Makurdi is your honey arms that make you an oyster. Makurdi is the way you kiss, four times or none at all. Makurdi is your eyes, as mysterious as Atlantic, this is how I choose to remember this place.
Here, the sun is brightest. It comes out earlier than you and goes to sleep later than you. I never saw something brighter. But this evening is different. Reminds me of Nsukka.
I take a solo-stroll, to see this new apartment I’m about to rent. Thatch houses and lands. I walk in the shelter this tender darkness provides. In the chilling cold the sun has allowed for a brief.
It’s a little busy down here. Men drinking dry gin from the same cup like it is Eucharist. People gather a truck and a woman for hot cups of soya. The stem from the cooler from which she pours for everyone compliments the weather. Soya milk is drank hot too. Little children. Their little voices punch the dark, Tiv here, Idoma there. I don’t get nothing.
My landlady-to-be, warns about noise.
“I am quiet ma. But I have few friends. They maybe visiting.”
A girl about eight tries to free another her age of a strange spirit.
“Witch comot, witch comot” she says in pidgin as she walks round around her, juggling an imaginary bell around her head. They remind me of Ogbanje in “Dizzy Angel” and that reminds me of the children in my work place. They look at me with smiles. Their smiles remind me of the Mary’s grotto I would see every morning when I arrive my work. It stands at the center of the school, her smile unwavering.
I think about the food basket at Wurukum round about. I think about the extra large mangoes I see by the road side. I think love. What would love feel like in this place this night? Two bodies in harmony. I think about me. I imagine myself in ten years, walking down the streets of Makurdi like now, but this time, In this thought, holding a lover. I feel the air I breathe pass through my lungs. I feel bliss. I feel alive.
Thoughts give way to other thoughts as quick as they come. Like strings of current. Like the web of a careful spider. I think you. You will be an oyster when you happen. Ordinary but dexter. That is how I will know. That is how I will remember this place. You are Makurdi.