The graduation list

First, there was the panic. Damn! I’m not on the graduation list. That paralyzing shock that shudders your temples with a jolt more stronger than a 50W electric circuit, rendering your senses numb. You think you will die, but you know you will not, though you wish you were dead.

Can’t even think straight.

You don’t know whether you want to die or remain alive and listen to the clock tick-tock to that D-day that you damn know you should be a part of but you are not.

Maybe it’s fate.

But Cryptic ain’t even thinking of fate at this particular time. You are fumbling for the straw that might save you from drowning. So, even though you know it’s past five, you dial the landline to the faculty. And you damn well know there’s no one on the other side of the line. But the adrenaline makes you grasp for the ether.

Emptiness.

Cryptic static!

“You are just being reactive Cryptic.” That’s the woman I married. “Cool down take some deep breathe, try to think straight and…”

To the M-Pesa…

I cross the highway like it was a herders’ trail in the Suguta Valley. Cryptic needs some cash. Some fare to travel to Western. Find the haters. Ask them why I am missing from the graduation list. Cryptic is racing across the highway. Trucks honk, tires screech, someone hurls curses at my back. I show him the middle finger and jog to the other side of the road.

The M-pesa is three blocks away.

“Hey, I need to withdraw,” I croak hoarsely. Barely audible. I can’t even hear my own voice.

“Pardon me, what did you say?”

“I said you don’t fucking talk to me with that gear in your ears,” Cryptic thunders.

The young lass flinches then starts to pout. She would love to tell me off but I own the damn Mpesa and I am her boss, and I could as well fire her for listening to Rick Ross while she should be listening to the damn clients.

But Cryptic is not that evil. Not that sadistic even when he is a little way off his radar. So I’ll only give her a little lecture just to prove that I still got some handle on my mantle, even when I’m feeling like a toast of shit.

“Can you try to do some things right even if they are not the right things? Can you do that pumpkin? You know-like try to do the wrong things right?”

I can tell I am losing her, and I damn hope I am losing you too. Sometimes you just need someone or something to vent out your frustrations on. Hahaha who am I kidding! Or am I really frustrated? Wasn’t I expecting this? Wasn’t this what I sowed with all those assignments and CATS I skipped? Always chasing after the moola.

“Hi, Cryptic, my server just went down. Will you come have a look at it?”

That is not even a request, brother. It rings with expectations. Did I tell you Cryptic never turns down a business opportunity?

“How much are you chucking…”

And the cycle continues over and over again, through out the semester.

And then there was Ouko, always getting under my nerves, always trying to make Cryptic less cryptic. ‘I never see you in my class!’

“I have a family to take care of, sir.” End of debate.

And then it was the graduation list, and I being conspicuously missing, and you getting all jolly about it on Facebook.

This is what divides the goats from the sheep, right?

No. Hahaha. Don’t even mind Cryptic’s sadistic guffaw.

You go ahead and graduate and make merry. Me? I’ll just be fine.

You are graduating and I am not. And that means you are fucking brighter, no, make that successful than me. Or isn’t that ceremony the yardstick we use to measure the chances of you swinging to the other side of the status quo divide, the side of the divide that does not comprise of selling chapattis in class,and doing assignments for your comrades? Isn’t it sweetheart?

No?

Why then do you need the papers? Why do you need those papers? Why do u stare at me with those pitiful eyes when I tell you I’m missing from the grad list. Tell me, why?

Stop doing that because I am not pitying myself. I’m swallowing the good news in style. Damn, I’m writing an article about it, and I hope you know this writing means more than a vent for my pent up emotions. This writing has the aphrodisiac smell of paper. The real paper that buys Toyota Klugers and makes wimps kiss ass.

It has the grease of power and influence, this writing. Just imagine how many times you peek into my blog, hunting for something to kill the boredom. And I never disappoint you, do I? Tonight I wrote this for you. Go ahead and share it with your friends and followers. Tell them about me. Call my shit the musings of an obsessive prima donna, or isn’t that what I always was to you and your graduating comrades?

I’ll probably write another piece like this on the eve of your graduation, maybe in the wee hours of the night when my muse behaves like its high on steroids. Maybe by eleven o’clock I’ll have posted a link on your Facebook Timeline. Maybe it will keep you from dozing as the university chancellor bores you to to sleep with his monotonous speech, before authorizing you to now have the power to read and write and do all that pertains to that degree, as if you have merely been doodling for the past four years.

But I’ll not turn on the telly on that day. I’ll shy away from social media until all the hullabaloo about nothing has died off, until the pictures you uploaded wearing the gown have all faded and the gowns in those photos have started tattering; until all adrenaline has left your body and we are back to where we started; until you realize that not the ceremony nor the certificate should draw boundaries among us.

But in the meanwhile I’ll reside to that shell where it’s just me and my alter-ego. I will mount insurmountable walls around myself and watch everyone try to break them down. I’ll bury my head in the sand and act sad and maybe that will make you glad.

But I will eventually get my groove back. I’l rejoin the social media sites and get a massive hard-on from reading your sorry updates, hakuna kazi.

And am I reaping what I sowed. Are we together in this?

Yes? No?

Do you even remember Mbugua’s assignment? Well it sharpened my business acumen and my empire is now expanding. Forward me your CV and Cover letter, and attach the good-for-nothing piece of paper they gave you after the ceremony, I might have some internship for you.

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