Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Can’t you give me another chance?
I swear… I will make you happy.
I will do anything for you.
Why do you look at me like that?
Please don’t look at me like that.
Stop. Please stop.
Please don’t go.
I will do anything for you.
I will do anything you want.
Please don’t go.
Please give me one more chance.
Those were her last words to me. I wonder why I still remember them… why I remember those particular words. It’s the same way I remember everything else about that night. I remember the pink dress she was wearing, the way she kept wiping her palms on the sides of her dress… like she was trying to get a stain off. The way I couldn’t stop looking at her… I couldn’t stop even though I wanted to. The way she looked like she was about to cry, the way I felt like I was about to cry. I should have cried then I think… but it would have been meaningless. I would not have stayed even if I had cried. I could not have stayed even if she had cried.
There are days I think I forgot something about that night. And that keeps me up awake sometimes. Then I replay the whole scene in my mind… I replay her words… over and over again, trying to remember what I might have forgotten… till I drift to sleep, and dream about it all over again. I dream about her, her words, the pink dress and her hands. But I still wake up thinking maybe I forgot something, and that worries me.
I promised myself never to forget you see. I am afraid that I might forget what it all meant to me. I am afraid that I might forget why it was important that I did not forget.
But I am afraid I may have forgotten something, something important. And I am not sure what that is.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Ladies and gentlemen... I introduce... the inimitable... Ishola.
For all those that checked up on me while I was gone... thanks.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Started off with Djibouti... endless sun, salt and sand... and night clubs. There are over 40 night clubs in the small town... as well as a US army base...and a base for the French legionnaires. Talking about the legionnaires, surely, you will find it hard to find a stranger military uniform... khaki shirts... tucked in short tight khaki shorts (sokoto pempe)...and the strangest caps you ever saw... think of a face cap made from a tin of bournvita... painted white...and of course black socks and black boots/shoes.
From the heat of Djibouti, I strayed into the freezer called Brussels... the airline lost my luggage again... (haven't found it). I had to deal with some kind of food poisoning I got in Djibouti... Thankfully, not the rush you to the hospital in the middle of the night kind, but it was the rush to the toilet 1 zillion times in the middle of the night kind... I survived. My laptop charger was in my lost luggage... Wait for this... I visited almost 20 shops in Brussels, before I found one that could order it for me (moral of the story... don't lose your luggage)
Spent all my time (almost two weeks) in really annoying meetings... became a night owl by default... my meetings finished late in the night... the only time I had to see the city was late in the night. So did a lot of late night exploring in the freezing cold...and rain... had to change hotels three time for different reasons... Didn't have time to check out the strip joints (intellectual curiosity of course)... Checked out all the sex shops (more intellectual curiosity...besides, they were the only shops open at that time of the night). The shops are a genuine monument to human ingenuity, creativity, invention... and desperation. The things I saw... deserve a blog of their own... Porn to cater to every degree of depravity that you can imagine... or more likely that you cant imagine... a variety of devices, gadgets and contraptions that will put James Bond to shame... hell, you probably need a PhD to figure out how some of them work.
So I bounce into the shop, all wrapped up like a Christmas present because of the cold... All the customers looked alike... Men of a certain age, stature, race... all wearing the same type of jackets... all avoiding eye contact. Well, I guess everybody avoids eye contact with people they meet in sex shops. Anyway, there is no point telling you what I bought (if I bought anything) or what happened to what I bought (if I bought anything). However, I strongly recommend dear reader... (if you haven't) to broaden your education...and make time to visit one near you... But I warn you, it is not for the faint hearted.
I finished my meetings eventually, and got to spend two days in Amsterdam... old hunting grounds. So many irresponsible young people! I felt right at home! Hooked up with old friends...always a pleasure. Almost got high by strolling along the streets. Got lost once. Didn't get arrested... or deported.
Got back to Kigali... And more work! Was exhausted for a week. Anytime I opened my computer to work, I started feeling sleepy... was almost tempted to call home to ask my mom to talk to people. Anyway, it all passed before we contracted external consultants.... the amazing Egbe Afadurajagun, home town chapter.
Anyway, I am almost back to normal now... declined another trip to Kampala for this week...was just too tired to contemplate it! Settling down to work... and started preparing for xmas in naija...
I remain... yours.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Got back from Madagascar Monday night... ended up spending upwards of 50 hrs of my life at various airports... the trip was eventful to a certain degree..although at certain points I thought I was jinxed. I misplaced my passport twice, my return tickets once, misplaced my phone at the airport, found my phone at the airport, got my wallet stolen at a night club and last but not the least.. the plastering of the roof in my hotel room collapsed on my bed during my last night ...no I wasn't on the bed at the time it happened.
Antananarivo (Tana) was nice... The capital of Madagascar... a few hours from the beaches and rain forest (I learnt that 80% of fauna and flora in Madagascar is endemic to the island..which supposedly broke away from the rest of Africa about 80 million years ago). I didnt get to see the beaches or the forest of a thousand strange animals.
The people are a curious mix... Polynesian descent mainly, Indian, Chinese, some African etc... They are not very large boned, but they seemed friendly enough, perhaps.. too friendly.
Tana reminded me of home quite a bit...partly because I heard them playing "sweet mother" the french version, on the street in front of my house... partly because of the hustle and bustle of the street trading and the aroma of all sorts of food being fried and sold on the street... driving through some of the streets felt like I was driving through Pen cinema, Agege (on a smaller scale) or any possible number of streets in mainland Lagos. I swear... the shops and stalls were even laid out alike... complete with ajinomoto adverts and small lemon green and orange banners to identify call centres. There was also the aching familiarity of the poverty though... but I digress.
Lest I forget, I must tell you about how a fool and his wallet were soon parted.
