personal accountant needed

By David Kiriinya

There are a few times in life when lady luck smiles down on a broke man in campus.

Just recently, lady luck, clothed in one of those short dresses and menacing stilettos, with a purple clutch purse was waltzing lazily looking for someone to smile at when we met. I was broke to the last coin. I must say that lady luck is a fine woman who understands proper timing because the time she smiled at me was that time when I needed someone to smile at me and say ‘shika hii thao ukakule lunch’.

It is one of those lousy Friday afternoons when there are no classes. Not because the timetable reads no lesson, but because according to your personal timetable, the day is free. The day is made even lousier because everyone is in the possession of a form, or in the process of acquiring one in the next few hours. Your friend and his acquaintance all greet you asking about your form, and you pause and wonder whether you will get one or maybe you misplaced it. Of course deep down you know that you have absolutely no form, at least not for the next few weeks. You only hope that the heavens will conspire in your favor in due time. Your ringtone for the last two weeks has been ‘Hard Living’ by Wailing Souls.

As evening draws near and the whole market center gradually fills with lasses in figure-hugging outfits and the familiar smell of alcohol, your throat gets more parched and your loins stir, albeit momentarily and so subtly you hardly recognize, since the latter has been subdued by the former.

I am seated outside one of the market center kiosks, my thoughts unrestrained and roaming the earth. The sudden vibration of my phone startles me and I eagerly fetch it, hoping that my elder brother had finally seen sense and decided to throw something small my way. Apparently, Safaricom have not forgotten about the M-shwari loan they gave me last month.

As I ponder how the day’s supper will be sorted, the irritating vibration again derails my train of thought. These days a man cannot ask for a loan and live in peace, I mumble as I fetch the phone. Suddenly, I find myself at the M-pesa shop withdrawing twenty three thousand shillings. My next stop is the local eatery, where an innocent half chicken accompanied with mounds of ugali and mboga ya kienyeji find their way into my stomach. I make my exit from the eatery complete with a toothpick in my mouth and a cocky smile lighting up my face. This must be a good day, I think as I whistle my favorite tune while making a beeline for the pub.

It is here that I realize the nice problem that I have on my hands; that I cannot quite well plan and budget for such huge amounts of cash, given my new-found status as a rich man. As you may know, rich people hire accountants to help in managing their wealth. I am not going to be left behind.

I need an accountant urgently to give valuable financial insight on how to reduce the twenty three thousand shillings that had accidentally been sent to my phone number to manageable levels. I need an accountant to advise me on when we will substitute beef for chicken or pork, or any other animal protein thereof. I need an accountant to advise me on who would be the beneficiary of my generosity at the pub on Friday. I needed an accountant to tell me which lady would be bought Guarana (with amorous activity to follow later, of course).

Anyone with an accountant in mind can contact me. You can all rest assured that the criteria for identifying my new accountant will follow all set rules and provisions of the constitution. In the meantime, my phone remains off for obvious reasons.

of guest writers and figurative ropes

THE ROPE AROUND MY NECK
By Joy Imali
Or asenaimali
Or the proud owner of dontdateawriter.wordpress.com.
Which is absurd, if you ask me. Writers are ridiculously dateable. Even the ones with geeky glasses and introvert tendecies. Especially those ones.
Really, though, I won’t steal the show any longer. Here goes Miss Asena.

Surprise, surprise… I have a rope around my neck.

There’s something about 3 a.m. that inspires the demons of the soul to arise and perform a cha-cha dance right before your disbelieving eyes. I mean, you’ve had a long day what with push-y, shove-y editors and their pushier, shove-ier deadlines. And when push comes to shove, you, the writer, shove your writing pad into a sling-bag and push the door whose sign reads pull and walk into the polluted air of the city to find inspiration. You walk around the city and sniff at the air with its coffee and deodorant and desperation and go home with a story in your eyes about a girl with comely legs and not-so-comely eyebrows. You brew coffee, stir in three spoons of sugar that diabetes would approve of and cut up three wrinkled oranges after which you settle down to write.

At 1a.m., you think the story is coming round quite nicely. Words are bowing down to the strength of your pen. 2a.m. and you can’t decide whether to name your protagonist Zawadi or Zuhura. 3a.m. your hand is bowing down to the weight of the words and you think that perhaps Zawadi should be transgender and a British spy. 3.10a.m. and the witchy hour is at nigh. Your life, nay, lives flash before your eyes. All the characters you’ve created, killed, prostituted, misrepresented… the demons are awake and they want to dance. ‘I’m sorry; I don’t know how to do the salsa.’ You resist. They, however, are unrelenting. They are very persuasive you see, you did give most of them iron wills and in the case of Kimani, who murdered his brother over a land issue, an iron club and before you know it you are tap-dancing and gyrating to music only you can hear.

I did mention I have a rope around my neck, didn’t I? In my right hand I hold a whiskey shot glass and in the left a suicide note. I’ve had a long, hard day. The editor’s assistant decided to be very brief with her dressing today; her skirt could have very easily been the shredded remains of a pillowcase. That girl I mentioned above, the one I saw on the street, her name is Amy. She was the A on my alphabet. Naming her with the alphabet Z was to try to convince myself that I am over her. The coffee, sugar and oranges I pilfered from the office kitchen; the oranges were in the bin. I have enslaved myself to words because I am a writer. The shackles I have borne thus far have chafed my ankles and wrists and I have had enough. All I want to do now is… the phone rings.

Sigh, it’s my editor. ‘Yes, I am done with the story. Yes, it’ll be in your inbox in five minutes. Yes, I will not sexually harass your assistant with my penetrating gaze. Good night sir.’ It’s 3.53a.m. I have a rope around my neck but I haven’t yet fixed it to the nail I drove into the ceiling. I settle into my seat once more. The heavy rope still wound around me feels like a comforting anchor. I slave away at my keys and create another character. This one I name Linda, and I take care not to arm her with six inch stilettos just in case she shows up tomorrow night and asks to tap-dance with me.

I have a rope around my neck; I just haven’t tied it up yet.

a few concepts my mum continues to have trouble with

It is my room. Mine. In your house, admittedly, but mine nonetheless.

It is possible to not spread one’s bed and still live a long healthy life. Mind blowing stuff, I know. Spreading a bed is second only to nipples on men in a list of utterly pointless things.

No, no one says ‘jienjoy’ anymore.

