Friday, June 19, 2009

The Coin with the silver lining...

The car slowed as it reached the junction, waiting for the traffic light to turn Green. She looked over to her daughter, seated beside her in the front, and noticed she looked uncomfortable. As she began to inquire what was wrong, she followed her daughters gaze; that’s when she noticed the miniscule scrawny hands extended to her, slightly cupped together, the beggar’s gesture. She slightly held her breath and quickly fumbled over the buttons that pulled up the car windows.

“I hate these beggar children!” she exclaimed with a grimace. Her face screwed up out of edgy unease rather than anger. The sight of the malnourished tattered street children, some as young as two, struck deep in her. It hurt her. Made the car, the clothes, the lifestyle she and her family had seem obscene in comparison. Yet she knew there were much richer, right here, like the overweight lady in the Cream Mercedes in front of them, flashing her golden bangles and rings that draped her oversized hand that was crocked out of the car window. Or the man in the dark suite, laughing loudly on his blackberry in the car that towered behind them.
They seemed oblivious to the half naked begging child. It reminded them too much of the poverty they desperately escaped. The poverty they knew too well. So they conveniently avert their eyes. Roll up their windows to shut them out, at least for a while, until the traffic moved again.

But no matter how high the car, despite tightly sealed tinted windows and loud music over the car radio, they were unable to shut out the nagging yet faint voices of the beggars. “Mama…mama…aunty…lukumi…aunty…lukumi…”

Young and unexposed to the harshness of life, her daughter pleaded; “Mum, just give them 500 shillings…please, he’ll go away…just a single coin”. If she wouldn’t do it for the beggar child, she would do it for her daughter. To ease the discomfort from her face; it wasn’t making the situation any easier to deal with either. After all, what did she care what the street urchin did with the money. He could go buy drugs for all she cared; at least he would be able to escape his godforsaken existence just for a little while.

So she pulled her large Gucci bag to her laps and scratched for a coin in her purse, amongst large 20 and 50 thousand notes. She eventually pulled out a 200 shilling coin. That would do. As she began to roll down her window slowly, the street child became excited at her response. She had heard his pleas. He began to grab for the single simmering coin.The coin with a silver lining. His heightened reaction stuck panic in her, the feel of his boney, grimy fingers on her lotioned hand made her jump. She spastically tossed the coin.

It flew over the boys head and struck the ground in the middle of adjacent road. Increased heart beat made her deaf to her daughters screams, as he scrambled for it, on hands and bare feet, it struck. Like a single heart beat. Then speed off, departing with his life, flinging his bloody body to the side pavement. He lay, lifelessly limp, a dirty bundle covered in capitalist shit, clutching the shiny coin to his chest.

The man in the car behind began hooting impatiently at them.
The light had turned Green.

WRITERS NOTE: I didnt know where to blog this, but i figured in the middle would be appropriate, after all, its about art...and stuff. lol. Decided to write something a little longer than my short poems...i guess i have more time on my hands these days.


Sarah said...

Wow. I enjoyed reading this so much! I saw you had updated a few days ago, but i didn't read it because i haven't had time. And now i regret it!
Hmm, it is as if the text captures many of my own thoughts. Really inspiring! And challenging!
Way to go:)

Sarah said...

"He lay, lifelessly limp, a dirty bundle covered in capitalist shit, clutching the shiny coin to his chest."

Powerful sentence right there!

willpress said...

Real soul right here, a lot of truth in that story. . .You ended it just the way I would have! The wheels of capitalism must turn. . .another deadline to beat in the paper chase. . .Most of us who give to them beggars do it just for convenience to themselves. And maybe we hate the fact that they may be a reflection of ourselves in a way, all the ass kissing we do in the quest for success.

In fact I had put it almost the way you did in a facebook note exactly 3 months ago (March 18th) lol. . . Wacha I'll copy paste the relevant paragraph here when I get close to a comp.

sleek said...

woah..interesting read,topical issue

willpress said...

Here it is:

You stoop down to drop a coin to the beggar's bowl as his counterpart picks your pocket. . . Its a crime to seem so "sufficiently philanthropic" these days. . .apparently. Then you curse yourself for having not got a car by now. Preferably one with tinted windows so that you cannot see these children of lesser gods. . .scum, who don't appreciate mercy. . . You curse yourself for having ignored the sign "DON'T FEED THE MONKEYS" as you walked through this zoo. . . Monkey see, monkey do. .so chances are you're a monkey too! That random beggar there had knelt in a semi-Gandhi stoop, much like you had done after the office bash when your boss demanded a blow job to move you up the corporate stratum. . . Sigh!

eizzy.k said...

@ Willpress - yo! thats dope! i know exactly what u talkin abt man...great minds, hey?!