It was a spicy evening at a club called Pandora.. We had wandered into the club, my fellows and I... honoring the time worn ritual of sampling the night life in every place we visited... I had wisely left my money and other stuff at my hotel but rather unwisely left my favourite Chelsea wallet and on me ..with some change in the local currency. I am doing my big boy...corner of the dance floor move (hands in pocket, eyes roaming about aimlessly), when one of my friends (an interpreter) drags a couple of the "ahem" local talent towards me. Immediately the talent begins her dance...which consisted largely of feeling me all over or rather...feeling for my wallet all over. She begins... and I think to myself... this girl does not know me o! She thinks I am a mugun like all these oyinbo tourists! I run through my mental check list, my wallet is in a pocket...close to my groin... my phone is in the other pocket...close to the other side of my groin... absolutely safe, I think... my tight jeans... my vault.
To flash my street wise creds, I take a break and go over to my friend and i tell her that his "friend" was trying to steal my wallet, and if it happened, he would compensate him for my loss. He laughs.. he knows that I am a naija omo ita... a sun ma fori le pillow... a jokuta ma mo mi... The girl spots me again and recommences her dance... two minutes later a girl walks up to her and whispers something to her ears... 30 seconds later.. I do my security check for my valuables... my wallet was gone.. I smile, and I politely ask her to return my wallet... her English deteriorates... and she switches to french.. I smile back and ask her... even more politely... to give me back her wallet, the one she gave to her friend... she asked me where i put it, I said it was in my pocket... this one? she asks, pointing to the pocket where I put my wallet... my smile becomes broader... yes, I said, the one I put there... Her friend comes over, i go through her pockets... no wallet. I grab her hand, and drag her to my friend the interpreter... the one I was flashing my street creds to.. I told him to tell her, that I will give her money if she returns the wallet... there were no cards and just about 30 or 40 dollars in the wallet in local change... but it was my favourite Chelsea wallet...and I did not want it lying in some ditch in Madagascar... But alas, it was too late, the denials had become too firm. My friend asks me to give up and take it on the chin... that they might return the wallet, if they discover there was nothing very significant in it... indeed. The rest, as they say is history... My wallet is lying in some ditch in Madagascar, I hope there are Chelsea fans in Madagascar.
Of the stories about the hotel, my passport.. the strange souls that I met while loitering at Johannesburg airport... I will save for another time.
Once again... I apologise for my delayed posting.Special mention goes to Ibilola... for shaming me into putting up this post.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I have been busy, busy, busy.. again. That happens occasionally.. Spent a week a in d.c for some more meetings/discussions/negotiations... It was a highly vexatious trip... Spent over 12 hrs a day in meetings.. I hardly had time to do any thing else... Of course, the airline had to misplace my luggage from Kigali, I got it back the night before I left d.c... after a lot of inconvenience and expense (strangely, I was expecting that to happen).. . I wasn't compensated though... I know, I know.. I should have made hell..after all, I am a Nigerian...and a lawyer..
Didn't encounter too many stereotypes about Nigeria on this trip... although... Kenya refused to grant me a transit visa at the airport.. so I had to spend hours in the airport... I will have my revenge in this world or the next. Surely.
I now declare my intimacy with the nooks, crannies, shops, joints, nice attendants, rude attendants, bathrooms etc of a number of international airports... I may be publishing a book about that at some point... feel free to encourage me.
They refused to serve me alcohol at a restaurant in d.c... they said I looked too young... don't be deceived... it was my friend that looked too young... she promptly produced her id and was served... I didn't produce mine, and I was not served... I made a great show of sharing her drink in public of course... encouraged her to buy as many drinks as possible... I wasn't arrested...and I didn't get drunk.
Spent a day in London...spent way too much time on the metro... smiled and posed at as many surveillance cameras as I could find... You never know, you may see me first on Sky TV. Saw friends and family in London. That was a pleasure, it is always a pleasure.
High point of my trips... the people I saw... low point.. the people I did not see (bro..no vex abeg)
Still very busy.. I have workshops all through the week, and meetings all through next week...
I know, I know... I owe, I owe, off to work I go.
Friday, August 10, 2007
It’s the evening,
The neighbors are gone now
The music has gone quiet
The celebrations are over
Its just us now…
Mama and I
She looks at me.
I look away.
She reaches for me.
I pull away.
I reach for her.
I am not the son she lost,
I am not the boy she missed
…the one that left.
The one she loved.
Would she love,
the one that came,
In place of the one she lost?
It’s the evening
The neighbors are gone now…
But the questions remain.
I write…and as I write, I see the ink from my pen… as my blood.
I write in my own blood… my blood flows from my pen.
I write… and as I write, I spend myself. The more I write the more I spend.
I write… and as I write I grow weaker…weaker and weaker.
But I write.
And as I see what I write, I understand.
I understand what I have become.
I have become what I write, no more, nothing else.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
The sadness leaks out at times
Like oil from a broken jar
The trickle becomes a stream
The stream will be a flood
The memories I have of us
Escape from their prison at times
And I remember when I’d rather forget…
Tomorrow never came for us in the end
And I want to forget our yesterday.
We thought our love could move
the sun, the moon and the stars.
And that it will be constant…
Like the sun, the moon and the stars
But our love can only be as strong
As we ourselves are, it seems
In the end,
I was not strong enough to move
the sun, the moon and the stars.
And you were not constant,
like the sun, the moon or the stars
Chasing after the shadows
Looking for what will set me free.
In the strange little places…
In her eyes
In the books
In your touch
In my mind
I wonder why I put up these posts.
I am having that strange feeling again... That drifting, floating, restless feeling... I am not quite sure what I am thinking about. I only know that I am thinking. At least I think I am thinking... the poetry is old, the words are old, the feeling is old... make up a story for me...whoever you are.