The bitter taste of defeat;
Sourness of an orange too sweet,
Kisses of life from poisoned lips,
Sigh. It’s not always like this.
Yet; that’s all I know now
It’ll change; the word will show how,
Trade my cross for a fly gown
And smile; I’ll always be at peace.
I won’t know peace till I’ve said my piece,
You want peace of mind? Here’s a piece of mine!
Have you ever; ever sat in a room – probably yours; possibly not – one lonely night? It doesn’t have to be cold – but all the heat in India wouldn’t make any difference. You’re lonely.
So – have you ever sat in a room like that one, on a night like this one, sat there, on the single mattress, holding your phone in your hand and staring at the screen – or better yet; the number on the screen?
The same number you used to calm down for. The same number that – no matter what was going on around you; you could be in a meeting with Oga Jona arguing about the bullshit fuel scarcity – and once your phone started ringing; once you realized it was that number that was calling you would excuse yourself with an excuse; ‘It can’t wait’.
Yes; that same number that, in time came to represent everything that was wrong with the world – your world at least. The same number you swore at, cursed at, blocked, deleted all texts and whatsapp messages from – and then finally deleted, forgetting you couldn’t delete it from the most important place – that ‘I-refuse-to-hear-word’ part of every human being…
Now, almost twelve months to the day, and you find yourself pulling the number out of a hat – I mean pulling it out of a heart; yours, to be specific, pulling it out of a place you’d have sworn was gone and forgotten from – and just like that, it’s in front of you and everything you swore with your finger touching ground, tongue and sky – in that order – everything you swore was no longer even a memory was just that.
No longer a memory.
It was right in front of your face, on your phone’s screen, and your head put up the same argument as before –
‘He/she has moved on! You’re here, staring at a bloody phone and moaning like a lovestruck ram while he/she’s most likely having his/her third orgasm of the night! Fool! Ode! Mumu! Maga! So – so what do you want to do now? Beg?!’
Thing is – you know it’s right. You know for a fact that the only thing the call you’re about to make is going to achieve is to make you look even more foolish than whatever it was you did to end whatever it was you shared.
But tonight of all nights, you decide you’re tired – you’ve had enough of hiding. You just want to open up – and see if there’s any remains of the best thing that happened to you.
And so you dial. And as the number starts traveling down several wires and masts and cables, your heart rate tripples. You realize; finally that your head was right. This is the stupid thing to end all stupid things on your long wall of fuck ups fame. You’re about to take the phone away from your ear…
Then. Just then, it starts ringing.
The only reason you’re still sitting still and holding the phone that tightly is; you’re frozen in fear. You start to pray; you start to hope they’re far away from the phone and cannot hear it ring. You start thinking; even the thought of them having sex is not so bad – as long as it spares you from the humiliation you’re about to subject yourself to –
The call is taken. And that voice, the voice of the owner of that number, that number that the mere sight of does things to your innards, that voice comes on the phone and says…
YOU have been there before, haven’t you? In that room?
Chai! We’re more connected than we realize.
It was on Friday night. Remember, that cold Friday – last Friday?
Well, it was and I was cooking – spaghetti; I was.
I was cooking because I was supposed to head out in a couple of hours – a friend had just returned from the States and was looking for some entertainment. I was supposed to take him on a tour of some of the hottest clubs I knew; so I was cooking because I hadn’t had anything to eat that day – and alcohol and an empty stomach didn’t exactly mix well.
Not as far as I’m concerned anyways.
I wasn’t excited – I wasn’t dull either. I guess I was apathetic – maybe because I had seen all the spots too many times, or maybe because I am the way I am.
Either way, I was standing over the cooker, feeling steam in my face and looking at the pasta, slowly bubbling as it went from brownish gold to white; staring at the strands as they slowly wilted, succumbing to the superior heat of olive-oily boiling water – and then I suddenly realized – exactly how alone I am.
I felt myself crumble, wilt like so much spaghetti, tears drenching my cheeks before I could stop them – and within moments, they had me hacking and blubbering over the pasta like a typical kid headed to crèche for the first time. It was as though I had kept the feelings all locked up inside; denying their existence and refusing to acknowledge them.
