Everyone has an addiction. Mine happens to be books. Good books to be precise. I have to read something or my mind consumes me. Then i feel like i can drown in my thoughts. I feel like my mind wants to eat me alive.
Yesterday was one of those days. I couldn’t put pen to paper because the thirst for written material was driving me to the wall. I felt like yanking out my hair. And the funny thing is, i can’t trick myself into re-reading a book when i get this urge. I must lay my hands on a new book. This must be how a crack-addict feels when she is out of cocaine and the thirst comes knocking.
So i pulled on my jeans, changed into my worn but totally comfortable sandals, and an arsenal jersey. In hindsight, i should have just put on a regular t-shirt and spared myself catcalls and other manner of disgusting attention. You see, i am not a soccer fan…i just happen to have the jersey. But apparently there was a match yesterday and every Dick *pun intended* that i came across yesterday kept reminding me of the fact and assuring me that we would win. I don’t give a fuck darling!
On my way to buy a novel in town,i encounter a crowd. You see, there’s a river just before you get to town…and it’s not a lush serene environment because i happen to live on the wrong side of town. It’s frequented by hawkers and muggers at any time of day. Streets kids also spend the nights there and a major part of the day too. So going through the place can be a harrowing experience if you are one of those people who want to live to be 150yrs old. As for me, i gamble with my life or rather my life is a gamble so that’s nothing to scare me.
Oh, the crowd. I ask from one woman what the heck is going on and she says that a man has been shot and his body is under the bridge. I ask why he was shot and she snaps at me that he is a thief, as if that is obvious, pointing out a plain-clothes cop who delivered the justice. He is arrogantly pointing out the work of his art and i can’t help but think that he must be a psychopath.
Like i said, the place crawls with hawkers selling clothes and shoes utmost at 1$ so shooting someone for that just doesn’t make sense to me. The cop has a God-complex though, that’s the only excuse for gunning down a man when he could have just arrested him or shot to slow him instead of shooting to kill. But he looks satisfied with his work, so off i go on my merry way.
I get myself a Judith Krantz book, Spring Collection and walk back…forget the fact that it’s now dark. I bump into this guy trying to cross the road. Hold up, not bump per se. This fucking moron just rams his weight straight into me…my solar plexus taking most of if, i almost puke out my guts….and no, he doesn’t slow down to apologize..he just shoots off into the streets. Jerk! At that very minute, i am seething with a blind rage and shaking with anger…and i wish it was his body under the bridge…you heard me right…i am not an angel.
If there’s something charming about Nairobi, it has to be the gentlemen. I am using that term loosely. Guys just bump into you on the street and don’t feel the need to apologize. I get it, we are a busy nation..but can we just avoid the apologizing part by walking like people who actually have a set of working eyes? That would be lovely. Thank you.
I get to the bridge and there is a crowd still. Leave alone the fact that pickpockets are crawling the area.
People are drawn to blood. They are drawn to the extraordinary. They are drawn to a little action to spice up their mundane lives. So i wonder how boring their lives must be. To just spend your evening looking at a body, never mind the fact that the body is not exactly visible…it’s beneath the bridge and some street kids sniffing glue are right under there with it.
I never find out how old the poor guy was. What he really stole. If he had a family. If he was stealing to feed his kids or just because he gets a thrill out of it. Or maybe, just maybe…that particular bullet had his name on it. Nobody really cared. According to them, it served him right for stealing. And they just drool over the man’s death like it’s going to warm them at night. Like it’s going to change their bank balance. But I could tell it turned some of them on. Who said society’s moral garment was still neat? It put a smile on their faces.
I walk back with my book and encounter a road accident. Traffic is a bitch, thanks to some jerks in a hurry to nowhere. I find an evil smile for the occasion and walk away. I get immersed in the book till i fall asleep clutching it only to hear the alarm clock announcing another day, and find the book on the floor.
So, just another day…
Photo: Stolen from Pinterest