Yes and no are perfectly acceptable responses to questions, as are grunts and moans.

It is vastly uncool to drag your son into a gaggle of smiling relatives and ask him to identify each one. The phrase ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ comes to mind. There is a corner table in hell reserved for mothers who highlight just how well their son does not know his relatives.

‘His mother and my half-sister’s uncle were sisters from the same father’ is not, and will never be an acceptable response to ‘Who is that man next to Auntie Mama Ian’

Cousin Shirley is not a ‘prostitute’, she just doesn’t have bigger clothes.

It wasn’t porn. It was a twerk video. Those are accepted now. You should see what they are doing in church these days.

A vein in my head pops every time I am introduced as ‘your baby’. And the petname? Not in public, bruh. That’s all I ask.

No, the game I’m playing is nothing like Solitaire.

There are better times to send your son to the shop than when:

  • He is playing FIFA and is on the cusp of European glory
  • He is responding to a raunchy text from his sweetheart
  • He is oggling Anne Kiguta on TV
  • He is clearly heading into the toilet. Clearly

I am the king of sarcasm. Me. There was a vote, and I won by an overwhelming consensus. But by all means, challenge me

You communicate better when you don’t yell.

No, I will not tuck in my shirt.

Your husband cannot cook. For the love of God, don’t leave me alone with him.

I have a blog.

concerning ‘game of thrones’

‘None of that shit happened’ is fast becoming my go to reaction while watching this season of ‘A Game of Thrones’. Or maybe I should say ‘Game of Thrones’, because HBO are above including one bloody article in a title. And that is precisely the gist of my rant.

I was raised right, so I will open with the good stuff; cushion the blow. I love this series. I discovered it when everyone else was gushing about vampires and werewolves, and it has single-handedly restored my faith in the importance of storytelling. To be clear, I mean the book series. I have not had a problem with the HBO adaptation for the major part of three seasons. Basically, my love for Mr. Martin’s work means I will continue to watch the show no matter what. But come on, HBO. I’ve had it up to here with the creative liberties.

The small ones were okay, for the most part. Replacing Jeyne Westerling with someone called Talisa as Robb’s wife. A small act of aggression, sure, but a fairly harmless one. As was that shoddy storytelling with Brandon Stark, and Reeds. Those I can forgive. Eventually. Over time, however, the deviations have grown increasingly flagrant.

I’ll just get to the heart of the matter, so we can all get back to pretending to work.

Season 5.

And now I must address HBO directly. Or the producers, I suppose. Their lawyers, if we’re splitting hairs.
I concede that you cannot adhere to every plot element in the books. Creative license is a beautiful thing. But I would argue that the only reason to abandon an original storyline is in the unlikely event you have a better one in mind. Why, then, has season 5 already gone to shit?

Sansa Stark being married off to Ramsay Bolton? Tsk. I just…I can’t. Brienne meeting both Stark girls and having her help turned down? In what world, sir? King Tommen getting laid? I mean, I’m happy for him, but seriously? What next, another heir to the throne? The complete and utter discarding of the Ironborn…Jaime Lannister going to Dorne to bring Mycella back? We just boarded the last train to crazy town.

I mean, I don’t get it. If, as per my logic, the deviations made more sense as a story, I would grumble but I would get behind them. But I see no such sense. At this point, it seems we are pissing on Mr. Martin painstaking construction just for the sake of it. Yeah, yeah, he is part of the writing team. Sure, sure, some of the deviations might still play out as per the end game in the books. I know, I know, your first priority is to entertain. But maybe a little more respect for the original work? Otherwise we might as well call it ‘HBO’s ridiculous re-imagining of a great fantasy series.’

Because if you continue to piss on that nice man’s work, I will stop showering your television series with praise or even recommending it to complete strangers who wanted to watch Vikings instead, and devote my loyalty to something more deserving. It is no one’s fault but your own that you burned through the content of the last two books so quickly. That is on you. Thou shalt not punish true fans for thine bad judgement.

Also, asking for a friend; are we not doing nude sex scenes anymore, or…?

the purchase of contraceptives

How it happens in your head:

You walk in to the store- roll into the store- with your hands in your pockets and a trail of coolness drifting reverently behind you. You can feel the room perk up and pay attention. The female attendant looks up from the magazine she was pretending to read and smiles. You let your eyes trail over her gifts, which you approve of, and let them linger on her chest, which you then address:

“Excuse me, gorgeous. A box of condoms, please.”

You watch her blush and grin. You see her fumble around, produce two boxes and mutter something about choosing. You grin and say “I’ll take them both”.

You throw a five hundred shilling note on the counter and remind her to keep the change.
You wave away the wrapping paper she was offering and grab the two boxes, which you brandish proudly as you walk out- roll out- of the store.

You sag your trousers a bit more as you leave, winking at the lady with the open mouth by the door and saying in a carrying whisper: Shit, these will barely last a day.

How it happens on God’s green earth:

You stumble into the store after an hour of careful reconnaissance from outside. You have already established that the pug-faced bitch who usually mans the counter is on break, and has been replaced with the pimply teenager who never looks up from his phone. You have also calculated and drawn up an equation that indicates you are smack in the five minute window just before lunch when the store is practically empty. You give yourself a mental kick in the head and make an inhuman effort to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

You collide with the door on your way in, which sends you on a spiral that combines your best efforts at remaining upright with the step overs from Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain’s last assist. The result is a very loud, very uncoordinated entry into the store; loud enough to cause the pimply teen to look up from his phone.

You remind yourself that your plan has already gone to shit.

So you go to plan B. You readjust your trajectory and affect an expression of utter contempt and disinterest.

“I need some cds,” you say, ignoring the impulse to glance at your shoes and the temptation to turn and run for your life.

“Ati nini?” the idiot replies, squinting to reinforce his confusion, when you can see from the twitch in his lip that he heard you perfectly, the raging lunatic.

“Cds” you repeat, a little louder.

“Ooooh, condoms?” he asks.

No, you fucking tampon, a cassette with the very best of DJ Afro.

“Yes,” you respond, trying and failing to sound calm. Nonchalant. The temptation to turn and flee is growing, building momentum, causing your feet to tingle with anticipation. But you realize that now you will need to move to China and assume a new identity.

“Which ones?” the pimply teen asks.

