Lessons from Nduthi Chronicles

When you get an accident – good or bad – you learn so much than you could ever learn any other way. Good accidents run the gamut from anything like when you pass an exam unexpectedly, to when you are cooking and the food burns and you discover a new recipe and a new dish altogether.

Then there are bad accidents. These range from electrocution, motor crashes, unwanted pregnancies, fires to death on the extreme end. If you haven’t had a bad accident yet, you are living a lie. They are all over.

I had two accidents within a month that left me with neck and minor head injuries, bandaged hands and a knee, an empty pocket, a bruised ego and an inexplicable phobia for trucks and overtaking vehicles.  With a forced bed-rest, all I could do was what Eve traded for a single bite of a (most likely overripe) fruit: eat, think, sleep and everything in between. If I could do away with the acrid drugs and the uncomfortable sleeping positions, I’d gladly say I lived Adam’s life prior to Eve’s voracious cravings. But why, Eve!!!

In my languidness and the involuntary indolence, I often revisited the events that led to my current sorry and docile state. As I sat in my house at night with my thoughts as my only companion, I  reflected on the lessons I have learnt. What is a man who doesn’t learn from his experiences, anyway!

I learnt my lessons and I will share with the unfortunate who may never have the privilege of bad accidents experience. Now, these lessons are not the you’ll-know-your-real-friends-in-your-hardest-times kind of stuff. Honestly, I believe if you must have an accident to know your real friends, you’re living your life wrong. While at it, I will say the most emotional thing I will ever say especially about my male friends: I must admit I have awesome friends. Some are dumb as rock, to others I am the dumb one but I guess I am keeping them all.  There’s an age in a man’s life where you stop actively pursuing new friendships and focusing on actively cultivating the ones you have, accept your friends and try to see them as their mothers see them. I feel better for eventually saying that.

Now the lessons.

  1. Always wear clean underwear. You never know when you might need to take off your pants- for whatever reason. This is easy for guys when you know you might get lucky. We keep clean. But what about moments when you know the world is more likely to end that day than you taking of your pants? Like when you go riding a nduthi? Or when going to the gym? On that day still wear clean, presentable boxers. Taking off your boxers and offering your black ass to a fine nurse for a jab is easier when the boxers are clean. Plus she’ll most likely treat you better for making her job less stressing.
  2. After an accident, record what really transpired (as you remember it) and keep the audio readily available. Any person you tell about the accident will ask the infamous question: ‘What happened.’ Unless you’re a natural- born teacher at heart with the ability to repeat something over and over again with the same enthusiasm, you’ll be bored to death. Imagine surviving an accident only to die of boredom few hours later! Worse still, if you’re a perennial joker who seeks humor even in dark places, you’ll be tempted to spice the story up every time you tell it and incorporate some morbid jokes while at it. I was. In short,record it. If they ask, play it. Send it via WhatsApp. Heck, Put it as your status!
  3. Never call your Mum after an accident. Even in a moment of weakness. Especially when you know the first contribution they’ll make is worry about if you’re dead or not. Say it hours or days later. Unless your mother is a heartless witch which beats the logic of calling her anyway. And if you must tell her, don’t you dare use the word accident (with all its synonyms and translations) in your statement. I talked to my mama several hours later and the conversation went for five minutes before I could tell her. I made her laugh the last two minutes before spilling it out. And immediately I said I had had a minor accident earlier that evening, she went absolutely bonkers. None of my injured head jokes were funny anymore. Then she cried and accused me of being insensitive for turning my phone off and worrying her (the turning off of my phone was an act of God, I swear. I had forgotten to carry my iPhone charger and well, they’re not many out there. lol). Now you know why I am so unlovable. About the iPhone, I mean. Any good mother’s greatest agony is to be in a helpless situation as far as her progeny is in need. She wants to know what exactly happened despite the fact that all she will do, at least initially is worry. Do not call your mother, or her equivalent.
  4. It’s one thing to choose to be lazy and stay indoors, it’s another thing to be forced to stay there with bandages and drugs that have acrid smell. The former is enjoyable in as much it’s followed by guilt, demotivation, sense of hopelessness and all those sweet feelings associated with failure. The latter is not enjoyable and is draining mentally, emotionally and physically. Except for moments when some amazing people visited, I have been counting the squares on my ceiling and their symmetry and how life can be a pain sometimes. They’re related. The squares and life. I don’t know how, yet.
  5. The left hand is just that spoilt brat who pretends not to know shit from shinola and never does shit because the big brother – the right hand – does everything for him. Until now, the most it has ever done has been texting (slowly af), eat and press shift when typing on my laptop. I have never imagined that my left hand could brush teeth, clean and dress a wound, and most definitely not wipe my ass. Little did I know it could do all (with some level of difficult, of course but it got the work done nonetheless. It could even greet people!!
  6. Never check for symptoms of any illness on Google. Or Baidu or Bing or Ask.com or any other search engine. That shit is depressing. It can make you think you’re a corpse-in-waiting.

    ‘What are the symptoms after a head injury?’
  7. The broken or injured hand will always be okay, hygienically speaking. Not the same case for the healthy one though. The unaffected hand takes care of the injured one. With my right hand bandaged and the bruises and abrasions dressed up, my most immediate worry was how my right hand will form another layer of scabby melanin, turn darker and probably become itchy. As it turned out, I was dead wrong. My left hand took care of the right hand. The left one had no one had no one to love it. I thought about when misfortune befalls a ninja and his spouse takes care of him. She has to deal with his increased needs, juggle between school/work, social life and strain her time, money and hear health. The sad part is that everyone including herself downplays her welfare while focusing on the ninja who apparently is doing just fine.
  8. If you want to have a good laugh about your misfortunes, have yourself surrounded by genuine, male friends. Brutes, bullies with a great sense of dark humor. People who come to see you and eat your food and say nothing more than a casual ‘Thank you.’ Men who ask whether you peed in your pants immediately you were hit, you feign an attempt to recall it then show them a middle finger and have a good laugh despite the thunderclap headaches. Do not have these soft-hearted, men who keep saying sorry and asking if it hurts every five minutes. These are the men who shower daily and eat pizza. Totally unmanly. If you asked me what those abrasions on my left hand are and I told you they’re tattoos, you’re the man who showers twice a day and we hate you. However, if you need to be pampered, have ladies. Well-bred girls with a heart not these good-for-nothing-but-sex slay queens. The former know what exactly to do to make the pain more bearable and can hold an intelligent intercourse. Women are the champagne of gender. The finest champagne. They’ll however not laugh at your sick, self-deprecating jokes. For example, they’ll not think it’s funny that were it not for the helmet, you’d be collecting your brain, blowing dust off it and pouring it back to your empty skull, which by now looks like an unevenly broken gourd. This is assuming any brains spilled at all. Could be a hollow after all.

All said, isn’t a beautiful thing to be alive, healthy and sane?  (The last one is debatable)


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