Living in Lagos makes you paranoid, often for no plausible reason.
You watch you back, you bag, your pockets and your neighbors’; on the road, anyone who comes close is too close, anyone who walks faster behind you is after you, anyone who bumps into you has taken something – your destiny or penis.
Some minutes ago, a young boy approached me with a paper in hand on the Island, I was frantic to get a bike that would take me to Ikoyi to meet up with Griots And Bards. He had barely uttered the words “you know this addre..” when I said ” I no know anywhere here”
It was reflex. Unplanned and spontaneous.
I said that and walked faster away from him with my conscience thumping loud on my hand.
Living in Lagos makes you paranoid, often for no reason.
I felt terrible. He was so young and new to Lagos probably.
As I walked, I occasionally spared a glance behind me to see if someone would help him. I looked around and saw some shop owners and willed him to approach them. Christ, I willed him to ask them.
I mean, that is what I’d do if I needed direction – which happens often.
He did not.
A bike man refused my offer for 400Naira as a fare price from Victoria Island to Ikoyi so I had extra time to look behind.
He finally approached someone who was graceful enough to guide him. God bless that man.
When I let out the sigh I never realized I was holding, relief washed over me. Right there and then, the world made so much sense.
Living in Lagos makes you paranoid
I do not want to live this way; in Lagos, scarred by stories of horror that have befallen those before me who have guided lost strangers and have met terrible fates.
I certainly do not want to live this way; burdened by the downcast faces of human beings I can help but can not. Why? Because the tales of those who have gone above and beyond for strangers who wore down crested faces but ended up missing, kidnapped or mutilated.
My heart breaks every time I fail to help and because living in Lagos makes you paranoid, you cannot help yourself.
I certainly do not want to have a means and not give meaning.
This is my story: I was born and have lived in Lagos for over two decades and still, I am yet to master the basics.
Walking away has failed to stick (on me).