He warned me and I thought he was lying. Jealous is actually the word I preferred to use. “It’s fleeting,” he said; “time will come and you’ll wonder what happened to the gas you had for blogging.” He then checked in my ‘hater’ book when he scoffed that I just had too much idol time. That’s when I concluded he wasn’t good company to keep. The kind of moron who would tell an excited 5 year old kid that rats neither have money nor use for human teeth. I hated that bastard, mostly because he voluntarily obliged himself to confirm my fears, and he did it brutally. Now it’s coming to pass, just the way he said it. And much as I hate to admit it, he was right.
See, early this year, before I discovered “my true calling” (as I’ve occasionally flattered myself). I landed myself the most “comfortable” job there was on the Ugandan job market. For months, I took a lift to the 8th floor of some towers on Kampala Road every working day. And while up there, I did nothing but facebook and post photos of my lunch buffet for my unemployed and hungry friends to envy me. Just in case you missed them, here are some.
Then at some point I got so bored I had to invent other ways of passing time as I counted down the minutes to 5 pm. That’s how I started spending countless hours clicking through my Encarta dictionary and thesaurus trying to forge a combination of words that composed an article about ruptured hymens. I then made a facebook note of it and my perverted friends were very impressed. I felt so proud of myself for coming up with such a genius idea and followed the broken hymens story with another one, and then another one.
After these and a few other hits, the legends of ULK saw and appreciated the silliness in me and accepted me as a new sub-urban. Later, I officially got a license to be as dumb as I wanted, not just online and inside my mind anymore, this time in national media; I just couldn’t believe how far one could go for being silly. Even after the New Vision gig ended, more opportunities followed me. I started attending big budget concerts on press pass and VIP tickets. I would then go back home and bash the show, the artistes and all those who paid to attend it in a snarky review for which I got paid.
My life was changed, I became an entirely different person I didn’t recognize myself either. I got fans, lots of them my biggest groupie being Barbara Asea (that chick with a bald head who used to saunter by and leave us whispering mbu “yes, that’s the Alek Wek chick. Wama he’s lying, the other one is American”). Girls would call me in the morning screaming “You! They’ve just been talking about your Sisqo review on X-fm”. Then I would reply with this indifferent tone, “have they? Oh, ok.” Strangers asked for my number to take me out while ex girlfriends sent texts saying mbu “I forgive you (for I don’t know what), let’s have the talk we never had.” Then I would reply them saying “I’m sorry miss, I neither know you nor the subject of your conversation.” And to make myself clear, I even threw a prenuptial wedding on facebook.
All was blissful except for one thing, I was as broke as a young lawyer who sits on his ass waiting for a salary. Because I didn’t do shit at work, my employer sprinkled peanuts at me and that’s what I ate, supplemented by the little income made from writing. I came up with a plan to extort a salary raise from my boss and it was brashly dismissed with deserving contempt. Having slept a few nights on the idea, I finally considered taking on the new job I’d got, a decision to which every neuron in my body flashed with promises of regret.
For a salary twice as big as the former, I held a pen in my hand, though about the idea for the 17th time, sighed, and appended my signature to an employment contract that could be loosely interpreted in redundant legal statements as hereunder.
“Unto you my boss, I surrender my life, heart and soul for you to use as you shall deem fit. For 11 hours a day and six days a week, I shall be at your full and exclusive service without excuse or apology. For my job, I waiver, relinquish and/or denounce my social life or whatever has passed as the same in the life before the miserable one to come. As long as this contact subsists, I will not lose any relative, friend or loved ones who will necessitate my mourning or confirmation of burial by presence at the funeral.
By signing this contract, I hereby warrant my fitness and freedom from disease, infirmity or any blemish of any nature; for which matter (which goes without saying anyway), I will not need any life, health, or whatever form of insurance or employment benefit. Not even lunch.”
After one long week at this new job that had already claimed 2kg of my body weight, I sat on my desk and started drafting a letter that was meant to serve as my resignation notice. The amount of work in this place was threatening me with insanity. But I got so busy I even forgot to finish my letter. Everything in the contract through which I sold my soul to the devil came to pass, just as I feared. I couldn’t write anymore, my facebook social life plummeted and I occasionally found myself leaving work at 9:30pm on a Friday.
However, the devil kept his end of the bargain; I found the money and the experience to make even more of it. Being hard as it has proved to become famous and rich at the same time, I’ll do one first. Let me become rich then famous later (in that order). I may not be able to blog as often as I used to, but now I can spare some pocket money for my little sister Agatha. For the money, I’ll let my short lived fame slip away. But with every spare minute I have, I will write a line, hopefully by the end of the week I’ll have a story.