Afrosays to me

…random excerpts from my communions with the AfroMuse

Pink Polish August 3, 2012

Filed under: Scenic — Betty @ 3:33 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The sounds of blotted ink that can’t be erased. And of efforts to repair damages. Of efforts. And picking up the pieces.
Listen.

 

PINK POLISH

 

 

 

You stare at the black tiles under your feet; at the contrast your fair feet and pink nail polish make against the dark shiny floor. Your shoes are outside the room because that woman had stared at your red shoes with scorn before shifting her gaze to the line-up of shoes on your right. You had silently obeyed.

 
You will obey. And wait- wait for their verdict, hope that they believe you and pray that you do not leave this house alone.

 
You had only wanted to numb your pain- press a cloth to your seeping wound. You only wanted to forget; to blur it out a little; it was only solace you sought. And the concave bottoms had promised to leave you deadened; abandon you comatose. But they had broken their promises- one and all. Not unlike Lanre.

 
Lanre had vowed you forever, you remember! In that crowded church with the famous pastor leaning over you. Your corset had imprinted lines of pain on your ribs but your heart had fluttered and skipped as Lanre promised to be with you- forever. You remember his nervous fingers pushing the gold band half-way up the wrong finger before correcting himself to the sound of jocular laughter. You remember.

 
So when he had gone, one minute here, next minute gone- like peekaboo gone wrong; you had known that you were over. It had felt like your chair had been pulled out from under you in the middle of musical chairs- one second dancing cheerily, the next- a crumpled crying mess on the floor. And it took you a while to regain your balance, but you have- it is why you are here.

 
You look up at the old clock making faces at you from the opposite wall. Five past three. You have been waiting for thirty-five minutes. Thirty-five minutes and the restlessness has relayed to your left foot which is involuntarily tapping itself against the floor. But you will wait.

 
Because waiting is not new to you. You had waited an extra month before the baby boy you and Lanre had created decided to make his appearance. You had waited through hours of labour as your son’s head crowned, then receded severally- ambivalent even in the womb. You had waited while they bathed and clothed him in the carefully-selected blue wrap before returning him to you as you smiled up at Lanre in that beatific way that said- “Look what we’ve done!”

 
So, waiting is your buddy. An old buddy that has a few shirts in the bottom drawer of your guest room. It is fifty minutes now but you pretend not to count; you catch your eyes returning to the peeled wooden door behind which your existence lies. Yes, existence, because if you leave here alone, you are ready to leave your body behind.

 
Your chin falls to your chest and you whisper another prayer. They need to give you this- so you can pay penance. So you can pile up plenty good to tip the scale over. If you could use one of the time machines Lanre had been so interested in, you would never have picked the first bottle of gin. Or the second or third.

 
You would never have left your son crying in his room in hunger because his mother’s head had a glorified position on the toilet bowl. You would never have passed out on the floor of your son’s bedroom to wake up to his wet dark eyes peering at you in question. You would never have locked him up because his crying aggravated your headache.

 
No. And when they came for him- Lanre’s family, you wouldn’t have screamed and broken things. You wouldn’t have sat there, afterward, staring as they packed up his things, your glassy eyes unfocused in inebriated disinterest. You would have crawled and groveled at their feet and promised to change. You would have sworn on Lanre’s grave to put aside your bottles and personal hell to focus on the living, breathing gift Lanre had left for you.

 
But it is why you are here now. It has taken you four months but you are here now- to pledge and promise and vow and swear an oath if need be- that you will never return to the despicable mess you were when they saw you last.

 
The door creaks open and your eyes widen as you take in the smiles on the faces of the men and the stern looks on the women’s faces. Your heart begins to contract and you fear you will have a heart attack but the small nod on Lanre’s uncle’s face makes you dare to hope some more. You scan the faces again and… ‘Junior’, he calls into the room behind him, ‘your mummy is here.’

 
 

 
 

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Navigating Dark Alley March 4, 2011

Filed under: Scenic — afrosays @ 3:43 pm
Tags: , ,

Hello Afro-family!

People close to me know that my stories are ‘impulse-inspired’ i.e. I write spontaneously from how I feel, what I see, what I experience… You know, what comes to me in my own little world space.

The Afromuse is in one of those moods where her strong emotions make weird things happen. If you’re driving around Lagos on a clear, sunny day and you see a house covered by dark clouds, whirling winds, erratic lightning blades and icy rain, that’s where I live, and that’s where the witch is.

Apart from dark mode, nothing major has been going on in the village of late, I’m currently trying to get a one or two Towncriers to share on the Afro-gong and you’re welcome too. Till then, I’d be talking to the stone gargoyles over the fireplace, the snake-dragons from the kitchen and the tattooed wolves from the dungeon. We’re the committee burdened with the responsibility of cheering up the bipolar neurotic, her divine, lest the house be torn apart and we all perish.

Dodging flying chairs, I’m sneaking out so I can beat a breather on the gong for a minute, because Afrosays:

NAVIGATING DARK ALLEY

... RED BIRO ...

