By Michael Ngigi
Every once in a while I ask myself out on a drink at my favorite bar near my workplace. I like the status this small old place accords me. They know my drink and what day to serve it. On a day like this, they know that I want something that tastes woody, almost like charcoal. So my 70 year old bartender dissappears behind the counter and a few minutes later he appears with a double Jack and Coke poured over ice flakes. This is a perfect man-drink, bold, sophisticated and mature. You should see a woman drinking Jack & Coke. It is curiously sexy, more like a woman driving a muscle car only less dramatic. You have to be careful though. When a woman is on Jack, you may have to help her protect her own reputation at some point. Know what I mean?
So today, I invite you to drink with me; make time. It is enlightening and refreshing. You will get to know how I think and why I do things different. I like to think of this as ‘my yoga’. This is where I come to re-live moments and sometimes, to chart the way forward. Other times I come to lick my wounds and once in a while, to fight my battles. All in all, I drink for a good moment. Great memories. A interesting conversation. A clear thought on my family, great friends, my woman and lastly, success.
First Jack. Critical thinking.
Among the things that interest me and get me all emotional are world politics. Lately, I am a bitter man. Depressed by the news, I am constantly on the lookout for other things to watch. Among the things that make me angry is the all too familiar allied interference in third world politics. I still can’t place a finger on the exact reason why Libyans started a revolution. Before you call me a jackass please here me out. Why would you take to the streets when your country has one of the highest HDI (Human Development Index) in the world? What valid reason would you want to take up arms when your country has the 10th largest proven oil reserves in the world? Free education up to university level would certainly make your life very easy no? And the list goes on to include free health care and a mean wage of $9.51 per hour. Any way I look at it, I can’t help aknowledging how the Libyan question is too familiar. It has the same feel as Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Egypt. The first world is hungry for energy and raw materials; it is understandable why they would want to interfere with some in the the third world. Some because they choose to rush to Libya’s aid while Ivory Coast is let to drown in chaos. Feel me? Anyway one can only take so much when it comes to politics. Let me get me another drink please. I insist you taste my Jack. Very smooth.
Second Jack. Is it just me? Or…
Now all women want to be president. Fair enough. We are equal. In this day and age we have to appreciate that they are making faster strides compared to their male counterparts. They hold the best jobs, drive the best cars and what not. I am proud of the woman especially our African woman. She keeps our families together. She makes sure that our wealth remains in the family. She is a superwoman. However, there has been a strain of women that are cropping up and it’s scary. And as I say this, I would like all the women in my life to know that I light not this match with the intention to start a fire but to shed light.
The first time I heard about the term independent woman I was confused. I mean, is there anything like an independent human being? Who are we gaining independence from? Think of the term independent man. How does it sound? Silly? I thought so. Being born on your own and having a name unique to you is proof enough that you are your own person. You have a role. Get this. Which woman does not want a man who can protect her and provide for her regardless of her ability to do the same? What woman wants a man who hides behind her when trouble comes calling? A woman wants a real man. A man who is gentle yet still has the fire of a fight raging within him. A man who gets silly and funny but has the wisdom of a centenary man. Women want a man who has solutions and answers. The kind of brother who would lay down his life for a fellow human being. A MAN man.
And so it is, with the other side of the divide. A man wants a woman. As simple as that. A woman who works had and is an achiever. A woman who is intelligent and adds value to a man. A woman who is humble despite the life on the fast lane. Which man wouldn’t want a woman who can at least cook an egg? One thing women should know about cooking for a man is, it is not the outcome of her cooking that matters but the heart behind it. We could eat boiled shoes for all we care! But how it tastes will depend on the heart behind the cooking. I love me a woman who let’s me love her in all the ways a man should. Protect her. Provide for her. Learn from her and gain her trust. A woman who doesn’t have anything to prove. She has a bigger title and takes home a bigger piece of bread (it could happen boys) than me but it doesn’t matter as long as I play my part. A woman who knows I am superman. That type of woman would have me do anything for her.
Lastly, head of the house. Yeah I said it! Shoot me. There can only be one head of the house. So boys and girls, please go, seat, have a discussion and decide who it will be and do the math while you’re at it here are examples to work with. Driver and co-driver. Plug and socket.
Blackjack. The Game.
Whether you like it or not. Love is a game. As Sun Tzu would advise you [were he alive] play only if your chances of winning are good. Secondly, one hand cannot clap. If love is one way, let it go. There are things that should act as clear indicators that your relationship is headed for a fall. The first one is PRIDE. If you are the type that finds it hard to say you are sorry when you wrong someone, you’re headed for doom. If you talk down on your woman just because she is a woman, you will end up a lonely and biter old man. If you disrespect your man just because you rake in more than he does, you will suffer frost in your heart and when you’re older, you will be seen molesting young boys, quarter your age.
The second one is ignorance. When you love someone, be observant. What is a small issue to you could be the biggest issue to them. Pay close attention to what your partner is feeling and what they communicate. It could make you or break your relationship. Communicate. Good communication is the key to everything. Deeper love. Great sex. Trust. Zeal for life and happiness through good and bad times. Ignorance is the most stupid form of foolishness. Someone quote me…
Love Jack. Why I did it.
