I’ve been in Benin-city for less than six hours and I’ve already heard the most outrageous (true) stories, laughed until my stomach clenched in protest and howled from every spectra of emotion from the things I’ve seen and heard.
I could write an essay, several actually; on what this city means to me. How the differing landscapes are as familiar as my name, or my ears receiving the flavour of Pidgin English makes my heart crackle and pop and how it is the language I’m most comfortable with, even though I first heard it after my seventeenth birthday. Perhaps it is the abundance of plantain and how you can get masses of it at prices that would shoot guilt daggers in you, or my favourite people calling this city home- especially that five year old girl who makes me believe in soul mates and past lives.
Maybe it’s the ease of conversation here, and the music with the words I don’t understand even if I twirl the rhythm around my fingers, as my mind uproots stories I am too lazy to sit in front of a computer and strike the keys that unlock the magic.
I should write “I love Benin-city”, but that is not wholly true; each time I scoop from the cauldron, the emotions are never the same. I’ll just write the truest thing- this town is where all my parts collide, where I am most capable of being me.