Nigeria, AFRICA

Out of Control

(3 minute read)

...I think I'm sick...

I’m flying along at a clip, pulling out and overtaking a couple of slow moving lorries - halfway past the first. Something goes...

Ping.

In my brain.

It almost makes a noise.

I can’t think. 

My thoughts lose focus. Then disappear. 

I feel weird. 

I feel dizzy. 

What’s happening? 

My eyes lose focus.

I can’t see straight.

I can’t see clearly. 

Suddenly, unpleasantly drunk all over.

Oh fuck it’s all going fuzzy.

Oh God what’s happening to me???

The points at the side of my jaw go sour, then tight.

I’m going to be sick.

Boom; Adrenaline. Fizz!

I’m going to throw up in my helmet. 

Keep going. Roll on. Roll. It’ll pass it’ll pass it’ll pass...

Gasping. Lungs heaving.

Head lolling.

My heart revs. 

Everything feels straight, but the bike moves to the right.

To the right. To the right...

It won’t stop.

To the right. 

My body moves in my mind - in my balance - but not in the world.

The bike keeps drifting, right, right.

I can’t stop it.

I can’t move.

I'm going to be sick!

I’m going to collapse.

I'm fucked.

Am I dying? 

Am I fucking dying??

Brakes.

The whole world, somehow, is flying in queezy cartwheels.

I stop.

I put the bike, somehow, onto the stand. 

Swoon...

What happens after I black out? In Nigeria...

Where will I wake up?

Will I wake up?

The helmet comes off.

The jacket.

I walk. Stumble. And I breathe. Deep.

Frantic. Eyes wild. Face screwed up. 

Oh fuck. This is it...

I’m fucked. I’m fucked fucked fuck. 



It comes off. Slow.

I don’t throw up.

I stay awake.

I pop my ears; I don’t know why. 

Each second, each weak step, I’m a little further from the edge.

A little further from the floor.

The bile receding. My jaw still feels sour and clenched.

The vision slowly focusing. 

The storm’s passing.

Still dizzy.

Still can’t walk in a straight line.

Still can’t think in a straight line. 

I don’t feel like me...

Not myself...

What just happened to me?

What do I do now? 

I can’t stay here...

But to ride on... I can’t barely walk straight, can’t see straight, can’t think straight...

What else can I do? Call for help?

I get on the bike, and I ride.



I can control it enough to keep it upright and moving forward.

My breathing won’t take care of itself; something feels very wrong. I don’t think I’m breathing properly on autopilot - so I take over myself.

In, out, in, out, in, out...

I quickly hyperventilate. My arms and nose are tingling with the overload of oxygen.

I stop the bike again.

I go again.

I stop again.

I go again.

I can't hit the right balance.



I only just start to feel normal again as I pull into Benin city. I can think, a little.

I can't believe I made it...




What the fuck?

What the fuck was it? What the fuck does it mean?

I ponder over a crappy late lunch in a crappy, unpopular, dingy restaurant.

Something’s not right, no doubt about that. And it still ain’t right, even now I’m not feeling quite like myself.

Blanking out and then nearly blacking out altogether, while doing nothing but riding a motorbike. That shit ain’t normal. At all.

Brain?

Diet?

Anaemia?

Blood-sugar?

Iron?

Calories?

Cancer?

Brain cancer??

Malaria?

Parasite?

Something crawling through my brain, chewing stuff?

I could’ve picked up one of those fuckers any one of a hundred different ways...

Hookworm? Aren't they the ones who latch onto the bottom of your foot, dig through, get into your bloodstream and head to the brain and start eating? Or laying eggs or some shit?

I’ve been walking in nothing but thongs for months...

What about "vertigo"? A fucked up inner ear? My mum had that once; woke up one night and before she knew it she was flat on the floor, world spinning in her head. Couldn’t stand up without pitching over. Lasted days. Nausea. Uncoordinated. Feeling like being on a rollercoaster when sitting still.

Sound’s familiar...

Even if what just happened was a bit milder as far as symptoms go, the consequences of unexpectedly falling over are a fair bit different when the floor is moving under you at eighty clicks an hour...

In outback Nigeria, for fucks sake.

Fuck I hope it’s that though; Vertigo would be a very neat and tidy cause – one that won’t kill me. That's my favourite part...

Typhoid?

Haven’t been feeling crook...

I don’t know.

What to do?

Do something. Or do nothing.

I'll wait and see what happens next...