Bangi sio terere: A judge, an ogre …and boy do they hate Sufferer
- March 28, 2018
You must be struggling to read this my friend. Terrible handwriting, I know. But it’s the best I can do under the circumstances. If reading becomes impossible, just smell it. Yep!
Now you have an idea what I’m living through. I’m scribbling it on my knee from the smelly inside of Industrial Area Police cells.
This yellow upside down bucket I’m sitting on is the source of the horrible stench. It is better now. Was overflowing with human waste of different colours, textures and smells a few moments ago. I know because I’ve just emptied it.
Of course it was not voluntary, the sanitary exercise, that is. I was prodded along by this one-eyed, single-eared ogre that stands out from the ten or so of us in this tiny room. He is the scariest, ugliest piece of human being I have ever seen outside of a horror movie.
Forget the web of scars, the kilo of beef sitting smack across his head is the deal killer. Murders any semblance of beauty that may be coaxed out of his unlovely face. It is the vastest nose I have seen on a face since that of Wanyonyi.
Battle of the noses
You have probably met Wanyonyi, Wanyonyi wa Kangemi. Either way, it doesn’t matter. He was the watchman and I the hygiene technician or if you like, cleaner, at a Chinese residence in Loresho some years back.
For the two months before my temper couldn’t take the racism anymore, I could not unstare my colleague’s breathers. I badly wanted to squeeze them between my fingers to confirm they were not some piece of Plasticine but Wanyonyi wouldn’t let me.
So one day when I found him snoring under one of two broken-down lorries in the compound, I poked the giant muzzle with a sharp thorn sourced from the China-man’s kayaba fence. I expected a hissing sound as air escaped through the hole, but you can imagine my amazement when a pimple of wet redness popped out instead.
Wanyonyi’s ominous howl as half the thorn disappeared in and out of his curious pipes added to my disappointment and I thought we were even after I unwillingly left my trouser with the neighbour’s dogs when I jumped into their compound to escape Wanyonyi’s murderous mood. But fellow from Kakamega never forgave me.
That is, however, not important at the moment. What is, is that his snout now lies in ruins, comprehensively thumped by the monster leaning on the wall across me, one massive foot planted on the terribly chipped blue paint behind him.
Yet, the monster nose is nothing compared to his eyes or rather, eye. Bugger has a single eye that seems to emit evil so nicely ripened you can touch. Scary, angry, unnerving –it is the deadest eye I’ve seen besides that of our starving dog Chui. But Chui was actually dead, clobbered by villagers after he went crazy and bit the chief, is what happened. I was a kid but Chui’s lifeless eye haunted me until I could drink myself into a trench.
Anyways, while the blinding rays of evil radiating from the creepy grey of the left eye are absolutely unsettling, it is the darkness oozing from the depths where the right eye should be that is most chilling. Looks like the mouth of a cave, I tell you. I bet if you had the brevity to look long enough, you could see the bats.
I’m neither that brave nor stupid so my furtive glances have revealed the opening of a tunnel that leads into the dark depths of a demonic skull. Fellow looks like Satan’s personal bodyguard, I tell myself as I look away to hide the chuckle because I think that was funny.
But you get why it is impossible to ignore the bugger’s order, right? However, if his ugly, scarred face doesn’t convince you, his size will.
Fellow is colossal. Bet he is directly descended from this giant in the Bible, Golgotha, I think the name was. Haven’t read the Good Book in years but the last I heard, Golgotha killed some bloke with a sling after he broke his tablets…terribly confusing.
Anyways, our Golgotha here, he doesn’t need slings to kill people or anything for that matter. It is said that his favourite method of twisting life out of anything that annoys him is twisting life out of it.
How to kill anything…
Steps between the unfortunate bugger’s shoulder blades with his elephant feet to secure him on the ground, is what he does. He then clamps both feet at the ankles with his giant hands –and starts the twist. Does it slowly, like he is squeezing water from a wet blanket.
I am told there is nothing you will have refused by the time the buttocks align with your face. But it is when the skin begins to tear that the really terrible pain hits. Happens to be Golgotha’s favourite moment too. Is one of the rare times he has been spotted smiling, when he literally wrings blood, shit, urine and eventually life out the hapless victim.
I know all this from Kalundu. If you look keenly, you will spot him trying to vanish in that group over the right corner. Yes, the tiny guy in an ugly flowered shirt. And you are right, poor bloke is praying.
Told me he shares the general slum area in Kayole with Golgotha and being in a room the size of a matchbox with him was giving him panic attacks. He also tells me the hulk is in for battering, to near death, three cops that had cornered him during an operation to nab him. Was smoked out of his Kayole hideout by a team of Recce squad who pumped 16 bullets into his body leaving him for dead. Unfortunately for me, and Kalundu, he didn’t –die, that is.
Some minutes ago, he said he didn’t like the smell in the cell, pointing to the bucket of human waste with his mountainous nose. There are two options in such a case –either deal with the filth or swim in it. Experience has taught me well. You know which I picked.
