Friendship Zone: Tribulations and Folly

Meet Venessa, a close lady friend of mine. We are having a date tonight. Our tête-à-tête runs a couple of years back, way back in high school. She wasn’t exactly drop dead gorgeous in that Marilyn Monroe’s fashion (not like Huddah, our local ‘celebrity’), but when she set her exterior anatomy in motion, few men could resist craning their necks for more; she swayed gently, cautiously. A deep sea in light currents.

I don’t fuss much about looks as a matter of fact; I will at any time of the day trade a Rihanna for Sarah Baartman (Google her!).

Now Venessa girl has been quite elusive over the past few weeks. Our friendship has remained steadily modest, but lately I noticed subtle currents building up – it has been a long time coming. Those sideways stares that lingered longer than normal had become sweetly disconcerting.

The initially plain phone chats had transformed into charged gooey zones. I could feel her pulsating heart when I read her e-mails (we started this habit way back when phones were a reserve for the lucky few and have stuck to it to date!) I noticed she wore a new perfume the last evening we met. She had sparkling smile too! A dentist somewhere must be thanked for this.

I prayed my intuitions were right, prayed hard that she sees a man in me but not a monk brother. I have read many chronicles about this sort of friendships.

There simply exists no innocent society between people of the opposite gender, they say. The woman has been known to play it safe, and hold to her end of the bargain, nice but detached. However, the man can never be trusted with such hypocrisies. Sooner or later he will strike the cupid nerve and if the woman had forgotten to recite her rosary, she will one morning wake up frantically searching for where she threw her panties! The wolf would be huddled in the furthest end of the bed, pretending to be sound asleep but inwardly grinning end to end, thanking the gods!

She finally appeared, late. I don’t do much of that – waiting – not with friends with meager benefits. But this was Venessa!

She strutted across the street, in her characteristic grace. For the first time, I felt nervous meeting her, felt that here before me was an incredibly attractive woman I have been too blind to notice. She had replaced her normal jeans pants with a maroon dress, those skimpy one arm affairs that firmly arrests a glorious ass. It did magic to her insidious curves. I was tempted to grab a handful of her posterior as she delicately sunk on my chest for a hug but harshly dismissed the idea. That would be indelicate, inappropriate.

“You are tense dude, are you pressed or something?”

“L.O.L, you kept me waiting, was holding my breath tight hoping you
wouldn’t disappoint like last time.” I chuckled, almost nervously. What was wrong with me!

“Hmm, Nairobi traffic, but here I am! Si unajua Jogoo road na majam zake! So what’s the plot?”

I get scared by that question easily! When a Nairobi chic, especially from Eastlands asks you for a plot, you RUN! It never ends well, especially when you let her take the lead. I have once been cornered by a stocky waiter sneaking out of a restaurant, leaving my date and the bills behind. I don’t know how he sniffed me out, perhaps I wasn’t the only transgressor he had met, or I reeked of suspicion – probably the later. It was an awful experience. I lost the girl and tainted my person.

“You forget it is our movie date?”

We catch up on Fridays for movies, mostly we treat it so casually, just a way of catching up and to kill time.

But this Friday felt different, she looked different, smelled different. I would be a fool to ignore all the cues. No wonder she looked at me with slightly raised eyebrows, quizzically and perhaps disenchanted.

You see, all women are the same. Regardless of the kind of friendship you harbor, they have expectations, albeit flimsy. She will expect you to pull out a Jet Lee when an enemy strikes (trust me, I attempted that once and risked a jaw). You become an Alejandro when her boyfriend beats her up; you transform to an ATM machine when she spots that offensively pricey necklace at Kiko Romeo.

So to avoid a sudden realization of an urgent appointment with a dentist, I surprised her and shocked myself with the idea of an Italian cuisine.

Trattoria Ristorante!

Other than the name, and that they serve Italian dines and wines, I completely new nothing about Ristorante (I love the music in the name!)

She pleasantly rubbed into the idea, praising their exotic fares to the heavens.

“I would definitely enjoy that dude! especially with you. So many memories about the place!”

“Have you been there before?” I asked, eyes popping.

“Oh yeah, a couple of times. Paul used to take me there, remember Paul?”

