Before toilet paper

“Check out this hoarder,” Adam leans over to show me his smartphone screen.

It’s a van, packed with rolls of toilet paper. The caption says the driver was fined for overloading.

I am transported back to my childhood, to a pit latrine on top of an anthill in the middle of my grandparent’s compound. The door was partially hidden by the boldo plants that grew around it – our toilet paper.

With the manure in the ground, we never ran out.

I smile.

Those were simple times.

I return to the shopping list in my hands and write ‘toilet paper’.