Self Destruct

Courtesy: Ryohei-Hase




In the village, men and women are gathered around a large fire singing and dancing and drinking muratina and sour milk from gourds. Old men are seated on three legged stools (njungw’a) and their eyes shine wildly as they watch the topless women dance and jump and ululate around the fire. A distance away, young men are wrestling under the moonlight. The season’s harvest was good. There is a reason to celebrate and be thankful to Mwenenyaga (God). Everyone is dressed in the traditional attire; skins, feathers…clean shaven heads here and there…

But watching from a far are two people; standing out like a sour thumb because of the way they are dressed. They are a young man and a young lady both in their mid twenties. The young man is dressed in a dark blue suit and the lady is in jeans, tight top and a leather jacket and sneakers.

The lady: Please don’t tell me you dragged me all the way back to 1912 Murang’a County just to satiate your urge to see a bunch of naked women dancing.

The gentleman: Aren’t you intrigued by the fact that there is nothing sexual about this? I mean, look at them. They can do this without getting arrested for indecent exposure or something, they have no fear that some pervert somewhere will corner them at night and rape them and most importantly, nobody gives a shit that their boobs are out there in the open. I mean, this is a pure pre-mafisi society. Savor it. You and I both know it won’t last forever.

There are both sheltered under the trees surrounding the village consisting of tens of huts all stretched out across a valley. The young man puts a pair of binoculars to his eyes for a better view

The lady: What was that again about a pre-mafisi society?

The gentleman: (Taking the binoculars off his eyes) Touché

The lady: It’s been years since our last meeting. You summoned me; I showed up…

The gentleman: First of all, I did not summon you, I…

The lady: Are you losing control of the host again?

The gentleman: Let’s take a walk, shall we?




The young man occupies a window seat and the lady is seated next to him.

The gentleman: Guess what I am thinking about right now.

The lady: I can’t think. I am just a heart. You are the brain.

The gentleman: I am thinking… I am hoping that this plane crashes.

The lady: What? Why?

The gentleman: (Shakes his head with a hint of despair) I don’t know. Every time the host boards a plane, I find myself driving these crazy thoughts into his head; I find myself dedicating at least a couple of seconds every half an hour to actively hoping that the plane just goes down hard.

The lady: Are we in danger?

The gentleman: We?

The lady: Yes. We. You, me, the stomach, the liver, the kidneys, the entire anatomy that makes up our host. Are we in danger? Is he contemplating suicide?

The gentleman: Suicide? (Chuckles) No. Jesus! No. He is too proud.

The lady: Well then how do you explain the destructive thoughts?

The gentleman: I feel like having a drink. Come with me.

The lady: Yeah. Like I have a choice.




The gentleman: Welcome to Kenya as it was before the Brits polluted it with their western ideas

They are seated at a garden under a simple shelter with a table between them and bottle of wine on it. Surrounding them are grape vines and stretching out in front of them is a ranch with horses galloping around playfully.

The lady: Can’t say I complain. But who said I am a woman? I am the heart of a man. I demand to be a man.

The gentleman: Maybe if you quit your whining, I could look into it.

The lady: Just snap your fingers and turn me into a man already!

The gentleman: (Rolling his eyes) Fine… fine. (Snaps his fingers; the lady turns into a young man but in lady clothes) Happy?

The heart: Clothes?

The brain: (Snickers) You always want something, don’t you? (Snaps his fingers and the clothes on the heart change;)

The heart: (Sarcastic) Thank you. (Opens the bottle and pours them both some wine) I know you man. I know you called me because something is wrong.

The brain: Well, I just fear that it may be happening again.

The heart: The need to feel?

The brain: (Spits) Bah. No! It sounds cheaply dramatic when you put it like that. It is more like an exploration of emotions.

The heart: Who has he hurt this time?

The brain: Well, a while ago he was with someone that he actually liked. It didn’t last long; just a little less than a couple of months.

The heart: And he started doing what he does? You know the attention?

The brain: Yeah. You know how he gets when he meets someone he can actually like. And I guess the lady felt like he was pouring too much attention on her and she told him it was time to put an end to the charade that was him and her.

The heart: Ouch. With his ego? How did he take it?

The brain: How do you think? Next thing I knew he was hurting people right left and center.

The heart: How many?

