Buy a Lady a Book

She has never been a cuddler. After the migwatos she lies there on your chest, listening raptly to your brisk heartbeat, as if that drumming tattoo would answer the eternal question; Where is this going? Your heart beats fast because you have – for once – summited before her (wink) and you know how that is gentlemen, when you put your best spit-shined boot forward and after a “lying” ovation (in your head) you lie there with a small, bashful but complex self-satisfied smile, soundlessly patting yourself on the back while you wrestle with vanity, because close to the surface we all think we are the shit, don’t we, gentlemen? (Wink again).

This aftermath isn’t alien. You know how they lie there, on our chest, which now moves up and down, like an oceanic wave, filling her lungs of our primal scent, a scent she will long remember after she has dismissed you as another asshole. But for now, as the breeze gently unfurls the curtain, and the fan whirs overhead, she will stir, look up at you and ask that question we all hate; What are you thinking? (Roll eyes). And you aren’t sure exactly what she means by that, does she want to be reassured that she was a vixen, or does she just really want to know what you are thinking? But you don’t answer because you are That Guy Kevo. You stroke her hair distractedly (if it isn’t a weave) and that seems to calm her down, because her breathing becomes shallow and she slowly slips into silence. Bliss.

But not this one, gentlemen. This one was never a cuddler.  Right after the summit, she swings one long beautiful leg from the bed, followed by another and she shuffles, barefoot, across the floor towards the balcony. You lie there, watching her go, staring at her receding ass. As she soundlessly pads away on the parquet floor, one foot gingerly stepping on the floor after the other, as if walking on hot coal, her ass shimmers… not shakes, shimmers. There is a difference between a shaking and a shimmering ass. A shaking ass needs gym and diet. A shimmering ass needs a heart monitor. Yours.

A shimmering ass is a well-coiffed ass, one that has been sculpted and gleaned by a combination of genes and to a lesser extent diet. An ass that seems to refract light. This is the type of ass that stands alone. Like all winners do. Many a woman has asked men that tricky question: what is this obsession men have with the female posterior? What is a good ass? But you see, in reference to above, there is no such thing as good ass. There is only great ass. (Just let me digress, damn it, I’m already in too deep). Some imagine that a great ass has to be huge. That it has to fill up jeans and stretch out our imagination in the process. Others imagine that it has to be a product of relentless squats in the gym. But very few have the answer to that question because a great ass is as varied as Basco paints’ colour wheel. When a great ass ambles by, no man will disagree about its greatness because a great ass shimmers.

Anyway, now it shimmers as she goes to that balcony and eases herself into that easy canvas seat, naked like the day she was born. Naked like a blatant lie. Then she does something that although you don’t approve; you find sexy as hell; she reaches for a pack of ciggies, taps the pack, one pops up, rearing its head out as if saying, “me! Me! Me!” She places it gingerly between those luscious lips, those that – only moments ago – were whispering filth in your ear. She flicks the silver lighter, a gift from her brother, a chef on some cruise ship in the Caribbean or whatever, you weren’t really listening. The flame partially lights up her face, illuminating her cheekbones and her ebony skin now looks like its burning from the inside. She torches the end of that cigarette. Her cheeks suddenly plunge in as she sucks hungrily on that cigarette, the tip of that lucky cigarette combusting furiously in a million little embers. She slowly leans her head back on the chair and blows out a neat stream of smoke into the air. Look at her chin. My God, look at that chin.

Back in the bed, you struggle to breathe. Suffocating from all the lewd thoughts in your head.

After three puffs she picks up her book, and that’s when you lose her.

Have you ever walked into a restaurant, or bar and watched a woman not only read but get completely immersed in a book? It’s spicy. It’s something that should be framed and dusted regularly.

She reads her book. She gets lost in it. And you lose her, completely. She doesn’t need you anymore with that book in her hand and a cigarette in the other. She is gone, baba. Gone. You lie there, feeling used and hoping that she will use you again. You don’t know what to do with yourself because you aren’t a reader, neither are you a smoker. So you kill a little of your brain cell, by watching Jerry Springer. Or any American TV with yobs who replace comas with the word “dude.”

The evening sun moves. Her lithe shadow lengthens into the room. You can see her chest gently lift and fall with every breath lifting with it her nipple – the one you can see. It’s deep dark chocolate and alert, quite not recovered. In fact it’s almost indignant, stiff and truant and it points straight at her book, as if helping her point out sentences.

There is a sound in the room. Wait, it’s the sound of you swallowing hard.

Before long the burning cigarette in her hand will be forgotten and it will smolder there, yielding smoke that now crawls reluctantly up to the ceiling. Pages rustle as she turns them. She leans over and taps the ashes in an ashtray, an act that exposes her long lithe spine. Sometimes she sighs resignedly. You too sigh silently because you are weren’t able to make her sigh like that. A book can. A book will. A book has.

She will stay there for 45mins, never moving, never turning to see if you are alive, never giving a shit about the evening dusk that now crawls up her body because she has a book in her hands. And she needs nothing else. You get the feeling she is ready to die right that moment, grasping onto all those beautiful sentences swirling in her head.

At some point, when you are just about to start sulking, she will suddenly put down that book, take one last long drag of her ciggie, crush it in the ashtray, take a moment to sit up and for a brief moment, stare at the horizon with that faraway look, as if taking time to lock away those characters from the book in her own small private pigeon hole because they are her own private angels and demons.

Then she slowly gets up, stretches leisurely like a wild cat, then pads back into the room, followed faithfully by that shimmering ass. She eases herself at the edge of the bed and while playfully feeling your scrawny biceps (now vainly flexed for her benefit) she stares at you intently with a teasing, mischievous smile. Then finally she will ask you the one question she is sure you are going to answer with a lie: “Have you been working out?”


The whole point of this piece, in case you missed it, isn’t about tits and ass but about books. The other point is that if you squint at the near horizon, you will see Valentine’s Day, ambling towards us with a bagful of pressure. What to buy, gentlemen? Another shoe? Earing? Bracelet? Stuff that will stay in a box? I have an idea; get a book. A book she can read in traffic, or a matatu, a book she will not wait till lunch break to get her hands on. Get her a book she will take to bed. A book that she can carry in her bag. A book that will eventually smell like her. Get her a book that will leave her bewildered and wanting more. A book that will challenge her and stimulate her thoughts. Get her a book that she will remember when you are in the doghouse (again). A book she can take to bed. And let that book be the last thing she thinks about before she falls asleep.

And those books are there. If she is the serious type that puts out fires in boardrooms (or plans to), she might like Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (almost all corporate women I interviewed last year were reading this). Get her Bossy Pants by Tina Fey, I hear it’s something. Get her Adultery By Paulo – I think every woman I know is either reading this or has read this. Get her a cracker like The Colour Purple by Alice Walker. Or How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran. If she is a firebrand who always says it’s your turn to clean the dishes, she might like I am Malala by the child prodigy Malala Yousafzai. Or Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi. If she is spiritual and never misses church and is always trying to entice you to join her church, get her Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume. Or just get her Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn but if she finishes it in one day and starts looking at you funny, bail! I just finished reading Frank Mc Court’s books – Angela’s Ashes and ‘Ts – those are books she will love. If she has ever lost a loved on get her Goldfinch by Dona Tartt, which I have just started and is currently describing loss in a nice fireplace-kinda way. Chimamanda, although I have never read any of her books, is also a contender.

Whatever you do, get a girl a book this month.


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