3 MINUTES IN A GAY BARAugust 14, 2020
The year is 2019 and all my new year’s resolutions have been thrown out of the window. I have tied some in my stinking socks and thrown them under the bed.
Nairobi is good for people working online making noise and making between Kshs. 2,000-15,000 weekly. People like me are only good at attending Poetry After Lunch because, well, there is free lunch and insane poetry.
I have just left Kenya National theatre after snapping and laughing my heart out because of awesome poetry. My stomach is full, an indication that that department should bother me two days later. I want to pee and my blunder is so full. I cannot do that however because I have a crush who I am following at the moment. She enters the University of Nairobi premises and that was the end of our relationship; one that was only established in my mind.
Time and distance announce to me that I cannot keep up with the Kardashians and keep up with her. So with one swift swing of her behinds, she disappears to her campus. I am left with disappointments. But I encourage my life with the most stupid words to ever exist in Kenya, “Bora uhai.”
Voices in my heads are debating whether I should visit a club in town to finish my take away assignments. I am a good student and good grades are part of my personality traits. I decide to go to a gay bar. There is Pavement, Gipsy Bar, and Spiders club. But these are confused gay clubs with good food and good music. What about Club LA? My toes suggest. That is it.
The club was not packed. The moment I step in it I regret why I have not passed by Sabina Joy, to swim in the sea of immorality. However, this is not the time to back off because I can feel some eyes on me. A dude is seated on a high table, hugging a glass of vodka as if he is chasing a deadline in a drinking competition. He reminds me of Shihemi. This one is a complete disaster. Even his belt smells of alcohol and alcoholism.
I sit next to a guy I feel is a writer. Those underpaid interns working for a media organization that is just establishing its foundations. He has a notebook and you can easily think he never missed News writing and gathering classes, especially where note-taking was involved. He says hello and continues jotting things. I cannot see what he is writing because I am not here to mind his business. He is a good observer, my left ear announces.
A guy approaches and offers to buy me a drink. I decline. I am a strong believer in non-alcoholic drinks such as Amarula, Hennessy, Remy Martins, and the favorite Courvoisier. He rolls his eyes like a form two adolescent and walks away. Mimi Nairobians cannot spoil my night!
There is decent music. Classical if I may. I do not know the artist but the words awaken something in me. A wanting. Like a glass of a ‘non-alcoholic’ drink can do me good.
Good people have graced this place. Some did not forget to apply makeup, lipstick, and lip gloss. It was not a bad thing. I move closer to a group of guys dancing. Good asses those ones! There is sweating and spanking and gyrating. There is waist-holding and screaming and clapping. Here, fun is the kill. People from all walks of life are here to have fun. It is a beautiful community of individuals who have come to waste their money and hook up. Miserable human beings whose relationships are not working have come here to cool some steam, just like me and you. Crazy dancers who have a fake life on social media are here for free drinks and maybe a sleepover, just like me and you. It is a beautiful space, a gay bar.
Within two minutes, I have received advances that I have turned down. They are streaming in like Kenyans on Pornhub or employees sending their CV’s in a competitive job opening that is always not there but advertised anyway.
I make strides approaching the stares. The ‘kanyaga kubwa kubwa ukiendanga‘ kind. My heart is beating and my legs are heavy. My beliefs are in conflict with reality. That all these beautiful people are looking abnormal. From the man wearing a skirt to the one who just dare-kissed another, there was no room for me to hold my puke. I want them to be right for once and to exist in peace with others. But they are gay and I am straight. And if they are normal people having fun, drinking, and dancing, how would I write my assignment?
I take my heavy feet back and search for the first dude to approach me. I hug him so tight and tell him, “Three minutes in a gay bar it is,” and it sparks a great conversation that still waves at me in my mind every day I wake up.