Dear December

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Dear December. 

What is it about you that makes us want to remove our clothes? And dance in the rain? Or just stand at the window and feel the light on our chest and for the neighbours across to say, “There goes the strange bearded man who stands naked at his window.” What is that thing about you, December, that makes us want to leave our socks on the floor and drink the yogurt from the box? Why do we sleep with our mouths open this month? December, you are a bad influence. We were warned about you yet we still run into your debauched embrace.

The morning light is brighter in December and our hearts are lighter with generosity. When we pee, we forget to zip our pants the whole way up. December is a reward for walking through 2019 with its grime that reached our knees. December is our dessert after a meal where people showed up but removed their shoes under the table. Desserts are vulgar but everybody loves dessert, even those who always skip dessert because of sugar. Any matter, they all look at it longingly, enviously, because dessert means living a little, going against the grain. Dessert means saying, fuck it, we are here now and we want sugar even if it kills us high. Speaking of which, there is some dessert in Hero restaurant (Landmark Hotel) called Roadside Royalty which is roasted maize ice-cream, toasted ground maize kernels, lime and some seasoning. A wizard of a chef waved his magic wand over mahindi choma and there was roadside royalty. If you are ever looking for imagination, that dessert packs a ton of it. It’s the kind of dessert millennials would describe as “orgasmic.” Or “food porn.” 

I digress. 

December is a masterful seducer. The Don Juan of the year. It always carries a comb in its back pocket because should – God forbid – the wind ruffles his African hair. Whereas July sits in a corner of the bar sulking under his hat and a jacket that looks like leather but is actually made from polyethylene terephthalate, December always sits at the bar counter, back straight, legs crossed, chin out. The type that sends a drink to a lone lady across the bar. Then spoils it by winking. But December doesn’t care because December is a disrupter. December has nothing to lose; not it’s dignity, not honour and certainly not its reputation. It doesn’t wear it’s morals on its sleeves either. When it goes to church, December’s mind wanders and thinks of sitting in bathtubs with someone who is allergic to nuts. And December drinks its whisky neat because ice is for preserving fish.

When December calls you – and eventually it calls all of us- it’s a call you watch ring as you think; should I pick this or should I let it ring out? Unlike April’s call, December’s call never ends well. Because you will wear your shoes and you will only remove them in the middle of the night when your head is heavy, your breathing is shallow and you are probably humming a song you shouldn’t. 

While in February we are still sore and smarting from hard lessons learnt in January, December is a leap off the ledge. It’s wearing a hat you would not be caught dead wearing in March; something with a sunken inside that you can also use to carry roadside fruits. Or collect offering in a church. December will make you stare at the wall and not feel like you are going crazy. I know a guy who started his leave on the 1st of this month and will only resume next year. When I asked him what he planned to do the whole of December he said, “Why do I have to do anything?” Because December is stasis. It’s not knowing where your phone charger is. Or even your phone, for that matter. It’s afternoon naps with one of your arms dangling on the edge of the bed. It’s eating chips and calling it chips, not fries. 

We don’t know what January will bring. Wait. Actually we do; despair, bewilderment and great angst. We just don’t care. We have been hypnotised by December’s charm. December has put us in its pocket, telling everybody it meets, “look what I found.” Life is short (but not shorter than January) but here we are in this moment of great festivities and it beggars the big question, are we going to live this moment or are we going to think about next month, a month that is cruel to us?

God will never let us starve. I think it’s written in the bible, but don’t quote me, it’s December. We go extra in December. We buy things we don’t need. We buy for people things they don’t need. We drink in the afternoon and eat at 10pm. When we order meat we say, “I want goat,” because we are essentially animals in December. And when we buy wine, we read the label and if its silver, has nice fonts and claims to be from Chile, we buy it. 

We are gay and unhinged. In the bar we place a brotherly hand around a friend we haven’t seen in ages and ask, “What do you mean you are on antibiotics? Here, drink this neat, it will kill all bacteria in there.” Because December turns all of us into doctors. We are outlaws this month, doing things we haven’t done in the year. In December it feels like the world is ending and we will not be held responsible next year. 

Because of this we don’t look at those messages the bank sends after we have swiped our debit/credit cards, because we don’t want ulcers. December wouldn’t want that for us. December – like StanChart – wants us to spend and redeem those reward points for travel, shopping or travel next year. 

December, you are short and sweet but we will take you as you are. 

With Kind regards.

Lights On Team. 

[Ps: Please, no moaning about this piece being an ad, especially those of you who bank with other banks. It’s December, let people get paid.]

