Random Rants

Tuesday Jazz Night





As a waiter at the Villa Rosa Kempinski Balcony Bar, I have witnessed men of means sway in with an air of power. Men whose hand stitched leather shoes equals my entire year’s salary plus all the tips put together. Corporate women whose suits have a better reputation than I do. And their entire existence seems to be riddled in silence or little whisper-like talks. But they laugh so loudly their quiet music fades into oblivion. This is on any ordinary day when I smile professionally. But then there’s Tuesdays. The sweet Jazz night. When patrons troop in to get hypnotised along with the celebrated jazz aces.

On this blessed evening Hellon and his band drive the troubles of our hearts away. Under the misty blue and green and red lights, he exudes a kind of confidence that further enhances his passion for good old jazz. Tonight he is bold in a pink shirt and tie. His Italian suit matches the rich dark tone of his skin. In the consortium of the lazy lights, his hair gleam along the curls making his head look like a pine cone.

The golden watch dangles restlessly on his wrist as if trying to outshine the glinting sax clasped solemnly in his arms. Deep in a hubbub of a conversation, the patrons sink into the lounge chairs. Lonely souls who have come for the weekly revival service swirl their drinks while listening to the throb of the fountain underneath the lush balcony.

I wade around, taking orders dutifully. Listening to complaints and apologizing as if heavenly doors will draw shut upon me if I don’t. Cleaning tables with a dump white cloth I am supposed to carry around as if it contains the waiters’ creed that I am struggling to memorize. In this endeavor, the corner of my eye is ever fixed on my GM who is busy interacting with guests more to spot my flaws than to encourage them to keep coming back again and again until the day either one of this two happens; he loses his job or gets promoted to glory.

As I stand next to a pillar dearly holding on to my silver tray, I defy the rules and take a peek at this man and his saxophone. His eyes are clung shut and I can see his neck muscles bulge. His hands fondle with the breast of the instrument and out of it oozes music for the soul. It buoys through the room like a lazy wave. Its blunt edges tickle my ears and I wish I had a glass of whiskey; just to go with it. Damn the rules.

I drown in the moment and consequently lose track of the GM. The next I know is him standing next to me. He shoots at me with an eye that says “you better focus on clients” and sends me over to a table with a man with a prodigious forehead. Having borne that burden on his head all his life, the GM offers to buy him a drink. Maybe.

Without staring directly at his forehead, I tell him that Mr. Manish has bought him a drink and ask him what he will have.

“I have a very early morning tomorrow. What do you recommend that is light?” he can’t keep his eyes off the platform.

“Courvoisier, perhaps?”

“I have had the VS before…. But wasn’t exactly tickled.”

“Perhaps you can try the XO?”

“Is it any good?”

“It’s premium, sir.”

I’m not going to brag but I will have to describe to you how Courvoisier XO is served. The brandy glass is placed on a glass of steaming hot water. The steam warms the brandy releasing its rich bouquet, which is then trapped in the mouth of the glass. Mr. Forehead seems intrigued as I make my way across the balcony bar with a white towel draped over my arm.

I walk back to my spot and watch him take a sip and feel the cognac in his mouth as if unsure of its taste. He then sways his forehead across the room, perhaps barring some patrons from having a view of the bearers of the instruments that soften up their evening, and raises his glass to Mr. Manish. The GM, as he always does, nods in acquiesce.

The evening slowly wears away and with it the thrill of the lulling music. Patrons get drunk and get louder. They begin ordering more and more and tipping more as well. Hellon plays on, undeterred by their drunk shouts. One after the other, they wave at him and totter away.




Safari Ants on Safari


You are dead asleep. Breathing steadily like a pig suckling its young ones in the heat of the day. The world is as silent as a parade at a time when a minute of silence is being observed in respect of the fallen soldiers. You barely shift your position, no wonder you wake up each day with an intact bed. Innocence envelope your face making you look like a sleeping child.

But then there’s always those party spoilers. Those people who are really gifted in the art of towing away the gist of the party leaving behind hollowness and regrets. Sharp little pain shoots up from your clean shaven head. You twitch and turn. The pain persists and starts you up. Then a pinch from the blades of your shoulder sends your nerves on duty. In the half-asleep half-awake state you struggle to think. And a dozen pinches from all over your body expunges you out of your warm bed.

Overhead electric globe flickers into life. You swiftly scratch the simultaneous pinches. From the areas you pick off small insects. A quick look at the bed with blankets hanging from the edges offer a shocking revelation. The head of the bed and the whole wall adjacent to it is chocolate black with safari ants. Those brutal bastards who have been claimed to kill a prey as big as a cow.

The wooden wall is now making little cracking sounds from the trooping of the ants traversing them. They are crawling in and out of crevices smoking out all kinds of insects and reptiles and now a human from their hideouts. Across the cold floor where you are standing barefoot holding your crotch, cockroaches and spiders are on the run. They are like humans being hunted by other humans in an effort to evict them from their homes for their biggest mistake in the galaxy; being of a different tribe from them.

You stand directly under the glowing bulb in nothing more than a cotton boxer shivering like a scared child. Your hands are wrapped across your chest in self hug and eyes on the dreadful soldiers who have, without apology, cut short your sweet sleep. Options strut across your head but non better than the other. Would you sit and watch until they have all passed like a wave?

