Friday, July 31, 2009

Knock Knock

If you are not looking for it, you will miss it; the house on Potomac Street. Its facade is flush with its neighbours and there is nothing remotely distinct or memorable about its appearance. It is just like any one of the other historic houses that line the cobbled street. It is three stories high with its entrance on the second level, keeping the 1st floor below grade and from view. There is a small gate separating the sidewalk from the property and a skinny patch of grass right next to it. The walls are an aged, white washed brick and the entrance is an old wooden door. Its current owner has made an attempt to place a stamp of identity on the building by arranging potted plants mounted off its wall. The plants are dying, sickened quickly by the oppressive heat unsuited for its species. This apparently was not crosschecked before they were placed outside for their doomed fate. What used to be petals are sallow grey and shriveled. What used to be a proud ode to nature's aesthetic now droops over the sides of green plant boxes, dripping water desperately intended to resuscitate it back to life. In its own way, the house has a unique blandness so that if you are not looking for it, you will miss it.

But I am looking for it. I have been looking for it for the past thirty minutes, trudging along cobbled paths in heels that are alarmingly tight but pretty around my swollen feet. I have been trying to hurry my approach to the house but I am tired, hot and hungry. I can only move as fast as I am and since I have no car unlike the slender brunette murmuring into her blackberry, ensconced behind the secure comfort of her air conditioned BMW, I must arrive at my destination, dripping with sweat much like the dying flowers in front of me.

There is a bell. It does not look like it works but I press it anyway. In this part of town, you never know. Things that look old are really not so; just carefully selected to imply that they have been there for a long time. I take a deep breath and reach up to smooth what I can of my hair. It's care has declined horribly and its appearance is much suited to the plant box. It will have to do. If what I seek here is what I get, then hopefully in a bit, there might be hope for my head's crown. That's what my mother calls my hair: my head's crown. Today, my head's crown is wilted and wet.

The door opens.
An old lady appears.
"Hello," I say, "I am here for the interview"
"The help goes around the back."

5 comments:

chayoma said...

Ouch!

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

damn...

(forgive the expletive, it was instinctive).

Very good use of descriptive words. I looked down at my feet when I read the part about cobbled stones, tight shoes and swollen feet.

How far?


NIGERIAN CURIOSITY
IT WAS SO MUCH EASIER WHEN I ONLY HAD ONE...

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

...don't forget to check for typos. I think I saw one or 2...

UnderCover07 said...

really....ouch!

Adeleke Adesanya said...

:)