The Man on the streets
He hasn’t had much sleep for awhile he noticed. He often tossed and turned during the night. Uncomfortable on the hard surface , rough edges of the bush bed which has become his constant sheets and silks. Smell of the gutter filling up his nostrils. Scattered litters of papers, banana leftovers and rumpled rags lay about him.
He often felt bile rise up his throat. He often had to close his eyes to swallow the leftovers he found in the trash can which he sometimes share with others in thesame booth like him or far lesser mammals..with four legs or hands as the case may be. They Never judged him..nor asked him questions. And for that he was grateful .
He would lay under the scorching sun. Walk barefooted in search of shelter. Beg for alms to get his next meal. Some days he was lucky , other days dogs were luckier to get even a decent meal while he his chased and shooed away.
And he broods under the tree and wait for the moon to come out and loom over him.
He often talks to himself. For no one would give him a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. But no one bothers to ask him what he says. All they do is to give disapproving glances and throw it his way like they would a ball. Cross the road to the other side as though he carried a plague and eye him with contempt and disdain..and blame him for the wrongs he never knew he did commit .
But he never blamed them. His reflection from cars and broken windows is enough to scare a child to sleep and for friends and family to deny him as well. But still….
“The earth shouldn’t forget their own”
On of those nights during his nights of turmoil and restlessness.
He would see a man, well suited and who commanded air and people . Who apparently had no needs for all that was available. Who was happy and maybe contented . Who worked hard to be at the top and was humble to a fault. Who gave his all to thesame people who now see him but treat him like scum.
For that was so long ago. The man in the mirror from his mind’s eyes is far from the man who sleeps daily on the hard rough floor..The bush his home. The streets his hustle. The people ..Once his people. But his life, all but gone. All from a blink of an eye.
One day he was standing inside his office, neat and immaculate in precision.
And the next he was unclad, yelling at the top of his voice. .running into the street and lost to the world he called home. And on a daily, everyone passes ..forgetting him…that he was once like them but the difference was; he never did forget to give a helping hand.
He can’t explain how he got here or why he lost it. But this is his life now. And for some strange reason he seemed contented but that’s a facade . For he is alone and rejected.
Only what they see and react to is …’ A mad unclad man with dreeds and dirty nails roaming the streets and they hope life eventually passes him by or takes him with it..and for that ..they may be pleased.
But all he wants is to be cared and loved. He longs to be the man in the mirror again. But that seems to be a world far away..impossible even to the thought. And when he tells the ones staring at him about the big house and cars, money and contentment. ..the look all their faces is enough to know that ….”Not everyone sees what you see..”
He would go about his daily routine…
What else can a mad man do..If not to be what is required of him?
It is what it is. ..life isn’t a bed full of roses..but it’s all shades of gray and a few kpekeres.