‘Eh vabereki, ngatingogarisana 4-4 mobva mangotenda mota henyu,’ that voice. I don’t know how I can still hear him over my earphones. They are supposed to be the best in the market. And his voice is apparently the right pitch for this kind of thing. Touting and announcements I mean. My coin is already on standby, ready to join the clinging concert on their way to kadoma. Don’t you just hate it when you are squeezed like loaves of bread and someone has the audacity to reach over to their back pocket for their kombi fare. I feel a nudge. Ignore. Another one. Irritated, I turn my head slowly to check if my partner on the seat is doing it on purpose. This better not be happening tonight. Usual hard face. Tuned to be the right expression for confusion and intimidation minced together to get them to settle down or explain themselves. They stop. Good. I go back to taking mental notes. Reflection upon reflection.
At the corner of my eye I notice his head tilted to allow his eyes to linger on my territory. My neighbour who I have noticed to be a middle aged male. You know the usual type. Potential on fleek, but you can’t put his life’s issues over bread issues. So it becomes his life’s story, bread winning, until he loses the skin on his face and his image is the remnant of lost dreams. How life can be so unkind. I don’t care though, he’s staring and that’s just plain rude. Paranoia on full force. Just try and ignore. That nudge again. Lord, no!!!This is going to be one long road home. In between the bumps and shaking in this emergency taxi, I have to phantom unkind humans. What have I done to deserve this? This time I take one earphone off, and stare at him patiently. He will tell me what his deal is now.
‘Sister ndati tigarisane, tagara malandlord jahwaz panapa.’
The me in me tells me to turn a deaf ear to his plight.
‘Saka mamati toita sei mukwasha.’
I’m hardly old enough to have a daughter that he could marry, but you know the noun commands respect. In other circumstances it would be funny, but he’s hell bent on making this trip unbearable.
I raise an eyebrow.
‘Ndoswedera ndichibuda here, ndigare ndatosara.’
Why does everyone suddenly feel like they have rights these days? Particularly freedom of expression. If you want to be comfortable you should have used your private car is it not? I should tell him I used to be bigger than this, so he should be grateful. If it’s not him, it’s just been a long day and I’m irritable. Whoosa mami. It isn’t his fault. Begrudgingly, I move into the window. I mean that’s what he wants isn’t it? I’ve had a long day, and this is just a kombi convo gone wrong.