Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Maybe. Maybe not.

Ugandan's drive on the left side of the road. Sinister. I walk on the right side, runner-style, so I can see the cars racing towards me, weaving, their imbalanced wheels threatening to to dislocate and shoot outward like a Looney-Toon Cartoon with every wobble.

In The States, I call my method "taking precautions." In Uganda, I call my method "Death Control."

But like it's antithesis, sometimes the condom breaks. And sometimes, it only almost breaks...

On my walk to school this morning, I was nearly flattened by a bus. In my minds eye, it wouldn't have been a steam-roller flattening as in "Who Killed Roger Rabbit?" No. More like a Devon-meets-bus. Devon flattens on bus' grill and sticks. Devon screams like the after-shave scene from "Home Alone" straight through town center as Ugandan's look on and announce to no one in particular, "It was god's will", heads nodding solemnly.

But I won't pin the almost-homicide on the bus driver. You see, a safari vehicle was passing through town at the sluggish pace of ~50 mph. And 50 in a residential portion of town is GETTHEFUCKOUTOFMYWAYASSHOLE-slow. Especially when the road is lined with kids heading to school, with wo/men heading to work and drunks of all ages heading to the bars.

Gotta show 'em: might makes right. Gotta show 'em: I've got a car, and you've only got legs.


And a bus is bigger than a safari vehicle, and...

Might makes right.
Might makes right.
Might makes right.

A mantra.

The bus swings wide, the turning radius of a freight train, and accelerates. The corner of the bus whips past me, 2 feet away. The gust of hot air pushes me sideways, off the road. My heart is pounding and my exclamation of "WHAT THE FUCK?!?!" is lost in the explosion of four or five pitches of the bus' bull horn and the diesel engine hidden beneath its tacky pink exterior.

The incident is over. I watch as the two vehicles battle for first position: the safari vehicle accelerates, the Kalita bus weaves to-and-fro.

A vision of me sprinting to the bus stop, pulling the driver from his seat and inciting the townspeople to drag him through the streets like Mussolini flashes briefly. The thought is replaced with the following:

When I leave Africa, I may decide never to return. But, by no choice of my own, I may never leave Africa.

I am shaken by the thought.


  1. Devon, I´m a huge fan of Death Control. Keep it up! The ¨god´s will¨ image really got me.

  2. I hate you. You will leave Africa one day. I love you.