HOME IS A CASTLE OF STORIES

CASTLE BLACK



I don’t follow any Kenyan YouTuber. This isn’t to say that I am highbrow or refined. Far from it. I just don’t relate to any of their content. Most of them are boring wannabe comedians. It’s okay to have a good laugh but my life is pretty much a joke. I don’t need somebody else to make me laugh.

All the girls on YouTube do is teach each other how to do make-up, utter poppycock. Recently, some couple trended after they shared a video of the lady giving birth. That moment where life stirs. I found it to be lousy, honestly. Why should you broadcast that, just give birth in peace? Women have been giving birth since the dawn of time. They will continue doing so till feminism wipes us all away or a nuclear holocaust. There’s nothing new about labour.

But then, YouTube has to be fed. This site of exotic vanity. Where everybody is smart and funny and enlightened and knows something that we don't.

I tried to watch Andy Kibe. And I think he’s man out of his time, from a bygone age. All Kibe says is what every man wants to say. All these guys you see walking in trousers, they want to talk like Kibe. But they claim to be modern, that they respect women and call him a sad, macho, misogynistic bastard.

In a quest to be politically correct, they abandon what they really think. It’s sad. I stopped watching Kibe though. Homeboy has more important things to do with his life than sit around, listening to some bald man in googles rant about his conquests and ‘pudesh.’ By the way, what is pudesh?

With the Kenyan YouTube scene a digital desert, I had to find an oasis to quench my thirst. Enter stage left, American YouTubers. It had to be American, the cradle of Western civilization. It couldn’t be French, what do French YouTubers talk about anyway? The Eiffel tower, PSG, love, what flowers to buy your girl, sex?  You might call me a traitor, that I consume American YouTube content, so sad, right. So unpatriotic. Tell the DCI (with his funny haircut) to come and arrest me.

This American YouTuber I follow talks about masculinity mostly. Because apparently, western civilization has become too feminised. Men are losing their manhood and acting feminine.

This bringing a disconnect in relationships. Because while girls are expecting men to be ‘men’, guess what? The men are being the ‘women’ and the women being the ‘men.’ Do you feel me? Which pauses a lot of problems because physiologically and biologically we are so different. And no matter how hard leftists try to convince you that men and women are the same, we are not. We are humans yes. But we are worlds apart.  And no amount of modernity can bury thousands of years of genetic hard wiring.

One time this YouTuber mentioned how a football coach can be fired if he tells a boy who’s playing shit to ‘man up!’ what’s wrong with telling a boy to ‘man up?’ It serves him right. To prepare him for the big bad world. Where he will be alone. Up against bloodthirsty vampires and bears in sheep attires. But because the left doesn’t want boys to ‘man up!’ American boys are growing up to be cute little lap felines.

Their version of manhood is disjointed. A far cry from what manhood really is.  This is spilling to Kenya because we swallow loads of American nonsense. Their movies, their books, their ludicrous TV shows. It’s mass consumption of western madness, nobody wants to be left behind. I don’t understand why I girl in Eldoret wants to watch the Kardashians. ‘Cheptoo, get your ass out and run, girl!’

A few weeks ago, I manned up. No, it wasn’t circumcision, that happened ages ago. I moved to a place of my own. Father wanted me out of the nest. Mum did not want me to leave. You understand our mothers (God bless them), always looking out for their offspring. But dad wanted me out, he wasn’t mincing his words.

“You need to carve out a path for yourself in the world alone, as a man. And the first step in doing so is learning to live on your own.”

I found a place of my own and moved. My mum has been worried ever since. Whenever we talk on the phone, she’s like.

“How’s security in the area? Is the house in good condition? I hope you have food. Is there a place you can buy greens? I hope you’re comfortable my last born?"

 And many more. I could live with my parents forever, only that it’s impossible. The circle of life doesn’t allow, at one point, you have to go it alone. Even if you’re the last born, like me.

As for my Dad, homeboy could care less. We talked on phone, the guy was nonchalant.

“Huh, now life has begun. You do your thing.”

The connection went dead. The next time I called, I met the old foe, ‘the mobile subscriber can’t be reached.’ Fathers! Anyway, should I have children, I’ll bring them up exactly the way my dad has. Walking the line between ice and warmth.

I love my new place. It’s a bedsit hovel, with a separate kitchen. It’s pretty big, I’ve set the bed right in the middle to swallow up space. This is my kingdom, my country, my empire. I call it the CASTLE BLACK. It’s in this upcoming neighbourhood with mansions hidden behind trees and fancy names like ‘this drive’ and ‘that close’. It shows that folk who live here want to grow, and are constantly asking for more from life.

