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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

All of Me Loves You All (part 2)

I walked back home slowly that night, letting the rain cry on my behalf. Tears were not going to help me. Sadness was not going to change anything. Whatever I felt was totally inconsequential in this matter. The dynamics were simple:
Man proposes.
That's all that a man can do.
God (and/or the man's intended woman) disposes if they so choose.
And once that happens, no matter how devastating it is, no matter how distraught you are, the smart thing to do is get up, pick your jaw off the floor and move on. Even if that means moving on through the pouring rain and sticky mud without an umbrella or rain-boots.

So that's what I did. Mechanically. Mindlessly trudging on. Putting one foot in front of the other in the general direction of my home.

As I walked, the catastrophic scene which I had left behind kept auto-replaying in my head in a dull, lifeless manner. Almost like a 1920s hollywood movie reel before color and sound in film had been invented.
I had waxed poetic, I had been charming, I had been intelligent. I had spoken with such passion that the impending rains had paused to let me speak my piece.
I mean, that night, Shakespeare had NOTHING ON ME!
*insert Denzel voice*
I was just this skinny little cross-eyed kid, but as much as I could do about my appearance, I had done.
I. Had. Done. All. I. Could.

But she had not said yes.
To be fair, she had not said no either.
But then, she had not said yes.
And "maybe" is just a "No" carrying an extra syllable.
An unnecessary use of time and energy.

I knew that if she felt the slightest fraction of what I felt, my speech that night would have provoked an overwhelming yes.
But my flow was so impeccable, so earnest, that I changed what would have been a "No" to a "please can we talk about this later? I need to think."

And I understood what that REALLY meant.

Hence, I was walking home.
Dripping wet.

The rains bellowed and bawled. The atmosphere outside being a direct reflection of the tortuous turmoil that was occurring on my insides.
And the cold. My fingers started to numb up. I stuck them stiffly into my jeans pocket.
Same difference.
They were just as wet inside my pockets as out. Just as stiff, just as cold.

I didn't perform any of the heat-seeking behavior that we were taught was only natural in 2nd year Physiology.
No shivering, no goosebumps, no hunching of my shoulders.
No thermogenesis.
I didn't fight the cold. I welcomed it.

I finally understood what it must have been like to be Otzi, the similaun man. Pierced in his heart by an arrow in 3300 BC, he didn't get to die a normal death, be mourned and buried. He didn't get to decompose into compost, coal or crude oil in order to serve in whatever capacity it is that his carbon based peers are serving in the present day.
No. No sooner had his heart been pierced by a poisoned arrow had he fallen into a glacier of ice ending up being preserved for 50 full centuries, pierced chest and all.
Dead, but preserved.
In his complete life-like form.

When he was discovered at the Otztal Alps in 1991, the german tourists who found him assumed he was a hiker who just fell off the mountain sometime within the previous week, totally unaware that he had actually died 5000 years before!

And I felt exactly as he must have.
Though my heart was shattered, the cold kept it in place: An external icy pericardium preventing me from falling to pieces, sinus rhythm unaffected by the overload of stress hormones and excessive firing of my sympathetic nervous system.
Calm amidst the storm.
For all intents and purposes, anyone who looked at me would not realize what had happened, nay, what was happening inside my head.
Hell, no one who saw me would actually believe that it was even raining!

Just another regular guy taking a leisurely stroll in the middle of the night, in the midst of the pouring rain with just a t-shirt and jeans on, and no umbrella.

No big deal.

[I'm only realizing right now, at this very moment as I write, that I had been setting myself up for failure with her, and with most of the people I end up really liking.

Too much "honest" talk.

I'm realizing at this very instant, that nobody got time for that $#!+...

I mean, my past is so shitty that if I let myself share, if I let anyone see the pain I used to keep behind my forehead, I would lose them.

Because we all want a fantasy, its only natural. We all want someone who we think is better than we are.

And when you open up your heart to let them see who you really are behind the face and the facade, you only reveal to them that you're as human as they are.

And you lose your appeal.

Then you lose your girl.]

Oh Well.
That night, after doing all I could, I did all I could do next.
I just walked slowly back to my crib, heart firmly frozen in place:
Broken, but functional.
Circulation-wise, at least.

As I got in, Jenson offered me hot cocoa but I simply ignored him, put on my Avril Lavigne, Vanessa Carlton and Ashley simpson playlist, and went to sleep.

Of what use is warm feelings, anyway?
Keep it in the music.

It's Y'boy

Sent from my BlackBerry®

Friday, 24 January 2014

All of Me Loves You All (part 1)

As the winds picked up speed, I started to run. My heartbeat fluttered, not from the exertion of my increased velocity, but from the fear and excitement and anticipation of the end result of the task I had at hand.
I had just received an overly optimistic pep talk from Will Smith in the guise of "Hitch", a match-making genius who (although entirely capable of linking other people together,) was completely inept at making his schemes for snagging true love work for himself.
But by doing what I was about to do, he had made the stars align for himself. His true love had recognised him. And they had gone on to live happily ever after. At least, that is what was implied as the movie credits rolled.