The brain: About eight. Three of whom actually considered themselves his friends. He just started acting out on them. Refusing to pick up their calls, drinking too much, driving too fast… then a couple of nights ago he called this lady who he knew had a thing for him and told her that he was too bad for her and if she ever contacted him again, he would break her heart in ways so disastrous he would be the reason why men made her puke.

The heart: I don’t get that statement. “Break her heart”. I am a heart. I can’t break. My job is to pump blood. Not to make people fall in love and shit. What is wrong with these humans?

The brain: Are you kidding me right now? All that and all you could grasp was a problem with the language?

The heart: I am sorry dude. I feel your pain.

The brain: No you don’t. You can’t. You are just a sluggish, shapeless, overrated piece of shit. You can’t feel. That is my job. Your job is to… well, you know your job.

The heart: You are doing it right now; pushing me away I mean. Just like the host pushes his friends away. And now you are worried about what exactly? That he might be controlling you instead of you controlling him? You only allow him to access like a little percentage of you. You are practically supernatural.

The brain: It isn’t that easy. I have never met God but I understand that this is his plan.

The heart: What? To put a supernatural organ in man’s head then only allow him to access like 10% of it? What kind of a plan is that?

The brain: The kind that you and I won’t discuss. (Replenishes his glass and the heart’s too). Did you know that he wakes up crying most nights?

The heart: No I didn’t.

The brain: Well, he does. This last week, he has woken up on five instances just weeping. And he doesn’t know why; but I know he is under an insane amount of stress. When he crawls back into his emotional shell and pushes everyone else away, he dreams of his mother most nights. I bet she is the only person in this world he’ll never push away. But in his dreams, she keeps dying. Sometimes they are crossing the street when she gets run over by a garbage truck, sometimes her house burns down with her in it, sometimes a robber shoots her in the head, sometimes she drowns, sometimes she is mauled down by dogs… she dies so terribly in his dreams and all he can do is watch and scream helplessly.

The heart: Jesus Christ. And he can’t remember any of it?

The brain: Nope. Nothing. All he knows is that he wakes up crying and thinking about his mom.

The heart: Well, get him talking to a psychologist.

The brain: Did I mention the little matter of his pride? (Suddenly, thunder strikes and it starts raining heavily on them.)

The heart: (Shouting over the rain) What kind of a joke is this? Stop the rain

The brain: (Yells back) I can’t. He is doing this all by himself!


The brain: He is sleeping!! He must have some sort of access to his subconscious without my knowledge. Let’s get out of here!




They are seated next to each other inside the plane that is having some mechanical problems. Dark smoke is shooting from all engines. The captain is advising passengers to fasten their seat belts. And there is a large jolt followed by another and another… flight attendants are rushing to their seats with worried looks on their faces

The brain: This can’t be good

The heart: You are still not in control?

The brain: He is dreaming, OK? I am not allowed to control that!

The final jolt messes up with the cabin pressure and masks come unfolding down…

The heart: I guess his dream of being in a crashing plane has come true… Only we are the ones actually living through it. I don’t suppose you can get us out of here?

The Brain: I am trying but…

But the plane is going down, passengers are screaming, alarms are going off, people are struggling to pray and make that one last call to a loved one… And someone places a hand on the heart’s shoulder. It is a lady. An elderly lady with a toothy smile. In this chaos, she is the embodiment of peace. There is not a hint of fear on her.

The elderly lady: It’ll be OK. He’ll be OK.

The heart: Who are you?

The elderly lady: He has a good soul. I should know. (She smiles kindly at him and at the flabbergasted brain then slowly moves on to other passengers)

The heart: (To the brain) Who the hell is that?

The brain: That my old friend, is the soul. I heard the host has one but I have never met her before. She is supposed to materialize when the host and the brain are in critical disagreement.

The heart: She must be what humans refer to as “the heart”

The plane is very close to making contact with the hard earth below. The heart and the brain see the unforgiving ground approaching them fast through the window. By their calculation, the crash will be in five seconds after which time the host will wake up crying…again.

The brain: I’m glad you came old friend.

The heart: Next time you wish to belittle me because of my job, just remember this moment when you looked into my eyes and called me your friend.

The Brain: (Chuckles a second before the plane crashes with a loud boom) Goodbye; friend.

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  1. Such a weird conversation. And no shit about the heart being a young lady. And the ultimate pace breaker. Peace-bringer. The soul. I guess we could say 66.67% of us is female with the remaining 33.33% controlling the daily operations.

    What does the heart do again?

    I like the sarcasm of 10% access to the brainpower.


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