You and I

Three years ago I had a decent job and a rotating chair. My office was at the furthest end of the block on the top floor and so, yes, privacy and majesty were my portion too. I was fresh from two places, college, and the village. This must be the reason I used the lift up and down the office, took photos taking tea and kept a small secret in the staff kitchen because I had a phobia for electricity.

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Wheels, Circles, Round Things

Every evening they go back home. They will climb the rickety pieces of metal that age has left in what once was a shiny Japanese machine. They will struggle to find space next to the window, and then caught up in the traffic jam they will witness day slowly turn into night, a ritual nature performs every day to remind them that though they wallow through unending murk, this world is still far away from being their home. That a black and white rat keeps gnawing at the rope that suspends them in this abyss. They will die.

Eventually the bus will win the battle. They will get back to the house to find the kids already asleep. They will be dog tired and sweaty. There will be the urge to get a shower, but due to the recent water rationing by the eternally angry landlord, and because there is no more breath left to pick a quarrel with the self-imposed lord, the little that is left in the cans will be reserved for cooking. By Allah, nobody in this house showers tonight.

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Dear Maktalina, who doesn’t steal?

Dear Maktalina,

People who don’t steal from their bosses need pity.

When I was still a freshman in college there was this professor man who would come to class with his priced yellow notes and bellow: African countries are poor because they are poor! He taught us Development Studies and this poor topic he never left behind in the exams he set; which he then failed us profusely just to feel happy. He knew we called him Todaro. Or Poor Africans. And he didn’t attempt to fight back.

So when Poor Africans taught, he became a possessed animal. A sorcerer; inheritor of prophets spreading the word according to Confucious. Veins would erect on his forehead and foam would form in the corners of his lips like he was washing clothes in his mouth. He would sweat and parrot the same rendition he had delivered to thousands of innocent minds thirty years through. And still going strong.

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