CHAPTER 1: I start digging
Tie a rope around your waist and secure it to a steadfast structure. Look for a shovel and start digging. Dig as deep as you possibly can. Go deeper. Don’t stop now. Go beyond the reach of light. I hope you took a flashlight with you. You didn’t? Well, that’s smart. Hoist yourself out. Now fill the bottom of the ditch with barbed wire. Throw in some snakes and scorpions while you’re at it.
When you’re done, gaze down at your handiwork. Stare at this merciless hole. As the picture sinks in, ponder over the fate of one who falls in with no rope to hold on to. No hope. No glimpse of escape.
I have fallen in. I’m here right now, hopeless and despaired.
You know what’s worse than being down here? The realisation that I dug it and then jumped in head first. I had some ropes fastened around my waist too, you know what I did? I untied them. Disposed of them like useless trash. I wish I would've kept them.
I should probably stop blabbering about this damned ditch, at least for the time being. You don’t even know me yet.
My name, curious stranger, is Pi.
I’m glad I’m writing this down. If this was a verbal conversation, I’m certain you would crack some cheap joke – Well, most of you would. The myriads of pie jokes I’ve had to hear throughout my life… and then having to pretend I find them funny for the sake of remaining socially relevant. Fruit pies, meat pies, cream pies – the lot!
What’s that? No I’m not being grumpy. They weren’t even funny. This one time, my classmate Jim poked at me during math class, "If you had four Apple Pies and I asked for one, how many would you have left?" Not one who is shy of wit, I stared him dead in the eyes and after a brief moment of silence poked back, "If it was you who asked, I'd still have four."
My name is Pi, not Pie. The mathematical Pi, as in 3.1415926… I would mention more digits but that would just confuse you. Really, I could. I have them tattooed on my upper left arm. Here look, it’s a cool tattoo. I designed it myself. It’s an infinity band with the Pi symbol in between and the numerical value of Pi around it. Not all of it, of course. Only as many digits as could fit – two hundred and twenty six to be precise. That’s what the infinity band represents: The fact that the value of Pi is irrational and the digits go on forever. It’s pretty fascinating if you think about it. Where does it end if it doesn’t end?
Right – Back to this hole!
If you possess even one intelligent nerve in your brain, you will have worked out by now that I was being metaphorical. No one is stupid enough to literally dig a hellish ditch and then jump in. So what is this hole I talk so warily about?
It is the situation I find myself in today, two and a half years after coming to the UK, full of ambition and aspirations. Eight months from today, in August - I would be graduating with first class honours in Matematics and Actuarial Science. Mr Pi Johnson, Senior Partner, Deloitte. That would have been my title in a few years’ time.
That’s a lot of “woulds” and “coulds” but the reality is that none of that is going to happen now.
Was that a siren?
How can you ask me to calm down? I can't go to jail. I can't let them find me. It was all a mistake.
Ok, so it all began in late 2010. I was accepted into one of the most prestigious institutions in the World, The Oxford University. I was thrilled. Very few Kenyans get the opportunity to study abroad and I was one of them.