Apparently I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t heard of Christopher Hitchens until after he died, so now I’m busy reading everything I can get my hands on. This is an article from 1994, published in Vanity Fair called “African Gothic”;
Whoever he was, and whatever happened to him, he will certainly never read this. He was clad in nothing but an oufit of ragged trousers, and he was being pulled across the road by a half-dozen other men. If it hadn’t been nighttime I might barely have noticed, but there isn’t much street light in Kinshasa after dark, and your headlights make a tableau of anything that’s visible. There was a shantytown hunched in blackness on one side of the pitted street, and another shantytown slumped on the other side, and the gang needed or wanted to drag the guy from the first to the seoond. He looked as if he badly didn’t desire to cooperate. My driver floored it as soon as he took in the scene, and as the pickup shot past I could register the external details: mouth open in a wordless yell, eyes rolling in the face, muscles and tendons bent in resistance—a man headed for some unnameable appointment.
It’s good. I like his writing style.