Wednesday, June 7, 2023
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Carey Baraka’s Blog: The Art of the Midnight Snack

Midnight Snack
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It is midnight. Your mind is tired. It has been a long day. A very long one.

You woke up at an unearthly hour in the first place. You have had stuff to do the whole day. You got home at 9 in the evening, fatigued to the bones. All you wanted was a nice long bath and hot steaming food. You have had both.

The mound of ugali was especially huge, and delicious. The meat that accompanied it was one to die for. The food had just enough chili in it, not too much to make you take sips of water with every mouthful, but just enough to make your taste buds tingle.

It is midnight. You have spent the past two hours watching a movie. A comedy, because after such a long day, your mind will refuse to cooperate with you if you decide to watch a heavy-duty series, like Breaking bad.

You have watched the comedy. Let’s say it was a spoof movie. Danceflick. Or The Superhero movie.

You have laughed and laughed and laughed till your insides have become sick because of the dose of laughter.

You have also been listening to music. Tupac. Tupac Shakur. Real HipHop. Not these newbies who pretend to rap and have such names as 2 Chainz. Tupac. I Ain’t Mad at Cha. You have listening to that particular track on repeat for the past thirty minutes.

The steady beat of the song opens you up, then the smooth lines, heavy lyrics, wash over you, taking you into a state of Nirvana. Makaveli.

There is this chick you have been eyeing for a couple of weeks. Brown skin and well endowed. Like the one in J’Cole’s Math Class. The chick that has been driving you crazy, the one that sends your nerves racing the moment you see her, or even smell her perfume. You have crammed her smell by now. It is stored in a folder in your memory vaults labeled, “Private. Top Secret. For my eyes only.”

Today that chick came up to you. She said hi. You said hi back. Your mind started racing, telling you in a Barney Stinson voice to stay cool. You wonder what the girl wants. She asks you why you have been snobbing her all this while. She orders you to take her number, then makes you promise to text her. You laugh and say okay, all the while relieved that she doesn’t know that the reason you have been snobbing her is because of your chronic shyness. You are not a snob. You are just a very shy guy.

That was three days ago. You have texted her today after supper just to seem as some cool guy who doesn’t really like texting. You start talking to her. You get to know more about her. Or at least that’s what you tell her.

She is just giving you snippets of information that you already got by looking at her Facebook and Instagram profiles. All the same, you insert relevant emojis to depict your surprise at what she is telling you. You talk till around 11:30.

Then she tells you to let her sleep because she has to wake up early tomorrow. Like the cool guy you are now pretending to be, you oblige without the slightest of protests, and bid her goodnight. She tells you goodnight too then adds that she has really enjoyed talking to you. You smile to yourself.

It is now midnight. Your mind is tired. You have been working for the last two hours. Your fingers are tired. So is your phone, as it tells you by pointing out that it is now left with below 30% power. You walk to the socket and plug it in. You struggle with the charger for a few moments because it is one of those special ones where the charger has to be placed at a specific angle for it to get juiced up.

You switch on the TV, and open SuperSport Blitz so that you can update yourself on the going ons at Rolland Garros. You punch the air in glee because your guy, Nadal is still in. You grimace because none of the other big guns has been knocked out. Yet.

You are now hungry. Again. Or you just want to eat, irrespective of whether you are hungry or not. Your mind doesn’t know the reason; it just knows that your stomach demands to eat. It asks the stomach whether the mound of ugali wasn’t enough. Your stomach tells your mind that it is none of its business. Your stomach is a very rude fellow.

You switch off the TV and amble over to the kitchen, in such of fulfillment for your stomach. The kitchen is dark. It is dark and the light switch is far from where you are standing, five metres away. Your mind and your stomach, the rude stomach, order your nose to scout around for food. Its scouting mission is unsuccessful, it can find no food. Your stomach gets flustered, worried, beads of sweat roll down it. The legs volunteer to move to the light switch.

You flick the switch. The kitchen is suddenly swathed in light. Your eyes complain, but after a while say that they are alright, that they have gotten used to the bright light. You walk around. You start rummaging for supplies. You open the fridge. The eyes look around it a bit. The stomach starts crying a bit. It is a miserable sight.

There is milk in the fridge. Two litres. Milk your Kalenjin neighbors imported for you all the way from Nandi. There is a tin of green grams in the fridge. Another of beans. There is fish in the freezer. Frozen hard. There are tomatoes at the bottom of the fridge. And garlic too. And other spices whose names you do not know.

There is a choir of bitter vegetables in the fridge. They all sing to you to take them, warm them up and eat them. You snob them, like you did that girl. You are a shy guy, after all. You close the fridge. The stomach rudely orders you to give it meat.

Your stomach is weeping in deep anguish now. Its midnight tradition has been ruined. It does not want a mound of food, just a small bite. A cherry bit. Your eyes move to the cooker. You see two sufurias, with covered lids. You edge near them. Slowly, and quietly so that no one hears you, you edge them open. You don’t want any visitors now, do you?

Explaining why you didn’t get full at the table is a Herculean task, believe me. The two sufurias. One has beef. The other has chicken. Your stomach jumps in joy. Meat!! The mind is a cruel one. It was annoyed at the stomach’s rudeness earlier. How could the stomach tell it that eating again is none of its business? Revenge is a dish best cold. Or better yet, best served with no dish at all. The mind has colluded with your body. You slowly move out of the kitchen. You switch off the light.

You head to the loo and then to your room. You change into a pair of shorts. Shorts for sleeping. Very small shorts. You get into bed. You pray and thank The Lord for giving you the strength to withstand temptation. You check your phone, see that you have 116 messages from 12 conversations. You ignore them all. You are a shy guy after all. Or just a snob. You close your eyes. Your stomach weeps all through the night.

Carey Baraka
Carey Baraka
I am Carey Baraka. I am a writer. The stuff I write, people mostly find it funny. Check it out at

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