In retrospect….. everything.

When I was younger, I secretly believed my mother could fly. To be honest, those heels could delude anyone into believing they could – add a full flowing boubou and you had a superman woman right there, complete with boots and a cape! She certainly was not ultra light – all us kids, and her aversion to wastage in any and every form meant she was always only just under a healthy weight. For all my reading of Essential Biology I should have known that real mothers could not fly; only fairy god mothers could – but the anecdotal evidence seemed to suggest that mine did, for the sheer number of times she caught me pants down – no pun intended.

Once whilst reading my umpteenth Nick Carter adventure – devouring with relish the dexterity with which between Wilhelmina (his German Luger), Hugo (his ultra useful pearl handled stiletto) and Pierre (his gas bomb), he managed to blow just about any and every enemy out of the way – she managed to surprise me at the precise moment the Killmaster was on the verge of surmounting those twin peaks of delight a la 007.  She had suddenly appeared at my side; I was too shell shocked to react  – the only good part was the book fell open to a shoot ’em up section – otherwise Father Callistus’ keg of holy water might have been invoked or worse the deliverance committee might have been called in.

That night, she proved she hadn’t lost her knack for ghosting into space like a world class striker attacking a corner at the far post  and blind siding the goalkeeper. It certainly didn’t help that I was reading this blog…..and giggling like a teenage girl lost in the throes of delirious laughter occasioned by the tickles of her puppy love….all at 3.00am… The reflections of the screen in my glasses must have alerted her to the fact that this was no ordinary word fest! In amazing presence of mind (or so I thought), I hit the windows key +D key combo, the screen quickly switching to my benign desktop.

She smiled that wry smile of hers that seemed to say boy! you’ve still not learnt, right?

I scanned her face for any obvious signs of displeasure. None. She and I have always had this near telepathic link up; scratch that, she has always read me like a book. I wonder what it is she will say, but Uncle Wole  didn’t teach her in vain… she always gives a master class…

I held her unnerving gaze for all of 18.46981 seconds… She pulled the chair next to me out and still holding my gaze asked… What do you write about? Just that! She just knows I have a blog, and she knows I will not tell the url. But she dares me to examine my motivations..

I ponder…. wonder….. try to remember….. all the things I have written…. a letter to her, numerous rants, of love spurned,  of near death experiences…… no singular answer can encapsulate all the things I have written about… As she stands up to leave, I mutter…

In retrospect, everything…

Dear God, Deliver me from Greggs!

Each morning, my nostrils awake to redolent scents, wafting outward from the Greggs eatery next to my house. Sadly, this particular branch is close enough to allow some of the scents find their way in, but just far enough to befuddle my sense of smell in such a way that I cannot precisely tell which is which.

Some days I can almost bet my sweet life that they are arranging hot piping amala there. At other times, I am positive I have heard inhaled the smell of akara, of moi moi and even party jollof rice! Problem though is there is no way any of these can smell like the above; unless there is a Naija chic surreptitiously boiling her own things on the side..

Clearly, my sense of smell has been compromised by the extreme lack of Nigerian lemms.   Dang I miss my moooommmmmmmmy’s akara!

The Thing about ‘Definition’…..

I am all for defining my people connections upfront (DTRs) …… The thing about them though is that they are tricky……. Too soon, and you run the risk of permanently pulverizing some real bridges before they even get built…….. Too late, and you’re mired in the morass of the ‘just friends’ zone…..

That night we had the inevitable talk and faced the ineluctable moment of truth….. Faced with a choice she said…..

You’re a good guy but….. why does life have to be sooo difficult?

Maybe that DTR was too early…or it was a classic case of DeBee’s Law:

The refusal to define is tacit admittance that there was nothing to define in the first place or a nascent dislike of that which was to be defined.

In retrospect, she was right.. …There were too many yawning chasms that needed crossing!

A spot of bother..

Mum is running scared. A lot more scared than even I am.. And she doesn’t know the full scale of the issue. All I have told her is that I may not be returning to my old job in Nigeria. The truth is that I have quit already. As is typical with her she is bothered; wondering if I have enough funds to survive the job search, if I am seeking temporary work whilst all my documentation pulls through, the whole lanyards.