Clouds had gathered and the wind had picked up the reddish dust which is synonymous with eastern nigeria, along with scraps of paper, cellophane and anything that was not tied to the ground. A whirlwind of sorts.
"This is just the right atmosphere for what I need to do..."
I thought to myself, unconsciously checking my pockets to ensure I still had my Sagem phone as the breeze bellowed.
I had called Barbie [false name to protect her identity, lol.] to come downstairs that I need to see her. Needed to tell her something utterly important.
More reason for me to run.
Didn't want her to get to her gate and not see me.
Everything had to be just right.

I was going to throw myself at her feet.

We had had the strangest history between us. I had seen her a few other places before, with a few mutual friends, yet we'd never spoken.
I was (supposed to be) pursuing her friend, [let's call her Lizzy] the newest 'hot girl on campus' who was eerily reminiscent of my immediate past crush who had done as her title suggests and TOTALLY "crushed" me.
Obviously, the comparisons to my past flame would never have let me fully let down my guard around Lizzy.
Still, I got bored easily and had a low threshold for loneliness, so I'd go seek Lizzy night after night after night.

So one night, while trying to "hang" with her, she thoughtfully asked her friend Barbie (who at the time didn't seem to have too much going on in her own life) to keep me company because she herself had previously made an appointment with some rich dude who she couldn't stand up.

Barbie and I sat down on a ledge in front of her hostel, just us and the stars (and a third wheel of a friend who has no bearing in this story), and I went on to have one of the most wonderful nights I had ever had in those years.
Even writing this, I'm awash with endorphins remembering how beautiful that night was for me.

As we talked, we (and by that, I should say "I") realized that we had a lot in common: past histories of low self esteem which had been "cured" (with varying rates of success), love for the same type of music with almost the same fervour, love for novels, creative writing, the use of literary tools in everyday parlance... The list was endless!
In my eyes, she was a (waaaay more beautiful) female version of me.
To put it succinctly if I, with all my sensibilities, looked like Brandy/Gabrielle Union, I would be her!
And needless to say, I was addicted.

All thoughts of Lizzy (or anything else, for that matter) disappeared from my head. All I could think about was her.
And even though I was a broke student at the time, and could only afford to eat twice a day on good days, love kept me strong.
I'd starve all day, saving my daily allowance until night-time when we'll meet, and I'd be more than happy to spend that money buying her supper.

We'd talk, sing, laugh, daydream, discuss medicine, (she was also a med student). We'd "connect".
For me, it was heaven on earth.
But it only lasted for about 2 weeks.

Problem was, there were a lot of loose ends.
Firstly, I was officially asking her friend out.
Secondly, she had not gotten over some guy from her past.
Thirdly, she had another friend who was our 'third wheel', and that friend was quite adept at throwing the well aimed spanner into the works more than occasionally.

Omo. It was not easy.

I knew we'd not move forward if we didn't deal with our issues.
So I decided to fix my own end.

But on the very day that I summoned the courage to handle the first issue, to tell Lizzy that I've developed feelings for Barbie, one way or another, Lizzy found out before I had told her.
And the number one rule is "Let Them Hear It From You First".
But I broke the rule.
It led to amazing fireworks.
It was totally understandable.
After all, ANYONE would feel betrayed if that happened to them.
Safe to say, our friendship (which is what it really was, because we had never crossed what I call the "anglophone barrier" which is, when two people stop speaking "english" and start interacting via body language... Y'know, when they start touching ANYTHING from first to fourth "base") was never the same.

Still, I thought to myself, as long as I had Barbie, it was fine, y'know?

But then, did I REALLY have Barbie?

Some time after the 2 weeks, she travelled to Nsukka, the campus where she had spent her first year, to "tidy up some things".
And one night like that, I had a nightmare that she was busy doing the unspeakable over there...
If you see the speed with which I woke up in a cold sweat and started calling her frantically, you'd think she stole my money!

I just KNEW. Intuitively. I just knew she'd gone back to the guy from her past.
I KNEW (insert "had a STRONG feeling") that they'd consummated their relationship, but I loved her stronger than that.
I was willing to do whatever she needs to get over the guy and be with me.

The night she came back to our campus was the night I watched Hitch for the first (and only) time.

High off of hope, I ran all the way from my Off Campus BQ to her hostel so I can get to talk to her before the 9pm curfew that we had at the time.

I got to her gate as the winds broke into a drizzle, but I was way too hyped to be concerned about the minor inconvenience of being drenched by the rain.

And God seemed to want everything to go my way, cos I had barely gotten there before I saw her graceful form arrive in her hostel lobby.
Not yet raining, No long wait.

All the words were ready, the atmosphere was poignant, the major characters in the play had converged...

She walked up to me and I opened my mouth to speak...

---(To be continued)---

Its Your Boy

Fly Fellow Y'all!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Marriage Equality

He stood in front of the judge. Trying his best to pull himself to his full length, trying his best to hold himself together.
Why could they not see, why could they not understand how he feels?

