The palm fruit that goes into the pounding mortar will doubtlessly have bruises on its skin.
One of the toys I cherished as a boy was my orange BMX bicycle. Back then, not every boy in our neighbourhood had a bicycle, so this made me feel very special. Being among the privileged few attracted my primary school friends living close by. Later, friends of my friends joined in the visit.
Whenever we met, we all had the chance to ride my bicycle. We made our own version of Hollywood movies using the bike, our toy guns (for those who had theirs) and pawpaw branches (for those who didn’t have any), shouting “bam-bam” and thrusting our toy guns in the air like witches would with their sticks. Even with all the entertainment indoors, I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to ride my bike outside our home. But Mum wouldn’t let me. Her fears were simple: I could stray a long way from home or could even be hit by a car.
A few months after the purchase of my bicycle, Mum and Dad were to attend a funeral. For me, this was the perfect opportunity to experience what I’d dreamed of all along. So, minutes after they left, I got on my bicycle and rode out into the narrow streets of our neighbourhood. The air outside was magnificent! But just when I thought that things were going my way, I saw the unmistakable blue of Dad’s Peugeot.
God! Did my parents forget something?
This was trouble as far as I was concerned. Adrenaline kicked in and I began pedalling home as fast as I could.
Just about the sharp bend that led to our street, an oncoming lorry made me lose control. I fell into the gutter on my right, injuring myself and damaging the bike in the process.
Man is a curious being. Of course, his curiosity has led to a series of inventions. Well, that’s just about the good part. On the other hand, there are certain acts that have been proven as dangerous, if not life-threatening. “Don’t do this … Don’t do that,” they say. But it is the “don’t”s of life that looks more exciting. Quite strange, isn’t it? If we are weak-willed, we find ourselves going for such things, feeding our minds with the idea that we’ll take the responsibility no matter the outcome. But is that what our lives should be — kissing danger when we know we may not live to talk about it?
*Footnote: the scar on my left leg reminds me of this story*