 

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113 Comments
  1. “December, you are short and sweet but we will take you as you are.”

    Remember January is long, long and sour, guys spend wisely, January will come knocking with anger..
    Merry Christmas Biko and every one.

    11
  2. December is the month I was born, December is the month back in the days, we would get new cloths and shoes for Christmas, December is the month your parents give you full attention and this December is the month I am far away from home. Celebrating it in central Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina!

    14
  3. The worst part of being an adult is having to spend your December planning for January because that’s what adults do.

    You get to understand the ‘si ni life’ face your folks during the holidays back in the day because now you have the same face.

    It is a face that says you understand the need for enjoyment in December but you also know the mathogothanio hurt that comes with lack of money in January. And that you don’t want to be those people who spend all their money in December just to call their friends stingy in January.

    Anyway, Biko if you do not plan for a gang meet-up for the year I will. And I will make you come.

    Happy holidays people.

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    1. I RSVP yes to this meet-up. Please organise one, could be dubbed “Fireplace Fans’ or whatever. Please arrange.
      And make Biko come.

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  4. December, you are short and sweet and i will take you as you are. January nothing personal though i know you are still waiting patiently.

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  5. Hahahaha Biko encouraging us to go all out and max our cards in December.

    Do it only after you’ve bought your children books, uniform and paid school fees.

    The rest will be taken care of as we get to Njanuary.

    Stanchat please be nice to us by reducing your interest rates.

    5
    1. Gang if you have extra cash and bank with Stanchart have a chat with them. They will help you invest and then you will never have to worry about Njaanuary because every month will be Dethemba. How about that?!

      2
  6. Is this it Biko?
    The closing of school post?
    I thought you’d hit us with a very emotional post about how you’re grateful for this squad. Boy was I wrong.
    But I like that you said that we’ll never starve. God will not allow it

    Seriously though, thanks for making my 2019 amazing. My Tuesdays were amazing thanks to you.

    30
  7. “December, you are short and sweet but we will take you as you are.”
    Jackson Biko, 17/12/2019.

    It’s a beautiful month. We live and we laugh.

    4
  8. Class of 2019,

    This year December is like a yellow yellow with a micro mini and red poutty lips,

    I will allow my self to be seduced since last year she was a Monastery nun with a Habit ,

    you couldn’t even see her eyes.

    Enjoy your holidays coz i will

    11
  9. December…even the car walks to the office on four wheels after the 12th of December if you are not on leave. Happy festive season everyone 🙂

    1
  10. a month filled with weddings, whats App groups for contributions, either for a cousin/friend/neighbor planning to go for masters abroad, a new church to be built next year, a relative seeking support for his school that he is planning to open next year(you can at least buy him kindergarten seats)..money out in December always being greater than money In. ,,but it is December, a month to feel generous, do something expecting nothing in return. Yes it is how December was wired..engineered for all this and that. January can always wait

    1
  11. When December calls, you shouldn’t even let it get to the second ring. That’s disrespectful. December is the G.O.A.T of all months.

    Happy festivities!! Don’t forget to save for a rainy (ironically) month a.k.a January

    3
  12. December and Kenyan politicians have the same charm on us kenyans. We dive in wholy even when we know well the waters aren’t safe. It’s December though. Once in a year shit!

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  13. Nice piece thou i aint falling for your six pack and manly behaviour my dear december .to SCB it always a pressure banking with you.
    Happy holidays biko

  14. Indeed, December is the small window that lets in much-needed fresh air after the asphyxia of eleven months of grinding. We loosen up and let ourselves bask in the victory of having survived whatever blows life has dealt us. So yea, we play. And indulge. sometimes excessively – and rightfully so.

    But, December is more than just a breath of fresh air,

    It’s a month to adjust our stance. To oil our squeaky wheels. To roll our sleeves. Because guess what, January is a mean beast lurking in the corner with her clenched fists. It’s not long now before she’s here.

    So, take in all the ammunition you need now, so you’re ready to kick January’s ass.

    11
  15. December….always a memorable month….a special month; my birthday month!

    But then again, we all celebrate it with not a care in the world

    1
  16. Ati millenials would call the Road side Royalty dessert ‘orgasmic or food porn’ .. We used to say ‘food that good is better than sex’..

    1
  17. “When it goes to church, December’s mind wanders and thinks of sitting in bathtubs with someone who is allergic to nuts….” The double entendre is wicked. Thank you for one of the best lines this year.
    I hope December treats you well.