He had been with Daisy for 6 years. Together they had roamed the artificial fields the government had installed in their city when plants had become so endangered that they were only used to supplement the world's oxygen supply.
Together they had frolicked on the beach playing frisbee till the sun had set and the automatic reflective solar cell illuminators had come on, filling the sky with an orange-red hue, a pseudo-twilight that will keep night-time at bay till the sun rose the next day.
Together they had eaten, played, interacted. He had talked and she had listened. He had told her his dreams, his hopes, his fears, his beliefs.
And in her own unique way, he knew she understood, she felt, and without judging, she cared.
They could communicate in ways that he could not with anybody else.
And even though she could not talk, he knew she loved him.
He was hopeful because scientists were this close to cracking the code, this close to converting the electrical impulses from the speech center of the brain directly to a voice box which will allow thoughts to be directly vocalised, creating speech and by-passing the need for the human lips, tongue, teeth and palate.

Daisy would finally be able to talk.

And even if this did not happen in their own lifetime, individuals who are "mute" are allowed to get married, aren't they? The speech barrier should not be enough to prevent he and Daisy from getting married.

They would both never be able to procreate, the State litigator said. But 10% of conventional marriages, and 100% of gay marriages (which FINALLY became legal ALL OVER THE WORLD in september, 2156 after the Zimbabylonian Parliament passed the law by a 71% majority) are unable to procreate naturally, he countered.
Adoption is a viable option.

And he knows, instinctively, that Daisy would be a great parent. Was he not, after all, taken care of by Duffy, Daisy's mother, when he was a child? Did she not repeatedly risk her life for him? How can Daisy be anything but a replica of her own mother? He was completely sure that their adopted kids would love her and be safe with her.

And even if Daisy was unable to take care of children in the conventional way, offspring in single parent households have been shown scientifically to only have a marginal statistical difference in "well being" from those raised by same-sex partners. This difference is so negligible that it should not stand as a deterrent to one getting married to the one he loves even if the state does not consider her capable of being a legal parent or guardian.

She would die long before he did, they said. She's already rather frail, it can be seen.
But didn't they understand that it was better to love and to lose, than never to have loved at all?
Didn't they know that death was inevitable, unpredictable?
Didn't they know that though she may seem closer to death than he did, there was no REAL guarantee that she would die first?
Didn't they know how it felt to have the need, the desire to accomplish something before one dies? To make life feel like it was worth living?
Besides, where was it written that a male must marry someone younger than he is? Nowhere!

He had given himself up, he had told the court, for scientific studies. And thus far, they had found nothing wrong with him. They have not found a genetic difference, or a psychological disorder responsible for his choice of mate.
When it comes to love, he said, we can rationalise it all we want, biochemically titrate it all we choose, but it is something which can never be quantified, never be measured, never be predicted.

And this form of sexual behaviour is well documented in other animal species, he said, why not in humans? Are we not but the product of evolution? Is change not the only thing which is constant?
It is surprising, he thought, that the 40% of married couples in this day and age who would never have been allowed to get married 150 years ago, still consider his choice of a living, breathing being as his 'mate' to be "unnatural"!
Pot calling kettle black!
What gives them the right to call his own relationship inhuman and inhumane? To call it disgusting?
Everybody has a different threshold for disgust, and just because his relationship is unusual to most people does not give them the right to label it, or judge him.

It was not his fault that he just doesn't find people sexually attractive. He had kissed a boy once when he was 13. He spent the night throwing up and crying. It was an amazing revulsion which he didn't understand. His Dada and Daddy kiss in front of him all the time, but he just doesn't have the urge to be with another man like his parents do.

They were both entirely disappointed when he didn't have a date for Prom and he chose to skip it and go hang out with Daisy instead. He knew the school would NEVER let him take her into the dance. So they drove out into the fields that night. That was the first time they had sex. It was awkward at first because he didn't know how to put what where and when. She just had this sad look in her eyes like "what are you doing to me?" But even in the awkwardness, even that very first time, it was the most wonderful thing he had ever experienced up till then.

And that first time opened the floodgates. She had even a higher libido than he did. She would suddenly trot over, slide onto his lap and start rubbing her groin against it. That was such a turn on for him. They would do it over and over for hours and hours. It was the best 2 years of his 18 year life.

Until the fateful night when Dada could not find his car keys and, searching for them, caught him and Daisy going at it in the garage.
The look his father gave him still haunts him.

That was what he was afraid of, the reason he stayed "in the closet" for so long.
He didn't want to disappoint his fathers.
And though Daddy forgave him, Dada never did.
Dada chose to call the police. And that put a heavy strain on their own relationship. Even till now. He looked back to see them both seated at opposite sides of the court room. Former partners now adversaries over the sexual choice of their adopted son.
He never wanted THIS.
Of everything else, this is what he would more than gladly reverse, he would hide his sexuality forever if it will prevent breaking up his fathers' marriage.

The judge had started to speak. He had been so caught up in his thoughts that he had not noticed.
He believed in the Justice system of the Netherlands, the first country to ever legalise same sex marriage 200 years ago. But with all the recent crises and changes in the world, would they be liberal enough to grant his wish, to legalise this relationship which is not hurting anybody?
Would they be liberal enough to protect him from all the people who made fun of him, calling him "b!±€# lover"?
Would they protect him from being fired from the workplace, protect his right to obtain and hold on to lawful employment regardless of who or what he chooses to have sex or fall in love with?
Would they be liberal enough to allow him proclaim his love to the world, to be able to kiss his precious Daisy in public without being arrested, assaulted or lynched by close-minded people who could not stand to see them together, who could not appreciate love in whichever form it came?

