The ClothsHorse Wearing His Heart.

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A beautiful brown coat hangs on the empty chair. It is checked and looks woollen, but I could be wrong because I’m the last person to comment on fabric. But I know silk and how it runs away from hands and feels – against cheeks – like a slow dance; under the coat’s collar is a sliver of silk with the word Zara on it. Seated next to the chair is the owner of this coat. He’s 44-years old. He has a very good job that requires you to wear a tie, like the one he’s wearing now at 3:30pm. You don’t have to know squat about ties to know that it’s a decent tie because what’s the point of wearing a Zara coat if you are going to ruin it with a tacky tie that looks like a rope for tethering a goat? He looks like the kind of guy who wakes up earlier than usual to take his time to shower, then takes more time picking out his clothes. He has on reddish/maroon shoes that could be Ted Bakers or some brand we have never heard of. I’m not sure of the name of the colour, but I know it’s the colour your get if you go to an abattoir and step on a pool of blood that dries on your shoes. Later when he stands I will notice his bow-legs. He walks like that actor guy that asphyxiates every bird that talks about his devastating looks. What’s his name? That guy who likes squinting in photographs, black British guy…arh, I forget his name.

Anyway, he has a diary and a pen and his owlish spectacles – the type lawyers who make a lot of money wear – sit next to his diary, which means his spectacles might be for reading or are cosmetic. Something that completes his style. His nails are well trimmed. He’s isn’t one of those chaps who grow the nail of their little finger like the type who belong to a cult. Our man here is the type of bloke that they call a clotheshorse.

He’s also single. A senior bachelor, if you will.

And that’s why I’m here with him; to ask him why he’s never married at 44-years of age. Which means there is a danger that I might start sounding like one of his aunts.

To answer this question he has to go back into his childhood and into his time in the US where he moved to when he was 17 years old and stayed for 22 years – basically half his adult life. He lived in Los Angeles, working in finance and strategy (he’s a numbers guy), held a big job at Walt Disney, became an American citizen at some point and then in 2013 packed his shit up and moved back home. He moved back because as the last born of many brothers who are out of the country, he had to come back to take care of his parents who are now in their 80s.

When he came he met someone. Someone nicer than most girls he has dated. Seven years younger. Someone from a prominent family, he says but won’t tell me which family. But like the rest of the women he has seen, he “was never fully in, both feet.” Soon he started withdrawing, started making excuses. “She was a really great woman, completely great, but I started finding faults in her. I started making her weight an issue, for instance. Just really silly excuses I made up.”

Eventually they broke up and he felt horrible about it, he says. So horrible that he met another lady soon after and started dating her.  This girl came from a poor background, worked hard, got scholarships to school abroad, came back, became successful and was making tons of money. “She was very temperamental, and I felt like I was always walking on eggshells. We argued a lot and about everything from where we were going to stay on vacation to general outlook of life. I made so many compromises in this next relationship, perhaps from the guilt of the last one.”

They broke up.

“When I came back home from the US I realised that I wasn’t getting anywhere with our Kenyan women because of cultural differences,” he says. “In the US, dating, as with marriage, is an equal partnership. You consult on virtually everything – love, finance, family, planning and so forth. The words ‘the man is the head of the family’ would offend many girls in the US. When I came back I always treated the ladies as my equal but then I was shocked when the relationships failed,” he says. “But then I realised why I was failing – it’s because our women wanted a man to take charge, to make decisions. That applied to even successful women, according to my experience. I wasn’t leading. I only learnt my error at Man Enough and I changed, but still I wasn’t getting any luck.”

“What kind of chicks were you meeting?”

“Professional women, mostly, but also women who were only interested in my money.”

There are men who remember who they dated by election cycles. There are men who remember who they dated by the kind of car they were driving at that time. There are men who remember who they dated by where they were working at that time or where they were staying during that period. There are men who will say, “When I broke my leg and was hopping around in a cast, I was seeing this girl who would draw cartoons on my cast. She was pretty good.” Then there are men whose dating cycle is no longer than the short rains. His relationships were generally like that; meet a girl, wine her, dine her, after a few months start getting cold feet, then eventually pull the plug. His mother continued to “recommend” girls who she was sure would make good wives. Girls from other upstanding families. Girls who have been “tried and tested.” His mom would ask, “But why don’t you like her? She’s staunch in church and has masters and a good job….” He politely ignored them.

At some point he thought, hang on a second, what if I’m the one with the problem and not these girls? So he attended the Man Enough program at St Andrews. I haven’t been to this program but the way it sounds, it sounds like a place where they guide men on how to be man enough. (I know, I’ve said nothing). He finished this program and came out manned up to get his beak back into the dating game.

[Idris Elba! That’s the name of the bow-legged actor guy I was trying to remember, the one chicks go gaga over.]

“I learnt a lot about myself. I learnt that I was always the one sabotaging my relationships by refusing to be vulnerable to the women I dated.”

“What was holding you back?”

“My childhood,” he says. “When I was a boy my mom confided in me a lot since I was the last born and the one who was left at home. Mostly it was about her marriage to my father and the struggles of the business they ran. My therapist told me that it changed how I view relationships. That I was scared to go all in and so I always had one foot out.”

“Do you see your parents as happily married?”

“I saw them as happily raising children,” he says cryptically.

I ask him if being single at his age – 44- attracts a lot of cynicism from ladies.

“Yes! They ask themselves why you are single at 44. There must be something wrong with you.”

“Is there?” I ask. “Are their fears unfounded? I mean, if you were to evaluate yourself as a partner, what have been your limitations? Do you think you are complex to date?”

He laughs. “Well, I like my things to be a particular way. [Pause] I have OCD. I’m a Virgo; I’m not spontaneous, I’m very clean and organised, I get pissed off when people use a hand towel for a dish towel and when someone places a travel bag on the bed -”

“Hang on, why would that irritate you?”

“Do you know how many places a travel bag has sat? In the belly of the plane, the carousel…the travel bag is filthy.”

