I said a silent prayer that someone would come. I banged on the door but the same noisy silence answered me. The seemingly distant sound of vehicular and human interaction on a busy street on Lagos Island overlaid with the closer sound of a CNN reporter reinforcing the chaotic psyche we earthlings had surrendered ourselves to; war everywhere.
There was war within and war without. Standing there in the toilet, I thought of whipping out my smart phone and establishing communication links with an arms dealer ASAP. He would deliver and I would proceed to shoot up this place. Shoot the guy I’d seen outside arguing with his girl, something about not being understanding and ordering dodo and Fanta with her fried rice and turkey when he ordered yam porridge and one piece of beef and his wallet was on a diet. Then I’d shoot up the lady who was hurriedly smearing her face with Mary Kay cosmetics while she gave her boss excuses over the phone, a PingBerry, about how she thought the meeting was March 21, and not March 20. Then I’d shoot up the manageress or proprietress I had passed very close to the outer door that led to this restroom where I was getting really restless; the same proprietress who had been scolding a sales girl a few seconds ago.
Didn’t she know the toilet door needed repairs? The bill for the arguing couple’s meal would be enough to fix the door after all. Couldn’t they put up a sign or something? I mean, I had an appointment at 10 (it was 09.15) and here I was trapped in the toilet like R. Kelly. At this point, I really had to laugh. Now that was one funny situation in Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet; the suspense and the shame of unveiled secrets and not to mention the symphony of characters that were involved. It wasn’t so much unlike mine. The more I thought of it the more I laughed, thumping on the door at the humor of my predicament: TRAPPED IN THE TOILET! The hypocrisy of the proprietress who was putting on a show for her customers at the expense of the floor-staring sales girl about not being thorough; the fact that my anger perhaps was misplaced because deep down I knew I would soon be ‘set free’ from my impromptu incarceration; it all seemed not worth the trouble of turning this place into a CNN reporter correspondent’s work experience. At this point someone did come; he had heard me thumping and laughing and came to investigate. I rattled the broken door handle again so he’d know I needed help. The door was also broken on the outside so he had to go and call ‘someone’ to help.
Before the cavalry arrived, I composed myself, resolving to act like a proper gentleman. Afterall, no be ‘gents’ I dey? Nothing spoil na. The door was finally opened by an apologizing salesgirl and proprietress. I smiled and suggested that the handle be kept inside so that customers are not stranded.
If we approached issues in life like this, looking out for the funny part of it, there would not be so much anger which always degraded to verbal and/or physical conflict. We might even see that the issue is not as grave as we make it out to be. As it turned out, the manageress added an extra portion of porridge to my order and my appointment didn’t hold until 10:30. Like Damien Marley, son of the late and great Robert Nesta Marley said in his song, verbal and physical conflicts are a waste of words and flesh.
Patience is a virtue and Love is Life.