There were a lot of people who have the same urges, the same desires as him, but had been scared to come out or speak out, afraid to be labelled.
So he was a solitary figure.
No human or animal rights groups on the sidelines cheering him on.
Like one of the slain Pop stars of centuries past, it was just him against the world.

His blood was rushing through his ears, deafening him as the judge spoke, all he could hear was an overwhelming hum, the room spinning as the judge's lips moved. Suddenly the judge raised his gavel and he heard it bang against the table, stunning him back to a reality of sorts. He saw Daddy jump up with a smile on his face, the whole court room in pandemonium.
The court warden released Daisy from her leash and she leaped and bounded towards him.

The court room TV came on as the Judge left for his inner sanctum, and he saw his own face on the television screen in real time, confusion giving way to contentment as Daisy licked the side of his face. News headlines splashed across the lower half of the screen:


LMAO! Was not what you expected, eh? I know y'all missed me, right?
Well, I just decided to write a story set in the future, which would go to say that human desires are diverse and insatiable and that almost anything can be considered completely justifiable once you put your mind to it.
The major question is
"where do we draw the line between right and wrong?"
Share your thoughts.

It's your boy,

Fly Fellow Y'all!

Monday, 13 February 2012

My Endless Love

So here I am, realizing that whoever said "Life is not a bed of roses" was an extremist-level optimist with a penchant for euphemism. But, being that the tone of my blog has always been somewhat positive, enlightening and, on occasion, amusing, I will not further elucidate what it is that I come across daily that leads me to such a derisive conclusion.

Instead, I'll describe my present position, in this mundane humdrum slave-ship that I refer to as my day-job (which, ironically, is at night), struggling to read the gargantuan medical textbook which lies pristine ("untouched", for those of you "english-is-not-my-mother-tongue" pundits) in front of me, while Vanessa Carlton's "Be Not Nobody" album (circa 2003) plays softly from my nearby laptop in order to establish an academic mood for myself.

Unfortunately, the music has not succeeded in nudging my frame of mind towards the intellectual leaning that I hoped it would. Instead, it has only succeeded in transporting me backwards in history, to all the different times that I discovered that music has saved me.
Specifically Vanessa Carlton's music.
(Well, early Avril Lavigne, too. But Vanessa's music, in my humble opinion, has progressively become more mature and tasteful while Avril's... *sigh*) but I'll get back to that.

See, maybe it's not just the music that has me gazing wistfully at my not-so-effervescent past, maybe it has something to do with the fact that tomorrow is just another in my long line of valentine days which I will spend numb, working and date-less.

Now, it's not that I don't have, well, dates. It's just that I think I deserve better. Which is surprising. Because the only thing (I'm inclined to think) that is "beautiful" about me is my mind. (Okay, that and my 'mind-shattering' er... "bedding". But you'd have to get to really know me first before I let you see my sheets!)

Yeah. I feel I deserve better, not like one of those whimsical dreamers who want the angel-ina jolie body that they can only see on a TV screen. Nope I feel I deserve better because I've MET better. I've met people who have pushed all logical neurological signaling out of my brain. Leaving the palpitations of my heart to take precedence with regards to the electrical stimulation required for action. I've seen, I've (even occasionally) "come", but honestly, shamefully, I've never really "conquered". At least if conquering can be considered to be having someone under your control (or spell or whatever-) for the rest of the person's life.

In essence, due to some unfortunate Pavlovian conditioning, once I "fall in love" with a real live woman being, it just seems mandatory that I have to fall into love unrequited.
And I've played it in every way that I know of, highlighting the broad spectrum of my multiple personalities: the brilliant nerd, the sensitive writer/artist, the rakish rap star, the (pseudo) successful medical doctor...
Nah, it's never worked.

And each time, I could go back home and drown in the music.
Maybe not so much to 'drown' as to "bathe" in the melody and get the feeling of love requited.
Music has always saved me from dying from a broken heart.
Cause music never told me I'm too nerdy or too unkempt or too poor to love me back.
Music never said "its not you, it's me."
Music never said "I'd LOVE to go out with you sometime. Just not today, though. Maybe when I'm back from the peace corps"
Music never lied to me.
(Well, except maybe that one time when Ma$E said "I thought I told you that we don't stop?" just a meager few months before he actually did stop.)
Music never cheated on me. (except maybe that one time when I found out that Celine Dion's "Let's Talk About Love" album did not feel we should be exclusive and I found it with nearly every other guy that I knew!)

I could go out, explore the world, return battered and broken, and music could always caress me back into health. Filling my cheeks with rosiness, my mind with optimism, and my heart bursting to the seams with song.
Music always loved me.
(At least until I tried making money off her, then she turned into a b!+{#.)

But she's always there for me still, I guess.
Not exactly helping me study, but at least she's here to make me feel happy, regardless of what my examiners will have to say in the matter.

And she's the only person I'll spend my valentine's day with.

At least she'll not stand at my door, fingers a-snapping and neck a-twisting, looking all dressed up yet irritable, asking, "Where's My Valentine present?!"

Happy Valentine's day, y'all.

