On my way from court last week, just as I was about to straddle a Boda-boda, I was startled by a honk from across the road. I turned to see a rather familiar lawyer I’ll call Jack, one that I could have seen in a library at campus.
“Hey, you’re heading to town?” He called out rather smugly, his left hand on the steering wheel and the right elbow prodding through the window like there was not enough space for both hands in the car.
I rarely have a problem hitchhiking with a person I know, or should know in this case. But in the front seat of his seemingly new Toyota Progrès was a pretty young girl—an intern at Jack’s Law Firm I presume—for whom he had intentions of a boning nature. Of course you can tell when a guy is trying to impress his way up a girl’s nether regions, and you don’t want to be the ladder.
“Oh, thanks. But I am passing by the Companies Registry.” I made up a quick one, “and the traffic that side is terrible, you’re better off going without me.”
“That’s exactly where we’re passing.” He rebounded, “Weren’t you supposed to check on the forms you filed last week?” He turned to his bride as he leaned behind to open for me the door, like I was going to run away.
I wanted to blurt out another excuse, say this boda man whose hopes I’d heightened, how was I supposed to live with myself after disappointing him? But with the door flung open the way it was in the middle of the road, riding away would be really impolite, so I budged and entered the gaddamn car.
“Roger, Tish (not real name); Tish, Roger.” A quick introduction was made. “Do you know how many people are lost to boda boda accidents each week? Those bastards are very reckless. Plus it’s a little embarrassing for counsel to be seen flying around town with his tie being blown back and forth by the wind. Don’t you think?” He peered at me through the driving mirror and sniggered in an attempt to tone down his cruel remark.
“Well, when time is of essence, bodas are about the most efficient means of transport in this jumbled town of ours. Oh by the way you forgot the ‘S’, it’s Rogers” I pointed out, as if that was supposed to help me change the ambiance while I fidgeted to forge a sitting posture that wouldn’t make me come off as inferior to him because I was in his bloody car.
“He is a funny one” He forced a chuckle. “My friend here was with me at Law School, but he’s also a good writer. He wrote a nice piece about things they never tell you about law school. I am sure you’ve read it.”
“Hmm…I am maybe, maybe not” Tish simpered.
“You haven’t? I’ll send you a link when we get to office. It’s really interesting. Actually, my man here writes for New Vision”.
Did he just call me his man? I wondered. I could barely remember this guy in school. He could even have been two or three classes ahead of me for all I know. But now I was “his man”, passing me off as his former classmate. With the details he knew about me you would think we were even roommates, if not best friends who haven’t met in a while but have been keeping tabs on each other. Only that he turned out to be the successful lawyer who drives a “luxury car” and I, the pitiful lawyer who goes to court astride boda bodas with files clasped in his sweaty armpits. One that needed to be rescued from the embarrassment by offering me a lift against my wish.
“No I don’t write for New Vision” I retorted.
“Yes he does, he’s just being modest”
“I may have contributed to a section in the Sunday Vision that was scrapped, but I’ve never been on the New Vision payroll”
“Oh right!” He wagged a forefinger the way you would after getting an epiphany. “That explains why you switched to Monitor, you now write for Monitor right? I remember that article on Sunday about atheism.”
“You know he’s also atheist” He now turned to Tish. “A follower of fat boy; they call themselves free thinkers.”
I felt the need to clarify that I don’t write for Daily Monitor either, that I had just been interviewed about the subject. But by now I was brimming with indignation and I wasn’t even ready to start defending myself against the preposterous allegation that I was a follower of fat boy. So I decided to sit back and painfully feign a smile as this snob flaunted me like a circus monkey he’d trained how to skip a rope. It’s what you get when take lifts from a person who has just bought a car, for some reason they feel like they’ve donated to you a kidney which guarantees them the right to treat you like their pet throughout that period of unlawful imprisonment. I shouldn’t have disappointed my boda man.