The night is cold; so cold that my fingers are gnarled as I attempt to squeeze them into my jacket pockets and the breeze that mocks me on its way to wherever it goes has my face almost frozen in one expression. It’s like a face job gone bad. I probably look like I got my scalp pulled back two inches. I try to talk but my lips move funny when I try to speak and my matte lipstick begins to feel like sandpaper against them. My ears burn with cold as I make my way to my room, a simple affair built for the simple traveler.
It’s my first time in Eldoret in about six years and I’m back to Poa Place, a place whose memories make me smile at the balls I had in my (not so distant) youth.
I’m struggling to get out of my clothes and jump into the shower because the shower is an exercise in patience, and the cold does not allow me to be this. Not now. I’m too cold to stand naked under the showerhead and fiddle with the taps until the temperature is just right. Not today. Not when I have goose bumps all over my body and my nips are crying to be embraced by the very bras I like to reject on warmer days.
But you know what? I love it! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not into some twisted masochism, I’ve just realised that I’m crushing on someone.
Remember how you felt when you had your first crush? The warmth that would start in your chest and spread out to the rest of your body. The smile that would tug at your lips every time you were around him. The tingling with excitement every time you knew you’d get to see him and the full blown butterflies that would seemingly burst out of your tummy through your belly button and swarm around the two of you like you imagined it would be if you were both in a teen flick.
This crush crept up on me. I wasn’t looking for it and hadn’t placed myself in its line of sight. I didn’t choose it and I certainly didn’t see it coming. It grabbed my by the arm and held me close to its chest. It danced with me slowly, seducing me, nuzzling me, slowly making me one with it as I melted into its heart with every step. I found myself breathing in this crush’s scent, begging my mind to store this memory in all its glorious detail.
I kind of lose my mind when I’m around this crush. I see nothing but the fine lines that are my crush’s form. I see the tensing of the jaw, the vein that runs down my crush’s neck, the strength in his hands as he folds them into fists when he knows the whole world is watching him, eager to see what he’ll do next.
I see the rippling of muscles in his arms and thighs as my crush gets ready to run to me, ready to smash into me. It’s like my senses are heightened around my crush. I find myself swimming in this whirlpool, engulfed in his presence and wanting the whole world to see it, to see us. I can almost hear his heart beat. Steady, rhythmic, strong. I drink him in and get drunk off his power, so raw yet so refined. It’s intoxicating. I never want it to wear off.
I can already see our lives together. Me the devoted wife, always there to show my love and support when needed, living to give the applause that my crush needs both when he brings home some serious bounty after the hunt and when he’s wounded from not being able to do so that day.
But ours will not be a conventional relationship…I’d like it to be an open one. I know your momma probably taught you different, but I want to share my crush with you. I want you to feed off my crush’s being, to savour his flavor and pass him along to others to get a taste of this good-good. I can handle it, he can handle it and you can handle it.
You’re probably wondering what’s gotten into me and who this crush I’m willing to share is. So I’ll tell you. I’m crushing on Team Kenya. All those men and women who’ll get to represent us at the Olympics in Rio in August have got me feeling some type of way and I want you to feel it too. They’re the reason I’ve been in Eldoret these past two days, watching them push their bodies to the limit all so they can get our anthem played for the whole friggin’ world to hear and bow down to Kenya!
So I’m asking you nicely…be a part of my love affair with Team Kenya and support them loud and proud because what they’re doing, #thisisforkenya.
Special shout out to Alphas Kishoyian (400m), Boniface Mucheru and Aaron Koech (400m hurdles), Ezekiel Kemboi (3000m steeplechase – he fist-bumped me yesterday and I’m still on that cloud he sent me to with that), “Pocket Rocket” Vivian Cheruiyot (your body belies your strength), Mike Mokamba (200m – I wanted so badly to say hi to you today but my shyness prevailed dammit) and she who I dream of meeting and hanging with, Margaret Nyairera (800m – I am in awe of you).