a little corner somewhere, and watch the entire thing with an unreadable expression, delighting Niv to no end.

“One day, Death’s gonna crack bro and it will be glorious to witness.” 

The caretaker, Guv’nor, who by day was a hardworking nduthi gang member never saw one of these rituals but he also somehow magically knew of them and would later come and stand for a few minutes, sometimes well over half an hour, over the spot where the paper had gone up in flames, chin held in his hands, possibly thinking of how ashes could be revived. We once saw her burn 47k and by the end of it all, Grim was shaking like a brothel bed, tears glistening in his eyes. It was so intense that Niv, who loathed Grim for his pompous ways and dismissive attitude toward us, felt pity and told me;

“Let’s give that fucker some cash to have fun today. I doubt he even knows what that’s like, the ashy-lipped son of a Salamander”. 

So we did. 2k. Did Grim say anything, thank us perhaps? Nop. Took the money with a snide, mocking smile and went on his way. 

“Wallahi Blize if I ever find that tight-ass mfer burning I’ll piss on a tree, instead!”

Come to think of it, Niv just wanted Grim’s acknowledgment and love but that was a tall order. While the Reaper seemed to detest everybody and everything, he had a special contempt for Niv, for reasons he could never fathom, and that drove him up the wall.

So that day we’re chilling at Sandy’s, watching one of her documentaries on serial killers. She’s braless( a staunch “Free the Nipple” believer, was Sandy) and wearing these loose shorts that regularly get caught between her cheeks whenever she goes to the loo which is often because she’s quaffing glasses of wine. I’ve just come from the Colonel’s, a cranky old retired army officer whose memoirs I’m writing and who keeps getting on my nerves because he won’t let me record him for future reference, I have to take notes, and his imperious daughter is always hovering over us and the Colonel is always on my case about my hair as I had baby locks at the time, I almost snapped and told him, 

“Look here you miserable geezer, it’s not my fault that you’re bald and you have a domineering daughter even though you seem to disdain the female species and I sure as hell didn’t put that bullet in your back that’s got you on that fancy wheelchair so get off my case.” 

We were cool as hell, though, even though he held all my views with the utmost contempt, constantly derided me, and made corrections to my text, and I quickly came to realise that he did not intend on publishing his memoirs. It was just a way to relive his old life and my, oh my, what a life it had been! His favourite subjects were war and women, and he should know something about women since he’d had his fair share of them the world over. Whenever the conversation veered off to the ladies, he would get a gleam in his eyes.

The Colonel was a riot but the best days were when his imposing daughter was not around and he’d say, “To hell with the begrudgers”, and break out a bottle of 35-year-old Scotch, sleek Cubanos and we’d drink and smoke while he waxed lyrical about killing men, and slaying women. He truly lived by the sword and to this day, I still think it’s fucked up that they let the Colonel die in some London hospital instead of in a duel, as I knew he would have wanted to go, or with some damsel’s mouth wrapped around his member, and also made me sign an NDA, with all sorts of crazy provisions. It was a sweet gig though and I was earning awesome chums, all things considered, and although he’d grate on me sometimes, I loved that old codger and miss him loads. I’ll one day write about him and “to hell with the begrudgers” though I have a niggling feeling that that haughty daughter of his will take me to the cleaners. 

I must have ended up asleep because I woke up to the sound of Niv screaming, 

“SANDRA, NINI MBAYA? WACHA HIZO SANDRA!! TULIA BANA! AHHH BLIZEE HUU DEM ASHACHIZI ANATAKA KUNIMADA MANZE, BLIZEEEEE!”. 

At first, I couldn’t process what I was seeing. Sandra was standing there, stark naked, and even in the heat of the moment, the sight of her in the nude with silky hair at the juncture of her thighs, disoriented me for a few moments until I saw that she was holding a whip. I’m not talking about this lovey BDSM whips with frilly flails and all but a long-ass deadly-looking sjambok, like the ones the Moi-era cops used to have, that I would never have suspected she owned. She took a crack at Niv and landed a vicious blow on his back, immediately followed by another sharp one and the situation was so comical, so surreal, what with Niv screaming like a baby, that I involuntarily chuckled. Bad move. This made her notice me and before you could say Jehovah Wanyonyi she had turned her attention toward me and delivered two rapid strokes. 

Goddamn. I never felt pain like that in my life and I screamed louder than Niv, than even a woman in labour. The entirety of the situation, and its bleakness hit me; there was no way out since Sandra always had her house and all her doors locked, there was also no way to approach her because that diabolical whip had a long range and from how she was handling it, she had experience with such ranged weapons so trying to wrest it from her would be an exercise in futility. Not trusting myself to take any more shots, and needing time to think, I pulled a move I had seen in this old Jet Li flick, Bodyguard from Beijing, jumped over the couch and flipped it over myself. 