His mother continued praying for him and you know how mothers will throw your agenda in prayers randomly: “Also, Lord, you know the heart of my son, Lord, he is a special son, he doesn’t see the fruits that hang over his head. Jehovah, you know what he is searching for, please shine a torch in his heart, open his eyes and send a dutiful wife his way, someone God-fearing, she doesn’t even have to know how to cook mboco, just someone decent who doesn’t put a travel bag on his bed, that stuff gets him so pissed off, Lord…”

Then one day – last year – he met a lady who we will call Cleopatra because she reminded me of Cleopatra, the Egyptian queen that Julius Caesar loved. They met through mutual friends. He liked her. He liked her a lot. He felt something shift in him when he met her. “She ticked all the boxes,” he says. She was also 27-years old, which made her 17-years younger than him. She was light-skinned and curvy, the dangerous type of curves. She was an engineer, sharp as a whip, witty and personable. She challenged him. Also, she would never put a travelling bag on the bed.

He wooed her. He pursued her. He dropped everything to get her. Their first date after weeks of chatting was at that rooftop bar at Ibis hotel in Westlands. She had a vodka and sprite. She glowed from behind her glass. They talked and talked and talked until he kissed her. Their real date was at the rotating restaurant at Movenpick. The next date they left town, drove to Meru and Nyeri, she had on a great nail polish and her feet were wonderful – when you are into someone you will always think their feet are wonderful. On her birthday she took him to Hemingway in Karen, and got a room that overlooks Ngong Hills. She’d stand in the bathrobe looking at the breathtaking Ngong Hills and he’d lie on bed looking at her breathtaking self. On his birthday (their birthdays are a week apart) she took him to Kempinski. This love affair was in full swing.

“What I like most is her bubbly nature, she laughs easily. She has a wonderful spirit, a spirit that is big but also a bit defiant. I love her independence. She loves art, she stimulated me intellectually She was perfect and I let go for the first time and I was in with both legs.”

They discussed marriage. He wanted children. She wanted children. She was just the perfect fit (over and above the fact that she didn’t leave travel bags on the bed) she used the right towel, she gave him space when he needed space, she was mindful and caring and he brought her breakfast in bed.

A few months into dating he noticed that some of her things in his house were missing. He asked her about it and she said that she wanted some time to “think things through.” He was taken aback because things were going great. “What do you mean? What things?” She said she needed time to rethink the relationship. So she took time off. Then on 31st December, last year, she came to his house and told him that she couldn’t do it. That their age was going to be a problem for her family. “It hit me so hard,” he says. “I tried to understand what was going on, I even suggested we see a counsellor, but she was adamant. Her mind was already made up.”

“This was terrible because this is the only woman I ever completely let go for. Maybe it’s karma, maybe I was paying for all the girls I disappointed.” Shrug. “I even wrote a letter to her sister declaring my love to her sister and she wrote back and said she didn’t have a problem with my age. I thought that maybe there was someone else, you know…”

“What’s your state of mind now?”

“Heartbroken, I guess.” He chuckles.

“How does that feel? Does your house sound hollow with her absence? Do you smell her on your sheets?”

He laughs, but I’m not joking, I’m serious, I want to know. He says, “Sometimes I think that perhaps God is saving me, that being together, marrying would have been disastrous because perhaps she needs to live her life first.”

“Kiss a few frogs?”

“Yeah.”

“My friends say I should give her time. That she will come back.”

“How long can you wait, you are 44. Is there a biological clock ticking?”

“I don’t know. It’s just that I was sure this was the person I wanted to marry, now I’m in this place of confusion. My view is if you are not going to have kids then there is never any reason for marriage. There are many people who are happier not married.”

This is his first heartbreak. I wonder if heartbreaks at 44 are as bad as at 19 years. My only real heartbreak at 19, I felt like my heart was constantly being scrapped by a grater. I wanted to take it out and give it to someone and walk around without a heart. I was willing to contend with just my kidneys, liver and gallbladder.

I ask if I can see a picture of this heartbreaker. He shows me a picture of them at his birthday; they are kissing. I’ve never known how couples manage to kiss and take a selfie at the same time. There is another picture of her alone; she’s got a wonderful smile, she’s got black braids.

“She’s very beautiful, that’s for sure,” I say.

“I like the size 10s and 12s. You can tell I’m a boob guy.”

I laugh. “I can tell. I don’t meet boob-guys often, where do you guys hang out?” He laughs. I tell him, “You know, sometimes when I look at a couples picture I can always almost tell who loves the other more.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah. The person who normally leans into the other in all pictures is more invested emotionally. It’s a subliminal and unconscious thing. Do you think you loved her more than she loved you?” I ask.

“That’s a hard one. Let’s put it this way; she is the kind of woman who I would stand by if she  was rendered to a wheelchair for life. In fact, I would have been willing to stay with her even if she had said she didn’t want children. Look, let me show you my vision statement for 2019.” He hands me his phone where I read his vision statement that read in parts; live a balanced and meaningful and purposeful life for me and my family….to live a life that earns the love and respect of my partner and our family….to be personally responsible for my family’s financial independence…to be courageous enough to stand up for my values…” then his plans to travel to 32 countries, a home, etc.  

“Jesus, people out there actually have ‘vision statements of life’ written down!” I say handing back the phone. “I feel so purposeless now.”

We sit there for a moment and I tell him. “I can actually see sadness in your eyes.”

He’s ideally looking for someone who can get married and have babies. I ask him what he’s bringing to the table and he says he’s considerate, he’s not mean-spirited and not judgemental. For now he lives a life of heartbreak. At the end of his day he goes back home to his empty three-bedroom apartment, he fixes a drink like he has always done everyday – a manhattan, or a vesper casino royale. He carries the drink to his bedroom, where he drinks it as he checks his emails or gets some work done. The TV is on but ignored. He then prepares dinner, which he carries back to his bedroom (he does everything in the bedroom) eats alone, then calls his parents on the phone. Then he takes a bath and gets into bed and lies on the side he has always laid on, her side untouched. He thinks of her before he sleeps. He wonders if there was more to the break up, if she is with someone else, younger than him; he thinks of how she used to pack his lunch in the mornings, he wonders if there is something she didn’t like about him.

