It is a bright morning. Like the sun, I’m out early. I drive to Jabi Park, and manage to find parking after driving round and round for minutes. It seems the whole city has converged. Abuja is a small city; I often tell myself that the entire residents can fit into a small football field.

Jabi Park is a mecca for fitness enthusiasts, brimming with people every Saturday. Ironically, it is also a food bazaar of sorts. Today is no different. I start to jog and promptly lose my zeal, bogged down by too many thoughts. I slow to a walk. Petrol. Water. Light. I haven’t seen electricity in days. I’m almost going deaf from the noise of power generators that has continually consumed my neighbourhood. My head is throbbing just thinking about it. I wish I wouldn’t have to go back home.

In spite of all the noises in the park, the music and all, it is sane compared to the environment around my home. I stop under the shade of a tree. A man with a potbelly is power-walking in my direction, dressed in Nike t-shirt, shorts and trainers. He has a small parcel in one hand. I’m inspired to get down to business. But to my utter surprise, the man unwraps the parcel and brings out a piece of moimoi, which he proceeds to stuff into his mouth, breathing heavily from the effort. He brings out another piece. I watch him with amusement, wondering why anyone would work out and eat at the same time. I laugh quietly to myself, careful not to draw his attention as he goes past me. A man wearing a tie walks by hand-in-pocket. He looks bored with life, his clothes are hanging on him. I note that his tie is bright red, probably trying to draw attention. His shoes are worn. I wonder how many miles the poor shoes must have covered and what he was doing in the park dressed like that. Two young women, one fat, one thin, walk by, quarrelling loudly about a man, who each claims to be hers. They are dressed in similar sportswear; they wear similar lipstick.

The harmonious sound of music from different dance classes grows louder. Heady. I begin to sway slowly under the tree. A couple of children on skates go past me at a dangerous speed, howling with infectious delight. I smile to see them so happy, so free, so young.

I know I should start jogging, but I feel too heavy with thoughts. I wish I could skate away from all my worries.

The potbellied man is coming back in my direction, still holding the parcel in one hand, stuffing moimoi into his mouth with the other hand, breathing heavily. To my surprise, he approaches me. ‘Hey, share my moimoi with me,’ he says. ‘No, thanks,’ I respond with a smile, shaking my head. ‘Go ahead,’ he insists, stretching the nylon towards me, ‘it is delicious!’

The aroma of the moimoi overpowers me; I can tell that it is delicious indeed. I did not wait for another invitation. Time to get down to business, I tell myself. I start to jog away. Either that or I would be tempted to share his moimoi with him. I pick up speed. Gradually, thoughts drop away from my mind. I drag air slowly into my lungs.