Jaywalking in Lagos should be considered a suicide attempt. Half the drivers have no reliable brakes. Even those that do are pathologically disinclined to use them. (Facebook update)
–Igbokwe ‘theYakadude’ Ebuka
For a long time after my attack in May, I was very leery about stepping out of my house to go to work at any time before 6am. Even on those mornings when 6.30am still had the overcast look of dawn, I’d stay put, firmly so, inside my bedroom, waiting for the virgin brightness of the morning to part the skies.
Of course, that meant that I was either late coming to work, or arrived just in the nick of time, breathless and sweaty from the rush through the morning traffic. For quite some time, management understood, and then, as my scars healed, their patience withered. A call to the manager’s office later, and I knew it was time to get back some control over my fears.
That first morning when I stepped out into the chilly freshness of dawn, I was so tightly wound-up that a guitarist could have strummed music off my veins. It was 6:15, and it was dark enough that I needed the torchlight of my Nokia phone to navigate my way down the stairs. Rain had fallen sometime in the night, and so the atmosphere was moist. The nightly sounds of crickets chirping and frogs croaking in a distance had just begun to fade away as I started the trek for the expressway. My eyes – all of them, including the inner eye, outer eye, peripheral vision, side eye, corner eye, middle eye, every-every – were on full lookout alert. I swear, if a fly had so much as buzzed fifty yards away from me in the darkness, I’d have spotted it at once. And my ears, well, I could imagine them positioned, tips in the air like a rabbit tensely anticipating an ambush. The faint crunch of a stealthy footstep on the ground, and men! I was all set to run for my dear life. My strides were brisk as I hurried on along the deserted road until I got to the expressway, where there were a bunch of other commuters. Only then did I let out my pent-up sigh of relief.
As you should too. Seriously, guys, you can release that breath you’re holding. This episode of Lagos Diaries isn’t about another attack. Haba! Na winch? So relax, y’all. *wicked grin* (more…)