Do you remember when you were six years old?
I don’t – well, for the most part. But I learned some pretty profound lessons around that age. That was the first moment I realized – something sweet can still hurt you.
Case In Point: DODO.
I’m sure I had been eating by myself long before I was six (at least I think so) but the clearest episode of that happening is the one I’m about to tell you about.
I had this aunt, Alaba, a beautiful woman. I’m sure I had a crush on her and she was fond of me. That afternoon, our parents weren’t home so she was to make me lunch. She fried dodo which I loved (and still do) and gave me a plate. I think the idea was for me to carry it to the dinning room and wait for her.
It didn’t work out like that.
I mean, there I was staring at what I probably thought was the sweetest thing in the entire world, and you’re telling me to wait before I start eating?!
You and who; fest?
I just dipped my hand into the plate and took hold of a piece. I was conveying it to my mouth when my hand sent a signal to my brain that THIS THING IS HOT. I promptly flung the piece of dodo one way, the plate the other way and screamed.
I remember screaming.
Of course, my darling crush came running, petted me, blew on the hand, smacked the plantain for hurting her baby (what won’t adults do to placate children eh?) and reminded me that she’d said to wait. But I found most confusing was – how could something that tastes so nice have hurt me so much?
I think that was my first introduction to heartbreak.
Many of my childhood lessons stuck with me till now – and I like to think that’s the case for most of us. But one thing that goes out of lot of us as we grow older….is that childhood curiosity. That desire to know more.
I remember watching Wonder Woman. I remember going outside after watching an episode with my friends and jumping up and down because; hey, if she can do it why can’t I? Never mind that I wasn’t a woman. Never mind that I am not anything close to an Amazon.
If she can do it, why can’t I?
All that ‘genetic mutation’ ‘Kryptonian DNA’ ‘mutant gene’ was too much an explanation for a kid. He looks like me – therefore if he can do it, so can I.
Who knows? Maybe if I had continued jumping then I would have created a way for people to jump over tall buildings in a single bound! Anything is possible, no?
But we grow older, and as we do our worldview becomes smaller. We desperately protect our ideas that hardened into crystals and therefore view any other perspective as a threat. As the Ancient One told Strange; ‘You’re a man who has spent his entire life looking through a keyhole’.
Very small perspective.
We should grow. We should be curios. No matter how much we think we know; we still don’t know as much as is possible to know about any one particular thing. I am probably the best authority on anything Seun Odukoya, and I still don’t know a third of what there is to know about me! There was a time curiosity was what got me out of bed in the morning. I was always looking forward to whatever new adventure there was in the day, what new trouble I was going to cause/get into, what new person I was going to meet.
Then caution overcame my eagerness. Somewhere along the lines, I started to think I knew enough; there was nothing new to see in the world. I withdrew into some kind of protective bubble and became only conscious of survival.
Well. We all know how that went.
But I don’t want to die. That is why I didn’t drive into the ocean yesterday on my way from work; even though I was tired and unhappy. This is why I agreed to undergo therapy and treatment for Major Depressive Disorder and a couple other things (insert laughter emoji). That is why I have started to walk again.
I. Don’t. Want. To. Die.
I am finding reason(s) to live again. Something to get me out of bed, eager and excited about the new day and the possibilities it brings. And I am not saying there won’t be days I’ll feel shitty and hate myself and wonder why I don’t just hold the boiling ring, plug it in and hope NEPA leaves power long enough for me to leave –
But those days will get fewer and farther between. Right now, I am curious as to how someone can bake a whole cake and not finish half of it before it’s done. Maybe that sounds like nothing – but it’s enough to get me till tomorrow.
Never stop. Never settle.
I think Hennessy said it first.
Can I show you life; As I see it?
The world thru my eyes; In a minute?
Can I love you once more? I mean it…
I really mean it.
I just want to drink you away;
Forget I ever met you
Forget that at some point
I did call you special
Forget about forgetting
That you were ever here to –
But it’s crazy
I can’t forget the smell of your hairdo
Coconuts and oranges;
You left them everywhere boo
The room, the books – and all inside my head too
Ran away from it all
No longer know where to head to
They say love is crazy;
Oh right. You done heard too?
You were afraid; I dig that
Yes, I was scared too
Should have shared my fears
But I was too scared to
So I kept shut
Pretended I didn’t care too
Acting like a model
Don’t know where the catwalk led to
So I put tears in your heart
All the while my eyes bled too
Bedsheets were white
Fucked till they became red too
Got caught up in myself
Forgetting you were here too
Now imagine the gall of me asking
Where are you?
Where. Are. You, My Heart?
I like to think I have some sort of relevance in the grand scheme of things.
I like to imagine that with the little I write/say/think/do, I’m making some sort of meaning – no matter how insignificant – in a world like we have today.
I like to think that; after everything said and done, I contributed my quota to the time and space continuum – that I contributed one – my – grain of spiritual sand to this life.
It’s a long road that has no turning. But I walk it.
And I keep walking. Alone but not lonely.
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
Like finding a sweet memory in old trousers,
That’s what I remember.
Her beauty; not the kind to start riots,
But definitely end them.
Her hands are so small, easily they fit into mine
When we talk, we rhyme
And in bed? At times all we do is mime,
Repeat practiced movements as old as time.
She is strength in my weak,
The strength in my week.
She toughens my limbs, makes the days better
Would have changed my life too; if I’d let her.
I did write a letter.
When she smiles, something in me jumps,
Got me wondering; ‘could this be love?’
Could this be – that mysterious feeling they sing about,
That thing that makes old men sing and shout?
She’s joy. She’s Joy. She’s my joy,
Something rare; exquisite
Something that breathes even when I squeeze it
A bright thing when other lights are dimming
But I’m sad.
I wonder why.
“She’s fair game,” they told him
After all, he’s not there to see her tears glisten
The way she sighs; against the tide – wishing
Hair all adrift; blown in the wind
He wasn’t there the past years
Silent witness to past fears
Lessons of lies driven again and against
The path of least resistance
An unfriendly baton between scared thighs
It took a while, but finally she got it
Unfortunately what she got was a wrong message
So they said “she’s fair game,” little did they know,
They were talking about a Jezebel in Ruth’s clothing
A Jezebel of their own making.
Who’s fair game?