Christmas fever, Where?

I once saw Father Christmas climb over the fence and come in through the back door of my house in the dead of the night. To think a man of good tidings chooses to be a nocturnal visitor.  Of course traditionally I should have said he came in through the chimney but that would have been a blatant lie the way my first statement is also a BLATANT lie. I am not one to believe in father Christmas or Santa Claus (Depending on where you reside along the equator, I would like to believe they are one and the same). Never as a child did i fall for the deceitful stories of father Christmas putting presents under the Christmas tree. I wonder why parents still bother with such lies LOL. When we were little, my sisters and i would sneak out of our rooms to the staircase just to peep at our parents arranging the presents under the Christmas tree (bless them). Despite all my knowledgable doubts towards father Christmas, Christmas has always been the best holiday or rather used to be the best.

A lot has changed about Christmas in recent years, at least from what i remember. The excitement building up from the 1st of December like we were certain we were going to see Jesus has dampened a bit. Abuja does not even help elevate spirits with the miserly Christmas decorations sparsely scattered around the city, It simply Reeks of poverty.

I remember we would stay up all night composing Christmas texts to send to loved ones. We always found setting up of the Christmas tree tasking, but we always basked in the pride of our work. It always looked so beautiful. My mother never held back her pockets on Christmas decorations, she always went all out.  On Christmas morning, we would wake up early and look under our beds. Father Christmas with his red and white suit and big round tummy would have snuck into our rooms in the middle of the night and placed presents under each bed. Poor wrappers torn apart with glee. Under the Christmas tree was always a land slide of presents heaped up. Camera, lights, action… The tearing race would begin with the recording tapes rolling. Each present was labelled with our names. Some of us got five, some four, some three.

I vividly remember the day my younger sister picked a present with her name, nicely wrapped. Her smile so wide it fit the width of the gift. She unwrapped it impatiently to the very last cellotape tearing and smiling, sweet labour.  On seeing the gift Eye brows furrowed forming a wrinkle in the middle of her head. Her lips spread apart forming a U  immediately replaced with an upside down smile. She had gotten a dictionary for Christmas. The rest of us tried so hard to conceal our laughter.

Christmas was much more fun growing up. Now as adults we get to decide if we want a Christmas tree, often the answer falls in the negative who has time for that. Most of us no longer see the need to sit up all night composing text messages to send to loved ones. We barely even wait for twelve o’clock anymore on their birthdays, talk about growing up. My mum then used to send out Christmas cards. I remember Christmas cards and cakes flooding into the house. Now nobody even remembers there is such a thing as a Christmas card. On the bright side, technology has saved us money. For those of us that live alone, Christmas day just happens to be one of those regular days. We are reminded it’s the 25th by the text messages we receive on the phone.  Heavenly jollof rice is very absent, there is no ofe nsala and pounded yam set on the table, no fried rice and salad and no chicken wings. Rather we source for these things in the comfort of our friends family homes.

Christmas gifts are almost forgotten. That is what i used to look forward to. I remember when i was coocoo about the Harry Potter series, I got like three books at once one Christmas. I was ecstatic. How could i forget about the Christmas clothes that would remain our celebrated attires till the next Christmas.

Recession has not helped either. It is affecting the grown ups and the little humans. Ten bowls of rice cooked previously on Christmas day would have cut down to five. Families would probably be reluctant to receive visitors now as they are trying to eat their fill first. People now get one bag of rice as compared to the five that used to grace homes. Some people do not even receive hampers anymore, what is hamper?

So growing up sucks big time. We have grown into these individuals that constantly think about money, girls and then boys (for the girls). Most of us do not see these things as necessary anymore. I guess its the phase we are in. The irony of it all is, we are approaching another phase in life that will have us pretending we treasure the season just for the sake of the little humans we bring into the world. How i miss the simple times of my youth. But you know what they say about growing up: Its like a hole filled with scorpions you are so willing to jump into.

I would still encourage the giving though. Get a christmas gift for a loved one, no matter how little. (I pray to take my advise)

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Colours

2001205She stood at the kitchen sink wielding the knife she had just used to cut up yam. Blood crawled down from the carvings on her left palm, past her elbow dripping into the sink. The blood mixed with the bowl of water containing the yam. As she stood there, completely oblivious of her bleeding hand, she ran her right index finger over the blade. More blood poured Messiah. She fiddled with the knife for a bit wishing she could throw herself on it. She was looking at her redeemer, her one way ticket out. The beginning of the end to her misery. But the church was against suicide. No matter how much she contemplated it, she could not bring herself to do it.

