Whoever this “enemy” is, he is surely using the most potent juju around. Choi! This is the height! I’m stuck here, singing “gobe”. Trapped in the bathroom dressed in soap lather, while my job interview has just started.
I start a fervent prayer for a miracle. Our water isn’t known to behave like the prodigal son. It has never been heard of that the water returned after leaving. I look up at the shower, beseeching it to gush out the water again. A futile plea of course. For the shower to run again, unfaithful NEPA have to bring the light, and it isn’t even our turn to have the light today. But if by any chance, they make a mistake they’ve never made before and bring the light, some responsible tenant ‘ll first switch on the pumping machine. It’ll then take about an hour for the tank to fill up and the shower to run. A miracle won’t be enough to bail me out of this one.
Talking about bailing, it’s possible to get a bucket and a bailer and draw water from the well in front of my compound. Sadly, that’s out of the question for me. Firstly, I don’t own a bucket, I’ll have to go round and find one to borrow. Secondly, the well is in fact not just in front of the compound, it is on a busy road, and my towel is just a little bit bigger than an handkerchief. It won’t go round my face talk less of wrapping my lathered body. If only it could cover my face, maybe…
“Jesu mi moo, mi moo Jesu mi mooo… Oluwa wa, mi moo Jesu mi moo…” I hear someone making some sound akin to singing. I recognize the voice, it’s the horribly loud guttural voice of the co-tenant we know as “Cele”. Cele is a staunch member of an unorthodox white garment church. I’ve never seen him in any form of footwear, nor in any attire aside from his white gown held in the waist by a yellow ribbon from which several bells hung. I detest him and his fetish(religious) ways especially his irritating habit of spraying (and sometimes drinking) his “cele water”. The “cele water” has a very strong offensive persistent odour that can peel paint.
His presence never held any delight for me before, but trapped there in the bathroom, he feels like a messiah to me. I hear his voice louder as he approaches the bathroom. He stops singing as he stands at the corrugated iron sheet we made into a door for the bathroom. He places a bucket on the ground, and from the clang it makes, it isn’t empty.
“Ope ooo,” I mutter under my breath. I’m about swallowing my pride and asking to borrow his bucket of water, when I hear a long loud hiss that’ll make a green snake greener with envy.
“Mtcheeeeeeeeeew, who be this Wey dey baffroom since? You want make person late for deliverance”
“Come,” he rambles on, “who you be, wetin you dey do there since? Whether you dey born pikin or you dey ‘wank’, comot from that place before I go toilet shit, come back”
The shuffling of his footsteps follow his ultimatum as he heads to the toilet at the other side of our building, without his bucket.
Whoever said the devil is a lair must have known what he was talking about. Imagine me waiting for manna from heaven and getting a windfall, just like that, from the most unlikely person.
Fearing that he may not deliver his “shit” for too long, I set about carrying out my operation immediately. I open the bathroom door a little. I stretch out my two hands. Biting my lower lip, I lift up the bucket of water as if it’s something breakable. I drop it in front of me in the bathroom. Smiling, I pick up the bucket and splash its entire content on my body.
The soap covering my body washes away, and my smile slowly fades away as my nasal perceptors are assaulted by a smell they know very well, and loathe. The most holy ‘cele water’. I have just bathe with a bucket full of it. I’m in shit, and it’s getting deeper.
Do you know what ‘gobe’ is? Gobe isn’t when you have to wager a pretty lady on a game of blackjack. Picture me…
Yeah, that’s GOBE.