Death Cab Express

I’m sitting in a taxi blurring down Sam Nujoma and the cabbie has just told me he’s going to murder his girlfriend.

Not today.

Not tomorrow.

But the day she tries to leave him for good and the light catches the highlights in his Brazilian hair as she attempts to walk out the door. Almost away to freedom. But not quite.

And not any kind of freedom she can live with.

The Brazilian hair is his. He’s planning on buying it for her in a month or so because the rain has sent him more customers than he knows what to do with which has left him feeling flush and fantastic.

He fingers my own extensions like he’s running his hands over his very own prize heifer and I recoil amidst his chuckling.

He has an infectious sort of laugh.

The kind of laugh that puts you at ease and allows  you to brush off invasions of space a  mere ten minutes before a man tells you he is capable of murder.

For now, he is just a man.

A man with a good laugh who I’m going to talk to about his girlfriend in the ten minutes it’s going to take us to drive from Windhoek West to Hidas Centre in the depths of a deluge and peak traffic.

To lighten the mood, he asks me about my hair extensions and inquires whether it is a good idea for him to buy his girlfriend some of her own.

I tell him no and he looks startled so I ask him if his girlfriend has a job and regularly wears weaves. He tells me yes on both counts and says she works at a lodge.

Eyeing me quizzically in-between glances at the wet road, he asks me why he shouldn’t buy her any Brazilian hair and I tell him that buying women things that enhance their appearance makes men think that they own them.

I tell him that his girlfriend has a job and that she can afford to buy her own hair, make-up and clothing within her means and he should treat her every now and then if he likes but not make it a habit to the extent that it may influence their relationship and only make her stay until she really wants to go.

I tell him their relationship should be based on love and communication not on gifts and then I ask him how he would feel if he bought her Brazilian hair, clothes, phones and make-up and then she decided she didn’t want to be with him anymore.

That’s when he tells me that he will kill her.

He says it in the same mildly amused voice that confirmed my destination a few minutes before and I tell him I am going to take a photo of him to the police.

He laughs and tells me to go ahead.

The man in the back who we picked up near The Hilton says nothing.

He merely points to an article about a  young woman who stabbed her ex-boyfriend to death with a broken bottle and I say: “I wonder where she got that idea from?”

After a silence I ask the cabbie what he’s going to do after he has killed his girlfriend and he says he doesn’t know.

I tell him that that I do and that after he kills his girlfriend he’s going to be sorry.

I say he’s going to go from being really angry to really sorry in about 20 minutes but by then he will be on his way to 20 years in jail.  He says jail is fine and he will get another even more beautiful girlfriend when he comes out and I tell him he will be an old man.

I tell him he will be old and ugly, crazy from staring at four walls and his dick will be so shriveled and disused that no woman will come near him.

I tell him he won’t be able to find a job because no one wants to hire a murderer and that he will spend the rest of his life hanging off a bar in Hakahana in-between jerking off to crazy Spanish chicks on Telemundo.

We reach Hidas Centre. I get out of the car and a young man shoves past me just to make sure I don’t doubt the complete and utter death of chivalry and the cabbie calls out to me and says earnestly that he is joking.

I look at the man in the back who has said nothing.

Who has only vaguely suggested that there is some sort of tit for tat in his presentation of the woman who stabbed her boyfriend.

I look at him and he doesn’t catch my eye because it is not in the hands in his lap which he is staring into so intently.

The three men drive off.

One who has admitted that he may murder, another young, rude and entitled and the last silent.

Like a stone.

The kind you put on graves.