I went back and forth to the Copan Building twice yesterday. I walked with our guest artist Akinbode Akinbiyi in the centre, introducing him to the proprietor of a spiritual shop and ‘consultation’ service, Joseph who had moved from Nigeria twenty years before. I caught that Bode and Joseph are both either Ibo or Yoruba … it’s important to differentiate, but for now I only know that they come from the same tribe. Maybe both are Lagosian. Akinbode is. I remember asking him if he knows Tunde Kelani, a filmmaker I visited my last time in Lagos. Maybe I asked him what Surulere — the Nollywood crossroads — is like these days. At the moment of their exchange I was distracted by a Bolivian couple who seemed to want Joseph’s attention at the front of the store. We would come back. I will appreciate the slowing of pace that our guest — from Lagos via Berlin — promises.
On the way to meet Bode in the morning, I passed an old man on Abolição silently clapping to himself. His hands moving quickly hinged at the palms. But quietly. Sitting small on a lowdown stoop. He was not the same small-build man who was selling three plastic guitars the night before back closer to Jacequai, but they reminded me of each other. The first man strumming a child’s toy, and this man applauding the intermezzo between night and day a few meters farther, on the other side of the bridge, before the hill to the Center.
Last night on the way to the Centro from Bexiga, I spotted a lone taxi, and entered its backseat already quite wet from the rain. The waters of March roll on. On the short cab ride to Copan the jovial taxista sang Antiga Moradia to me, and told me how the poet-author of the Sertaneja favorite once lived at Copan before dying of alchoholism. I closed my eyes at one point. He didn’t seem to be waiting for a client parked under the tree across from the women’s hospital. He was waiting to sing me a lullaby. A very receptive audience of one, I did not mind going slow to where I was going. He let me out at the corner of Roosevelt Place just out of the tunnel. Muito obrigado, O Senhor.