Painters. You wonder what goes through their heads while painting. It’s a puzzling beauty, some paintings. Take this one in Java Kigali. There is a protagonist with a small head. Someone must have shrunk his head, a furious chief, perhaps. Or he was hit with a club and it never regained shape. Anyway, he decides to take off with his niece’s bicycle. He cycles to town, to look for a comb because his comb broke while combing his small patch of hair.
It’s a good day to look for a comb, blue sky over a din of honking and beeping. He’s wearing his cool pink (size 4 l) shoes because why the hell not? As he cycles past a salon he sees a clutch of beauties holding court outside. They are quite sassy, these bunch. Long wavy hair and all. City girls his mommy had warned him about. He brings the baby bicycle to a stop and steps on the ground with one leg.
“Greetings, beautiful beasts!” He says. There is voluptuous one in devastating yellow dress leaning against the wall. She ignores him. She is the troublemaker, he can tell. The one seated on the floor being braided says nonchalantly, “Alo.”
“I’m looking for a comb.” He tells her.
“For what?” Yellow growls. Her voice full of cigarettes, late nights & bad decisions.
“To cut my grass,” he retorts. (He might have a small head but it has a mouth on him.) “What do you think?”
Yellow scoffs “You hardly have any hair on that beady head the size of an orange.” She says. “I imagined maybe the comb was for your dog’s fur.” The other ladies giggle. He stares at Yellow who stares back unblinkingly. Finally he says, “I might need a comb for my hair but you need soap for that mouth.” The ladies chortled loudly as he pedals away.