I have had the most bizarre dream of my life. Well, at least for those that I can remember. I had to step out of bed and step on the cold floor to assure myself I am a free bird. The first person I wanted to talk to was my father and hear his assuring voice but it is 5am and I didn’t want to freak anyone out.
This is a little bit much of how it goes. I am just chilling in a room with two bunk beds, it is not familiar at all and I am hoping I won’t now that it is associated with this dream. And I am sitting on the lower bed; just how we used to do back in boarding school during chill time. Of course having that mood set you expect it to be story time. I am talking to this young lady of about 19 or 20 and she has stories. Those stories people have and they never shut up but they are annoying as they come but you are taking it because you lack an escape. She happens to be talking about living in the hood “ghetto ” and how its the coolest thing ever and how it is making her who she is and being all proud. It is not a bad thing to be proud of the surrounding you grew up in and how it made you who you are.
Now, I am a village or small town girl. I like to say village because even in that small town I lived a few kilometers from the town itself. But I do not insist and rub it off people’s faces. She goes on and on and ooooonnnn until the screws in my mouth fall off and I blurt “I hate ghetto people, their mannerisms and all the vibe they come up with.” She stops talking. Staring at me as if in disbelief and indeed she was.
She calls out,
This is what the ghetto taught her! If you wanna talk to your mama you rise and go to her. Not just yell from wherever you are. Unless you are sick and you need help getting up but I have never had to call my mum like that before and I am not about to, not even when I am older. Mother’s deserve all the respect (happy belated mother’s day by the way) and love every waking day.
Having established that, I do not expect her mother to dash into the room like it was an urgent matter. But she does. And she gives her story of how I despise the ghetto and its dwellers. What’s shocking is, she exaggerates and I try to defend myself but she cuts me short.
Girl:”Unadhani ni kizungu hatuelewi, sindio?”
Me: “That’s not what I meant, honestly.”
Her mother just stares at me. Those looks mother’s give and you would rather she slaps you instead. Now I’m confused. Do I apologize or try to explain or let them deal with it the way they want to. After a few back and forths the mother dashes outside. Fastening her lesso.
At this point I am wondering why I didn’t just shut up and let the lady be proud of her life. The don’t want to listen. But I keep talking. The more I talk, the worst it gets but I keep trying to defend myself.
She leaves her gate walks past a few more houses and keeps going towards the estate gate. I am running behind them. I wish I had stayed back in the house but I keep running.
They walk outside and cross the road and take a path behind shops that leads to a couple grocery vibandas . There are a few more selling this and that then there’s an infinity slum sprawling on that land. We are outside a “hotel” and of course its almost midday and there are a couple of people inside and out eating a variety of foods from stained plastic plates.
She then starts addressing all of them. Like a kamukunji. And I realize they all know each other. She exaggerates and these men with stern faces look at me then back at her. At this point I am wondering “surely, I only said one thing! I haven’t killed nobody and y’all are going to act like it is a criminal offence.” So I open my mouth to defend myself, lo and behold women start talking back and I decide then to give them a piece of my mind. I didn’t say nice things. I might have called them lazy gossipers and other things as well.
Next thing I know, grave silence. I know I shouldn’t have said.anything then. All of them walk into the hotel lock themselves up to discuss my situation and how to deal with “it.” Don’t ask me why I stood there, I don’t know either. I wasn’t curating this dream.
All this time I am trying to explain myself but the more I try the more trouble I get myself into. The lady who got me into trouble was beside me the entire time punctuating her mothers stories with more lies. She now tells me these people “ndio wale wasee” they run the ghetto streets and are going to “deal with me accordingly.”
See that’s the thing, where I come from you don’t know people from more than 7 homesteads around you. So nobody runs the streets. Its simpler when people mind their own businesses. People deal with their issues by themselves or go to the chief if they have to. Lady tells me these people are gonna chop me hands and make me eat them because of what I said. I don’t know why I did not faint. Those mean faced guys looked capable of everything aje said.
I run. There was a social gathering happening and I went in there hoping no one from the mean faced people would find me. I went in there and hid behind a very huge man who seemed friendly. Time lapsed and I think I might have gotten over the fear and started mingling. Then when the huge man moved to the side to talk to some of his friend in the crowd, I see this lady’s friend (I later came to that conclusion because I see them together laughing) staring. Its very rude to stare because I find it nerve wrecking. I break the ice; I smile. He doesn’t smile back. Instead he calls into the croud “ndio huyu.” I stood there looking for the huge man who I couldn’t see, I might have tinkled a little (in the dream) and I tried to beg for them to “chorea story” but they carried me to outside.
I was imagining worst case scenario. All I wanted was to say my last words to my family because I was certain they were going to kill me. I get me to a police car and I am taken to the police station. You can imagine the transition of events. I thought those people were going to “deal with me.” The dream skipped some logical scenes and next thing i know, I am now being taken to prison.
I wondered how I was going to survive in there and if those guys were going to send someone to deal with me. I begin to think of all the errands I had lined up for the next day, how I was going to miss writing at midnight, the freedom of sleeping on a comfortable bed & eating good food. As I am being escorted to the cells I see the lady and her friend. I yell at them both since I am going to prison anyway I could tell them anything. I wish I could remember what I told them but they must have been really mean things. My alarm went off the moment the lady started talking back. My dreams must have really disliked her as well to shut her out like that.