Today the sun is so angry that it has descended a few feet to prove its power. Point noted. I adjust my baseball cap in self-defense.
Two people on a farm. The shirtless man ferociously stabs the ground thrice before moving to his right. A girl jovially follows the steps of our warrior, carefully placing two maize seeds and three bean seeds in each wound, and dressing it up with a layer of earth.
The man next to me violently puffs clouds of smoke from his mouth like an overburdened locomotive. He silently chases me to the other side of this wobbly bench.
One man, a woman and a second man atop a motorcycle, none has a helmet.
A young man carries a silver container of milk on his left shoulder. Splash – Splash! The milk protests.
A boy tugs his car – an empty biscuit carton with sticks and bottle tops at its base – across the rough uneven road. Both the car and its driver bounce in exhilaration.
Three youths are hammering nails into a new market stall
A couple walks by hand in hand. If only the lady could donate half of her smile to the gentleman.
Three bars. I can’t see a hotel. I’m hungry.
A man staggers. I confirm the hour. It is barely eleven in the morning.
That newly painted purple building is incongruous with its neighbouring companions.
Incessant cries of keyboards being assaulted by ruthless swift fingers ring through the lonely Tech-Savvy Cyber Café.
A motorbike zooms past. This one carries two bunches of freshly harvested bananas.
A dog is sniffing all over the place.
Our couple retraces their path. The gentleman holds an overfed plastic bag. The lady is all giggles.
The woman at Wanyokabi Tailor Shop gives the navy blue cloth one last look. She scissors it with finesse. Someone will get a suit next week.
A curious boy walks by and peeps into this piece of paper.
A carpenter animatedly hacks at a protruding piece. After a sigh and a stream of sweat, she resumes the fight.
Mother and son peel potatoes at their front yard.
Some coffee berries lie on a sack in the sun. I am unable to pinpoint their owner.
Three men in black boots debate: Two hundred thousand was too much…No, Mzee Njogu is a rich man… (The rest is inaudible from this distance.)
Six independent pairs of eyes fling suspicious glances at me. Their consciences attack mine:
What are you doing?
But you see, They want a piece of me. I must show Them pieces of my world. Can’t you see bits of my life right here? The man carrying a container of milk, the young driver with his toy car, the curious boy who just peeped, the ruthless fingers on the keyboard, the boy peeling potatoes on the front yard, the girl on the farm…
What about these other things that you’ve told them?
Well, I don’t live in isolation. This environment has forged who I am. It taught me to work hard; to strive for Mathematics, Diligence, Basketball, Happiness, Chemistry, Art, and Resilience. With all these people working hard, why shouldn’t I? All the while, I’m keen not to paint my home white. When alcoholism and drugs overpower a person’s will, then we are having a problem.
I abbreviate my soft drink in three gulps. The owners of the eyes and consciences shake their heads in confusion.
Time to walk home…