Monday, 30 April 2007

happy birthday to me

My birthday was on Sunday. I got a total of 29 phone calls, 3 text messages, 3 e-mails, one facebook greeting, five birthday cards, a bottle of groundnuts, a cake and a pair of socks.
Now I don’t know if I’m wrong but I couldn’t help but think that for an individual of my standing and stature, especially given my invaluable contributions to Mankind as a whole, I deserved more than that. Worse still, a whole array of people, including some I class among my best friends, forgot about it. Needless to say I was highly depressed and sought solace in liquor and raucous laughter.
Yep – I took some of my friends out. The ones who showed up at my house, that is. There’s this place somewhere on the Peninsula: waterfront, green grass, cool breeze, tush patrons and all. We were there for all of 3,4 hours, a motley crew of young adults with nothing in common besides me. Thankfully though, the conversation at the table regulated itself. I, for the most part, watched with involved interest as each individual unraveled somewhat. I was thinking all sorts of things…

Birthdays, you know, used to be for me just normal days of the year when I hid from persons who wanted me to throw a party, and hoped for gifts from the rest of the wider world. I can’t remember any of my birthday wishes ever coming to pass (they consist, in the main, cars, preferably brand new and German, bottles of exotic perfumes, the death of a resilient girlfriend/all of my enemies, spontaneous wealth and international fame) what usually happened though was less exciting and consisted of some form of debauchery: me and some friends drinking irresponsible amounts of alcohol at some unmentionable location, and then nightcrawling Victoria Islands’ rotten streets with evil intent.
I never however engaged in sober reflection.

But Sunday was different.

Besides the random thoughts that swirled around my head about the others on the table - (Bayo: how many more bottles between the three empty ones in front of him and violence? Tunde: what grisly confession does he have lined up for tonight? Claire: I can tell she really doesn’t enjoy these outings but today I can’t be bothered. Chioma: lapping up all the adulation but still keeping her ears open for titbits of my infidelities, Deolu: what the hell is he thinking? And Damie: she’d better not expect me to drop her home), I began to have other thoughts. You know, the ones with titles like WHAT IS MY ROLE IN LIFE?, WHAT ROLE AM I SUPPOSED TO PLAY TO MY FRIENDS? AM I LIVING UP TO MY EXPECTATIONS? And such associated thoughts. Thing about sober reflection is you’re never where, in any calculation, you’re supposed to be. And it leads (in my experience) to more depression, which I’d then have to stave off with more drinking and laughter and the cycle continues…

Which, I should add at this point, is exactly what happened.

I ought to have posted this entry earlier. Just didn’t get round to doing it. Luckily I didn’t, which is alright since I’d filled the concluding part of the above with childish invective and unrestrained curses directed to anyone who didn’t give me a gift. But that’s besides the point of me talking about my birthday.
What I really wanted to bring out happened almost before we left. My friend, Deolu, gave me a rousing eulogy. He talked of my strong points, my commitment as a friend and all the support I give those I come in contact with. He also said things along the line of me being a good all rounder – combining spiritual, secular and school life with amazing ease and dexterity. He said again –
But lemme not tell you everything he said. It brought tears to my eyes, really it did. It didn’t matter to me that he’d exceeded his normal limit by at least two bottles. Or that the tears in my eyes were from the effort of trying to keep at bay alcohol induced sleep.
What mattered to me was the principle of everything. I have a strong respect for principles. At the end of the night what happened was everyone spoke generally of my amazing good behaviour, my will and zeal in helping people in distress, et cetera. I watched through a haze as my cousin rounded up his not-so-elegant tribute. The moon was peeping out of the lagoon and nightflies had crowded into the stars…

I had a good birthday.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Flower Power

"some got Gold and Oil and Diamonds
all we got is Mary J"
- Sean Paul

"Legalize it
and I'll advertise it"
- Peter Tosh

Friday, 13 April 2007

Friday 13

I ought to have known from the very first sign I got today - my dream. I dreamt I was bitten by a malnourished mangy haired dog. Trust me, I bit it back with no compuctions whatsoever and watched it race off, howling into the darker recesses of Slumberland. I felt triumphant after that, was gloating to my imaginery self, but I should have known. Last time I had a confrontational, violent dream was...the week before bar finals so I should have learnt my lesson.
But I didnt.
I woke up somewhat elated and and with the taste of dog hair in my mouth, and promptly set about coming to work. Why I bothered sef I dont know as my game of solitaire has not significantly improved.
The streets were ominously quiet, the emptiness like a prelude to movie violence. I got to Tbs in record time. There was no electricity, the complex was deserted. The office was hot and unaccomodating. Dark shadows and strange shapes loomed in the darkness of the inner rooms, retreating eerily when I approached. By the time I had taken my seat and peeled off my jacket I was soaked in sweat and my breathing was uneven.
I sensed something in the air. Something, a shadow?, a shape? just beyond the corner of my eye.
I reacted fast, spinning to get a catch a glimpse of It, perhaps in the middle of death lunge on me.
I began tidying up my books into some order when - I felt It!
Bearing down on me with purposeful intent! It's dark shape enveloping the entire room till I could see nothing! I felt It's fetid strangled breathing, waiting to do something....
It was Andy, my colleague. He told me in his low, humourless monotone that he'd observed my Michael Jackson spin and was wondering why I was creeping around the building like a common criminal and moreover and more importantly there was no fuel in the generator so could I lend him some money to buy some on terms that the sum I loaned him would promptly be refunded to me as soon as he recieved delivery of same from source (he actually talks like that).
Somewhat mollified and a litte peeved at being caught out I gave him the money and turned on my computer.
That was when I saw the date...
I'm still at the office.
with bated breath...
for the day to expend itself.

