It was a calm, warm night in Kigali, and I was sitting out in front of the house with the Old Man, a salty character who rented one of the other rooms in this classy villa in the city’s upscale Nyaturama district. I was on a nice codeine high and drinking a cold beer after a day of haggling in two of the city’s biggest markets. It should have been a nice, relaxing night, but it wasn’t.
“We need to go out and get some pussy,” the Old Man excitedly jabbered as he took drinks off a bottle of Tusker Lager in between drags off his cigarette.
“Man, I’d rather just sit here and enjoy this high,” I said. “I thought Julia was coming over for you tonight?”
“Besides,” I continued, “I’m stoned. I don’t want to leave the house. I’d rather sit here, get higher, and stare at the sky.”
My passivity enraged him.
“God damn it! Her damn number isn’t ringing through,” he said shaking his head and turkey-fucking yet another cigarette. “And I took a box full of Cialis thinking she was going to show up. You know how much that cost me?”
“No,” I said. “I have no idea at all.”
“Seven dollars!” He shouted. “Seven fucking dollars!”
“Listen you little peckerhead, have you ever heard the expression, ‘A mind is a terrible thing to waste?’”
“Well, at my age, a boner is a terrible thing to waste. Let’s go out. I’m not going to sleep like this.”
So I begrudgingly finished my beer, put my shoes on, and followed the old boy out the gate. We walked through our neighborhood, and it was easy to tell that he was extremely excited about this adventure.
“I can’t believe that whore didn’t show up!” He shouted as we walked down the walled streets. “But that’s okay because I’m going to find some sweet young thing tonight!” He danced a little jig in the street.
We made it to the main road near the telephone office and got on motos, dangerous motorcycle taxis, and rode down to the KBC Club, a seedy establishment notorious for its loose clientele.
The Old Man paid his and my entrance fees of four dollars, and we went inside.
It was clearly the wrong night to be a chemically-induced horny old man or a stoned young one. The women were atrocious looking, misshapen, and caked in makeup. We ordered a couple beers and began to stroll around, hoping this wasn’t the case throughout the bar.
But it was. We pulled up a couple seats near the dance floor and sat drinking and watching. The smell was atrocious; it reeked of a stench that was a cross between stale piss and people who hadn’t worn deodorant in years. There were fat girls who were wearing skin-tight zebra print halter tops with their guts hanging out and spooky looking women who resembled carved, Congolese statues who were just as likely to cast a spell that would shrink your head as they were to climb into bed with you. And out of nowhere a woman with wild hair sticking up every which way wearing coveralls ran onto the dance floor and began gyrating wildly.
“I’ve never seen it like this,” the Old Man mused. “This is bad.”
“I’ll say,” I said, growing impatient. “Let’s go back home and get high. This sucks.”
I didn’t want to be here anyway but between the smell and atrocious looking clientele ogling and grinding on me, I was starting to get nauseous.
“One more beer,” he said. “One more beer.”
So we wandered back over to the other side of the bar, away from the dance floor, and drank some more brews. While sitting there, a hooker who called herself “Pooky” came over and started flirting with the both of us. Neither of us wanted her, so we each tried to pawn her off on the other.
“What’s your name?” she asked in a heavy accent.
“Raoul,” I said. I pointed at the ring on my finger. “I’m married though, and I have no money.” I pointed at the Old Man. “Him though, he’s rich. You need to talk to him.”
So she did. And she started grinding her ass on his leg. His appalled face turned to one of crazed enjoyment, and I was astonished to see him appearing to enjoy this. Another overweight hooker with rooster-red hair came on to me, and I walked outside.
After a safe time had passed, I came back in and found the Old Man with Pooky. “Are you ready to go?” he asked. “I’m bringing her home.”
“A boner is a terrible thing to waste!” he shouted, now clearly more inebriated than when we started the night.
I was ready to leave. “Yeah,” I said. “Let’s bounce.”
We headed outside, and he hailed a cab. The idiot cabbie began to drive out the entrance, and a bus was headed straight at us. I could foresee death coming, as well as the headline of next week’s paper: “COLUMNIST KILLED IN HEAD-ON AT NOTORIOUS RWANDAN WHOREHOUSE WITH OLD MAN, PROSTITUTE”.
But, he swerved. Soon we were at the house. I went into my room and took a couple diazepam and started to relax a bit. I had never been so happy to be alone in a bed.
My calm was interrupted by a series of screams. I jumped out of bed and made my way over to the Old Man’s room and flung open the door.
The Old Man was nowhere to be seen, and Pooky was slipping on her skirt and tightening her belt to hide her massive gut.
“Where’s the Old Man?”
She just looked at me and started to waddle out. I heard a gurgling noise coming from the general area of her genitals that sounded like: “Help! I’m stuck in here!”
I watched as she waddled out of the room, then out of the house, and then out the gate out front. No Old Man.
I went back inside, took some more codeine, and fell asleep. Something very, very bad had just happened, and it wasn’t that I didn’t care, I just really didn’t want to know.