Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Recently, I suffered one of those shocks I will never quite get used to. Not many people have heard of Undo. I’m still getting over that one! I read him everyday though he blogs like a ruminating monk! Coming out once in a long while. But those brief jaunts of his into the sun outside his room make up for it. Can I say it again like a prayer? Undo is one of Iwaya's must reads and when I’m in a cafĂ© with five minutes to go, he is one of the five blogs I spend a minute each on, humming Sheryl Crow’s Leaving Las Vegas, that drumming thump of departure, because nobody knows better than Undo what it means when, “I’m stuck in the middle of the desert ... waiting for my ship to come in. Take this loser hand and make it win!”

For 10 glorious days before my business instinct kicked in again, I was the proud owner of a Samsung E 800. Believe me, this is going somewhere, I think. Or maybe not. Because I have been listening to Third Eye Blind and that that genius lent me and now I can’t stop listening to Losing A Whole Year, the same exact time, that Ivan said hey this way, and I found her! The girl who reminds me of a girl I once knew who whispered, choking back tears, “I hope you take a piece of me with you...” while “the cigarette ash flies in your face…” and with her it was cool to sleep with an ex, solely for the sake of the abundant sweetness he possesses, well now, I remember the young Madonna before Ritchie.

(UNRELATED: I’m lining up my finances to buy an original copy of Showgirls, a movie some have said is so bad it is good, one of my favourites. I know some of my tastes really suck (hehehehehehe!), but I think I’m in the camp of defenders, because I have visual memory and I never forget, how could I forget those oil fields on fire in the evening, truck travelling with nothing but hope and eyes as wide and gleaming in the night like milk filled saucers....)

I’m nostalgic, looking back, ruminating, reading through old notebooks of five years ago, scribblings I made when I did not know if I would be going back home that night or if a friend said we have a ride to Congo, I would without heart pause clamber onto that battered green Tata truck because I was like that. I’m looking back, because of jewels of the past gleam still. I did not know he had started blogging again, but it was the muse of my days when I thought I could not bear to go home again, afternoons slumped in her couch gazing out of her living room window paralyzed, decided to start again that I knew why on December 31, 2006, wine in a glass, my arm around her, watching the sky by the lake, I knew this year would be a good year. I’m just riffing, you know. I get that like that, Richot thoughts on my mind. New distractions too many!

Like Timothy, a new delight. Timothy of the smarmy music who I’m yet to recommend after Truman Capote he should try and watch the movie Office Space because that is the knock down funniest movie about workplaces I have ever seen and there is this joke about Michael Bolton that…aw shucks! Go watch the movie! Nothing lasts forever but I still don’t know what to make of him except I have never read a blog post yet that talks about the merits of sunscreen and then flips to muse about Paris Hilton preparing for her jail term with a Holy Bible in hand. Tim the White Guy has been around too.

But if you have not heard of KenyanMusing, bury you! Hatchet you! You’re beyond my powers!

Leaving Las Vegas: Sheryl Crow

Losing a Whole Year: Third Eye Blind

The Duke in His Domain: Truman Capote

Office Space

PS: Blogger and I are wedded. I’m staying.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Micheal's Gone


    Your posts are too, too long.

  • You’re always writing about her in one form or another.

  • When you’re not writing about her, you’re writing like you’re writing about her.

  • I do not understand some of your posts.

  • Of late you’re blogging too much.

  • There is no reason why you should not attend the UBHH.

  • You’re not as good as you used to be.

  • You link more girls than guys, why?

  • I would like to see you blog more about something else than love.

  • You’re wasting your talent at that other job of yours, when are you going to leave?

  • When are you going to ask me out?

  • When are you going to let me read that novel of yours, I know there’s one!

  • Put up one picture of yourself, just one, you know you want to.

  • You said you were moving to, what happened?

  • How come you no longer talk about Felix, your cat, was/is he for real?

  • I would very much prefer to read a post titled A Day in the Life of Iwaya

  • Why did you say Never Date A Writer? Do you want to date one?

  • Where is Mataachi?

  • Who is your favourite, favourite blogger?

  • I hope all this is not going to appear on your blog because I will kill you!
Deluding Myself with: The Very Best of Sheryl Crow 2003

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Like Magic

It was a toe stabbing stumble in the dark, a sober thought in the pause between Richots, a glimpse of light going through the tunnel, Dastur Street in the midday Kampala sun with nowhere to go but back to see you, everyone gone but you waiting for me, and I did not want to come back and I had to come back…then…

A Kampala day miracle…booming radio on the white bonnet of a saloon car trying to sell a DVD of the series 24, the music CDs and compact cassettes ignored, and from his radio hearts pouring into the street…

“I've been long, a long way from here
Put on a poncho, played for mosquitos,
And drank til I was thirsty again
We went searching through thrift store jungles
Found Geronimo's rifle, Marilyn's shampoo
And Benny Goodman's corset and pen

Well, o.k. I made this up
I promised you I'd never give up…”

Hear me calling to you! This is me talking to you, take my hand, you’re not alone…because…

"If it makes you happy
It can't be that bad
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad..."

