I obsess about the truth. As though that makes me a lily-white saint.
However, in my continued mania, I have come to an uncomfortable question; do I really want to know the truth about everything like I claim to want to?
The answer is unequivocally NO.
Sometimes, it’s better to let some lies lie.
What if I told you I haven’t spent a lot of time with me lately?
I’m just saying. That sounds…I don’t know, somehow? It’ll make sense in a minute, I hope. Please stay with me.
As I was saying, I haven’t seen me lately. And it has mostly to do with the fact that a number of things in my life are changing. It’s change I’m mostly uncomfortable with; just like a number of other people, I like familiarity. I hate new things. They throw my well-ordered life into some sort of flux.
I am a control freak after all.
But I also know enough to know change is necessary for growth. In familiarity and comfort lies death and ruination if one is not careful. ‘Constant elevation causes expansion’ – so said the great Rakim Allah, which means to me that, to reach your potential, you must constantly elevate – grow, develop, improve. Why stay in a place you’ve conquered?
So I’m experiencing new things, and with that, an augmentation of my world view. I realize there’s so much I remain ignorant of, even in a world I think or thought I know so much of. I still don’t know shit.
And I look forward to spending time with me – so much time, I’m excited about the possibilities. I’m looking at the times; the signs, I’m looking at where I am and where I could be – and I realize; the potential is so so much.
I have not even begun.
How about you? Are you at a point where you feel like – ‘this is it’, or do you know for a fact that there’s still work to be done; and the only reason you’re still where you are is because of…maybe fear?
Only you can tell. I’m just saying that – can you move? Can you do something different – even if it’s a bit? Can you try something new?
I don’t talk about my dad much.
I mean, I got daddy issues. Who doesn’t? He had/has his failings, did a lot of stuff to my mum, to and my siblings – what father hasn’t?
However, to reduce my relationship with the man who gave me life to a couple of disagreements and discontent on my part? That’s unfair.
I love my old man. I do, I really do. I was thinking about some of the memories I have with him and I realize; I love the old man. Failings and all.
Also, because I know beyond all doubt he loves me. Warts and all.
I always brag about how I got the best of both worlds; how God intended for me to be a writer. It’s true. Is it coincidence that I was born to a father who read everything EXCEPT romance and poetry, and a mother who only read romance and poetry? I’m shared this story many a time, but in case you haven’t heard it, when I was fourteen I accidentally burned one of my father’s hardcover ‘Complete Works: Charles Dickens’. He had warned me several times – he and my mother had warned me several times about reading by candlelight and not placing said candle in a holder. At that time, I was young and headstrong. Like every typical youth, I thought I knew everything.
I sha burned half the book when I fell asleep and the candle burned down to it. Damn thing burned a hole in the living room carpet, burned the pillow my head lay on – I still think it’s a miracle my head didn’t burn off.
However, whatever parts the fire missed, my dad’s belt took care of.
After flogging the fat off my behind (I got most of it back tho) he gave me his volume of The Lord of The Rings trilogy, asked me to read and come tell him the story after a week. His memory was a steel trap. If I dared to edit the story in anyway, he would know. He wasn’t asking for details tho, he wanted an accurate summary.
That was my first review.
How can I not love that man?
My father loves music. I got my schooling on Fela/Sunny Ade/Ebenezer Obey/Don Williams/Jim Reeves/Kenny Rogers/The Beatles/Everly Brothers/Elvis Presley/Sam Cooke/Frank Sinatra/Bob Marley/Brenda Fasie/Mariam Makeba/Harry Belafonte/Nat King Cole/Ray Charles/Stevie Wonder and damn near every classical musician from my father. My love of movies comes from him also; from The Three Musketeers to Casablanca to Gone with the Wind to Casino Royale (the Sean Connery first) to every Bond film; from Connery to Dalton that is, to Tom & Jerry to Bugs Bunny to Looney Tunes to –
Damn. I know you just thought my dad is awesome. You can say it out loud.
He is. And I’m damn lucky to have him.
No, he isn’t dead nor dying anytime soon. He is as well as a seventy-seven year old man can be. He’s happy, causing trouble for his neighbors and asking me when I’m getting married. I just thought about him today; a long and oft-happy recollection of my growing years. And I am reminded; how blessed I have been.
I’m grateful. Love you, Papa.
The third and last book in this volume of the Lẹ́bẹ́ series is out – finally!
Now, see below for a preview:
Lanre nodded. Calculator raised the baton and brought it down, slicing the air with it.
Lanre smacked Kolo across the face with a left fist, splitting his cheek and drawing blood. Kolo swung a backhand – Lanre ducked underneath it and gave a rapid one-two punch to the side, danced backwards from an uppercut – and caught a devastating punch to the chest.
He slammed into the wall and barely threw his hands up to ward off another heavy punch. Fending off a second one with his left forearm, he delivered a punch to the jaw. It wasn’t at full strength given his position, but it was heavy enough to push Kolo back. A second one sent him staggering.
Regaining his balance, Lanre moved in on Kolo, leading with a hard right to the body and following with a two-handed blow to the head. Kolo staggered, shook his head and smiled. The crowd cheered, screaming and patting each other on the back. Lanre could hear some of them placing bets and grinned wryly.
Such was the life in prison. Live now.
A quick punch from Kolo set Lanre’s head ringing. He staggered back and spat, noting the red in his spit. He tasted blood in his mouth, and he weaved backwards, working for some space. He realized Kolo punched technically instead of relying on brute strength, a sign of his; Lanre’s training. He grinned again.
The fight was going to be tough.
Kolo threw a punch towards Lanre’s head. It looked like a feint, so he ignored it and focused on the other hand. Sure enough, his second hand flew towards Lanre’s groin and would have done considerable damage had it landed. He blocked it with his elbow, caught Kolo’s wrist, and pulled him forward into a clothesline.
The bigger man did not go down.
He bent over however, hacking and coughing, trying to get air through a bruised windpipe. As Lanre drew nearer, he suddenly rushed him about the knees and straightened, bringing Lanre crashing down on his back. He hit the floor with the back of his head and for a moment, sight and sound were stars and bells ringing.
That moment, however brief was enough for Kolo. Sitting astride Lanre, he slammed punch after punch into the upturned face. The first one hit his left cheek, the second was knocked away, the third hit his forehead, and the fourth –
The fourth never landed.
Lanre turned his head – and Kolo slammed his hand into concrete. There was a sound of something breaking, along with Kolo’s scream. Mustering all his upper torso strength, Lanre sat up and upended Kolo. He bounced to his feet and moved back, giving the man room to stand.
“E don do you?” he asked as Kolo struggled to his knees and then, his feet, cradling his hurt hand. It was clear the hand was not joining the fight anytime soon; it was already its original size and a half.
Calculator came between the two, looked at the hand, and then at Kolo. “Can you continue?”
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