Wanjiku is the only one who talks to me, mostly about her “ruffer.” Once, he had names and attributes, quirks and ethnicities. But modern women, she assures me, don’t need those “old-fashioned” things. She is very interested in fashion and eagerly copies the neighborhood girls. She fascinates me because she is indiscriminate—men, shoes, ruffers, dresses. All are acceptable and desirable. Not that she is a slut. On the contrary. She practices hospitality.

She knows I keep notes of our sessions, my impressions. Every few days she asks me to recount my latest musings. She listens, with little comprehension it seems, but with an avid eagerness for sound, voice. These are the only times I talk to her.