You focus on the giant zit on his nose, willing it to explode. But before you can respond, you hear the door swing open and became uncomfortably aware that pug-faced bitch has just re-entered the premises, and is now looming over you with a smug expression.

The rest of your plan has just been blown to bits. You make up your mind to leave. Unplanned parenthood cannot be that bad, surely. Nothing is worth this grand stage torture.

You hear the pimply teen speak.

“Chukua Studded, buda”

You cannot see straight ahead. You slap a note onto the counter without looking. Please, Jesus, let it be a hundred shillings. You wait for the two hours it takes him to leisurely walk over to the shelf, watch his fingers dance around the different packets and pick one out, all the while wishing him the most painful death.

When he hands you the packet, you sprout wings. You grab at it and sidestep pug-faced bitch, who you can just make out grinning stupidly, and bolt out the door. You fly away for a good fifteen minutes, until you are safely on the periphery of the earth, where you pause to wait for your dignity to catch up.

A few months later, when the post traumatic stress disorder has receded, you grin at yourself in the mirror.

You did it, you handsome bastard.

this attachment period

This attachment period is an exercise in patience.

They lied. It is not about training you. They couldn’t care less about training you. What they are very interested in, however, is ensuring you are bored to death. Or at the very least, in a vegetative state. Because what other reason could they possibly have for asking you to show up to work at 8 a.m (8. 30, after tense negotiations) only to sit at a desk, staring blankly at the computer while you flirt with the ghost of yester night’s dream? The computer, which, as fate would have it, has no internet access, nor does it offer any activity more thrilling than repeatedly, pointlessly clicking refresh on the desktop.

Eventually, after around four hours, 9 a.m rolls around, and you say a short prayer of gratitude that time is speeding by. For the new readers, this is heavily sarcastic. You get up from your desk and do a few lunges, because your butt cheeks have gone to sleep. And then you sit back down and continue to throw mutinous looks at the little icon at the bottom of the computer. No Internet access.

It is in this position, decomposing slowly, that the boss finds you when he finally elects to sanctify you with the gift of his presence, a few minutes past 11. Which is early, by his standards. Curt greetings are exchanged. Repeated, pointless clicks on the desktop are abandoned, windows are minimized, and silence descends in the office, broken only by the occasional striking of a space bar somewhere, or the beeps of 64 unnecessary Whatsapp messages landing in someone’s phone. Probably from a class group. Which probably has a ridiculous name. Possibly something with the word kings in it.

The boss, in his infinite wisdom, did not even have the common courtesy to hire an office assistant with any pretext to aesthetic appeal. For the new readers, I am attempting- and succeeding- to call the office assistant unattractive. Perhaps I am just the wrong beholder. Someone somewhere might be singing Sautisol songs to her. And scouring the country for a Coke bottle with her name on it. Still, no aesthetic appeal whatsoever. Which obviously means that there is no one within a hundred feet to objectify. And that is unbelievably tragic. What is the world coming to if the office can no longer be relied on to be the home of inappropriate dressing?

This attachment period will be the death of me.

I fear that it will cost me my sense of humour, my ability to overlook bullshit, and the three social skills I have managed to acquire thus far. If this is really what gainful employment is like, then I have a very bright future in deliberate idleness.

For the new readers, here’s a short summary of my rant; I fucking hate it here.

Here’s a random poem by David Kiriinya; or it could be spoken word

Tukiwika Bwana asifiwe
Pasta anauliza nini apatiwe
Kuwalisha kondoo wa God kila day
Yet unamget akikata maji Monday
Maombi siku hizi inakam na levels
Ukidai ya kawa, sawa
Exclusive ni hadi kwa hoteli, kama Ipad kukutouch
Akiinvite God kwa your soul kukusearch
Ni mkono wa Bwana

Forgive me , sina shamba la kupanda mbegu
Maybe shamba la Wanyama, yule boiz wangu wa Kakamega
Inaseem mathao, masoo na macoin zote ni zenu
Ukijaribu kumKanya, reason anazo kibao
Uaachwa msoto kwa maThree, ten bob hauna
Kalesa ndo means of transport kuzidi mtaani
Mlangoni afisa kama sita,”tujenge kijana”
Swali ni nitajenga nchi na niwajenge?

Natry sana kuwa closer to God
But inakaa devil anawin hii battle kila time
Ni nchi ya maparadox ,maprobox na maprados
IEBC haiwezi kutrace form zao za election
Yet ma employee wao wanatoa form kila Furahiday
Tunalia Kenya Power blackout kila day
But najua hawawezi kunizimia light at the end of the tunnel
Ju future yangu ni bright
Situmii energy saver

talk dirty to me

The other day, bae, when we were locked in a wrestling pose, preparing to indulge ‘the desires of the flesh, you pulled me close and whispered in my ear, ‘talk dirty to me’. I could not have misheard; your lips were right against my ear. I apologize if I froze momentarily. It was not revulsion, I promise. Nor was it hesitation, I assure you.
Rather, I was attempting to wrap my head around the pragmatics of it all. I am pro- kinky, if I say so myself. I have a healthy respect for whips, chains and leather tights, and I have long nursed an ambition to role play as James Bond. So the openness of my mind is not really in question. What I was having difficulty with was how to respond to your request without dissolving into laughter.

How would I begin, anyway?

I suppose the safe thing to do to break the ice would be to ask you who your daddy is. I hope I can pull of that deep, husky baritone necessary for this to work. Knowing how often my voice slips into soprano… Anyway, I already know who your daddy is, and I am sure certain parts of my body will droop if I jump on that train of thought. And then there is the whole ethical dilemma of being on top of someone’s daughter, or gently lifting one of her legs as she gasps periodically from the couch over which she is draped. Just now, bloggers are dropping like flies, you know. So if it is okay with you, I would rather not wonder out loud who your daddy is, even if it is this particular brand of kinky that revs your engine.

There is that other option also, where I insult you as brutally as I can. This I am very good at, thankfully, but I have a suspicion my cultured insults just won’t work. I understand there is no room for deciphering subtext when you are hanging on to the bed post for dear life. Apparently I am supposed to call you a filthy, fluid guzzling ‘professional sex worker’, but I am only supposed to use the colourful words. Like the ones that rhyme with ‘ditch’ and ‘hunt’. Actually, let me get back to you on that one. There might just be some comic relief to be had here.

