Friday, 14 February 2014

Of Rich Streets and Peasantry

You take a walk, you like to take these walks periodically – it helps you clear up your head and put things into` perspective. The sun is about to set, it hangs low near the horizons; the sky is the colour of stale smoke. You breathe in, trying to take in the atmosphere, the clime smells like burnt food. You walk for some time, listening to Taylor Swift complain about her boyfriend through the earphones of the second-hand ipod touch you recently bought. You like Taylor Swift’s voice you wish you can have her sing to you every night. You arrive at a part of town you have never been in: HBA. You wonder what HBA mean. You have never been here but you have heard about it several times: your friends say it is the part of town reserved for the extremely rich, people who have so much money, it reeks. Seeing the place now, you think your friends have completely understated the finesse and class of it. It actually looks like heaven. The roads look like the ones from Hollywood, the sidewalks that you walk on look like they are made of some sought of product that makes walking easier. You feel unworthy stepping on it, it apparently wasn’t made with people like you in mind. You walk gingerly from then on, as if your leg hurts. The houses look like palaces, as if God Himself lives there. They are painted in white, with highlights a certain unique, subtle shade of blue. You wonder how many rooms will be in each of these houses, cannot be less than ten. You wonder if up to ten people live in any of the houses, you doubt, it seems very quiet. The walls are really high, you wonder if it can stop the devil from entering. They are all painted in that unique, subtle shade of blue that you can’t quite give a name, the one that reminds you of the sky on some days. Someone comes out of one of the houses. She looks voluptuous; her complexion is the colour of tea, mild tea that does not have too much cocoa, the type that your mom used to make for you when you still lived with your parents. She’s almost fat, but not yet. You imagine that there is a gym inside her house where she exercises to keep her weight from skyrocketing. She has no makeup on but her lips are the colour of blood, the type of blood that your secondary school biology teacher would say ‘lacked hemoglobin’. You intentionally look at her face, you want to find a pimple, a bump, something, anything that would make her look less perfect, you find nothing. Her tea complexion is steady. She looks at you as if you are foreign, indeed you are. You walk faster, away. You’ve had enough of this HBA, you begin to walk back home. You are now listening to Eminem; he is telling you to ‘lose yourself’. You no longer like Eminem, not like before – he doesn’t follow anybody on twitter, you don’t think that is right, he should follow at least one person, like Kanye West, how he follows only Kim Kardashian. You wonder what will happen when they break up, Kanye and Kim. You notice how different the part of town that you are now in is, extremely different from the glam and reeking wealth of HBA. There are houses here that are not even up to an eighth of those mansions, palaces that you saw. Some of the houses have not even been cemented; it is still the blocks made of cement and stones, the one that are the colour of soda that you see. There are no windows on some even, yet people live there, people with families, with lives. The roads here are not tarred, the rain that fell last night has caused it to be an irritable sight, brown, slimy and semisolid it looks like human excrement. This place doesn’t smell like ice cream the smell is acrid: there are so many refuse dumps around, no wonder, you say to yourself. You see a madwoman she’s wearing a clothe that used to be white but is now almost brown, she’s holding a polythene, disposable bag, picking things up from a refuse dump and throwing them into the disposable bag. She stops suddenly and laughs then empties the contents of the bag back unto the dump, then starts again. You get angry. You wonder why the rich are so rich and the poor are so poor. You wonder why there is such division – why the rich has to live away, in another part of town, from the poor. You don’t understand why there is so much difference between the rich in the society, and the poor. You wish you can change things. But then again, maybe you can’t, maybe this is how things have been designed to be. There has to be the rich – who will live in extravagance, then, the poor – who will live in peasantry.

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