The other day I heard myself say: "Nigga,never call/flash or S.M.S this number again,"before blocking and permanently deleting the caller's number. Which is a surprise since:
(a) everyone always says what a nice guy I am
(b) this was a buddy I'd known for over 30 years
Some background. I was 8 when I first met Tee. We hit it off almost instantly as unthinkingly as 8 and 9 year olds do everything. A month after we had moved into Kile we were friends,or so I thought as we did all the normal kid stuff in the pre professional social media hoism of today.
His family moved away in 83 to Magiwa. We continued to meet whenever possible habituated to friendship,which I later learned isn't the same thing as true friendship. Btw,those of you who remember the Nyayo era will know it was much simpler-there was only VOK which came on at 4 ending at 12,you could drink and smoke anywhere and women knew their role unlike now when every delusional Kenyan woman thinks she's a combination of beauty queen and kung fu philosopher warrior monk. The main issue then was political but we were teenagers so it was all good.
The first serious test,actually the eye opener into the true nature of our friendship occurred in early 91. I'd harakishad this chick he'd introduced me to a few hours earlier and had her blouse off. It was a weekday at his parents in Magiwa. I signalled him to give me room.He entered the kitchen and came back offering the chilee some tea! I had been about to start diny- err,cough! cough! getting busy on the living room sofa,WTF!! I told him plainly to give us space. He did-for 5 minutes. This time I physically threw him out and locked the door;somehow he found his way back in like the world's number one cockblocking cat burglar.
By now the chilee was convinced we were planning joint assault. The bra and blouse came back on and I ended up escorting her home,with a pair of the bluest 18 year balls seen to date in E and C Africa. Later,Tee tried to flip the shit on me insisting:" she wasn't giving you any.!" This wasn't an episode of kawaida competition but straight cockblocking of the foulest kind. There and then the sun should have risen and I'd have been well within my male rights to have stepped on his dick but no-'we were still buddies',lolll!
2 years later a similar incident happened that would've changed anyone else's mind. In this case he bragged about it to pals he wasn't even half as tight with as the 2 of us were. A little older and wiser this time I mentally reviewed things and noticed:
-our friendship consisted of me buying the drinks
-Tee swallowing the drinks
-all the while proclaiming "we're niggas for life"
I recalled in the early 80s how I discovered he was stealing my bike every Sunday I was dragged off to shags with the folks. I'd find it on flat tyres like clockwork-I actually thought maybe crows or rabid hornbills were pecking the tyres flat! When I confronted him he blamed another neighbourhood kid.
Ahh,but the easy familiarity of fake palsiness won out.
Years passed. Inevitably we saw less of each other. By the mid 90s I was in shags while he was in a slum outside Limuru town. We did the same things only less frequently often going months without meeting. Older now, I realised I'd outgrown him,but just didn't feel the need to tell him. By the mobile era,around 2000 we'd meet maybe only once or twice a year.
Even then he still had the same tabias I now recognise as bitchassness. He never called but flashed. When the beer (which I nearly always paid for)was on the table he really never had anything to say;just extremely uninteresting vignettes of the river of frustration at work being the shamba boy/dere/errand boy for a French NGO.
I can describe the mental sea change that led to the awakening. 7 years ago I was ruined;cousins destroyed an agricultural project I'd worked on for 3 years flat leaving me broke and in debt. These were guys almost as close as Tee. People I trusted and genuinely liked. Brutally I was forced to accept their smiles were fake,they wished me ill and would even physically harm me if possible. Finally I saw gratitude,honesty and appreciation were like reading Vietnamese literature for farm animals to these ingrates.
Painfully, I grew up-and saw things clearly;the sudden shifts and silences in conversation whenever I was in their presence,the numerous innuendo and underhanded references I took to be their own private jokes became understood. Like clouds hiding the sun the truth dawned on me with operatic effect;if the situation weren't so serious I'd have laughed with joy of the discovery: these 2 cousins who ruined me hated me and they hated the fact they had to be subtle about it. They wanted ,no needed me to taste the unhappiness of their own lives through failure.
Which brought me back to Tee. As stated we'd grown apart but I finally recognised the same patterns in his behaviour,the unsubtle assholia,aimlessness,malice,pretend buddy and ingratitude were staring me in the face. Thus it was, I said "nigga,never call/flash or sms this number again."
I'm not Uncle Phil,some may say I was suffering displaced anger and projected it unfairly to which I'll say take a glass of STFU! We all learn;not all those closest are our friends. Often they're not merely jealous but actively and secretly hostile and must be dealt with swiftly-cut them loose!