You are the most foolish Kenyan in the world! Barks the woman who rules my house and heart with a hot iron rod.
Like many Kenyan men, I pretend to be the lion of the house, the village and city. Yet, the bitter truth is, the madam, my bitter half, is the king and the queen combined together. In and out of the bedroom she is a hot lioness, and if I am a lion, it is a silhouette toothless one. Before her, I am a combination of a city and a village idiot and not griot?
I don’t fear the lions of Tsavo, neither the son of Jomo nor the president in waiting for Agwambo. The only creature that makes my body wobble in fear is the woman called my wife.
So like a vile sheep I meekly answered back, Yes, Ma'am, I am a foolish fool. This is to escape from being consumed by the ire and fire of her tongue.
Many years ago while at secondary school everybody used to call me Kirimu, or the foolish one. Partly because I was always at the tail end in classwork but mostly because, whenever I was in any defensive situation my tongue become kaput.
The mouth would open up but the tongue would deny the consent to voice up anything. I would run off to the nearest toilet to voicelessly cry my heart out.
My bitter half gave me the second Kirimu, and makes sure to remind me of it every day. One day, I asked her why on earth she agreed to get married by a certified fool.
She held me tight, kissed my hand and head, and then said: In another lifetime, I would still get married to you. She gave me her gold rare honey smile, the one that promoted me to ask her hand in marriage. That was long before her metamorphosis from a hot queen into an ice-cold dictator.
The smile made me feel like a new goat for ten-seconds. She reverted back to her semi-permanent devilish beam that even animals in the household fear. When I see it, I tremble. If I try to walk, I stumble. This happens all the time, even though we have been together for two decades.
The devilish smile many times shoot out a rain of words that cut inside the heart like a Somali sword. She vomits locutions that stings worse than a bee, especially when the crazy insect decides to get into your trousers only to let out their evil act in Adam’s paradise.
This is one bitter half, who I am tied to with a bulldog’s chain for life and I resigned to the fact that I will never know what she wants.
Leaving her is not an option. Only death can do us part or if she makes the decision to ditch me.
Listen to me my foolish husband. Don't get silly ideas about love. I agreed to get married to you out of pity. No other woman could marry a foolish and ugly man like you, she says, her smile widening up with poison.
I don't want ever to see you looking dotingly to any other woman. After holding on your ugliness for twenty years, do you think I am foolish enough to let you go and let another woman enjoy the fruits of my labor?
We were going to the next level of hell. I had to remind myself she is the mother of my children. I changed the subject. I applied for the tender to supply the county government with consumables. If it goes through, we will make a profit of 20 million, a I told her. As usual, every time she hears of big money, she brightens up like the cat that drank all the milk.
My sweetest and most handsome husband. I will ensure that you get that tender. Just make sure the payments are deposited in our joint account. If you try the monkey joke of opening an own account like last year, I will carry you like a baby in a leso across the market place. You will become a laughing stock.
This woman is crazier than I thought but for the value of my neck, I can never tell her that. Her idea of getting the tender is also crazy but totally Kenyan. She calls the governor’s mistress, who surprisingly works in the county procurement office. I never knew they were friends.
She tells the sweetheart of the governor to come home for lunch on Saturday. That day, she dresses me in one of the special suits she keeps under the lock and key. Such clothes I am only allowed to wear when going out with her and make me feel like a goat being taken out for slaughter.
The governor’s mistress is with us. Both of them are calling me Mr. Handsome. The parting words after some hours of food and talks are good news. How can I fail to ensure your Mr. Handsome get the tender? Just tell him to stop being lazy, and open as many companies as possible and apply for as many tenders as possible. I will make him a millionaire; my bitter half is told.
After the lady of the governor leaves, I can see the woman of my life is unsettled. My foolish husband, remember you are not handsome. She called you Mr. Handsome just to make me feel good Mmm…women.
I won the tender. Within one month I have supplied goods with prices inflated a thousand percent. We are buying a new house but my bitter half is very unhappy. The governor’s mistress calls her every evening and asks to talk to me. Nowadays at night, she holds me so tight as if afraid some dark dreams will steal me.