I feel sorry for him. I do. Because he’s so damn sad. As if on cue, a lady friend sends me a Whatsapp that reads; I quote: “Where does one get good men? Hassle free…no drama…focused?”

I show it to him and he reads it. I say, “It’s amazing isn’t it? She doesn’t know that I’m meeting you. We haven’t even spoken in ages and she sends this. There is a woman out there who is looking for someone like you. Maybe you guys will meet, maybe you will never meet.”

He says something before we part ways. He says, “I wish she changes her mind, but the waiting is horrible.”

****

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218 Comments
  1. Hi Teryl,

    I think i cross over to 2019 from next week. It’s been real… See you at the bottom 😀 (see what I did there?)

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    1. Hahahahha,Hi Caleb.I see you didn’t make it this time round.However,I must appreciate your effort in the past two weeks,kudos.

      NB:The bottom is fully occupied already,sorry

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      1. I know right!!! And the way I was ready for my triumphant exit… but it’s all good.

        Damn, since I can’t be at the bottom, I guess I’ll just have to join the likes section

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  2. “..My only real heartbreak at 19, I felt like my heart was constantly being scrapped by a grater.I wanted to take it out and give it to someone and walk around without a heart. I was willing to contend with just my kidneys, liver and gallbladder…”
    So true!!

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  3. But this life… save for the OCD, I resonate with this senior bachelor on so many levels!!

    But we shall live a day at a time and take everything as it comes…

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  4. You and me both Biko. I do not know how to sit and write my vision statement for the year. And its not like I don’t know what I want to do but then it’s all up in my head. The bigger picture. So when I meet someone with a vision statement, motto and sub-objectives all written down I sometimes wonder which fabric our good lord used to make me. But it is all good because the one-day-at-a-time sorta-winging-it thing has worked. So we are in this together. WhatsApp group for our kind maybe?

    Love is cryptic. I have made peace with the fact that there is no blueprint. No perfect age for everyone and no guarantees. We simply wait for the twisting kaleidoscope to move us all in turn. Because everyone gets their turn. We pray for patience. We call our moms and hear them pray for us to be patient. We remain thankful. And we don’t lose hope.

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    1. I need to self-appoint myself as auntie.
      I will be checking up on Wesh, Cliff the tall and Magunga.
      By the time you guys cross into third floor, I need to have attended your weddings, eaten pilau, danced and brought my gifts.
      I’m a good auntie too..the prayer-warrior types who just don’t hover around aimlessly..but put in a word with the Most High on your behalf..that you guys may settle down with good women, and that your homes will be filled with many tots.
      Amen!

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    2. I love your insights…..Love is Cryptic. I have made peace with the fact that there is no blueprint…… Couldn’t have said it better. Am waiting for my mom’s prayers to be answered……………

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  5. His nails are well trimmed. He’s isn’t one of those chaps who grow the nail of their little finger like the type who belong to a cult.

    I haven’t had time to complete reading this post but hitherto, I am satisfied. What is the appeal of that fingernail? I literally cringe when I see a man who lets that nail grow. Some even grow the nail on both hands. It’s sick. It’s disgusting and if anyone knows someone who does this you need to stage an intervention.
    My little brother tried this once, I slapped him so hard… I’m not proud of slapping him, I’m just saying it bore results.

    Anyway, I know the rest of the post is, as the kids say, “lit”. And I can’t wait to finish it after I’m done with all these emails.

    Regards.

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    1. I am a lady. I keep long nails. I love my nails more than my hair, shoes or what I wear. While growing up, i read Across the bridge around Std 5. It had a Caroline, the cover page was a woman who had make up on and a sly sexy look.

      This book was really an eye opener. Especially if you grew up naive about sexual matters.

      Strangely, the author decided that this small long nails in men, is kept to test virginity. I was annoyed, disgusted and te picture of ugly men`s nails couldn’t leave my 11 year old mind. I dont like this nail. To date. My hubby keeps the two small long nails. I met him like that. Someday he must know what I truly think about it.

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  6. “His nails are well trimmed. He’s isn’t one of those chaps who grow the nail of their little finger like the type who belong to a cult. Our man here is the type of bloke that they call a clotheshorse”

    You didn’t have to go there. I’m a member of this cult

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    1. Carry your shame dude. It’s all yours. Carry all the heap and budden it come with. How can you? And no, no hugs for you. Not even bro hugs. Just go away in shame, bro.

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  7. Biko tell him the best way to get over a girl is to get on top of another one! Let him get a rebound girl blow some steam and let him get out how do you stay indoors with a heartbreak?? It’s a bad idea. He needs friends! His life sounds very lonely no deserves to live like that.

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    1. he is at that point where he is looking for a wife not a series of one night stands that will leave him feeling even more empty. let him nurse his hearbreak. its the healthier option

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    2. No, he must wallow in that heartbreak…it’s his first then he’ll learn like the rest of us did at 22 not to love wholeheartedly because it’s a whirlpool of heartache that never really goes away and keeps popping back in every relationship, yes even ten years later. Let him wallow, no rebounds.

      Wallow then heal and do better, love a little less next(/each) time.

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    3. From the read…he is not that type of guy who just gets on top of a girl to forget another….this is a deep kinda fella… he will heal in his own way … ..

  8. Poor man. I hope she changes her mind and make this guy happy again.

    ‘when i brokey leg and was hopping around in a cast,i was seeing this girl who would draw cartoons on my cast’ Hahaha this is so funny Biko.
    Also,i would definately be that girl drawing the cartoons hehehe
    Nice read as always.

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  9. Those that you fall for flat out mostly doesnt work out.
    The substandard casual affairs that begin as passtime are those that get to the altar.
    Fate is tricky.

