I do not have a name. I am made of fibre glass but the brother next to me, he is plastic. We were shipped here from Dubai that is what the box said. I really do not know where we came from and who made us but we are here, in a shop on Kenyatta Avenue.

The barking owner barked at the people that work in the shop. She barked like a dog. Exactly like a dog. A silly Chihuahua in fake fur and very long graffiti toe nails that stuck out of her six inch polka dot gladiator peep toes. The people that work in the shop understood those soprano-alto barks to mean that we should be wiped clean, dressed appropriately -in the clothes that she chose- and placed on the window display. This was done in a record nine minutes.

In the haste, I got a synthetic hyena print Versage-Gappana Teddy Chemise. It was supposed to make me look sexy but the lady that put it on me forgot to cover my breasts. There I was, the only thing between my breasts and the male humans was very clean and clear glass. They laughed and giggled. Some had this scary look on their faces. Desire always looks baleful on a human male’s face. I like it when the women look at me because they do not really look at me but at the things that I am wearing. But these men, I am not sure about their erect looks. I do not know if they were imagining their women in the hyena print or thinking or breaking the glass pulling me out, arms attached and biting my painted nipples as they undress me on the pavement. I could not tell.

That group left, another came and left, all day. No one in the shop noticed anything because once they put on display; they covered the area behind us with fabric that matched a theme. The theme on this occasion was Valentine’s Day. The tagline, “Hoooooot and Sassssssy.” There was satin fabric that served as a colour clashing background for my chemise and the green whip on the brother mannequin’s hand that somehow coiled around his groin and pink HugWhoRE briefs. As far as the Chihuahua and the people who work for her were concerned, the display was done. Its purpose was to draw customers into the shop. They sat and stood in the shop and waited…for customers. Completely oblivious of the artificial orgy that their display was courting.

The women paused for a few seconds. They were disgusted. Their faces scrunched against their hands and screwed like suffocating raisins.

“Sasa huyo na matiti nje? Halafu ona venye wanaume wanamwangalia.”

Huyo? I am a thing. I am not a person. Jealousy…they were dying green. I thought they would shoo their male co-perpetrators away and run into the shop to raise an alarm. Instead, they saw me as a half naked, ill dressed mannequin that has the power to cover her boobies but refuses to do so. The permanent red smile on my face did not help my situation. Neither did my hazel dominatrix-dolly eyes. Thanks to the electric thing in my head, those eyes changed colour every other suggestive moment. 

A fibre glass model of a woman was their nemesis. I knew that I did not have the power to lift the Versage-Gappana. I suspect the intelligent of the lot knew the same thing but there is something about a crowd and the things it does to individual human thought process. The lawyer, the brain surgeon, the hobo, the City Council lady and the seventeen year old drop out somehow, when together, end up thinking like merino.

As soon as they caught sight of me, the ones with children crossed the road without checking traffic. Cars screeched, buses hooted, children bawled. Curiosity turned heads and shoulders. All the people in the buses and the cars stared at me. Some laughed, others looked annoyed, very annoyed, two or three took a peek and then pulled their eyes back to their books and newspapers and the vulgar ones just kept looking, wearing the same desirous look that the men who stopped earlier wore.

A chain reaction. Who next? Death? The enigma with a scythe who would come to collect the souls that would sooner or later be hit by a motor cycle because they were so preoccupied with a mannequin’s titties? The Reaper, would probably also be distracted from his job by a fibre glass replica of a woman and for a few minutes more humans would be born and none would die. An unfavourable tip on his scale.

Three days and two nights, they spread the word. Mobile phone calls, short messages typed on key pads and sent to perverts and prudes indiscriminately. Facebook had varied photographs and comments. Twitter had hash tags and soon enough, I was a famous ‘disgrace’. Do not ask me how I felt throughout the fiasco because I do not have a heart like a human being’s heart.

The ironic bit is, as ridiculous as the brother in the pink HugWhoRE briefs looked, no one noticed him in all his plastic glory.

© Linda  Musita 2022