Ali Faraj has seen a life punctuated by unforeseen obstacles. Orphaned at five, the duty of his upbringing fell on his uncle who treated him like his own son. Under this paternal figure, Faraj acquired all the necessary driving skills required to steer any car. When he finished primary school, Faraj used his skills to become a bus driver finding joy in modifying new tactics to overcome road challenges and discover new shortcuts. Being a driver became the defining feature of his life. His inter-town routes included his hometown of Kakamega and other towns in western Kenya such as Bungoma and Mumias.
With limited options due to his multiple travels, Faraj married his first cousin. Together they had four children and through his driving he managed to sustain them. However, this stability would not last long. The invariably levelling hand of death touched both his wife and uncle. Faraj took this as an exaggerated betrayal by the universe. Following two years of mourning, he geared up for a battle against the weakness imposed by the death of his loved ones.
Constructing high walls around the fragile interior of his heart, Faraj married a second wife as an escape from that which made him sensitive to the tragic realities of existence. Siring four more children, Faraj once again felt the inexorable choice of fate. While driving a contracted pickup, Faraj got into a road accident with a larger truck. The bone of his left leg was blasted aside like a detritus and the culprits of his excessive pain ran away. Assisted by strangers, Faraj was taken to a hospital where he spent six months.
During his recovery, Faraj slipped into the sort of weariness that causes the mind to wander into the depths of depression. He went back into driving despite his limited capabilities. Faraj found comfort in the familiarity of being behind the wheel but with a decreased standard of health, he had to accept the laws of reality and retired from the occupation he so loved.
The only navigation he does now is to and from the mosque in order to protect himself from existential disorientation. Mitigating the hardships of his life, Faraj has formed an emotional stimulant of spending time with his grandchildren whenever they are around.