“One chance” is a Lagos slang used to describe public transport busses that double as vessels to rob unsuspecting passengers. If you are lucky you will be robbed and dropped off in an unfamiliar place and if not, you may or may not live to tell the story. By hiding the action behind the familiar, the thieves are often able to get away with it time and time again.
I often wonder when I will feel like I am at home. As I start this piece, can feel my perspective as a privileged Nigerian born in America infused with idealism from other experiences in “the abroad” coming through in every word.
This morning I started counting down from 3. In 3 days I will be back home. Not in the place where I feel at home but in the physical space where I grew up. Something I have found interesting is how the rules of the home dictate behavior. It is like driving in Lagos after years of avoiding it. Your muscle memory kicks in and suddenly you know how to almost hit pedestrians and forget that the break is used for stopping. While I am always thankful to have the ability to be self aware enough to recognize my growth, I am also usually quite saddened by the knowledge of the rules that govern certain spaces. It almost feels like time traveling as you step into the curated space of someone else. Your familiarity lets you know how to behave but that does little of regarding your individuality.
When I step through that grey door with the wobbly handle and weak hinge, I will enter my own version of one chance. For me one chance is a self constructed prison in the mind so comfortable you do not realize you are in it until you have lost everything that makes you yourself. As I flesh out this description you may be wondering why it is then that I continue to go back to my prison willingly. To that I will respond by saying obligation. It is perhaps a shame that I have never been able to see the necessity to cling to ones family. Perhaps that stems from not being able to feel connection really to anything but the things that are in my imagination or out of my reach. When the moment it is within my grasp it starts to fall away like grains of sand. The more I grab on the faster it falls.
There is something destructive about being conscious within this reality of mine. Always planning, imagining and chasing but never truly attaining anything really. Like a dog programmed to chase its tail on occasion but he enjoying it because in the moment there is no better thing to do for a few hours. I often start to wonder if there is any point to trying to live what will be perceived as a full life even though I am fully capable of doing it.
Enough rambling for now.
In 3 days I will be home.