....happens to the best of us.

Like I said earlier,……..I’M BACK!

So let’s skip all the pleasantaries & get right to it.

Today,….. I want to talk about something that happened to me some days back….(fink it was Wednesday/Thursday) ,…. I woke up that morning on the wrong side of the bed. Grumpy and sullen all day,…from the look on my face to the step of my walk,….if I was a book that day, the title of this book would be,….”be warned,…..i wont warn again” (lol),….umm,…..or….”I dare you to try me”,….(or something crazy like dat). I can laugh about it now, cos I’m over the mood swing, but seriously,….that day, I was totally “off”.

I managed to say my prayers regardless,….had my bath,….wore my favourite cloth combination (ironically apt – black on black), and in no time, I was out of the house. I live in a middle class neighbourhood in the characteristically ruthless city of lagos, in south-west Nigeria. Lagos being the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria is an ever bustling city, from dusk till dawn, lagosians are out on the street, tryna make a living,….in other words,….”hustling”. No matter how you look at it,….the lagos mind set has turned every lagosian to a pure bred hustler, & if you arent one,…then you’ll get swallowed up by the system itself. It’s that simple.…..every person on the street, is on his(or her) grind, & allegiances usually last the lifespan of a contract. Once you get the money,….your ally could automatically become a foe,…that’s how it is. As a friend once joked,….”its a feral jungle out there”,…..well,…. I seem to agree with that, only that I feel she missed out a lil…..not only is it feral,…but also carnivorous. Every lagosian is a hustler,….disagree?,….k, lemme break it down for you from my point of view:

Company executive (e.g banker, real estate personnel, i.t service practicioner etc) – corporate hustler

Engineer, technicians, handy men etc – hand’s-on hustler

Unskilled labour – full time hustler

Prostitutes & fraudsters – get-money hustler


(…..k, sorry, …..i diverted,….getting carried away with the mystique of this city that is Lagos,……whew! What a wonder)

So, back to my “I-woke-up-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-bed” DAY,……..

I walked out of the house,….locked the burglary proof gate that led to our apartment (stay wiv my folks btw ;) ),….walked down the stairs & in a minute, I was on the street. I hailed down an okada (okada’s are motorcycles that are used for public transport around here), told him where I was heading to,….we bargained & settled on the usual price (50naira),….i got on the bike. Usually, I always warn the bike riders not to overspeed, n to ride carefully,….(y’know……cos these good-for-nuffin guys are responsible for alotta accidents around here,….sometimes fatal, sometimes they leave you with paralyzing injuries, & on the seldom occasion, just slight bruises & burns),….and sometimes engage them in a little chatter while we ride,….but not today,….i just got on the okada, put on my helmet, plugged the ear-piece of my nokia e5 in both ears, put on some “f*ck the world music”…..while I gave the okada guy the go-ahead. Then it hit me,…….through-out the ride,….for the 1st time in a long while, as far back as I can remember, I was living my life without any fear. Not fear of dying, not fear of under-achieving today, not fear of losing some money, not fear of not being loved,…….hmm,….n funny enough (the most difficult of all),….not fear of living. I had the same face on (a straight face, with a little bit of a frown) through-out, as the okada whizzed by trucks, vehicles, pedestrians & fellow crazy okadas, weaving a crazy maze as we manouvered our way to my bus-stop, where I boarded a bus to the office.

I was running late, but I just didn’t give a f*ck, …..worse case scenario,….my boss gets mad,…so?.....if he don’t like it, he should go’head n fire me. ‘sall good baby.

& so my day went,…..all day I was off-key, till I went to visit a dear friend (I call her boochie,…..she fries my brain I tell u,…..i dunno wat else to say,…she’s just a gorgeous, elegant young lady, who seems to have a “connection” with me,…cos we can talk for ages & I’ll still miss her when I go……oh well,…..Boochie is a story for another day).

Anyways,…..i closed from work early,….& it was till I got home, that I sat down to fink,…..for the first time today,….(the frown had gone off by now, btw) : “why am I in this mood today?”.

The answer didn’t come straight up,….so I started finking about my day. What happened @ the office,….how I felt when I went to boochie’s office,…the sights & sounds of lagos as I went from one site to another (on office duty),..& I was like, whoa,….it sure is fun to live life without any fear. Have a stone cold heart & don’t care about nuffin,….& just forget the cares & worries of this life. Do sh*t & don’t care about the reppercussions,….cos what’s the worst that could happen?.....i die? So?.......i aint scared of that!.......

Then, it hit me!......i remembered why I was in that mood,….i remember reading something while browsing the internet on my phone the night before. I lost sensations of the outside of my 2 big toes, so I was browsing to find out reasons why this might be, & they gave several reasons,….but 1 struck me…..”DIABETES”……my grandmom had diabetes & she died of complications from it (back in ’95) – God rest her soul. I read the other symptoms,…..or rather effects that come with diabetes,….(stuff like impotence, inability to heal wounds properly, having to take regular insulin shots etc). it was the realization that at this young stage in my life, that soon enough I may have to live with these conditions (God forbid), that switched my mood from the moment I woke the next day. It was what made me disregard life & fear nothing,…..but the truth I realized in all this is: “I seemed to lose fear, because I fear”. (got it?) . I was scared of an uncomfortable life,….scared of all my dreams for my future crashing before my eyes,…& turning into this life of dependence and incompetence.

…….K, so after my musing,….what did I arrive @?......well,…..its just one of the paradoxes of life,…..where the existence of one,implies the existence of the opposite,….just like st.Thomas Aquinas says: (regarding atheists) “you doubt, therefore you believe”. So I say,…..it’s okay to have a little bit of fear of losing the things that are important in this life,……or better still caring about them,…. cos the presence of emotions, (be it fear, or care,….or whatever emotions that are synonymous with you – as far it’s kept in check & it doesn’t escalate to a teffifying degree) is what makes us human.

As regards my numb toes,……I’ll go see the doc soonish,….& get a proper diagnosis & a solution (keyword here: “solution”) to the issue. Wish me luck that it don’t turn out to be sumfin serious, yeh?



- Chika.

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