You need a wild heart to get by in Lagos. Because, as the saying goes, wild hearts can’t be broken.
Until, well, they break.
I’ve had mine dealt a ruthless number once.
If I spun random events in Lagos, the output would be like a huge kaleidoscope exploding in chaotic motions that would leave you inebriated with anxiety.
Some lady gets asked a question, and as soon as she responds with kindness, she falls under a strange hypnosis, and follows instructions to hand over her belongings and withdraw money from an ATM using her debit card to its maximum limit, and feeling lost until the perpetrators are long gone.
Some guy who has his phone well tucked away in his pocket rushes to get in a bus, and in the blink of an eye that it took him to sit half-comfortably in the bus, he realizes his phone is gone.
Some other guy earning a humble living with Uber, chauffering passengers safely to their respective destinations, gets attacked in traffic by armed robbers, gets shot, and loses his sight after surgery.
Some woman crossing the road beside Maryland mall gets hit by a car, and nobody stops to help her, not one motorist, all of them avoiding her until she bleeds out half an hour later.
This is Lagos. No one cares about no one – or, not to miss the point, anyone.
And to care is to risk submitting yourself as the next sucker for some Lasgidi sham.
So, as I prodded home last night, this guy drove by and asked if I could direct him to Ajah.
We were in Gbagada.
He was asking me to direct him to a location two-hour away, all things considered.
I told him I couldn’t help.
Then he asked if I could assist with setting the route on his Google Map.
That was when I realized I was about to become some guy. I just shook my head and walked away.
End of discussion.
I wasn’t going to be one of the motions in that kaleidoscope.
I wasn’t going to have my wild heart broken.