Back when I was a highly impressionable young man with a sepia tinted view of the world, I always looked at things in twos. I loved dating, I still do, but I used to, too. I consider this our first date, and I know you are a bit nervous but I want you to know this; I am too. Not every day you get a fine-looking date, is it? Just to be clear, I am the fine one here. You can take the ‘charming one’. Am I one of those guys who will read your messages in a moving matatu? Yes, yes I am.

Every true love, or one-night-stand, has to start from somewhere, and for most of us, it begins with a date. So…hello. I come from Westie. Not Westlands. Or Nairobi West. Or Kahawa West. The other one.

This is a blind date. My lack of emojis leaves little wiggle room for guesswork, on purpose. You are not sure what to expect. What does his forehead look like? Does he slurp his tea (I do). Is he a gin or whiskey person? What is his opinion on men who sleep with socks? I don’t have an opinion on men who sleep with socks because those are not men in my book.

Here’s a few things about me: I consider myself a trying man in a pressure world. I have a thing for people with foreheads. There’s room for me to grow…financially. Don’t bolt out, I’ll have the bill on this one. In fact, I’ll have all the bills from now on. I’m that kind of man, the only time I go Dutch is when I actually go to the Netherlands. I don’t think I am way out of my league here.  I’m hoping my dashing good looks and scintillating chat will earn me a second date and avoid the in-real-life left swipe. 

You can call me Ash because that is my real name. I may or may not rumble on and on about my father, so you may occasionally have to walk out to go and get a smoke. When you come back, I’ll restart from the point where you left because I am thorough like that. Speaking of, my father told me never to date a woman whose father calls her ‘princess.’

My father also gave me a few home truths too, which, since I am in a great mood I will willingly pay forward: the top of one mountain is the bottom of the next. So, I don’t take this for granted. I won’t take you for granted.  I’m going to make you feel important; because we’re together, you are important. Then comes the coup de grâce: I’m going to make you laugh.

I consider this a great date because you’ve not excused yourself to go ‘pick a call’ and you are not bickering at my loud fashion with my blinding flashy colours. Today I am in a more reserved baby pink. I’m an alchemy of woke wastrels and old-fashioned vogue: my trousers don’t go past the ankles, and my volume is always at 79. I broke my leg twice while I was a teenager and therefore I walk with a slight limp. You won’t notice until you pay really close attention, which I am hoping you are. On the brighter side, because positivity is the new buzzword, it will take me a lot of time to walk out your life? Okay, I also have dry jokes. I, also, shamelessly have a chapati addiction which I wear like a badge of honor atop my military uniform. This is a safe space, I think? It’s a brave new world, and we’re all struggling with the terminology. I’m not superstitious, I think stars are just stars writ small. I have my flaws, plenty of them. Sometimes I leave the toilet seat up. Okay, most times. Okay okay, all the time. In my defense, I get to worry about getting down to other more important things, like settling bills, you know, like this one.

Yes, it’s simpler than that. No, it’s more complicated than that.

I don’t have a TV.

I don’t swim. I can’t swim. No, I don’t want to learn how to.

I happen to own the attention span of a baby dolphin. That means if you meet me today, I’ll probably forget you. I’m probably worried that I am forgetting you right now. You’ll probably hate me for being such a putz and forgetting you. It takes work, and so I’ve rolled my overalls. I’m willing to try. Are you?

I hope I do not remind you of your ex. You know, all lovers reminisce about bygone days. I hope I will bring many new memories to savor. I don’t want to brag but I will: I’m really funny. And fun. But you have to give me a chance to find out.

I’ve told this story before, but it’s worth telling again, if only because it’s never ended. Are you feeling a spark?

I’m not in a hurry. I’m looking forward to a long relationship. I’ll show up, even when you don’t because you have to take the kids out, or you slept in or you forgot. It happens. I’ll still be here. I’m a keeper and I know this because I leave the toilet seat up. And that you are still here. I think I like you kidogo already, and I think this can actually work. I just know. I just know.

Confession: I’m a morning person.

After this, I am hoping I can walk you home, pray that you dangle the keys and open the door reluctantly. I’d want you to invite me over for coffee but who takes coffee at 9PM in the night? Nobody, that’s who. Besides, I’m a gin person. 

But enough about me. Let’s talk about you. So…otherwise? How was our first date?

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