Its your boy,

Fly Fellow, Y'all!
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

When Democracy Fails.

The world is now a better place. At least, that's what SOMEbody would like us to believe. The arab nations that were previously governed by dictators and terrorists are in the process of being washed clean by the phenomenon called arab 'spring', heralding a new dispensation of hope, humanism and the pursuit of happiness. Libya's erstwhile superhero, savior and suzerain was 'helped' out of power and into the afterlife by "concerned" international powers and disgruntled intranational minions who had forgotten the positive changes which his seizure of power had brought upon the land, perhaps because those positive changes had been so long ago, amnesia was inevitable.
These winds of change have blown so far and wide across the globe that 'uprising' has become the most contagious disease since childhood measles! It is bordering on epidemic proportions. Sudan. Iraq. Afghanistan. (Pause while I google up lesser known countries)

Which brings us to the Population-explosion fuelled "Giant of Africa": ('Gassed', anyone?) Nigeria. Barely 6 months ago, we conducted what had previously been tagged as the 'freest and fairest elections the country had ever seen', save for the "June 12" debacle. We voted en-masse for a president who epitomized the "rags to riches" tale (which we forgot was the basis for the 'american dream', NOT the all-too-familiar 'nigerian nightmare').
He'd had no shoes he said. Forget that some diviners, after due consultation with the spirit of his late father, refuted those claims saying his bare-footedness was not for lack of good shoes but for lack of the good sense to wear them. We chose to believe him. And we (at least, a whole lot of us) voted him in.

Fools, we were. I must say.

Or maybe we weren't. Maybe by some unforseeable miracle, a quantum misappropriation of time, space and intention, we would be right. Our present president will ACTUALLY do our nation some good. But that is unforseeable, like I said. It remains to be seen.
But I've personally always had to use glasses to correct my sight.
Maybe it's just me.

But right now, at this moment in time, I know I'm not alone in the feelings of disappointment, of betrayal of trust, of hopelessness that overwhelms one on consideration of the affairs of this nation. And the question in EVERYBODY's mind is quite singular: "Can we return our president and get a Refund, please?"
(Let's not even talk about the first lady! "Buy one get one free" ended up being "buy one, let one flee"!!!)

I mean, WE got him barely 6 months ago. Don't we get some sort of warranty, a receipt which we can take back to the store? "We voted this thing for president a few months ago and, um, all it has done since then is allocate over 35% of our national budget into its unseen recesses, worsen our feelings of insecurity, increase the foreign debt, the cost of living and of fuel, and do nothing for our general standard of living! It's not working, not doing it's job the way the promotional leaflet said it would. Ummm, can we exchange it for a cheaper model, at least?"

I mean, at present, the situation in Nigeria is so bad that you can't even wish a ATHEIST 'good luck' in his/her endeavors, you don find trouble be that o!
"No! Don't wish me good luck, abeg. 'God's grace' is preferable!"
I mean, I thought you don't BELIEVE in God?! Sorry.
*BBM confused face.*

I have been in complete agreement with the philosophy of the #OccupyNigeria movement. And I cheered eagerly from the sidelines as I found millions of nigerians pouring out of their homes to protest the callous treatment of our citizenry by our government.
I was suitably unhappy to find out that the police, who are unable to fight for their rights due to the nature of their vows-slash-oaths of, er office, were busy killing the people who were fighting for privileges that they, the police, would also benefit from.
I was also sadly disappointed by the 'cop-out' by our labour leaders, who for some reason, decided to stop the fight for the common man. And looking back on the events of the past week, I wonder, "IS THIS THE DEMOCRACY?"
**BBM confused face*

Is this the so-called 'government of the people, by the people, for the people' (I'm not sure if it's in that particular order) that we have been fighting for? Is this what the international community claims to be, not just a stimulant, but a prerequisite for development and economic growth? Is this how it works? Despite the fact that 99% of the country's working and non-working population disagreed with a policy, our 'democracy' forced it upon us?
That is what people like MKO Abiola were martyred for?
Something MUST be wrong.

I decided to find out what it is. I took out time to compare ours with the models that were the basis of our so-called democracy. And I observed some differences which make our democracy to be nothing more than an illusion (for us) and lip service to the international powers that be. A few of the things I noticed were these:

1."Mid-term elections" (and the lack thereof): This, I noticed, was the singular most important difference between our democracy and that of the first world. In the middle of each presidential (or prime ministerial, lol) term, the people get to reward (or punish) their leader for his (or her) actions thus far, by voting for or against members of his/her party during their mid term elections which select who the legislators will be. As a result of that, the head of government is already under pressure FROM WITHIN HIS PARTY (wow!) to carry out policies that will please the populace. Else, the party will lose their majority in the senate or house or parliament or what have you. This is a vital recipe for the international standard of democracy. And we are completely lacking in this. In our own uniquely naijacentric brand of democracy, we elect a king, his court and his cohorts who will lord it over us for the full term, giving ourselves absolutely no say in the government's affairs for the full run of the term.
What can we do? If a single party owns the presidency, senate and house of reps, there is no voice of dissent or reason to help stir the country away from disaster, they all move together to trample upon us all for 4 complete years. I mean, a president would be more careful in a house or senate where other parties have a say because there is always the off-chance that they will get together to impeach him.

