My mother loves tea. If you put her and a Luhya together she will win hands down. She loves her tea brewed not steeped. If she has to use a tea bag, she steeps it until it’s stripped of all its blackness and it’s a bag of nothingness. All that remains is a bag of chuff with a string. I went home a few weeks ago. I make these impromptu decisions like people who use the word irregardless and are convinced it’s a real word. One minute I was cleaning the toilet the next I’m on my way to the land of the green gold.

I got to Meru pretty late and still decided to pass by a friend’s party. I have this new very bad habit, I don’t tell my folks when I am travelling home. The last four times I have been home, I just appeared. Sometimes I don’t find them home but, I still haven’t learnt my lesson. And they say I don’t know how to be spontaneous. At around 21:30hrs I called my mum and told her I was around but not to wait up. Just keep your phone on for I will be home. I still haven’t mastered the art of spending at a hotel while I am in Meru, forgive my affinity to home. We hang out with friends at the party until everyone suddenly disappears. Everyone was so busy at one point I was left alone standing in the cold or I am so boring no one can stand me past a certain hour. At that moment I got into the car and started reading. Do you see why e-readers, Kindles and other electronic reading devices are the savior?

Around midnight, I decided to go home, yes I knocked at my mother’s door at midnight and she opened for me. She is a mellow spirit. So mellow that she calls me every day. I know I should enjoy her while we are both still around but I don’t have things to tell my mother every day. She is my friend alright but I need a day or two to gather stories to tell her. So when she opened the door, she had food for me in a dish and some tea. I don’t love tea but this is one of those things my mother has ignored I guess it’s in a bid to look for something we share in common. Apart from reading and petite frames we are as different as dawn and dusk.

I expected her to leave me eating and doing night owly things but she sat there with me as I ate. She then started telling me stories, catching me up about a new boy she is taking care of, bless her. About a new chama she has joined which I was totally not interested in. She thinks I should join it, her saving culture is out of this world. Mention KWFT I don’t know what it’s called now and you are talking about the Jehova of saving institutions. Is it just my mother who tries to have me join all her chamas, or even your mothers do? As we talked on I realized my mother is lonely. Being her last born she has no one to fuss over hence the new boy she is taking care of. Everyone has left the nest and her grandchildren have all left for boarding. I blame her for starting this boarding school habit because she shipped me off to boarding at ten. “I am never forgetting this mother.” She therefore has very few face time moments with her clan. It’s not a big clan mark you, my mother has two children. When all other women of her generation have four to five, she has my brother and me.

She tells me of tales that have happened in the village in the last five months since I was home. She then looks on expectantly waiting for me to start telling her about my city stories. I tell her a little about the party. A little about a new engagement and some business things. She asks what I am reading, not that she will read it but she always asks. Maybe it’s to make sure I know that reading is the only thing she could give me, and she succeeded. Her TV is dusty, nothing else is dusty just the TV. As I finish my dinner she tells me Tom died. I remember as I came in no one bothered to bark at me. The silence was too loud. She talks about dog food, bones and cooking meals for Tom and I just stare at her. Tom has been around so long I think it’s been more than twenty years. This confirms for me that my mother is actually lonely and there is only one thing I can do. Call her every day, and call her I will. When we start our lives we get caught up in so much and almost forget we were our parents’ world at one time. Now that we, their world has started its own world our parents are lost. I am going to put a conscious effort to keep in touch with my parents. I will start with letting my old man know I am around.

Someone calls me and asks, “Kendi, what are you doing in Meru?” It’s my home. Does that cover it or need I go on?

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