I am dozing on my bed this hot afternoon,halfway to the land of sleep, when I hear one of the cleaners yell. She has a loud speaking voice normally but her yells,my goodness,are of the earsplitting sort.
I turn to the other side of my bed and wonder who or what wants to cause this hearing loss for all of us.
She yells again and I decipher the word she is yelling.
She is yelling:”Baba!”
Now, I’m wondering who this Baba is and why his name is being yelled.
She yells again in Yoruba that he shouldn’t kill us.
At this stage,I’m wondering fuzzily, if I remembered to lock the door after my roomie left.
There is a bout of silence and I heave a sigh of relief. I turn again and continue my nap.
Then she continues,screaming at the unseen Baba,asking him if he wants to ruin people’s clothes.
That gets my attention and I open my eyes,fully alert.
Today is Saturday and the clothing lines in the backyard are full of clothes in varying colours and sizes spread out or hung up.
I happen to be one of the people whose clothing is spread out on that line by the dint of hard work,being that I woke up early,8am precisely( Yes. 8am on a Saturday is early for me), to wash and spread them.
She yells again and I sit up fuzzily.
As I rub my bleary eyes ,I smell the smoke.Warning bells go off in my head.
The man who has a plot at the back of our building farms it and occasionally he indulges in bush burning to our detriment.
I mean,isn’t bush burning in residential areas illegal? If it isn’t,it should be.Without any apology to his neighbours too!
I peep out my window and see the spirals of smoke and ashes descending upon the backyard and our hard washed clothes.All traces of sleep vanish from my eyes instantly.
I hear doors opening and people shouting in outrage at the sight of the unwelcome smoke spiraling over the fence.
The cleaner is still yelling and cursing as she packs away the clothes she spread out this morning. She has a murderous glare on her face as she stuffs the clothes into a large basin.
She keeps on cursing as the smoke spirals down.
I feel the tickle of laughter in my throat and am tempted to laugh. I really am.That is, until I realize I have clothes outside too.
Snapping back to attention,I put on my slippers to go and rescue my clothes,before they start smelling like those of an “asun” seller.( Not that they smell particularly unpleasant or anything)
Like grasscutters being smoked out of their lair ,we rush out with one quest in mind: rescue your clothes.
Written by Miracle Eme