Then he died. A play (mbu).


Taxis are great for ideas. There’s something about humanity crushing in on you from all sides that makes your brain bubble over with them. Most of the stuff you read on this blog has been conceived in a matatu or on a boda, including the “Play” below.

Then he died.

Scene one (and only)

The room is small, dark and empty save for a plastic chair and a fraying settee. On the chair is a person of ambiguous gender wearing a doctor’s coat with the words Dr. Kyrte scrawled on its collar. A few meters across from him/her is a man trying to occupy as little space on the settee as possible. His name is Bo.

Dr. Kyrte:  Speak.

Bo: I can’t understand why he did it…I mean, I could have forgiven loud sniffing, taking up more leg space than he was entitled to…even aimless conversation, I would have tolerated. But dying! What I could have done to make him so angry that he decided to die on me?

Dr. Kyrte: Start from the beginning, Bo. As you never fail to remind me, you’re paying for this time.

Bo: That’s right, Doctor Kyrt. I am.

Dr. Kyrte: Kyrt-E. So what died and where?

Bo: Two days ago, I woke up at what must have been 7am although it could have been 9 or 10.

Dr. Kyrte: Right.

Bo: I had a cup of porridge, burnt, because my maid is a hater. I don’t understand why he couldn’t have done the social equivalent of burning porridge! Clearly, he found the experience of sitting next to me very unpleasant. (blows nose loudly)

Dr. Kyrte: Did any dying occur before you left home?

Bo: No.

Dr. Kyrte: As I never fail to remind you Bo, the only minutes I am willing to spend in your company are the ones you pay for.

Bo: You’re so unkind. I walked up to the taxi stage, arrived winded, waved a taxi down, sat on the chair next to the driver and greeted him. When he didn’t respond, I got out, waited for somebody else to occupy the seat next to him and sat on the big chair near the door.

Dr. Kyrte: Go on. Starts to shoot saliva through the gaps between his/her teeth

Bo: The taxi began to move. Could you …not do that? The guy who’d occupied the seat next the driver…he died.

Dr. Kyrte: Died?

Bo: Yes.

Dr. Kyrte: How?

Bo: He just groaned a bit and died. His corpse then slid onto my lap.

Dr. Kyrte: How didthat make you feel?

Bo: Hateful but triumphant. He must have been spiteful because I’d made him sit on the small chair.

Dr. Kyrte: What happened after that?

Bo: Nothing. I didn’t want to alarm the driver with news that a man had just died in his taxi. That could have led to an accident.

Dr. Kyrte: Good thinking.

Bo: I waited until we reached my stop and then announced loudly that a man had died. The taxi must have been full of blind idiots because they all exclaimed mbu “where?!”.

Dr. Kyrte: Seems like a valid question to me.

Bo: Which is why I’m getting a real shrink the moment I can afford it. At this point, I was tired and late for work so I pushed the guy off my lap, jumped out of the taxi and bolted.

Dr. Kyrte: Had you paid your fare?

Bo: No. Oh. That’s probably why they chased me. And lynched me.

Dr. Kyrte: Yea. Probably.

Bo: Yea.

Dr. Kyrte: Yea.

Bo: OK bye.

Dr. Kyrte: Till next time.

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