I glance at my phone with disgust. If someone said that these things were the best thing to happen to the digital world, that they would improve our lives… Someone lied. All it’s been doing lately is causing me grief.
Like now for instance.
It’s not like I wanted to do this shit in the first place. I had plans… big plans. Plans of grandeur and all that. But they kind of took a nasty turn. Put another way, I decided life was one big party. Nothing wrong with that I suppose. It just sucks that life doesn’t consider itself as much and will more often than not let make you aware of it’s sentiments by screwing you over. Hard! Towards my graduation I was facing the uncertainties that many a finalist is wont to face at that time. No matter. I’d done just about everything I had to so I wouldn’t look back with my vision all hazy and think “Shoot! I should have done that!”
Then there was that incident involving the Notice Board. With a sheet of paper on it. With my name.
Yeah, I tore it and made a scan. I don't know why I did it, but it seemed like a pretty good idea at the time. Actually a lot of stuff back then seemed at par with heights of brilliance scaled only by philosophers and what not. This was one of them.
What followed wasn't.
Turns out they figured we’d cheated. Or copied from each other during the finals. The inaccuracy in that statement was a little above your run of the mill whelming. It was overwhelming. We hadn’t cheated, they had. They’d jotted answers off my sheet like bloody Xerox machines. Thing is, I wasn’t a snitch. Never been, never will be. The idea was we were supposed to write statements of some sort. Pledging allegiance or vowing never to be caught again. In effect we would be saying, “fuck yeah, we cheated. What you’ve got right in front of you is a bonafide confession. And yes, that there at the bottom of the declaration is my John Henry. I’m Guilty! GUILTY!”
The rest of the cast on that list actually went on and sucked up. Brown nosed so hard I could smell it off them when they came to say they’d ‘miraculously’ been forgiven and they’d be graduating in a month or so. Miraculously, eh? A Miracle is the immaculate conception. What had happened here was betrayal. Pure and simple. I let it go. There was probably an easy way out of this. Life is choke full of loop holes and ways to beat the system. Who needs an education anyway?
I'd gone over to my doctor for my regular check up. And I told him I was looking at career options that did not require some form of documentation from a fart at the university walking through the heralded corridors of education under the impression that he was God's gift to mankind and he had to let mankind know as much seeing as the creator was not making any formal announcements about this arrangement.
Probably not the way I phrased it, but you get the idea.
He gave it some thought. As much thought as you can cram into about 12 nanoseconds, then picked up a copy of the newspaper that was conveniently there at the same time I was. Fate? Fat chance. There was an ad. The Police were recruiting. That they'd put out an advert in the papers was probably a testament to how serious they were, how far they were willing to go.
And that's how I ended up working for my country's police force. The merits by far outweighed the demerits. In my first month after a lengthy training session, I'd succeeded in imposing a couple of fines and penalties on some prig from the university. The fact that he reminded me vaguely of my dean, his name and face rang a couple of bells, didn't really help his case. And the fact that he tried to bribe me. That was just insulting. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a greasy palm as much as any other guy you will find donning the khaki uniform of Kampala's finest, but this was payback. And payback is a bitch. Yes sir.
There were a couple of perks that society would frown upon. The occasional raids we conducted rounding up prostitutes came with benefits. It's amazing what they'd be willing to do to avoid a night in a damp cell reeking of fumes emitted from wherever. They'd do anything… ANYTHING.
It's not so much that I wasn't getting any. Looking as I did. It would be a grave injustice if I wasn't. So, whenever we'd lock up a couple of them, I'd take a peek. Look for one that seemed desperate and set about releasing her. It was usually the young ones. Worried about their parents finding out about there night time activities. I'd call one aside and berate her about her choice of career. Or the odd working hours it came with. I'd then ask the officer in charge to release her. I'd take it upon myself to make sure she got home okay. The other officers were a little pissed off with me because of the whole responsible position I had assumed.
If only they knew.
What actually happened was a little different. Sure they'd be released. And yes, I'd walk them out and drive off with them, but that's were the kink in the story came in.
I'd threaten to paint a nasty picture for their parents and they'd probably be beaten or worse. You read the papers, the parenting skills back here are little below the text book standards that insist that mummy and daddy love their sons and daughters.
She'd panic and then, responsible adult that I was, I'd soothe her somewhat. Stroking her consolingly and drying her tears. I'd ask her whether she was cold and offer her a drink. Some vodka. A couple of swigs later and she'd be free of inhibition. I'd check in to a motel (read; lodge) and have my way with her and send her off. Everyone came out happy with this arrangement. Well, I know I did.
Tonight was the same. The routine had been followed like some script and I'd picked out a nice brown thing. Probably from the coast and here trying to make something of herself. Such is life.
The girl at the reception gave me the look of disgust I'd gotten used to from my numerous visits here. A look of disapproval. Whatever. I didn't judge her so there was no reason for her to. We're all sinners, right?
I led my quarry to the room and started to take off her personal effects. It didn't take too long. They barely wore anything anyway. Her eyes widened in disbelief when the realization of what was about to happen sunk in. It was short-lived.
She'd smoked something to help her feel 'warm' Mary Jane or some other variant.
Coupled with the drink she fast became a willing participant. Ready to cater to my every need, to sate my proclivity. She was fun. The most fun I'd had with a member of her vocation. She did not flinch with each touch, she welcomed it. I suspect she was enjoying this more than I was, if that was possible. And she returned whatever I gave with zeal. We were perfectly matched. The quarrel the couple in the next room was having didn't break the symphony…it was our soundtrack.
After a while, we slept. I didn't send her home right away. I figured she'd come in handy a little later.
The ringing of the phone broke into my slumber.
The room smelt of cheap coitus.
"There's been a thing and we need you on it."
I guess no one says hullo anymore.
"It's at Come N Chill Motel"
Shit. This was way too close…
I knew I had to take care of it. Otherwise they'd send more police here and I'd be found with this girl and I'd have to make up something.
"This thing is big. It involves the commissioner, he has a problem …"
Fuck! I knew what was coming…
"…so we're sending you back-up"
I hang up and glanced at the phone with disgust… the same look on my face right now.
I start to dress up, not too keen on what I am being thrown into. My ID falls to the ground. Why couldn't we be like cops in the movies? Flashing badges and stuff…
I pick it up, and look at the logo and the name beneath it. My name.
Questions float. I look at my reflection in the mirror.
How the hell did I get here?
What the heck have I gotten myself into…
The phone rings the second time. The brown thing on the bed doesn't stir, she's oblivious to it all.
I sigh and answer, "You've reached Dorothy…"