You go to high school.
You meet men who look like they can be your father’s best friend, if not mentor. You don’t even go through monolisation, you go through corporal punishment.
You see men, men who are supposed to be your age mates, but with hair everywhere—hair in places you didn’t think hair would, could or should grow.
You say okay, you can survive this. You remember Jehovah Wanyonyi, Nabongo Mumia and Moses Wetangula. You recall, no, Wetangula cannot be considered a Luhya leader. But his wives can. Too soon?
All you want is to study. Your box gets hit with a butterfly the first day. You now hate butterflies. They steal everything, including your MEN Briefs. You don’t bitch around. You take it on the chin, roll with the punches. These are men, you know? Men who look like Thanos. Men who come to school with a thermos. You understand why. Men who even Pepe Minambo cannot inspire before they expire. You stop listening to motivation.
You get to eat weevils. Not so bad, you think. You have a sister school. How to become a mubaba 101. You start reading Art of War. You recite James Baldwin, you remember that his stepfather said he had frog eyes. If Baldwin can go through that, you can survive being someone’s boy in high school. No, not in that way.
You read with boys. You go to class with boys. You wake up with boys. No, not in that way.
You go to bathe. You are told you wash in a communal bathroom. What? You ask. Yes. They insist. You acquiesce. You see things a child should never see. You get damaged for life. Your high school moments, you tell your therapist, should be filed under the category of “the streets will never forget.”
You hop on a podcast. Because your therapist recommends it. You ask Brian to add music. He adds SongiSongi.
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