I think, God willing, I have things covered- and barring any major glitches I should be fine. But she can’t understand the decision. Truth is I got totally fed up with the politics and the scheming, and decided a fresh start was in order. Still fingers crossed,  palms closed together, hoping and praying that it works out.


The cacophony

The worst time to be on Bus 38 has to be around about 3pm. I assume that it is around this time the young and the restless end their studies, hitting the roads to get back to Mum’s food and at which time they are keen to demonstrate their wanton indiscretions to all and sundry.

Today, they were at their bellicose worst – loud voices, popping gum and wild uncoordinated scrambles – all over the bus like worker bees suddenly disturbed from a mid-winter slumber.

I could only sigh, raise the decibel output on my iPod a few notches and settle back in my seat. So much for Bus 38.

Of Exes and Mother’s Angst

Dear Lawwd! Matters came to a head today over SpiriChic. Thing is Mother and I have spent the past few months locked in a mental war – losing it is inconceivable for me, because it would constitue such a loss of face that I couldn’t possibly put my foot down on any thing with her in future.

SpiriChic, one of two young ladies I ever seriously dated, is a certain un-official ex from a few years ago now, whose existence was leaked by a parroting sibling in a moment of crass indiscretion. Said ex and Mother got to meet and hit if off instantly, which should have raised red flags in my mind at the time. My assumption has always been though, that as long as I hadn’t told the parents anything, whatever mother assumes is just that, an assumption.

Fast forward to today, when the subject of my future plans came up, especially with the relocation thingy. Mother proceeded to exhort, cajole and even downright threaten (not quite, but exert a fair bit of pressure anyways) all to ensure that yours truly restarts the broken connection with said ex, who in her eyes is a perfect fit!

I understand her dilemma – she is scared that her son might be captured by a white woman…. Oh well, that’s not in the plan yet!

She smiles………

She smiles;
Pearly teeth
Glistening in
The golden light
Of the setting sun
As it dips
Beneath the trees
That frame this
Swiftly fading vista.
The rings
In her ears
Resonate to
A hidden rhythm
Chiming to an-
Unspoken song –
One that I feel in
The hidden parts of –
My enchanted mind.
Her eyes,
Filled with mirth,
Flit in the shades;
These slowly
Lengthening shadows;
Drawing me
From this earth
To a distant place –
Some vale where
My pains regress,
Where I have been
Only in my
Midnight dreams.
Her hair
Stands firm,
Unfazed by the
Swirling winds,
Defiantly proclaiming
Her pristine-
Her skin –
Ebony black- is
Stretched taut
Like a canvas – kissed
By the gently dropping rain,
And caressed
By the drooping ferns.
The lush green leaves
on which she seats
pale, losing their colour
Acquiring a pallor
Blighted by her light
That floods my sight.
Her feet-
clad in scented sandals
would deign to-
walk this filthy earth.
I, alas
Like a man bewitched
Can only stand-
Enthralled, Drawn-
By THAT smile
that steals my all.

Finally a friendly face..

Today Bus 38 yielded a friendly face and that after a whole three months! I had already taken my seat, again at the rear of the not so new bus, plugged into my iPod which has being the only companion worthy of note to me, and settled in- yielding to the waves of nostalgia occasioned by the tunes belted out by the artistes on my play list. She had clambered up a few stops after I had got on – clad in knee length boots, black jeans trousers and a navy blue shirt which seemed a tad bit too large for her lithe frame – pulling in her tow a large box. It seemed obvious that she was undertaking the final leg of a journey.

She seemed to scan the sea of faces, eyes flitting, seemingly hoping to find a face that would at give a hint of welcome. That was usually an exercise in futility – the faces on Bus 38 usually stared blankly, focused on a seemingly distant land. Our eyes met – briefly – but enough for me to catch the faint flicker of a welcome. She sat down surrounded by all the motionless, expression less faces – but the slight smile that played around her lips seemed to suggest that she had found a bit of home.

When I passed her as I clambered off Bus 38 myself – burdened by my own knapsack – all we exchanged was a quick nod – not a lot – but hopefully, enough to let us both know that we had seen a friendly face at last.