The project attempts to take you on a journey that is planned around how the life of a man is at different stages of his life. We use the lives of different men, some of which are intertwined to paint this picture. The stages are in ten-year intervals, hence the name project name.
We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.
I am David Ajifolawe-Williams
I arrived via red carpet.
A bespoke tuxedo, no cravat, no socks, no shoes. I strutted clumsily, not sure how to handle all the attention. All of the lights. All of the action. All of the noise? Too much. Too darn much!
I should have gone back in that day, crawled back up into heaven. But I couldn’t. After all, she had forced me out, the same woman that would later claim to love me.
I stumbled a-plenty that day, losing footing and ruining the well laid carpet. The staging suffered; it would never welcome another, but it endured my blind manoeuvring. So I came into this cruel world, cruel from the first minute. I imagine that a vulgar slap was my welcome and I cried an obscene appreciation. The new sensations would have come over me like a blur. All of the lights. All of the action. All of the noise.
I don’t remember much of the after too and I’m glad I don’t. Growing up so dependent on mother? Being suckled? Being cleaned? Sharing a bed with her and father? Nature is right to destroy those memories.
Pictures tell me much of what I need to know between day zero and my first memory. Mother keeps a collection of them in an album I do not much like. I steal and throw them away – some of the photographs, when I can manage to. Last time she caught me, I got caned.
The pictures mother keeps tell a really cute story of how I grew under her watch. They tell a pretty story of birthdays; scary visits to that big, black, sweating man during Christmas (He always wore red clothes and he had a cotton wool beard that was held together by cellotape); family picnics to warm springs, amusement parks, and Mr Biggs (With myself dressed in a matching shirt-short-cap outfit.); yearly class promotions at school and several other events that seem to document a perfect childhood.
You forgot the pictures of your three year old wetting himself in class when the wicked teacher wouldn’t give me permission to use the toilet. You forgot the pictures of your four year old son copying Tobi’s work when he couldn’t write up till two hundred like the teacher told him to. You forgot the pictures of Halimat, the nine year old househelp trying to get your five year old son to sleep on her, it might have been with her after, who knows? You forgot the pictures of that same five year old kissing Bimbo and watching her kiss her brother.
Mother, there could have been more pictures, the pictures of your six year old spending stolen money that the Taiwanese girl in the class gave him everyday till you found out, the pictures of your seven year old son wondering whether to fill in yes or no when the school form asked for his sex. Mother! There could have been pictures of your eight year old on his knees, proudly telling Mr Opaleye, the most talented cane wielder in all of primary school-dom that he loved Temi Bada! You should have taken pictures of your nine year old flirting with pretty Ijeoma under the table while the teacher taught Bible Knowledge. She was the prettiest girl in school, mother! My friend told me I had my ways with women in primary five! That year, mother, I cheated at common entrance because I didn’t know some of it although you thought I was smart enough to scale through a year before I was meant to. You didn’t get a picture too! Why?
I’m ten years old now mother, I’m in king’s college. You still think I’m innocent don’t you? My friend just told me that if I want to be a ‘hard’ guy, I must know how to wank. I’m still asking around for what that is because it’s cool to be hard. I’m trying hard to fit in, mother!
I see it in your eyes, every time, that I’m a mistake you still regret making. You never told me, mum never did too, but I know, kid learn things. Sir.
Yes! You make me call you sir, not dad, sir. That’s the only way I can be allowed to relate with you, like it’s business because that’s all that you know. I think you’re great though, I think you rock even though we don’t talk much. There’s so much that we say on the way to school each morning even though we don’t say anything. I love the way my friends look at us when you drop me off in the black Mercedes and give me two thousand Naira for lunch. You should know that I can’t wait to be like you.
Maybe I’d like a pat on the head sometimes but really, money is enough, just money, no toys, no candy, no video games or anything to show that you’re really thinking of me, just money, like always, right before you give me a firm handshake and send me on my way.
We’re business men, both of us, but the price of my happiness is going up.
SO THANKS FOR READING. A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?
N.B. The project goes on for the following seven days. Tomorrow we have The Second Decade by @KevinWithAnL.
You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project).