Goodbye My Friend…

My father would make a good Kenya Anti Corruption Authority Director. If not that, he would make a good Attorney general. If not that, he would make a very good Director of public prosecutions. Still, he would make a brilliant detective, like Horatio Caine. He actually would make a very good actor, for CSI... He is no lawyer though; neither is he the least corrupt person. He is also not the movie type of people, though with his bald head he’d make an awesome replacement for George Jefferson, a taller one in this case. I say this because the next few paragraphs have reasons why I took my last beer, ever at K1 about twelve hours ago.

In our household, I am probably the only one who enjoys sips of alcohol with ease. My father does not drink, neither does my mother. My sister, I know she doesn’t though I gathered at some wedding a few years ago; she attempted to have a few glasses of something. Needless to say, she provided free entertainment for those who cared to enjoy. My kid brother, Young Money; he’s never sipped anything in my presence. Neither has anyone kind enough told me he’s been sipping. I suspect though. I was once a terrorist in that house and as such there is tendency to hide information from me. Do not ask. My half brother sipped the drink before I did, he was so entertaining. He was 18 when that happened. When we went to college, he drank something called Sapphire one evening; the days for sachets. It did not go well. He suddenly became a cry baby in the court we lived. I do not know what Sapphire was telling him, he said things and even caressed a roughcast wall, in the night rain. He wouldn’t remember that. He quit drinking, for as long as I was as present in his life. A friend met him once though, and he was ‘The man’ at Kengele’s West. Oooops…

When I was twenty years old, I touched beer. There is a man called Evan. He made everything so cool. He had this nice Toyota Marino, sky blue in color and could splash money everywhere back at my native lands. Evan with all the money, the awesome car, the good colognes and the Makoma cassette he played at the highest volume got all the girls. I liked Evan’s style. He came to one of my fathers’ pubs, ‘threw’ everyone drinks and told stories from Nairobi. Sigh, I so badly wanted to be Evan, like Evan. I was playing the cashier’s role that evening when Evan came. Dad had sent me there to keep watch of the till box as the Family Accountant. Evan wanted me to taste the good stuff. He was taking Guinness stout. Everyone else around was sipping on either Ranger or Allsops. Evan from Nairobi was drinking the cool things. Who was I to refuse the good things from Nairobi? Free ones! I drank alcohol for the first time then. Allan, the bodaboda guy who was waiting to take me home after closing the bar was vigilant just in case Dad got idle (or was escaping questions from Senior Mrs) at home and decided to come hang out at the bar with fellow teachers… Evan was so cool, he took away my teenage girlfriend, and her elder sister too. He is now very broke though.

Goodbye my lover, goodbye my friend...

Well, that night had me arrive home a little excited than usual. Not that when am at my sobriety highs I am any less excited. That night, I also discovered that alcohol can make you visit the toilet more than often. That is where Detective PM comes in. PM is my father; his trademark name from high school, Raila is just a pretender. So, the detective came to the toilet and smelled something like alcohol. The following morning was unpleasant. We, my brother and I were given a loooooooooooooong thing called a lecture about alcohol; how it is bad, how it does not go well with our blood. We were also given examples of kina Uncle this and that who sleep in trenches, and who lost focus on the important things in life. I was so scared, I did not touch alcohol again until college. I just couldn’t resist. I suffer from a genetic syndrome called populism. Cool at every cost was wired through my head from impressions of my father. A man I absolutely adore, but I also hate to become, or have I become already? Sigh… Mum says mtoto wa nyoka ni nyoka, every time I do something annoying.

After election night in college, yes, I said something about populism. I was charismatic and calm, so I became popular and they elected me. I did not get chance to give a thank you speech like Obama’s victory kind. After election night, my friends and sidekicks (I said I was popular) took me to The Spree Club. It was the hottest place ever! They did not get me half carpet to walk on though. They just lifted me on their shoulders to the club; everyone including that girl at the kitchen knew I was the man in town that night. Congratulatory drinks were flowing, I was still holding on my sprite soda. No one wanted any of that, even in my ‘presidential’ suit *cough* they made me dance; they also made me drink Tusker beer. I enjoyed it. I remember talking to this chic pal of mine, we grew distant when her best friend and I stopped being lovers… wait, how did this come in here? Well, I did not stop drinking from then.