Cold wind filter through the porous walls and nib on your knees and toes. In the safari, some ants are falling off the wall and immediately start the climb again. Others have form a dark jewel like string across your bed. All walking towards one end. You scratch your tummy and yawn for so many times until tears form in your eyes.

With a resolute mind, you pull off the ant infested sheet and throw it roughly onto the floor. Then you take the pillow, place on the blameless half of the bed and curling into a fetal position you pull the blankets over your head and lie as still as a log. However, having mild claustrophobia, you know your heavy breathing is bound to betray you.

Soon you are back in deep sleep. Dreaming of being attacked in the dead of night as a soldier by your enemy and you have narrowly escaped into a thicket with memories of wounded colleagues following you. Your lips mumble a prayer of deliverance and just then a masked militant walks up to you with a short gun. He pulls the trigger and before the barrister blows your head off your neck you jump out of the bed. The sun is already up.

How to tell a story about a story


I sat alone long after I’d finished reading the short story feeling lost in the real world. Cheated. The outline had put my hopes higher than any flag in the land. It made me walk away into a sanctuary hoping never to come back. Away from the touch of human kind,away from bother and deep into a silent land where characters spoke in their muted conversations only accessible through written words.


In the hiding, the only thing that brought humanity close to me was the sound of lorries grunting at the highway, murmuring at the burden of the red gravel weighing down upon it and the far away whimper of a child and the parachutes wobbling in the air like a group of rainbow color hunting eagles.

Cricket chirps were rampant, stealing away the short-lived stillness from the conversations between the birds. I could also hear a dove woo a mate in its deep husky grunt of lust.

I sat on a boulder, ready to lose myself to the read. I was easily a saint kneeling in the church waiting on God’s voice. My legs hanged out my balls to the pleasant lick of the evening sun. In a posture that my biology teacher would have readily discouraged and even pull your ear just to emphasize his stand. The wind blew gently and bananas danced amply as if imploring me to share the sweetness.

The intro was witty. It carried promises of worthwhile rewards if only you hold your calm. However, it warned whoever could not get past the common 148 characters on Twitter and even fewer on Whatsapp that are mostly abbreviations. The enticement in it roused my pleasure cells and they opened up like flowers’ bloom in anticipation of morning sun.

The writer gave me a maiden entrance into the world of his lead character and I was impressed. I smiled. I blessed the Lord for giving us good writers who never let us perish in the wake of plunging economy but give to us the opportunity to get lost in gripping stories. the thud in my chest softened and became steady, only fluctuating on hitting a bizarre line that deserves a reread.

I read on, gobbling even the mundane parts of the story. Letting myself sink into the appalling tentacles of the snappy sentences. With the thirst of a drunkard, I gulped down the suspenseful paragraphs. And the story, told from the heart and passion of a storyteller, drifted silently past my eyes.

The rhythm in the story edged away the one in my aura. I lost track of time and everything else. I geared to claiming my well deserved award. And when the time came,after all the patience,after all the thirst, after all the wait, my zeal was not for nothing.

For the twist in the story left me laughing at myself.

The story lingered on in my head for a very long time. I wished I’d been the one to tell it and still paint the picture without losing a single color. Or detail. Or crucial dot.



I run my Palm across my face to sweep off cobwebs on my face as I emerge from between the tall trees. And sit on a cypress tree stump. As I compose myself, I manage to bring down my breath. The gulps of fresh air dampen my head the more. I sit still.

Before me lays a vast carpet of green vegetation. The land is still and awkwardly silent. Maybe the wind is holding its breath. Meditatively, I listen more keenly. Hunting for any sound that could spark the conversation in my head.

My head fails to capture the purr of a milling machine far away and the sounds of birds cutting through the air in their swift flight and insects clicking unanimously and silence.

It however hears the throb of my heart and the questions screaming to be answered.

I sigh deeply and my eyes fall on a cloud covered sky. Grey smooth clouds. While I search in them for answers for the questions in my head, I behold a hole in the well uniform clouds. It is oval. And reveals a deep blue sky. The clouds around it are darker and thicker. A wish to poke such a hole into my clouded head befalls me. It grips me tighter than the spending of a broke economist.

Darkness is creeping in. I can see it hide among trees and valleys. Cows can see it too and I can hear their moos as they troop in for the night. The children are rejoicing in shadow. They are playing and shouting and crying. Birds are beseeching their lovers to retire in for the day.

And my search isn’t moved.

Mosquitoes are beginning to zero in on me a rare source of dinner. They bite my legs. The pinch sinks like that of a person confirming whether he is dead. I scratch the itches inflicted by these tiny creatures with their little annoying buzzes. The pleasure is unimaginable. They hover around my head, probably expecting to knock me out with their miniature revolutions.

I sit into the darkness, staring at my own blankness, until it grips me tight in its unavoidable tentacles. Wondering how lucky must have sir Isaac Newton been when he sat under a tree only to discover gravity and paste his name on the hall of fame.

Finally I rise to go, with no answers nor findings. However,my browsing was not in vain, for eventually I have a story to begin with. but unfortunately nothing much to warrant me a place among the greatest men of all time.