My greatest happiness was in contemplating reminiscing when I was happy…

"You get down, real low down
You listen to Coltrane, derail your own train
Well who hasn't been there before?
I come round, around the hard way
Bring you comics in bed, scrape the mold off the bread
And serve you french toast again

Well, o.k. I still get stoned
I'm not the kind of girl you'd take home.."

You’re the girl I was looking for, more than a girl, the lost splinter of my soul, wandering all the years of my life over the earth and back again…

"We've been far, far away from here
Put on a poncho, played for mosquitoes
And everywhere in between
Well, o.k. we get along
So what if right now everything's wrong?"

I turned around for you. You’re the One. I turned around for you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


This is for fun!

I was going to blog about 300, watched it and I was left temporarily dazed, did a stupid thing and went back and watched it over and the euphoria is gone. It seems I can’t get over this new, what shall I call it phase, of listening to the smarmiest of music. I was even caught listening to Milli Vanelli’s Girl I’m Gonna Miss You and had to go down a convoluted explanation road of how I actually wasn’t listening to a couple of white boys who could not sing but appreciating some underappreciated behind the scenes singers who made Milli Vanelli the flavour of the month sensation they were, Grammy swiping and swinging before some haters otherwise called whistleblowers decided to go into the kitchen of their singing and let the guests in the hotel gagging with their findings.

The whole 1980s music thing is upon me after a 1970s Rock music infatuation that left me this morning pain, a doctor plumbing away in my ear for things that gave me the shivers when I saw what he had extracted. The cause of my distress and why I have been moody of late, not drinking anything and eating less with half my face more immobile than a Communist guard's. I’m listening to Bananarama, Culture Club and think Boy George is wittier than many a musician I have read in print, and when he coons, “Do you really want to hurt me,” I know he is a gay guy but I just wanna hug him! I tell you these confessions are going to be the end of Iwaya but with my ears all almost back to full functioning mode, I’m glad to be discarding the new nickname I was getting at the office One Ear Iwaya, which I thought was kind of well very pirate-ish and reminded me that I should look up the latest instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean now that Jamrose has gone and killed my appetite for Spiderman 3, even if I did not find Dead Man’s Chest interesting and the Depp affected acting got on my nerves with no further flourishes on display. Can you keep up?

Affected acting though can be just the thing as Infamous proved, not only just charming me, but knocking me for I have not seen in a long time a movie that come so close to depicting for real how a writer’s life is. Infamous could possibly be the best movie about writing and being a writer ever made! It helps more that it is about one of my favourite American writers, the much excoriated and celebrated Truman Capote, who I do not love for that opus In Cold Blood but for his short stories (I own a tattered omnibus edition) and his travel writing. My God, could Truman write a travel piece and not just take you on the journey but make that journey an eternal part of your own experiences! And if you have never read his profile on the great Marlon Brando, you have never read how real writing is done! Once even, when I was still a university student, I discovered a book in the library of the Paris Review interviews with authors and Capote’s advice on how to end a story has never been bettered and he used an orange explanation of all things! Hoffman did a good job in Capote but Toby Jones IS Capote!

Before my visit to the doctor today morning, I went with two dear friends and bought my own copy of Infamous. There are not many movies I save on the hard disk of Betsy because only the best deserves to be retained, but Infamous is getting saved. I loved, love, and know in ten years time I will still love Infamous. This movie is about us!

One Ear Iwaya: Ghost Story by Sting


“I have read that past and future are a spiral, one coil containing the next and predicting its theme. Perhaps this is so; but my own life has seemed to me more a series of closed circles, rings that do not evolve with the freedom of a spiral: for me to get from one to the next has meant a leap, not a glide. What weakens me is the lull between, the wait before I know where to jump. After Dolly died I was a long while dangling.”

"My own idea was to have a good time."

Truman Capote, The Grass Harp

One of those Days, One of those Days!!

I have never been happier than I’m right now.

I think about unhappiness all the time.

There is something important I have not told her or you.

I think about the people who read this blog a lot.

I have met some of you but you did not know that I’m Iwaya.

I was outside Mateos when the first UBHH was held.

I walked from Dastur Street to stand outside Mateos and imagine what the first UBHH would be like.

In that moment I realized I was living an Edith Wharton novel, The Death of Innocence.

I miss Dee blogging regularly.

27th Comrade constantly amazes me.

I learn something new nearly everyday from Ernest.

Undo still knocks me out all the time and I can’t believe quite yet he is my friend and yet he is.

If there was one blogger I was given the chance to meet anywhere in the world, it would be Scotchbiscuits.

Kenyan Musing is my favourite Kenyan blogger though she blogs irregularly and she likes to pass herself off as an airhead. She’s far from an airhead.

My ideal party date, apart from Her, would be Cherie.

I’m glad everyday for Minty.

I’m sorry if I have not commented on your blogs as much as I once used to, but that’s blogger’s fault.