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  10. One of the few times I’ve come here, read something and actually felt sorry for the guy. I never feel sorry for men..I think many of them get away with alot of BS thanks to patriarchy and ‘male privilege’ and that makes me upset…nay, hopping mad!! *red-face angry emoji*
    I was really rooting for his relationship, and for the beautiful babies waiting in the wings, to come down to earth through them.
    Anywho…he should keep his hopes alive, get out more, travel..live a life full of activity…the right person will come through, in time.

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    1. Caroline, no need to get hopping mad at the things that men get to get away with, maybe it is a reward for being men and manning up. Sometimes we men deserve some compassion, we put up with a lot of social pressure and expectations and we are NEVER ever to cry except maybe at our mother’s funeral. But I doubt that she is coming back.

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  11. I feel him. But he should know that age is but a number. It never matters so much. I’ve always pushed people away from my life too until I think to myself is something wrong with me? Can’t hold a relationship. Oh and I have never dated a guy who is older than me. I have a babyish face and younger guys are attracted to me

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  12. Yeah. The person who normally leans into the other in all pictures is more invested emotionally. It’s a subliminal and unconscious thing. Do you think you loved her more than she loved you?” I ask.

    This was really sad though,

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  13. she wasn’t ready to settle.27 years may seem mature but in this generation, not really. he needs to find a woman closer to his age,someone 35 years old and above who has been there done that and is not curious of what else is out there. she would have eventually resented him for making her settle down before she was ready. i was in this very scenario few years ago. the guy was 38 i was 26 thought he was the love of my life. but we had one difference. he wanted a wife and i was not willing to be one.as a free spirit i wanted to travel go out , smoke some weed etc and not be home raising babies. we are both happily married to other people and are parents now. we still talk and laugh at how the timing was just off for us. we just wanted diff things. in relationships. timing is everything.

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  14. That feeling hanging around when a partner leaves is what weighs us all down, Me included. It takes time to shed off the person you thought would stick around, love you, walk down the aisle, grow old together. All I can tell him is when he is ready, to go out there, all in and not give up. This thing called dating is a mystery and when you are lucky enough to find your partner for life, well count yourself Blessed. Interesting read Biko.

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  15. Wow!! In the meantime, as he waits for her to return, I pray he discovers himself more and has lots of fun meeting new people. Only with time shall everything fall in place.

  16. I’m not surprised at all by the gentleman’s apparent serial monogamy. It probably says something about his ability to commit – that he’s been able to find women he likes enough to date for multiple years but can’t “pull the trigger,” oh well, that’s until Cleopatra one-upped him. And perhaps this is what led to Cleopatra’s New Year’s Eve decision. She wondered whether she was going to join the ranks of women whose company he’ll enjoy for some time and then move on from, no? And to this I ask: what does her dating history say about her ability to commit?

    Clearly, as human beings, majority of us haven’t found a “successful” relationship yet, if we’re defining “successful” as a relationship that doesn’t end at some point. Does that mean we’re unable to have a long-lasting relationship that could potentially lead to marriage? And if we have had a relationship that has led to marriage, we’re clearly no longer married, so does that mean we lack the ability to make a marriage succeed? In my opinion, I think the gentleman for a long while was worried about committing to someone whose track record didn’t include a successful commitment.

    With that said, if everyone who entered marriage judged his or her future spouse’s ability to commit based on the success of their previous relationships, then none of us would be feeling too confident about our choices, would we? Every single relationship ends until you find one that doesn’t – and even then, you can’t be 100% sure of its success until one of you dies. And since death legally ends a marriage, that effectively means that every single relationship and every single marriage will end one day. So, it’s kind of silly to judge someone’s ability to commit based on his lack of successful previous relationships.

    Yes, there are risks in dating a man in his 40s who has never been married before. But there are risks in dating anyone, period. Love is a battleground, no matter who the soldiers are or what side you’re fighting for. Every time you open your heart to someone new, whether his or her past is dotted with red flags or as tidy as a freshly-mowed lawn, you risk getting hurt.

    So, to the gentleman who loves Zara, I’ll say: kiss as many frogs as possible, man. If she’s treating you well, you’re enjoying her company, and she’s showing a willingness and desire to learn about you, make you happy, and move the relationship forward, then for Chrissake, enjoy yourself! Unless there’s a legitimate reason in your relationship to feel anxious, don’t go fishing in each other’s pasts for one. Current relationships take enough work without dragging in issues from former ones to deal with.

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    1. Well said…
      This 44-year old sounds like a gem- but he needs to believe it. A man who has a vision statement, is clean, keeps bags off the bed, dresses like a Kingsman- heaven. I wonder if he has a rack for the luggage or a palette, hmmm. BUT, and its a big one, life is about letting go so that we can make room for something else. He has no room in his 3 bedroom apartment, no room in his heart for happiness. That is a prison without walls, and only he holds the key. I am loathe to give advise in a public forum, worst still, unsolicited advice, it begs to be said. let go of that soul tie- be more committed to your vision than to your unhappiness. It’s not about the chronos, more about kronos- making what counts count! All the best Mr. 44, you would learn by now that time and tide…when she comes back, you will have evolved, she will have evolved, become more of you…ok, enough.

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      1. That is true. If Cleopatra isn’t the one for him, he’ll figure it out eventually. We may not figure it out before experiencing a broken heart, but if we only pursue relationships in which we’re guaranteed to avoid heartache, we’ll never find a meaningful connection. And isn’t that more important to us than sparing ourselves a few weeks of sadness, no?

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    2. Great comment, I believe that most relationships don’t last because people don’t get into with the right intentions and marriages of today are a non existent. When men marry in their 30s, they end up divorced by their 40s. Failure to keep the marriage is mostly based on infidelity on the part of the men. 44 you are in a better place than most.

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  17. This article hit harder than my father’s belt back in the days.
    Well, sometimes love is so elusive. Love can be fleeting thing. You see it there and it is fluttering and it is gone. Just like that.

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  18. …. I felt like my heart was constantly being scrapped by a grater. I wanted to take it out and give it to someone and walk around without a heart. I was willing to contend with just my kidneys, liver and gallbladder….
    I can relate to this.
    Nice read as always.

