Something For Myself; Written By Me
It’s your birthday, right?
Wow. You know, I still remember how you used to think you would never live to be this old. ‘My life has no meaning,’ you would say. Or ‘if I died right now – who would miss me?’
Who would indeed?
Well – am I glad you decided to hang around. Look how much fun we’ve had – look how fortunate we’ve been, look how far we’ve come.
I’m proud of you.
I’m saying that – or rather writing it – not because I think your head needs to grow any larger – but because I don’t say it enough. I know; I’m mean to you because I don’t believe in back pats and coddling. I push you the way I do because there’s so much you can do; so much you can be – and telling you sweet things in the morning, noon and night won’t get you any closer.
But I am proud of you. Real.
More importantly – I am grateful for all the wonderful people God sees fit to bless you with. I mean, every step of your way you’ve always had people be there with/for you. Whether it was your chosen career path, your ambitions or even your personal life – there were always people around you who propped you up and helped you face life.
Whether you were drunk, stoned or just plain depressed – they had your back. So it’s your birthday – but this is for them.
I would so love to mention names – like I know you would too – but we would miss out on some inevitably; not because they don’t matter but because we’re human – and therefore we forget to remember.
But we won’t remember to forget. No.
From the friend who read that story in your journal that night so long and said ‘this is really good’ – and didn’t stop there; no. That friend who went ahead and gave someone who was looking for a writer your number – and you got paid fifteen thousand to do something you would do for free.
For the other friend who gave a young boy with eager eyes fifteen thousand to write a story – for his faith. You looked at the envelope – opened it – and there those notes were.
But it wasn’t the money. It went beyond that – way beyond that.
For the other friend who gave you the link to a website where you could improve your writing. For all those teachers who read some stuff you wrote and said nice things – and shared thoughts on how you could get better and better and better. For the friend who told you – ‘get on wordpress’.
For the six hundred plus people who made time to visit your blog that day not so long ago. For the one person who visited your blog that day not so long ago. For the people who read, like and share constantly – for that person who reads every single post as soon as it’s up – read and comments.
For all the websites – the people behind them – who oblige you everything you ask for them to help post something and promote something you were working or just released – for all the folk who helped edit the Saving Dapo series and novel.
For the people – all the people – who let go of their hard-earned cash to buy that novel.
For the general who reached out to you – asked you to send something so he could edit for you free; the wonderful people who have read everything you’ve ever written and are still not tired of you.
For the guys who pitch their tents with yours; the guys who make time for you – to sit and discuss and plan and brainstorm what the next thing is – that friend who does the artworks, the graphics, the designs. For the guy who creates the concepts and innovations. For the business consultant, the manager, the PA, the HR and all those official offices – for the suits but also for the faces on those suits, those skirts and ties.
For them too – because they took interest in you as a person and not just another asset.
For the guys who thought you would be an interesting addition to the UR 4 Africa organization, for the guys who thought you had something contribute something interesting; something different to the TEDeX Unilag event; for the people who reached out to you after that for similar things – yet so different; for the people who listen and decide to do something – for the people who believe.
For all the people who share and retweet the various things you share – even though I’m pretty sure they don’t understand what you’re saying sometimes. For the faith they have in Seun Odukoya.
For all the women; the women.
The women who have been your joy, your peace, your pain, your hurt – for the women responsible for the grins, the smiles – and even the tears (shut up; we all know you’re a crybaby). For those who saw through all the walls and barriers and hideaways – who saw something worth loving, worth caring for, worth smiling for – even after you put tears in their eyes.
For the women who support you, love you in spite of yourself – who just want to be a part of your life. This is for them. The women who care for and take care of you (what are you – an overgrown baby?!) simply because. This is for them.
For your family. Your father, who taught you the value of hard-work and sleepless nights. Your mother; who gave you reason, a purpose and a desire to live. Who gave you life; taught you love and values; the woman who gave you confidence and a strength to achieve. Your siblings who have been there consistently; one way or the other.
To Sterling Bank; who sent you a text message same day some years back; a simple but loaded message. ‘Not just a year older, but a year better’ the message read – and that has always been your goal since.
And for God; who saw it fit to allow you see another year.
Happy New Year, Me.
Why would anyone in their right mind want to see a movie titled ‘Ant Man’?
I mean – he’s in that poster – but the only reason you see him is because he’s mostly a black smudge on white paper.
Therefore – he sorta stands out. Else..
But then – someone mentions he’s related to the Avengers.
