I was sitting in a taxi one sunny beautiful morning, in the seat right next to the conductor. To my right sat a (forgive me for being honest) filthy, dirty, market woman, complete with her sack-full of produce she was taking to market. But it was not the produce that bothered me even though I was squeezed by it.
It was the child she had with her. He was about four years old, and the scent of urine emanating from him assailed my nostrils. He had clearly most recently stained his brown and dirty jeans.
The thing is, he wasn’t just sitting still like a good little dirty boy. He was restless, flailing his legs and arms about. I cringed as I tried to dodge his limbs, my skin crawling every time any part of his body made contact with mine.
Eventually, he became interested in the book I was reading. I watched, aghast, as he smiled and grabbed a page. His hands. His brown, damp, dirty fingers!
“Shitshitshitshitshit”, went the mantra in my head. “I must throw this book away!”
I glared at the mother, who belched loudly and stared out the window, gaping mouth open.
“No wonder”, I thought.
The child left my book alone for a moment to twist and stretch luxuriously on the seat. I, in turn, twisted further away from him. The conductor stared at me oddly. I was squeezing him. Deeply miserable, I inched back to my original position.
And almost died.
The boy’s shirt was around his chest, his jeans were falling down his hips and his penis was just right there. Staring at me! Agitated, I stared again at the mother who ignored her practically naked charge.
Joy engulfed me when she eventually told the conductor she was getting out. That joy disappeared when she, without my consultation, urged the child to jump over me. How did she do this?
I’d like you to kindly dig this please.
No, ‘brah. Dig this seriously.
She had him sit, stained urine pants and all, on my favorite African print bag that I was balancing on my knees!