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  19. It felt so hurried. I didn’t feel the man’s heartbreak was intense, even. I couldn’t envision the man’s heart bleeding out of the anguish and disillusionment that heart breaks carry. Next up, I want you Biko maybe to address men’s struggle with “size matters.” Me thinks, a lot of them, a good percentage of them, have this nagging feeling of not “big enough.” Happy Tuesday gang.

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  20. Kweli dunia mviringo … that he’s there swooning over a girl while another girl is swooning over him elsewhere, sad. Also, is his name Kim?

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  21. I love this read Biko. Sometimes some of us humans trap ourselves by staying in some love caves for the sake of not wanting to loose the one you thought is meant for you. We get stuckin thinking we must fight for the relationship by staying because we think we are loved, or we love, or the person is ours therefore we need to learn and understand them better. Yet, everything is about the relationship is a challenge: from the time you will meet, to the shows you want to see but never seem to make it.

    And as always we sit and pray for time and love to only prove us wrong, in truth we felt and knew from the beggining that we are not meant to keep that lover, he or she is meant to teach us and leave us. a terrible tale, which I *personally* always find hard to accept.

    Love your work Biko,

    Bless.

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  22. ” live a balanced and meaningful and purposeful life for me and my family….to live a life that earns the love and respect of my partner and our family….to be personally responsible for my family’s financial independence…to be courageous enough to stand up for my values…”
    Enough said

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  23. To some, things just flow without breaking a sweat, to others, it is a real struggle. Some give up and others hang on to hope. This world is for those who hand on for longer and look at the bigger picture. There is more to life than convectional set standards for a happy and fulfilling life. But then, why sweat and spend long hours working when one does not have someone to eat his or her fruit of hard work?

  24. I thought vision statements are for employers…learning something new everyday. In one way This story resonates..you just helped me put my thoughts into words.

    One thing i experienced about waiting is that it is such a powerless position to be in, especially if you are use to being in charge of your affairs. it is a humbling moment., almost desperate. but slowly…and over time..over months or even years, you eventually accept and see the futility of your wait. Then you rise up and take charge of your life again. and your mind is free once more, you can almost physically feel the lightness . You start cooking and sitting at the table to eat. you do recipes and experiment on wines. You begin meeting other people that you think are actually interesting.

    I let go at 40. and i am living once again. I pray the same for you Zara man.

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  25. Is it just me who thought of the Doc ( I think she was from TZ or working in TZ, cannot really remember) that was “searching” as i finished this? Biko should play a match maker ; just saying

    5
  26. What if she wasn’t happy? What if he didn’t fit in her ‘right partner’ description. I feel for him, and for her too, we don’t know her side of the story.

    2
  27. I love this story but feel sad for him at the same time,maybe she’ll change her mind and come back,maybe not(she’s also a Virgo…hmmm)

    But he’s a Virgo, earth signs take their damn time…he’s not late. Most of them settle down in their late 40’s so he’s right on track.

    But Biko,do you have anything against Idris? Lol

    3
  28. Love is great but also elusive.But also he should trust Divine Timing…..

    Everything happens at the right time.

    If it’s meant to be,it will be.

    3
  29. Unlucky warrior, hook them up but first tell the lady the warrior gets easily offended with travel bags put in wrong places-Relationship hack for her.

    1
  30. …… Remember, Red (Zara guy). Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies……

    Andy Dufrene (Shawshank)

  31. My take, Karma is a bitch, next time the jerk ass guy thinks of breaking someone else’s heart, he will know it sucks! Karma is real.

    8
    1. Irene sounds like you’ve been hurt. Hope you have not left a trail of bleeding hearts and you still manage to call people jerks. Karma…but do we ever learn?

  32. Hmmm… Biko I’m not quite sure what I expected from this ‘man series’ but what I’ve read so far hmmmm….. still waiting for the ‘The one’

  33. I stopped at Idris Elba, really Biko? Who forgets hottie Idris? Styliish dude,that’s a plus. He should give it time and not worry about it so much.Heartbreaks suck but I understand that he needs to wallow in it for a minute.I think that when a woman decides to leave,her mind is pretty much made up. He should embrace being single and work on himself some more( He already has his shit together from the looks of it) and just give it time. The right woman is bound to show up when he least expects it. Expectations have a way of bringing disappointment. A piece of advice, it wouldn’t hurt to date outside one’s type and also he should get out more,meet new people and find a hobby to get is mind off things. I wish him well.

  34. I learnt that I was always the one sabotaging my relationships by refusing to be vulnerable to the women I dated.
    By refusing t be vulnerable. That’s a lot of hassle.

    1
  35. ……..“”My view is if you are not going to have kids then there is never any reason for marriage. There are many people who are happier not married.”
    Couldn’t have said it better . This is one great article, truly resonated with me in all kinds of ways mostly the OCD and vision statement. Dating in this generation is a maze literally.
    Where does one find good men though?

    This is another amazing piece Biko!!! Kudos.

    1
  36. Those that you love fully mostly doesnt materialize into marriage.
    Those that are passtime thing n almost certain that nothing much will materialize are the life partners.
    Fate is tricky.

    2
  37. The devil is in the details you don’t need to know another why apart from the age gap excuse she gave you because you will be more hurt than you are right now.

    1
  38. What a lovely read Biko. I know men that wear Zara and Baker shoes, well lets say have it all together. I wish she comes back, it’s not easy waiting, but I know she’ll be worth the wait. Wishing the Man that wears Zara well.

  39. Your 44-year old sounds like a gem- but he needs to believe it. A man who has a vision statement, is clean, keeps bags off the bed, dresses like a Kingsman- precious. I wonder if he has a rack for the luggage or a palette, hmmm. BUT, and its a big one, life is about letting go so that we can make room for something else. He has no room in his 3 bedroom apartment, no room in his heart for happiness. That is a prison without walls, and only he holds the key. I am loathe to give advise in a public forum, worst still, unsolicited advice, it begs to be said. let go of that soul tie- be more committed to your vision than to your unhappiness. It’s not about the chronos, more about kronos- making what counts count! All the best Mr. 44, you would learn by now that time and tide…when she comes back, you will have evolved, she will have evolved, become more of you…ok, enough.

