Once upon a time, there lived an ungrateful heifer of a girl. She had all these things that people would call blessings, well not ALL these things, just a job, you know? One of those poor paying ones that involved writing a lot of articles about relationships. She wouldn’t have hated it so much if she knew a lot of things about relationships, but she’d never been in one and didn’t know squat.
By way of religion, she worshiped a trinity unlike any other in the history of trinities. Shoes, books and hair accessories. Buying them was praise and worship, mehn.
One day, she realized that her collection had stopped growing. It wasn’t for lack of devotion to her religion-she bought them whenever she could. They just seemed…fewer, as if some of the bigger books were consuming the smaller or some of the shoes were sneaking off into a Narnia for shoes at the back of her closet and not returning.
Then her heart was filled with ambition and greed. She said, ‘man. Print media pays peanuts. Why don’t I join advertising? Why don’t I become a hot corporate chick? This stuff fi piss me off. Bomboclat me sey. Jamaican patois because she had dreadlocks. Every story needs its cliche.
So she walked into an agency, hopelessly oversold herself and the agency over bought and swish! She was in.
This is a day in her life.
4.00am : I toss. I turn. I dribble onto my pillow. I shudder violently, roll off the bed and receive my head bump of the day from mother earth whose love for me is so apparently great that she feels the need to head butt me every morning.
4.05am : I start awake from whatever genre of nightmare has been kicking over the furniture in my subconscious. My dreams nowadays are not cryptic, not hard to crack at all. I’m anxious as hell, so I dream I’m falling off a cliff, of being late for PLE. That I’m bolting through hallways to an interview that I was supposed to be at five hours before. That I’m in the middle of a fancy hotel butt naked. Etcetera.
6.00am : I fight my hair into what the corporate world expects it to look like. It fights back. I tie it up. It springs back up. Which is where the hair accessories come in, to charm my locs into letting me keep my job.
7.30am : Jam mulago
7.59am : Mulago jam. I stare blankly at the copy of ON Beauty on my lap, fail to concentrate and stare hatefully at every traffic officer whose eye I can catch.
9:00am : I bolt in, hoping that speed will disguise my arrival and head straight for the kitchen, where I finish the hell out of the milk in the nido tin. I hang around until the chick who works there starts to dart worried looks in my direction and then slip into the bathroom.
10.00am : Because I can’t sit in the loo all day, I plod to my desk where my supervisor is waiting for me with fights on ice. With only the thinnest layer of civility, we war. It’s a bombastic battle of wills, the gist of which is: ME: ‘expletive expletive. I’m a kickass writer.
HIM: No you ain’t.
ME: Expletive involving his mother. I know writing. This script is funny.
HIM: No. It’s cute but impractical.
11.00am : If you’re feminine and you’ve got wiles, now is the time to use them. We smell the sumbusa man from as high as the third floor- such is the wonderful dedication with which he marinates the meat in his samosas. He floats in and regards the hungrily expectant faces in the office and then snaps open his basket and really, all work jars to a stop.
11.30am: Work. Bitter regret. Work. Poignant reflection on the times when a hard day’s work meant rigorous facebooking and two corny relationship articles. More work.
4.00pm: Review meeting where so help me God I giggle and giggle and giggle because that is precisely what I’m not supposed to do. I hic with laughter when radio ads are presented. I guffaw madly when people who give me a hard time are liquefied by the no nonsense MD. I also draw caricatures of the bemused people in the room.
5.00pm: I browse office archives and squirm with envy at the brilliance of the silent brooding Buddha who sits at the back of the office and writes such beautiful ads. This guy thinks in ads. He probably can’t have a conversation that lasts longer than 50 seconds. For a mad moment, I consider coming up behind him when he’s hard at work, snipping off a bit of the wild kaweke that’s spouting like crab grass out of his head, eating it and merging our DNA.
6.00pm: I make an exhaustive list of all the pretty things that I’ve seen during the past month. I make a note of all the bookshops that I’m going to raid. I remind myself that the IT guy at my former workplace has nothing on the hot one here. I then get back to the grind.