While comparing prices around, I heard that my landlady may be conned me a little on rent.  Which is pretty sad but then we already agreed on the price, no moving back. I think it’s worth it though because I don’t have students for neighbours. Folk in the four other doors have started out on life. Everybody minds their own business. There are no speakers blaring with Migos and Lil pump. It’s so peaceful and silent.

I thrive in silence. Here I will write without distractions. Without somebody peeking at my laptop and asking sarcastically. “It’s one of those stories?”  the silence here, you think its monastery. It is so bewitching. And though the landlady makes me pay extra, I could have bought this silence. It’s a buried world. Everything seems locked in this idyllic time in history. Nothing could go wrong. I am enjoying it.

I am an extroverted introvert. A loner of sorts. I blossom in the theatre of my brain, creating grand battles between trees and walls and anything. This bedsit serves me right. My wars won’t leak out to the outside world. They will remain here. Under this cheap ceiling, on this tiled floor. Lost and won in this bleak existence.

A confession. I normally write while seated upright. But this piece, I did it in bed. Blankets pulled up to my stomach. The laptop rested on my lap. Naked. Fingers clicking away on Anglo Saxon alphabet. A mug of coffee on the floor beside. Sugarless. Tepid, like a shot of whiskey.

The first person I’ve met is the caretaker. Chirchir. Hailing from the ravines of El Dama ravine. He’s a smoker. Smelt it while he fixed my shower. He also works in a construction site nearby, most of the time he’s covered in dust and cement. His eyes are small, hiding in the sockets as if they don’t want to come out. The cheekbones are a bit protruded. There’s no beard on him. The lips are dark and teeth discoloured, the dog years of smoking are catching up.

But I like him. He possesses a rare strain of maleness, primal. Calcified. He’s charming and has an air of cunning. A wolf from El Dama ravine. On the first day, he conned me out of two hundred and fifty bob. He fixed electricity and minor plumbing issues. That’s Chirchir. He sold himself.

“Hapa tutaishi kama ndugu. Ukiwa na shida nitafute. Mimi naeza plumbing, electrical, mimi ni mechanic. Naunda kila kitu!”

Here we will live as brothers. If you have a problem, look for me.  I can do plumbing, electrical stuff, I am a mechanic. I make everything!  (A translation, because Google tells me that there are about ten folks reading me from Indonesia. Hello, how’s Jakarta?)

People underrate living alone, it’s terrific I tell you. I can walk out of the bathroom, stark naked. Dry myself as I dance around. With nobody trying to peer at my ‘sugarcane’ or see if my ass has hair, it has.

Thank goodness there’s no church around. I sleep a lot, but on Sundays I overdo it. My Sundays will be filled with a lot of sleep. As there are no speakers blaring into my silence. Trying to make me believe and some preacher swearing how he will ‘tie’ my manhood if I continue mocking of him. Pastor Nganga and Trump have one thing in common, they’ve mastered the 25th law of power: “Never bore your audience.”

Any castle has rules. Thus, here is a constitution on how my CASTLE BLACK will run. You may not like it; you may find the rules to be bullshit. Too bad. It’s my castle, if you have rules, keep them for your place.

1. No women allowed. I am straight, no doubt. I enjoy sex as much as the next guy, maybe more. But see, this is my sanctuary, my holy ground, my altar. To keep it clean, devoid of desire, women are not welcome. There’s not one I will invite. And those will try to invite themselves will be turned away at the door. Non-negotiable. Oh, am at a point in my life where I don’t have women friends. And anyway, can a man be friends with a woman? I don’t believe in that bs. What do guys do with their female friends?

2. Male visitors will be required to leave as fast as possible. There are guys who invite themselves to people’s houses and live there. Not my place. If you have no agenda or we’re not talking business, don’t stay for long or I’ll be forced to say, “boss, tembea na yesu.” Of course, you will want to shit test me. Try and see.

    3. There are these people who want always want to come to your place on the pretext of saying ‘hi or greeting you.’ I say no to that. If you do want to meet me, a public place can do just fine. Or if you insist, we can meet just outside the gate. Greet me, say your hi and be on your way.


My mama mboga is deaf and dumb. Seeing her in that state always leaves me scared a little bit. It breaks my heart, shreds it into a million little pieces. Sometimes I think, what if?

There are lots of trees around. The place is flooded with birds. Singing from morning to evening. It reminds me of home, Kisii. A fake nostalgia. I have a troupe of monkeys for neighbours, they gladly consume all the leftovers.

Did you know that male monkeys have blue balls? I want to chill with them but they always run away when I approach. I reckon they ostracize me, the cousin who decided to wear clothes and live in stone houses. If I could only explain that those were the machinations of white men, not me. And if they could only understand. For now, they regard me suspiciously. Their offspring clutching unto their bellies as they run along.

New stories will be carved out of this place. This manhole. This mancave. Until then, farewell from CASTLE BLACK.

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