It looks like Mshairi has found her map and Ms K has unblocked her mind. Even ng has been granted a one day’s freedom pass from the asylum so that he can blog. Now it is my turn to be stuck. Thankfully I was blessed with the ability to keep on yapping even when I have nothing to say. Nothing shuts me up. Not even sleep.
In my determination to keep on talking/blogging (it is all the same to me) I have decided to write about people. People I know and like. People I donâ€™t know but still like. People I would like to know. People I know I will eventually get to like.
As I am a member of KBW it seems only fitting that I start off by talking about a fellow KBW member.
Some know him as the Godfather, others as the Mentalist. He decided on MentalAcrobatics so thatâ€™s what I should I call him but thatâ€™s too long a name. I am going with Mental.
When I think of him, and this probably makes sense to no-one but me, I donâ€™t think of him as a blogger. Even as I write this, I am struggling hard to avoid calling him by his real name.
I think it has to do with the fact that we met outside of the blog world. Having said this I canâ€™t quite work out how we first met. From about 1999 our paths just seemed to keep crossing. This was partly because we went to University in the same country, at the same time and were both heavily involved in our African Caribbean Societies. We also used to participate in the same discussion forum.
The only meeting I seem to remember was in 2000. The event I was attending was weird to say the least but what was even weirder was the fact that Mental and I worked side by side all morning and the only words that were exchanged between us were:
â€œCan I borrow the scissors?â€?
(I can’t remember who the lender or borrower was I just know scissors were passed between us – so much for the ‘passing scissors cutting friendship saying’)
To be fair on Mental, I donâ€™t think he was ignoring me. I think everyone in that room was just pissed off because it was 10 am on a Saturday morning. Most of us had travelled miles to attend this ‘major event’. Only to arrive and find that the organiser had not just failed to turn up, they had also failed to arrange and decorate the hall. So we, the guests/performers, had to get to work and set up the place before the show could begin.
Later on in the afternoon as he left the hall we swapped names and that was that. It was only when I got home that I realised this was the same person I had been interacting with online.
I have no idea how or when our phone numbers were exchanged. In fact everything between 2001 and 2003 is a bit of blur. I shall just skip through the many phone calls, emails, yahoo and MSN discussions to 2004.
We were now beyond acquaintances but not yet bosom buddies. I was all Belize this, Belize that. Trying to raise money, trying to build a websiteâ€¦trying to do 101 things at once.
Lord knows what led Mental to support me the way he did. I just know that from the minute I told him about Belize he did EVERYTHING he possibly could and MORE to make sure it happened. He helped build the second version of this site and everything I know about CSS and HTML is because of him.
Turning up at short notice to my fundraiser party with a full litre bottle of Tia Maria was definitely a mile stone in our friendship. (Though this year he out did himself â€“ a full 10 x 20 duty free box of Embassy Super Lights)
His support did not stop there. While in Belize it was not uncommon for me to send random late night text messages to family and friends especially when I was staying with the my first host.
It is expected that family will always call; and they did but I never expected Mental to call me. Whenever he could, he would respond to my â€˜emergency text messagesâ€? with a phone call. When you are miles away from home and from anyone you know hearing a familiar voice, no matter how bad the reception can make all the difference. Especially when the caller has the sort of voice that Mental has. Those phone calls meant so much to me especially when I was stranded in Houston.
I could go on listing every wonderful thing that Mental has done for me but it would take a long long time. I shall say this though, Mental is one of the most patient, considerate, selfless people I know. He gives his time without asking or expecting anything in return. The past few years have not been the easiest of times for me yet Mental has sat at the other end of the phone in the wee hours of the night and listened to me whinge, rant and (dare I say it) cry.
To me, what makes this friendship so special is the fact that it has been so gradual. I can not tell where or how it started. I just know that somehow I found an amazing friend in Mental. His dedication to KBW and the amount of work he has put in to making KenyaUnlimited the place it is now is just one example of not only how talented and creative Mental is but how willing he is to share his talent and creativity with the rest of us.
Dudeâ€¦we have come a long way from the days of â€œStella in one hand, fag in the otherâ€?
I canâ€™t thank you enough especially for the past few days. I know I can be a nightmare especially when it comes to things I feel strongly about but we all have our faults (yours is being a Koppite). Lakini no matter what I will always respect and value our friendship. You are so much more than a friend, you are an absolute star. Oh and please rethink that whole mountain thing.