NIMISIRE

THE LITERARY LAB

BUS RIDE (NON -FICTION )

The wet scent of greens and cold air fills my nose (my olfactory cells must have undergone some mutation; you know, the type that people who smile at birds would go through ) as the bus recovers from the grip of potholes to run undisturbed on a road fenced by poplars. This bus is heaven! I’ve never traveled to Ogbomoso in a bus with such badass shock absorbers. Two kids are tugging at a goat’s nipples. I remember my mom. Pulling her nerves must be with similar energy. I grin as the bus moves farther from the sight. I feel eyes on my skin. I turn to lock gaze with the bespectacled guy beside me the instant before he looks away. There are tribal marks on his face; you wouldn’t know he is an ‘I fought tiger’ till you were at a handshake from him. He used not to be here. There are three passengers on each seat, he was sitting at the other end, beside a window before the sick dude in the middle puked. On the floor. Sick dude would have puked outside if I had been nice and allowed him to sit beside the other window, where I am.

     The regurgitated something-that-looks-like-curdled milk-or-garri-or-tuwo that I’m avoiding to step on like it’s hot coal is proof that the bespectacled guy was not interested in being beside me(as I had presumed ) when he suggested that I switch places with sick dude about an hour ago after sick dude raised an ‘I think I’m gonna vomit’ alarm. When I asked him to trade places with sick dude instead, ” the screen here can’t be moved past where it is and you know he might want to put his head out to vomit.” was his excuse. Sick dude is sitting there now anyway, and oh he just pushed the screen backwards so he could pour water on his head like a passenger advised.

Nausea. That’s all I feel right now. This trip was supposed to be pleasant!

The bespectacled guy is really nice. He is asking sick dude how he feels for the umpeenth time. He made sure to buy balm and a bottle of water for sick dude at the park. He’s what Nigeria needs. A darling bespectacled president.

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