cough! cough!

There is an odd looking pub that stands along our street popularly known for two reasons. One being that it is the kind of place men go to forget their nagging wives and their hunger stricken kids harassing them in the name of school fees. Two it is the best spot to hang around for those looking to lose their eyes.
Rarely will you ever find me inside this den. Cheap liquor has never been my style. But today I am making an exception, not that I am here to drink, far from that, it just so happens that this guy who owes me money is in this pub and from the time he saw me he has been playing dead on the floor, I on the other hand have simply decided to wait upon his resurrection with great anticipation.
At my table i am seated between two weary old timers. Probably not from around. One who is downed in a green suit is preaching in vernacular and his partner in crime seems to be translating to English. The two stop at intervals to sip their drinks then drunkenly continue blubbing about repentance and the day of reckoning. Nobody seems to listen.
The guy playing dead on the floor coughs once, inaudibly utters a few words, then kicks like a donkey and goes on playing dead.
From across my table there is this lady dressed in an oversize faded promotion t –shirt and a skimpy mini skirt both her hands resting on her chin, her big lazy eyes completely onto me. She rolls her dirty wig with her fingers her eyes still seductively glued onto me.She staggers over to my table and goes on to tell me how good looking I really am, like I don’t know that for sure. She promises to let me have her for the night and in return I am to buy her more of the cheap liquor- no thank you, I politely decline- as if she listens. She exposes her cleavage and big water melons that seem to be screaming pluck us we are ripe come into view. She goes on to rub my chest with her hard wrinkled palms. She is a persistent one. I show her the ring on my finger and she staggers off but not before throwing some abusive words.
She is the kind of woman i wouldn’t want to be with even if it was just the two of us in the world. I am lucky I married Mildred I can’t wait to get home and tell her that. I can’t even begin comparing Mildred to this pub ratchet whose face can even make an onion cry, she is still eyeing me, constantly chewing hard on her gum making bubbles and deflating them.

By now the two preachers are done with their sermon. Strange enough they go around the pub buzzing over every table asking for offertory adding that God loves a cheerful giver. There after they disagree over the money and a short cat fight ensues, one of them, the one preaching in English leaves, his tail between his legs. His partner assumes throne, he orders more drinks and even declares a one for the house. The whole pub goes into a rampage.
The noise from the pub must have attracted two boys in blue who show up in the pub looking like the world owes them. The pub owner calls onto them and together they disappear behind the pub, their long rifles peeping under their long jackets. Moments later they reappear with big smiles on their faces, they mumble some words to the pub owner and leave.
I am offered some free liquor but I decline. What would my friends think of me knowing that I flashed my principals down the toilet and tasted cheap liquor? Then again the preacher assures me that a little drink is not bad for the stomach and that even Christ himself changed water to beer, did he really I thought it was wine? Uh! What the hell, who will ever know any way, with one take i gallop it all down.
We are now partying so wildly one would think it’s the reincarnation of the happy valley days. The lady with the dirty wig is seated on my lap her hands all over me, I guess it’s true what they say; when alcohol registers itself in a man’s head even the ugliest woman suddenly becomes attractive. The owner of the pub staggers over to add more drinks and accidentally steps on the guy on the floor, I had already forgotten about him. The thing is the guy does not bulge.
The rampage and the clutter slowly die like melting ice upon sun heat. We all stare at him. The lady on my lap coughs once and falls on the floor, she kicks and stills. Her eyes still onto me. We all sober up. What is going on? The rest of the drunkards cough and fall dead one by one.
I run towards the pub exit, after the pub owner who is getting away by now, but then I stop dead at my tracks and cough…..once……

MAURICE MUTHIANI
15-12-2015.

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