underwear

I saw a beautiful yellow thong this morning, lined with small curls of thread that followed the curves of the bottom on which they sat. I saw a large black bra too, and a single earring, hanging like a chandelier from the right lobe. Nothing particularly strange about any of this, except that it was all upon the body of a young boy who kicked his leg gently up and down, ever so slightly provocatively, from behind a dirty metal door. A young woman selling mangos from her head caught me gazing and smiling. “Don’t worry yourself, senhora,” she said, “it’s carnival.” We both giggled, and the boy came out from behind his door to give us our very own twirl. It was 8 am. The streets were empty. Our very own preview to carnival. I felt very honoured. And it made me think: I’m doing a small programme on the carnival for the BBC’s Africa service. Perhaps I should dress up myself, as a man, in a suit and tie, with a wig, and a suitcase full of fake dollars. That’s the beauty of radio. I could be naked for all you know.

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