It was no small blessing the grace to wrap the numbed palms of my aching hands around a steaming cuppa, and to whet my caffeine-deprived soul with that darkish brew, after a week and a half of sickness. I have never been more thankful for little mercies than for that cuppa that did not pass me by that blessed day that at the NIBF. Reminiscent sometime.

If you dig a pit for any man, put brewing coffee at the bottom of that pit, willfully the man will fall into that pit. A coffee-head man will not jump over such pits even if God gives him eagle wings to fly over it. The aroma of coffee, (brewing coffee) is just too seductive a lure for men to ignore.

It wasn’t exactly the cafe excellentisma Quintessence Falomo serves; it wasn’t the cuppa amor aromatica Terra Kulture will pamper you with, neither was it anything close to the cafe latte Cafe Royale regal folks with; nor the sorry goo I console myself with daily at home; but it was coffee at any rate.

I could never mistake the sweet tangy aroma of any brewing brown-roasted bean even if it were made instant. My antennas were up that day, I was perceiving coffee. But I quickly dismissed it as just my wayward imagination playing games with me. Who would be brewing coffee at a book fair? And so the temptation passed over me. And I concerned myself with enjoying the ambient crispy smell of new books, exchanging inspiring banters with Afi, Morgan and Oyindamola and some interesting shoppers at the Rovinheights Book stall, until this nymph glided by. And I was lured away.

I thought I recognized that move- the fanny-wagging thingy-mingy sistas do to get a brotha’s attention. I felt that irresitable tug; no, it was a pull, a powerful pull it was- the allure that lead such men as Christopher Columbus to discovery. I must have been transported somewhere trancy, that the buzz of the crowded book fair, and the chatter of my compadres had faded into some background drone.

One feet got in front of the other, and the other got in front of it again. So it went’ I had started to follow where my eyes led. Everything happened in a zombie-like fashion- me trying to catch up with this glidding nymph and the figure keeping being ever before me like tomorrow. I only wanted to say “hello, how are you? Why don’t you come over to our stand, at B25. We got great books that will blow your mind”. (The sales pitch I had rehearsed for that day) but I never got the chance to work it like I was born to do it.

I never seem to walk fast enough to close the gap between me and the receding work of art of a wiggly-waggly bum-bum. I was liking it. She turned a corner, I turned that corner too, eyes fixed on the prize of my calling, mind fixed on a certain attainable goal. But suddenly she turned a corner and disappeared, I panicked, and become more disoriented. I went through a doorway, I suspect she’d gone trough. I turned a corner and voila! There she is, I recognize that masterpiece of a arse work. My pace quickened, mostly of it’s own accord and my heart raced to claim the prize.

Suddenly, “poof” goes an explosion, (inside my head) there was a dark mist, and the mist quickly cleared. Coffee! Brewing coffee! I can smell it! I kinda jolted awake like one coming out of a trance. The place was a cafe. There were a mixed grill of dinners, black, white, Chinese, Indians, boys, girls, men, women- some dinning, some winning, everyone swilling coffee from Nestle-branded paper cups. Wow! This must be the Nigeria International Book Fair’s best kept secret. I had followed my instinct to discover it.

Yes, where is miss wagging Fanny who led me here? Nowhere in sight! She must have been an angel sent from heaven. A feeling of reverent awe had overcome me in that holy of holy places. I guess I would have taken off my shoes in that coffee-hallowed grounds, but I had so tightly laced up my working man boots that not even a voice out of any burning bush could have made me take off my shoes. Besides, no time to dally here. There was coffee to imbibe.

I had ordered and put like two cups of the life elixir away under my belt before I realized it wasn’t the greatest brew there is. The cafeteria was using instants. I took some back to my compadres at the Rovingheights book stand where assortment of great new books and some Amazon Kindle were on display.

The moral of the story is Le Bon Deux uses the simple things of life to confound the wise. God knows I needed coffee to come alive, and had come to my aid in such mysterious way. No wonder the bible say “God works in mysterious ways. I have been seduced, and I saw that it was good.


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