2. Representative Gap: in better economies, Aldermen or councillors or senators have offices in their home zones, close to the people they represent. Their people have access to them, infact, their people must have had multiple opportunities to interact with them PERSONALLY before they even get voted into office. These are not imports from a central party processing zone, being given a senatorship or house of rep-ship as appeasement or 'settlement', they are outstanding (and locally known) exceptional members of the community that they will go on to represent. As a result, any decision that they make in the house ON BEHALF OF THE PEOPLE THEY REPRESENT would better BE on the people's behalf. Because they'll have a lot of explaining to do DIRECTLY to the people they represent. Not so down here. Our legislators are exalted members of the King's court forced upon us by their political godfathers playing (and preying) upon our collective helplessness and gullibility. They are unreachable, untouchable, unavailable, unassailable. They don't answer to us. They answer to no one, not even God!

3. Campaign Funding. The love of money is the root of all evil, the Bible says. Rarely does it happen that a human being brings out crippling, mind numbing sums of funds to contribute for another person's benefit if he himself has not, or will not gain in the short, medium or long term. In crime thrillers they say "follow the money (trail) and you'll find the murderer" and it is a simple fact. Money wahala dey even cause divorce! (Flesh of my flesh, kee? Where MY MONEY?) The source of election campaign funds should be transparent, publicly declared, and same funds should have a ceiling, a maximum amount that individuals or corporations can donate to any given electoral candidate. Because any amount more than what common sense dictates will point to ulterior motives. And it is a fact: If two rival companies donate the exact same amount to a candidate's campaign, they have an equal influence over the government, canceling each other out. But leaving election donations uncontrolled would allow richer corporations and individuals to 'put the government in their pocket', giving themselves unfair advantages and only pushing policies/legislation which they alone will gain from, to the detriment of the poorer 'masses'.

I'm not really into politics. I hate the lies, the mud, the grime, and the slinging thereof. I hate the constant recycling of family names in the same elevated positions. And I usually have too short an attention span to keep up with it all. But a point arises in the life and times of an individual and a nation when we have to become more accountable, more responsible for our environment and what happens in it.

And without these seemingly trivial changes, all we can do is put our collective destinies in the hands of a 4 (or 8) year dictator who, along with his goons, will plunder our foreign reserves, increase our debts, and place crippling burdens upon us all, all the while bumbling with ineptitude in the simplest, most basic, routine chores of an elected official. And then we'll have to hope that our labour leaders have the spirit to take on the tyrants who we imposed on ourselves.

I take this opportunity to thank everyone who left their houses and congregated at each meeting point to protest this evil, risking life, limb and luxury. I hail you. May your days be long and may God bless us all.

Unfortunately, when democracy fails, we can't do anything about it. We can't return it to the americans and britons and ancient greeks and say "No, thanks. It wasn't working for us". We can't hope for a hard Jerry Rawlings to come and cleanse us of our greed, inertia and nepotism because history is typically unkind to revolutionaries no matter what they achieve for the 'common man' (think Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte. Fidel Castro, Muammar Ghaddafi). All we can do is what we have done already: Let our grievances be heard, try to make a change by working within the system and MOST OF ALL, pray. (Think Abacha, lol)
*BBM angel face*

Its your boy,
Fly fellow, y'all!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Pink Friday.

Okay, I'll admit it. Things have not been going as smoothly as I envisaged, nay, hoped. I mean, by my peri-yuletide calculations last year, my recent single was gonna blow me up, Al Quaida style! I was gonna be the hot new thing that EVERYBODY was gonna be talking about. I was gonna be a perennial trending topic, a "TT" for the "tweeps". (okay, don't ask!) My music was gonna be right up there with ozone layer depletion, arab spring, and Michelle Obama's new summer frock as matters which were the very definition of the year 2011.

And I knew I had to get rid of some excess baggage, y'know, in preparation for my new life. Nothing too much, just y'know, the frivolous stuff which won't be compatible with my noveau riche rap megastar lifestyle. For instance, my two stressful and strenuous menial, low-paying (but emphasis on "PAYING"!!!) medical jobs. I mean, I couldn't be a super celebrity while holding a 9 to 5 (or more accurately, an 8 to 4, then a 4 to 10) just for a few coins. I mean, one good show will give me a whole month's salary, right?
Right! *tongue in cheek*

I mean, when I started blogging, I was expecting to write a just few background posts, y'know, about my history, then my philosophies on love, life and lyrics, and when you get a good idea of who I am y'know, pre-stardom, I'd dive headlong into the good stuff. I was hoping to give y'all little factettes about my life in showbiz like...

"Met Tiwa Savage today, just as cute as she looks in her music videos. She must have mistaken me for 'Brymo' because I could tell as soon as she met me that she was 'feelin da boi yeah, feelin' da, feelin' da boi yeah, yeah...' "

Or, "Bumped into Eva tonight. She had some dude doubling as her bodyguard and manager. The moron probably thinks the term 'division of labour' is a pre-employment maths quiz. Still, she ditched him because she wanted to just hang out with me and explore my mind, intellectual that she is. We ended up exploring a whole lot more..."