Hmm. Things get interesting. But still – is that reason enough?
Marvel has been cutting quite the swathe as far as box office billings are concerned – raking in over five billion dollars collectively since they took the fate of their characters in their own hands and launched Marvel Cinematic Universe with the release of Iron Man I in 2008. Since then, they have done eleven movies – Ant Man being their twelfth entry.
Featuring the usually type-cast Paul Rudd, Ant Man is a story about redemption and second chances. Even Michael Douglas’ character, Hank Pym, the original Ant Man cannot say it enough. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is an electrical genius and cat burglar who went to jail and missed out on most of his daughter’s life. Now he’s out – no job prospects and wanting to spend more time with his girl. But he’s missing child support payments.
Getting desperate, he finally allows his ex-con roommate sell him the idea of robbing a house whose owner has traveled for a week. He breaks in successfully, cracks the ‘golden egg’ safe – and then finds nothing inside it but what he thinks is a motorcycle suit.
One day, curiousity gets the better of him and he puts the suit on –
And then everything goes crazy.
The stunning thing about this movie is – like the typical Marvel movie – it’s a family film that isn’t campy in any way. It satisfies fans who are coming from a comic background of over twenty/thirty/forty/fifty years – and still embraces the new ones who only heard of The Avengers after Robert Downey Jr. did his ‘I Am Iron Man’ thing. The visuals are stunning, dialogue as usual smooth and plenty laughs – and yet, still has enough heart moments to put a tear or two in the most dry of eyes.
You should check out the smackdown Ant Man hands a certain Avenger…
Ant Man is not exactly refreshing – it features a lot of the Marvel gimmicks – stunning visuals, interesting characters, plenty laugh along moments – but it’s a solid entry into the catalogue. Catcg Ant Man at the Ozone Cinemas at the following times:
Fri-Thur: 11:15am, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:45pm, 4:45pm, 6:00pm, 7:00pm, 8:20pm
Now again I wonder – who in their right mind would want to watch a movie titled Ant Man?
It would have been something laugh-worthy, lewd – and then mildly inspirational; a staring husband sporting an ill-concealed erection on his wedding day.
The problem was; the husband – Tade – wasn’t staring at his wife.
No. He was looking at the dark-skinned, wet-eyed long legged wide-hipped beauty with rubbery lips swaying towards him. Her gele – her headtie was exceptionally woven – and the shimmering gown she wore wobbled at her every move.Tade had a small fight with himself – to stare at her so-generously-offered breasts or – at her face and the simpering smile that adorned it.
The face won.
It was familiar, Tade reasoned. He swiftly sorted through files in his memory – files and faces of variously hued women; trying to remember which she was as he shifted in his seat to hide the thing growing between his thighs. He searched out his wife with the sides of his eyes – and then he saw her surrounded by her friends. Good.
Once again he gave his attention to the approaching beauty – at the off-shoulder gown she was wearing and the tattoos that covered her right arm from elbow to wrist. She was attracting stares and whispers – Tade chuckled as he saw some old women frowning in displeasure. Old women – and then he winced, realizing his new wife, Peju would sooner or later become one of them.
Such is life.
She – the approaching beauty – was close to his seat – and he was sure he knew her. He had seen her face before, but where? Across a table, at dinner? Across a pillow, after dinner?
And then she stood before him. “Tade darling,” she purred. “You look so good in a suit.” She took his right hand and leaned over it, presenting him an uninterrupted view down her gown. Tade swallowed, fettered monster in his pants rearing its head in anger, fiending to be let loose. He cleared his throat. “Ah – I’m sorry. Do I know you?”
The smile widened – and she let go of his hand. “Ah, Tade. You’ll never change.” Her hands reached behind her, fiddled with something – and came away with two handguns. “This is for Onye – my best friend who killed herself after you broke her heart, for the baby you made me abort and all the other women.”
Tade remembered her then. Yemisi; her name was. He remembered her as a geek who spent all her time reading books. He remembered he’d only seduced her because he was dared – and he remembered being surprised at her skills between the sheets. So surprised he had been unable to stop – not even after he impregnated her.
His mouth fell open – but all speech failed him. The last thing he saw were the tattoos on her right arm. They seemed to glow.
‘That’s not normal,’ he still had time to think.
The twin guns winked, and Tade’s lights went out.
The best girls aren’t always pretty
Everything love isn’t always lovely
Before you tag someone, make sure you know their story
And if you don’t know me — how can you love me?