Of course I remember that batterer. He was her ex-boyfriend who treated her like trash. One day she knocked on my door at midnight crying, one eye red and swollen. I shook with rage and swore
vengeance, promised to protect her from that lunatic of a boyfriend. What can’t I do for her?

However a week later I spotted the two enjoying ice cream amidst giggles, only for her to appear two days later sobbing again. This time with a bruised arm. She emphatically assured me she would never see him again. It was over.

I didn’t hear about him again, not until now. She probably kept her word. I seemed to spend more and more time with her since then. That is how I started learning of the growing fondness but fought to keep that demon at bay. It was scary just as it was exciting.

“Well you know I don’t like that name,” I retorted, quite seriously,

“Yeah I know you hate him, but people change you know” she replied, stealing a mischievous side glance. I was surprised at how she talked so freely about him, even with an edge of fondness! I threw her an icy glance and changed the topic. We were already inside the restaurant.

“Here we are. Trattoria it is. Shall we?” I pulled her a chair.

We had settled in Luna Lounge, under her meticulous suggestion. She elaborated on the magnificence of the lounge, an intimately charming ambiance against a background of fusion jazz. Holly heavens!

She exclaimed about the soothing nature of Chianti, marveled at the fineness of the Roman’s signature wine, Frascati and interrogated the notorious alcohol-kissed soda pop Lambrusco!

I was left to constant nodding and appreciation as she breezed through the list of that stuff. I think that kind of skill is for waiters and waitresses, no? She went on ranting ridiculous names. Luckily the waitress came for our orders. I pointed at Venessa with my lips.
“Ask that one.”

She was at it again. Throwing food and wine jargon like a daughter of a chef and a wine vendor. How do ladies master these things?

Our orders came faster than I expected. The service was excellent, the food great (whatever it was I was eating) mellowing a fine evening away with such a delicious date. I noted a couple of heads turn again and again in her direction. There are several “bonga points” that add up when swanking alongside a lady like Venessa.

I was enjoying her company to bits. I looked into her large white smarty eyes, drunk her in gulps and felt my pounding heart against the ribcage. The cupid arrow’s struck and burrowed deep in. I knew I had my unguarded moments but the fear of rejection kept looming, the worst feeling any man should ever bear! For a close friend it would be

This was the moment. I had over the years gone through this scene in my mind. The setting, the time and place all seem to synchronize.

I cleared my throat.”Venessa….there is something I ha….”

“Hey! Look who is coming this way!” She cut in excitedly.

She was beaming and looking behind me. Whoever it was, I was not very excited about the intrusion.

“Hey honey, what a surprise! I never imagine you would come here alone…well, with another friend.”


“Hi baby, I didn’t think I would find you here! So have you come alone too? This is Dre’, my close friend. I am sure I have told you about him. Dre’ meet Paul, my boyfriend.”

What guts! What betrayal! What insensitivity! I sat there, shocked, venomous as the two hugged. I gave him a frigid limp handshake, shooting him with eye bullets.

“Glad to meet you man, my girl has spoken quite a lot about you. I thought you come from another planet!” What cheek!


“Am good.” Was my somber response.

I felt stupid, used, useless.

Venessa cast me a sympathy look and asked for a minute with me.

The ‘repentant intruder’ insisted she should leave with him. He counted several thousand bills and placed them on the table.

“Thanks dude for keeping an eye on her. Best friend, ait?”

By Erick Njoroge (Guest Writer)


Tell Them

“You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.”  Margaret Mitchell

First, I will start by admitting that I was apprehensive about this post because it is not always that one gets a friend on Skype, narrating crazy stuff which she expects you to piece together into a post – all aimed at laying it out there for Adam. This is one about a lot of do’s and don’ts when it comes to rolling in the hay – also known as “bombing “ in Project 44 jargon. Marylyn, one of my good friends is not only funny; she can be quite blunt too. On this particular Skype chat, she cuts to the chase and tells me that although Project 44 has explored the nooks and crannies of relationships, there is a neglected area which can and should probably be explored through a series of posts. There goes Marylyn, she is thinking about ‘a series of posts’. I go silent because I think we have pretty much exhausted ISSUES, to the extent of blogging and re-blogging about very random issues such as goats – and these are not those goats which Adam takes home to Eve’s papa.