Y'know, just the simple things that happen in every hot rap star's life...

"Was in the studio when MI and Jesse stopped by. They had heard about me and came prepared to battle. I just gave 'em one of my 2002 verses and they were so nonplussed, MI had to scream out 'Lace, you're the greatest!!!'
I just had to accept the title, because he was not going to take false modesty for an answer.
And by the way, short black boy? TINY black boy would be more accurate...!"

Nothing too elaborate, nothing too deep, nothing too tasking. Just my day to day life as a megastar. Even my boring days would have been interesting to blog about...

"Slow week it's been. I'm meant to have hooked up with Goldie, but she too dey form diva. Anyhoo, I'll just drown my boredom in Dubai. Heard they have a couple of new hotels I won't mind exploring. Wonder who I should take along..."

You see? Just a few sentences would have had you on the edge of your seat, craving my next post.
But, with the way things are, you'll be stuck with tales of my fondness for trekking, my sugar mommy choices, and my stance on social issues like abortion (No, most times), plastic surgery (Yes, most times) and premarital sex (No comment. But why say no when you can say yes?)

Reality talk now. So, being the man that I am, as soon as I found that music was not bringing in as much cash as I hoped ("As much"? Try "ANY"!!!), I did what every parent sent their child to school for: dusted out my certificates and went back to my stressful and strenuous menial, low-paying (but emphasis on "PAYING"!!!) medical work.

But, to express my emancipation, my rebellion against "the system", I was going to fight 'The Man' in a different way:
Y'see, when I was younger, I used to go to the hospital in Timbs, Jeans and Tees. I was always so gleeful to see the looks of shock on my patients' faces when they found out that the doctor they had waited for, for 45 minutes was this grubby unkempt yuppie ('Yo-Pee' in nigerian english), who seems to still be in diapers.
I loved to change their opinions of me (well, at least, MOST of them) over the 15 minute course of our 'consultation', giving them the need to say, in parting, "Thank you, you're a wonderful doctor. If only you could dress more 'decently'..."

Now, I had been previously intent on remaining in a state of adult age adolescence as far as fashion was concerned, until I needed a job. And to get a job, I needed to be in a suit. I knew that much. So I wore a suit for my interview.

(But my job-hunt is not the reason for this post: I went cap in hand, well, figuratively, to my former offices who were already tired of being besieged daily by patients who wanted to see their 'oyibo' doctor, they were all too glad to give me my old job back!)

But after the interview, I found out I was all dressed up with nowhere to go. So I did what I usually do when I'm bored: (No, not go to Dubai, that was me DAYDREAMING!) I went on a stroll. And the lesson I learnt from that particular stroll is this:
Women just LOVE a guy who is dressed formally!
I mean, I practically had girls throwing phone numbers, bb pins, home and email addresses and loads of other privy information at me as I took that walk!

I'd be darn stupid if I didn't make that lesson useful in my life!

So I decided that I will continue my fight against "the system" fashion-wise, but no longer with the use of informal clothing in a formal setting. I was gonna dress formally, but in colors that were gonna be so angry that "the man" would think a riot was in progress; colors that were so loud that "the man" would wear earmuffs!

And so I did.

Well, last Thursday, I went to my afternoon job in a pink shirt, and just because I can, a pair of pink loafers. I got everyone's looks of shock and surprise like I'd been hoping for, but didn't know it was for a different reason.

Time was going to tell.

I had forgotten I was meant to be on night duty that night at a different hospital where I do locum work. At the last minute, I was reminded, so I went to the other hospital looking like the medical pink panther in black pants.
Intending to leave my night duty post by 8am on friday morning, I received a phone call by 7:50am, just 10 minutes before closing, to remind me that I had to make a court appearance that friday morning, and that my transportation was waiting for me in front of the hospital!

So there I was, in bright pink on a bright morning, headed to a court room to see the Nigerian Legal System at work.
I was in for the shock of my life!

Well, long blogpost short, I noticed a lot of strange looks from all the legal minds in the court room, and thought nothing of it until a lawyer who claimed to have gone to my university (I didn't recognise him) walked up to me and introduced himself, giving me an overly long hand shake. While he shook me, he magically seemed to extricate one of his fingers, and rubbed the tip of that finger repeatedly against my palm...

The gesture had me feeling molested, but I was in too much of a shock to do anything more than leave my hand limply in his. It took me a while to figure out, but that, ladies and gentlemen, was the homo handshake!

At first, I tried to rationalise, "this guy says he knew me in school, is it that he didn't see me with bevies upon bevies of fine girls?" Then I considered his point of view:
Women feel the most comfortable with gay guys because they know there's a zero chance of getting jumped on. With all the different girls I was seen with in school, most of whom knew each other, I must have been either (a), a very slick player, or (b) GAY!

And, apparently, I didn't get the memo that, along with left- (or is it right?) sided ear studs, an encyclopaedic knowledge of 90s britpop, and the high-pitched 'Hellooo', NOTHING yells out, "I'm GAY and I'm coming out the closet!!!" louder than a pair of bright pink shoes on a man!

Ol' boy, the only reason why I did not take off all pink items of clothing I had on me right then and there was the fear that it might prove irresistible to the dude, and I might get a traumatic assault on my hemorrhoids in front of magistrate, prosecutors and defending counsel!

