I am a simple man with simple tastes.
Quite simple. I know stuff – but my tastes remain simple.
For example; I know the difference between Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon red wines; I can identify which is which by taste. Really.
I’m just saying.
However, I don’t want for much.
I don’t like lists; but I just thought I’d do one for the fun of it and maybe remind some people (sub/shade) that I too; am human.
So; in no particular order, here goes a list of ten of my favorite things:
Batman comics – especially those published between 1990 – 2001
A fresh Nas verse/album
Finding an original James Hadley Chase Novel
A movie featuring little-known actors that turns out to be surprisingly good
A tweet/message from Ogechi Nwobia/Nneka Oladimeji
Really cold crème liqueur
Discovering something new about an everyday thing, event, person
Cartoons; featuring superheroes – especially Batman
Conversations with people who matter about things that matter
Making a girl laugh – especially when we just met
Okay. I cheated. I wrote eleven.
When then? After then? Is it your list?!
I would so like to read what your favorite things are!
Sometimes; I’m stuck in a rut.
I have so many things to do and have no idea where to start. Deadlines. Promises to keep. Appointments. Dates. Hang-outs. The lists go on.
Sometimes I feel as though I have a 24-hour day and I’m awake through it. It’s almost as though I get home, manage to remove my shoes and slump in bed; and twenty minutes later (on a good night) I’m up again, repeating the cycle.
A man has to eat, right?
But is that my motivation for doing what I do? Strain myself almost to breaking point just because I want to stuff my gut with some proteins and mineral and nutrients?
There has to be more to life. But a man must eat.
There’s this bumper sticker I remember seeing in my youth; it goes something like ‘I owe, I owe, so off to work I go’.
Bad enough that I don’t sleep as much as I need to, I also damage and impair my health with the amazing dosage of caffeine-infused stuff I drink, all in the name of working. I’m a high-strung hyperactive always-busy individual – running around trying to make something of himself.
Boy. I do sound like an entrepreneur, don’t I?
I go for days on end without speaking more than three sentences to another human being; and that’s when I go to the store to refill my caffeine-drink stash or when I go to the filling station to arrange fuel for the generator. I eat a lot of to-go food simply because I cannot take the time necessary to cook. Sometimes when I close my eyes for a nap, I wonder which one of us is hotter; my laptop or me.
I know this isn’t healthy; I know for a fact that I can do better than that.
But my song goes; ‘I owe, I owe, so off to work I go’.
It’s almost as though hard work is more valued than actual results. I mean; I’m working hard – very hard, and as far as I’m concerned that’s enough. Do I have goals? Are there things I’m trying to achieve with all the stuff I put my rapidly-aging body through?
Apart from eating a hearty meal? Not much.
But here I am; working myself to an early grave and thinking, ‘that’s the way to go; that’s the only way to be a man where I come from’.
There was a time when it was popular to answer the ‘when are you getting married’ question with ‘I’m married to my work’, right? Well, I am actually married to my work and I’m cheating on her with a mistress named ‘stress’.
You read that right.
I am busy being unfaithful; and my wife is just checking the clock for when it’ll be over; when the fat lady will sing.
No o, I am not trying to be funny. Reality is this is the life that confronts almost every young and employed person in this country. Rush, work and work and work, it does not really matter if you’re achieving anything; it doesn’t even matter if you’re happy where you are. Just work and keep working. Leave your house in the morning wearing a suit, come back late at night with the jacket over your shoulders and the shirt stained with sweat.
“How was work today?” you’re asked. “Thank God,” you must answer; even though you spend every moment wondering what exactly it is you’re working for; why you must work so hard and earn so little – you think about your university days and how you couldn’t wait to get out and experience life.
“Is this what it all comes down to?” you ask yourself.
I was raised on the saying ‘you can’t eat your cake and have it’. And for most of my younger years I believed it. But since I knew the difference between cake and buns I have been contemplating the implication of that sentence. Why can I not eat my cake and have it; not literally of course? Why can I not be happy doing what I do for a living? Why must I; like most everyone else be unhappy at my job?
Now the first thing that occurs to people reading an article like this is; I’m asking them to quit their day jobs. No. Definitely not; because if you quit your day job I won’t be the one to feed you.
You’re on your own.
What I am saying however is; you can be happy at your day job; whatever that is. In fact you should be happy at your day job; whatever it is. If you’re not, then something is the matter. Time should be devoted to understanding the source of the unhappiness and seeking solutions. For example, as crazy as Lagos traffic is there are ways around it. You do not have to stay stuck in it; swearing at bus drivers and okada riders and sweating like Christmas chicken.
Though sometimes being stuck is inevitable, you can avoid the worst of it. All it requires is a lot of planning, awareness and discipline.
Why are you unhappy at your job; and what can be done to fix it?
Bottom line is; be less of a ‘such is life’ person and be more of a ‘life is what you make it’ person. Live intentionally.
As I write this, I am signing divorce papers. And I have handed my mistress her walking permit too. I’m going to marry life – and the only way to do that is to live it.
Fucking stress. I’m done.
Know what loneliness is? Making other people happy; giving so much of yourself and not having a place to refill from.
It’s been all over the news – Robin Williams, ace actor, comedian, all-round talent and funnyman is dead. Lauren Bacall, another fantastic actress from generations ago died yesterday (12th). These are people who spent years on the screen, making people happy by giving a face to their most private thoughts.
