The conversation at the dinner table last night eventually led to talk about ghosts and cemeteries, only because one of us had expressed her fear of burial grounds. I was asked if I share the same fear and I said no, which is only a half truth. For, as I have discovered, to my own surprise all fear of ghosts and burial grounds always disappeared whenever I set foot on foreign soil.
Throughout last year, while riding back to my apartment at eleven or twelve o clock at night, I get to pass through a dimly lighted bike path with thick woods on its either side. And I’d always wondered to myself where all the trepidation went that I would usually have while walking at a similar place in Ibadan or anywhere in South-Western Nigeria around the same time. The conclusion, of course, was that the fears were only conditioned by familiarity. Perhaps it is impossible to import fear across such a wide ocean as the Atlantic. Note: I noticed a similar trend of artificially acquired confidence while in Northern Nigeria, and in Kenya. Suddenly, it seems that the best way to rid a human of fear is to transport them to a different environment.
Now when I see cemeteries and tombstones, at whatever time of the night, the only thing I want to do is to take pictures of/with them. It must come from watching too much of Michael Jackson. And yes, I’m still going to spend a night at the Lemp Mansion sometime soon.