A degenerative condition is not a fun thing, but for me, it’s a true thing and often a useful thing. It was the impetus for me escaping work and Lagos and routine for a blissful 3 days in one of the world’s oldest cities with a bunch of my best friends. There was a costume ball, and an impossibly bright picnic. There were late night pizzas and hugs that went on forever. There were old stories and new beaus, fine wines and cold beers, long walks and short shorts, croquet and fountain frolicking. It was all perfect, so much so that when I did in the end get home to England, and have parts of my body subjected to tests and pokes and prods by well-meaning doctors, I stood (mostly) stoic through it all because, worth it.
I’m back in Lagos now, where serendipity and coincidence have been freaking me the fuck out. Firstly, a monster truck driving, Sisqo blaring, toll-gate bully paid for my toll gate fee at the precise moment when I had zero cash in my car and no ostensible goods to barter. Secondly, just when I was about to delete his number from my phone, a friend of mine messaged me to say that she had bumped into Arturo from this post, “shirtless and hot” in his own house. Thirdly, all the things I’d thought lost or stolen by my cleaner (fancy earrings, a watch, a crumpled bundle of Euros) all turned up in a cloth envelope on top of my dresser. (Actually that last one is probably less coincidence and more a late attack of guilty conscience. Veronica, I forgive you.) Fourthly, and most amazingly, I ran into a lady in the lobby of my office building who stopped me cold and said “You look just like your mother. We were classmates in secondary school. I don’t even need to ask you what your name is, you look just like her!”. This happened the morning after I’d spent a dreary evening getting weepy and emotional over a photo of her and wondering whether any of her grace had filtered down to me, or whether losing her so young meant that I never got a chance to learn any of it.
Never let anyone tell you that the universe is unfeeling- sometimes, it sends you what you need, just when you need it, and if that’s not sentience or fate or karma or whatever, then we may as well just curl up and winter-sleep forever.
I’ve become obsessed with Aquazurra Wild Things, which I’ve already blogged about here, but can’t seem to find anywhere. I made a colleague of mine slide over to look at a photo of them in Elmo orange on my screen. “Aren’t they beautiful!” I gushed. “No.” he said bluntly. Sometimes men need to be coaxed so I clicked on another photo of the same shoes in a more subtle colour and asked “What about these ones?”
“That’s the same shoe in a different colour, why would my opinion change? I’m a man, not a retard.”
While I was away, Arturo was a helpful source of good restaurants to go to, ending every message with a cheesy 🙂 , which inexplicably wrung the same expression from my own face. He doesn’t make me feel pursued, which is a thing I need, he hasn’t made me belly- laugh yet and certainly the content of our conversations leave a bit to be desired. But whenever I think “Enough, enough now.”, I zoom in on his photo and hear my friend’s voice in my head saying “You’ve got to. Look at him. He’s insanely hot, Mia. You just have to keep this going.”. Duty, therefore, calls.