I hope I make it...

Thursday, 12 April 2007

My Nephew

This is my new nephew. He came around, oh, some six or so weeks ago so he really is kinda brand new. He's also my only nephew (see how I'm bandying about the word - the concept of being an uncle excites me, sort of) so I'm going to teach him all I know, which isn't much admittedly, but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do...
This is his picture anyway. He's more beautiful now though. Has filled into the folds and layers of skin, and has this really exotic pretty mouth. He looks a lot like me, as I've heard on good authority. Apart from blistering good looks, we have a few obvious differences - he's scottish, of yoruba/brazilian ancestry, I'm whatever-the hell-I-am, he cries a lot at night, I usually prefer sleeping at nights even when it means ignoring his yells, he's into all that new age nudity stuff, while I like keeping my privates private and he's addicted to boobs and the bottle. Um, that seems to be something we have in common...

Free day

I must really look like a fool now - I certainly do feel like one. Ha! holiday indeed! I'm at work, as usual, writing this 'cos i've just finished my 7th solitaire game this morning. It's an odd thing though - I don't seem to significantly improve on past performances...
I haven't got much work to do today (an euphemistic phrase for I'm totally jobless and bored sick to the eyeballs) and I'm beginnnig to wonder why I'm here. My Boss seemed rather alarmed yesterday when he asked me what I had on my desk and I tactlessly had answered "Nothing". He seemed to ruminate on the problem for a while then got caught in some internal discusssion with himself. When he thinks, my Boss that is, you see the wheels turning, his lips pursed or shaped in some impossible way and the thought processes somewhere behind his eyes. Now what he was thinking when he decided we should all come to work today I don't know.
The text message was sent to my phone at some ungodly hour of the night. "There's work tomorrow" came the Edict.
And I dutifully woke up this morning feeling unusual, as usual, wore my work clothes and set off to join the daily suburban rush.
I really must have been dumb to think I'll have a free day. You must be dumb I guess to get anything for free, that's why it's called free - dom...

Thursday, 5 April 2007


I have friends, people I speak to on a daily basis, and people who think they know me well enough to predict my actions, pre-empt my speech, vouch for my character... But these people see only what i let them. And I let them see what they would be comfortable with. I'm not deliberately hiding anything from them, just narrowing down their perception of me to agreeable views.

I wonder why I feel guilty about this sometimes.

Sometimes, I think there's much more to me than you'll ever know
much more in me than I'll ever show.

Am I mortgaging true friendship then? For acceptance?

But I don't act like what I'm not. I may not show you all of me, but the parts you see are not false. They are fragments of the total being.

I don't want anyone to see everything. Life will lose meaning then.
And I want to experience true friendship.
Do I want too much?

Wednesday, 4 April 2007


There once was a time called the Middle Ages
A time of dungeons, of caves and of cages
Of warriors and battles, of Knights and of Horses
And Sorcerors and Demons and wild witches’ curses
The Inquisition happened to be in this era
Machines hadn’t come though their time getting nearer
There were lords and queens and Kings in palaces
And treasures in chests (there were no valises)
And peasants grew corn and wheat and drank mead
And chanted long prayers (‘cos they couldn’t read)
Their Priests did that, monks also read scripture
There were abbots and chapels… well, you get the picture
The point I am making is that I’ve forgot
If I wanted to write about the Middle Ages or not

Wonderful month of April

Man, I love this month!

Besides it being the month yours truly was born in, it's usually the month where Easter falls on. And that, (to all my overworked, underpaid, grumbling city-dwelling people) means a holiday!

It really has been a ball - first there was that funny moslem holiday which no one knew existed till the day before, and course we all stayed home (we have to show solidarity to our moslem brothers, you know) Then tomorrow is Good Friday (thank God it's Friday, thank Jesus as well for dying at such a convenient time) and the weekend comes, and we have Easter Monday (which is when He arose. Wouldn't it have been nice if He had delayed His resurrection by a couple of more days, then we get almost the whole of next week off work) Well since we can't turn back Time and ask Him to do a more lengthy job (I heard on good authority that that first experience was horrendous for Him) we'll just take what we have. No worries that most people are going to celebrate His Death and Resurrection with alcohol binges, frantic promiscuity and deliberate sloth. Or that as anyone who stays on the Island will tell you, the Mornings-After Good Friday and the entire weekend we will wake up to ruins of ghastly motor accidents on the lekki expressway. It's the thought that counts. But I'm digressing somewhat. The point is everyone loves a Hoilday, Lagosians more than others, and myself am no different. I've gotten to the point that I scan my calendar feverishly, hoping for some frivolous excuse to declare a day a work-free day. There's no other religious holiday this month, I think, so I'm looking to politics.
I heard a rumor some days ago about the upcoming April Fools, sorry, April Polls. Elections are on the 14th and 21st, both saturdays, and I heard we might get the fridays before them off...Now isn't that wonderful!