They call me ‘alakowe’ or the gentleman, that’s what they call me to my face anyway, but when I’m not there they call me ‘were’ and ‘asinwin’. The old women hiss and sigh deeply “… and he’s someone’s child, mmm, were dun wo l’oja, ko se bi l’omo (literally: watching a madman in the market can be entertaining but it’s not entertaining to have a child who is stark, raving mad).”
The young women sigh and avert their eyes from my dangling member, they sigh over my tall physique, I can almost hear them sighing
“What a bloody waste!” and I smile and I laugh and laugh
The pity me, you can see it in their stance, the look in their eyes, they pity me … they look at my dirty and naked body, my filthy matted hair, my wild eyes, my yellowing teeth and shake their head. But I laugh, I look at them and laugh long and hard, I laugh my wildest and throatiest laughter because I am free… and they are not.
Writing this diary is actually one of my whims, something I just decided to do, and I think it’s kind of interesting you know. Sometimes I just get a bee in my bonnet … actually, I permanently have a bee in my bonnet … and I laugh at my own jokes and laugh, and of course, they give me a wide berth which makes me laugh harder…
My getting this pen and book to write with happened quite by accident … there’s this Ibo boy who sells secondhand books.