This guy is dead.
There is a dead body lying in the middle of the expressway. I was on my phone, making some displeased tweets about the frustratingly unreliable state of telecommunications network signals in the general country.
The expressway is deserted, so it was alright letting my phone have most of my attention. I did not expect to run into anything or anyone.
I almost kicked the body.
He is barefoot, wearing dull grey trousers and a faded dark green shirt. His upper body is buried under a heap of vehicle tyres. His head is either bowed down or his shirt has been pulled over the back of his head. Either way, his face is not visible.
His body parts have begun to swell grotesquely. I wonder how a body could have begun to swell after just a few hours of being out in the sun.
A guy is walking by. We begin talking about the body. I thought the dead guy was shot earlier in the morning. I learn the body has been in the middle of the expressway for the past two days.
Oh. Oh, now the swelling makes sense. Now it makes sense.
We keep talking. I attempt to ask some proactive questions. How do you think this unrest can be resolved, etc. I don’t really get anything definitive from him.
In the current situation, it’s not very difficult to become aware that a problem exists. Figuring out ways to expel the problem, is where the real issue is at.
I mean, I myself do not have anything very tangible to offer. If only there was a way to amicable resolve every possible kind of human disagreement. Then wars and any other sorts of violent conflict would just not exist.
I keep walking. There are a number of issues I need to handle. Things need to be put in place with regard to the fledgling technology company I’ve been building. Corporate email subscriptions are about to run out. Squarespace plan needs to be upgraded. Everything is generally just annoying. My motorbike has been languishing at the mechanic’s place for a while. I need to replace some parts.
Mechanic was avoiding my gaze a few days ago when I walked by his shop. I had to turn back, walk up to him and engage him in some conversation, to reaffirm my existence.
The owner of this bike still exists. It is not to be sold to anybody.
He had probably already begun receiving financial offers for my bike.
Ah, I need to get some stuff done. I ordered that bike all the way from the capital- there’s probably nothing like it in this half of the country- nothing must happen to that bike. Nothing must happen to that freaking bike.
I am at one of the many towns along the Lekki-Epe expressway. There are gunshots. We all climb a nearby fence and scamper to safety.
We are in a roadside marketplace. It is entirely abandoned. Stalls full of tomatoes and pepper and onions and other foodstuff. Completely abandoned.
There are a number of women here in this ad-hoc hideout.
Oga, where you dey go?
Ikeja, I dey go Ikeja.
They begin to laugh and generally express immense amusement. My mentioned destination is generally perceived to be an impossible-to-reach location given the current unrest.
I’m not very bothered. I am already on the way. Some things have to get done. We’ll see how things turn out.
We keep hiding. Guns keep firing at the expressway.
There are some loud voices closer to the road. One of the women ventures out to see what is going on.
She suddenly begins to wail.
John!! John ehhh! Dem don kill John!!! Wetin him dey find for there??? Wetin John dey find for there??!!
Apparently a John was killed in the shooting. I think he was trying to disarm the unconscionable policeman who was shooting at the protesters.
The apprehension in the air is now joined by a tang of bitter grief. And fear. And a stark awareness of mortality.
This post is one in a Series. A list of all of the posts in this Series can be accessed here.