Maria’s Story

She slept with her jeans on. I had a boner the whole night until my navel hurt. You could smell her woman and I ran fingers along the hem of her denim hipster. Her back shook. Twitched. But when I tried to snake my fingers down her panties, she slapped my wrists.

Like darts, I poked her face with my tongue tip. It helps blood circulate your face, I told her. This is the most beautifulest face I’ve seen in my life as a painter. Of words. I’m beautiful if you close your eyes. She said. And I dreamt of her naked.

For seven days we cuddled. No sex. Are we lovers or something? I said NO. Then don’t breathe like that. I kissed her forehead and I think her third eye chakra must have opened.

During the night we tickled each other and giggled. During the day we kissed the earth with the souls[soles] of our feet. I taught her yoga and murdras. We were to go swimming but it rained. We ran back home and her shoe strap snapped. The rain stopped. As the cobbler fixed it, she saddled her arm on my shoulder. Her bangles glistened in the sun that cracked through the clouds, forming a rainbow. The street was staring at us. PDA is a crime in UAE, she told me. This was her chance to be herself. I paid the cobbler with a Kshs. 1000 note. “Boss, hauna looze?” asked the cobbler as he clicked to ask for change across the street. I had a 20 bob coin but I wanted to impress Maria. We had ribs and beer and dove-tailed our fingers back home.

Some days, we could be silent for an hour. Her eyes could survey my apartment. The cobwebs and stinking frying pans. (We never cooked. We always ate at the hotel whose butcher has a missing index finger.) At the corner of my house a box of water-stained pages of poems lay bare like a broken heart. At the ceiling an affixed “I AM” note stared down on us. Mike, all I want is to be happy. She said. Her hair extensions smelt good. So I stroked them and I asked: Maria, why say life is not fair when you strive for average? She began sobbing.

She told me tales of her life as a UN refugee worker in Beirut. All she wanted was to work for refugees. But why? Was her broken heart searching for the meaning of being human? She told me how they were mishandled because they are African. War is started by the rich but fought by the poor. The stars lied to us. We are not here to twinkle. She slept in bags. Bugs bugged her. In some nights she would slid a finger in her woman. Our WhatsApp chats stimulated her. She said. And that plus the photo of her son kept her alive when 8 Kenyans of her crew had died in Lebanon feeding war victims. They were to dispatch them to Syria in a month. She didn’t want to go and die there. She has a son, goddamnit. We had to fake her mother’s death to get her back home to see me. She cried at the airport when she saw me in my Converse sneakers and a goatee. White earphones.

She told me sad tales about her son. The deadbeat dad. Her diabetic mother. How her relatives hate her because she got pregnant at 16. Bad example to the family. She has no friends. All she needs is somebody to trust. I dubbed a tear away with my little finger. Her mother called. Her tone and face changed. Then the voice of her son on phone must have been the whisper of an angel. She was happy. And I assured her: all you need is these two people who love you unconditionally.

Fuck society.
Fuck me too if I’m going to break your heart someday.

Fuck all the Dubai agents that have conned you money and fat men that promised you heaven as they put your lithe body thro’ hell. Maria, you are a phenomenal woman.

“Can you trust me even for one kiss?”
Narrowed eyes,
she sighed.
Give me time,

She had to leave on a Saturday. We were on our way to the stage when somebody snatched her purse. 15K in cash, a necklace I bought her at Maasai Market. Gone. Luckily her passport and I.D. were back home in Kinangop. We had to go back to my house. That night she wanted to end her frustrations in one giant orgasm. I planted fire on her skin, earlobes and ankles. And belly button. I pulled down her knickers and spread her legs apart like a map. My dagger’s tip was about to break into her portal of pleasure and sin when she broke into a No!No!Please, no! Sob. I stopped, swallowed a lump on my throat and rolled over. There was water in my eyes. It was raining outside. A part of me wanted to take advantage of her. A word bitch could be heard dancing at the corner of my mind. She fell asleep. Sprawled like that. I covered her, grabbed my phone and began typing this.

Carlos Santana’s “Maria Maria”. Westside story. At 3.33 AM, on low volume, us in whispers. Maria Callas’ “O Mio Babbino Caro” sounded devilish, she said ’cause opera has always been a soundtrack in horror movies. Do you believe in God? Are you a Mason? She asked me why we are addicted to music. Because we came from sound. I said. “Let there be Light/Energy/Sound/Divine Echoes…How sweet is the Sound that saved a wretch like me.”

In the morning we hugged, leaning at the back of the door for 20 minutes. I had a hard-on of course. She said I am a gentleman.

At the bus stage. Touts treated us like VIPs. Pulling our arms in different directions. She dared me to kiss her right there at the stage. Touts cheered. Girls jeered. Mothers sneered. She would catch her plane to Dadaab in the next 4 days.

And my heart would be the fuselage of the plane before it crashes because I want to see her gain.


{Maria, Maria, the lyric said.
Marry her, marry her, my heart said.}

“The streets are getting hotter…
As the wind blows,
I could feel you,
Through the weather.”