I want to be described as that dude who wrote until life flew out of him. But due to a certain cage which only resides in my imagination, I can only write for my life to keep soaring and higher within the space of that cage.
Forget it! It’s not going to fly out of me. Even when I am dead, I have my life in another dimension and shape.
Have you seen a ghost before? I saw an army of ghosts across the skylines of CMS, Lagos’ central business district, and they did not have the shape of men. They were not lepa or orobo. They did not weigh their ambitions on the scale of time. Were they even ambitious? They didn’t have wings to fly like birds but I saw them across the iconic tall buildings that pillared Lagos economy.
I love the sight of high rise buildings. To feed my hunger for them, I always perambulate CMS on Saturdays, roaming the nooks and crannies. Then my mind would wander back in time in black and white, to the foundation laying rituals of those buildings
I pictured in my head the first block that was laid, upon which every other block rest on to make gigantic edifices. The Bible called it “the chief cornerstone”.
On this fateful day that I saw an army of ghosts, it was not on a Saturday and I had not gone to feed my eyes just for the sheer pleasure of sighting those buildings.
I had gone to meet a popular writer who was impressed with a short story I wrote about ghosts in an anthology (he had asked me to write about ghosts after my encounter with ghosts in his car.) He wanted us to chitchat the evening. He is a beer lover and I am not.
As we sat at a popular Cuban parlor with some South American expatriates, he poured upon me the history that stands as the bedrock for the situation of the business district to CMS. It didn’t come to CMS on a platter of gold.
As he spoke on, he kept sipping his beer from a sparkling China. A few tables away from us were some China men. The more he drank the more he talked about all I desired to know — literature, history, world politics, and tourism; those are my sincere interest.
Then he said if I really wanted to be known like him ( he was quite well known by a few hundreds of himself) I should give a beer a chance. I did.
Four hours had gone. In front of me were four empty bottles of beer. That was not my first time. He had already downed 15. He didn’t look drunk, neither did I, I guess.
But I found myself in his car, seat belt fastened across me. My eyes were on the buildings, the tall iconic buildings. They sparkled in the night like embers from a burning bush. They moved in majestic procession, and upon them sat an army of ghosts. Their appearances swayed in the sky like Aurora in an oriental sky although they were less glorifying.
“Are ghosts real?” My host said as he drove on
“Yes. I can see them.” I affirmed
“Then write a story about them.”
I promised him and I did. He read the story in an anthology and he was impressed. He invited me for chitchat at CMS. We met at a popular Cuban beer parlour where he drank with some ghostly gentleman from China.
I may not know much about ghosts but I know for certain that most ghosts prefer taking their beer directly from the bottle than pouring it in a cup first before gulping it down.