Lagosians wear the agbádá of suspicion rather elegantly.
If there was such a thing as a scale that measured a person’s suspicion level and if the average human being’s suspicion level ranked 7, a Lagosian’s would rank an off-the-scale 12.
Yes, distrust is imprinted onto our subconscious, we go to bed with it and wake up with it. The typical Lagosian prides himself on being streetwise and thus blessed with an AntiMumu™ that repels the slightest sign of foul play.
Just like the iron gates that barricade our homes, with tiny slide windows to peek through, our hearts are guarded by our suspicion, our eyes are the simply the minuscule window, they play no role when it comes to discernment.
We are adamant that nothing is what it seems even when it can obviously be no more than what it appears to be. Our flair for the dramatic concocts a delicious conspiracy theory.
My neighbour’s dog is dead. Yes, It died today.
It of the wild 5:00 am barking sprees, as though it were auditioning for Canine Idol and needed to practise its tuneless staccato song. For some reason, the left side of my head ached more than the right side as each verse of gbof-gbof-gbof marched through my ears waking me up. An unsolicited alarm clock.
It of the stinky poo dropped generously like presents for whoever cared for gifts of the intestinal variety. Watching a dog strain to release poo reminds me of labouring during childbirth.
There is a careless abandon in that grip of contractions, a primal need to expel what must be expelled from its body. No graces or airs whatsoever, Nature’s call must be heeded regardless of who sees, hears or even smells.
I once heard its carer speaking Yoruba to it “ò kí n gbórò?” (can’t you hear), like one would scold a naughty child, as she shooed it into its kernel but it refused to cooperate immediately. I mused, did It understand her? I’d assumed the dog “spoke” English only.