    1. And expect one person to be everything;soul mate, best friend, lover, advisor, mentor, care taker, provider and much more . Relationships need to evolve.

      3
  40. Heh! Enyewe you never go through the same things alone. I am learning that its okay, it’s not you it is them, nature hates vacuum and many other things. It is okay to feel that way. Maybe one day, we will heal.

    1
  41. I enjoyed this read. I knew the name Idris Elba would come up at some point. Hope your friend meets another lovely person…..the key as he said at some point is to “let go of himself”.

  42. Karma!
    On the real though, if she does come back will it really work? I think there’ll be trust issues. He’s more in love with the memory of her now than of her the person. Trust me it won’t be the same even if she does come back. Try and move on. Try being the key word.

    6
  43. I did not anticipate the ending. It is so so sad. If it were a lady going through the same I’d quickly tell her to move on, that a man who loved you wouldn’t leave. But what do you tell a man in the same position? Move on, focus on your health and wealth, get a skincare routine, travel, get closer to God? It’s tough. As a lady who always finds a reason to get out of a relationship, I think the lady might come back, but she will leave again, and again, and again. The age gap that she found an issue with makes her feel like she has time to explore other options. Who wants to be someone one comes back to after all other alternatives don’t pan out? Who wants to be like the childhood home one goes back to after losing everything in the city? Food for thought. But, whether she comes back now or later, he should not close himself off. 44 is very young, and there are a lot of good women out there. Also, the world is big. Nurse your heartbreak and make sure you do not become Lord Egerton. Also, my mum is single, independent and only 2 years older than you *hint* *hint*

    10
  44. I wanted to take it out and give it to someone and walk around without a heart. I was willing to contend with just my kidneys, liver and gallbladder……
    I know this feeling, and good thing is that it passes. So will this horrible wait, it will pass.

    2
  45. Maybe, just maybe, the girl left him for a petty reason just as he had done to other girls. A taste of his own medicine. We may never know. That said, hope this man finds love.

    4
  46. She’ll be back! I know because I had the exact same issues but I went back. Luckily I was taken back too. Now we’re happily married.

    7
  47. …….”My view is if you are not going to have kids then there is never any reason for marriage”…..

    I hope someday he’ll find love.
    ION, is there a man aged >32, who would like a relationship leading to a child-free marriage? asking for a cousin 😉

    2
  48. when the things that attract u to a girl are her boobs or legs be sure u are trapped and then u dont have much to hold on once they sag away or bend under the weights!u end up as u began.not truly tried and tested.

    2
  49. So, should we say life is fair or unfair. You hope to find a man with no games, focused & with a plan, yet they are elsewhere seeking those who aren’t? Ja! Life!

  50. By the way, Charles Njonjo married at 52 and he’s now got grown up kids, and him aged 99 doing well. There’s hope for him, great hope.

    2
  51. “Also, Lord, you know the heart of my son, Lord, he is a special son, he doesn’t see the fruits that hang over his head. Jehovah, you know what he is searching for, please shine a torch in his heart, open his eyes and send a dutiful wife his way, someone God-fearing, she doesn’t even have to know how to cook mboco, just someone decent who doesn’t put a travel bag on his bed, that stuff gets him so pissed off, Lord…”
    Moms have a special place in heaven

    3
    1. Haahaaa I’m a direct beneficiary of mothers’ prayer.You dissect every syllable in it( PLEASE,SHINE A TORCH IN HIS,,,) in her absence and the restrained laughter immediately servers as a temporary healing to a betrayed heart!

  52. Aaaaww! I feel for the guy. There’s nothing so good as having to share a life with the love of your life. Knowing someone always got your back no matter what. Raising children and all the nitty gritty of sharing…

  53. “So horrible that he met another lady soon after and started dating her” is this even possible?

    I hope she comes back but if she does not, i hope Mr 44 find love again.

  54. This series proves men are often emotionally stunted.
    ‘What is your state of mind?’
    ‘Heartbroken.’
    Can you imagine if that same question was asked to a woman?
    ‘What is your state of mind?’
    ”My mind is stuck in an endless loop, stuck in an alternate reality, not unlike Inception. He put my heart in a broken blender, whose knives were sharp enough to slice my heart into tiny shapeless pieces but not make a quality smoothie. Everyday, I live with the taste of this stomach-churning concoction on my tongue.”

    Dude, we know you are heartbroken, what does it feel like, without using a word to describe the same word?

    8
  55. “This is his first heartbreak. I wonder if heartbreaks at 44 are as bad as at 19 years. My only real heartbreak at 19, I felt like my heart was constantly being scrapped by a grater. I wanted to take it out and give it to someone and walk around without a heart. I was willing to contend with just my kidneys, liver and gallbladder.”….#SIGH!! heartbreaks has no age limits!! its heartless, ruthless, careless, all the “lesses” u can think of!!

    2
  56. In a way we empathise, cos he’s a hurting soul.
    But.
    All those hearts he trampled on, with his one leg in, one leg out policy, you can hear their blood wailing ‘revenge’, in the thread of your story…

    He had it coming.

    2
  57. Haha my boyfriend had to stop that disgusting habit…the 2 small long nails.

    Anyway I hope another girl stirs u up like that..
    About your 2019goals..greatly inspired…mine is just to “make it to 6th year of medical school.”

    2
  58. Clotheshorse, from one 44yr old to another, it gets hard before it gets harder with these breakups….chances are the good feet 10s and 12s girl has moved on and remembers you as the guy who kept his nails short…we meet good girls we run, we meet good girls they run…there is no explanation to the madness…the only constant/maybe mobile thing that can keep you sane is, when you fall, wake up, dust up and keep walking. Don’t let her come back and find you in the same spot she alighted…get off your state and keep going and if she catches up with you at the next stage she will like the new you. If she doesn’t, there will be another one at the next stage. And sometimes some of us were not built for marriage, kids and all…..but we have to keep moving and finding our purpose…..