Can I say, I’m back?!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Whiter Shade Of Pale

It’s been 16 hours but I still can’t stop thinking of you. Sending you away was one of the hardest things I have had to do in months, since that time when I had to ask a 16 year old girl, “are you sure you did not make him think you wanted to have sex with him?” Sending you away, not in a restaurant, not at home slumped on my couch, not even in our favourite bar in the evening, my pirated films dealer pestering me to buy the latest Spiderman 3, sending you away not in any place you knew, was one of the hardest things I have had to do. Sending you away, standing under an ant bite marked old electricity pole, unable to look you in the eye, watching the road impatient to cross, you watching me with eyes so wide and shimmering with tears that would not fall on that sidewalk, was one of the hardest things I have had to do. Sending you away when I knew better than anybody else all the secrets in your heart and the things you have told me and have never told even the friend who lets you sleep in his house because he does not know how to send you away and he’s afraid to cook for himself, was hard, harder than when I had to face my first heartbreak, the chaining of my heart led slow stepping to death row when I learned that I was the fool who had been faithful in the quadrangle I had found myself in so I had stood by a road, 2004, a university student, not picking up my ordered Rolex chapatti, my Siemens first phone trembling in my had, knowing pain for the first time. It was harder, much harder than then, deciding I would never see her again or them. Much harder.

Because you were with me before they came. You were with me before anybody wanted to be with me. You were with me when I did not want to be with me. You were with me when I did not think there was any point in being there at all. You were with me longer than anyone except my mother has been with me. You were with me longer than that wonderful Sandra woman who took me outside the room where everyone was and begged me to go back in for her, because I had to do this, I was created for this. You were longer with me than anyone has been with me, believing in me when I had long given up, used to spend Saturday and Sunday afternoons walking the deserted, dusty playgrounds of schools I used to school in looking for a part I had lost, looking for the boy I used to be, the love I tipped into the soaking earth looking for my break-time juice and never knew I had lost. You were with me long before I knew you were with me. You were with me more faithfully than the shadow I have not looked to the wall for, or the moon that must still be in the night sky under which I trudge every night home, thinking of nothing but the DVD movie stashed in the side pocket of my latest blue backpack and the girl who is going to stay awake with me chatting until the miracle fairy of sleep dispensing twinkling sand sends me to a thoughtless slumber, a girl I have not told how much it means to me that by SMS she is holding my hand, in the night of terrors when I cannot sleep unless a wearied body snuffles out a mind that does not stop conjecting. You were with me before all these people and yesterday, I told you I did not want you to be a part of my life anymore. It was the hardest thing I have had to do in so long, tell you who I never asked in the first place to be a part of my life, to leave, to never come back because I did not want you anymore, telling you.

I’m still thinking of you. I did not think I would still be thinking of you yet here I’m, being accused by Annie Lennox, thinking of you, still, as if you’re the first person I have had to hurt. Like I did not hurt that guy when I declared that he would never be what he wanted to be because as much as he harboured his dreams, there was nothing in him to anchor those dreams, his parents had been right. He was born to do what they had done before. Here I’m, still thinking of you. Telling you to go away and never come back was like telling myself to never come back, remembering all the things I still had not told you that I had seen, the wonders of the night. Like the girl I found one night, vomiting outside her bed-sit, in terror that someone would hear, pregnant, sure this was the end of her life, until I came upto her, greeted her and thumping her back, we talked and I’m a godfather to a baby girl called Niwewenka who gurgles every time she sees me on my Friday afternoons when I do not have to go to work and baby-sit her through her teething and mood tantrums. I will never be able to tell you that, because yesterday, I sent you away. I told you to go and never come back. I told a part of me to go and never come back and you were that part. That part of me was you. And I sent you away, 16 hours ago, yesterday, and I can never ask you to come back. It’s been 16 hours but I still can’t stop thinking of you.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Leaves of Another Time

A girl told me, “That was the moment I nearly broke down and started crying.” And I understood. I understood. I understand.

This is not a bedside story. I wanted to tell you this story. But now I can’t. All I know is that a girl said to me, “That was the moment I nearly broke down and started crying,” and the first time she told me I did not understand. I did not know what she was talking about. Now I know. Girl, I’m so near there now.

You said you stood at the transcript clearing office at Makerere University Senate Building in near tears, back again here in vain, because the woman who had told you your transcript was ready had deliberately omitted to tell you that it would take 2 days to really get your hands on it. You had come miles and miles, spent the last of the borrowed money you had on you, knowing you were going back home to faces beaming with joy to see it and now you were not. So, “That was the moment I nearly broke down and started crying.”

You have your transcript now. Your first class degree with honours is clearly and boldly indicated and to protect that precious white document you have more faith in than the yellowing paged Bible gathering dust on the coffee table in the sitting room, you have had your transcript in translucent paper sealed against the water and sun and the ravages of time, you hope. You’re happy, now. But your words have remained with me, you saying, “That was the moment I nearly broke down and started crying,” because I know now.

I understand when you say, “That was the moment I nearly broke down and started crying.” I understand. I know.

PS: I May Be Leaving Blogger Soon.