What I will definitely not do, however, is allow myself to look like an idiot. I will not repeatedly ask “You like that?” because I am fairly certain that you do like it. Should you choose to furnish me with a running commentary of the proceedings, I will gently remind you that this is not the North London derby. Neither will I painstakingly describe to you the many things I intend to do to you. How about I just do it? I will also take issue if you decide, for whatever reason, to dish out little reminders that whatever I am doing is so far ineffective. “Faster!” for example. It’s a pelvis, dear, not an engine piston.

For these and many other reasons, you will allow me to kindly decline your invitation to defile your ears. I’m afraid the hilarity of it all will overpower the eroticism. As a testament to our love, however, I will allow you to bring to bed a toy of your choosing, and the leeway to deploy it in a manner of your choosing.

Now shut up and kiss me.

THE END YEAR REPORT:

THE YEAR OF THE HEART:
By David Kiriinya.

Hoe hoe hoe!! It is the festive season once again, folks. I must say that Santa and his bunch of creative fellas must have thought well to have the hoe part as their refrain. It is even said 3 times to emphasize the message which goes something like “hoe hoe hoe, Santa is back.” I believe this is a clarion call for the concerned parties.

As the year comes to an end, so must the unnecessary athletics that my heart has been subjected to severally. You see, I have come to discover that my heart is the most athletic internal organ in my body, it can skip a beat! This is mainly due to the female species but I will be putting an end to this matter with immediate effect.

This year has been terrible for me when it comes to the intricate matters of the heart, love. By the way, I hold the record for the shortest, most awkward fling that lasted exactly 2 days, 5 hours and 23 minutes .It ended even before it started. Consequently I had one of the longest dry spells in campus while my buddies were hitting the sack faster than you could say Kanyari. Thankfully, the Barclays Premier League and the UEFA Champions League came in handy. This prompted me to revert to the old African saying that says, ‘Kazi ya moyo ni kupump damu, kupenda ni kiherehere yako’. Need I say more?

And to my all the guys, there is someone else to buy her clothes this festive season, yours is simply to take them off.

Finally, from the fortune tellers of Marigat, I have something optimistic to look forward to in the New Year. According to them, the latest 411 from the gods says that a pretty young thing in a short skirt has been sighted on my side sometime in the year. This had better be true because sipendi kubebwa ujinga. Otherwise, we call it a wrap. See you in the New Year with our pens sharper and tongues wittier. Adios!!

THE HORMONAL BITCH:
By Brian Guserwa.

2014 has been a vile, hormonal bitch.

I guess I really shouldn’t complain. I hear there are people who were dumped after 2 days, 5 hours and some change. I also hear there is a family in the heartland of Mumias that mysteriously misplaced the cock they had been fattening since August. I meant chicken, Jemo. So I have no grounds to complain.

I won’t let that stop me though. At some point, this is going to fall back into a bitter rant about that stupid piece of junk I used to think was my laptop and bff, that stabbed me in the back and lost all my data. My music, that is, and some choice, story-driven porn adult film collection I was saving for the New Year. Be still, my heart.
But about the vile, hormonal bitch.

At some point, she was all coy and indulgent.

In 2014, I found friends that I never knew I would have. I gave up on the mother of my children after an eternity of missed moments. I met a strong applicant for the position. I posted in Swahili. I successfully insulted the unfortunate females in my class. I learned the Meru word for ‘clitoral hood’. I took a photograph, willingly. I joined twitter. I got on first name basis with the hostel janitor. But most importantly, I did not father any children. That I know of.

Then she turned petty and abrasive.

This very year, I lost people I care about. I gained a stubborn glob of fat that settled on the lower plains of my belly and refused to be evicted. I tried to cook ugali. I joined twitter. I was told to piss off by a writer I have looked up to for years. I suffered through another French course. I lost two FIFA games. And then I lost my laptop.

That backstabbing piece of scrap metal did not even have the common decency to warn me. Or get stolen. But I applaud its timing. If I was a stupid laptop looking to pay back two years of loyalty and patience I would wait for the holidays too. I would also target the drive with the music and movies. And then I would refuse to start for no apparent reason.

Nkt.

Really though. Gussprints thanks you for your readership. We promise to try harder and to be better. We pledge to grow our writing team, beginning with a female blogger to counterbalance the sheer maleness of that heartbroken contributor up there. We wish you love in the New Year, and we pray you don’t have to endure dreadful spelling online in 2015.

See you on the other side, people.

the tribute to R. Felix Apush

I am sorry that it took this long. This is not a reflection of my feelings on the matter, I assure you; rather, it is an unfortunate result of the mental block I experience every time I set out to eulogize you.

I do not know how to grieve. That may be it, I suppose. I am still in so much doubt I refuse to believe you are gone. Grief, while not unfamiliar to me, is honestly uncharted territory. And then I realized that this is not about me. It is about you, and the tragedy of our own mortality.

It has been argued that eulogies are pointless, that it is absurd to direct thoughts, words, sentiments even, at the dead. They are in a better place, apparently, so they cannot be bothered. Not by the empty words of the people they left behind. Not by the trivial concerns of the world they left behind. But are you in a better place? Somehow, I cannot imagine this to be the case. Even in the unlikely event that you did end up in heaven, or the stop just before heaven- and I say this with love- I am convinced that you are properly and thoroughly bored. This considering we don’t know the female situation up there. How can any place be better than the one where you were loved fiercely, loyally, deeply?

So, no. I refuse to believe that my mutterings are leaves in the wind. I do not accept that you cannot hear me. I hope that you are hovering above me; I truly believe that.

You deserve to be eulogized. You deserve a tribute of the rarest kind. You deserve, if nothing else, to be remembered, and I am terribly sorry that it took me this long to find a way to do so.

I saw the messages. On social media. I saw the gasps of disbelief and the uncomprehending hashtags, the furious denials. Rest in peace, they said. A fallen soldier, they called you. And I burned with discontent. Do they honestly believe that one status will suffice? Is that really all they can say? Shall we leave it at that, then? But everyone grieves differently, I realized. Still, they called you a soldier. I do not believe that you were a soldier. You, my friend, were a lover, and I’ll be damned if I remember you in any other way.

I will remember many things about you. Many varied and ridiculous things. But these will remain etched in my brain: your firm, unfailing belief that the ugly ones are people too; your quick and completely random sidestep; your unquestionable ability to turn even the most determined frown into a smile, and then a hearty laugh. And your grin. Your stupid, stupid grin.

