I am out of toilet paper.
I’ve been holding it in for so long but now I got to go, I need to go.
I’m going, whether by consent or compulsion. But I’m out of tissue.
Damn beans! Why did they have to be so sweet, so enticing, so welcoming. Complements to the chef of course, I mean I know only a handful of people who can match my bean cooking skills. My beans will change your pallet, they’ll appeal to taste buds you never knew existed. I prefer kidney beans to the small kawairimu one. But none of that matters at this point, because I really have to go.
I remember stories my grandfather used to tell me of how they used leaves. The selection process of the leaves had to be meticulous as the forest had its fair share of thabai (stinging nettle). One wrong move and you’ll change your walking style indefinitely. I don’t have any leaves around me, well, that’s not entirely true, I have tons of leaves around me but with these funny neighbors, you never know. Plus the number of canines I see using the leaves on a daily note is a total turnoff.
I could however use a newspaper!
I have used it before. Yes, head to upcountry and you’ll have to choose between newspaper and leaves. I chose newspaper.
But what if I clog the toilet? What will I tell caretaker?
‘I don’t know what happened, I just woke up and the toilet was clogged.’ My poker face would have to do the rest of the convincing.
‘Are you sure?’ he’d say with doubt and suspicion in his voice.
‘Yes, Why? What are you trying to insinuate? Are you doubting me? You don’t have any proof!’
‘All I’m saying is, you’re either subletting to ghosts or a really large rat drowned in your toilet trying to swim.’ ‘Either that, or…’
‘Or, you flashed something you weren’t supposed to.’
‘Now that you mention it, I have been hearing some strange voices at night, I think there’s a ghost around. And it must be the uncivilized kind, might even flush a newspaper down the toilet.’
He’d smirk and then call the plumber.
But my dignity around the flat would go down the drain, and I cannot have that. Not while I’m eyeing that new tenant across the hall. She has the loveliest eyes and a shape that would make Michelle Obama jealous. She’s tall and firm and has the build of a model, and she owns it in her walk. We are yet to get introduced, though I know where she works, her favorite color and that she is very fond of her mother. I know what you’re thinking, that I display stalker tendencies. That is not the case, I am just a light sleeper who hears her trying to opening her door, and very observant to see most of her clothes are blue. We have also crossed paths in the corridors and I just happened to see her company name tag. I would have introduced myself was she not on the phone with her mother –who from the sound of it seems like a lovely lady as well. Above all else, she has glasses. There’s something about ladies who wear glasses. Or maybe I’m just fetish.
For this reason, I cannot use a newspaper. Also, can you imagine wiping my posterior region with the face of Bob Collymore in the daily’s? Though come to think of it… No, let’s not go down that path.
I cannot use a newspaper.
It’s 10:47 Pm, most shops will undoubtedly be closed, save for that shop at the end of the street. I can’t decide whether it’s usually overstocked or just messy. Either way, it’ll have to do. Nobody likes to leave their warm and comfy house to head to the unforgiving coldness and the darkness outside. Things we do for our bodies.
I step out of the main gate, take a left turn and head for the shop. The street shows no sign of life, course, everyone’s asleep or in their house except for the ones who knows how to cook their beans. The street is never busy during the day either, as it leads to residentials. The neighborhood doesn’t have many kids and the ones around prefer to sit in their rooms and play Xbox 360 or PlayStation 4. What happened to playing marbles? I used to be quite the marble guru back in my day, I even had an OMO jar that I had filled with my winnings. To the victor goes the spoils. Maybe I should lobby for marbles to be introduces at the Olympics. I’m certain I would be the Julius Yego or Usain Bolt of marbles.
My thoughts are quickly interrupted by the sight of the shop closing, the old lady who runs the shop is outside trying to lock the first half of the door. I hurry towards her while observing her struggle to reach the upper knob. Is this what she goes through every night? She does know she could use a stool, right?
I manage to hurry before she’s done closing and help her with the door, as I lock the top knob, she heads back inside and with hands behind her back, her long dress gracefully sweeps the ground but she doesn’t seem to mind. She clearly was not brought up by my mother who would remind you who cleans the cloths every time you’d head out to play.
Once she’s inside, she looks at me with scrutiny that I shy off and look at the ceiling.
A couple of moments follow where none of us says a word. She then sips tea from a cup whose view was hidden by the counter.
‘What’s your choice?’ She asks as she stretches her hand towards a glass case where different brands of cigarettes are laid out.
‘I don’t smoke’ I confidently respond.
Silence fills the atmosphere again. Questions begin to rush through my mind. Do I look like a smoker? Is she mistaking me for someone else? Does the person she’s mistaking me for owe her? Is this some sort of a trap? Might this be a gesture of appreciation for closing the door? My thoughts are interrupted by a loud prolonged sip of her tea.
‘People only come to buy cigarettes at this hour, either that or to rob me. And you say you don’t smoke…’ She does not look intimidated by the fact that she inferred me to be a thief.
‘I want tissue paper, I don’t smoke but neither I’m I a thief. I just want tissue paper’
‘Do you just want it or do you want to buy it?’
‘I want to buy tissue paper’ I can now see why she doesn’t have any customers.
She turns around and takes an umbrella, she then pulls a roll of issue paper from the top shelf of the back aisle of the shop and places it on the counter then shifts her gaze on me.
Just then, I hear sharp footsteps on the pavement of her shop. From the sound of it, a lady with high heels.
‘I’ll have my usual,’ says the lady
The shop keeper smiles and takes one of the cigarette brands and slaps the top corner till a couple of sticks pop out, she removes the cigarette sticks and holds them in one hand, she uses the same hand remove the transparent thin outer layer of the cigarette casing, which the then places the cigarettes in and give them to me, presumably to pass to the lady behind me. As I turn to hand the lady her cigarettes, I am met with shock that is so evident, denying it would be considered a bigger crime than that of Bill Cosby. It’s the lady from across the hall.
I mean she’s also smoking hot but she smokes!
‘Thanks,’ she says as she hands me a few coins
How did I become the middleman between the lady of my dreams and the lady who thinks I want to rob her?
I pick my tissue paper and try to conceal it as I rush towards the high heeled lady whose name I still don’t know.
‘I think we live across each other.’ I say as I wonder how she’s walking so fast with high heels.
‘Yea, you’re the guy who’s always peering at me through your window curtain when I’m opening my door’
Does she have eyes at the back of her head? This must be that intuitive sixth sense women have.
‘Umm… you smoke?’ I try to change the conversation, looking to see her response from the corner of my eye.
‘No. I just buy them for decoration.’ She looks at me to see my reaction.
The lady of my dreams is witty, sarcastic and has a sense of humor.
We both burst out in laughter.
The rest of the walk is pretty much filled with silence. My mind however envisages of her as the mother of our children and the life we will have together. She almost makes me forget that I really have to go.
We bid each other goodbye and as I enter the house, the butterflies die down and the grumbling begins.
I really had to go. Damn beans.