It’s 4: 45 pm. I’m in church helping the lady decorating. This backdrop had been there for over six month’s. We were talking about her choice of colours. A discussion which seemed unnecessary to me because she had already bought the materials and ribbons needed. We talked anyway. I could not see how the colours would be matched. I needed her to show me. I gave up. I told her to do what she intended, “forget my talk and do as you originally planned”. I heard my stomach grumble. I don’t know if she heard it too. If she did, she did not feel offended.
I looked at the time. We would have to set the work aside. Service starts at five. I was to take the Bible study, so I knew this had to be a quickie. while the one man choir took praise and worship I walked out of the building.
The church had no toilet. They had not thought it necessary to build one when the church was initially planted. I looked around. I knew where I was headed. I had been there before. We were in the middle of Sunday School when I felt my stomach make this same noise. I stayed put, focusing on the teacher hoping it would pass. It got louder. I guess it was piqued by my defiance. Just like today, I walked out and headed for the road.
The houses in the village had one thing in common. No Toilets. When I was looking to rent a house, this was the challenge. The people had found a way to settle the situation. They called it Bush Business.
As I crossed the road today, I did the same thing I did that Sunday. I walked not as one having a cursor hanging over his head. I acted like I did not have anything burning me underneath my dress.
I look over my shoulder, scan around to be sure I am out of view. I take a look once more at the church, I notice again, it’s distance from the next building. The church is in the middle of nowhere, because the community did not want a church so close to them, I think they picked a stone and threw it with all the strength they could muster and this is where the stone must have landed; where the the church is now.
I knew my way around this terrain. The footpath had been created by charcoal farmers who longer plied this route. I starred at the spot where I had been before, a sort of bond existed between me and these trees, the leaves, and everything that made up this bush. It had covered my shame, and was going to do it again.
I looked around, wondering where to settle. I moved closer to a tree stump. The leaves were withered. I did not like this area; I moved on. I settle somewhere without a stump. Plain ground, patched leaves carpeted the area. The way I felt I knew I was there. I went for my buckle, unclasped and zippers down. Squat. I heard the sound of a bike, then a car and another bike. Nothing was coming again. I remembered that verse, “my little children, for whom I travail in birth again… .” I am not sure Paul ever thought a missionary aeons after his letter to the Galatians would remember this verse in the bush, while taking a dump. I wondered how often Paul went into the bush to travail. I did not travail here. I brought out the tissue. I swiped anyway. Got up. Zipper up. Belt buckled.
I did a show of trying to bury it.
I walked away.
I was happy to be myself again. Shaking off minutes ago when I had to submit to the mood swing of my bowels. As I neared the road, I looked back. I wanted to memorise the place I picked.