As I was on the line into the Batman ride earlier in the day yesterday, I thought about you.
I remembered your innocent and mischievous smile when that little white girl in front of me looked at me, then at her mother, then at me again, and asked: “Are you the Batman?”
I didn’t know much about the Batman so I asked Mary. She said the Batman was a white guy who always wore a hooded sweater like the one I was wearing. It became clear. Even the little girl’s mother was amused. “Little girls don’t see colour,” she said, as if to make an excuse for her daughter’s innocent blurting.
I’m sorry I missed your birthday. I wish I was there. I would have come along to celebrate with you. To lift you up, and spin you around just like old times. And if I had not gone to St. Louis today, I would have called you on Skype to wish you a happy birthday. I got back when it was too late. And all this time zones never really seem to help.
If I were there, I would have been able to say to you in person just as I now declare here: “Happy birthday Jolaade! Are you five years old yet?” I almost know what your response would be. Just like that little white girl who kept staring back at me, thinking I was the real life Batman, you would have smiled sweetly and said “No, Uncle Kola. Shebi I told you that when I am five years old, and you ask me how old I am, I will tell you!”
I miss you lots.
With Love from Cougar Village, Edwardsville.