Now, it’s an orchestra of whip cracks that sound like pistol shots, and Niv’s crying and pleading with her which was followed by his flight to the bathroom where he locked himself but at the time, cocooned as I was, I didn’t know what was happening, so when I heard relative calm, and because I never learn, I chanced a quick look. Of course, she descended on me while I curled up and took intense lashes to the back and bum. Sandy is not saying a word, just busy working on me. 

I have since been whipped after that, in shady sex games, and also delivered whippings myself, but that’s toddler’s play compared with the beating Sandy unleashed on us. I even recently met cops with nyahunyos who were chasing us out of a pub and even took one to the forearm, but it was like the soft caress of a fly whisk compared to Sandy’s machinations. Thankfully, Niv took this chance to grab her keys by the kitchen counter, open her door, and dash outside, closely followed by a screaming me in true testament to her skills, I still took a glancing blow to the ribs that knocked out all the air inside me. 

“Bro, I told you that chic’s crazy, man. Fuck! I forgot our keys. Jesus Blasting Christ!”, that’s Niv whose skin is shredded with weals and welts and smatterings of blood. I’m pretty sure I look the same but at the time there’s no time to appreciate the humor of the situation because there’s Sandy, her nude form looking glorious in the moonlight, but she has the crazy, glazed look in her eyes and in her hands, the whip. Guv’nor and Grim, roused by the commotion, are both looking in but safely from their windows. 

No time to think about it. No time even to open the gate, it’s a clean leap in two bounds and we get the hell out of dodge so now we are walking aimlessly around Juja and it’s at night, there’s a curfew on, and the place we’re staying in had had its recent spate of robberies so there are watchmen and citizen patrols at night but at the moment that doesn’t register because Niv is busy castigating, and throwing dirty looks at me, full on in his blame mode. Then a group of people, the guards, with vicious dogs, shine an extremely bright light at us. Disoriented and jumpy as we are, we immediately take off running thinking it’s cops but they blow their whistles and sic their dogs at us. Soon, we’re caught and if we thought that Sandra gave us a beating for the ages, we have another thing coming. 

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This guy is mad. Who possibly lives a life like this? It’s make-believe. Anyway, Register for the masterclass HERE. Class is slowly getting full. Or grab my book HERE

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39 Comments
  1. There better be part 2 because nie ma! That ending is the biggest cliffhanger i have ever encountered. Aki si you open a second day (thursday) for Gloria, Joe Black, Eddy and even Magunga (we know he is now a globe trotting fashionista but we remember his beginnings (i cant call them humble). Even Bett should show her face around here sometime.

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  2. I chuckled at Niv screaming like a baby too. Had I been there, I would have been a victim of the blows .
    Blizeee!

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  3. All hail Joe Black! ><. The only thing wrong with this is that I chose to read it in class during a very sombre discussion.

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  4. “Naturally, there is a reason why a girl as beautiful as her, who could easily grace any magazine’s cover, hold her own against models, strut on Victoria’s Secrets runway and have everyone drooling, and be at home on any luxury yacht, or the arm of a billionaire, would be chilling with us, regular-ass folk. “…………I was like this sounds too good to be true and then bam! Next paragraph took me out lol. She could only be raving mad, all screws loose and all…at least you finally caught a glimpse of that goddess sculpture albeit in a great rush scampering to safety.

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  5. Nst! Can’t be real the way I hollered! Anyway, more power to Sandra. Maybe it’ll be one particular guy I know next.

  6. Well, Joe Black, you have giggling like a teenage girl with her crush…at a coffee shop, full to the brim; Ps. wouldnt mind a thrash, to see that 10.

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  7. Hey Biko gang. Is it just me ama niko peke yangu? I read the first sentence on JB’s story and skipped. Said, nah, Liz you are not reading this. Then something told me to go back, I felt guilty, like I am letting Biko down. Haha.

    Nimesoma nimeshindwa. Got to the point they gave the Grim guy 2gs.

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  8. “SANDRA, NINI MBAYA? WACHA HIZO SANDRA!! TULIA BANA! AHHH BLIZEE HUU DEM ASHACHIZI ANATAKA KUNIMADA MANZE, BLIZEEEEE!”.

    That unexpected twist took me out!

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  9. So Joe and Niv saw the red flags but still waited to see how red they could get until they were red with blood. Haha.

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  10. Ten years ago, on an dewy morning Biko introduced us to a BLACK 17yr, old teeming with a flavorful prose. (Joe Black Munuve). He has since evolved to be even darker, lurid and replete with experiences only he could have. Stay on course Joe. What is light without Darkness?

  11. I have been putting this off for the last three days but finally read it and it was worth it. I hope there’s a part 2.

  12. This dude had brought me out of my commenting hibernation over the last 4 years..this was bloody hilarious! please have him.feature more times

  13. Funny that I’m a Quantity Surveyor and I’m constantly thinking what if I’ve always been a writer?