Dear DT Dobie,
I need a car.
I am tired of being a commuter. I have suffered enough as one.
Take a recent experience, for instance.
I travelled home from a remote location by means of an old, worn out matatu (molue – transport bus). It was hard to tell the colour of the matatu because the paint had peeled off and it was rusty inside. It had two seats missing, and it had only one side mirror; a basic hand mirror with a red frame, broken in half and fastened to the side of the matatu using a sisal rope.
The old matatu was full of people. It was a 14-seater matatu, but the number of people in it was roughly 356,789,097. Excluding the estimated 432,096,722 people who couldn’t be seen. I don’t even know if I was standing or sitting or lying awkwardly on, or in a pile of humans.
I was thinking about why the matatu was moving at a 0.5km/hr speed when my nasal receptors tingled, detecting a smell. I inhaled. It was hard to breathe, DT Dobie, because someone’s knee was pressing hard against my chest, fracturing my ribs and puncturing my lungs, but I kept fighting for my dear life by trying my best to breathe despite the challenge. My brain quickly processed the smell that my nostrils had picked.
It was a fart.
Someone had farted, DT Dobie.
Someone had released a putrid, gaseous bomb from their filthy, rotting bowels into the little, hot, stuffy air in the matatu that was being shared by, roughly, 356,789,097 sweating people, with an estimated 432,096,722 people who couldn’t be seen. A bomb worse than the atomic bomb that was used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A bomb that could be used to win the war against terrorism. A bomb with a stench worse than that of sin.
Someone had knowingly, with all their senses alert, opened their disgusting rectum to make way for a noxious weapon of mass destruction that penetrated into our nostrils and mouths, with the nasty, atrocious taste of their decomposing colon clawing into our throats, choking us with violence unseen, and slowly wringing the life out of our veins.
Someone, a scheming bastard with pure intent to kill, had silently broken wind and filled our lungs with a vile, fetid, malodorous steam, straight from the foul, decaying innards of Satan, and was there amongst us, existing quietly and probably enjoying seeing us all panicking because the revolting smell from their bloated entrails was about to kill us.
I wanted to use my hand(s) to fan away the repugnant smell of excrement from my face, but one of my arms was being mangled between the bosoms of two fat women while the other arm was wedged against someone’s buttocks.
I wanted to turn my head to see if I could spot that loathsome beast that was sent to assassinate me using the gas produced by the digestion of their lunch as the murder weapon, but my head was trapped between the chest of someone with a loudly-beating heart and the rigid sole of someone’s shoe that had stepped on cow dung. Someone’s backpack was in my face, and inside the backpack was hammers, knives and padlocks, because every time the matatu would hit a bump or swerve, the backpack would leave grievous injuries on my face.
I wanted to speak up, to call out on the offender, to fight for justice, but whenever I opened my mouth, someone’s bitter, sweaty fingers or the strands of someone’s weave would get into my mouth and muffle any kind of sounds, except the sounds of me gagging and trying not to vomit.
And then, DT Dobie, and then someone else started eating chips. In public transport.
Another assailant who was starving started eating chips, and the smell of chips wafted through the matatu, mixing with the demonic smell of someone’s fart, to make a cocktail, the perfect recipe for mass murder.
How the person found room to eat still remains a mystery. How could they even chew? I mean, it was impossible for me to swallow saliva without being strangled into unconsciousness by someone’s elbow.
I wanted to quickly draft my last will and testament on my phone in case I didn’t make it to my destination alive, but my phone was in my handbag, and the only part of my handbag I could see was an inch of the strap on my shoulder. The rest of the handbag was probably at the back of the matatu, being sat on by a million people.
“Stop corrupting the air for us!” a livid passenger who was definitely tired of suffering finally spoke up.
Then every oppressed passenger started speaking about the farter and the chips-eater, some asking them to reveal themselves so that they could be prosecuted, others insulting them, and others just complaining about their interpersonal relationships because they had no idea what was going on. The driver asked all of us to shut the hell up or alight. We all chose to shut up because when in a remote location, alighting is usually a bad idea.
I did get to my destination, albeit in critical condition.
Although this is just but one of the many battle scars I have as a commuter, which I should be proud of, I still need a car, DT Dobie. At least when someone farts in my car and then pretends they have not violated the air I am breathing, I can just throw them out in the middle of a highway. Also, I want the car to be a car I can be comfortable vomiting in, a car that I can be okay dumping banana peels and juice bottles in, a car that my toddler can pee in without me getting angry.
A tormented commuter,
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