Chronicles of an Architect: The Fulfillment of Laughing in my brain amid Sporadic Dreams

By Virginia Mwangi / May 31, 2019



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I am your ordinary prophet. I simply look at the prevailing signs and give a prophecy that is true. The kind of prophecy I call it intellectual prophecy. (Think Abunuwasi). For example, I prophesy that there will be a full stop after this sentence. There you have it. So you see, you are also an intellectual prophet.

Last night I had supper and I slept afterward. Quite mundane activities if you ask me. With your permission to digress, I say supper and not dinner because dinner gives the impression of forks and spoons and other cutlery that I do not possess.

Dinner also gives the impression that I may be having some exotic gourmet meal so I give that particular word a wide berth. Moreover, the food served was the staple food of second grade milled maize flour ugali and sukuma wiki, which while in campus a friend of mine used to refer to as Brassica Hispanic.

This type of meal does not require the foreign decency of forks and knives and such cutlery. First of all, it is a finger affair.

Secondly, it simply requires the molding ability of your fingers and the ability to create meaningful depressions on the pinched sample.

Thirdly, the meaningful depressions created on the pinched sample are backfilled with the vegetable served on that same plate. Finally, it is eaten the African way; with a sprinkling of hearty conversation.

I have never understood where the notion of eating quietly came from. Sleeping to me is directly related to a heavy supper so if I intend to work during the night, I try to avoid a heavy supper. Since my objective was to sleep afterward, I had the heavy supper described above.

Over the years, I have come to understand from my post-sleeping analyses that I almost always have copious dreams after having a heavy supper. Some dreams are nightmares that haunt me several years later; others are sweet nothings I forget the day after.

I have also found that sometimes I sleep and wake up without remembering whether there was a dream involved or was my brain just playing cool and chilling during the night.

Honestly, there are some dreams that are better left in the frozen archives of my brain for some undetermined future reference, as my good friend, Ile Nzuri, once told me.

However, I still have those sporadic dreams of inspiration that make you lose sleep. You toss and turn in bed thinking of Martin Luther King Jnr., Langston Hughes, Bill Gates, Richard Branson or maybe you think of President Mugabe and his witty quotes then you wake up and pace about the bedroom.

If the dream inspires you enough, you will not sleep afterward. You will want to do something. You might decide to read, write or think and strategize. But if that ember of inspiration was not stoked into an inferno, you find yourself singing some lullaby to your brain so that it deletes those boring thoughts out of your mind and replace them with serious sleep.

The kind of sleep that makes you wake up the morning after with some aching back or with a heavy head both of which are terrible starts to your day. No wonder sometimes I am cranky in the morning.

So I had a heavy supper and went to sleep and consequently, dreamt copiously. I do not remember the introduction bit of the dream or dreams; the storyline is also very hazy and foggy.

In spite of this, I remember a scene in my dream that keeps rattling in my frontal lobe. In the cool of the night, there is an eerie silence and sounds made by even the most insignificant routines of miniature creatures like mosquitoes taking flight is amplified in your ears tenfold.

Woe unto you if you happen to have chicken in your household, the type we call “Roadrunner”, like me. Well, it is not like I have a large brood of chicken. There is one cockerel and five hens: quite a ratio! I had two other cockerels but I had to slaughter them due to their incessant fighting and of course due to some familial celebrations. The cock crowed so loudly at 4 am. I woke up with a start. I checked my phone and alas! It was at 4 a.m.

Aren’t these birds very time conscious? I had some natural urge to use the bathroom and I came back tiptoeing because I did not intend to wake anybody. In as much as I tried to be quiet, my three-year-old son began to make a sound. I do not know whether he was disturbed by the crowing of the cock or my seemingly “quiet” tip toeing. I hushed him to sleep and proceeded with my unimportant thoughts.

I sat down at the edge of the bed and replayed the scene in my dream… I was in Mombasa in a yard with a fleet of imported cars. As an interested buyer, I walked through the fleet and was drawn to my favorite car. The wine red BMW x6 SUV with beige colored interior and beige leather seats with heavy trim in black.

It stood on some pedestal with a certain arrogant air. I do not remember what other cars were around it but this one literally stood out. I was dumbfounded by this beautiful machine. I ogled, I stared, and you name it. Then to add the icing on the cake, the number plate had my name printed on it: DENNIS ORENGE. It was printed in Old English Text font.

As I stood there staring at that machine, Senior Counsel James Orengo appears from nowhere and gives me that look. We are now separated by the wine red piece of engineering. I look at him in surprise. He only smiles momentarily and we start talking. We talk about the Supreme Court ruling and then he laughs, and we finish by him telling me that I should really consider changing my name to Orengo so that he could just gift me that car. I tell him I cannot do that, that my name is descended from a lineage of greatness that my great grandfather was a lumberjack and he was much respected at his time. He then handed me the keys to my car and we part ways laughing.

The analysis had begun just after hushing my son to sleep. All fortune tellers; waganga kutoka Tanga, Dr. Rajabs and their like, sorry. I hear these guys are skilled in talking to dead people and reading your palms and interpreting dreams. I will stick with my own analysis, the intelligent prophecy type.

First of all, those who know me know that I do not own a car, yet. Therefore that car described is not only my favorite car but also my dream car. In all honesty, I have always wanted to own that car with the matching description. Going to Mombasa to fetch it is part of the process of owning it.

Secondly, I tried to understand the connection of senior Counsel James Orengo and me. I found none. The memes that were trending online right after the Supreme Court Ruling must have played a role. Maybe it is the fact that my standard six Mathematics teacher had the habit of calling me Orengo in jest. But right there, my mind went out on a limb. Who does that?

Thirdly, the laughing bit made me laugh again because of the absurdity of the situation. This time around I laughed so hard that I kept releasing pressure through my throat and nose like a truck releasing pressure brakes as it is slowing down.

Finally, I have to say that the best part was laughing in my brain partly because I did not want to wake anyone and also because it is very therapeutic, especially the release of pressure through the throat and nose.

By Arch. Dennis Orenge





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