You are afraid of this newly acquired impatience. This sudden lack of tolerance for a television screen that turns black because the block of flats ten minutes away needs to have its twelve hours of electricity. You are afraid of this steadfast longing for thin-crusted pizza delivered at your doorstep by faceless men with cheerful voices. This fixation on roadside food trucks in Montrose and the taste of warm burritos, turgid with beef chunks and slices of avocado.
You are alarmed by the tartness in your voice when you voice your discontent with rusty faucets whose spouts no longer drip with water. Or by how quickly your we should’s have been replaced by a distant you people should. What is this cold refusal to set foot in a molue bus? As if its weathered benches had not sheltered you from rain on cold October mornings when mama had been too disenchanted to take you to school. What is this sign language that insists every one lay their head scarves upon the ground you daintily tread.
You have become an undercover cynic. You have become one of those people who religiously abide by a three-weeks time cap on their stay in the motherland. Your home has been turned into a diluted wonderland. The one whose trees and wild beasts fed and clothed you has been relegated to nothing more than a quirky addition to your autobiography. It has become something to brandish at blacks and whites like a colorful hand fan that catches the eye. You derive pleasure from establishing the fact that your blackness is poignant and ripe with possibilities; that you are Nigerian. That your name does not end in a ‘niqua’, that your voice does not carry a twang. Your home has become a superficial identity. A collection of memories that are only fond when you don’t have to relive them.