Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Let's Remain Strangers

…So he walks up to where she sits,
He smiles and request he sits with her,
She wonders his motives, as she eats her meal,
She is sitting on a table by the wall,
She agrees and wriggles inward towards the wall,
                He looks like a nice guy-She thinks
He wriggles in, and sits by the edge.

He asks for her name and she replies,
He makes a joke about her fingers,
She thinks the joke is funny,
She couldn’t resist,
She smiles in response to his comment,
She lets go of her guard and encourages him to speak more,
They speak for hours and explore topics of mutual interest,
Her smile was captivating,
His sense of humour was intoxicating.

Their conversation dig deep into personal issues,
She feels she is letting go,
She feels she is opening up too much,
She feels they are getting too comfortable,
She looks at his face and wonders if she would see this face forever.
Her mind goes to work …

They talk about forever and that really possible?
How would you look at me when all is said and done?
When you figure the formula behind me?
Would I need to constantly re-invent myself to get your attention?

Your eyes are blank,
Without words,
I am looking deep in and wondering, what could you be trying to say?
Would you appreciate my deepest needs?
Would you understand I need encouragement?

I really don’t want to get hurt,
One encounter of James is enough for a lifetime,
And this blank stare takes me back to that moment,
He told me he loved me (but I don’t remember: did he say he would stay?)
I remember our last days together,
I would desire he stared at me the way he once did, like I moved his world,
I would hope he would hold my hands in public,
Or write me love letters; you know that mushy stuff.

I remember when we strolled together in the rain,
He said something profound, justifying the walk,
About how the human body is 70% water,
About how we need to synchronize our internal waters with the rhythm of the rain,
Because that’s what makes us truly one.
“White gowns and religious houses were coined up by men. 
What unites is rhythm; Rhythm of our waters”.
Nkechi thought I was mad when I showed up at her door dripping wet and smiling,
But there is only so much words can express.

Back to the blank stare.
“There is more to this than your eyes can decipher” was his reason.
“I always had words and expressions bottled in; the problem was expressing it” he continued.
“But what about our rhythm; but James, I still feel that rhythm?”
“Water, flows darling and my water flowed away...”
He left my life, no reasons given, never to return.

I shouldn’t be thinking of this,
I bind such evil thoughts from my mind,
This guy seems different,
Maybe he is the ONE.

 “Let all conversations & interaction be superficial” was a thought.
“ (But he sounds so sweet and I want to tell him more)”.
 “Hold up girl, you have to play it safe. Lets follow the Cosmopolitan 12 step guide to falling in love”.
“(But what if the guide is wrong?)”.
“It can’t be. It was written by Cosmopolitan”.
“(So does it mean I cannot take care of myself, does it mean I require the advice of some writers miles away to know what to do?)”
“What about your experience with James?”
“(James was a one-off. Let me let this guy into my life. I can take care of myself).
“If you can take care of yourself, would you be having a conversation with yourself?”

The waiter brings the bill and puts it on the table,
Almost immediately, she asks if she could be excused,
He rises to let her out and looks at her,
She looks at him and smiles,
As she moves to the toilet, her body brushes past his and he wonders if he would feel her  this close every night, forever.
His mind goes to work...

If I give in to you, can you handle my history?
Would you stay knowing I have baggage like, memories of my ex?
I still remember how she used her index finger to trace lines across my face…
I still remember her black underwear…
I still remember how she sleepwalks to the fridge…
I still remember her eyes...
Mariam, we had secrets, and defined the world based on it.

These secrets have evolved into strongholds buried deep within me,
Shaping my world view and how I interact with all around me.
 Sometimes they show up at awkward moment;
Like when you spoke about your desire to learn music, I had a flashback:
My mind drifted to when I met her little sister who loved Mariah Carey and I did a small comparison;
“what are the similarities between you and my Mariam?
What are the differences?”

That is me. 
It will take you a lifetime to discover all that lies underneath,
to appreciate all the experiences of mine and those of my peers,
all the various permutations & synthesizing of thoughts and how they shaped my version of reality…
I am young man with a young heart who has met and loved,
Many don’t understand my motives,
As a man, it is about the experience and the thrills of the journey.

I have no desires for hurt- to hurt others or be hurt,
But my greatest clamour is for a moment in time when I would share ALL with her,
That bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh,
That one with whom I totally connect.

And I thought it would be Mariam,
I told her all and she swallowed my words,
 I shared my deepest fear,
And in moments of strife, she used my words as weapons,
Exposing me and letting all know I am weak.

Let us remain strangers…
Let us draw from what we already know and from experiences we have had in life to build our assumptions of one another,
It will save us the stress of real discovery,
A process that requires deep emotional haggle;
One that requires the personal touch, exposing habits,
In that process we might encounter our greatest fear,
I might hurt you or you might hurt me.

