The Abstruse and The Absurd

Got forwarded a link to a video on FB (as usual) for the Diary of a Tired Blackman.  A number of the themes are overstated in my opinion, but quite a number of insights on the whole. Lots of strong language, plus its quite a long one… Enjoy…

A Passing Fancy…

Day Zero.
You meet her on one of those days. Boredom morphs into irritation, topped off with despondency. Your 8-4 (5-9) is especially dull on the day. Madam Bosco, your loud mouthed, over-bearing boss rips into you as usual over the ever yawning chasm between your targets and your deliveries. The heat seems to have major intentions of causing grievous bodily harm in any case. That is when the ‘gods’ of the internet and itchy fingers contrive to send Her your way.

It ostensibly is an error of the digits – two numbers on the key pad transposed – that makes her call you. You are in no mood for niceties and you utter a few choice words and end the phone call. Perhaps she is hurt, but she opts to send you an SMS apologizing for the mix-up.

You have had the time to think on your commute home – and you give her a call to apologize right back. She giggles, and says she instigated the entire brouhaha, you insist you reacted over the top. Bottom line you become friends.

Day Seven
By now you know she is an intern in the oil firm you always wanted to work for, she loves poetry, pretended to write some of her own a few years ago and loves Pavarotti. You though are stuck in the lurch as an investment banker in some lousy bank. You quickly slip in though that you have a trip to SA lined up, plus your last vacation was in Paris – so she knows you can hold down it down pay wise if you need to.

You have settled into a steady rhythm: three phone calls a day, multiple emails and then the lunch break IMs. You become her nice guy; the bloke who listens to her rants from work, her angst at her over bearing father, her irritation with her football crazy brothers and oh yes…… shoes…in all their gory coloured incarnations. You tell her stuff you’ve never told anyone, your deepest secrets, inner most fears, plans and some of the ideas you want to turn to gold in a few years time. She cheers you on, analysing the pros and the cons. Not since your big sister did any one get you on the same level.

Day Thirty
She’s headed off an a holiday, and she is passing through the city you call home. She decides to squeeze a whole day out of her schedule just to see you. You think it’s a fabulous idea and you agree to meet up. She is truly fabulous much better than you imagined. Everything is spot on; she is Cerruti perfumed and Diesel jeans plus spaghetti top clad. Add to that her glistering lip gloss, her CK glasses and her clutch specially chosen to match the colour of her spaghetti top and you know you have a keeper on your hands.

You read her a few brilliant lines you penned – just for her – you say; a parody of the finest Amiri Baraka there is out there. She is wowed, you order dinner and the chemistry is palpable. You talk for a couple of hours, swap some more poetry and then she has to head out to catch her flight. She shyly attempts to kiss you on the cheek. You both laugh at the clumsy attempt, you hold hands and look into her eyes and you believe your Mama’s travails are over.

Day Fourty
More of the same stuff, phone calls, emails, IMs, plus the occasional emailed picture as a keep sake. Life’s good you think. You the pragmatist tells you  the romantic that it is too good to be true. You the cynic refuses to participate in an exercise in futility. ‘All’s cool and kosher’, you reason, ‘why try to define things beyond what they are anyway’.

Day Sixty.
She’s heading back to school. You have got a huge target to meet at work, so naturally you drift apart. The phone calls reduce, the emails dwindle and the IMs now become short bursts of offline messages. You the cynic blithely mentions that it was all doomed to fail anyway. You the pragmatist thinks its busyness squeezing the life out of your US zone. You the romantic thinks it’s a fading fancy and couldn’t care less; choosing to bounce to Brandy’s song instead.

Day Ninety
You the romantic and you the cynic prevail on you the pragmatist to agree to a phone call. That should be the ultimate test of where you are.

You ring her up, there’s no pick up the first time. You wait for the usual SMS, nothing comes. You give it two more days and then you try again. The third time of asking she picks up your phone call. The talk is stilted, almost foreign. You the cynic pouts and reminds you the romantic that it was an exercise in futility doomed to fail from the get go. You the pragmatist takes it philosophically, it was not meant to be.

In the instant the phone call ends, it suddenly hits you – clarity knocks you in the small of your stomach. This was no divine serendipity; it was just hideous self delusion. You were only her harmattan fling.

On the subject of lifelong learning.

Ben Dulap, President of Wofford College speaking at TED2007  on the subject of a Passionate Life quotes Mahatma Gandhi

Live each day as if it were your last, learn as if you were to live forever.

Lifelong learning – continuously aiming to understand the rules of engagement in every sphere of life that intersects us – is the key to succeeding; it would seem.

That is another life long lesson I am adding to my burgeoning list.

The Wastelands…

Sometimes I wish I could fly
and take myself away, to a distant land
far removed from the scorching sun
that bakes my earth into a stony hearth
and burns it into a barren wasteland.

Sometimes I wish I could run
Fast enough to escape this darkness
that coaxes me into a frenzied song
and to a fevered dance; of mindless tongues
that sear my lungs and wear my tired soul.