    Also travelling to 32 countries and Jan is out means at least 3 countries a month…..”Vision Impossible” for purposeless people like us or may be I sense a little depression…just a little.

    Finally but not least….just felt like saying it that way…this is slowly becoming a whatsapp chat..not the chama kind …yet…or is it just me…we used to comment once per post and wait for next weeks post to talk again….maybe I am OCD to multiple opinions…don’t mind me…Good Read Biko.

    6
    1. Your observations, I like. Mirrored my thoughts on the 32 countries, is mission impossible. And the more than one comment, how about that? ..looks like we soon calling for a meeting..

      1
  59. Damn! Our stories not entirely related but this reminds me of this girl I really loved. She’s the girl I truly loved and I envisioned us having 2 or 3 kids and riding in a Chrysler to church every Sunday. I dont know why but whenever she saw a Chrysler, it always took her breath away. She made me a better Christian. It’s because of her that I’m strong in prayer. Sometimes I pray about something and believe that I will get it and I always do. Crazy right?
    I owe that to her. She made me a better man. Gave her all my heart. Dated for 4 years. Her dad a cool guy. First day I met him we clicked. I love cooking, so one day prepared breakfast and we shared, talked and laughed. Met her mum a couple times. Nice woman too though she didnt talk much. One nice sunny day took her for a horse ride, got down from my horse,went down on one knee and proposed to her while she was still on the horse. Doesn’t sound romantic? Anyway she said yes. A few months later, I decided to go see her family. I am that kind of guy.I like making things official. I gathered my gang. The date was set. On the very day I was to travel with my gang from Nai, her mother said no. I’m a man of reason and so I requested a one on one with her mother. All I wanted was to hear from her why she was objecting. A meet was set. She looked me in the eye and said; “Kijana wangu, hii maneno inahitaji maombi. Taita mpaka Kisii ni mbali sana. Msichana wangu hawezi kuholewa mbali hivo.” Hurts to this day.

    12
  60. Your comment*I have a feeling that Cleopatra has read this. She seems witty enough to be a disciple of bikozulu.
    Nway, I’m Enjoying the series Biko. Keep on

  61. Waaaah.. Funny how I’m reading this today. Heart breaks have no age limit or expiration dates. It feels like prolonged grief. Your heart beats like you have HBP..(we should be able to live without a heart coz it stopped minding its own business of pumping blood). The anxieties, confusion and doubts.. Its scary but you live with it.. You know at the very beginning you think you’ve got it figured out coz you have experience that comes with age so you’ll know when to pull out and not get hurt but because you’re a believer of love; surprise surprise!
    Good read as always.
    One day at a time. Love always, sue.

    1
  62. Jesus, people out there actually have ‘vision statements of life’ written down!” I say handing back the phone. “I feel so purposeless now.” wooow!

  63. This will be the most interesting series biko. I have always wanted to hear men’s side of the story in matters love and marriage. ❤️

  64. First deal-breaker, bro don’t date women under the age of 38, total waste of time. That is my experience and I stand by it.

    5
  65. One of the most profound and honest comments I have read on this blog. I will be echoing this for some time: “Every single relationship ends until you find one that doesn’t – and even then, you can’t be 100% sure of its success until one of you dies. And since death legally ends a marriage, that effectively means that every single relationship and every single marriage will end one day. “

    10
  66. First heart break at 44? That is worse than a toothache. Well if his heart heals and he manages to move on, let him know there are good ladies who are in their 30’s and are ready to settle down.
    Good luck to him

  67. Given a choice between a senior bachelor and a divorcee both of the same age, I will pick the senior bachelor in a blink. Mr. 44 you have minimal baggage and mine sits on the floor right next to yours and not on the bed.

    6
  68. There are good ladies out here, who are ready. We are here but unfortunately we don’t get noticed. I sincerely hope she comes back and Mr 44 finds his happily ever after. If not, let him heal before he moves onto the next one and damages her because of unresolved issue from the one who got away.

    1
  69. It’s so sad to feel so lonely when you ‘feel’ you’ve met the ‘right one’. Mr. 44, please move on and live your life to the fullest. (This might sound cliche but, “You only live once”.)

  70. The girl was not commited… She thought the guy was a sponsor… But who am I to judge…
    Patience repays… He shud not give up though
    Theaz always the chic on “40 and above” that was a Christian and works. They cud hit it off with these guy… Say he’s a boob guy and loves curves… They can work perfectly

    Biko check with ur notes… U can help this guy

    3
  71. Heartbreaks are the worst! Especially at the end of the day when you are at home alone or in bed and sudden you think of them then suddenly you are crying……

    And yes the waiting is the worst…… Hugs to anyone going through one

    4
  72. you became to emotional, you lost your frame, you became needy … that’s where you lost her… man enough , Move on na iwe funzo

    1
  73. Stay sharp, and open minded. don’t settle in waiting for a past that might not return. Life has it’s reasons for sometimes pain and heartbreaks are the best preparations for that perfect match.

    2
  74. Personal ‘vision statement?’ Lawd!
    I think that is what is scaring girls from this man’s life.Those things do not work here.

    P.S.
    Somebody remove that fulstop in this blog post’s headline.My OCD in grammar cant live with that.

  75. I would love to hear Cleopatras’ side of this love gone wrong- is there something she found wanting in him? Did she fall for another? If yes, what led her to search for another? Its just that this guy sounds perfect….so why can’t he find someone?

  76. I am 28 and will be getting married to a 55 year old guy (divorced without kids)…

    Age was a problem at the beginning but not any more….

    2
  77. Sir, learn to let go, it’s empowering. Great women are in plenty. Shout out to the grown folk who have absolutely no interest in playing games.

