He walks a little bit faster than usual, his need pressing him, a reminder of just how close he is to completely embarrassing himself. Its his weekly walk of shame, one he’s tried to stop, but one’s body is bound to react when one takes two bowls of fufu every Sunday afternoon.
He passes by the petty trader who’s set her meager goods under an MTN branded umbrella. He knows she doesn’t see him but as always he can’t help but feel her eyes staring at the small of his back, boring into his soul and deciphering his intentions.
He finally gets to the entrance of the structure that will offer relief to him. Its a completely wooden rectangular structure with a rusted iron sheet covering it. It leans to one side, supported at the base by cement blocks and creaks as he unlocks the padlock barring entry and pushes open the door. Its the smell that hits him first: the smell of a mixture of human wastes from God-knows-how-many-butts rising up from that small rectangular hole in the middle of the structure. As he moves gingerly inside and closes the door behind him, the insanely small quarters and the overwhelming darkness serve along with the smell to almost make him breathless and he has to consciously breathe in slowly even if that means inhaling fumes from decomposing human waste.
He systematically removes the very bare clothing he comes here with, hanging them on a nail that has been thoughtfully provided for that specific purpose, before bending down at his knees and aligning his rear with the hole which is the source of his nasal torture. As he adds his contribution to the potpourri of hundreds of human excesses amidst the buzz of flies drawn to the latest arrival, his mind can not help but conjure up how embarrassed he’d feel if any of his coworkers caught him in this state. Of course, this was a weekend and none of his coworkers lived close to him but his flighty mind still wondered and cringed about what could be.
He normally does his business in the Office toilets during the week. They are always neat and smell good and he can spend quite a bit of time there but when he is pressed as so often occurs at home on Sunday evenings after doing justice to two large bowls of fufu, he has no choice but to use other less hygienic means. This means is at least better than the KVIP just across the road. The KVIP is always dirty, smells even worse and assaults all of his senses at once. He can at least be spared the sight of people’s excesses here as this is better maintained.
He finishes quickly, cleans himself up before being momentarily caught in thought by the length of his arousal. He is soon brought back to reality by the sound of a car parking close to his present abode as the lights from the car’s headlights clearly illuminate the structure he’s holed up in. Even though the door is barred and no one can see inside it, he still feels vulnerable, almost as if the headlights can pierce through wood.
He is forced to wait as the occupants of the car take their time in parking and exiting and he almost ends his forced imprisonment when mosquitoes also begin to exact penance on him. Finally, when the occupants of the car are gone (was that not Julie he saw coming out of the car?) he exits the laterine, closes the door behind him with the padlock and then walks as fast as he can away from there and towards home.
He promises himself he’ll resist coming here next week but he knows as sure as fufu is pounded on Sunday afternoon, he’ll be back here on Sunday evening ~ Senam
Fufu – Fufu is a staple food of West and Central Africa. It is a thick paste usually made by boiling starchy root crops and pounding with a mortar and pestle until the desired texture is attained.
KVIP – A public toilet facility in Ghana