It is not fear that makes my feet
to trudge these forlorn streets, this barren land
of long dead dreams and dried up streams
too lost to yield to the gentle prods
of shoots of change from just beneath.

It is not hope that beguiles me into
This wait; a desire for a lost reprieve.
There is no promise of a better day
No inkling of a future salvation that can
free me from the pull of this wasted land.

It is the lure of nostalgia, the memories
Of once sweet fruits and dainty blooms now dead.
Of memories deep within from which I cannot run.
Of pulls and tugs, enchantments of a pleasure that
the inner darkness craves and wants.

Sometimes I think if I could fly
And I took myself away to a land untouched
By the ravages of a relentless sun, I might just find
that the darkness I was running from
has come with me and is within.

Job Hunting..

Its is a well known stereotype that the English love to talk about the weather. In truth, until a few days ago, I was yet to see anything particularly talk-worthy about the weather I have had to endure at my end of the world.

I’ve been chasing a job – similar in remit to the one I was schemed out of in Nigeria – which has required me to do a lot of travelling by train to the City dubbed the Oil Capital of Europe! In the main these journeys have been in phenomenally abysmal weather – made worse by the fact that my student budget requires me to divide the journey into little bits to optimize my spend.

A few days ago, I was on one such Journey – totally tired out because I had had to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to finalize my preparations for an interview. In between flitting in and out of sleep, the train suddenly exited the tunnel and was bathed in glorious sunlight, and a beautiful rainbow. I had to grab a picture of it on my Blackberry!

The Anatomy of a Blogsville Addiction

Peeps thanks for your best wishes per my birthday.. Pleasantly surprised by the responses..

The information provided below is provided ‘as-is’ for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If in doubt, see your GP.

You know you need help fast when:

  1. You almost sign off a cheque as your blogger ‘self’ – when money no longer forces clarity on you, wahala dey o.
  2. The last time you ‘spoke’ to your flatmate was on Facebook – especially if the bloke is just two doors away. Not good!
  3. Your supposedly ‘favorite’ cousin has to resort to using the ‘Contact Me’ form on your blog to reach you!  – first it is a cardinal sin that your cousin reads your ‘anonymous’ blog, secondly its a major failure that you’re not constantly pacifying him/her.
  4. You live a walking distance from a stadium that hosts Premier League football – but all you want to do is constantly refresh the BBC football page for the latest score and read blogs – it doesn’t get much worse than this.
  5. Your 10+ year addiction, Football Manager, suddenly fails to attract your attention anymore – this seems to suggest there may be a ‘spiritual’ dimension to the whole thing. Call in the ‘Cele ‘ peeps sharply mehn.
  6. When pressed for an example in the midst of a discussion, the first stories that come to mind are from Blogs you read! – this has the added effect of potentially inducing a bizarre condition informally referred to as encephalotisitic fatigitis
  7. The night before your big exam you still create time for blog rounds and you then get into a verbal war of words that extends late into the night – especially when you know the full ramifications of not getting an alpha on that exam! – this one requires serious beating – fan belt/ koboko everything… serious unseriousness.
  8. You see bloggers – who you have never met any ways – in your dreams and you ‘just know’ it is them! Another reason to get the ‘Cele’ peeps on the job ASAP.
  9. You read a post and somehow think it’s a slight on you or worse rather than engage people in the real life you vent your anger on your blog – this demonstrates bloke needs to grow up sharpish……
  10. You start wondering which of the events in your world were blogged about by others in the past or worse you give every one around you the suspicious ‘eye’  – Not everyone blogs, and if they did, it doesn’t affect you..
  11. You wake up and the first thing on your mind is/are the post(s) you need to create.  HT to SolomonSydelle for pointing out the critical omission!
  12. You find it hard to differentiate between your real and virtual friends – HT to Favoured Girl for unearthing this one.
  13. All your current romantic interests are people you have never even seen –we’ll need to add Papa Adeboye to the consortium organizing the prayers to resolve this one. HT to a certain anonymous for unearthing this one!
  14. You spend time on blogger instead of working in the midst of a recession. HT to Original Mgbeke for supplying this one – when the bill paying JOB pales in significance to another activity… Kasala dey try burst be that o….

A Lost Son…

In moments like these, the stark reality hits me like a blow to the solar plexus – I am lost….caught in the neverland between two worlds – never fitting into either one. My lostness is multi-faceted; spawned by the dissonance being caught between the fervent patriotism of a son who once believed he had something big to offer his country and the hard nosed pragmatism of a thirty plus bloke who realizes –  a trifle late –  that finding his place in this world is more important in the near term than the anonymity of sacrifice.
The last eighteen months have been intense – filled with activities which have changed me. Some came close to breaking me – like losing my Nigerian job, like enduring that nasty breakup, like feeling like the world caved in all at once… I like to imagine I survived, and am slowly picking the pieces of my life back up and together again.
This is me in transition, at the edge of the world,  retooling a leaner, meaner me… And hoping to make sense of both my worlds.
Time will tell