Pitter. Patter. Pitter. Patter. Halt. Zoom. Pitter. Patter. Pitter. Patter. Splash!
“Help! Help me! Oh! My GOOOOD ! Help me pleeeease!”
Red jacket, wide white eyes. Pitter Patter. Eyes wide, bright light; feet cross the road. The man leaves me in effluent, garbage and muddy water. I splashed around in that manhole for what seemed like a century. The walk from the bus stop turned in to a tragedy. I blame John Legend, I must have been wooed, he said, tonight he would be the best I ever had. I fell in love and so did the frogs I was wading amongst. For 10 to 15 minutes I was engulfed in their sewer and garbage laden love nest.
“Are you ok?” a voice asked stunned and concerned.
“Yes! I just have a late night fetish of SWIMMING IN SEWERS! WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK?” I thought to myself. “No, pleeeease help me,” is what my mouth mustered. My rucksack was getting heavy, I removed my sandals and reached for the dry ground above me and placed them there with my umbrella drenched in the fecal matter.The waters were chest high; my feet moving frantically being tripped by plastic bags and bottles and other squishy matter beneath them.
One hand reached down. “Ni mzito, kujeni tumsaidie.”
“Someone carry my legs, please.” I was desperate, I pleaded, I had no strength. I also knew I needed to lose weight, I was fat and rescuing me was a task of six average sized men. I felt ashamed. I felt wet, I felt cold and now, my flower was stained with sewer water. Was I going to get an STI?
Heave! Ho! Heave! Ho! Panting! And Plop! The beached whale had emerged from the defecation. I lay there, exhausted, tired, dizzy, confused. Why did this happen to me? I am always so careful when crossing the road. ‘Why? What is WRONG WITH YOU? YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE YOU IDIOT!’ I thought to myself.
Dizziness and confusion, hands pressed against my thighs and head hung so low, I could see my assaulted torso. My polka dotted pink underwear waved at the bystanders. “Toa battery kwa Simu!” One woman yelled as she crossed away from me. The only woman’s voice I had heard in what seemed like the last half hour. I peeled my phone open and removed my muddy battery.
“GROSS!” I yelled in my mind, but only managed a whisper amongst the staring bystanders.
Drip! Drop! Drip! Drop! Vroom! Vroom! A boda boda, motorcycle taxi, slowed down by my side, I turned and stared at him.
“How much is it…” I asked the man now hesitant to respond. The good Samaritans urged the man to give me a free ride.
“Sit at the furthest edge of the bike.” The man said as I climbed on the back of his motorbike. I was exhausted, confused, humiliated and a dripping stench. I felt responsible for what happened to me. The adrenalin drained out of me and the pain began to surge. My arm, my leg, MY SHOE, it almost fell off.
Bump! Bump! Vroom! Bump! Vroom! Vroom! I slid down the bike and wacked my head against the man’s back. I couldn’t help it on this bumpy ride.Sniff! Sniff! I gagged. I stank. Vrooom! I was home! I said I would come back to clean the bike. I had no strength.
“Ni sawa.” The boda boda man said, as he quickly wiped his seat with a cloth he wipped out of what seemed like nowhere. It took 3 minutes to turn the gate key to enter.
“Can I help you up the stairs?” The boda boda man offered. I shook my head slowly in disagreement.
A moan and the gate opens, my left hand hanging like an orangutangs and my right cradling my smelly rucksack. I hauled myself up the stairs. Drip! Drop! Drip! Drop! Then finally at my front door, I stripped myself to infancy and walked straight into a cold shower and lathered myself repeatedly, every crack, crevice and orifice was not spared from the might of cleansing.