Just before I kill myself – let me tell you about this guy who I thought wanted to commit suicide.
Driving home. Friday night. If you recall it was a wet and stormy day – it rained throughout and almost all over Nigeria.
So traffic was insane.
If you know me you’d know there’s something about the rain that gets to me – every single time. Me and it have a love-hate relationship. I love it when I’m not in it. When I’m inside my house. All warm and cozy. Underneath fifteen blankets sipping Milo and watching Afro Samurai.
I hate it when I’m inside it. Either in a bus or a cab or a car. Driving or being driven. I hate it when I’m on a bike.
So I’m driving home. Trying to hold on to the steering wheel and my sanity. Fighting to not scream and curse every other driver driving as though they’re the only ones on the road. Driving as if they were cruising in their driveway. Driving as if…
I was cold too.
I could easily have turned the AC off. In fact I know I should have. Only the interior of the car – particularly the windows – would get misty in a hurry and driving in the mad rain was hard enough. And you know in that kind of weather – with that kind of pressure – horns blaring. People screaming. Only one thing can happen.
I felt like – I felt like dying. A crushing blackness had my spirit underneath it and was squeezing the juice out of it. It probably was a combination of several things – but the reality that I was driving in that night’s crazy weather in traffic when I would rather be somewhere else doing something else was key. I started thinking of ramming the SUV in front of me. I started thinking of driving myself off some bridge somewhere…
Anyways I make it all the way to Ikeja unscathed. And then I’m at the traffic light. The one just before Ikeja City Mall – when I see this guy.
It’s important you understand – there was nothing to notice about this guy. He wasn’t exceptionally tall. He wasn’t exceptionally handsome. Of a truth sef, he wasn’t exceptionally anything. He just stood beside the road – like several other people looking for a perfect ‘when’ to cross the road.
Ask me why I noticed him.
He was hopping from foot to foot as though he wanted to wee-wee and he had to soon or he would explode. Just as I drove up I saw him run into the road – and then run back as the howling Mack truck in front me sped past him with the driver screaming curses at the hapless guy.
I drove up – and stopped because I didn’t want to be the one who would commit suicide to and because the light chose that moment to become red again. I slammed my brakes and signaled him to pass.
Rain was running down his face making tracks through the sweat and grime of the day. I could see every little detail thanks to the millions of headlights and that annoyingly huge LED billboard hovering over the road. He jumped in front of my car waving his thanks and hurried to the other side of the road. My eyes followed as I was curious to see how he was going to end his life.
Instead he ran to a woman who I hadn’t noticed – a woman who was heavy-laden twice over. ‘Twice over’ by the Shoprite bags she was carrying and her bulging tummy that looked like a baby was going to burst out any moment. This guy ran to her and hugged her gently and bent over the tummy – touching it with gentle fingers and mumbling something I was too far away to hear. But it had to be something nice because the woman burst out laughing and playfully hit his shoulder.
And then he gently – again – took all the bags she was carrying and kissed her mouth softly. She put her arms around his neck and held on effectively prolonging the kiss and annoying me. And then they started walking off together talking like two friends who had not seen each other in nine years.
I turned my head and watched them go – and then became aware of a very strange feeling growing within my chest and threatening to choke me. I have no idea what the feeling was – I just know it made me want to kill the nondescript fellow and take his place beside her. That should be me I kept thinking.
That should be me.
Horns screamed at me – only then did I realize the light had turned green and vehicles were streaming past. I could see several drivers with windows down screaming some unintelligible things in my direction. Thanks to my wound-up windows I couldn’t hear.
My hands shook as I put the car in gear. My head was a jumble of thoughts – but if I tried to put them down coherently they would come out something like this:
God. I’m so lonely.
I’m so proud. To announce.
Shout out to the wonderful folks at ARTMOSPHERE.
It would be so so amazing to have you there – we can hang and talk shop – and maybe you can tell me what you’d like to read next!
Thank you. Thank you so much – and have a blessed week.
‘You had me at hello,”
I hated that line.
Cos it made romance look as easy as
Making this rhyme
Life is hard, love is harder
I’m marking time
Paying more attention to the tick tock
Than I pay my feline
First time I saw her she was
standing in line
You won’t believe how many things
came to mind
Every move I made from then on
Was to make her mine
But I was full of shit
Like I had dysentery
Running my mouth – but I did that decently
Leaned over her shoulder
Said ‘hello, that’s a good buy.’
If only she knew I said hello
Just to say goodbye.