by Otieno Lynn
Technically, my life is stalling; majorly because I am very particular about how I would love to die. It’s not practical to choose how to die, but I do so when I have the chance. I had several things to do in town last week. Several meetings to attend and many more places to go, and just a quarter of them were accomplished. Everyone is demonstrating about something and every turn you make you meet a young man or woman carrying a white handkerchief, and a few blue and brown ones, and a bottle of water. Well, I don’t want to die by the bullet, or from teargas; itchy eyes can get your soul exhausted and make your heart very weak from fatigue, (my wild imaginations).

I don’t want to die a brutal death; I would be very glad to die of toomuch happiness, I want to die in my sleep, I want to die of laughter, I want to die of eating too many chocolate bars. I would love to die of eating too much food, from drinking a lot of water; I most definitely want to die because of smiling a lot. I want to be swept away into the ocean while lieing on the sandy beaches; I want to die from the calming feeling brought about by the alluring beauty of a sunset. I want to die in someone’s arms; I want to die on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro (this could hurt a great deal though) I want to die in the arms of lovely mother nature. All in all, I want to die a very quiet death, I want to be killed by the beauty of life.

So, last week my grandma called pleading with me with a lot of concern not to get involved in the ongoing demonstrations. Well, I think she should read this. Other than the demonstration woes, last week was rough; one young man probably had too much to drink, and since I was seated right behind him in a matatu, I shared the consequences. I think this is the kind of unity that our National Anthem pitches. He was seated next to his boss, who was drunk too (some people are lucky). He was just a little tipsy because his speech and actions were well coordinated, at least better than those of his subordinate. He was going to get home safely, but I can’t say the same for his friend, no colleague, and no I think this was more of friendship than work place acquaintance. So I got home smelling like a changaa den with my power suit decorated with patterns of food particles. Funny enough, I was not angry at all; I was amused and shocked at the same time.

Back to the disarray that our country is wallowing in, I am reminded of one time in high school when a very malicious rumor broke out that a group of students was planning to stage a strike. I can’t exactly remember what the discontent was about but topping the list of their agenda was to burn down a few
buildings. There was a lot of tension, and we were always on the lookout for the anticipated strike, for smoke! My high school was sectioned into three blocks; the junior block, the central block, and the senior block which hosted all the form four streams. The senior block was lucky to have a generator which would be powered up to illuminate the block whenever there was a power outage. On this particular night, there was a heavy downpour and the generator could not start. I am not sure if the rain had anything to do with it; don’t blame me; I dropped Physics in form two, and History too. What with macadamized roads and the evolution of man. History was boring, right? So rumors started going round of how the alleged strike planners had siphoned fuel from the generator and whoever the source of this rumor was, she must be skyrocketing in her journalism career. It was dark; it was raining, and there were rumors that arsonists had marked the seniors’ block. The administration was not aware of what was happening then, but the amount of fear within the student fraternity was enormous, it was intense. I had packed a few clothes and books in a backpack, and set aside a few coins for my fare, just in case things got murky. I guess most people did. It felt like this was the night the planwas going down-the silence, the darkness, the fear, the anticipation, the smell of death, I have never felt so much in touch with reality as I did on this day; the inevitable reality of death, well I have, but this was different, it was
ardent. I said a thousand prayers; I tried to write a note to my best friend, I recited a few bible verses, I saw myself at my funeral, in a purple casket. Who gets buried in a purple casket?! I was wearing my favorite dress, and I was very infuriated that the mourners attending my burial ceremony were served with githeri. No, that is not what I would love my mourners to eat at my funeral. I want them to be treated to a three course meal because it is a celebration of life. No, this is not how I wanted to die. You think I’m a coward? You are wrong; I am just a girl who wants a quiet death. My mind rolled in a wild race, I was scared, I felt sick to my core, and then nothing happened. What a waste of emotions!

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