I came face to face with a man who suddenly stopped in his tracks and begun praising my exquisite beauty, singing and dancing playfully in its honour, and blocking my path. I couldn’t blame him. I know the power of my beauty. Many a man have come before him and sung to me about it, endlessly. Anyone would say that those hymns were just but strong complaints about the crumbs in my unkempt hair, or the disgusting, yellowish crusts in the corners of my eyes, or last week’s menu adorning my yellow, decaying teeth, but I give a deaf ear to jealous naysayers. Even though a certified dermatologist would argue that my skin closely resembles a really old, worn-out, crocodile-skin handbag, the enthralled stranger compared it to that of Zari’s, and I was tremendously flattered by that irrefutable truth. I felt shy and a little bit embarrassed by his praises and adoration, and I considered asking him to stop, but sometimes you just have to accept who you are, and so I let him finish swooning over me. He was wearing only a skirt; a small, tattered sack tied carelessly around his waist with his small, dark, dirty buttocks exposed. I compared his sense of fashion and speech with their commonness and differences and deduced that he looked and spoke exactly like a common mad man, but I did not want to judge him by his looks. Besides, whenever he would sway and shake to my name, Zari, a nickname he would call me lovingly, his revealing skirt would flap, and I would see the possibility of a long future ahead.
As the energy in his presentation died down, and as I was now trying to determine on which side to pass, he turned his attention to something he was holding all along, wrapped inside a green polythene bag, and as he unwrapped it, he said something about a gift.
It was too late to run.
He splattered a wet, malodorous mound of nauseating faeces on the left side of my head, that he must have defecated right before our meeting, after a heavy meal of boiled eggs that caused him indigestion. Obviously, those scrumptious eggs sold in the streets inside a sweating, unhygienic bucket, optionally served with a tablespoon or two of tomato and onion salad, perfectly chopped, and perfectly seasoned with chilli and salt. They never get it wrong.
The mad man was now laughing uncontrollably.
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