One of those lazy Wednesdays woke me up to my alarm at 4:40 am. My roomie rolled out of bed- literally, and got ready for work. I didn’t. I only mirror her routine on Mondays alone, other days like today, I can afford a few more snooze minutes because Monday traffic is usually hell. Everyone rushes out to beat Monday blues. Ironically, this culture actually clogs traffic faster than usual.
The Lagos life
Here in Lagos, commuting in the morning can be crazy, scary, rough, hard, unsafe, funny, and any other thing you may imagine an African city life to be; which simply means- unpredictable. As a millennial, I arm myself with the comfort of Google map predictions and weather forecasts which over time could just be a routine reliance on technology that’s never accurate. One thing is certain on every beautiful morning; traffic gridlock! You cannot avoid it unless you have a chopper or you precede the morning crawl. Hence, the need for a predawn departure, of which I shunned to catch the last rays of my beloved dream.
Wednesdays are brighter
I rushed out 2 hours later, the skies bright and cheery did not help my sinking feeling of what lay ahead. You see, going to work at ‘rush hour’ is like asking for trouble- You can lose your cool, your clean, your fare, belongings and sanity. Bus stops here can be very unfriendly to the feeble. Characterised with shouting men calling out to passengers, loud unceasing car honks, unkempt men hanging around, smoking or drinking gin in little packs, in contrast to nicely dressed people running after buses that refuse to stop. I have lost count of how many times I jumped into a moving bus. Choosing between the predawn commute and the bright sunny rush hour is a tough nut to crack. The goal is to get to work early and safe!
The usual routine
As I approached the bus stop, I could see the melee ahead and my legs were buzzing in anticipation of the rush — could be a heady adrenaline rush sometimes... Suddenly, I saw a little girl of about 3 or 4 years looking lost and calling out for her mum amidst shouting buses and grim-looking passersby. I searched around and saw no one paid attention to her. All the shops and stalls nearby were closed and popular roadside sellers were absent.
I was furious at the negligence of the parent/guardian in charge of this little kid who would increase my lateness velocity if I choose to help. I bent low and asked in English‘ hey little girl” where’s your mummy? She pointed towards the direction I was coming from with no words. I thought “ maybe she couldn’t speak English” I asked in Yoruba and got the same response. A few people around began to stare so I asked some unengaged, unkempt men around the bus station to confirm f they saw anyone come with the child. There was no response or acknowledgement of my question.
If you’ve gotten this far, I am sorry to inform you that there lie the remains of my unfinished story, which I began on September 12, 2019, and never finished.
I haven’t picked my digital pen to rant about my life in a long time on Medium. This space is like a diary or a journal I needed to express without wondering if people would read. I feel like my social media pages are a gloss over of what my life really is and a factitious representation of how everything is awesome (inserts that theme song from the Lego movie). I don't know how I forgot to use here in the last 2 years. Especially during COVID (insert facepalm).
I needed to rant
In the last 2 years, my occasional outbursts have been limited to my Whatsapp status updates, until today. This morning, I woke up at 3 am to catch up with work and saw a missed call notification from a new friend. I sent a message to acknowledge the call and alas! He was up. So we had to do the call (insert facepalm). Although it was a call I was eager to do, nobody warned me it would take the whole of 2 hours and leave me unruffled.
A break in rantmission
After 2 hours of talking about the ‘TRUTH’ of life, (insert religion, faith, hell, heaven, miracles, conspiracy theory, and/or lack of it all) I immediately felt a volcanic need to rant. I remembered my lovely space here (shamed facepalm). So, a failed attempt to log in with a harrowing password reset for my email got me here. And here I am! stumbling on an unfinished story that has literally aborted my need to rant.
The Danger of an unfinished story
- It hurts that the story is lost forever. So heartbreaking (tears)
- I can't remember if it was fiction or reality so I can't even continue it. If it was fiction, I lost the direction of the story. If it was non-fiction, the event is now vague. Although I have a mental image of the spot where the child could have been. (it is not uncommon to find children wandering)
- I am angry with myself because I hate unfinished stories (a huge reason I don't watch TV series unless it's fully done and released)
- I have been sidetracked from my original rant today. But I will still write it.
- Do you see why I hate my life sometimes? Short memory, easily distracted and yea, I would probably be an unfinished story too.
- I should write an article about why I hate my life sometimes