Well, there they were now – out in the open. All over my face, dripping down my cheeks, off my chin and unto my shirtless chest. I slowly sank to the plain-but-severally-stained cement floor of the kitchen, still crying, my own sobs stabbing me in the heart.
It was going to be a long night.
She got me stressing. Yes – I put my best in
Flexing, Yes-ing, To whatever she’s wanting;
Till she said I was a bug needing swatting
Now I’m quiet; silent.
Guess what – she wants more!
Sigh. How annoying.
She caught his eye as soon as she walked in the door.
If this was at a place like Rapsody’s – or Beerhugz; or even maybe Chicken Republic – or any of the other outlets, clubs and joints that litter Lagos streets like so many bad billboards; a man noticing a woman – especially a woman like the one that just walked in the cliché door – would be nothing out of the ordinary.
But because it wasn’t in any of those places, it was noteworthy.
She had just walked into her apartment on the first floor of a three-storey building. He was hiding in the ceiling of said apartment, sweating while waiting and watching for someone – her; it would seem, though the reason for his watching and waiting wasn’t immediately clear.
From his vantage point, he could see her clearly – as clearly as though she was on the largest screen in the largest viewing room at the Silverbird Galleria.
Which was saying much, considering his view point – a small hole hastily carved into a corner of the ceiling boards.
His glance one again involuntarily sought out the picture his left hand was holding – and he whistled silently. He would have liked to think it was taken without her consent; but her smile and the unabashed way she was looking directly into the camera put paid to that assumption.
It was not fair to her – the picture was not fair to her. Not in the least.
Taking a last look at it, he shoved it into his chest pocket, moving awkwardly from his chest-down position – and continued to stare at her. She was on the phone, giggling animatedly. The soft bubbling streams of her laughter permeated the stale air around him and pulled at some invisible strings in his chest area – strings he would have sworn before now no longer existed.
He ignored the feeling; shoving it down into a place cold, still and hard – and concentrated on his quarry. Now, she was shrugging the silk wrap off her shoulders, playfully wriggling shoulders that looked like soft chocolate. Slowly she kicked off the black stilettos, leaving a strip of glimmering silver around her left ankle. And then she took off her earrings; one after the other and dumped them on the table beside the Samsung phone.
He swallowed thickly as she stood on tiptoes and stretched languidly, humming a tune he recognized as Banky W’s Strong Tin. She twirled as she hummed, waving her arms around and smiling happily. She looked like you and I looked the first time we realized the funny feeling in our stomach wasn’t hunger – but love.
She stopped dancing suddenly and moved her arms behind her neck. Before he could do more than blink, she was standing clad only in a lace bra and panties – dress falling around her legs in a slow cascade of black. He carefully craned his neck so he could look further down into the room; unwilling to lose sight of her as she started walking towards him –
And then, she disappeared.
A moment later, the sounds of running water came to him and helped him conclude she was going to take a bath. Ignoring the sweat running down his face – sweat as a result of heat; internal and external, he crawled forward slowly on hand and knees. He was carefully to avoid the joints of the ceiling – the last thing he wanted was to fall into the room with the gun in his other hand.
The reason for the gun was clear.
He was there to kill her.
Seun Odukoya Presents:
I thought the days of proving your manhood by how many women you’ve been with were done with and over.
Apparently, I languish in ignorance.
Therefore, to whom it may concern, find the extended version of my apology – or lack of one – below.
I had no idea my decision to be celibate would make you; my ‘friend’, ‘padi’ and/or ‘confidante’ uncomfortable. You see, I didn’t choose to tell you because I somehow understood – even long before we got to this point – that it is important not to cast my pearls before swine.
Butter no be monkey food, after all.
But your concern after your numerous attempts to hook me up with several pliant and willing women kept coming to naught helped loosen my tongue; albeit unwisely, as I have come to realize.
Still, I am grateful for your perception of the fact that I am not missing any bit of game. In fact, if anything can be said – my game is more on point than ever; now I no longer have petty distractions to deal with.
I just have decided to stay off sex for the moment.
Anyways, I have come to accept your offense concerning my stance – accept; but not understand. If I am not bothered by your huge appetite for copious amounts of sex, why does my lack of an appetite bother you?
“What is he trying to prove?” I hear you ask. Well, I turn that question back to you.
What are YOU trying to prove?
