THE BLACK WIDOW
An elderly relative's husband had died and laspapi did the impossible, he paid a condolence visit. Make no mistake, family is important to me, but I also believe that your family does not consist of those whom you are tied to by blood, but of those whom you would give your blood for. She not being in the blood donor category, I hadn't been to see her for a long while and from all indications, she cared as little for me, but when I heard of the death, I appeared like a genie, thinking, "you're older, man. Be nice."
Shock, amazement and looks of pleasant surprise on the faces of all. I smiled, expressed my heart-felt sympathy as I moved through the room, asked for the widow. She was lying on a couch, like an ancient Roman aristocrat. People fawned, she looked sufficiently sad. She looked as if she had been in that position for a while.
As I approached her, I saw the analytical look, up and down, a quick one. I murmured sympathy... "Yes, it's me, laspapi. I hope you are well". I sat for a while, chatting, observing, being observed, the usual thing people do at gatherings. Then I went to the balcony and looked down at the street scene as dusk walked through the skies.
The apartment was three storeys up. I stood contemplating life, and then death that must come to all, then heard footsteps behind me. It was the widow. "E pele, ma" (Sorry Ma). I thought she had come to tell me not to stay away from family, a nasty habit of mine where the extended family is concerned. She said in Yoruba:
WIDOW: What car did you bring?
Laspapi: (Not sure he had heard right) Ma!?
WIDOW: Your car? What car did you come here in?
laspapi: (thinking he was going to be warned to re-park in a no-theft zone) Errr, it's downstairs.
WIDOW: (Straining to look) Show me.
laspapi: (Pointing) That one...
WIDOW: (She looks long and hard)
laspapi: (stands bemused as Widow retreats into the room to recline on her Romano-Greco chair again) *thinking* I haven't seen her in four years, her husband lies dead and she wants to know what car ...
All the appearances on tv and in the newspapers make people think strange things. I really ought to buy a jeep and then another. Make them all mad.