I remember I was the first to wake up that morning after partying through the previous night. Looking at my watch, I realized we only had 15 minutes before the hotel restaurant downstairs closed down the breakfast buffet. I tried waking her up but she was clearly not in a state for breakfast. I kissed her and went downstairs to feed hoping I’d bring back some food for her. At breakfast, I couldn’t help fidgeting. Meals never taste good without her at the table, that is a fact I have given into lately. It’s like watching an interesting movie without the sound. I tried looking out the window but that too wasn’t fun. Then a flood of thoughts, feelings and emotions drowned my mind. At that moment, I wanted her next to me. I wanted to hear her Pa-ha laugh more than ever. I still find it odd how she manages to make me laugh even when I don’t want to. We hit it off from the moment we first met. It almost felt like we had shared a lifetime together before. She knew me by heart. I knew her by soul.
I left the table hurriedly and rushed to our room. Just before I opened the door I reached into my pocket and took out the pouch to look at the contents. There it was, shining brightly. The old man in Ethiopia had crafted it beautifully. These nine stones would express exactly what I felt about her. I was ready. I hid the pouch in my pocket and I started the tense wait for the right moment. I didn’t know that fate had arranged for us to visit the ski that evening. Opportunity.
A man’s needs are very simple. At the end of the day, we just want a simple, eat-drink-work-sleep-play lifestyle and most of all to be next to the woman of our dreams.
Final Jack. Closing time.
It starts to rain as I beckon the waiter for the bill. I love my drink why lie! Just before I leave the balcony, I instinctively pull out my phone to call her. Honestly, however good my drink is, I know that there’s nothing better than to end my day with a stimulating conversation with my final Jack.
By Michael Ngigi
I’ve always had a long standing interest in culinary arts. Every once in a while I shop for cooking ingredients (mostly stuff I’ve never tasted) and experiment with the aim of discovering a new recipe. I have always been fascinated by how varying tastes in ingredients come together and produce great tasting food. Think about it, how can pepper, salt, honey, chicken and heat come together to form the best roast chicken? I doubt you would eat ground pepper by the spoon with nothing to accompany it, not even water!
Every year, I take a few months off animal products to rejuvenate my taste buds. I’m on my second week this year. During this period, I take time to learn how to prepare tasty vegetarian meals. For those of you who think veggies can never be tasty think again. Take time to visit an oriental restaurant and rest assured you’ll change your mind.
Last weekend I invited some of my closest friends over for lunch. We had a great time and ended up watching Tusker’s Project Fame Finale (my first time) together. As they were leaving, they all thanked me for hosting them and most of all they said it was the best vegetarian meal they’d ever tasted. Such a bunch of professional ass kissers! I blushed. As I prepared to sleep, I went over the events of the day and couldn’t help noting that I had actually learnt something important from the vegetable broth I had made.
You see every end-of-year, I find myself analyzing and evaluating how the year has been generally. I like to put it down in terms of milestones and events, both good and bad. Being human, I’m sometimes tempted to regret and complain over everything that didn’t go my way. It seems true that time lost is never recovered.
This was the year I lost friends and had to give up others. It’s funny how life has a way of harshly integrating one into its system. It is amazing how much baggage one can carry courtesy of friends. I am the ride-or-die type of friend, but I eventually had to make a choice between hanging on to useless relations, going insane and breaking free. I chose the latter. I learnt that life gets better when you free yourself from these weights called useless friends.
2010 defined family and friends for me by showing me that there is a very thin line between the two. If you’re like me, you’re the type that would do anything for family and friends. Unfortunately we all end up with the realization that you can’t save the whole world. Sometimes, you come to terms with the hollow fact that there is no one to save you too. These are the moments that bring tears to our eyes, just like grating onions. I admit at at times I haven’t been there for family and friends (I see no difference between the two), but I did the best I could.
These are dreams not realized. Of all the resolutions I made at the beginning of this year, I only achieved half. It almost feels like that girl you didn’t say hi to and are sure to regret it for the rest of your life. Salt is for the affection you never expressed. For all the apologies you never made. The wrongs you’d make right if given another chance. Too bad, these moments are gone for good. Talk about salt in the eyes.
I made good money this year (just don’t ask me to account for it). As much as the stocks generally performed poorly this year, I got away with a fair share. Good deals colored my year all round. I was also able to take board a plane for the first time headed for a vacation. It’s a great feeling to strike off one item from my bucket list. I also discovered a long hidden hobby, writing. This was one of the biggest highlight of the year.
Two years ago, my dream was to know how to write and speak good english. It was a great feeling to have readers appreciate my articles as soon as I set up my blog. It is true after all that when you desire something for long, it draws nearer to you. I am thankful for these green moments that have nourished me and others through me.
Friends and family make life bearable. No man is an island. I know I have a cushion to fall back for whatever. Sometimes I wish the whole world had my family as their family. My parents have been an inspiration and a bedrock to me. I love them to death. My brothers and sisters, no words. I’d do anything for them.
I have the silliest friends God can give any human being. They are funny, stupid, intelligent and blunt. These strong people have stood by me all this time. I know they’ll be there tomorrow and the day after. Life goes on smoothly when you have a real family.
She knows. Sexy. Smart. Beautiful. Mine.
Time is the heat that bonds all the ingredients of life to taste however we want it.
After observing the process of making vegetable broth, I have come to the conclusion that a good year is made up of a series of events; both good and challenging. What matters is the outcome of the mix. Did you learn from your misfortunes? Did your downfalls make you stronger? How about your successes? Did you pass them on to others? Were you thankful for your blessings? I hope you counted them in the first place. Whatever happened, happened. Tomorrow is another day. Another year and definitely something different to prepare in your ‘kitchen’.
Next time you cook your broth. Sit back. Learn from it.