My neighbor and I have a pretty simple understanding; Keep your nose to yourself. We do say the occasional hello when we bump into each other but that’s about it. He has his space which he sticks to and I have mine which is protected religiously. This has worked out great for close to a year. Well apart from that day he asked me to tell some guys he wasn’t home. But that is a story for another day. Well, this understanding changed last Sunday when I decided to stick my nose in his business.
Sunday mornings are meant for popcorn and chill. Chill, meaning me curled up in bed with a good book or just scrolling through my phone. Last Sunday was no exception. So I got up to make my popcorn. This is the go to snack because it requires minimum energy to prepare and fewer utensils. I am not lazy, I swear, I just love minimal work. I should probably get one of those popcorn making machines. But I know how my mind works. If I do get it, the next thing you know I will be on that corner of Tribeka looking for clients to sell popcorn too. Am sure they will go well with beer, no? well, I will still convince some peeps that it does.
So I am going old school on these popcorns. Sufuria and lid salt and a bit of oil. As I am busy popping my corns I hear the unmistakable sound of laughter from my neighbor’s house. He has company today. The last time he had company, the little fools had tried opening my door. You should have seen me standing behind the door, broom poised ready to strike. Those mafuckers were there pushing and pulling my door and talking about how the house is in a convenient place. I am not a violent person, I have only slapped a girl once and that was when I was about seven. But I know a few wrestling moves. So these people would not scare me. The neighbor saved the day by telling them someone lives there. I admit, I don’t have the flowery curtains but am still baffled at how they thought the house was vacant. I am still convinced the little twerps were high on something.
I heard the unmistakable giggles of female. The high pitched ones that make girls like us sound like frogs. I quickly discern that these are two different girls. My neighbor is a stud I think to myself. I am amused. Then I hear a male voice and I wasn’t so interested after all. Even numbers are never that interesting. So I go back to my bed and popcorn.
I pick my Da Vinci code and turn the first page. I have been turning the first page for a couple of weeks now. It’s almost too sacred to read. Remember that hullabaloo of banning the movie in Kenya. I never got to read it because of that. You wouldn’t read a devil worshipper book in my mom’s house. These many years later I still haven’t read the book. I put it aside and wake up to get some more popcorn. So am busy with the second helping of popcorn when I hear the neighbor ask
. “Nani amepika hii mayai?”
Wait, is he going to argue about eggs in the morning. I frown, how do you have girls over and still argue about eggs. My curiosity is piqued. I move to the window to get the conversation clearly. This singlehood has turned me into a peeping Tom.
“Nani amepika hii mayai”, he repeats.
No one is speaking. I am waiting with batted breath to know who cooked the bloody eggs. Seems the cat has got the tongue of the females. I almost feel like walking to his house and throwing the damn eggs away. “Mwenye amepika hii mayai, naeza marry”.
Wait! What? I snort with laughter. I was not expecting this. but I am not the only one surprised I guess.
The females are excited. The man just declared he will marry the egg cooker.
Ni Maureen” one of the ladies answers.
“Umeipika vifiti walai. Yani haijaiva sanaa!”,he continues.
I do like my eggs a bit undercooked so I understand what he is saying. There is beauty in slightly undone eggs. The trick is to wait when the oil is just hot enough then you slide the egg in taking care not to break the yolk. Then when the egg is cooked on the bottom you turn it making sure you turn the heat low just so the egg does not burn. Beautiful! I am suddenly in need of some fried eggs. Pan. Ladle.Salt. 2eggs. another quick fix.
I am frying my eggs. It’s silent in my neighbors house. The females after cooking eggs have to eat.
Flash forward, thirty minutes later the females are back. They are scrambling to wash utensils and mop the floor. And the neighbor is giving directions. I am envious. Imagine me standing in this ka house of mine, instructing two grown men of how to do my dishes and mop the floor. “Pitisha hapo nyuma ya fridge”.
I am eating popcorn now hearing their conversation. Its like I am in movie theater except I can’t see what is happening. But imagination is a beautiful thing. I imagine one of the females, probably Maureen is wearing only his shirt. She is the one who he is going to marry because she can cook eggs. The other one must be in jeans and a vest. She is probably not as attractive as Maureen. Where is the other man? I ask myself. Probably in the living room with his legs up and a glass of juice in his hand enjoying Afro cinema.
“By the way, there is meat in the fridge. Mnaeza pika hata lunch”.
I am slightly offended. That’s a classic male move. He will offer you lunch because he knows you have to cook. “don’t do it”, my mind begs the females. They have pretty-much-done everything I wouldn’t do, add to that some cooking.
“Sawa”. One says eagerly.
I want to be in that house right now. Imagine if roles were reversed. Then I have a boy over. Or two. I wake up in the morning to perfect eggs and a clean house.
Why can’t I have such?
Well its simple really, because to society I cook while he puts his legs up and read the paper. See why am single?