Saturday night…

Posted: February 27, 2012 in Memoirs

The green-white-green Ajah bound bus decelerates as we get to the Lekki toll gate. This place looks like a Pinball table. Red glares from the tail lights of cars. Green lights from the payment checker. Red digital lettering from the marker which denotes the Toll Point. White fluorescent squares from car owners thumbing their phones to bide time as the queue slowly inches forward. Another amazing thing about the Lekki Toll Point is the miasma of activities people partake in to pass the tortuous minutes before the checked obstacle is lifted. Some thumb their phones, others leave their queue and drive in-between as they try to beat the queue. I stare at my fellow queue mates. It’s a rewarding act.

Today, I stare into the Nissan Altima beside me. Wide car, leather interior and the inner lights are on. There is a lady in the backseat, her head is stuck into a square polythene bag, not unlike the position people adopt when using the puke bags in an airplane. Is she? Now she has my attention. I peer deeper, she’s a young lady, in her mid-twenties, with black hair extensions, she’s wearing a dress with capless sleeves. I also notice her skin is firm, none of that droopy flesh around the arms of not a few young women today.

Now, there is movement again. This time, the driver without turning passes a large roll of toilet paper to her. She makes the motions slowly and in a painful way. Cuts a few squares, wipes them around her mouth region and passes the bag to the driver. The driver places the puke bag on the front seat. I wonder why the driver has to keep a bag with her gunk beside him, why not with her in the wide backseat interior of the car where she is alone. Now there is some movement as my bus inches some distance further. I look beside me and by some trick of fate, our queues had moved simultaneously. Now, she is lying astride the back seat like a long cat. Despite the distance and wound-up glass, one can feel the fatigue in her pose.

Her pose. That fatigued pose, it reminds me of us. After the ‘Occupy Nigeria’ protests, everyone has been tired. We are just tired. After the vituperations and loud denunciations, that greeted the subsidy removal, we have been resigned- we have good reason to be though. We shouted, we sang and it all came to nought. These days, I pass by the vendor’s stand and this mood is palplable. Gone are the screams and grim predictions whenever people see death tolls resulting from bomb blasts and other forms of mayhem. We just sigh.  I don’t even stop by the vendor’s stand anymore. Nothing is news which hasn’t happened in the Nigerian milieu. Probably, that’s why I stopped writing for a while, I got tired of the talk. Our social advocates, been a while I heard from those too. Recent headline: ‘GEj can’t go on with the SURE program, Labour calls for another strike’, *yawns as I recoil on a mental back seat. We’re all tired aren’t we?

Now the queue gets moving.

Now I see what kept us on the queue for so long. Someone offered to pay his toll fare with the much hyped E-card. The computer was down and they could not process payments using the electronic initiative. The car owner stoutly refused to pay by any other means. At last, the toll collector stepped out of his cubicle and bodily lifted the checkered obstacle for the electronic man to pass through. As for my bus driver with crumpled naira notes for payment, we have no such qualms.

  1. berkley najomoh says:

    Lovely write-up,every line keeps you going…..I like this

  2. @Codeine_Junkiee says:

    Couldn’t have asked for anything better..nice!

  3. reezy says:

    Ur dıctıon ız kıllın mı bruv…9c blog

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