A bottle of gin on the table, next to my revolver; the latter to cause to end my pain, the former to make me numb enough to use the latter.
I am sitting at the wooden chair-table-lamp combo every cheap motel seems to have these days, watching two celebrity cockroach super heroes fly about in their brown shiny capes, while the mosquitoes sing a variety of disconnected theme songs.
I let them be, tonight is about me. There is nothing I can do to successfully mitigate their ceremony anyway, this is their city.
A swig of the nasty stuff brings me back to focus. I smile as I look back through my four decades of meaningless existence, I nod as I remember the defining moment of my third decade, when I swore to myself that exactly today, if I am still alive, I would be in this room, with this bottle and this red pen, to take a self-examination.
Maybe it is mid-life crisis, maybe I should just return home to Aisha and the kids, crawl into my larger-than-usual cubicle on Monday at Exxon, spend the whole month changing the way the dust settles in my insignificant corner the universe, and crawl back into my hole with half a million at the end of it. But I’ve been doing that for a while now and it doesn’t look like that’s one of the good points that would put the red pen away.
The boys should know how to deal with this, they don’t seem to be as disillusioned as I am. Give them a football match, several bottles of the good stuff and each others’ company and they should be alright for a millennium or two. Maybe I should try that when I get home, if I get home, but there’s no way I’m leaving this room alive if I don’t do well on the test.
Another swig.
The desk I’m sitting at has a few blank sheets of paper, a black biro and a Gideon’s bible.
With one sheet on the bible, I write down the following questions with their score weights as I had devised them on my thirtieth birthday:
“What is your name?” 1 point.
“What is your purpose?” 99 points.
I have two minutes.
Another swig.
I have one point.
Now I begin to stare at the second question like it’s 9D Star Wars advanced mathematics. It doesn’t make any sense to me.
“What is purpose?”
Swig.
“Do I have one?”
Deeper swig.
“Purpose. Purpose. Purpose. Ashhhhh!”
I have about forty-five seconds more and I know what I must do if I fail.
I start panicking.
Swiiiiiiiiig.
My vision is blurry now but I can still see the ominous question staring at me like a demon-personified incantation wrought to summon me to the underworld. The revolver is some distance from it looking all extra-shiny like it was made for a Bond movie. A quick glance at my watch tells me I have only ten seconds left.
After ten seconds, I know what I must do. I have to be brave.
I drop the pen and pick up the gun in my left hand and with the other hand, put the bottle to my lips for the last time. I toss my head to the back with reckless abandon, submitting myself to the falling sensation.
SWIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIG
Bam!
I wake up the next morning on the floor, still partially sitting in the chair that had fallen backwards, surrounded by shattered pieces of glass and a horrid smell.
The room is still dark but in my brain, there are a thousand lights. I stand up to find my creased white shirt stained from the mix of gin and the low-quality wood polish that makes the floor look like it had been ‘carpented’ from parts of a medieval ship wreck.
I eventually find the gun flung in some distant corner, under the bed. I make for it; the test isn’t over.
I sit again, one last time, ten seconds before I put my pen down.
If I fail, I won’t need a suicide note, whoever reads my blank sheet would understand.
“What is your purpose?”
In less than a second, it occurs to me why my existence is mediocre, that some would say that I don’t deserve to live because I don’t have anything to die for.
Of course, the swig of gin that took me out was a clever attempt for self-preservation. Of course, I’m a coward, a dog; I hate life but I love it. My purpose in life might be non-grandiose, even non-existent but I usually would rather stay alive.
My ten seconds expire.
A newly employed cleaner would come in an hour later to a most terrible, first day on the job. As she cleans up, she would notice at an odd-looking piece of paper on the table that reads:
“1. Yusuf Sanni ”
“2. To stay alive; A living dog is better than a dead lion.”
“Score: 100 points”
 

The rich man’s problem August 29, 2010

Filed under: Scenic — afrosays @ 4:26 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Done lazing in the shadow of my memories, I’m gazing into the sunny future, just wondering…

About a lot of things…

She always seems to find everything entertaining so there she goes again with her malevolent sense of humor

I finish my umbrella drink as slow as possible and make journey for the village even though I don’t want to, beating my gong only because Afrosays,

THE RICH MAN’S PROBLEM

THE RICH MAN

THE RICH MAN

I’d seen my exact dilemma happen to my predecessors as a young man and I was too sure I wouldn’t raise a malfunctioning family as most extremely wealthy men conveniently managed. My family wasn’t exactly overly-problematic; it’s just that it had produced an overly-problematic member. Having Douga as a son was enough cause to label my strong Christian family a failure.
My eccentric last son was a modern hippie. He was the reason why I had to put an end to the family tradition of socio-cultural educational excursions which was really simply worldwide holidaying for the kids and international shopping for my wife. Douga had been the most-promising – I’d even allowed him to make return trips on his own so that he could learn more about the people he found interesting. He’d been quite taken by India, Germany, Somalia (his mum didn’t know), Japan, the Emirates and particularly the Caribbean.
I’d indulged his gallivanting, allowing him to quit school to become a sociologist by experience and he was making me proud by appearing on several international elitist magazines looking eccentric like his father. However, it’s a pity that I had always been too busy to read what my son was featured for.
Last year, I was quite impressed when my sixteen year old son was invited for the last edition of the Larry King show on CNN. He wore a purple toga, luxuriantly flowing hair and a mock Nebuchadnezzar look-alike beard. I’d always been a tolerant person so I did not have any aversions to my son’s manner of appearance, I was only very curious as to why the tenth richest man in the world’s son had managed to surpass him as a global personality.
That day, I listened earnestly only to realize that ”The Guru Douga” had started his own religion.

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