It used to be strawberry sorbet flowered writing pads, together with identical envelopes. It used to be Sunday lazy afternoons, times when the July sunshine is angrily shining on everything in it’s reach. Staying inside the cool dormitory, in cubicles skirted by old dirty bed sheets listening to ‘Your Choice’ on Capital FM; catching amatory feelings was for the sane.
It must have been Toni Braxton, for the smooth raspy voice resonating from the borrowed ‘scanner radio’ had its way of digging deep for the little feelings you had hesitantly hidden the last time you saw that Girl.
See mid-July would be in the middle of a very long term full of brokenness, theft, more theft and robbery sometimes. *We had a guy who once lifted a double decker metallic bed to the shanty slums around school, for a pay check of just 6000 shillings.*
You wouldn’t dare own a fancy radio, not even cool headphones *I still mourn for my Sony Walkman.* One rare Monday morning i went to the bathrooms and i believe it took the opposite direction because i never saw it again. So, the tiny ‘Nakiva Scanner Radio’ had to be your own ticket out of the misery around you.
The Capital FM playlist never changes, it’s stubbornly remained the same through Lumbasi, Biira, Tattu and all the others before them. A keen listener would memorize the order of the songs together with the adverts in between. It just took a cocktail of a Jessi McCartney, Brandy and Toni Braxton songs to wrestle you down, a Shayne Ward to transfix you and a Phil Collins for the killer punch.
That 1000shs note meant for that special restaurant meal wouldn’t be anymore. 500 for the writing pad, 500 for the uniform envelope. *Special meals were 1500 that time. Special being Meat, Rice et al.* You’d only remember that you needed 300shs more for the postage, the actions in between would vaporize with the enthrallment.
The rather hot trek to the canteen, the little ones playing football in the hot sunshine; the guy you owed some money, all that would be unseen, elided. If you’d left the radio hastily on your bed playing, it would be no more.
Well, Pen on paper, heart beating fast like it even minded; all your emotions would be poured on a piece of paper to a certain Sandra you hadn’t seen in quite some time. But whom you hopelessly believed still felt the same way you did, or maybe would feel the same with the scribbling on the purple pads. She replied, always. We must have been on drugs.
That’s the last time I passionately wrote down anything meaningful, or was it? Can I write?