The Other Guy
We will be coming from different quarters of the city aboard separate hustles but now on bus destined for again different locations bit in the same route. He will have come in first. Coming after him he will ask that you take the seat adjacent to the window such that he’s seated next to the aisle. The bus will the forever to fill. Then the engine will cock and off, the journey will begin.
In between the wait, both of you will be strangers. No in will speak to each other. Just empty space stares with here and there fiddles on phone. You know how people behave with phones these days. As you go down that Valley that bids bye Kisumu descending into that mountainous side of the geographics, you will feel to spark some conversation with the other guy.
So there’s some silent rule that goes just as in mathematics we are advised to use the least common denominator, in communication the advice thus is, we use the most common denominator. He will be a man. You will want to start off with football but then a quick glance will tell he’s cut from the piece that can’t bloody well tell whether Messi plays for the Devils or The Lakers? Your mind will shift towards politics but then you have no damn idea what his second name is and the chances of this turning into a Duale Kaluma gruel are imminent. You will curse just how hard it has turned to hold a conversation with strangers these days especially since Alshaabab happened.
The other guy looks like those workaholics types. He’s worn out. He seats leaning his head backwards. Half closing his eyes. Half listening to the far placed engine sound. But mostly bored at something you don’t know what. In between his legs and on the bus floor rests a shopping bag.
“Do you work in Kisumu?” “No, I just had a one week assignment over there” You will have hot the nail on the head. You will talk about stuff. You will both rant how life under this government is just gotten tuff, who doesn’t do that anyway? You will discuss career. Then life. Then back to work. In between you will stare through the window and inquire about places and rocks and road construction. It will turn out healthy. He will tell you in length about his work as a security systems expert. He will tell you about his family. His ‘loving wife’ and the kids. And the way life in the city is for him. Then he will ask about your girlfriend. But just then you will pass some prestigious school only to turn out that both of you schooled there only a decade a part. Then that conversation will take a completely different direction. Ooops! It will be time for you to a light and take a different bus diverting from the main Highway. The other guy now comrade will trod on.
We got a new friend gang!