Sunday morning. A beautiful day to rest and praise the Lord. For Kimani, however, things are just getting worse. He found himself lying on a public bench. At least it wasn’t a sewage trench this time. He sat up and did his normal inspection of his belongings. Wallet, check. Smartphone, check. Some leftover booze, nope. He only found empty bottles. It seems he drank it all.
At this point, Kimani would just get up, go back home and sleep all day hoping that the hangover effects may disappear before reporting to work the following day. He doesn’t have to do that now; he’s suspended. There is nothing much for him to do. It actually seemed that Kimani was allowed to do as he pleases. That made him happy. Even if it meant him drinking his life away, he would do it in style.
As Kimani was busy thinking about how he’s going to drink some more, an old man walked up to him.
Old man: Is it alright if I sit here, young man?
Kimani nodded and the old man sat. He was a short, grey-haired man but well dressed. From his looks, he seemed to be one of those people with successful family businesses. Or better yet, he could be one of the cartel bosses that people keep talking about in the news. Who knows?
There was an awkward silence since the old man came to sit next to Kimani. The old man could clearly see that he was sitting next to someone who had a long weekend. That, however, didn’t deter him from breaking the silence.
Old man: So, how was last night? It seems you had a good time. What do kids call it nowadays? Turned up? Is that what they call it? (Smiling)
Kimani: (smiling) Yes, that’s what they call it and yes, I did have a good time.
Old man: Wonderful. That’s what matters most, you having fun. Back in my day, we went to the discos to dance all night and probably get a lady to go back home with. Sometimes you would get two if you got lucky. (chuckles)
Kimani: (surprised) Really now?
Old man: Yes. It was all about having fun. I never went there to impress someone or hope to impress someone. I just went there to bust some moves. The Mushrooms used to be the popular band in town. I was swayed by how they played their instruments especially the bass guitar. Ah, the good days.
Kimani: It seems the old days were good days to party.
Old man: Oh yes. I actually miss it sometimes. Today’s form of partying has a different meaning. You guys don’t enjoy yourselves. You just drink and use these drugs so as to cope with your stress. I mean, look at you! You look horrible.
Old man: It’s funny how the youth say you had a good time when you look like crap. That’s a sign you’re mistreating your body. Stop it.
Kimani: Listen, I don’t need you to be telling about what is good or what is bad for me okay? It’s my life. I do as I please.
Old man: Okay. No problem. It seems you want an express ticket to the grave.
Kimani: What if that is all I want right now?
Old man: Please, you are too young to die. There is so much to live for. Look at me, I don’t have much time on this earth but I’m content with the life I have lived.
Kimani: Lucky you, all I seem to be catching these days are Ls.
Old man: Ah, I believe you mean that you have been failing yes?
Old man: Let me write that down. (Takes out a book and a pen and writes)
Kimani: What is that for?
Old man: Oh this? It’s my trusted book that I carry around every day. There is so much to learn in this world. I made it my objective to always stay updated with current trends and slang.
Kimani: That’s interesting. But you’re old. There is nothing new for you to learn.
Old man: Rubbish! There is always something new for you to learn every day. You can’t be this naïve.
Kimani: Hey! I graduated with a First Class Honor!
Old man: So?
Kimani: That means something. I’m supposed to be at the top of my game but here I am persevering a bad headache listening to someone who thinks he knows it all!
Old man: Correction. I do not know everything. You could call me a student of life.
Old man: What you heard. Don’t tell me the drugs are messing with your head. You know you should stop drinking as a means to cope with the pain.
Kimani: Stop it…
Old man: You’re too young to be throwing your life away like this.
Kimani: Stop it…
Old man: You need to talk to someone. Do you want to talk about it now?
Kimani: (angry) No! I don’t want to talk about it. Especially with someone like you. You don’t even see how hurt I am. I’m on the brink of losing everything and all you can tell me is to stop drinking and let’s talk about it. I had hopes, okay? I knew things would work out for me. I had a good education, a beautiful woman and a great job and it all slipped away. Just like that. Do you have any idea how I feel right now?
Old man: Yes, I do and all I can tell you is man up.
Old man: Man up! You know it is me who should be having hearing problems but you? This is worrying. You should go for a medical checkup to see if you’re losing your hearing ability.
Kimani: Wha…Why am I even talking to you? I shouldn’t even be here. You’re a crazy old man.
He stands up and walks away. The old man doesn’t even bother to stop him.
Old man: You’ll be back
Kimani ignores him and walks away fast.