Saturday, 30 April 2016

THE DAMSEL.

When she walks in,she has to bend slightly by the entrance.She is that tall.The way she strutted along the array of tables,beautifully arranged,a peacock would have had nothing on her.Her head seemed to be floating,carried along by an invisible pole.Her face is expressionless and you wouldn't know if she was impressed by her surroundings or outright irked.She sweeps her eyes around,absorbing the sea of humanity who's attention is now firmly rooted on her.Her high-heels are sinking with every step because its been raining and water has found its way inside this tent.Don't ask me what i was doing inside a tent with tables beautifully arranged.When she pulls out her heels off the ground,she has to make this slight jump and all her accessories clap in unison.The necklaces and bracelets,that is.The traditional dancers who walked before her,wore stuff that produced this same clapping noise.Talk about tradition and modernity agreeing on something for once.She's shining all over.I mean the clothes she wore.Shining brighter than the lights up in the tent's 'ceiling'.At some point i thought she looked like one huge permanent camera flash-light.Hii Umeru itaniua,haki ya nani.Then,half way down the tables,she stops.All her accessories protest at this sudden stopping of movement and they clang and clatter some more.Then she sweeps her eyes round,as if in search of someone to torture.Then she swings ever so slightly,and her gaze finally rest in my direction.I want to hide but that's like hiding from a giraffe in a grassland.If she's been reading my thoughts,then my day with my maker may have just arrived.For these thoughts were far from what you would call nice.I breath in hard,for she has started the forward motion towards me,sweeping all aside.Behind her you will find napkins and table-cloths,for she is in this gown that seems to be mildly magnetic,attracting stuff on it,only to release them after a few seconds.Being dressed for the occasion,she has this huge ribbon running across her shoulders to the waist,which announces to all who she really is.She's a beauty pageant winner,something i know nothing about.

I breath a sigh of relief when she veers off my path and heads to a table occupied by these black men with curly hair,who speak like they have a throat infection,and who's description will not be expounded further,for my own security.Never mind,they had earlier been frisked and ascertained to be carrying no grenades in their stomachs so this damsel is no physical danger at all.As she takes a seat,she swings her midriff like its about to move out of its place.The men stare at her like she's from outer space.Then they embark on a barrage of this strange language that no one can understand if you ask me.Even they.It doesn't bother the damsel one bit because even though they are obviously talking about her,she understands not a single word,so that's their problem,not hers.When the waiter approach,the damsel studies him first from head to toe.Too bad the fela's shoes have seen better days,and trust me there's nothing as degrading as someone staring at the one flaw you have and is aware of, but can do nothing about at the moment, because of 'torn pockets'. You want them to look elsewhere but they'd rather pull everyone's attention to the one flaw you'd rather hide.It gets worse if,instead of shooting them,you are required by law to smile.She proceeds to place an order,after half an hour.As the waiter leaves,you can see smoke bellowing out of his ears even though on his face,is this smile.

It would be another ten minutes before the waiter returns.He's shocked to find an empty seat.The men with the strange language are too engrossed in their hearty conversation to be of much help.The damsel,immediately after placing the order,rose and strutted to another table,half a mile away,without waiting for her order to be delivered.The waiter is searching frantically around,then spots the obvious give-away that would direct a blind hippo to you-the shiny clothes.Carrying his overloaded tray,he heads to her new location and places his load on her table.Just then,another waiter shows up and places his own load on the exact table.Apparently the damsel,in her impatience,sent two waiters,though she placed different orders.Now sitting in front of her is a party,not a meal.And when you look at her size,the irony sinks in.Modelling must be a costly business.There is a sharp bone protruding from her back,just below the shoulders,who's DNA you can see.She's skinnier than skinny.As a matter of fact,the skin is the only thing that's holding her bones in place.One false move and she would disintegrate into a million pieces of beauty pageants.Its her turn now to wish attention away.She pretends to type away on her large gadget,(Again,hii Umeru itaniua),but even if you don't know what it is like me,you can tell when something is on and when its off.This one is clearly off.But maybe it works best when off,who knows.For this damsel is typing frantically like her life depends on it.The waiters stay put.Each one is trying his own 'karibu chakula dada',but the damsel may have turned deaf,for she pays them no attention.

She raises her head,to face the waiters,like her Majesty the Queen of Mongolia.Then she looks at the party before her,inwardly salivating.But you are not allowed to consume unhealthy foods,if you want to remain a 'queen'. The other guests must be crazy,according to her,for looking around,all seems to be enjoying the hearty meal.If the Cosmopolitan Magazine says African food is awful and unhealthy,a 'queen' worth her salt would be best advised to believe it.Then she waves the food away,with a scorn on her face,but not before nibbling on each plate,as if to ensure nobody else will touch it after she is through.She's been on this table for ten minutes flat,by which time she's managed to irritate all and sundry.Reminding me of the day 'Miss Kenya' showed up at the site of a collapsed flat, with flowers and high heels.As others were using bare hands to move blocks of concrete and steel away,she posed for cameras,with the site as her background.She may have had compassion on the families trapped under the rubble.But you couldn't have told that from the flowers and the high heels.She was the most unwelcome sight on site,and the most useless as well,under the circumstances.

The damsel gets on her feet.The clatter and clang follow suit.Her heels are inches deep in this soft ground.She pulls her leg up forcefully,so that the other one sinks even deeper.Then she repeats the motion over and over again,all the way to the entrance,by which time the other guest have started clapping for her ironically,for having successfully navigated through the most difficult lunch of her entire life.Hii Umeru,kweli itatuua.Maybe its time we stuck the only things we are sure of at all times-green things.

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