There was only ever one you; there will never really be another. I will not grieve for you, I will remember you. Not every day, perhaps. And definitely not in the way you need to be remembered. But I will. In the small moments. With that fleeting, nostalgic thought that tears me to shreds.

Words will never suffice. Goodbye, my friend. Godspeed. Save me a decent seat down there. Right next to the action, naturally.

there are children…

There are children, making out on my door step
There are children, in skinny jeans and frilly dresses,
Their phablets bulging from their pockets, their peplum blouses askew
There are children, dammit, soiling the sanctity of my welcome mat with foreplay.

Their limbs tangle and then untangle with frantic urgency
Their lips dance on and around each other; wet, noisy
Their embrace is desperate; their clothes flap open, buttons clatter to the floor,
They kiss, and they kiss, and they kiss.

His hand cups the swell of her breast, hers rummages inside his jeans
With his left he tips her head back, plunders with a probing tongue;
With hers she wrestles the unyielding clasp of his belt.
‘Stop’, she says, and grips him tighter.
‘Okay’, he nods, his hands breaching the lace bra.
He reaches, finds a breast, squeezes; she gasps, she shudders, she freezes.

There are children- eager to grow up, itching
Itching to kiss it all, to rub, to squeeze, to cup,
To try it all, to do it all- swapping spit in front of me.
Perhaps, if they kiss long enough, the world will stop
Calling them ‘freshers’. Perhaps.

hustler’s diary #2

by David Kiriinya.

Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned! Msupa woke up yelling blue murder! Cause being that I had been mumbling the name of a member of the human female species while asleep. Imagine that! Surely these days a brother could not enjoy the pleasure of a peaceful, innocent dream, especially when the star actor was a PYT (Pretty Young Thing). Judging by the hysterical fits, wild gesticulations and her continuous prodding (read stabbing) of my hairy chest, it was evident that I was going to miss that, and the next few days’ conjugals.Include a week’s cold treatment and there you have the complete picture of a man of sorrows.

Not even my honed skills as a serial bargainer of fares to and from town could soothe Msupa. Folks, this is how the devil manifests himself in truest of colors (black I hear) in the wee hours of the morning. The worst thing is that I could not even tell who the PYT in the dream was, but I suspected it must have been either Liz, the petite lass from Majengo who now operates a nearby Mpesa shop, or Shiko wa Keg. Both have breathtaking and clearest of eyes, sexy hourglass figures and of course killer derrieres making it impossible to pick who the culprit was.

I could have gone for Liz, given the flurry of steamy sexts we frequently exchanged, or the usual kamkopo ka veve she gave me especially on Fridays, but the romance between me and Shiko wa keg could not equally be dismissed. This would especially be seen in the evenings when I would buy a full jug of senator keg and she would sit on my lap with her ample bottom caressing my eager loins as I whispered mushy, sweet nothings above the sound of loud mugithi tunes. Mark you, she has never minded my beer breath.

Given Msupa’s foul mood I had to jipa shugli. My presence was a constant eye-sore to her. She was mumbling something inaudible that sounded like going to see a mganga to put ‘brakes’ on my perceived philandering tendencies. I could hear my immediate next-door neighbor, through the solid corrugated iron sheets partitioning sympathizing with a brother in trouble. Talk of solid walls.

After passing the usual smell test, my socks and t-shirt were ready to be worn, two days in a row notwithstanding. A dash of cheap ‘wariah’ cologne (those potent, pungent liquids in miniature bottles sold along virtually every street next to a ‘pima kilo’) and I was good to go. Msupa was still wearing a sullen face, sulking on the corner of our creaky bed. By the way this is a treasure I so valued especially after it had set me back a cool, precious hard-earned 2150 shillings. Just then a text from Liz came through. She wanted to see me to talk since she was lonely. Would I please go? Of course! Perhaps she would even settle my okoa jahazi debt of 20 shillings.

As I went out, I threw a last glance at Msupa. She was inconsolable. She would be fine by evening perhaps, I thought as I sidestepped piles of garbage on way to Liz’s Mpesa shop. A new day had begun.

the bitches* in my class

The bitches in my class will object strongly to being called bitches.
Primarily, they will object because they are each nursing fanciful notions that they are ‘ladies’, to use the term loosely. But the basis of their objections, as well as the filthy looks they will be throwing me until the end of time, will be the simple fact that they believe the term bitch to be derogatory. A sizeable portion of the bitches in my class will have to look up the word derogatory. On their smartphones, of course.

But object they will. They will pout and exchange disbelieving looks. They will be up in arms because that quiet guy from the back of the class used a bad word to refer to them. How do they know it is bad? It does not sound anything like ‘diva’. Tragically, though, that quiet guy, who is in fact not quiet at all, has already accepted that he is going to be stepping on some manicured toes. So he will proceed anyway.

So, about the aforementioned bitches.

Like classifying the distinct members of Kingdom Animalia, any grouping of the bitches in my class I attempt to make will be varied and so incredibly detailed as to confuse the simple mind. Not only do they display a baffling range of characteristics, all of them rigidly rehearsed and fake; they also refuse to stick to any one category. If, for example, I decided to list them as either drinkers or non-drinkers, I would have to contend with the fact that the non-drinker category would have only two people in it. I would also be forced to consider such grey areas as ‘social drinkers’, ‘just broke up with the senior student I was fleecing drinkers’, ‘it only happened that one time drinkers’, and the more common ‘dance on tables, make out with strangers and then go sleep in a puddle of urine drinkers’.

No one has that kind of time.

I will, however, concede that the bitches in my class are ceaselessly fascinating. They provide a very unique source of entertainment when they are at their best, and a welcome distraction when they are not. Perhaps I shall begin with:

The Diva:

The diva, for obvious reasons, is the most noticeable bitch in class. This is largely due to the fact that she has the entire Marc Jacobs fall line in her closet, and she knows the complete chemical compounds in the dress Mrs. West wore to her wedding. She has an assortment of heels, ‘peeps’ and wedges in the entire range of rainbow colours. It is with these that she interrupts lectures and draws attention as she sashays into class fifteen minutes late. She speaks in a high, drawn out nasal slur that is meant to showcase her superior intellect but ends up making her sound retarded, daft or both. Her English is impeccable, except when she is caught off guard, and then she might be heard saying ‘aki woiye’. Her speech idiolects (LIN 210, people. Halla), are infused with references from Basketball Wives, Real Housewives of virtually all American counties and Mistresses.

