I once told you I was soft in the head because I thought it was simply wonderful that girls kick butt these days and that that could only be a good thing. It is now confirmed; I am very, very soft in the head and in the heart too. In the words of some of my closest friends, I am a sap. I am without a convincing counter at this moment.
I was sitting with Leo and Maureen the other evening. Eric and Joseph were there, but we seemed to be missing Mike and Aggrey. It occurred to me then that Leo and Maureen must be the most patient and tolerant Nairobians I know. They indulge my horrendous taste in music - all Bob Marley mind - with a generosity that would be suspicious if they didn't smile with such genuine joy at some of the minutest bits of beauty in our day, even when fatigue seems to be bearing down on their shoulders.
Then there are Jennifer and Liz, who rather rudely flounced off to much greener, busier pastures. Not that I am complaining; they were notorious for ambushing me with tasty cakes in the office. They single-handedly kept my tailor in business for three years while my waistline challenged the Equator in girth. I do miss them, though. They were way smarter than I was and their insights into the intricacies of the language of the law will always be of great value wherever I travel in my journey of life.
I am not sure what to say of Salim and Joseph or Joseph and Hiram, other than how strange there are crossovers and overlaps without much from me. How Salim and Joseph met will remain one of those stories I would rather not know, because I know Salim and I know Joseph! But Joseph and Hiram are easily explained by our alma mater, and our other members of the circle: John B (his middle initial isn't really "B" but once christened by John, it stuck), William, and my namesake Sam. I wonder if Evelyn (who hated being called Evelyn) did get married; she never got round to inviting me to the wedding though I would most likely have missed it too. I wonder if her cousin Lilian is still at the Coast taking pleas and handing down judgments.
Talking about the Coast, I still can't believe that Sharon fled for the mzungu-infested beaches of Mombasa. And she did it so surreptitiously, if it wasn't for her social media activity I would still live under the illusion she was paying service charges to William Kabogo's government. At least she'll be able to tell me whether Ngina's plan to take over Mombasa or run Mombasa is on track. But it is only Ngina who could tell me whether Bradley is still the heartbreaker we knew at university.
I still can't believe that it is no longer Tom's and Dima's office! But Dima was always going to find his level, and it wasn't here. Now it's Tom's and Lillian's office, and she still cracks me up with the incredible degree of mess her desk always is. How she manages to get her work done on time and to a superior quality is one of those mysteries that exercise generations of anthropologists.
I wish I could celebrate this holiday season with all my friends, but it seems that it will not be so. Maybe I can commit to seeing them, one by one, in 2015, but you and I know that is an unlikely scenario. So I will wish for them God's Graces, continued success and good health. Meanwhile, my plot to take over the Three Barrels continues without a hitch. It is just a matter of time that that corner is my corner, and that barrel is my barrel. On my favourite stool I shall ponder the Big Questions in convivial silence, unmolested even by the Occasional Loud One (no, not Eric). If only She could come, every now and then, without it getting awkward. Well, I guess that's why we have a future: to smooth over the awkward bits we have left behind. Goodby, 2014; hello 2015.