About Dust

About Dust

After the range of temperatures, I think that getting a head cold is appropriate. After all, there is no other way to describe this tropical girl’s reaction to the cold, the heat and then the snow, the wind and the icy whispering breeze filtering through the window I sit near as I type.

I doubt it was always like this. I remember the weather in East Africa. More specifically, I think about the sweltering heat of January and the dust that swirls through the streets and roads from January until the rains come in March.

And what else came with the heat and the dust? Wiping down every single surface in your home knowing full well that at the same time tomorrow, you will be doing the same thing. There was nothing wrong with doing what you were doing. Rather, it was the fact that you would ultimately repeat that cleaning before the cows came home. Not forgetting the skirting board and the grilles and the wall unit.

Heavens forbid that Mama So-and-So from the neighborhood fello should pop in calling for your mother and find the house looking less than spotless. The house had to be spick and span, that odd phrase from English in Class Four. Memories…

Matters are different in East America, however. No dust here, air-conditioned, vacuum cleaner aided technology ensures that you never see the dust. It is too fine to tell with the naked eye, so that rack of allergy meds is the only indicator that something is irritating you, and no, it isn’t those ads on TV. I guess it is easier to stay with the dust here. There are no rags made from your old PE t-shirt, nor is there a waiting neighbor standing and asking for you in your home. Nay, there is only the dust that you start by ignoring and then start to see as the weeks turn into months.

Dust, sunshine, shiny foreheads and the threat of the weekend and the imminent visitors this Saturday or next pass through my mind often. I wouldn’t mind having the dust gone every day, if only to be the talk of the estate again and the envy of other mothers. Sure, I heard them say, “That one, she’ll make a fine wife one day.” It is otherwise here, on this below freezing day. I wipe of the dust on the keyboard as I write, but who will miss it except maybe, the dust mites.

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2 thoughts on “About Dust

  1. Beautifully written.. I’ve just recovered from rolling over the floor in laughter!

    You’re quite right, the amount of dust around here (E. Africa) is ridiculous during the dry season. In fact, I like carrying out this experiment: Fill up a jug of water and leave it uncovered in a room. Check on the jug at the end of the week.

    I always do this (out of habit) and I always find that the water has turned milky. I can almost see the fragments of shoe, tyres, plants and skin floating around! It’s crazy. Dust brings everyone from the outside into the house. I don’t know how I haven’t gone mad; paranoid that I’m going to get some disease from who knows where simply because of the dust.

    Anyway, I better get back to cleaning…..

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