By living in New York, I haven’t learned a great deal about what it means to be a kenyan in New York. What I have learned is that my taste buds can take almost anything thrown at it. And for this, I give credit to the monotonous dietary restrictions of four years in high school. Thus, everything seems a little more delicious than the faded memories of secondary school. The landscape here is hard to describe with the many layers that New York holds. The physicality of the city possesses monoliths as well as cities within the city, that enables one to see a large and fair enough representation of different cultures of the world crammed into this single spot on earth. Once I tried decoding a conversation in French of the couple who was walking behind me. At other times, I think my ears have either tuned back to some home frequency or i have some severe form of home sickness as I sort of hear kikuyu or kamba or Luo words here and there. I then turn around, and examine my surroundings once, twice, and maybe three times just to make sure, hoping that I can turn to someone from my homeland and lend a greeting of solidarity – for we are sojourners in a strange land and the face of one who sees with the same eyes offers some form of wine that makes the whole idea of being alone a little more palatable.
Like life here is in a sense in form of waves. Like for one you can observe Washington Square Park on a Fall afternoon and see how the places come and own the spirits of the people, attracting swarths of ev’ryone into a sort of enchantment. And like look again on a chilly negative seventeen degrees celsius and then people have moved into occupying the enclaves of their minds, and shopping habits kick in because for some reason everyone just needs another layer. Those who watch you do so seated opposite you in the subway, and they bore their eyes into your soul, asking you the painful questions you are so afraid to ask yourself. However, we always wait for the summer – to escape the bizarre borders of our minds.
The next thing is always something to look forward to, and therefore you cannot just float around not knowing – what you will do next month, next year, in the next five years. Watching out for this, then I walk into Walgreens and buy two tubs of ice cream for the price of one! this, maybe will calm my spirits. That is what i indulge in. How ten million people save themselves each day is some wicked level of resilience that being in this city gives. Yet, there are the cracks that anyone can fall into. A successful dietician in her late twenties left a note to her mom saying sorry before she took her life. I look at where I call home, and I tokenize it as a reminder of what hope I can pull from home as a reminder. With full assurance and hope resting in God, making my life a living sacrifice takes away so much off my back already!
I have yet to get that autograph from Zadie. Still on my list!