Make no mistake, she is stunning. Her beauty, too rich for use, for earth too dear in the words of the Bard, has never been in doubt. And yet she flaunts it, she flatters it, she coddles it, she wields it like a weapon. She floats on a cloud of entitlement. She eats out. Way out. She goes into town to party and is brought back in a cab. She does not ‘do’ reggae music or God forbid, riddims. She does not even know the difference. She has three exes, who she discarded because they didn’t ‘get’ her.

The entire male population in class lusts after her. They throw her longing looks whenever she passes, and they dash to her side whenever she throws up her Galaxy Note to take a selfie, which will cause mayhem on Instagram. They shake their heads sadly when she wears that black dress that ends just below her buttock, and they close their notebooks because they know they won’t hear another word the lecturer says.

The Diva’s Friends:

The diva has a dedicated fan following. Of course, when she is asked, she will refer to them as her bestest bitches in the whole entire world, or her gurlfriends!! Really, though, they are the slightly less endowed people she surrounds herself with. Methinks the diva has deep-seated esteem issues.

The Diva’s friends are a dedicated lot. They go out of their way to keep up, but they are careful not to overshadow. They have just as many wedges and heels, but they also have sandals and ‘rubbers za matope’. Her make-up is ever so slightly off. Her lipstick is the teensiest bit smeared. Or chewed off. Unlike her BFFFF, she does not have the same control over her language. She tries, dammit, but despite her best efforts, she cannot pronounce ‘parallelogram’ without spraying her spectators with mint flavoured spittle.

She is also not as choosy. She knows what ugali sosa means. On a good day, when the light is just right and the stars perfectly aligned, you may see her purchasing roasted maize, to nibble on as she skips to her room.

The Virgin The Good Girl:

This is the rarest species of all. There are two of them in class, one permanently committed to the cause of winning more souls on behalf of the Good Lord, the other simply determined to remain moral. She does not partake of the spirits. She arrives in class ten minutes early to secure a seat that promises maximum concentration. She does not ‘do’ dating. She surrendered her virtue to that sweet talking handout salesman in her first year, instantly regretted it and had since been sworn off men.
She has the most depressing dresses, which she covers up with the most chaste coats. She has all the notes, knows all the names of the lecturers and knows where the Literature section of the library is. She is fast friends with The Nerd, who could sadly not be featured in this article but has been promised a starring role in the next one.

Occasionally, though, she is the unbelievably nice. It has been agreed by all the males in class that she is made out of that wife material everyone seems to be looking for.

The Invisible Ones:

The Serial Hugger:

This category was renamed on the advice of our legal counsel. Hint hint.

She does not shake hands, she hugs. She does not high-five, she hugs. She has such advanced social skills that she is on nickname basis with all the guys in class. She has an unusually high-pitched voice, which she uses to yell across the distance of the room. She dresses skimpily, naturally. Kizuri chajiuza and whatnot. Somehow, everyone knows her room number. Her preferred position is sandwiched between two guys, listening with rapt attention as they discuss football tactics. Her other favourite position is apparently 6.30, if you follow my meaning, or 6.45 if she is feeling tired.

There are several war stories about her in class, majority of which end the exact same way. It is rumoured her room has been nicknamed ‘the kill zone’, ‘kichinjio’ and has unfettered access to the condom dispenser. (I swear, I was told this by a friend). She lives by the philosophy that ‘just because Mount Everest has been climbed before doesn’t mean the journey will be any less thrilling for the next person’.

The Non Conformer:

Simply put, she couldn’t care less. She has had the same dreadlocks since her first year. The one time she changed them, she got complimented on how lovely her hair was, and this unnerved her just enough to send her back to her dreadlocks. She dresses in unruly clothes that sag in places. She makes no effort to appear marriageable.

She is a huge Chelsea fan. She wears the goalkeeper’s away jersey to most classes. Her twitter name is mouforpresident213, and her WhatsApp status says ‘Marry me Costa’. It has been confirmed that she is often more accurate than Goal.com.

She is sarcastic without trying to be. She is the first to protest when a class goes beyond regulation time. She knows the proper response to “Form ni gani, buda?!” If she could have a ten shilling coin for every time she says ‘shit’, she would be ‘rich as shit’.

And then out of the blue, she will wear fitting clothes. She will do just enough to assure people that she is in fact female. She has a ridiculous ass that no one noticed till just then. She will smile, and use her lower register. But then she will punch you in the throat when you stare at her cleavage, and the world will continue spinning.

The Married Woman:

She was saying her vows while the rest of the class was registering courses. She has acquired a scathing nickname because she is always in the male halls of residence. She is always in the company of her better half, who drops her just outside class and walks her to the loo to pee. She is well versed in household chores; she can balance them very well with completing household duties and other wifely responsibilities. You can tell from the way she balances books in hands that she has carried a few plates to and from the kitchen.

When she gives examples in class, she drops several references to the married situation. And we all shake our heads in mock terror.

I concede that I cannot name them all, and that i may not even know them all. I am also somewhat concerned for my life. But in the interest of free journalistic pursuit, let she without a category cast the first stone.

P.S: To the bitches in my class, I hope this won’t affect our relationship; you know, the one where we ignore each other completely every chance we get.

letter to the incoming Moi University female students:

By David Kiriinya and Brian Guserwa

Karibu. Umefika. A few sage words, first. Not to call undue attention to your body-unless you won’t think it undue- but this wisdom will begin with your rear anatomical parts. We, the universal fraternity of warm-blooded men, advise you to keep these parts taut. The easiest way to do this, naturally, is to refrain from bobbing to fast-paced Jamaican music when you visit F2.

Immediately you read this polite notice, kindly do away with- by which I mean burn- your entire collection of sheer, negligible and flimsy clothing. You know, the ones that make you appear briefly dressed. This has nothing to do with your unsightly thighs. Rather, we are concerned you will not survive the erratic Kesses weather. Eye candy does not apply in these conditions.

On the same breath, Mother’s Union dresses are a big no. The last time we checked, they were banned by the Senate after the massive strike by the menfolk.

