I have unfinished business in this town. I had always sensed that when the time came to finally cut my ties, I would still have to come here one last time, to cast my eyes over the horizon and remind myself of all the things this town means to me.
Today I lug my knapsack to the park and ask for a cab. I point in the general direction I am headed in, the dirty strip of land bordering the ocean that became my chill spot during those long arduous weekends. Unsurprisingly, the fare has doubled from the last time I was here, as it did for every one of the years I spent here. We haggle a little over the price. He retorts that there is no fuel, and that I shouldn’t be a cheap skate, after all I am a big boy. Perhaps I look the part – a knapsack that looks like it has a laptop, I wear glasses, am plugged into an iPod, and am speaking English untainted by the default accent one acquires around these parts. Truth is I might have once been one of them, but I am not now, which is why my trip to the waterside could end up being painful. I am off to eyeball UX5 for the last time.
As we proceed, I realize that nothing much has changed in the time I have been away. Clara is still perched at the edge of her seat turning out fried yam and goat stew with unfailing regularity, Muktar still roasts suya a little further down the road, the police men on guard detail still claim their mandatory stipend – only this time it too has doubled, and people still splash unabashed in the river in full glare of the public. Such is the banality that reigns supreme here.
I eventually find myself at my destination. The wind is slightly chilly as usual, laden with a fine mist. The tide is on its way out, so I proceed to the very edge of this corner of the Atlantic, and allow its dirty brown water wash over my feet in tiny breaking waves. The horizon is dotted with numerous tiny fires, dull orange plumes in the gathering dusk. Once upon a time, I could name them all, but now only UX5 interests me. I know it like the back of my hand- 46 well head platforms, 366 production wells, 72 gas injectors, 52 pipelines – this was my playing ground for all of 5 years and I know I will miss it. UX5 holds great memories for me – my greatest triumph was here and I got to meet the most fabulous people. I remember Tam, the Instrumentation specialist who helped me automate my first chemical injection skid, I remember Zik whose deference to my opinion shocked me, I remember Pugs who thought I was not Nigerian until we got the chance to see face to face after multiple clashes over the phone. I also remember Ini the high flying Operations Manager who spoke up for the critical work we pushed through in that record breaking year, I remember Nduka the maverick Reservoir Engineer who always had us confused with all his numbers. I refuse to remember the sad parts, because I like to believe that UX5 and I were made for each other.
I stare into the distance, musing, thinking about all the things UX5 means to me… and I realize UX5 made me – was the sandbox where I honed all the skills I am taking away now…
I don’t know how long I spend in my reverie, but as the breeze gets stronger I finally snap out of it. I look around for a memento, something to remember today by. I find two pebbles; white, worn smooth by the persistent rasping of the water waves as they break. They fit into the palm of my hand, snugly as though they were made for it.. I take a long hard look at UX5, and then I hurl one of the pebbles in its direction.
This is for you UX5, I mutter……UX5’s cryogenic flare seems to flicker a greeting…Ours is a bond that will not break.
25 thoughts on “UX5… The Memories..”
i wish i knew what or where ux5 is really? but i like the fact that u chose to rbr only the good parts – sumtimes as humans we get stuck on the bad days and dont realize the opportunities and joys we had throughout that particular journey – have a great weekend dear
it's beautiful the way nostaglia weaves with fact to produce memories
What is UX5? Nostalgia isn't it? Good to look back and remember the old ol days
memories!!! so well written.
@Neefemi — UX5 is a twist on the name of one of the places I worked in the past… True words.. We need to see the brighter side of things.. Have a great weekend yourself..
@Kafo.. Yup… Nostalgia has its place too I guess.. No matter how hard nosed we make out we are…
@Nie Anon — UX5 = somewhere I worked before…Yup.. good old days o..
@hyaw — LOL.. Thanks…
Sometimes we have to look back to move ahead. Where are you off to? Leaving the country?
I like how, although you're moving on, you're choosing to appreciate the part UX5 played in making you the man you are today. You write so beautifully.
Wishing you the best in the future (new job? New city/country?); it's going to be a bright one!.
This is really nice, did you ever work offshore?
..and sometimes we have to look back to know where we are going. You wrote it so well felt like i made the travel with you.
I like Neefemi feel you also chose to remember the good parts….
I still love the way u write…i'd let u know wen i dont anymore…if the time comes
Very creative…you leavin the country or something?
You write cutely, D, know that?
I feel the same way about the Noble Percy Johns; first rig-move job i was involved in.
I love this. Love it. I love the way you write… Nice!
@Myne Whitman/ GNG — A little of everything I guess… A pilgrimage of sorts over all…
@Omosi T — Supported offshore assets for a long while….
@Tricia.. Awwww thanks.. This would be the KenyaDiva right? You didn't add your URL….lol
@ Afrobabe — LOL.. True.. Guess those are the bits we can take away anyways..
@Jhazmyn — Aww.. thanks… Hopefully, that won't change soon…
@ Trybes — Not quite.. simply making official what happened a whiles back…
@ Kay9 — Thanks bruv.. If you say so… The Percy Jones and I have a little bit of history too…. heheheh
@miss.fab — thaaaaanks…. 'preciate it..
Hey DannyB! Nice post. But my goodness, 366 production wells + 72 gas injectors? that must me a really massive field.
Eiyah…lol I'm sure UX-5 will miss u too. Bhet emmm why did u 'hurl' the pebble at UX-5 na? I think say u go miss am abi is this generally how you express the fact that u will miss someone/something? lol
I feel u, broh. Happy new week.
Like the way you also remembered the people you worked with, they make it all worthwhile most times:) not every time!
All the best on your trips!
@Sagacious J — Yup, UX5 was big.. All the new wells were a result of an aggressive drilling program in 04/05.. and gas/water injection in 07…
@Nerfetiti — LOL.. Not with people though… So happens that I did not have access to UX5.. Was merely hoping that the trajectory of the pebble would be a shared memory.
@Olaoluwatomi — Thanks, Thanks… I made a lot of good friends from across all the cadres in those years…. That is something I can take away…
It's good to look back before you can move forwards.
Where you goin? Huh? Huh? 🙂
first of all y do u keep changing templates on me? And u r not on my blogroll…
….I hate nostalgia..but this was beautiful….
@Caramel Delight — Sometimes.. Not all the times… Sometimes nostalgia can be a weight too….
@Kat — LOL.. No where just yet…
@Fabulola — Redress that issue ASAP O.. Get me on your blog roll…… Being a whiles!