The trip back from London was uneventful, except at the customs in Sweden. The black custom officer looked at my passport, did a double take and asked me in Igbo. "Are you Igbo?" For some reason, the question in Igbo confused me as my brain had switched back to Swedish. I said in Igbo, "Odinma" which means "I am fine". Then my brain decided to switch to English "Yes, I am". He looks again at me, confused. Now he spoke to me in English "both your parents or just one?". "Just my father", I replied. "And you are born in Lagos?" he asked. "Yes", I said. He switched back to Igbo, "Welcome home", he said. This time, my brain was on track "Daalu" (thank you) I replied. This pleased him to no end, and he smiled happily back at me. The fact that an Igbo man had just told me "welcome home" in a country that we both had adopted was not strange or foriegn. He said it with the same ease as he would perhaps had said it if we had met in the customs in Lagos. C'est la vie.
Monday, May 14, 2018
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
The night was heavy. I dreamt of being attacked by a dog and the strangers who I seemed to know, did not help me. “The dog has tasted blood” I said…but those people, the strangers, were far away.
It was 2:00 am, it was still, quiet, dark, the night. My enemy. I should not have eaten that bowl of noodles, I thought. I was always hungry at nights but I knew it was not hunger. It was anxiety, fear, disappointment, loneliness, everything else but hunger.
The lady on the TV said her son had been as sour as vinegar until he married his "online someone". It was not really love but at least he was not alone anymore. He had her and she had him, the mother nodded wisely.
Was that what it all came down to then? Someone to dilute the vinegar?
When the alarm rang by 6:05, I knew I was done for. My eyes were red and puffy. The bathroom seemed like a hundred miles away. I dragged myself with invisible iron chains on my feet.
I was late as usual to the meeting. Someone else was late too, which made my conscience lighter.
I sat by my desk and looked at the time.
Just seven more hours.
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Oh how you laughed last night
“Why are you laughing?”
But you wouldn’t say
Were you thinking of me?
Were you thinking of us?
Were we so funny?
Two broken souls
Finding the courage to be themselves
Jumping over hurdles of fear
Only to get to the finished line
And find that the hurdles were never there anyway
Oh how you laughed last night!
Friday, September 15, 2017
It is weird the ways we are reminded of who we are. You can lose yourself for hours, days and then in a moment you know exactly who you are. That’s what a pot of stew can do to you. I cut the tomatoes, paprika, onions, habanero peppers and put them in the oven. My home was soon filled with the scent of the past and present. The meat boiled in curry and thyme, the aroma filling my soul and heart. Mixed and blended, the stew bubbled away on the stove. In the morning, there were containers to fill, containers to freeze, red stains to be wiped away and windows to be opened. You can’t get too far away from yourself if you can cook a pot of stew. The familiarity gives a certain kind of security, security in an identity often questioned by others. No, I don’t know if I am more black or white, more African or more European, more religious or more spiritual, more this or more that. I only know how I feel when I cook a pot of stew. That my ancestors, white and black, are nodding their heads with contentment, smiling at me, paprika and habanero, yes, that’s what I am.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Thank you all for sharing my life with me.
Thank you for friendships formed.
|This is me!|
Monday, September 5, 2016
Yesterday, I saw you
You stared back at me
An enemy and a friend
You have been so cruel to me
You let me down so many times
Bailing out at the last minute and leaving me to deal with the shit
But you are also the queen of second chances,
That’s what you called yourself
You picked me up so many times
Even though I wished many times you would let me drown
Sometimes I was sure you would
But at the last minute, in a non chalant way, you would drag me out again
Yet when I saw you stare back at me
It occurred to me that only you have been there
To think that you are me and I am you,