So I’m back here. Didn’t expect to write so soon. Maybe it’s my writing mojo. It’s all over the place these days.
Well, I’d make use of it…since it seems to be going nowhere anytime soon. Might as well throw in some dance moves while I’m at it.
Series of events have occured since my first blog post. Series of discussions, blue days, shockers, laugh-mathons (my personal word for my laughing sessions which usually ends 45 minutes after in the right company) and sadly, series of deaths.
Today marks the second week of the ‘Black Tuesday in Festac’. About 18 people died in a boat accident in my town. Using the boat to cross a swampy canal is one of the ways-actually the fastest and most affordable to get across from one side of the town to the other. In this case from 4th Avenue to 6th Avenue and vice-versa. Going on the boat takes about less than 2 minutes and the ride costs N10 ($0.15c). There’s no great thrill you experience on this ride-just the urgency to get to your destination as quickly as possible. So on the 11th of March at about 7.30pm, the boat carrying about 24 people (which should carry only 15 people by the way) slowly sank into the muddy, sewage water, killing about 18 people.
Men, women and children as well.
The Local Government Chairman came around. According to those who were there, he was almost mobbed. As they said, he had been asked on several ocassions over the past 3 years to make a bridge for easy passage after the one there had been vandalised for some attempt to curb burglary. Maybe he felt there was always time to do that or probably just got so ‘busy’. Well, he made out time to visit their death scene, that’s for sure.
Lesson learned- a stitch in time truly saves nine. In this case, could have saved nine times two.
I visited the site as well the next day. I’d also used this means of transport to get across several times to 6th Avenue and back again to 4th Avenue. For a minute, I closed my eyes and envisioned what it felt like to slowly go down into such septic water, struggling to stay afloat, fighting to survive, all the while, gulping down a mouthful of sewage and mud. I open my eyes and see some of the local divers taking away one of the bodies found dead in the water after 12 hours. I’d had enough and so I walked away while saying a silent prayer for those who had lost their lives. Apparently, more than 18 people died.
As if that was not enough for the day!
Minutes later, my brother sends me a message to say ‘Sorry. Heard what happened.’ And the most shocking thing- he prays for me!
Naturally, would have assumed he heard about the boat accident as his social network in the neighborhood is as expansive as Facebook itself. Most times we got to hear accurate details of what was happening in our close, on our road or anything under our very nose from him-this guy who wasn’t even in the country! Beats me everytime.
Now, my brother loves God and all and even sings in church..but in all my years with him, praying for me as much as ‘God bless you’ never happened. ‘Ok, bye’ just always sufficed. Of course he wished me the moon, sun, stars and the world. Somehow, his intentions never brought out a word of prayer-at least never to my hearing. So when he goes on about how I am unique and precious in God’s sight and that God would bless me for him, the feelings just rushed in all at once. Panic, fear, dread and in my own case, for some reason best known to my system build up, these feelings sometimes triggered wholesome laughter.
‘Huh?! Hey, what’s up?’ I asked him in the message I sent adding a raised eyebrow emoticon. But before this could deliver, I got another from him which read ‘Heard about Tosin, that she died yesterday..’ And his message went on to say how he was told she died.
Fortunately, all this came when I was home after a day that I was sure would have won the gold medal as the most crappy day ever. Food didn’t appeal to me now as I felt full somehow and besides was just too fatigued to check what the pots in the kitchen contained. So, I took a glass of very cold water, had a cold shower and then hopped on my bed. Thankfully, there was light (power supply) as this helped to make the room more conducive for my next action.
I was fast asleep within seconds.
Maybe I actually needed the rest or it was a defence mechanism to pretend nothing happened. That people didn’t die in the accident the previous day or that ‘these jobs’ I had wasn’t getting to me, that my brother heard wrong for the first time. Maybe Tosin (Aunt Tosin to me considering she was about 10 years older than me and in Nigeria, you don’t address your elders solely by their names. You chose between Sister or Aunty for females and Brother or Uncle for males, before calling their first names in addressing them) was just ill and would get better. It’ll all be okay when I got up…maybe real life was a dream and I’d actually wake up to the real life this time around. Just maybe….
That day, sleep never felt so good.
To be continued….