I’m getting spectacles. Yes. I’ve joined the four eyes club. It’s partly the reason I haven’t been able to post anything lately. I can’t stare at a computer screen for more that fifteen minutes without tearing. I’ve been in denial. Which isn’t a surprise, considering I carry the gene of being extremely stubborn, thanks to the Chief.
But I swallowed my pride and made an appointment with an ophthalmologist. An eye doctor. Who knew. Thankfully, because of the organization I slave away for, I have medical insurance and of the four ophthalmologists I had at my disposal, I chose Dr Onyango. No particular bias, but he was the first on the list and was based in the city centre. And since the Missus had commandeered the chariot for the weekend. I needed a clinic easily accessible via public transport. Ergo, Dr Onyango’s clinic.
When I first stepped into his clinic, I was unimpressed. Sad looking waiting benches lined the walls, random magazines some almost 10 years old displayed on an old, wooden coffee table and family pictures along the wall. It looked like my grandfather’s living room. The family photos had smiling people donning graduation gowns and holding up degrees on display.
Typical, I thought. These Luos and their love for education and achievements therein.
Reminded me of one of the Chief’s friends introducing me to his children one fine day.
Yessss. This is my son Dr Castro. Recently graduated from John Hopkinsss. And this is his sister, Nyangi, a second year at Havard Law School. Do you know who else studied law at Havard?
I shook my head.
Obama. Yesss. Potus himself.
He said it, like potus was an actual name. Like he was referring to an old schoolmate.
Anyway, back to Dr Onyango. After filling redundant forms, I finally went in to see him. An old man met me. Probably in his late sixties. A classic Luo old man. The one’s that stress words that end with the letter ‘s’. He had a wrinkly face, not from worry but rather a happy life. With lots of laughter. He had high, shiny cheekbones. Definitely, those of a man who liked to laugh. He also had those deep set eyes, that possess wisdom. His lab coat was a dull white and slightly worn, indicative of many years of practice. Forty, I later gathered.
So how are we today?
Clearly an old school doctor. They ask such questions. They use the word ‘we’, to show solidarity in whatever medical predicament has befallen you.
I explain to him that I was diagnosed two years ago with astigmatism. (Yes. Big word. I am also very educated.) For those not in the know, astigmatism basically means blurred vision. It’s hard to distinguish between an ‘O’ and a ‘Q’ and a ‘D’. Basically, I’d make a terrible eye witness if I was asked to give out a license plate number. I’d however know that it was a Probox.
I added that I was given a weak prescription but in my opinion I could see relatively well.
He glanced at me. With those wisdom filled eyes. He then smirked and looked down at his writing pad and jotted something down. Probably the word ‘Idiot’.
He then ushered me to a chair. Across from it was a white board with letters in varying sizes. A Snellen Chart. I know this because I went to a good school, that taught me how to use Google.
He asked me to read the largest of the letters on the chart. I couldn’t make them out. I could tell there were big, bold letters. But they could have been O’s or Q’s. Who knew.
He then blurted out. Catching me so off guard I almost fell out of my seat.
My friend. You say you can see? You’re blind! You’re living dangerously. This is Nairobi. You need to be able to see.
He had a heavy Luo accent.
I did what I do in nervous situations. I laughed. Some people fart. I laugh when nervous.
You young men. You need to be able to see danger approaching. It may be mungiki. Or even a girl that you think is pretty but looks more like you. You can make a big mistake.
He barely finished the word as he let out a snigger, exposing a pristine row of white teeth. Eyes closed as he slapped his thigh in laughter. Why do old people laugh at their own jokes?
These young women these days are different from my time, they’re educated. They have their own money. They don’t want to deal with academic dwarves!
Haha. Academic what?
Yesss! That’s what one of them told me here. In this office. She said that she’s married but her husband doesn’t know the children are not his. He’s way too inferior intellectually, and she cannot let her children start life at a disadvantage. They tell me things. These women.
I laughed again.
Daktari you’re joking.
This is not a joke young man. It is happening. This your generation is doomed omera.
But that’s just one example. Far from rendering us condemned, I responded.
Young man you have no idea. Some of these single one’s are terrible. They will have your baby without your knowledge.
Yes. They carry their own condoms, for you to use. But they pierce them. You think you’re safe….You’re not! You’re doomed!
All the while as he spoke he half-whispered. Looking around as if someone would hear him. Those deep set eyes darting left to right. And he laughed as he spoke. As if he revelled in the fact that ‘we were doomed’
‘Others will insist on disposing of the condom herself. She will say it’s her house and she disposes of the condoms. Then she freezes the thing with it’s contents. For use later. Doomed! Surely, which man doesn’t dispose of his own condom?’
I don’t know. I haven’t particularly carried out a survey on men and their prophylactic disposal patterns.
He continued checking my eyes. Switching between various lenses, asking me to read the letters on the Snellen Chart.
But you know why all this is happening? Why the young ladies are becoming bolder? And the young men like yourselves become weaker?
Urrm. Beijing perhaps?
Beijing? No. It’s diet
Huh. I’m confused. So their dieting is making them bolder?
He shook his head.
No. It’s what you young men are eating these days. Stay away from junk food. These chickens and chips and pizza. They’re full of hormones. Female hormones. For commercial purposes. That’s why men are becoming like women now.
I instinctively hid my nails.
Really? Like women? How?
Yesss. Imagine one man came to my office the other day. Ati, doctor I wan’t my eyes to be whitened. I told him whyyy? A man should be happy even if his eyes look like copper.
I didn’t even know you could whiten eyes.
Eat healthy young man. Those chicken and chips will lower your libido and your sperm count. Then you’ll start looking for the blue pills. Then you will die!
He laughed again. This guy was clearly off his rocker.
He was now writing my prescription. Shaking his head and sniggering.
Young man. I know you’re married. But be careful. They’re out there. These women, trying to trap you. To seduce you with their breasts and their buttocks. Like they normally do.
I don’t even know who says buttocks anymore. Sounds like something from a Charles Dickens novel. It’s so devoid of sensuality. Like a pear. I miss pears. It’s been long since I ate a pear. When are they in season I wonder.
And for sure no breasts and buttocks have been used to seduce me recently. ‘Like they normally do’? I want the doctor’s life.
So what do I do Daktari? , I asked. It looks like it’s all doom and gloom for me and my generation.
He handed me my prescription. And smiled.
Run. Run away. They’re too smart and rich these days. Avoid situations that will trap you. But keep running. Before they catch you.
I took my prescription, thanked the old doctor, and slowly walked away. I could hear his snigger as I closed the door.
Crazy old man I thought. As I left to head to the optician,prescription in hand, I passed by a McFrys fast food outlet. That chips smell was so inviting. Those golden brown chicken spinning away in the display, seducing me.
Then I looked down and walked on. No. Not today. I won’t be leaving this earth because I popped a blue pill.