Staring into beautiful, slender, oval face we’d talked about anal sex as a gay person. I’d explained how the gripping pleasure makes it a worthwhile adventure. My opinions may have debunked myths of spontaneous poo, torn butts and disgusting homophobia. After all attraction and the desire for intimacy aren’t gendered phenomenon. His listening face agreed with a nod. As the swing rocked back and forth I’d asked how did I begin talking all that? I think back to Friday morning when I’d been so sure of my weekend plans. The buzz of spoken Yoruba, microphone announcements by calm Matrons and bustle of quick, slow feet over the neat floors of General hospital was mixed with the breezy sun illuminating the green, pink and blue dotted shrubs around. That’s until I’d carefully climbed up and down three storeys of wheel chair ramp for a stamp at the Admin Office in the glassy, looming, Maternity Building. The light blue, pale yellow highlighted skies darkened to grey changing my plans to hop buses to Ikeja for a pick-up. Tomorrow, I promised in text messages to my mother and baby mama.
A few minutes to 5pm I wasn’t navigating winding, port-hole dotted Lagos roads in a cab enroute to Victoria Island. I sat on plastic chair at one of my favorite peppersoup joints. Merry Men movie ticket safely zipped away at the side of my nude handbag. I said a quiet thank you as a tall bottle of orange juice and a short tumbler were dropped in front of my opened novel on the plastic table. Melodic chatter in Igbo from a table of elderly men at my right was like Jazz. Occasionally my focus was interrupted by zooming cars, danfos and trucks speeding towards Igando. Yet again I lived an unexpected variation of Sunday. My eyes scan the pages of ‘explain love’ as my right fingers guide a orange tumbler to my red glossed lips. I’d admit I enjoyed the peaceful evening while Blythe, Cecillie, Jacques dealt with the catastrophic highlight of Luc’s art exhibition. How could it be Bryony who tells on Fred! Her accidental, harmless joke breaks Jacques’s heart and jaw. Like a joke I’d told an hour ago. Laughing As They Chased Us has offered me a very foreign glimpse into the daily lives of three couples living in South of France. An engaging debut novel by Sarah Jackman. I’d made a joke about stripping out of my hang-out clothes to settle back in bed with its captivating characters. A joke a handsome man didn’t appreciate. He lost his excitement and I understood him canceling our meet-up. I’d been distracted while he clearly stated these words to me. I didn’t look away from the tiny black words running across the pages. Where is Jacques? My eyes kept asking the narrator. I didn’t dwell on my caller’s upset tone. On a prior call I’d laughed as he called me out on my teasing threat, ‘Of course I wanted to see him’. ‘No, I don’t usually threaten people’. ‘Hello, hello?’ ‘Yes, threats are rude. I’m waiting’. I found that call intriguing, admirable but unusual. Many men hardly have a personally developed sense of self. Imagine how I felt when I finished that chapter then realize I wouldn’t watch the sunset with him. Cab apps are infuriating. They and my gasket-less car made me upset this week. Mid week when we’d planned to see I didn’t have cash. I’d declined the hang-out on that basis. He offered to cover tfare so plans stayed on track. But Fridays are my bank account’s faithful lover. I made a call to my partner. My unnerved voice explained he didn’t have to worry about late night traffic. I walked out of the spacious compound, kimono billowing in the wind, to catch my own sunset.
Stepping out of the white tiled bathroom I could see the dumpsites in my mind. My brown eyes scan the vanity table for a green bottle of rosewater. My fingers and bottles began my night tie skincare routine. After refilling the tumbler with orange liquid twice I looked past the top of my book. The skyline was marked by refuse dumps piled high opposite Marturion Cinemas. These piles looked like brown, multi-colored waves crashing against the blue, late afternoon, sky. The sunset was as beautiful as the cow tail chopped in small bits in the steamy bowl. Each bite of the succulent ponmo, tasty beef and swallow of spicy soup made me moan. I couldn’t help but think if the orange, peach and purple sky would look different at Fiki Marine. Clouds, skies and sunshine at Ojo are the most beautiful in Lagos. A crisp one thousand naira note passed to the hands of my short server five minutes to the start of my movie. In the end I learnt how disconcerting it can be speaking your truth. For both the relieved speaker and stunned listener. I’d ended a relationship because a partner had joked about beating me during a tussle. It’s odd that the elements of nature connived with my unsettled intuition to prevent me leaving Ojo this weekend. My thoughts concluded as I wrapped a dark silk scarf around my bantu-knots.