Happy new year from Team Tuketi! I know, it’s pretty late, we have been busy making no resolutions. Regarding today’s post, we wish to run a short campaign against drugs and drug addiction, and we thought the best way you introduce it is by doing a drunken post. You will start seeing a tiny photo with a motivational message on this site, don’t fear, it won’t bite!
Saturday, my watch had crossed 8.00 in the evening, as I walked into the local joint to catch a game of football, as the house had become unbearably boring. I was 30 minutes early, to catch up on some pre-match analysis, and of course, make sure my favorite seat wasn’t taken. I made a way to a table for two, placed strategically below the huge screen, and unlike other days, a guy sat there drowning his sorrows.
I took the second seat and fisted him. He was unconcerned but fisted me back anyway.
The waitress came around and I ordered a warm Krest. My friend looked my way and sneered for a second, then looked at his beer and smiled.
“What is that you ordered?” he asked.
“A krest, why?”
“Can’t you just take that in your house?” He stepped on the first nerve for the night and smiled.
“Well, I could, but that means I wouldn’t catch the game!” the Alter-boy in me answered, and smiled.
“So, if I were to order you a round I would get you a soda?”
“Yes, but I couldn’t take you bottle for bottle, since I have the bladder strength of a 2-year old!” We both laughed.
“Am John…!” He said, extending a hand, which I took and smiled back. It felt odd though, the kind of things you see in movies, but which would have been a different story if the guy was a skirt wearer.
As the players made their way onto the pitch, John hit a drinking frenzy. As I fondled my soda, he was drowning bottle after bottle of malt beer. The waitress kept a short distance from our table, and per his bill, he already had ten beers.
“You okay, pal?” I called out after he put down the glass and belched.
“Yes of course…”
“When do you know you’ve had enough?” I asked. He looked at me and instead of dignifying my question with an answer, held a shaking hand to the table and tumbled to his feet, then staggered towards the washrooms, with a little foam on the mustache.
The place was now filling up, distant chats from the poorly lit corners would be heard slightly over the music, classical Congolese from the towering speakers breathed fresh life into the first floor of the multi-color lit pub. Those not watching football were busy swallowing brown bottles, taking turns on the clearing at the middle of the room which acted as the dancefloor. From the edge of the table, John’s half-full bottle of beer sat there staring at my krest like they had known each other from a past movie set, only kept company by the empty glass smeared with a foamy froth in the inside.
As the home team goalie cleared the ball from his zone, I saw a huge figure block my view, and that’s when I got a good view of my drunken friend. A tall frame, nearly 6 feet 2, and very stocky, John could have easily passed for a cop, save for his overgrown afro, and a badly kept beard. He forced an air of confidence in his almost upright posture and high-flying head. Late twenties screamed from his face, with the rugged look leaning too early thirties. He walked with a limp, which was evident even in his drunken stagger, and a serious-looking tungsten band shone on his second finger. Our subject was engaged!
“Nice ring man, engaged?” One thing am good at is getting a good vibe from a drunk.
“This?” He said, pointing the finger at me. At first, I took offense in the way he did it, but then got over it. “Don’t even talk about it”
He waved to the waitress and asked for some three rounds, then looked back my way.
“This here”, he said, still pointing the damn finger my way, “is the reason am here!”
I was confused. The waitress brought the three more bottles, balancing them perfectly on a flat tray. Laying them down on the table, she emptied the contents of the half-full one into the glass and opened a fresh one. She noticed my eyes following her perfected moves and blushed. I wanted to ask her what would happen if the tray fell, but ignored the urge, knowing her attitude since I became a regular at the joint.
A deafening silence fell in the pub, as a striker lined up to take a penalty, everyone in bated breath, holding onto their chairs, others half sited half-standing, eyes glued on the huge LCD. I could hear distant cluttering of glasses as a waitress washed them on an elevated sink behind the giant counter. A few drunks who were non-interested in the football craze swayed in the dancefloor, the pegged ones holding onto their spouses and the single clique either holding onto each other or their bottles.
“What do you mean it’s the reason you are here?” I asked as people groaned the missed penalty.
