8 months ago
THE OLD STREET VENDOR
On a hazy evening, I was sitting on a chair in the yard sipping tea. My eyes scanned the pedestrians passing by; my ears listened to their whispers. The wind passed by my face, gently caressing it. A sense of pleasure rattled me as the howling wind touched my skin.
The atmosphere was utmostly exuding a sense of harmony and everything seemed calm and amusing except for the dust in the air that made its way straight to my nasal cavity. As I rolled my eyes, an old man showed up on the road pushing a cart that exuded wisps of smoke opposite to the direction of the moving cart. Looking at the cart with maize, a few white sacks, an oven, and firewood, I ascertained the old man was selling roasted maize.
An electrician from the top of the hotel shouted, “Baje! Are you selling roasted maize?”
“Yes, I am,” said the old man with a gentle smile as he stopped the cart and parked it on the side of the road.
“One roasted maize, please”, said the electrician and fled into his shop. The old man shoved maize into the oven to roast them.
Five minutes later, the roasting was done and he summoned the electrician to have his order. The heaven roared colossally above and the dark clouds and started the downpour. The old man hastily took out an umbrella, opened it wide and attached it to the food cart. The pedestrians that passed by were quickening their pace as the pitter-pattering of the water droplets intensified. A bunch of girls all drenched squeezed themselves under the umbrella attached to the food cart and exchanged smiles with the old man before ordering maize for themselves.
As the old man craned his neck and rolled his eyes, all he could see was horrendous downpour with the tempestuous storm. The downpour continued unabated and showed no sign of stopping anytime soon. Water droplets were dripping down his chin. The more I observed the man, the more my thoughts and assumptions about him strayed constantly and without boundary. His grey hair, wrinkled and sagging skin clearly illuminated the wisps of hot smoke out of burning firewood he faced throughout the years. His swollen and rough hands showed his strenuous efforts that he had been putting into pushing the food cart through the desolate streets for survival. The ragged and stitched clothes clearly portrayed his pain and sacrifices he made his entire life just to keep his body and soul together.