When your first juicy bite of sunrise happens to be a worm-infested mouthful of an experience.
I went jogging by 5am and in a bid to casually toss away a used MTN voucher from yesterday I mistakenly flung my iPhone into a de-commissioned drainage hole- turned- garbage dump, by the roadside.
Post motions of panic, frustration, exasperation – mainly at having to do the scandalous obvious- I lowered myself (in more ways than one) into the dark, smelly pit, careful with the slippery, rusty side rungs. At least the pit was half full so I didn’t descend entirely to the depths of Stench Paradise.
The smell! The hideous, death inflicting type you perceived with your breath stifled! That I survived must be due to the prodigious labour of an early-morning intercessor. No, make that two.
I felt around tentatively in the darkness till my fingers prodded the familiar angular outline of my phone.
Asides the crooked, hair-line crack across the entire screen, yes the phone was fine.
I regarded the phone with a mixture of disgust and uncertainty, wondering if I shouldn’t just toss it back where I’d retrieved it from.
Just as I began my ascent, I heard a tight shout and an avalanche of putrefaction tumbled on my head.
I’d startled an early-morning garbage man into dumping his trash all over me. I could imagine the picture, a dark human head suddenly emerging from a drainage/trash hole at that premature two-quarter of morning, features ghostly in the pale light of that wretched phone’s display. So that would give me sufficient reason to forgive the load of idiocy that dumped yesterday – or last week’s – trash on me, abi?
The man, both hands on his head – and at a safe distance away – began to apologise profusely. Thankfully it was mainly dry stuff – except of course for the cloying clumps of putrid beans porridge, inexplicably, warm water and what stank and clung like ogbono soup twice decayed. I thought to stuff the horrified ‘sorry, sir’s back into his mouth with a thunderous ‘shut up’, contemplated shoving a hand reeking of that slimy ogbono stuff right at his lips. But I was thoroughly consumed with getting home and washing off I didn’t even pause to whittle him to death with a glare at least.
I hobbled home stiffly, careful not to subject more exposed skin to sticky filth, cringing painfully at the thought of rot drying and caking on my sweaty skin, slimy maggots, possible infections, and the repugnance of it all. Gag party!
I got to the door, gratitude exploding in my chest; the prospect of bathing had never seemed so glorious.
I shoved the stone flower vase by the door aside to retrieve my key. Usually I leave it there when I go jogging. On every other day, I leave it in the glove compartment of my car.
There was nothing under the flower vase.
Then I suddenly realised – I’d swung the door shut earlier, with the key inside the house.