“My damn fiancé!” I always thought engaged people never curse each other, silly me! “She took away my favorite sofa! My favorite sofa man, the sofa I’ve had since I cleared college!”
There was a blend of range and hurt in his trembling voice. I let him rant on.
“That sofa has sat in the middle of each house I move into, every-damn-house I move into, it may be ugly, maybe, but I loved it, it has been there with me through thick and thin, man, through all the heartbreaks, and they have been many.” By the way, he was talking much, I believed the heartbreaks were many.
“Wait..” I told him amid held back bursts of laughter, “What’s the deal with the couch man, it’s ugly you already admitted it.”
His eyes were starting to lose interest in me, I was not supportive. “Look here, nothing in that house looks good in my eyes, starting with the table cloths….”
“wait, who has table cloths in this date and time?” I cut him.
“Apparently, me and my fiancé! I have damn table cloths, I don’t have my favorite sofa anymore, and I have this glass table I hate because it looks more delicate than a damn egg! I can’t walk into the sitting room drunk, in case I fall on it and it breaks.” He ranted on.
I felt like trying to make him see the bright side, that the glass table would help reduce on his drinking, but figured that would ruin our talk, and maybe leave me with a missing incisor.
“My sofa, that thing hurts man… I just want it back.” He groaned.
“Do you have an idea where she took it?” I asked, feigning interest in his predicament.
“Wait and listen, my friend,” he held my shoulder how drunkards hold each other when haggling for a beer. “There are things that go on in our houses the moment we put the ring on it, that you don’t ask. Nobody knows, maybe it has already been shipped off to Tari-nduiku to her uncle!”
“In that case, you will find it covered in flowery table cloths when you take home some dowry. You might even find her uncle’s favorite chicken sitting on eggs on the sofa.” I laughed, but he just stared back. He had a messed-up sense of humor. His eyes were dying to face the serious side of me, and I was not ready to give.
He sat looking me straight in the eye, placed both hands on the table and clasping the glass of beer delicately. I felt like a 10-year-old sited on the opposite side of the principal’s desk, after flipping the finger to a female teacher. The referee whistled the end of the first half, and as players leisurely walked off the pitch with heads stooping low for the lack of goals, the music had changed from classical Congolese to local gospel, and Angel Shanize’s new hit “Power” filled the place. (You can also enjoy the song by clicking here). More people filled up the dancefloor, trying to outdo each other on the ‘Power-dance’.
“I really need that sofa back man. Without it, am an incomplete man. I’ve had it for so long, it’s a part of me.” He had already decided my name was man.
“I like that song man, feel the groove! I know that lady…” I tried distracting him.
“Tell me how I can get it back…” He ignored me and instead called to the waitress to open the last bottle. “You really have to, I’ve been stressed up for the past week, and the one she brought in looks odd, it even smells odd! I swear yesterday I still think I heard it tell me to take my used cup to the sink.”
I laughed, at first trying to hide it, and then between laughter blurted out.
“I think you have had enough booze man…!”
“No, I haven’t…!”
“Okay, what’s 1+2+1…?”
“I’ve not had enough booze yet man.” It was settled. He was flying in drunken Ville.
“So, what do you plan to do about the sofa?” I feigned interest, again. “Or you had no plan beyond drinking yourself to this stupor?”
“Well,” he started after a deep belch, “I plan on getting home very drunk so that thing doesn’t talk to me again. Next, I will ask my friends to talk to her, maybe you can also chip in and try convince her man. This is important.”
“How do I even start the conversation? Wait I don’t even know your wife….”
“Fiancée, not wife. At least not yet wife, she might even replace the roof of my house and replace them with umbrellas once she gets the promotion.” He cut me mid-sentence.
“I will tell her man. I will surely tell her, trust me. You don’t even have to talk to her friends since I have your back.” I needed to shut him up as the players walked back to the pitch.
He smiled, a big satisfied grin, placed his huge arms on the struggling table and passed out.
“What was that all about?” I Asked myself, sipping onto my soda.
Dear ladies, if you recently replaced your fiancée’s sofa, I know it might be ugly and old by his description, but please take it back home. It’s really missed by the mister.