Boom! Boom! Boom! My neighbor’s home theatre flares up. Like it’s a signal of some sort, so does my other neighbor’s and the other and the other. Had I missed the memo? Again?! Normally they never invited me to their house parties (I choose to blame my antisocial mannerisms on my parents. They never let me get out much) oh well…are they starting a revolution?
Clickety-cluck another building is going up. Kenyans and their shillings. I can’t sleep. I slide out of my duvet, snug as a bug in a rug, eyelids still heavy with unfulfilled sleep. I draw the apathetic curtains hoping to catch a glimpse of Mr. Sun and his midgets and maybe today the blue jay will bless us with one of his classic singles. In lieu, I’m hit by the stench of the mountainous dump site right below next to ‘Tausi Daycare Centre’. I wonder how the children get through half the day.
I’m drawn almost to disgust by the apartments on site; back to back, each competing to be higher than the other, no space to breathe; like firewood stucked up at my grandmother’s kitchen corner, all the way into the horizon.
A rider revs the bike engine; it relents to start up. But he won’t throw in the towel. Like two stubborn infants each throws a tantrum in response to the other.
The ruckus, the chaos, the disarray!
Way below I catch sight of an open sewer, I want to throw up.
A lady and gentleman run side by side, not to exercise, it’s their way of life. They have to find a spot at the market place lest they sleep on empty stomachs. Or maybe they’re social workers. If they don’t get there before their colleagues their children will probably sleep hungry all week.
I want to get some milk downstairs, but the milk store is adjacent to the open sewer. I opt for the infamous strungi, strong tea.
“Pass me that mallet!” one man shouts to the other.
“Make me,” the other shouts back. I know what this will resort to. Another brawl; one of them will probably end up an invalid, another wind up late. We are wont to such here in town.
Thumb and index finger on my chin I wonder…Where do the children play? Do they ever feel the striking touch of the warm sun on their skin? Can they decrypt the dialect of a stream as it whispers sweet nothings in its flow? The wise hints of the queen ant as she counsels her colony? The humility of the new born mouse as he is inducted into the family? The feel of red earth in their toes as they walk barefoot? Do they ever hear the birds sing? The gaggle? The quack? The bellow of heifers on heat? A tender breeze on their skin?
With eyes drowned in sympathy I watch them play along; Stoic, with absolutely no circumspection to the cruel world they’ve been subjected to.
I turn my radio up. I had rather join the revolution though uninvited.