I came across Amanda Bast’s article; 26, Unmarried, And Childless sometimes last year. It had been shared on Facebook by a friend. Then, I couldn’t relate to what she was being subjected to. Today, however, I find myself in the same situation. I can’t keep count of the number of times that I have re-read that article. It is a reminder of what the society expects from me, what I’m supposed to be at a particular age.
You see, I’m not even 26 at the moment. I’m past that. This is the point in life that means a lot to men of my age. Any of my equal is at the prime of his desires for a woman’s company. I can never have a conversation with any of my friends without the question of marriage popping up. I can’t blame them. There is pre-determined formula of how life should go. Most of the young men I grew up with in my village- young men who had never seen the bare thigh of a grown woman, married long time ago, in part, for the license to at last cast the gaze upon such a sight. Others, because that is just how things are done. I was different. I had elder brothers, from whom I learnt early that life isn’t all about sex. After all, it is a kind of excitement that lasts 0.3 seconds followed by repeated shoving; back and forth thrusting that never really yields the ultimate satisfaction. If there was, there wouldn’t be cheating in marriages and relationships.
Fellows I graduated together from the university already have babies. I stopped attending their weddings when I found out that one is supposed to fit into some rota. Your turn is expected to come. They expect you to tag along a female companion who somehow is expected to give a cue on when the big day should be expected. I guess I should have reminded them of something to do with minding own business but then I remembered I stopped doing so ages ago!
I read a lot of stuff on the internet. Books. There is a clique of writers, inspirational/motivational (can’t tell the difference). I was introduced to them during my primary school days. Ben Carson (again, the internet tells me he wants to be the US President-All the best Carson!) was my first. You see someone had a dream that I could change the world. I could tear apart Siamese twins. There was something with growing up ‘disadvantaged’ and being smart. I gave a middle finger and swore not to read any of such writers not long ago. I got tired of being reminded I was living life ‘wrongly’. That Steve Jobs never cleared college. Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook at the hostels of Harvard University. I’m imagining myself at Room 48 of Hostel H, Moi University! The best, fellows could do was sell ‘ka-ngumu’ or better still boil maharagwe. Shout to the fellow who saw the many of us through campus by stocking such merchandise next door. And don’t even get me started on dropping out of college. Why would I want to sign my death sentence by doing so? As I said, this Kenya and I went to Moi University and not Harvard. Get it? By the way you need to have advanced map reading skills if you are trying to locate that University.
What am doing I with my ‘papers’? I chose employment, what you would otherwise call slavery. Whether it is true or not, some of us are really not cut for stealing and ass-wiping government bureaucrats with our eyelashes in exchange for tenders then go ahead and give ourselves entrepreneur titles. Take a walk along the streets of Nairobi on a sunny Tuesday afternoon and you will meet many of these tenderpreneurs. Don’t get me wrong though, there are very few geniuses who do own stuff. I belong to the other class, where we ask our bosses to bend forward a little more in order to add another coin to our already torn pockets. Again, it is an ass-licking affair altogether. At least it doesn’t involve stealing from the reserve of the masses. I know you are thinking of how I’m just not going to break the cycle of poverty through this source of income. I’m just fine this way.
What if I don’t follow the script of go to school, get the best grades, marry young and start your company……and die?
What the hell do I want to do with my life? You may ask. I will tell you; to live it. I’m no owner of any multinational company. Heck, I’m not even a village shop owner. I’m not about to get married. And no, it isn’t like I can’t get a woman. Girls of this age are something else. You meet one in a bus and you exchange phone numbers. On alighting, before you even touch the ground she has sent you her nude photos, taken from every creative angle you can ever imagine!
No I’m not living according to everyone’s expectations. I’m taking life as it is. Am I happy? Very. That is all that matters, right?
Is it okay if I don’t get rich? I just want to be comfortable. Enough is just that, enough.
Is it okay if you stopped asking whether I’m cohabiting with someone? Will it hurt if you just don’t?