It did not become better when I came to the big city. All the clubs sigh. I was also making my own money. I was doing internship sometime after college. My friends, the Wagon Park Derailers he heee… used to come for photocopies at my work place. In the evening after walking from Safaricom Waiyaki way to Parkside Mombasa road dropping CV’s, we’d meet at Dodi’s bar when we were a little rich to have Tusker. The other days we met at Steps bar, that one on Tom Mboya street for Keg beer, it was nicer then. Anyway, soon money came in and we popped, not champagne but good beers. I became even cooler and started sipping on Heineken. Sigh, this drink must be brewed by angels… the devil’s angels. It entraps. Cars were bought; Oh My God. Martini Ultra Lounge at China Centre was born; cousin BK should revive that place. It was the first real lounge in Nairobi. We were patrons. My boy and I partied around the clock. We used to have one bill, but I had my own waitress, he had his. I missed gracing the Martini dance floor one weekend in 2008, the waitresses called me on speaker, the whole lot. I was sick from malaria. When I showed up after getting well, everything was on the house. Sigh, The Prince! Even my online persona was something like El presidente. I ran a blog about my night running activities. Sigh, nowadays I don’t have stories.

This didn’t last. The rest of my life stalled mostly. Focus was not so much focus as Detective PM had said. Of course some idle relatives told mommy that I was city mayor by night. Thank God mum is not an official in church; they’d have brought prayers to Martini Lounge. Maybe they prayed; Martini closed! House parties were born though… #thatisall

Alcohol is bad for me. I already knew that. I have never really tried to quit, I have thought about it though. It is so unlike me to get to a restaurant and order a Novida. How now? The thing costs a lose 100/= Beer is more worth, I say often. In my magic house, which I will have some day I have always seen a refrigerator, daddy’s refrigerator, full of green bottles and a wine rack for mummy, when she has been nice ha! But then I also want to be a better person and as simple as it sounds, quitting alcohol will make me a better person, for myself and for people I love. Even those I do not love will experience some good. I want my son someday to see the wisdom in being alcohol free. As mum says, ‘Junior, it is possible to have fun without alcohol…just like PM.’ There again, I look up to being like my father. I am so wired to see positives in people. Even with all the faults my father has, I overlook them to see the better man in him. I hope to have a child someday, I hope to earn admiration even with the disaster I can be to myself, to people I love and things I do. So today, I start a journey, I do not know how, I don’t have a like 360 day plan. I just know I have to avoid alcohol. Will you help me stay away from it?

This is not going to be easy, anybody who knows me best knows Chicken, Heineken and another thing related to my previous post are ways to my heart.

“You know that you are in love when the hardest thing to do is say good-bye!!!” LMAO!

Playlist: James Blunt – Goodbye My Lover

10 thoughts on “Goodbye My Friend…

  1. My bday’s next weekend. Alcohol in plenty & all drinks are on the house. Are you sure you don’t want a loose crate of Heineken? Wait, Heinys are so cool that they don’t come in crates. Ok how about 2 six packs?

    • Temptation! I cannot miss your birthday but I have a plan, I’ll interact with Heineken… I will take pictures of it and sip on Alvaro… better yet, will order a packet of Delmonte Juice, I can carry it home when the party is over… ha ha!

  2. One day at a time they say…. but I believe that when quiting becomes important enuff, u won’t need a way, U’ll just quit:)

  3. This move is commendable. For it to succeed you will need to make radical changes in your life to avoid getting yourself into tempting situations. Some people in your life could also be just ‘bad’ company that you may need to stay away from or at least minimize contact with them. You will also need to form other habits and friendships that will support your decision. Much as I have enjoyed the humour in your post, the damage I have seen alcohol cause on families and the health of young people is no laughing matter. Many Kenyans drink a lot and none of them likes to be told to reduce their intake. The overall impact of alcohol is greatly downplayed by industry stakeholders.

    Anyway, good luck in this endeavor.

    • @KK One step at a time…
      @Danzo, I have nothing further to add. You sounded like Detective PM somewhere there.

  4. I also find it way hard for me to go to a bar and not take beer. And in my journey to quit beer, I have avoided going out and minimized on the house parties as I try getting distractions to other things. I can stay for 6 months without sipping any but for some reason when I get to a bar I will still drink.

    So the deal for me is to try rensponsible drinking when I slip back and guarding through avoidance. A day at a time as they say…

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