    6
  78. My only real heartbreak at 19, I felt like my heart was constantly being scrapped by a grater. I wanted to take it out and give it to someone and walk around without a heart. I was willing to contend with just my kidneys, liver and gallbladder.
    wueh!

  79. Hahaha I can relate when he says he can’t stand people who place their travel bags on the bed. I too can’t stand them. People who sleep with clothes they’ve spend the entire day in, brushing their shoulders with God knows who, stepping on every type of filth are in another category that I totally can’t get along. In short, you only understand OCD suffers if you are one.

    2
  80. “Later when he stands I will notice his bow-legs. He walks like that actor guy that asphyxiates every bird that talks about his devastating looks. What’s his name? That guy who likes squinting in photographs, black British guy…arh, I forget his name. ”
    -Haha I promise if I could play with words like Biko I’d never shut up.

  81. Don’t confuse being in love with being in need. Most of the time men are in need, don’t be with someone for that reason. Be a better man.

    2
  82. I met someone who I also thought was the love of my life, or at least someone I could happily marry and have kids with. Because I felt whole with him.He was 38, I’m 26. When he left his reason was that I needed to experience life more, date people my own age. He broke my heart but silly me is still waiting for him to change his mind. So I guess my situation is a bizarre alternate reality version of yours, Clothes horse. Life is weird.

    3
  83. Every time I read about an OCD kind of person has I realize we always against societal expectations but the world never understand

  84. The guy in the story before this one suffered the same fate as the current one.. it’s the same story by a different thread.
    There is an obsessive need in Kenyan men to conform to a certain standard.
    You study. You graduate. You get a job. You marry.. get kids.. grow old and die.
    That for me is why everyone has to conform to fit a certain accepted social status.
    But what’s wrong with just staying out of that loop? And not explaining away why every time you meet folks etc… When has being alone ever translated to unhappy?
    I have two kids I take care of. The mothers are in other relationships that I totally respect.
    It does not make me a failure in life.
    I just can’t handle marriage. I realized just like this Gent you have related about here that I start working at making them leave subconsciously. Small nasty things. So I found comfort in being alone and in fleeting relationships.
    We are all not made the same way. Find your niche. Make it work for you…….

    2
  85. Something tingly about this post.. Something so farmiliar.. Something that feels too close for comfort – ooh, i know, its the relative closeness (is there such a thing), it has to me.
    Thank you Biko!
    Wamugi,
    tuketi .co.ke

  86. She may come back, she may not. But life as we know it certainly does go on.
    Mr.Clothshorse should listen to ‘Feelings’ by Zonke Dikana and let it hurt.

  87. For a moment while reading this piece I almost felt creeped out because it was as if I was reading a description of a male version of me. 80% of this guy is me. Super cautious with relationships and remaining mentally non-commital, but occasionally throwing caution to the wind, and like my things in certain way. No bags or day clothes on my bed, and use the right towel for the right purpose, whether in the kitchen or bathroom.
    However, Cleopatra’s bio information and educational background is exactly me.

    Still, an awesome read it is.

  88. My story’s the complete mirror image of this guy’s!

    I dated a 44 year old man with a 12 year difference between us. Amazing chemistry between us, most intellectual conversations I’d ever had with any man, not to mention an amazing 10 months spent together!

    I have OCD that’s similar to his + symmetry OCD (undiagnosed though). Then on the 30th of December last year, he upped & left. Just like that!

    The pain was unbearable at first, but I am getting by just fine. But unlike him, I’m not waiting for him to come back.

    Oh hey Mister, you’ll be just fine!

    3
  89. I feel like this guy and I would get along swimmingly. Haha! The OCD thing is legit. I like my things a certain way. And for heaven’s sake don’t use my tea towel to dry your hands! My take from this, is that heartbreak can come at you at any age but in the end it’s a lesson worth learning, and it’s the same lesson, whether you’re 19 or 44. I wish him all the luck with his lady love but he should live his life and not pine for lost love. Waiting for someone to come back is only part of the grieving-for-lost-love process.

  90. I felt like my heart was constantly being scrapped by a grater. I wanted to take it out and give it to someone and walk around without a heart. I was willing to contend with just my kidneys, liver and gallbladder.

    One of these days Biko, my ribs will literally crack… You remembered the Gallbladder?

  91. “Do you see your parents as happily married?”

    “I saw them as happily raising children,” he says cryptically.

    Unfortunately this is the current state of most marriages today.

  92. She’s not going to come back if all he is doing is waiting. A man should fight for his woman. Otherwise, the next thing he’s gonna receive is a wedding invite.

  93. A great read Biko. She is his ZAHIR. Dont give up man if she is worth dying for, but while at it have fun my guy even Jeso had lots of fun with his supper hero powers. That way you will not be disappointed if at the end you find her but wrecked and beaten down and no longer curvy but curved like a D.

    1. hahahahahah try the opposite, a lady at 34 is worse by society’s standards! Anyway 34 and single you are too young to worry about such things, Live life, make money, enjoy yourself, love God, travel the world, read, cry and who knows, maybe love will come along and if it doesn’t don’t worry you have lived your life anyways!

  94. Recalling my recent brush with a fella like the one described above. The thing with this Virgo’s they are super critical, OCD and the whole shabang! At 27 I can imagine you end up feeling like you are dating your father. Relax! Take is easy… she will come back or she wont. Life goes on…

    1
  95. She may come back or not.In the mean time as you wait get out there and live your life as happy as you can.Don’t let this waiting period & heartbreak keep you in limbo.

  96. I hope the guy knows that age is just a number, love cannot be be predicted. He can marry at 20 or 50 marry his age mate and still be miserable or younger and still be miserable, Sometimes you love and loose, sometimes you love and win. Most importantly find peace with being alone until that special other rides along and if they don’t, so what you still had a fantastic run at life! At least I have!

  97. i hate people who put anything on my bed, not just a travel bag! Give this man my number, i will heal his broken heart. hahaha

  98. I can relate with your friend… I’m 23. A heartbreak is a heartbreak, but I believe that it’s good to have loved and lost than to have wasted your time chasing things that never really matter.