“The voices are not here!” Kofi explained. “They’re in the water closet! I heard them! If you want to poop go and do it in the water closet!”
Pilot pushed Kofi hard in the chest.
“You goat!” he said angrily. “How can voices be in the water closet? Are you crazy? Don’t you know they’ll drown in the water?”
“Oh, yes,” Captain said. “They will drown like glonglonglon! And then they wouldn’t be able to swim because they’ve drowned.”
“Hiya, I’m Malboro,” said Malboro. “Welcome to madness. We’re all mad here.”
Pilot pointed to Captain’s teddy bear, his eyes suddenly wide with fear.
“The voices are in that thing!” he cried suddenly. “They’re going to kill us all! I have to poop on it!”
And Captain sat up suddenly and looked at Pilot with eyes that were suddenly mad with fury.
“You want to s–t on my brother?” he asked, and then he launched himself off the bed and smacked into Pilot, and both of them crashed to the floor in a heap of limbs.
Malboro pointed to Pilot’s naked buttocks.
“Do you know there’s one hair on this man’s bombom?” he asked with rather a serious face. “Just one hair. It is called Shalanta because it shalants.”
Kofi looked at Malboro with suspicious eyes.
“What is shalants?” he asked warily.
“How would I know?” he said seriously, and then he smiled and held out his hand. “Hiya, I’m Malboro.”
“Go and sleep, Malboro,” Kofi said and walked dejectedly to the chair behind the desk.
“How can I sleep when I don’t have eyes?” Malboro asked rather crossly, frowning at Kofi. “Eyes are windows to the soul. So if I sleep the Spajigans will come and look through the eye-windows at my soul and laugh and hoohoo, hoohoo, hoohoo!”
“Okay,” Kofi said and turned away to read his Bible.
Captain and Pilot had stopped fighting.
They were now both lying prone on the floor and pressing one ear each to the cold floor.
“I hear something,” Pilot said and put a hand to his lips. “Shush, shush, I can hear it!”
“What, what, what?” Captain said excitedly as he also strained to hear whatever it was. “I hear some krrrr-krrrr sounds too!”
“No, no, no!” Pilot said. “The krrrr-krrrr sounds are coming from Malboro’s bed, he’s bouncing on it. Pay attention and listen to the floor! You’ll hear the voices!”
They were both concentrated hard on the floor, their faces screwed up.
“I hear it, I hear it!” Captain said, and Kofi turned his head to look at him.
“What did you hear?” Pilot was asking eagerly.
“I hear President Trump,” Captain said. “He’s singing Amakye Dede’s song!”
“Wooooooow!!” Pilot said, listening hard. “Yeah, yeah! I can hear it too! He’s singing Amakye Dede’s Brebrebe song!”
“Nooooo!” Captain said. “Listen well! It’s not Brebrebe!”
“What is it then? What is it?” Pilot asked eagerly.
“It is Brebrebe, can’t you hear?” Captain said.
“Okay, I hear it now!”
Malboro suddenly rushed to Kofi’s side.
“Hiya. I’m Malboro!” he said brightly. “Heeeey! You’re reading the Bible! If you meet Lot ask him why he slept with his daughters! That man was such a fool!”
“Lot?” Kofi asked, smiling in spite of himself. “Who’s he?”
“Oh, that man whose wife turned to salt and he ended up shagging his daughters!” Malboro said excitedly. “I used to be a preacher, you know. I was preaching in the Synagogues to some thieves when Jesus came. Jesus didn’t have patience at all! He took a whip and caned all the thieves! Meanwhile I was preaching to them. That’s why I told Judas to betray Jesus. I even visited Rachel. She was a prostitute. I gave her three rounds gish gish gish and she ran away because her skolokakita was paining her.”
“Her what?” Kofi asked with a huge grin.
“Her skolokakita, smelly hole, hole of chanchuba, the hole of all troubles of all men of all countries! Don’t joke with skolokakita, the hole of papuloo, it can kill you! It can take you to your death, that hole of abalakus! If you follow it, you can even shag a corpse, I tell you!”
Kofi began to giggle, and then it turned to a thunderous roar of laughter. Pilot and Captain sat up, looked at him, and they also roared with great laughter.
Malboro had an uneasy look on his face, and then he also bleated out a high-pitched insane laugh that only made Kofi laugh harder…
And when the door opened and Maa Abena Nyantie and Nii Lin walked in, they found all four of them laughing so hard that it scared Maa Abena to the very ends of her nerves; for a moment she couldn’t tell whether Kofi was sane or insane.
She walked toward him slowly and saw that tears were streaming down his face because he had laughed so hard.
She touched his arm gently.
“Kofi?” she whispered. “Are you okay?”
She knew deep down that it was now absolutely urgent to get Kofi out of the asylum. He was in a great risk of becoming insane if he should be left to operate under such acute stress.
Malboro held out his hand to her.
“Hiya. I’m Malboro. Welcome to madness. We’re all mad here.”
“Hello, Malboro,” Maa Abena said.
Kofi controlled his laughter and smiled at her, and she saw just how incredibly handsome he was, especially when he was smiling like that.
“Hello, Abena,” he said, his eyes roving her face. “You’re so d–n beautiful. Anytime I close my eyes I see you, can you believe that?”
She tried hard not to smile, but when she looked down at her feet, she was smiling.
And she was relieved. At least he was sane, for now.
But she knew it was very dangerous to keep him cooped up in the asylum.
Akweley didn’t know why she still had unhappy mood swings recently, especially late at nights just before she slept, and sometimes in the afternoons when she was all alone.