Remember how I said in this post that there were so many mad people where I am serving? Well, I had an encounter today.
This afternoon, our Local Government Inspector (LGI) came around. She wanted to both check on us and see my boss, the Reverend Father. The LGI, my boss the Reverend Father, Enyi and I discussed for a while after they had had a little chat and then it was time for her to leave. Enyi and I decided to see her off. We walked out of the huge gate and walked across to wait for a bus for the LGI.
Now in front of the gate, just beside a small bed of flowers, sits a mad woman. I started seeing her there a few weeks after we came. She is not one of those homeless mad people who walk around; or one of those who have where they stay but take off in search of daily bread each morning: she just sits there, looking at passers-by or talking to herself, surrounded by her ‘belongings’. She is peaceful.
As we waited on the other side, we saw a man, possibly in his fifties, walk to her. He stood on the tarred road, talking to her. At first, she responded but later she ignored him. Irritated, he walked away and turned to us. He stared for a few seconds (he must have caught us watching the whole episode), and then began to cross over to our side. That was when I realised he was also a mad man!
As soon as the road cleared, he ran over to our side, repeatedly saying sister, sister. The LGI began to walk away. We followed. Honestly, I was at a loss. I was the closest to him and was confused. What if he came and pushed me into the massive gutter beside me? I would hurt so badly, I knew.
Thankfully, the LGI was wise. As soon as she got to the gate of a church a few distance away, she began to walk in, as though all was well. Enyi and I followed. The mad man did not: he stopped and looked at us as we walked away and then he too walked away.
Safely aware that he had gone, we began to laugh and thank God he did not follow us more. But as we looked out the gate, we saw another mad woman walk on the opposite side of the road, in the opposite direction. Do you know that this mad man crossed over to her too? He got to her, said something, and pushed her by the shoulder. She could have fallen into the gutter by that side had he put more pressure. She just shrugged and walked away.
Now I am at a loss.
It seemed the mad man recognised the other mad people. But why did he come to us? did we look like three mad people standing by the road?