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Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Michael’s unslippered feet hit the road with a resounding smack, he was walking down a quiet side street in Surulere, a suburb of Lagos, it was midday, and the sun stood high in the sky, yet despite its intensity, its heat was hardly felt by Michael, the Harmattan was in full swing and the sun’s heat was tempered by the dry blowing wind.
Michael was in no hurry, he walked like one who had a lot of time on his hands, a young man came out of a red gate adjacent to him, “chei!” was the muted exclamation that escaped his lips, he hurriedly backed into the gate and slammed it shut, though Michael was sure he was peeping through the hole in the gate, he elicited such a response from people this days, if he could, he would have analyzed the cause, but his mind couldn’t be coerced into such a task, so he simply plunged on oblivious of the young  man inside the red gate, his cracked lips hurt quite bitingly, and he wished he could do something about  it, as soon as he saw the looming junction ahead, he veered left and bumped into a startled old woman, she fell down more in surprise than anything else,  he saw her fall, and his hand went out to help her, but his lips mouthed the formula of an organic compound, and his hand hung limply in the air, the old lady having overcome her initial surprise let loose a scream, staring in fear at the hairy, dirt caked, callused hands in front of her, Michael looked on bemused, her piercing scream, reminding him of late night horror movies, the gate man of a house close by charged at him stick raised high, and Michael stood rooted to the spot, until the stick had found it mark on his forehead, he leaped over the old lady, who was scrambling to get up, and his knee caught her in the ribs, she fell back, moaning weakly in pain, but self preservation had kicked in and Michael flew down the road like hounds were at his heels,
“madam, sorry na so him dey do, abeg stand up, he don go, but she muttered weakly, “please help me up, my ribs are hurting quite badly”. The kindly illiterate gate man, helped her up and assisted her to a pharmacy, but the learned old woman died three days later from broken ribs and internal bleeding, injuries she sustained while trekking back from the pension office, because she was so lost in thought she ran into Michael, she had been thinking of how long she could keep going to the pension office without any positive result, how she was going to pay her rising PHCN bills and afford foodstuffs for she and the little granddaughter her daughter had dropped at home before eloping with yet another man.

Oblivious to all of this, the next week found Michael in Orile, walking down another side street, if someone had monitored his movement ever since he went insane, they may have noticed that he favored quiet places, a residue of the introvert he had been in Olabisi Onabanjo university, before wrong company had introduced him to hard drugs, which fragmented his min beyond repair.
The Harmattan was still blowing strong, and his tattered singlet fluttered in the wind has Michael walked down a quiet side street in Orile, his thoughts unbelievably fragmented like pieces of broken glass.

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