Time at the top right corner of my screen reads 7:07am. It’s one of those frigid mornings you want hot coffee at the comfort of your blankets. But instead, I’m in a cold lecture room with all windows wide open. The cold has found its way through my skin and I can now feel it in my pancreas. It’s why I’m writing this, to distract myself from this North-Of-The-Wall nippiness.
The guy on my right doesn’t seem exultant even with the fast Wi-Fi and nice Adidas he’s rocking. I can tell by the way he’s grimaced and is furiously typing away on his phone. I’m trying to peek to see the name of this bird that’s ruining a brother’s morning and what is it they’re angry about. (Yeah, I know. Sometimes I can be nosier than Pinocchio). It has to be a girl on the other end. She’s probably curled up in her duvet with earphones on, listening to Alessia Cara telling him such:
“Babe, I missed my period.”
“And how can I help with that sasa?”
“You know what I mean.”
“We’ve always used contraceptives.”
“Lakini babe (an over/misused word that’s starting to irk me) you remember that quickie at Aqua?”
“That was long ago.” Terror now gripping his gonads.
“It could still be that day.”
At this point, he is almost certain that it’s that quickie at Aqua. He just doesn’t want to show ‘babe’ he’s worried. Maybe later he’ll turn to me and ask,
“Boss, you know of any doctors that could help me abort?”
“The guy I know only does ladies. I’m not sure he’s handled a pregnant guy before. But I’ll be sure to ask.”
I’m telling you about this fella because most mornings I wear this mood he has as a sweater. Only with me, it’s never a pregnancy scare that fuelled the disposition. It’s something more profound like not finding matching socks to wear. Or extremely hot tea burning my tongue. Lakini recently, things have been different.
I was on a four month hiatus from school and in those, my average waking time was 11am. And it’s not because the alarm woke me. No. It’s the sun that woke me. I would be sleeping peacefully and suddenly it grew hot; the kind of hot that makes you sweaty, dump and sticky. That was what woke me for this four months; sweat and stickiness. Unlike most of my friends (Django, you there?), I didn’t go on internship. Internship to me was waking, making breakfast and doing dishes after that. I can the feel the vile judging eyes already. Stop it. I don’t regret it a bit. Sure, at first when they all texted and said they got internships, it sucked. I didn’t like it one bit. Of course, I was happy for them but I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the fact that they began life without me. And in those moments, I hated staying home. But slowly, I adjusted. I began appreciating my life after they told me the stories; the rude bosses, the an-intern-is-another-office-equipment-like-a-stapler -to be used and let out on frustrations- rule, the demonic waking times (5am), and the monotony of it all; repeating it every day for three and a half months.
See, the last time I woke up at 5 was like two years ago when I was in high school; those days when mornings were laced with virulence and abhorrent energy. Those days when someone pushed you on the breakfast queue and you’d call them names worse than Nyokabi (no offence to Kuyus, I’ve just never dug that name). Some people used to find the silver lining in these dense breakfast lines and take a nap as you grinded and pushed on each other. I admired those chaps. You’d be suspended in the air so long, sandwiched between two well-built rugby chaps the only option was forty winks. You’d feel yourself sweat as early as 5.30am and wonder, “Is this education thing even worth it?” Good days, those ones.
(This isn’t going anywhere. I hope you’ve noticed by now.)
But waking at 5am takes a toll in your life. It changes you. It changes how you perceive aspects of life. It challenges your previous beliefs and dogma. It changes your political and religious views. If done long enough, I swear it could change your sexuality. But the truth is you’re never awake when you wake up at that time. You’re a zombie; a 16-year old pimple-plastered pubescent living zombie that hates Biology.
That’s why I take pride in my waking up at 11am prowess. Because I’d never felt so alive. I could bet my life that I’ve added weight. Not so much that makes people worried, no, the one that lets people know you’re doing well, that you may have got a raise at work. See the irony?
Nonetheless, as I type this, I can’t help but wonder if I missed an opportunity to get used to this 8-5 life that awaits me. Maybe I did. But I have to stop wondering now coz the lecturer’s here. Time reads at 7.40. He’s forty minutes late. But he doesn’t seem to care. I guess with that tie he’s wearing you can’t afford to care. It’s the ugliest piece of cloth I’ve ever seen. Now, he’s chanting something about Java, the programming language, not the overpriced joint that girls here in campus have been known to roll down their knickers after they’ve been taken to on dates. Let me listen to him though so that that 8-5 doesn’t slip past me.
And by the way, writing this worked. I’m not cold anymore.