In the event you wake up in any one of the make halls of residence, with nothing but your weave and a few tell-tale streaks of body fluid, do not fear the walk of shame. It’s a simple matter of keeping calm, swallowing hard and walking to your room. Do not forget to pass by the pharmacy for those pills- you know the ones.

To return briefly to the subject of your body; your tits are strictly food for your unborn (soon to be born?) child. If you can, keep men off what will be your child’s favourite dish. Be wise in your choice of potential mate, assuming you have a choice. Please note, however, that regardless of their year, social state or girth of wallet, all these potential suitors have one thing in mind and one thing only.

All senior male students must be greeted with one hand on your back, a blushing face and a bowed head. This vastly increases your chances of landing that potential mate that we were talking about earlier, faster than your friend with the topless blouse.

Remember your parents’ advice; to keep your mind open. Your mind, and not your legs or any other body parts you are capable of opening.

Finally, please note that your time here is short. Sadly, you have what they call a shelf life. So make hay while the sun shines. Because reliable sources inform us that the beautiful ones have in fact joined high school, and will be joining us very soon.

Hustler’s Diary #1

by David Kiriinya.

Today is exactly the third year, fourth month, well make that fifth and 12th day in this grand world. It has been and still is a treacherous path fraught with perilous episodes and that, coupled with Msupa’s never ending nagging, has made it unbearable and practically impossible to linger in the house later than 7:14 am when she wakes up courtesy of our next-door neighbor’s immensely loud and rough ‘morning glory’;and arrive earlier than 9:23 pm. This time of the evening, I discovered, is when msupa is at her coolest, a fact I capitalize on efficiently to quietly slip into the house, feign tremendous fatigue, serve the usual conjugals without much fanfare and within minutes hit slumber land with a massive snore.

My aforementioned abode, folks, a tin shack deep in the heartland of Okongo, arguably the largest slum in the country, is absolutely not mention-worthy. I could say my abode is so roomy that I have to sit on the annoyingly creaky bed to let msupa pass or that we have to make love with my hand on her mouth lest we rouse the whole neighborhood, but first things first. Yours truly here goes by the name of Badi, a toughened veteran of grand-hustle for the last very many years, three to be precise and still counting.

After successfully dropping out of college with the unrivalled, brilliant business idea of setting up my own exclusive escort company owing to the large supply and steady demand, a niche I still believe has not been exhaustively tapped, I found myself rather at odds explaining to the Registrar of Companies the type of company and nature of business I had in mind.

Simply put, I failed spectacularly in convincing both the Registrar and potential staff. I need to say here that I had splendid business expansion plans for Alicia,Soni, Lucia ,Atis and the mightily endowed Nafula. All these plied the world’s oldest trade along the dingy alleys of our seedy neighbourhood. All I had to do was upgrade their standards with a spaghetti top here, stilettos from Ngara there, perhaps a ‘mgongo-wazi’ for Alicia, the so-called ‘carrot’maybe for Soni and definitely some brief bottom-hugging outfits for Atis and Nafula, both of whom were deep in the region of endowment and bingo!

The genius of my entrepreneurial blueprint was sadly nipped in the bud by Sirikali.This was just the time when potential investors; my two boda boda friends, Yusuf wa mutura and Jonnie wa matatu had started showing serious investment interest in my venture. In fact the four deep-pocketed investors had pledged seed capital of a whooping Shs. 500 each with a possibility of increase subject to success of the business. Judging by the current financial times where church offering, tithes and bribes had significantly gone up due to the famed VAT, I could not be luckier. Now if you are a good statician like myself (I did not mention that I count many vehicles at jobless kona) you will quickly arrive at a figure of Shs. 2000.This, my friend is enough to bankroll a hustler like yours truly for the next couple of days with an unlimited supply of njugu, veve and Sprite comfortably. I hear this is how millionaires start. I was certainly destined for greatness folks.

Needless to say, I had to rack my creative college-dropout brains for such another award-winning business idea. Meanwhile, tomorrow I have a squad with Jonie’s matatu.It was back to grand hustle.

a band by any other name; live in concert

A Band By Any Other Name, or ABBAON, or the hottest thing since skinny jeans, is going to be performing live in concert. Fresh from topping the charts in D houses, Moi University (not to mention the loyal following from the scantily dressed residents of Comfort Hostels), ABBAON is bringing its revolutionary sound to a live audience.

But first, a few updates.

The management has not changed. At the head of this thousand dollar band remains the brilliant and dare I say rather handsome founder and leader extraordinaire. Me, that is. I cannot say for sure, but my exceptional genius is probably to blame for the two chart toppers we have put out. There is also the lawsuit we meant to pursue against Elani and H_art the band, on the grounds of stealing our thunder.

The lineup has shifted somewhat, however. Our lead singer, if you recall, was supposed to be Shirley, my distant cousin a few times removed. It turned out, however, that her skill does not extend beyond squealing in the shower, and obliterating original versions of gospel songs. Tragically, we had to let her go, of course after repeated assurances that she will always be considered an honorary member (insert evil sarcastic laugh here).

The new lead singer, therefore, is my close friend and occasional sidekick, James ‘Baby-face’ Maina, who has displayed a stunning vocal range while singing mugithi classics. His rendition of Kirk Franklin’s ‘Stomp’ still brings tears to my eyes. It is our fervent hope that this level of skill can be transferred to the more typical pop records we will be churning out presently. Also, if we can work around his tendency to deviate from whichever song he happens to be singing and delve into the akorino version currently being sung in Murang’a; we will have a real star on our hands. You mark my words, sir.

My lead guitarist, the roommate (Dan, of the legendary pot belly and greying hair) has learnt a few more chords, I am thrilled to report. His handling of the instrument (the guitar, you filthy pervert) is quite impressive, actually. After a few choice insults, he took it upon himself to learn to hold the damn thing properly, and can now successfully serenade a group of ladies with classic ballads. It may have been his recent dumping and subsequent bitchlessness that sharpened his skill, but who’s keeping score?

And then there is my other friend Ian, the budding drum legend, who we managed to sign for an undisclosed fee. Ian has the added advantage of looking like a rock-star; with his trademark afro and his Gothic wristbands. We are currently in negotiations about getting him sleeve tattoos.

