I could hear the birds stirring.
When their songs became more complex and flurried, when our suns glow reached that unmistakable apex mixture, I knew in my bones, it was time to go.
Except I was shivering uncontrollably with a fever.
My body was convulsing from relaxed to constricted in a subconscious rhythmic mandate to warm itself.
Like a rattlesnake on a egg timer.
I’m just going to lay here, in this one very unorthodox position, until I feel better, I thought.
Then I imagined all the tasks I would have to preform if I did that, the hassles I already navigated that would have to be revisited and executed again.
I decided to not delay my trip to Man, a small town near the boarder of Guinea, north of Liberia.
Despite looking and feeling, like a thawing hotdog.
The adrenaline that was moving me was temporary, I knew that.
I had to get to my bus, in my seat, before I crashed.
Six blocks before the bus station, several cars in both directions decided to maneuver U turns.
In standstill traffic.
This and a few other contributing experiences, have led me to believe that If Côte d’Ivoire was a child it would have died already from forgetting to breathe, which is to say, this country is the most fucking retarded child in the history of retarded children.
Not to put too fine a point on it.
I decided to walk the final six blocks.
Mainly because of the invisible, fart like retardation haze, that seemed to infecting everyone controlling a car.
Eventually I found a ticket agent that exchanged my previous days receipt for a bus ticket, then I was shown my bus.
Oh god, it’s a battle bus.
Q: What’s a battle bus Bobby?
A: A battle bus is a really shitty bus, where there are more people than seats. More luggage in the aisle than is stowed away beneath it.
Generally a battle bus has seen its glory days come and pass, it’s no longer cared for and has long since begun it’s decent into shabbiness.
Once aboard the battle bus I felt like a prepubescent Forest Gump.
Lots of, “seats taken and can’t sit here’s”
When I was told not to sit in one of the last few empty seats available, by a quiet man who was no doubt following instructions given to him by some elitist dipshit.
I sat anyway.
My Adrenaline was just about finished.
The man returned shortly thereafter with a look of genuine surprise.
He demanded that I get out of his two seats.
I shook my head no.
He started yelling for the driver to get involved, but when he realized the driver didn’t give a shit, this was after all a battle bus, he just stared at me.
I stared back and smirked the most “The fuck are you gunna do” smirk I could manage.
Nothing this guy could do or say was going to get me to move.
There was a time when basic level intimidation, like the shit he was deploying, might have worked on me, like in Ethiopia for instance, but not anymore.
I’ve seen and experienced too much to let this man muscle me into the aisle.
When the bus started moving, my fever kicked in again.
And my sweats.
It was a confusing time for me, my body and all that exists between the two.
After a few hours of painful intermittent temperature fluctuation, I went into my medical kit and took all the hard hitting meds I’ve accumulated up till now.
I put my head down and wished I had listened to the Bobby who wanted to stay in bed until he felt better.
I would later find out in Man after two days in the Hospital, that I have Malaria.
I suppose all the meds I’ve been taking to fight off the worms, have weakened me enough that I’m more susceptible to Malaria?
I don’t know.
I read things.
The driver stopped once in Yamoussoukro for a pee break and once more in Bauaflè-Daloa to pick up people.
No food stops.
No water stops.
And a body filled with potent meds.
For over 12 hours.
This was easily, my worst experience in Africa.
A real nightmare.
I would look at the red analog clock above the driver and read 17:42, then put my head down, breath heavy, ignore the sounds around me, remind myself that this is temporary, I can’t be in this much pain forever, can I?
I’ll sleep when I get to Man then go to a clinic in the morning.
But first I have to get water.
My stomach is feeling weird, it hurts but not in a way I’ve experienced before.
Why is this kid crying!
SHUT THE FUCK UP!
Kids begging for tits
GIVE THE KID TITS!
I open my eyes and look at the clock again, it’s still 17:42.
Where the fuck am I?
Am I on a weird interstellar like planet that has a completely different relationship to time?
One where time stops when discomfort reaches the threshold of Fuck it, just kill me.
I spent 12 hours in hell.
I was hungry, thirsty, sick as a dog and still, I didn’t cry.
If only that baby knew what a bitch she was being.
But now after two days in bed and on powerful doctor prescribed meds, Bobby’s starting to feel better.
Not quite a Festival Bobby.
But certainly, an All You Can Eat Sushi Bobby.
Who is a far far cry from Battle Bus Bobby, who was more of a Wax Figurine Bobby.
Maybe the worms tried to impose a worm consciousness onto my human consciousness but after a epic battle, the worms lost.
Oh god, I’m a worm.
At this point I could care less who’s running the show, just so long as I don’t feel like I have to commit harakiri to start the game from my last check point.
By the way, it’s still 17:42.