But I won’t even talk about Bacall as much as I will Robin Williams. She died of a stroke, natural caused – and she was 89.
Robin, on the other hand was 63 and it was classified as an apparent suicide. I met Robin in Ms. Doubtfire, and even though I thought romance movie are somehow – I liked his performance. I thought it was brilliant; the way he went from husband to nanny without breaking a sweat. Then there’s Good Will Hunting, Jumanji, Insomnia, Popeye, Seize The Day…those were my personal favorites.
And then, there’s the genie…
He had a face that was synonymous with mischief. There was always a devil dancing behind his eyes; whether he was being a father, a teacher or a nanny or even a bad guy.
Man, he was creepy in Insomnia.
I’d rather not talk about his personal life; I’m fast learning how crazy – how far away from one’s work life things can be behind the scenes. I want to talk about his resume; how he made people happy with roughly 80 movies and several stand-up appearances – and didn’t seem to have much of that in his life.
Note – I said ‘seem’.
But he had marks around his wrist, and he was found hanging from a belt around his neck. Could be a staged murder, but I want to go with the suicide angle.
Word has it he checked into rehab for alcoholism earlier this year, and he’s been struggling with depression. So of course, the suicide looks good.
Why would someone, like Robin who was a funnyman find it so hard to be happy himself?
Allow me share a little something.
Stuff like Twitter and Facebook, designed to bridge the gap between human and human interaction has unintentionally widened that gap. I need you to think of the last time you had face-to-face interaction with anyone other than your colleagues or the mama-put woman – or the Okada man. I need you think of your last two relationships, or maybe three or four; depending on *clears throat*
I was kidding.
Anyways, where did you meet this person? I might be stretching it far – but chances are you met them online.
How did that go?
I notice; also, that guys don’t have game anymore. And by game; I’m talking about lyrics. Flow. Skill – knowing how to make moves on a woman, make her feel like she’s all that counts.
We just don’t try anymore. And the excuse is – it’s pointless. Why use all the flows, the game – why learn, when it’s about money these days?
I’m sure you’re wondering what all that has to do with Robin.
Well, we are a misunderstood generation, and no one is as guilty of misunderstanding us than ourselves. Everybody assumed Robin was fine – till breaking news told us he’s dead.
And all of a sudden, he’s described with ‘was’. Past tense.
We all have issues, and we’ve learnt to bottle it up inside because frankly, no one cares. I don’t want to hear about your issues – hell, your life is probably better than mine!
And they’re probably right.
But I’m yet to meet someone who has had ‘enough hugs for the day’. I’m yet to meet someone who didn’t want to hear nice things said about them in an ideal situation; and I’m yet to meet someone who hates compliments.
Robin was alone when he died, as it usually is with people who commit suicide. So as ‘connecting’ as social media is, I am yet to find a substitute for a welcoming pair of arms.
And please – no Ebola jokes.
How about checking on people we used to be close to? How about hanging out with some pals this weekend? How about catching a movie with him/her? How about hugging a colleague at work today? How about being nice to that Chicken Republic waitress? How about putting down some poetry for her –
In fact, I just inspired myself. I am leaving right now to go pen a few lines for her. Really.
In other news, you can order your love letters here. I’m serious.
So. Let Robin be that reminder that, no one is so strong they don’t need niceness anymore. A simple but genuine ‘hey, how’s it going?’ might just be what that person needs. Seize the day, my friends. Make someone happy today – as cliche and annoying as that might sound, it might be the antidote you need too.
Care. A bit more.
R. I. P. Robin Williams
Some things get old.
Matter what we do, they grow old and die. Sometimes, that’s the intent.
But in this case – no matter how many times we hear it, it remains true.
The best writers are yet to write books. Somewhere in a bank somewhere, some cashier looks up at the screen everytime an Asa video comes up and says ‘that was me in the university’.
Well. What happened?
Life happened, abi? I understand – and that’s why you’re in a bank somewhere doing your daily thing. And that’s cool.
What is confusing is why do you complain about the life you chose? Did someone hold a gun to your head? Even if they did – complaining about it won’t change it.
Life; the whole of living is a risk. Fear grounds us. People dare to do daily – and that’s why we have Facebook. Twitter. Whatsapp. WordPress. Mr. Biggs. Chicken Republic. Ice Cream. Smartphones. Jeans. And millions of tiny things that come together to make life fun.
We’re more powerful than we realize. It’s too easy to get sidetracked in today’s world!
But if you have a plan. If there’s something you see so much of it keeps you awake nights, stop being so scared.
Do it. ‘No time to check time’. 2014 is as good as gone.
You may not agree – but come and read this again in a few months!
Stop dulling. Start believing.
Do it. Do it. Do it.
Something more than wishing
It’s more than hoping
It’s getting ready to hope
Life isn’t easy but you can try
Still thinking there’s no need for a lie
I don’t say it all, but I can fly,
I’m just saying
Pay attention really watch the lines
Life is downhill but we all climb
Always let the punishment fit the crime
I’m just saying
Love is a given, who’s doing the giving?
Which are you good at, taking or receiving?
Life is a short trip, you ready for the long haul?
Really, I’m just saying