It is indeed tragic that the other gender is not as well represented as one would hope. This is an unlucky coincidence, but we have decided to counter this by allowing band members to show up to practices and performances with their significant others. This includes, but is not limited to, girlfriends, escapees from the friend zone, prospects, ‘just friends’, crushes, side chicks and second girlfriends, recently reinstated exes, beneficial friends, and (God forbid), wives. This way, the band cannot be accused of gender insensitivity, and will boast a healthy level of estrogen to liven up proceedings.

Is it any surprise, then, that our club anthem ‘Manzi wa School of Arts’ has been ruling the airwaves for this long? We hear it is a favorite among drunks staggering home from a busy night.

So hold on to your weaves, ladies. This weekend, ABBAON is coming to you.

The event, billed as the live event of the semester, will be held on the grassy plains of the University Graduation square. This is on account of our heartened attempts to gain permission to use the Students Centre having all been met with stoic rejection. I think the Students Centre will be hosting a certain sports event that no one ever watches. More power to them.

Sound check will be at 9 p.m. Oh, and if anyone knows that Zungu character, please let him know we need to borrow his speakers.

I started a band, people. And this Saturday, while we are basking in the warm glow of fan adoration and watching female undergarments raining down on us, I will stop and savour the moment. Because the next stop will be the award shows.

these gentle feelings:

I have these gentle feelings,
I know not what to make of.
These unfamiliar feelings
Are intrusive and unheard of

My thoughts of her are tinted, with hues of darkest red.
She fills my line of vision, she swirls around my head.
With every smile she flashes, she fills my gut with lead,
My heart with burning terror, my life with growing dread,
And yet I do not love her, or like her; instead,
I want only to please her; I only ever wanted,
To lavish her, to flatter, to sing to sleep and put to bed,
To serenade, to woo and win, and possibly to wed.

I have these gentle feelings, they threaten to undo me:
She may love me, she may not- the thought itself is agony.

P.S: To a certain long-limbed friend of mine; I know I promised to lay off the mushy stuff for a bit. But whatever shall we write about, if not love?

about that about page

I am not unaware that gussprints lacks an ‘about’ page. You know, about the author. This is not deliberate. Well, not entirely. Anonymity has always appealed greatly to the author, along with a determined rejection of the idea that any useful details concerning a person’s character can be gleaned from a few words.

But because a snarky attitude does not a good blogger make, here goes my one brave attempt at peeling back the curtains and letting the people in. Sort of. If they can sift through the verbose layers I tend to hide behind.

Gussprints is a young boy’s letter to the world. A curious, nostalgic boy, who has quietly accepted his position at the edge of every social situation, and has subsequently retreated into the comforting reassurance of his own thoughts. His letter to the world, because he refuses to accept it for what it is. He prefers the tragic romanticism of the worlds he dreams up, where lovers sigh and kisses linger, and that fleeting glance means more than any words could. In his world, unlike in the one swelling all around him, he is braver, funnier, happier. Taller.

So he writes about the people around him, the events that feed his bleak outlook on life. He resorts almost entirely to fiction, because reality is sleepy and insipid.

Maybe someday, his footprints, faint but visible, will be seen in that well-travelled literary path; the prints of a timid goose trying to assert himself in a cesspool of noise.

Or perhaps his thoughts, like countless others before his, will be forever lost, and the world will remember nothing of the grim introvert who lived entirely in his words.

perversion 101: how to be a pervert

Hello, fellow pervert, and welcome to Perversion 101.
You may have noticed I addressed you as a fellow pervert. Yes, you are. You see, by virtue of being human, and male, you are, to some degree, a natural pervert. Call it an evolutionary gift. But if you are taking this course, then you aspire to greatness in the well-travelled road that leads to debauchery. Walk with me.

STEP ONE: The lewd grin:

Any self-respecting pervert will tell you that the lewd grin is an invaluable tool. You see, without this grin it would be difficult to pull off the primary pervert state; grinning inappropriately after something completely innocent has been said. Also, you must practice and perfect ‘the suggestive wink’, ‘the suggestive cough’, and basically all manner of suggestive bodily motions.

Further, you must learn subtlety. This will work in your defense in case you have to rapidly deny any accusations that result from your chosen suggestive facial tic. Accusations in the vein of “You filthy bastard!” must be countered promptly with “I don’t know what you mean”.

We face much persecution, especially from religious fanatics.

Practice the lewd grin; allow a mad glint to creep into your eyes, then smile, slightly, letting only one corner of your mouth twitch upwards, until the nice lady next to you reaches unconsciously for her pepper spray.

STEP TWO: Sharpen thy wit:

This goes without saying. The aspiring pervert must sharpen his wit to the finest degree possible. He must be ready, at a moment’s notice, to pounce on an unsuspecting audience with that depravity that comes naturally to him. Thus goes our mantra: everything has a sexual connotation. To this end, you must consume a substantial amount of popular cultural references. Naturally, this means that your understanding of language must be unrivalled. If well mastered, this step allows the pervert such a command of language, tone and insinuation that he can literally read out a menu and make it sexual.

An essential facet of this entails knowing your heroes. The greats, that is. Legends whose names we must not take in vain. Steven Stiffler. Barney Stinson. Howard Wolowitz. Austin Powers. P Unit…

Learn their work, young student, and your path shall be enlightened.

STEP THREE: The Kamasutra:

This is all about your encyclopedic knowledge of all things sexual. The knowledge may be theoretical or practical. Quite simply, you have to walk the talk. You see, once you have communicated to a captive room that you are a pervert, the daring female will approach you and demand a sample of your knowledge. Your response must be a swift, “Right this way, gorgeous”. And then you must tie her up and plunder her silly as you had been implying you would.

STEP FOUR: The Quiz:

And now we must test your retention. Answer to the best of your ability:

Question 1: Explain how the following statements are sexual (6mks):

1. I need wood if I am to start this fire.
2. Let me get out of these clothes, I am dripping wet.
3. Do you have a smaller club? I can’t wrap my hand around this one.

Question 2: With illustrations, break down the positions mentioned in this speech from New Girl (14mks):

“I want to do it standing up and sitting down, and half up and half down, and the wiggly one and the Bear Attack, and the claws in the head, and the one the figure skaters do, and the What’s for lunch, and the Give Me That Hat.”

Question 3: Sautisol’s video Nishike has no actual sexual implications. Discuss (10mks).

P.S; HAPPY BIRTHDAY, EVA. FINALLY APPROACHING MARRIAGEABLE AGE?