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Friday Night Life | Samuel Otareri

friday night life

See ehn, there are guys in my street who are going to drink themselves to death tonight.
That is, for the next one week they are going to be living inside a beer bottle.
Like, no gimmicks, ‘I die here!’

There are two huge wardrobe size sound speakers outside the house right now. Almost all the musicians have shouted out it today. But that boy Olamide has come on several times with his ‘scientific student’ song.
What’d I say, sorry, ‘science student’.

There are bottles everywhere. There’s also smoke everywhere too, all sorts of smoke.
Who is this celebration honoring again?
Pfft. Please.

Now they are threatening each other. One is telling the other that he will bust a bottle on the other drunk dudes head. The drunk dude is swaying like a malfunctioning compass. He belches, ‘burrrh!’
What is the quarrel about? No one knows.
Then that one ‘corner song’ came on and the whole place exploded. Grownup men are jumping on chairs and humping walls, tables, bottles, and motorcycles.
What’s the feast about again?
Oh please.

I can’t come out of the house. These dudes are too drunk to know film from reality. They must be seeing things by now.

Abi, can you dive twenty feet down the bottom of an ocean of alcohol and come up complete with all your wirings?
No naa.
I’m afraid these drunk guys may break a bottle on my head thinking I have four hands when I’m supposed to have two and be in a movie on TV instead of walking about live.

Matters just got complicated.
A bus filled with girls just rolled into the arena. Oh it is finished! I say what, ‘It is finished.’

Do you know those bleaching ladies that have yellow faces, black neck, black knuckles and black elbows, pierced noses, one foot long eyelashes, yam calves, chewing gum loudly?
It is them. And them it is.
To welcome them, the DJ slips in Olamides ‘WO’.
Now about a dozen bumbums are rolling, bobbing up and down and all over the place and the drunk boys are running after them, screaming, howling, like wolves.
The heat is on.

I was at the general hospital the other day, to see a friend of mine. She pointed out a section to me.
“Those are people who have come for counseling.”
“What for?”
“Living with HIV.”
“Oh. Okay.”

Healthy looking pretty girls and chubby well-fed dudes? Dang!
They were going in and coming out, in droves. They sat on long bedbug infested benches; forlorn, drawn faces, deadpan and passive eyes staring into an uncertain future. Oh, my.

I stood there long after my friend had gone back into the wards, looking at a reflection of myself in a nearby mirror. Thinking, thinking, thinking.
Finally, I said naaaw. It’s alright.

Oh, the music just stopped.
Can I get a ‘hallelujah’ please? Another one? Two more?
Thank you, you’re far too kind.

Now the girls are getting back in the bus they came in. The guys are also jumping into it.
Off to another spot in town where it’s going down and the lights are low?
Or perhaps to some cheap place with rooms for hire?
The bus is jerking into the main road and weaving up the avenue.
What awaits these souls tonight?

They say you see a light when it ends. That is a lie. Hollywood propaganda, that one.
When it ends, what you see is darkness and gloom and the feeling is usually regret and fear. Mostly regret.

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