A Nigerian-brewed Harp Lager passes gullet on way to stomach, processed through to blood. Big green bottle.
Hot day blazes outside, dazes me to laze. No want do much of anything, but something urges me.
The music in headphones deplores me to “eat, drink and be merry…for tomorrow we die.” Drink, I’ll do. Too hot to eat. Merry maybe come.
Me no wan die, wanna-be Nigerian Pidgin English speaker. Too, I want to be more than white-skinned American in Black Africa. Wrap me in colorful cotton and secure me against Mother Africa’s lumbar, me waddling back and forth in the motion of her walking hips. World passes me by, but me no care. I am the world.
Red-headed lizard with black scaled body rushes by. Trail left in sand . Gecko does the same. Skirts the day and me. Green-spotted head reptile runs quickly. Hot sun for cold blood gives them fits of energy. Run along, seek out the ants, flies and mosquitoes to fill you head to toes.
Momma sells beans and cassava flour on corner. I stop. Buy some tinned corned beef and spaghetti and tomato paste. Dinner served up from wood-hewn stand.
“Good afternoon,” she says as I walk away.
Power is on. Off ten hours overnight though. Sleep hot.
Down in the heart of the Delta, black gold runs. Fires blaze overhead oil wells. Edo State said two days ago, “All oil companies must stop flares immediately.”
Shell appealed right away, an immediate “Hell no.” Ozone hole grows and locals’ lungs burn. Acid rain pours down.
Last night’s full moon lingers in head. Rides high. Sit atop the night sky, shine down on the injustice of life in creeks. What waits for sun’s arrival? Man on the moon slides away. He says nothing.
Maybe I’ll fry me some plantain tonight. Slice and lay in hot oil. Put a bed of rice on the plate. Go back to woman’s stand on corner and get some of those beans. Spaghetti can wait. Have a little “red-red” and rice, as the Ghanaians call it.
The Harp is now empty. Wish myself to have another, but none cold available. Could the neighbor lady have one at the ready?
Sweat on skin. Give me a snow shower and a field to lie in. For now, a sun-warmed water shower will have to do. Can’t even get cold water when borehole-filled tank sits above ground. Borehole is well.
Walk to inet café and connect to other worlds. Send this to you, wishing my belly turkey-stuffed full. Eat be done and then maybe merry come.
(written 27 November 2005)