Every morning I wake up to the choking smell of burnt beans from the next room and piercing cries of babies who probably don’t want to be bathed. Walking out, all tucked in, I see a long queue of men, women, guys and chicks gaping at the slow trickle from the outlet of the patched tap, grimness donning their face like masks.
Hopping over turds of faeces, suspicious objects in black polythene bags and heaps of refuse, I turn into the main road and I behold young shirtless boys standing on the ceiling, buried in a thick white mist, fat shapeless spliffs hanging from their mouths. I see some standing with their arms and legs spread apart, craning their necks at the landscape with stonefaced expression like mini Nebuchadnezzars, sucking silverish gin sachets like teats. One of them waves at me, another curls a pebble at me, two others stare like I stole their girlfriends.
I smile and look away and that’s when I see something very interesting: a small brown dog digging into a heap of dirt alongside a horde of black goats with bloody sores as anuses.
A loud bark sounds. I look back and with the corner of my eye I see that the dog’s attention has been drawn too.
Its a big dog. A German shepherd with the gait and confidence of a lion. I wonder what such a beautiful canine is doing without chains and an owner. The big dog doesn’t even spare me or the refuse hustlers a glance. She dances past us, her pink tongue reeled out and her bushy tail wagging without care.
But it is the small dog I study. The way it stares at the big dog with amazement like he knows him from somewhere . Slowly, he studies the goats as they wrestle the refuse and I see a dimness settle on his entire aura, a realisation of some sort. Finally, his eyes land on me. He knows I’m aware of the epic scenario playing out. I nod and point at the big dog, urging him to ditch the lowlifes and move with his kind. He looks again at the departing big dog and suddenly, his short tail rises and dances.
Finally he’s about to make the right choice. I think.
The small dog whirls with shocking agility and jumps into the refuse like a kid on bouncy bed.
I shake my head and walk away. The last thing I hear before hopping into a cab is a strange bark riddled with the quaver of a bleat.