Blue or Red?
This is for you Pernile!
Do you remember your clubbing days?
There was a time when I was a night hawk. Night and you would not find me after 7pm in any office grimacing at a computer like the screen was a mirror to make expressions at. Nor would you find me at my bachelor pad in shorts seated on my stairs, enviously eyeing my neighbour’s girlfriend who took extreme pleasure in modeling for us in a nearly see through lesu as she made her way to and from the communal showers. No, I wasn’t there.
Nor was I in some evening class hobnobbing with juniors ten years younger than me, wondering what story I would tell this young chick who thought she was the smartest two timing Cleopatra trick in the history of womankind. Well, you smiled and acted innocent and older, unaware of these things, and told her how you had never done this before and she would have to show you how this was done and you could see from her superior smirk she thought she had you took. No, I wasn’t there, in those classes, beating the evening traffic in worn suits shiny tie flying over shoulder on life threatening boda bodas to make my classes. I wasn’t there. No, life was elsewhere and I was there. I was in the clubs.
Not the usual. I mean who goes to Ange and Silk unless they have never been to real clubs? Ange and Silk are for the tourists, and the songs and the style is tailored just right to make them feel they are getting a sampling of what it means to live in Uganda. There is just enough hint of danger and the unfamiliar to make the tourist feel that they are out of their ordinary element while not making them truly uncomfortable that they have strayed too far and will not find their way home. I was not in clubs like that.
I was in clubs and night spots that true Ugandans who are fans of Straka Mwezi patronize. I was in those ‘dives’ where you are all waiting for either the LC to show up demanding that the club has reached noise pollution levels because his wife has refused to ‘give him some’ or the Police will turn up on account of the rumour that Amanda’s Angels are going to perform there at about 2am and Sarah Zawedde is poster girl material. I was always in clubs like that. From Kireka to Kisenyi and I even broke town boundaries getting to Mbarara and Jinja and now I have even got to Entebbe.
How I reached there, in my sober moments I still contemplate in wonder, a blurry memory of Swahili speaking drivers in Ministry of Agriculture vehicles supposed to be headed to Juba the only still clear conversations had, never mind that I never speak Swahili when I’m sober and myself. All I know is that Sunday afternoon, I was always sure to wake up with an empty wallet at about 1:30pm and pockets full of scribbled numbers with invitations.
All that did not matter. What mattered on Sunday afternoons and evenings spent crouched over the under the bed basin was remembering the perfect moment I had got from some deejay whose face I would never remember and whose phone number I had long lost before I got out of the club. The perfect moment when he or she played a sequence of songs that in perfect matching and marching order were my favourites.