Saturday, 19 September 2015

Orlu, June – July 2015

His kpomo underlip falls open in wonder each time one of his ogas touch a strange girl and the girl doesn’t cringe, spit a curse, fling a (reckless) punch at the oga, eye him disdainfully, with burning hatred. They are usually in the back of one of the pickups, he and his ogas, on a mission to fix one or another fault, to ‘cut the light’ of debtor-customers; the girl mostly a pedestrian, occasionally an okada passenger. He finds it even more wonderful when the girl smiles at the trespassing palm(s), acknowledges the lewd comments.

‘Nne, i bu ya. Ngwongwo i bu n’azu ehika. Baby, baby!’

‘Give us light. We never get light since . . . We no get light. Una don dey go cut light.’

Of course he ogles girls, the girls, their waddling backsides, peeking thighs, heaving cleavages, God’s masterpieces. He smiles, too, at his ogas’ comments. Sometimes even he chips in lewder comments, causing everyone want to fall off the pickup with laughter, but never in any of the girls’ hearing. Maybe someday he would shout out his comments, like his ogas, in the girls’ hearing, he’s not sure.

But he’s sure he would never touch any girl. He just can’t, even when the girl would likely beam at him, as most actually beam at his ogas. To him, it’s abuse of the girl’s privacy, property. Plus he knows of a lecturer at school who trails any girl, like her shadow, he comes across, savouring ‘sour’ words.

‘Nne, give me this thing. We’ll use condom. Oh, you don’t want us to use condom!’

The story is: he, the lecturer, once abused a lady – a married lady, a nun, many variants of the same story – sexually so the lady cursed him.

Auchi, 14 September 2015.

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