Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Jonathan Watching CNN
Deepest song I have ever listened to is "watching the sunrise in an old rain coat." it takes you back to the feeling; that the night was rough because of the heavy floods that left you fighting for your life and knowing it was the very last time you were looking at your dear mother and your sweet sister with the cloudy possiblity that you might never see your dad again; who for the first time did not come home for supper that night.
an old rain coat is the expression of the journey you have been on with this rain coat who you now refer to as 'mate'. the schools you have trot in with it. the days you wore it on top of your Russinga primary school uniform sweater. And on the days you stood in the middle of the rain after school waiting for mum and dad to pick you up.
Jonathan watching CNN
"Cyndi Lauper- Time After Time." The song reminds me of the days Jonathan and I sat on the porche, saturday mornings and listened to 'Rick Dee's' top fourty count down on capital FM. And him perfecly immitating the radio jockey with his deep American accent and I would be very facinated by it. It reminds me of the days I played Super Nintendo with him and wondered how he beat me every single time. Jonathan loved comics and anime.
He was the one who allowed me to watch street fighters even though it was above my parental rating. he kicked me out of the room until the inapporpraite stuff was off. Its those days we watched recorded episodes of star trek and power rangers on the Sony Video Casstte player.
Perhaps the real reason i am close to Jonathan is because there was a time Mum and dad were in the states and it was just me, him, Christine and my aunt Edith who I was not particularly close to despite the fact that she was the one face i could point to in my current life who i knew in my previous life.
mum and dad were gone for about six months. During this time which Jonathan and I bonded very well. he used to take me to Village market to his favourite Movie rental store and rent a cool movie for Kshs 80/=.
it was cool to have breakfast in the little dinning area at the house in Kuna. Jonthan loved shorts, t-shirts and white socks. he always was cool. and subcosciencly the person who defined 'cool'.
Phase of Kathleen
I have known Jonathan in two stages, "Jonathan watching CNN', and the 'phase of Kathleen."
'Jonathan watching CNN' is the period when I'd just arrived in Nairobi and confused as hell. Those same memories that seem so distant when i realise it was not so long ago when I showed up at the Kuna house with nothing but a polythene and a pair of slippers on my feet. it characterises the phase when Jonathan taught me English and forced me to watch Sesemi street on saturday morning. its the age I played with paper planes the whole day and drunk lemonade during half term.
However Jonthan left too soon for Biola University, leaving me with no brother around. It was a lonely time for me while alone in Nairobi. when Johnny left with mum and dad, Christine was sent to Uganda and I was kindly hosted by the Lukwago's who I will always be indebted to for putting up with a mischivious little Patrick. Tendo was already giving them enough hell but putting me with him was simply a recepie for disaster. we did cause alot of Damage; him and I. He was always my partner in Crime.
for the rest of the eight months mum and dad were in America, i seemed not to mind that johnny was gone, because Tendo always had my back. He was always ready to get into trouble if i was. it was also cool to be around Yosia who in every way I associated with Jonathan except I thoguth he was a younger version. I imagined everything Yosia did while I was staying with them, was what jonathan was up to before I was adopted in the Seruyange Home.
The reality of knowing I was going to shoot hoops all by myself sunk in when Mum and dad came back. by then we did not have a house yet because when mum and dad flew, they decided to move away from the Kuna house; with faith that we would get a better place when they got back. I know mum and dad blame themselves for having moved into the Kuna house because they think that is what tiggered Jonathan's Athma which he has had to battle with the rest of his life. It was hard for jonathan to accept it. i remember one night waking up very early in the Kuna house and crawling slowly up the stairs. mid way the seond flight, I got a view of the Kichen area. Mum was hugging Jonathan and he was crying. He was admitting to mum that it was hard for him to live like that. He was feeling sorry for himself because of the misery he saw ahead.
I slowly went back down to the basement and into my bed. I could not sleep the rest of the remaing hour. I was scared that Jonathan might not make it to see me learn how to swim. little did I know that my brother would meet Kathleen who has given him a reason to live each day with as much pleasure as a man who just passed the bar exam, given him a reason to smile like a man who has just learnt his first valuable lesson. She has filled his heart with more happiness than a man decorated in gold. She has been the partner that hasn't minded on the nights he has coughed through out.
That early morning Jonathan confessed to mum he was faced with the possiblity of being miserable all his life. he had no clue that there were more happier days ahead than those he had out lived in his high school. He had not imagined that he and Aki would still go on to be pals even through their marriage days. He must have doubted the possbility of ever living in a well decorated house during the time his Visa was running out.
At times when I think I must be going through the worst time in my life, I remember those days I was in my Freshmen year in high school back in Kenya and paying twenty kenyan shillings at an internet cafe and reading a letter from jonathan; explaining to me how hard his life was because of the hustle he was going through with the immigration office. Even in the midist of his worst tribulations he was still thankful to God for his mercy. One letter I have never forgotten was one in which he narrated to me how he helped one old guy change car tires and in turn rewarded Jonathan with $50.
however depressing it must have been for him to write those letters to me, I could tell he was trying to be a brave soldier with hope of being a role model to his younger brother back in Africa who looked up to him. I did cross my mind at one point Jonathan wanted to quite, pack shop and probably come back to Kenya. But I am glad he stuck it out like a real man. Challenges in our lives is what differentiates us from the little muscled boy we once were. As i write this I am going through the hardest time of my life, I can barely process what is going on around me any more. it feels like a house has collapsed on me and I am too far barried in the rubble to get someone to hear my cry. But reflecting back on what Johnny went through, i too have strength to keep fighting on. With my old jacket I wear every where, I know one day I too will drive a comfortable car and dine in a good resturant. That is what seems ideal right now when I think of what I am going to eat in the next couple of minutes.
The Now stage.
'Jonathan watching CNN' is so because in the early days of my arrival, KTN which johnny watched all the time aired CNN for the first few hours of the day and since father and mother; whoever was taking us to school that day was usually delayed. johnny would sit back in the chairs and watch CNN until he was ready to be dropped off at Roslyn Academy.