Marylyn starts by asking me how many posts we have done about kissing and bombing. I can’t remember off the top of my head – because we have not focused solely on that -although we have touched on it in some posts. I chuckle, because I am not sure how that topic would be explored. I asked her what she had in mind and she told me that she would summarize a conversation she had during a girls’ night out, and I would piece it together into a post. I asked her if she was aware that it would be too one sided, to which she said that is what she meant by ‘exploring’, so that Adams too can have their say, and that way, “everyone saunters into better experiences”.

She starts with what she defines as the “contact” and says that Adams should know that one cannot approach a kiss like an ambush and expect to get far with it. Apparently, these ladies seemed to agree that some Adams just ambush you like Boko Haram in Mali; before you know what is happening, you are left shocked at the “raid”. They want Adams to know that kissing is an art (sounds cliché, but apparently not many know that). She tells me that, if Eve is not thinking about a kiss, especially if  it is the first kiss, chances are that Adam’s move will rival an ambush, hence Adam has to get the moment right. She gave an example of one Eve who said that, there was this guy who would get busy (eyes shut) doing what he thought was kissing, which was just sticking his tongue in her mouth, as soon as the lips touched. At this point, Marylyn sends an ‘lol’ emoticon, and then continues to say that this Eve said that she would feel this weird touch, coming in and out like that movement snakes make with their tongue, and described it as “a very unsexy and disturbing feeling”. The advice is here is that Adam should take the cue: if he does not feel Eve changing the approach and as far he can tell (even with his eyes completely shut) she is not sticking her tongue out, then he has no explanation as to why his tongue is out there. I am bewildered.

She then delved into the hygiene zone and told me that they all agreed that lack of hygiene “murders” everything; add that to a clueless guy and Eve’s flight instincts are on overdrive, she says. I wondered who would have thought that we would still be on this, in this day and age; that we’re in the 21st century and still talking basics. Her reply was that, I should tell them (Adams of course) that hygiene is for everyone, not only Eve – and that while it’s clear that not all Adams are cut for the salon – to do manicures and pedicures and even have a head massage (the head on the shoulders) – we need to just have basics. Basics are not about chewing mint gums but brushing teeth and dental flossing because (as she put it), “there is no greater turn-off than embracing an Adam who smells like all flora and fauna thrives in his buccal cavity!”

Before I could process that, Marylyn is on the home stretch. She is now typing about actual bombing and I quickly inquired if I was expected to factor that in too. She sends a ‘shaking my head’ emoticon, and wonders how Eves out there will be “saved“if I didn’t. This made me feel like I am onto some important rescue mission and leaned forward, to read more clearly.

“Fridah, you have to tell them”. I ask her what I need to tell Adams. ”Tell them, that we know they want the “cookie”, and sometimes (on some rare occasions :D) we want it too, and if we are on the same page about that, then they need to know the cookie crumbles in phases”. I sigh – for unknown reasons. The message is that Adams need to know that, it is not about power or even size of the “weapon” – it is all about technique. In my mind, I am wondering if the masses do not know this already. Then she loads on more details; in summary, according to the bevy of girls, some Adams just go through the whole ineffectual exercise and then roll over with a stupid smile on their face, perspiring like they have been ploughing hectares of land and all the while, Eve is left one question ,“what just happened?!”. She says to tell them that “the way to hit ‘bulls’ eye’ is to be clearly aware of the position of the pelvis in relation to ‘the weapon’ – it is not by pumping and chancing on luck or divine intervention”. I giggle, and then find myself laughing out loud.

Finally, she concludes by saying that conversation is encouraged; because bombing is not like prayer where faithful pour their heart out to God and leave hoping that he heard. Adam should not assume that because he reached the ‘promised land’, Eve can ‘view it from a distance’ she tells me. Now, at this point, I am more focused on how the post will be packaged and before I finish my thought process, she says that most Adams need to know that most Eves are more than willing to be spanked, turned around, and even squat even, hehehehehe – anything that allows for near normal posture all in the pursuit for pleasure (for both). However, they can only do this if Adams are honest and not looking at it as a moment to prove anything (even when he is clueless). She says it’s important for Adam to know that it is exhausting to want to try stuff and then be met with resistance or a know-it-all attitude which leaves Eve feeling like she’s getting the short end of the stick (figuratively and literally). In the end, there are no medals, unless they come packaged in moans and grants after reaching “Canaan”.

I rest.

By Fridah