We could satisfy our lustful desire,
And we could even stay together for years,
We could go on to see the world together,
We could establish a connection but it would be superficial,
There would be territories we would not explore,
Our relationship would have boundaries, invisible to all our physical senses,
We would  fully open up and reveal all except that one thing that truly makes us who we are.

She strolls back to her seat and he stands up to leave.
“I had a nice evening” He says as he pays the waiter off.
‘Me too” was her response.
“We should do this another time” He says.
“Yes, we should".
“What about...tonight?”
They both smile.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Guy-Man-no-dey-come-Last finishing College, Igando, Lagos State

Do you have a good upbringing? Are you well trained & well schooled? Do you live in Lagos (or intend to live in Lagos State)?

If your answer is “Yes” to all the above questions, my response is “Really”? Reason why I asked that question is because settling into Lagos would be a major challenge for you.

But help is here!! Guy-Man-no-dey-come-Last finishing College, Igando, Lagos State is where you want to be.

Since time immemorial, living in Lagos has never been for the faint hearted. Researchers have stumbled upon documents of Lagosian using false bottoms in barrels of palm oil for sale to the white-man, as far back as the 15th Century. Can you imagine what these people would have evolved to? The modern Lagosian is a madman!!

And that is where we come in. We assist you adjust to the Lagos scene. Be you a professional, a medical practitioner, an okada driver, a bus driver, a government official, a law enforcement agent and even a religious leader.

We have experts from all over the world trained in the act of irresponsible behaviours from some of the most unliveable cities in the world. From Harare, Dhaka, and even Baghdad, seasoned specialists are available to provide you with case studies and 1st hand examples of tactics you can adopt to ensure your adjustment to living in Lagos is seamless.  

Our facilities are well equipped with state of the art gadgets capable of providing simulation of life in Lagos. After four to sixteen weeks of extensive training, you will learn how to:
  1. Deal with police officer;
  2. Earn a living doing nothing;
  3. Show off an attitude that can piss your customers off;
  4. Jump queues;
  5. How to fart in public (without making a sound);
  6. The best way to shakara (special courses on telling them “do know who I am”);
  7. Brag (even when there is nothing to brag about);
  8. Silence you conscience and do what benefits you (and only you).
We also conduct specialized training for professionals to include:

  1. Effectively collect bribe (for law enforcement agents: we teach all the secrets things they don’t teach you in training school. Like how to collect eguje and make the “accused” think you are doing your job);
  2.  Inflate prices (and use strange accents to backup the reasons for the exorbitant prices);
  3. Bad time keeping (for artisans, we go further in perfecting the art cheating your clients well with fake parts and substandard goods);
  4. Public transportation- the art of being an okada man, conductor and a danfo driver- [Due to the sensitivity of this sector, we also have voice coaching centres for the conductors and reckless driving techniques (for okada men and bus drivers)];
  5. Health is wealth, indeed (Providing health with no compassion).
And a many more other trainings bound to make you perfectly Anyhow, thereby fit for Lagos.

Here is a comment from one of our satisfied customers:

“Hello all, My name is Peter Busayo-McPhillips. I am 39 years old. My secondary education was at Atlantic Hall, Lagos State, A-levels in Eton College, after which I attended the prestigious St Andrews University, United Kingdom and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Classic. I come from a family of distinguished lawyers & professors.

After twenty years living in the United Kingdom and  France, I had to move back to Nigeria to join my sibling control the family's business (we mange a chain of hotel in 
Lagos, Port Harcourt & Abuja). 
It was tough integrating into the chaotic Nigerian system. People took advantage of my good behaviour and ethics. Not until I came to the Guy- man- no- dey- come- Last Finishing College Lagos.

Now I know how to shout “your father” in traffic.
I once bashed a danfo driver, gave him a slap and even screamed “do you know who I am” (when I was the one at fault). 
I now know how to stylishly switch on my hazard lights  & join the convoy of siren vehicles (to beat the traffic) . 
And even though I am married, I still provide Aristo services to two girls currently in the University.

Whilst living the United Kingdom, my dream was to change Nigeria. I hoped for the day Nigeria would rise to its rightful position as the Giant of Africa. That is no longer the case. All the money I make, is going towards the house I am building in Bishop’s Avenue- London. I support all the politicians (even when I am sure they don’t have a clue what they are doing) as long as they give me deals. I owe my employees six month wages. But who cares; it is all about the money for me!

Thank you Guy-man-no-dey- come-Last Finishing College Lagos; for saving my life”.

So there you have it.
Next time you meet a friends based abroad intending on relocating,  anytime you visit those butter children who attend those private (sort of boarding school) Universities who just got a job on the Island and wants your advice, when you encounter someone who wants to move to Lagos from other states within Nigeria, but hasn’t got a clue of how messed up this city is, spread the word:
With Guy-man-no-dey-come-Last Finishing College, YOU CAN’T COME LAST IN LAGOS”.

Guy-man-no-dey-come-Last Finish College -Eko oni baje o!