Anyways, I’m just from pleading guilty to charges of disturbing the peace, causing commotion at a police station and attempting to free a suspect from legal custody. I will know the sentence in the afternoon.
A clever person like you would have answered him in the affirmative and shut up. But then there are those of us who think we are clever.
Was before the judge with the morning group but I must have made him mad. Kicked me out of the courtroom and said he would deal with my case in the afternoon instead, is what he did. And it all started with my name.
Always known it is a stupid one, my name that is. But it also happens that Kirundiro Mwobithania is not very common in courts, so this magistrate had a recollection of having struggled to read it before.
A clever person like you would have answered him in the affirmative and shut up. But then there are those of us who think we are clever. It is a tragedy that not even a Nigerian witch can cure. So it was with a degree of self-importance that I told the judge that I have been before him at least six times.
I don’t know why I did it. Perhaps the weekend weed that brought me here in the first place was still in my system. Maybe it’s the breakfast of porridge that tastes worse than boiled cement. Or it could be this confounded cold. But I instantly felt stupid the moment I said it. Naturally, I should have shut up after that. I didn’t.
“Your honour, that must make me a client with loyalty worth of a reward. In fact, I have cheated on you with other judges very few times and even those times, they forced me,” I said pointing to the burly, mean-looking cop nearby.
Everyone in the court burst out laughing apart from the huge cop and the judge. Just glared at me over the rims of his glass with his unblinking, emotionless eyes. He looked like an owl, a very sad owl. I decided to shut up.
“Sir,” my stupid mouth decided it wasn’t consulted in that decision, “I’ll let you in on some classified secret and you can thank me later. If I didn’t come here often, you would be so jobless you’d probably be hustling for your smoke in matatus with us. …And don’t wonder how know you puff, the blackened, charred lips sell you out. Licking them helps. ”
The court was laughing heartily now. Even the huge cop’s mean lips curved up in a momentary smile before falling back to the stoic form of a serial killer who derives pleasure from making corpses weep. But the judge was still glowering at me with his Undertaker eyes. I decided that his sense of humour is beyond redemption. I also thought I was done trying to humour him. But stardom must have gotten into my silly kisser. It wasn’t done speaking.
“But going by the colour of your hair and the creases on your face mister, it seems age will kick you out onto the streets soon anyway. So in case your savings run out ahead of your allocated time down here with us, you might still end up hanging from doors and begging disinterested passengers to board a random matatu for your supper. In that case, you will find my acquaintance an absolute god-sent especially when you get to deal with Nkanata. He is boss of the Commercial hole. Hates old men with a passion, says they are too slow…”
I stopped talking at this point because the judge blinked. His kisser was also opening. The court was as silent this pit in the middle of nowhere you have fallen into at midnight running away from some bar maids who want to murder you for acknowledging their liquids and taking off without leaving a dime.
“Mr Mwobithania,” I didn’t know whether I was supposed to respond or not so my throat conjured a meek “Mmmm…”
“All I asked is a confirmation of your status as a repeat offender,” he didn’t sound happy.
“Instead, you’ve decided to turn my court into Churchill comedy seemingly reveling in the fact that you are a serial offender. Not only that, you have used the court’s precious time to ridicule and insult me.” This didn’t sound like it was going well at all. I was also beginning to think this fellow really hated me.
“You have called me old, decided my sole purpose on this earth is reading your stupid name and made me a makanga.” I don’t think I liked him much, either.
“Above all,” the good judge was still speaking. “You are calling me a man!”
Now that was some piece of intelligence that hit me like an angry bouncer’s fist. I blinked furiously to clear the mist in my globes and squinted hard to sharpen my focus. Nearly fell off the dock, is what I did, when I lent too far out in my effort to get a closer look at the judge.
Stubbornly a man
I turned my head this way and that way but from whichever angle I looked, the fellow stubbornly remained a man. It must have been wiser to keep the results of my analysis to myself. But then again, what is wisdom?
So it is with an unnecessarily loud sarcastic laugh that my mouth advised the judge to find someone less stupid to fool.
“I have tried mister, but you still look every inch a man to me. Should be careful not to get God. He could take away his hammer and tomorrow you wake up with a crater in its place. Trust me you don’t want that because you, Sir, would make a catastrophically ugly female. Gosh, you even have a beard, how much more manly can it get?”
I had uncovered a few graying strands on the judge’s chin during my investigations. But instead of explaining the lie to us, the judge decided I had wasted enough of everyone else’ time.
“Yyou seem to have so much time,” he said, “You will be taken back to the cells as I finish with the other suspects in peace. I will decide what to do with you in the afternoon…”
To kill time, avoid Golgotha’s eye and generally because there is no need me dying with it in case the crazy judge decides to hang my poor neck on the courtroom ceiling, I will tell you why I am here, and the reason I insist that weed is not a vegetable… Click to jump right in!