The Drunk Passenger

The Drunk Passenger

Steven Spielberg should have been with us that evening. He would have made a great movie out of this seven minute scene.

He should have been there, walking next to Heidi, Hailey and I as we came from school where I had gone to pick them at 4pm. Heidi and I are walking hand in hand and Hailey insists on trailing behind in order to kick stones. Maybe Steven (Steve?) could have helped in persuading Hailey to walk faster.

Heidi was telling me stories: Most of today was spent at the playground where she played with swings, seesaws and slides. She loved that. She also shared that her teacher likes to call her by her second name, Cherop. Now that makes two people, her grandmother being one of them.

We walk on, occasionally looking behind to make sure that Hailey doesn’t pull a Houdini on us. Then we see this motorbike coming from behind. I caution Hailey to go to the side of the road and she does – thank God for children who listen to you when you bark orders in a panic!

As the motorbike passes us, I realize that it has a passenger at the back. This passenger grabs my attention because he is holding onto the motorbike rider in a way that is tantamount to sexual harassment. Both his hands are tightly clasped around the poor guy’s groin. His body is firmly pressed to his back too! I hope Steve while capturing that, wouldn’t forget to zoom into the look of amusement on my face! Cherop missed it. Hailey too, but of course!

I followed the motorbike with my eyes as Cherop kept talking. She was saying something and with each pause, I would just agree with her “m-mmh…m-mmh…m-mmh…”

At some point, she shook my hand and asked sympathetically “Mum, unaumwa na mdomo?” I said “No! Why?” I was perfectly fine, wasn’t I Steve?

“Kwa nini unasema tu m-mmh na hauongei” Aki this kid! Thankfully, Steve wouldn’t get a word of what she was saying.

My attention was split and therefore I did not have sufficient time to laugh at Cherop’s jokes.

There was something off about that passenger.

I heard the biker say “Ni hapa” as he pointed to the gate they had stopped at.

Cherop gave up on our one-sided conversation and went quiet (Pole baby. I’ll make it up to you) Hailey caught up with us and was now holding my other hand.

The motorbike has stopped. The passenger is disembarking. We are slowly closing in on the two.  It is at this point, when the passenger is getting off that Steve should have assembled his camera guys, fetched the clapperboard and commanded for everyone to go into “ACTION!”

Suddenly, that hold the passenger had on the biker made sense. He could barely stand as much as he could barely balance on top of a motorbike. He therefore got down and immediately started staggering!

The passenger is down on his two (wobbly) feet, the biker zooms away as soon as wobbly feet touch the ground. Steve, we are to assume would have his camera rolling uninterruptedly, especially now? I wonder though, would Steve have loved to have his camera guys show the motorbike as it zoomed away leaving a cloud of dust to feast on us OR would he rather have focused entirely on the staggering passenger? Entirely your call big guy. Entirely your call!

We are still walking. Almost reaching the passenger now as our house is just a gate after his. He is trying to open his gate but his unsteady body will not cooperate with him. He keeps trying. We keep walking; me the girls (plus Steve and his crew). I notice the girls are now looking at the passenger keenly. We are just about to go past him when (get this Steve, Get it!) the passenger sways back…left… right… front…then he seems to regain his balance and we all breath again.

Nothing! He sways back again, right again and back again never to sway back to the front again.

With a soft thud, the passenger falls to the ground. Ouch!

Cherop: (Gasps) “Mum…”

Hailey: “Haiya!”

Yours truly: “Geez!”

What would you have said Steve? “Cut? Action? What?”

We all stand still for a while. The passenger is lying there in front of us. He tries to open his eyes but he can’t keep them open. When our focus leaves his face, we are drawn to some liquid oozing from the lower part of his body. No, it’s not blood – stop being melodramatic. Drunk passenger merely peed himself.

Hailey and Cherop look at each other.

Steve, I am sure this is the part where the camera would have zoomed into the wet pants?

The children who had been playing football on the street promptly stopped playing to come and see what we were looking at.

I managed to open the gate which he had been fumbling with and went inside to find if there was someone in the house.

“Do you know this guy?” I asked a lady I found inside.

If she was surprised to see him on the ground lying in his pee, she had a way of wearing a poker face. She just nodded “Ni jirani. But he lives alone in the SQ so sijui nani atamchunga

Let the record show that Mr. Passenger was not a young man. He was most likely in his early forties. He appeared to have been at work, given his white shirt and brown pair of trousers. So, why was he living alone?

He couldn’t find a wife? Alcohol had driven his wife away? He was afraid of commitment? He was gay? Well then, where was the Mr? Why does a man live alone at the age of forty, pray tell?

“Will he be ok?” I asked the lady as I needed to get my children home.

“Let me get someone to bring him inside” she said as she went back inside for a stronger pair of hands.

Oh how I could have propelled your career Steve. As a thank you, you would have given me my two minutes of fame by focusing the camera on me.

I would have wiped my sweaty face then I’d have retrieved my best accent and feeling no intimidation whatsoever glared at the camera and said:

“Wanaume muwashe fombe jamenini! Washeni fombe priz!”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *