A couple of recent incidents have led me to believe that mental illness is a very serious issue in Kenya and efforts need to be stepped up for people to have themselves checked. It’s a known fact that many people live with one sort of mental issue or the other without being aware of it.
I’ve just walked out of the exam room with an hour to spare. Either the paper was too easy or I’m too smart. I dunno. Since my house was undergoing a thorough cleaning at the hands of Njeri, my industrious cleaning lady, I saw no point in going back home just to get in her way. So I bought myself a copy of the Saturday Nation and headed to the pub to have breakfast. As I walked into the pub, the first person I met was an old friend, Otis. Dude was already well into his weekend, 4 double Kenya Canes & Krest already dispatched. He informed me that he was late for his exam and the lecturer wouldn’t let him do it, so he decided to marinate his liver instead.
Otis is a chap I’ve known for about 5 years. Very fat guy. We mostly meet in the pub and that’s about it. A drinking buddy. He’s very entertaining, one of the funniest men I’ve ever met in my life and his football knowledge is second to none. He’s good company until the point where he starts to pull major fibs, like how he (apparently) shagged a chic on the hood of a Vitz until the front suspension broke.
So I join him and have my breakfast. He says that he’s going for his ex-girlfriend’s wedding later in the afternoon and asked me to be his plus one. Before you conclude that I was about to put on a summer dress, sunglasses, a huge hat and high heels, apparently he was in shit with the ex’s fiancé coz he (apparently) made out with her in the club a few weeks previously and there was a price on his head. That’s why he wanted me to be his backup/wingman. So why attend the wedding? He said that he had initially refused but she (apparently) begged him to. Still a dumb reason if you ask me, but hey, that’s his problem. I didn’t mind the free booze and a chance to increase my social network, especially with a pretty lady or two since my love/sex life currently bears a striking resemblance with that of Cardinal John Njue.
Seeing as the day was young, and our ride was only coming through at about 4pm (apparently it was an evening wedding) I decided to have a drink as well. Double VAT69 & Coke kama kawaida. Otis and I chatted for a while, during which time raoz were thrown back and forth and we were getting tipsy fast. A pal of mine walked into the pub looking a bit down, so I asked him to join us and a cold Tusker was quickly sent over by the barman. I call this guy Semantics, coz of his expert mastery of the Queen’s language. He’s the kind of guy who quickly raises the IQ of a conversation, so why not have him join us before Otis decides to tell me how he (apparently) joined the mile high club with a hot muarabu stewardess aboard an Emirates flight to Kisumu city.
After a while, our cash ran out, so we decided to relocate to a cheaper pub where we could buy a mzinga of Kibao for 400 bob. A quick dash to M-Pesa and I was sorted. As we checked into the cheaper pub, I met a few guys I hadn’t seen in a while. I got carried away by small talk and only rejoined Otis & Semantics about 25 minutes later, during which time they were not only halfway down the Kibao, but there was another guy in the booth. Let’s call him Pete. I’d never met him before, but he seemed like a fresh chap and any friend of Otis/Semantics was a friend of mine. The more the merrier.
It’s interesting how a small gang somehow gathers upon spotting a mzinga on the table. Shortly afterwards, two other guys joined in. Let’s call them Karis and Karao. Karao is one of those loose chaps who somehow always shows up where there’s alcohol, while I’d never met Karis before. I was told that he was a friend of Semantics and Pete’s. You know what goes down at a sausage fest. Lots of talk about politics, sports, money that we don’t have, women, this that and the other. So it came as no surprise when the first mzinga ran out, so we ordered for two more, and the banter continued.
At about 3pm, it started raining heavily. I thought it made sense to stay in the bar and while it out. Otis thought otherwise. Without warning, he dashed his fat ass out of the bar and sprinted back to the first bar. I called him to find out just what was going on. He told me that it would be in my best interests to leave the bar as soon as I can. I didn’t know what was going on, so I sorted out the bill and ran in the rain too.
I caught up with Otis and asked him what the fuss was going on.
“Can’t you see it? Seriously? Archer kwani you’re blind?”
I really had absolutely no idea what he was on about. Coz one moment we’re all hanging out and the next minute he’s being all dramatic. It took an hour to get him to tell me what the hell was going on. Eventually he came clean and said that two of the guys on the table (Karao & Pete) were murderers and that I had sent them to kill him.
You can imagine my utter shock at hearing that allegation. It made absolutely no sense whatsoever. Was Otis someone that important that someone (let alone me) would want to kill him? Secondly, why would I want to kill him? Thirdly, if I did want to kill him, why then was I sitting in the pub with him at the precise moment he made the allegation? He claimed that he saw guns hidden underneath their shirts.
We got into an argument which quickly degraded into a scuffle (during which time someone privatized my beloved MP3 player). Otis said he’d beat me to death before I’d have the chance to kill him. He’s always thought me to be soft, but he didn’t see what was coming his way. I dragged him out of the pub and roughed him up a bit. No punches were thrown, no kicks or any such like jabs. All I did was to shake some sense into him.
A few minutes later, the two suspects arrived, accompanied by Semantics. I asked Otis to repeat his allegation in the presence of the guys, which he refused. I told them what he had accused them of. For good measure, I asked them for permission to frisk them and to have a look at their student ID cards. No prize for guessing what my search revealed. No hidden guns, and they were legit students. Otis kept talking shit, the guys wanted to beat him up, but I stopped them. Regardless of what had just gone down, Otis is my pal. We’d had a good afternoon before the drama, so I asked him to go his way and I go mine. Semantics, Pete and Karis also went their own way.
During the whole fracas, a chic pal (Jen) found me and told me to go over to her house after we were done scuffling. So I did. About an hour later, I received a call from Semantics saying that Otis had had an accident. Apparently he tripped while crossing the road and got hit by a car and broke his leg. Semantics also informed me that he had rushed Otis to Aga Khan hospital. That was about 8pm. I asked Jen to take me to Aga Khan since she had a car. We arrived there and the nurses pointed me in the direction of Otis’ ward. We walked in and his sister started hurling insults at me, while Otis was hurling accusations at the top of his voice. WTF? Apparently I sent the same two guys to ambush him, beat him up, throw him into a 6 foot ditch, fetch him out and rush him to hospital. In that order.
Tell me if that makes sense to you. Coz it sure as hell doesn’t make any sense to me. Why would I “order a hit” on someone, then go visit him in hospital later? I’m not anywhere near that sadistic. Anyway, Otis had some superficial injuries and was discharged the same night. No bruises or broken limbs.Relief.
Two weekends ago, I attended a concert at National Museum, where I ran into Otis’ close pal. When I went over to greet him, he angrily accused me of what happened to Otis.
“I’ve never known you to be a violent guy. Short tempered yes, but not violent. So tell me what happened”
Which I did, and I managed to convince him that I had nothing to do with Otis ending up in hospital. I didn’t even hit him during the scuffle. But he warned me to watch my back coz Otis has now put a price on my head.
Later on I was informed by several people, including Jen and the barman, that Otis is not exactly ok upstairs (maybe bipolar?) and has been known to pull such dramatic stunts before, as recently as the previous weekend.
How come I was the last to find out about this?
What’s on my playlist?
Memories – Kid Cudi