Living in Lagos has the capacity to change you.
I’ve always been a calm, introverted person. I prefer the voices in my head to hearing myself talk. It’s not that I hate people. It’s just that I think the characters I’ve managed to create in my head are better company.
They are witty, they have hilarious jokes and my favourite, they have the best comebacks ever. Sometimes, I wish I could be more like them and live anyhow. But my God knows best why He created me like this.
For some background, my personality is cool and unassuming. I don’t warm up to people easily. I only let those who have passed my all-important vibe test into my space. Also, I run away from stress and any drama that comes with keeping up with other humans. The characters in my head are entertaining and dramatic enough for me.
In addition, what being me means is that I keep to myself a lot. I rarely stand around to chat about mundane things like the weather with anybody; not even my favourite fruit seller. I mostly keep it in. Unless I’m searching for a muse then just know I’m going to dive into people’s lives; then go back home to replay the whole day’s event.
My life is fun this way and I don’t mind it at all usually.
So, why has my personality started to annoy me? As in, I am tired of being reserved and cool, even in confrontational situations. I want to be assertive and witty without thinking about it. I want to become those voices in my head in real life. Give all these crazy people in Lagos a taste of their medicine.
Just for the satisfaction of it.
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How can I go to this Lagos market and this butcher, I think his name is Lawal; how can Lawal boldly tell me that he cut plenty biscuit bones for me because he wants to give me what resembles me? How? That man finished me and I didn’t have a good comeback.
I just picked up my nylon of meat, sorry, bone and went home thinking about what he said. It wasn’t until almost midnight that I came up with what I could have said to Lawal.
Is it now that I should go back to the market in the morning to give Lawal a piece of my mind? Or should I prepare my response for the next time he says something harsh? But my pre-planned reply will no longer match the new yab so I’d have to go home to think up a new yab. And continue the cycle. Why won’t my brain just answer when I need it to?
I blame it on Lagos still.
I don’t want to change who I am o. But I’ve seen that to survive in Lagos, I have to have my verbal machine gun ready at all times.
It’s not me Lawal will yab again and go scot-free.