He walked past the world, face down as if in converse with the earth. His feet kissed the pavement, blisters for love bites, as his toes slowly caressed the concrete. His was a blank expression, a mask to hide the battles ranging within. A blanket to warm his soul from the cold shoulders of those who passed him by.
I watched him crawl his way to the surface. My vantage point the seat of a Latema sacco matatu, a distraction from the noise that blared from its six speakers with one just above my head taunting me to listen to the filth that was being spewed by the morning radio host. His face was dark, a layer of dirt blocking the sun’s rays from reaching his skin. You could see the people slow their steps as they approached so as to side step the wave of foul smell that enveloped the air around him.
He saw them from the corner of his eye. Watching him like a caged lion in a public zoo. He was their reminder that they were not so badly off. They could afford to have some milk in their tea at six in the morning, with three slices of bread, as they prepared to sit in the office all day, dreaming. They dreamt of big homes, low mortgage rates and a car to take them from place to place. His was a peaceful night, devoid of dreams or nightmares. As they worried about whether what the politician said last night would lead their landlord to kick them out, he knew that he would never have to move from where he lay at night. He was invisible.
I wondered what was going through his mind. If only I had the power to read it. His calm demeanor betrayed his emotions. Did he hate us? The day walkers. Or did he just not care? Who did he blame for his predicament? Invisible to the world only seen when we needed something to remind us that other people had bigger problems.
Where would he spend his day today? This was his biggest worry. The Ngara roundabout was his favorite spot, watching the cars race by. Their hoots and screeches music to his ears. He was the conductor of the grand orchestra. A god. Lost in the footnotes of urban legends. A rolling stone. A wanderer of the earth, cursed by the father to roam the streets of his capital.
He was Cain.