You think the fact that you cannot resist a gigantic behind or massive ‘fronts’ makes you better than me? Hey – I gladly concede. You ARE the better man of us two – even the society we live in agrees with you; so why do you still think we are competing?
You are not my competition; the man hasn’t been born that I can compete with – simply because the terms and conditions of life do not make for that – competition.
Actually I lied. There’s one man I am very much in a position to compete with – the one man I can compete with and beat.
The man who looks back at me every time I look in the mirror.
That’s the only man I am interested in being better than; that is the only standard (other than Jesus) I look to. Therefore, I do not, cannot and will not judge you – I expect it’s only fair to ask that you do not judge me either; and that you respect my decision.
No. There is absolutely nothing wrong with my balls.
You know better than that – or at least I expect you to – because you; better than most know full well where I am coming from. You know what I used to be like; what my relating with women bordered on. You know when and how my relationship with my mother improved; and how that improved my relationship with women generally.
You know where I have been.
Therefore, I am sorry if I do not have new colorful stories to contribute to the conversation when you and your pals are talking about your conquests – in fact; I am sorry I do not have any stories at all. I am sorry I do not have any raw or ribald jokes to share; I am sorry I do not have nude pictures of my ‘impressive’ number of girlfriends; past or present to display before your hungry eyes.
For the sake of clarity; I do not think for one second that makes me better than anyone other than myself. I just – I just do not roll that way.
I know who I am. And that; is not it.
Is it too much to ask that you leave me alone in my ‘inability to talk to women’, ‘my gayness’ – or whatever reason you came up with yesterday to explain my ‘unexplainable’ behavior?
I didn’t think so.
And to the other ‘you’, the ‘you’ who thinks every man is the same because every guy you’ve ever shown your boobs starts making promises concerning a certain airport or a certain stadium; welcome to the real world.
Not all of us are suckers for boobs. Some of us men are just boring like that.
Understand; that ‘boring’ bit is sarcasm – because I know a lot of ‘you’ find guys without vices unrealistic, non-existent or plain boring. I mean, isn’t it amusing how you sing your little choruses of ‘all men are the same’ and then you meet one that’s ‘different’ – and have absolutely no idea what to do with him?
But I digress.
Point is; I’m not into the business of setting ‘P’, ‘X’, ‘Y’ or any other alphabet on or off social media. Don’t misunderstand; I like the attention as much as anyone else – but I do not thrive on it. It does not define me. I’m just online; usually; to share my thoughts/opinions; ignorant and uneducated as they are – and learn a thing or two from other people who share my interests – or not.
And more importantly – to connect; see if people like me can find each other. But if there’s one thing I am not online for; it’s booty call. You dig?
Therefore; forgive me when you get a brusque reply to your request that we ‘hook up’ or the nude pictures you send to my email. I like breasts and butts as much as the next guy – but not to the point I forget why I’m here.
Or maybe I’m gay. After all, I am catching feelings for someone named Scott.
Don’t get it twisted; I love sex. I find the biology and chemistry of it quite fascinating. I like waist beads and chains, I’m attracted to some strategically-positioned tattoo, I like dressing up, role playing – in fact; my favorite position is –
None of your business; actually.
I just need you to understand; the same way you have the right to throw it in the way of whoever you decide to; I have the same right to turn it down. The fact that you wouldn’t eat Mr. Biggs meat pie does not make Mr. Biggs meat pie bad; it just means you don’t like it.
Is that so difficult to understand?
No; I do not want to sleep with you; knock boots with you, bump pelvises with you, fuck you – or whatever new name sex is called. There’s nothing wrong with you physically or otherwise far as I can see – and even if there was; I wouldn’t know. I’m not a doctor.
I’m not better – or ‘holier’ than you for that matter. I just don’t want to have sex with you.
Point blank period.
Let me see if I can say it French – maybe that would help:
Je ne veux pa sexe avec toi.
Forgive the errors – if there are any. I didn’t want to use Google translator and my French is nowhere near perfect yet.
You sha get the point.
More importantly; I think – no; I definitely reserve the right to rescind my celibacy decision the moment this post goes up – or not to. My life. My choices. My decisions.
Respect that. Or not.
Your fine-ass cup of boiling Nescafe – or herbal tea – or Milo.