    Michael

    7
    1. Haha allergic to nuts.
      Thanks for pointing that out. I didn’t pick it up until I saw your comment.
      No innocent comments from Niko it seems.

  18. Two weeks in and i dont even want to look at my bank balance.i shld have stayed at work till the 23rd.this leave is driving me broke.
    **Also if you are not banking with stanchart just put your money under the mattress. Same thing.
    Happy holidays

    2
  19. We have been hypnotised by December’s charm. December has put us in its pocket, telling everybody it meets, “look what I found”
    Yaa, that’s December for you.
    Happy holidays Biko and the gang

    3
  20. We are seizing this December Biko, we will not wait for January !! am already in its pocket, little do i care ! See you in a very short while

  21. Wait, Biko ended by saying “LIGHTS ON” and not the customary “Last one out of the room to switch the lights off”.That can only mean one thing, WE HAVE ONE LAST PIECE before the end of the year. Oh My!!! December I don’t care if you are on antibiotics or pain meds, the next one’s on me.(P.S on the rocks tho,we’ll be neat in January)

    3
  22. this is beautiful Biko! ! ! It’s December still no Christmas tree but hopeful to get one in a few days. .. it’s December i don’t belive santa exists but am still hopeful when I get the Christmas tree santa/ someone shall leave me some lovely perfume… !!!

    1
  23. But why December….. why not take after your siblings en assume moderation though…. Isorait,Ain’t gona whine… atleast not because of December

  24. Biko you had to end with December, December is December its bad ass like that, like when your dad tells you to do something you have to no questions asked.. December tumetii….happy holidays gang members.

  25. Oh Lord…I envy you people who enjoy December. For my industry, it’s always peak season, and working all of December sucks! Drinksember is a rumour. The only upside though is one is never broke in January, but dear Lord, I see what you’ve done for others…..

    1
  26. Wao December.. lovely piece .. December is the month I work like a horse… can’t wait for Christmas week to be home.. and to be one of the first to read on Tuesday.
    Ps. Am on for the hook up

  27. Thank you Biko for always giving me something to look upto every Tuesday of 2019.

    December inanipata matuu na andu ma musyi tuiya mbui. We will bring you Mangoes to sweeten your January, just sweet talk us.

    1
  28. What an ode to December! ( are odes just for folk who have died?) Oh well,it’s December, nobody cares! Here’s to enjoying everything that December will bring

  29. December is like Kenyan government.

    It plots to arrest you early in the year, then delays the arrest warrants , tracks you down the whole year with media mud slinging, teasing you with summons to EACC, then eventually arrests you in the first two weeks of December.

    Then release you before Christmas from Kamiti to go parte-after-parte…(Playing Santa)…then re-arrest you in Njaanuary for the December sins and misconduct.

    2
  30. Because of this we don’t look at those messages the bank sends after we have swiped our debit/credit cards, because we don’t want ulcers. December wouldn’t want that for us.Haha

  31. and the year 2019 came to an end….
    Thank you Biko for sorting me out during those Tuesday evening traffic.
    Happy December to you!

    1
  32. Sure… December is that month that makes you feel like you own the world. It’s that kinda month that you see all manner of weird but you go like, “well, wacha watu waji-nice”… But ni sawa tu December!!

    Happy holidays everyone!

  33. December is the month a lad lays his hand on your thigh and says, “what do you mean your days are unsafe.., its December, all days are safe, insured actually… ” Then January with all her utiaji vitu zinakua different kwa ground…

  34. December turns all of us into Doctors…”what do you mean you are on antibiotics?” Hahaha i used this line last Friday and we all got very high and happy after that.

  35. December is short and sweet and January as usual is waiting for us to suffer immediately after December lol! That is why all fees have been paid in advance and expenses sorted so that I party with no limitation 🙂

    1
  36. “We are outlaws this month, doing things we haven’t done in the year. In December it feels like the world is ending and we will not be held responsible next year.” My sentiments exactly!
    Have a great one guys!

  37. It ‘beggars’ a big question? Yes I did it this one time….I really enjoy your writing but am I missing something it ‘begs’ a good question ….it begs the question??

  38. Hilarious! December is indeed a month to over indulge in food and drinks. Though I don’t advise one to do so. Let’s not drink and drive. Also it’s a time to reflect what you have done through out the year

  39. “What do you mean you are on antibiotics? Here, drink this neat, it will kill all bacteria in there.” Because December turns all of us into doctors. Hahahhahahahahaah you made my day Biko