Saturday the 25th of April 2020 was cold and blank in the Davy Jones Locker. A few sailors had passed through the rendezvous to the other side after becoming victims to Covid-19 and other causes but this Saturday there were no forgone sailors arriving. For the first time in my experience there, a particular case of forgone reversal occurred. The Great Door had open and solemn song could be heard accompanied by restrained okombo [drum] beats. I became very concerned and might have tricked myself I was not scared. The Great Door only opened when a sailor was about to cross the Great Gangway. Why had it opened without a forgone arrival? I began to hear footsteps, they got closer, and a man emerged, Paramole himself. About 7 feet away from me, he stopped. His face was listless. I was frozen all over with amazement, and he did not seem happy to see me where I was.
Saturday the 25th of April 2020, was his birthday; Paramole a.k.a. Ayo Odebisi would have been 64 years old. Due to my proclivity for formality, I first wished him, “Happy Birthday.” I wanted to hug him, but he stopped me by firmly saying, “Don’t!” “Because I passed on you left the fold, he queried. I said nothing. “And because I passed on the fold is splintering asunder”, he added. This time I responded, “that is true.” “I know you have a lot to say about that. But I don’t want to hear it. You and your crapious Association, how dare you!” I said nothing.
“Can you take me to Lagos?” he asked. He furthered, “Fabio Romani said you have a cute submarine.” “Omi PM, any for you!” I said with excitement. “Anything but sailing onboard the flagship”, he said curtly. I resorted to blank silence once again. We both boarded the submarine and headed eastwards from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean for Lagos. “Why is it that you, Pinto and others use your staggering creative abilities for division, why not for unity?” “Are you saying I did not do so consistently and continuously suffer for it?” I said with rebuke in my voice. “I am not saying that. All I am saying is those who can dismantle systems are the same people with the capacity to build better systems. Such people should be immune to pain and frustration.” He then went over to the cabinet and got out a bottle of single malt whisky, poured some into two glasses and proposed a toast, “to the future of flagship.” Tradition and my respect for the man forbade me to refuse to drink the whisky, and it tasted great. He then wrote notes until we got to Lagos.
On arrival, he said, “I am going to see Cap’n Blood and his archgoons to straighten out the situation. Come to pick me up at the same time in eight days.” As he was leaving the submarine, he handed me the notes he had written on the journey. “Read this and contact those who matter. All you need is in there”, he said with much hope in his voice. “I have got a flagship to rescue. And I will.”
“Happy Birthday”, I wished him again to which he replied “Thank you. When you cross the Great Gangway, you do not celebrate days; you celebrate aeons.” He had gone ashore on a mission.
It was the same Paramole that had gone into Davy Jones Locker that had also come out of it. But I could help continually asking myself, “Is Paramole really back?” I am waiting.