If I get a dollar for the number of times my eyes have engaged my cursor in a blinking contest as I try to fish at the back of my mind for words to write, I bet I will be on the Forbes Magazine next year. Or maybe not. But still, I will have enough cash to take me on a trip down to the coast to watch the sun going down, beer in my hand, sand on my feet and a hot breeze wafting away with my writing ambitions. I will wait until a blanket of darkness replaces my view of the ocean, sitting there unmoved, waiting for The Muse to return and spark in me some creativity, to guide my hand through the dark pages of writer’s block. And in the case that The Muse does not show up, I will heave my disappointed self up, head straight to my hotel room and pack up my suitcase. I will leave the Coast and all its sinful pleasures stealthily like a hooker leaves a satisfied client’s house in the wee hours of a Sunday morning. I will remember to leave a note by my bedside locker, sealed and addressed to The Muse if he finally shows up. The contents will be the angst and frustration of a budding writer.
I will then get into my car, switch on the Stereo and tune it to Homeboyz Radio. Muthoni Drummer Queen’s new jam Kenyan Message will be on the air. I will hum ruefully to the chorus;
Don’t push me, coz I’m close to the edge!
I’m trying not to loose my head!
I will drive up north into the mainland with the speakers blasting, watching Mombasa disappear on my rear view mirror. I will pump the brakes at the police roadblock. The wide eyed cops in blue uniform will smile and rub their bellies in anticipation, and one will yank the back door open and rummage through my belongings, probably looking for contraband, only to find a pen and a paper. I will squint my eyes as their bright torches shed light into my face. One of them, a burly red eyed middle aged man with an addiction to power, will demand ‘Wewe Kijana unatoka wapi sahii usiku?’
I’ll say, ‘Najaribu kuandika‘. Then ask them if they have seen The Muse.
They will look at me like I am crazy, or drunk, or both and ask me to step out of the car to blow into those Alcoblow gadgets. I’ll blow hesitantly, with my fingers crossed, hoping that the beer I had earlier on will have washed its way out of my system. Eventually, money will change hands. Warning words will be uttered. My journey will continue nonetheless.
I will reach Nairobi at around noon the next day with my eyes tired from hours spent staring at the road ahead, and occasionally at the rear ends of trucks moving at a snail’s speed.
But I won’t sleep. For I still will be searching. Searching for the Muse. I will walk into a club later on that evening to see if this Muse guy will show. I will sit with my cold beer frothing at the top, glancing at the door expectantly. Time will pass. People will come in walking on their own. They will leave a few hours later, clasped in the arms of friends, or strangers, unable to walk on their own. I will not budge.
I will notice the pretty girl seated two tables away, in the company of her female friends. She will glance in my direction from time to time, signalling that she is ready. Ready for me to make my move. I will stare at her, long enough to catch a glimpse of her right thigh crisscrossed over her left, slightly exposed by a short black mini-dress hugging her body tightly. For a minute I will wish I was that dress. Her gaze will meet mine at one time, then I will look away, like I always do. I will not walk over to her table, because from there I will have no direct view of the door lest this Muse walks in. She will wait for me. More time will pass. Eventually, she will sigh in resignation. A frown will rest upon her beautiful face. She will sip whatever will have remained of her drink. So will her friends. They will pay their bill and stagger out of the club into the night. At the door she will turn back one last time to look at me, as if to say goodbye. My heart will break into many pieces.
Morning will come and this Muse will not have shown up and I will give up completely. I’ll stop trying. A week will pass by. A second week will come and go. I will walk around like a zombie, feeling empty inside. Then one night, I’ll be sound asleep in my bed, and he will creep into my house like a thief and tap me on my shoulder. I’ll wake up from my dreams, startled.
We have a lot to do mate! He will say.
But it’s 2am in the morning. I have to wake up early for work.
This is work.
So I will retrieve my pen and paper and get down to it. Letters will turn into words. Words will turn into sentences. He will lead me through the blocks and obstacles. Finally, a story will be born, after weeks and weeks of painful labor.
And come morning, I will put it up on this blog, and click on Publish. For you to read.