Valor

pawpaw

He walked briskly as if late for a corporate meeting. Inside, he successfully quelled all the yearning to usher himself into the mouth of the dragon.He was not afraid of fire. In his head he visualized how it must be in there with all the women in pieces of clothing for skirts and baby crop tops. He could imagine the yellow thighs, yellow like the succulent flesh of a ripe paw paw. The red, dark,maroon and green lips. He could not picture a human with green lips but he knew for certain that they existed in the joint.

The blast of explicit music hit him as he walked past the entrance looking around suspiciously as if someone who knew him would materialize and command him to freeze. At the corner of his left eye he could see red and blue lights flickering like a broken florescent tube.

After holding his breath all the way to the end of the building, he decided he was not going  to head home without having a peek at the ladies in the mysterious place. He was going to mobilize all the confidence he could get his hands on and saunter straight in without a debate. And so he went round the block past focused women  boarding buses and youth with purpose hurrying in all directions whom he decided intimidated him.

He took in a large gulp of air, looked around and walked towards the entrance hoping to slip in without qualms. As he approached it, he found himself walking past faster than he had in the first instance. A woman with very wide hips and thick weave strolled lazily past him and his gluttonous gaze followed her all the way until she disappeared into the joint. He wanted to turn back but opted to make one more lap around the buzzing city, just to confuse whoever had spotted him making swirls around the condemned place, and then prowl back and immerse himself in without thinking about it.

His feeble confidence assured him of success. Who knew perhaps he would  convince someone in a tiny torn jeans short to grab his arm. Perhaps some would fight for his attention. He crossed the street past wretched beggars, past a building inscribed National Archives although he had a tad idea what that meant, past a shabby woman preaching vehemently at people lined on a concrete bench trying to suppress her voice in their heads, past a stooping statue of a veteran politician murdered by his haters and now being tortured by his tribesmen who broke off bits of the stone used in carving it, past a stinking street boy shuffling his feet on the tarmac while holding on to his trousers,past women selling groceries on the road side. And then went around two blocks and resolved he was ready for it, he was even sure from the soft thud of his heart when he thought about it.

He walked stealthily past a restaurant oozing the aroma of fried chicken and fish, past men selling old books and magazines featuring big women with bleached skins, crossed the street and again he could behold the building staring back at him as if in challenge.

He stood to catch his breath.Pretty young women walked by and he had to lust after them. He was ready except for some little stupid feeling that edged hesitantly into his heart. However, he was going to storm in like a victorious war hero. He was going to approach those women like a pimp. He was going for the kill and nothing humanly was going to deter him.

With his head high and shoulders straight, he walked towards the taunting entrance and realized suddenly that he was the opposite of confident. His heart beat as if he was a Kikuyu man addressing a Luo crowd holding shoes and chanting off- key Baba song. His brow was dripping. In his head he could only hear one sensible thing; home. He bit his index finger, peeped at the blinking lights over his shoulder and headed where he won’t have to debate over. Home.

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