I darn sure know how to leave 'well' alone. (Before someone helps turn it to a 'bore-hole'!)
No, thank you very much!

And so, I'm sticking to the Jay-Z slogan for now, man: #AllBlackEverything!
You can't go wrong with that!

Its Your Boy,

Fly Fellow, y'all!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Life For Rent

My hairs stand on end like an electrocuted dog's would, whenever I hear a certain Dido song.
The lyrics seem to hit quite close to home.
Ironic, because they actually deny the existence of such a thing in my life.
Either way, I always sing along with gumption and gusto:

"I haven't ever really found a place that I call home,
I never stick around quite long enough to make it..."

Okay, but who am I kidding? I know I have.
As a person who spent 8 years in medical school (and by extension, in Enugu state) without enough funds to do anything more than breathe and on the rare occasion eat, I had NO CHOICE, the Coal City was my home for a quite a good while!

You see, I got into University a tiny 15 year old who was proud of his academic achievements pre-tertiary education, but was unwilling to work hard enough to garner any further laurels. After all, nobody (except for my immediate family and my secondary school academic staff) really cared how smart I was.

In a way, I felt experienced: I already knew what it felt like to be top of your class when push comes to shove.
But I had gotten into university hoping to get to know what it felt like to be on top of, er... other things. Hopefully, with a lot of pushing and shoving too!

But psychologically, somewhere at the bottom of my mind, I found it hard to commit.
(Though not to exhilarating phenomena like "love": I always wanted to experience that. I grew up thinking I was unworthy of any positive affection so I practically threw myself into love with anyone who, in my estimation, seemed to have walked out of a fairytale, hoping that said real-life princess would kiss this green-eyed but brilliant frog into princely stature and comportment!)

Rather, I found it hard to commit to friends, to fellowships, to classrooms, schoolwork, assignments, a career...

Bottomline, I found it hard to commit to a future.
Because, what is a future if not the sum total result of the actions carried out in the past?

I never really took up chess. I was scared to lose to better players. And I had already heard of 5 year old chinese maestro chess players. I didn't want to be humiliated. So I stayed playing with amateurs, sticking to being the gargantuan piscean in a minute mere.

I tried taking up basketball for a few minutes. But being small, nerdy, unpopular, cross-eyed, and having poor eye-hand coordination did little to ensure the longevity of such a venture.

I never really committed to The Abiding Word Gathering, a school fellowship of like minded souls that I had stumbled unto: I didn't like the intrusions and the regular, constant unsolicited advice and the having to call everyone 'brethren' and being answerable to elders, pastors and the like.

I did not stay with AIESEC, an international organisation that I had joined in my early years in University. Partially because the branch on my campus was suspended for a while, but mostly because I DETESTED the dreadful nickname they gave me.

I didn't seek out people to be in my 'crew'. I even resisted those who sought to roll with me. I was gonna hand pick the coolest dudes, when the time was right.

Just not right now.

I didn't ever want to lose.
I wanted to be the best (and more specific, I wanted to be WITH the best).

And in so doing, I would say I killed a certain part of me before it was even birthed. An abortion in so many ways.

Because normal people play games that they occasionally win and lose, normal people hang out and befriend other normal people. Normal people joined fellowships, clubs and what-not. Normal folk did a whole lot of stuff that normal folk did.
But I refused to.
It was almost as if I felt I was abnormal and had made a subconscious decision and more than a few repeated and overt attempts to stay that way.

So I was lucky that music found me.

Truthfully though, it can be said that we found each other.
I was just this kid who had so much bewilderment, so much pain, so much angst. Nothing could soothe me more than music that moved me.

I never saw myself as anything more than a lonely little kid, stuck in a drab room, slaying his inner demons by straining his vocal cords to keep up with the powerfully sustained notes of Celine Dion's rendition of "All By Myself"...
I never saw myself as anything more than someone who loved music so much that he could sing along to EVERY song that played on the radio (at the time) word for word, note for note, ad-lib for ad-lib.

It just so happened that I ended up being friends with people who will end up being some of the biggest artists in Nigeria, though we didn't know it at the time.

It just so happened that I had memorised the rhymes I had been doodling in my notepad and once, when called to 'rap' for some guy who 'heard that I can', spat out some lyrics that I am rather ashamed of (at least, right now), but which had the effect of driving him ecstatic.

It just so happened that that guy eventually became a 'Director of Socials' in my school. And he did all he could to make sure I performed at every social event he could create.

And to some extent, I did commit.


So, at the end of the day, it IS funny.
How we never see things coming, but we find out, when they do, that this is EXACTLY what we have been waiting for all our lives.

But the question is, "why wait?"

That Dido song is, in my opinion, trying to say that we should embrace life and not live it like it is for rent. Else we would deserve nothing more than we get.

Much as I agree with the morals of the song, I however believe that our lives ARE for rent.

Only thing is, our Land-LORD actually EXPECTS that we live it to the fullest.

That way, He never regrets giving it to us in the first place.

So, people, let's go out and LIVE...
'Cos there's no time like the present.

It's your boy,
Fly Fellow, y'all!