I sat in a taxi one cold summer morning in December 2018. The brightness of the morning said to you the sun was out, but the little hesitant heat said the sun was still drowsy from the short summer night of the festive season. A straight resemblance of the few passers-by I was looking at through the window – all seeming tired, some drunk occasionally kicking pieces of rubbish that were dancing with the morning breeze of this small and currently dirty town of Matatiele, Eastern Cape.
Alone in the taxi, I sat only with the company of my thoughts jumping up and down in my head yelling like impatient kids crying for ice cream. And just as an adult has to have answers to a curious little child’s questions, I had to have answers to the questions my curious little thoughts were asking. Why is the taxi taking forever to be filled with passengers? What exactly causes my fingers to feel numb and hardly able to move, and how come you breathe out smoke only when it’s cold and not when it’s hot? Several questions ran through my mind. Like school children queueing for lunch, these questions came each at a time as I was staring at the tarmac outside.
I saw a half-smoked cigarette on the ground with a shiny lining around its waist that looked like a ring on a finger. There it was laying helplessly on the ground like a person who was on their final days. This cigarette was once of value to whoever threw it there after smoking it before they could even finish it, I thought to myself. It seemed an unfair case for the relationship between the smoker and cigarette to have ended before running its full course – it was the same as if the smoker broke its vows. This sight reminded me of broken marriages and how males often toyed around with females’ feelings; although that case could also be vice versa.
Though without eyes, it felt as if the cigarette was looking at me sternly demanding my attention like it wanted to say something to me. I sensed its sympathy towards me, like “come take me and your problem shall vanish in a jiff.”
My eyes gazed with sudden lust at this transient temptation. My mind was starting to give in. I started thinking that hey maybe a few pulls wouldn’t hurt. Vrooom! Out of nowhere a silver-grey VW polo stopped with the front left wheel on the cigarette’s face. Out the left back door stepped out a young lady wearing tight jeans, flicking her long weave in the air with style.
Oh, at this time of the day where was she coming from? Already with her ‘brows on fleek.’
She bid goodbye to the driver who I did not want to assume was her boyfriend. Maybe it was her brother or even her uncle or just a friend. But whoever it was, it was also none of my business. Seeing the vehicle leave, I was left thinking she was probably coming to this taxi. With sudden panic, I saw her coming for the taxi door, I was wondering what conversation I would have to make with such a beautiful lass, I had never been a man of many words, let alone with strangers. More especially because I was not feeling well on this particular morning. And to top it all, it was one of those notorious Monday mornings…
As if she didn’t notice me as she was coming, she showed a sign of sudden and seemingly urgent reaction of surprise. Seeming to regret coming for the front row seats I was sitting on, she stood swaying indecisively looking like she wished she had gone for the ones behind me. But it was as though something quickly snapped at her saying, “Sit next to him, lest he gets carried away with the idea that you’re afraid of him!” And so she listened obediently.
Tell us: What do you think of this lady?