Some blessings come like a flood of flashlight, undisguised, ineludible but short-lived, and we live to forever bear the burden of appreciation they foist on us. I saw one such blessing in Abuja last year. It has ever since become the barometer by which other such blessings are quantified. Basit Jamiu was a fellow witness.
It was at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. We had just finished a 2-day creative writing workshop organized by Association of Nigerian Authors, a huge success in which amiable Richard Ali had fully invested himself, and we were about catching our flight back to Lagos. Details of the circumstances which heralded that notable event escape me now — or so I would prefer to admit in order to sidestep those trivialities — but its essence and epiphanies are things I intend to dwell upon, because I have ever since carried them around like a shadow. More correctly, we have ever since carried them around like a shadow, Basit and I, for, now that I think of it, he was more than a fellow witness; Basit was a “partner-in-crime”.
Our crime, however, being our resoluteness to share in this blessing, was an excusable one in that, given our status and standing at the time, it was a sort of blessing that was unattainable. But damn pessimism, with adequate spur from Basit, I went ahead, beheld the blessing in all of its glory and got enough compensation for my audacity, enough to share meaningfully with others but only a compensation still.
Indeed, there were two blessings: a big blessing of infinitesimal essence and a small blessing of infinite essence. It is of that small blessing of infinite essence that I write. And nay, I refuse to describe this blessing or get explicit with my reminiscence of it, for I fear that, in so doing, I might inadvertently strip it of its mystery, thereby wrongfully relegating it to a league of banalities. God forbid!
You should know, nevertheless, that this blessing is not nameless. Interestingly, neither Basit nor I have had the gut to refer to this blessing by its natural name. We seem incapable of such insolence, this bestowal of a common name on an uncommon blessing. Rather, we derive pleasure from the fabrication of a befitting and ethereal means of identification. This blessing is called “Dee-Square-Gee”, and shall forever be.
These secrets are known only to a small group of initiates. Basit is more than a “partner-in-crime”; he is a fellow initiate.