Has reality ever hit you and left you feeling very what-the-fuckish? Like one of those days that I couldn’t believe my one eternal cursed luck, as a matter of fact, if you had told me my tale a day ago? I probably would never had believed you and I would have gotten angry that you could think of something as unfortunate as that for me.
I would believe you picked the worst Nollywood movie and went to town with it just to conceive that tale. It starts with a bang! Oh listen to my plight, you have nothing better to do while we get to the police station.
‘Twas a Very fine morning, regular day I woke up and got dressed and ready for work, I got into my car, turned on the ignition and I could see and smell fumes emanating from my engine, it couldn’t be mine obviously, I’m In it. This is my neocortex trying to rationalize my stupidity. There is no one else here, the windows are wound up, and it’s your car.
My amygdala has kicked in. I leap out of the car before it reaches its final form, charred Toyota is not in my plans when I got up this morning, Hell I had plans today, I’m going somewhere, to work and I couldn’t arrive there late no matter what happened, it is my first day, you know the country, no job anywhere and if my tweet on my job specification didn’t get enough retweets I wouldn’t have been able to get this job. Excuses don’t pay the bills.
The near loss of my planetary existence made me freeze. You would liken me to one in catatonic shock, mumbling and staring with numb eyes at the final service of his car to depleting the ozone layer. Life in its twisted sense of humor didn’t stop my day there; I left the house and walked to the Junction.
The Yoruba conductor is yelling angrily, his vernacular oscillating between Pidgin English and Yoruba. I was really lucky to find a bus that early and me and few other passengers hurried in and scuttled for seats. We drove for a while and the next thing I heard is:
“Oga for front money”
It is the Conductor, eying me nefariously.
“My guy wetin dey worry you, I dey come! Person no go reach where e dey go first?”
A good pair of clothes and proper English will get you nothing but swindled in broad day light in Nigeria. Alas! The misfortune of the loud mouthed struck me when I searched for the money to pay the conductor.A loud mouth gathers no food, my mother always told me.
“Shit” I exclaimed.
“Oga wetin you talk?” My neighbor sneered at me
“No be you! Free me abeg”
All this while in my head I was going “where the hell is my wallet” “In your car stupid, the one that doesn’t exist anymore except as an entree on the decepticon menu”
When realization hit me, my shoulders slumped, my nose started to pepper me, my brows furrowed, my eyes began to red and my Queens English returned. Far away was the brave and angry man bold enough to reply a conductor with bloodshot eyes and breath that said he is way past sober so early in the morning, away was he. The new version of me was trying to disappear because he knew it couldn’t be solved. No nearby neighbor to quietly beg, the man already thought I called him shit, no chances of a quiet agreement with this conductor laiye, I already ruined my chances by transferring aggression on him, and luckily my office is at the last bus stop of the bus, so I felt I still had time to come up with something.
“Haase! Man for front money quick!” The conductor hissed at me from the back and I could feel the heat of his breath behind my neck.
If my wallet was with me I would have backlashed him garrulously but as I turned my head and spoke to him my eyes were soft and almost teary, my voice a low whisper almost inaudible “Please, Please my brother, you see there is a slight problem with my transportation fare, as I left the house this morning-“DRIVER STOP THE CAR THIS MAN NO GET MONEY”