Surulere was where I called home back then, a hub of humanity and automobiles in perennial competition to storm everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
The quest for existential salvation usually took me to Ikoyi, to Ikeja, and occasionally to Okota.
One fine Wednesday I’d taken a cab from Surulere and alighted at Cele Bus Stop. I stood briefly by the corner of the road, ingesting the scene.
Fresh out of Uni, I had travelled to Lagos on the wings of fervid dreams. I was new in the city but eager to be lost in its arms, to explore its flares and sounds, to embrace its humanity and vexations, to learn…
By the roadside at Cele Bus Stop that dreamy Wednesday, just in front of the police station, I observed my environment keenly. The plan was to cross the road to the other side where I can take another cab into the bowels of Okota.
I looked censoriously around, ready to cross the road like a few other commuters around. Then I saw him and paused.
He stood like everyone else intent on crossing the road, a wiry lunatic in stitched rags and a bunch of rags tossed across his left shoulder like fighting devils on the altar of witchcraft.
I decided not to cross the road at the same time but let the lunatic cross alone. If others wanna cross too, well, so be it…
Vehicular traffic thinned a bit and the lunatic began crossing the road like a dignified fellow. A danfo driver saw him and deliberately revved his engine, careening toward the lunatic as though to hit him dead.
The smirk on the danfo driver’s face indicated he had merely taken mischievous liberties and had no intent on smashing someone on the asphalt with his bus.
The lunatic fled from the road, abandoning half his rags in the middle of the ever busy Cele Bus Stop. Safe on the other side, he turned and glared at the vanishing danfo, pointing a middle in its direction.
His features taut with aggravation, the lunatic yelled at the driver: “You dey craze”?
The commuters stared on, expiring in the embrace of sudden mirth.
I was laughing, too, unaware I was myself a lunatic, having spurned the comfort of home for the starved anonymity of Lagos…