Sometimes I feel like jogging.
When I feel this way, my usually untenanted sneakers find themselves with two occupants on a bright and breezy morning.
To prepare, I set my alarm clock for 5.30am. That way, I’m out of the house by 6am and breathlessly enjoying the lemony tang of dawn’s chill.
One Tuesday morning, however, things changed forever.
The alarm shrilled to life and I jumped out of bed. Then, after groping around in the dark, got myself dressed and wondered how unfair life is.
In the movie, Coming to America, Akeem had beautiful ladies bathe his “royal member” every morning and place rose petals before his every step while string music played. All I got was the insomniac next door.
Each morning, she’d look at me through dead-doll eyes like I was the Kalahari Desert of her wet dreams.
This morning was no different.
‘Good morning,’ I said to her while wearing my smile at half-mast as her eyes narrowed to the Made in China flat-lines of an emotionally dead person.
If I asked to hump, she’d definitely role-reverse my ‘needle’ into becoming the camel as her ‘Cave of Wonders’ became the needle’s eye barring its entry.
Stepping out of the gate, I noticed that it was darker than usual. I could hardly see the dusty road stretching ahead below a starless sky.
There were no cars anywhere in sight and the usual glimmer of light from market vendors setting up shop had thinned to airy invisibility.
Everyone was still sleeping, at 6am!
A gust of wind picked up at my back and I started running, uphill. Then, I went downhill. Turned left, then turned right.
The empty eyes of the black sky sketched my run across the cracking asphalt, which abruptly fed into a concrete road across a bridge in the area of Mbalwa.
Panting heavily, I instinctively looked to my left to see if there was any activity at the pork joint. It looked like a place hanging by the thread of its own sleep.
I turned right, running up a climb which fed its concrete pathway towards Naalya.
It was dark and deserted.
Then, suddenly, a gang of about six men came barreling down the road like ghosts from the darkness. They were coming right at me, while being escorted by a running chicken!
I stopped, blinked to make sure that I was seeing what I seeing. Then, when they were in Covid-19 reach of me (four metres away), I turned around and ran for dear life.
Within moments, I found them running alongside and then overtaking me. Clearly, they were running from something.
Looking behind, I saw two policemen sprinting in our direction. I say “our” because whoever these men were, I was now in their company. So I was generally criminal and specifically criminal too.
When we reached the end of the road, I was exhausted!
But we had to keep on running or we’d become jailbirds. In the case of the chicken, it was already half-prisoner being the bird part of the ‘jailbird.’
The road’s end was a T-junction leading to Kyaliwajjala to the left and Kireka on right. All the men took the left while I took the right.
The chicken decided to follow my lead.
As the wheels and gears kept churning within the machinery of our movement, our shared silence became less of a manner, and more of a mannerism.
Besides, what was I going to say to a chicken?
I kept summoning my inner Kiprotich as I ran hard with the chicken as a sort of feathered me, doing its best not to ‘run afowl’ of the law by getting caught.
A few violins and maybe some wind in the trees would have been fine, but the night was filled with our heavy breathing.
In better times, I’d joke: “what did the fashion police say to the guy in a sweater? They pointed at it and said, “Pullover.”
This was not one of those times.
We reached an eatery called, “Kireka Fried Chicken.”
A rounder-faced Colonel Sanders smiled from its logo like someone who was getting high on his own deep fry.
The takeout was closed, but the chicken vanished within it; leaving me all alone.
A few minutes later, I found myself in Kireka. Looking behind me, the cops were gone and the place crawling with women who had orphaned their knickers. Some of them wore their miniskirts facemask-high!
“What time is it?” I asked a cigarette vender.
“It’s 3.20am,” he replied.
I should’ve suspected something when the morning winds breezily said “how do you do?” and the roosters replied, “We Cock-a-doodle-doo-n’t do!”
At a loss, my spirits lightened when I noticed a lady with massive ‘jigglies and wigglies’ (boobs). So I thought, why not?
“Hel-lo,” I saucily said to her.
She immediately collapsed to her knees and sheepishly said, “Oli otya, Taata Wange.” With the respect reserved for her father!
After taking a parting look at her ‘chi-chis’ (breasts), I quickly moved on to avoid putting the “us” into incestuous.