When a sex worker asks you a question, you damn well better have an answer. She’s not fooling around. Well, she kind of is. But that’s not the point. Answer the question and be done with it.
“What’s your experience?” She asks. She’s not batting an eyelid.
A million thoughts race through your mind. Curiosity. Excitement. Revulsion…ha! Should I lie? Confess? Play along? Splay my fantasies on the table? Run from it? Run with it? So many directions to steer this.
One look at Alice, and it becomes clear rather swiftly, that I’m not steering anything. Alice is not one of those meek, turn-out-the-lights-and-grope-in-the-dark-types. She will not to be deterred. She knows what she wants and she goes for it.
“How is your experience in Nairobi?”
The words fall like twigs in a raging fire. The room goes silent.
Yes. We are in a room full of people. All clothed. Don’t worry – no orgy just yet! The silence though…
Where the heck is that dropping pin when you really need a distraction? Such a non-starter, that pin. Famed through all the awkward silences it has failed to abate.
The moment passes. Laughter breaks out. Nervous laughter. Alice laughs too. In her eyes, I see a look. Bewilderment.
What is so funny? She seems to ask.
The room quiets down, and she repeats the question.
She’s like a dog with a bone, this Alice.
“We’ve told you our experiences. Are yours similar?”
“How different are yours?”
“Well…for starters, I’m not a sex worker. I’m just visiting.”
“And how is it in Nairobi?”
The emphasis on ‘it’ makes it pretty clear she’s not asking about the weather.
“Nairobi is…fine.” I stutter.
“We’ve told you our stories. It’s only fair that you tell us yours.”
I sigh heavily.
She makes a fine argument.
These women have shared unreservedly. Their stories were told, not just with words. They came alive in their eyes. The way they lit up when they spoke of the men they made love to. The way they deadened when they spoke of the scores they merely had sex with. I saw their stories in the scars, thinly veiled by makeup. Stories of seduction laced with potent doses of sadness.
I should share my stories. But what could I possibly tell them? Their stories are all about sex. Their journey to it. Their journey with it. I look at their expectant faces. Underneath the cool facades and sexy pseudonyms, I perceive eyes welled up with expectation. Deep down, they’re just girls eager for a scoop of gossip. So I tell them a story of innocence. Hoping as I do, that it conjures in them, memories of their own innocence…
The maiden voyage
Destination: Exotic land somewhere in Kenya.
The journey is long. The road treacherous. But I’m upbeat. Excited even. My spirit is dampened, just barely, by the stories of gun totting highway bandits. They hide within the thorny bushes; behind huge rocks. They hide in places where the road comes so undone, it brings the groaning land cruiser to a near stop. Then they come out and point their guns at the driver. I’m scared. But I’m far too excited to dwell on it. Sure, the thought clings to me like a tick. So while the radio croons, while the chevda passes from hand to hand, I glance a little too casually, a tad too often at the brown plains outside my window.
Something else catches my eye. A girl. A beautiful girl. Her beauty takes my breath away. She stands there in all her glory, a gazelle craning her neck. From her waist upwards, she wears nothing. Her skin glistens like silk. Her breasts, so firm and pointy and shiny. I take in the sight. I’m soon inebriated. Belatedly, the virgin in me admonishes the men for staring. The responsibility of shame weighs heavily on my shoulders.
In a meeting the next day, I behold another sight. The Moran in the mini shuka, (yes, there is such a thing as a mini shuka!) sits on a three-legged traditional stool. Except, it sprouts a fourth leg. I blink and look again. Still four legs. I carry on with the meeting, focusing as best I can on matters other than the three-legged stool with four legs. The Moran is unconcerned. Unaware of the discomfort he causes. He is not showing off. His movements lack deliberate swank. His dick touches gently, the soil beneath his stool. He is aware of it. Surely, he must be. But he makes no effort to retrieve nor to ensheath.
The meeting ends.
“Guys…did anyone else notice the…uh…”
So matter-of-fact, this answer. I hate to push it. But I have to. My sanity depends on it.
“Does anyone else think it’s strange?”
“It’s normal here.”
Now the conversation really is over….
I look at the girls, listening so earnestly to my tale. There is mirth for the shocked little maiden. There is awe for this land. Awe for its people. The effortlessness of their beauty. The innocence of their nakedness. The nonchalance of it all.
There is something else in their eyes. Disbelief. Incomprehension.
“So, they just walk around naked?”
“Not exactly naked. But they are very comfortable in their nakedness. It is not an attempt to be sexual.”
“Wow!” The girls seem at loss. They who put so much effort into wearing less.
“How is that possible?” they ask.
I open my mouth to answer, but Alice interrupts.
“I’m a product of sex. You’re a product of sex. The difference between embracing it, and denying it, is the difference between life and relief.”
Such wisdom. Such glaring choices. I don’t need to tell you which I chose, do I?