The knife slid out her hand as she opened up her palm almost lifelessly. she dropped to the floor, her hands wrapped around her bosom. knees bent towards her chest.  Her shirt, a bloody mosaic painting. She struggled to breath as her chest heaved up and down, lungs fighting to keep the engine going.   The tears trickled down. saltiness pouring into her open mouth as she tried to maintain a balance between her gushing eyes and her lungs struggling to breath, laughter escaping in between I must be running mad . Her puffy eyelids told a story. Heavy sacs painted in black weighed her eyes down.  She did not care for beauty anymore for what she once did for the attention of her husband had been dismissed like an unwanted topic. Her face squeezed up in anguish, her shirt a blood bath, her hair a mess.  life was brutally stealing from her, her formally untamed joy.

He used to be the palpitation to her heart, her confidence through difficult times but now he sucked  air from her with every harsh silent word uttered and every finger cruelly brushed against her skin.  He celebrated her pain and danced to the tune of her melancholy. He trampled on her, empty of all emotions, i am not the snake the bible talked about, please thread softly… He has developed a tongue for the intruders cooking. He does not eat her food anymore, but yet she lays it out every day. She sweats as her arms holding the pistol levitating to the sky strikes down and hits the hard surface repeatedly. she pours love as she stands in the kitchen bending over a hot pot of his favourite savoury. She lays it out waiting patiently for his return.

This time he will look at her. she is wearing his favourite perfume, do you remember my love?, does it entice you into a pool of nostalgia? Her hair is packed up in a bun each strand perfectly united in the centre, how he likes it. Her bruises from the day before perfectly covered. She presents a different face today.  Please stop for a moment and look at me, she silently begs. Sit down and tell me how your day went, every part of my body is aching to share in your world till death do us part. Eat my king, it makes me very happy, it was made  with love. I have bared myself soul and body not wearing anything beneath. I waxed just how you like it.  Take me in and hold me like the world is crashing around us. Kiss me passionately as our tongues create melody..

Explore my body like i am a new toy or a treasure hidden away for a long time. Fill me up as my body explodes within. Fireworks only i can see, just me. Excruciating passion heralds me to tears. Sounds, more sounds…magnificent sounds.

Stones will fall to eternity in my well of love…

He gets back and sees her sitting on the dining table. He walks past selfish with even his scent.

‘I closed my eyes. I remember the dream. We walked through fields, holding hands, laughing and talking about our hopes and disappointments. you touched my face, hands slowly moving to the back of my neck. I drowned in the sea of sincerity and affection that laid in your eyes. The flowers danced to the beat of the wind and yet they gossiped about us. I could tell they were jealous of the tension that enveloped us both. They could feel it was real. The sun hung in that setting mode and never went down breathtakingly beautiful’.

Death has shown a colourful shade. Welcome.

 

Picture credit- deposit photos.

Permit my thoughts

 I have always been seen as an unemotional individual by my family and friends.I would say i am quite the opposite. One who wouldnt bother about a handshake or a hug. truth is i do not like hugs or rather i think i do not like hugs. They remind me of comfort. Probably i do not want to share that comfort with everybody. Probably i do not want some people to discover i actually love that comfort and yearn for it sometimes. I cant be stripped naked.

 

Just stand there and hug me and let me share my troubles through that embrace. Wrap your arms around me tight and dont let air in. three is a crowd. My tears flow freely as your shirt acts like loamy soil sucking it all in. Share my distress and squeeze out my anguish. Lead me to comfort.

Sometimes i am a mass of contradictions. I like to share hugs with people with whom i believe i share a connection with, just you feels that connection. Hugging is not the actual reason  for this post or my unwillingness to accept my weaknesses on a daily basis.  I watched a movie recently titled ‘How to be single’ and i would recommend it to all the single ladies out there. I just had to write some of my thoughts down.

i am sitting all alone in a bar and a guy walks up to me. My eyes stray from the drink infront of me and darts up to the beautiful eyes staring down at me. Hazel, dreamy. I see youve been waiting for me your whole life, i burst into laughter. i am charmed. I think of HIM. I think of sore sweet feeling palpitating through my undergarment. His hands griping the under of my chin, soft strangulations. His strokes and my groans, his whispers ‘youre so hot, i missed you so much’ I get up and leave the bar without extending the courtesy of mere digits to hazel.

How to be single brought me to the realisation that some of us have never really been single. Quite ironical. I for one have always jumped from one situationship to another and i have never really lived out my single days. A single girl can take a trip and not inform anybody, go for parties, flirt and possibly hook up if one wants to. one tends to tie oneself down to guys that are actually not boyfriends and keep falling into their ‘dicksands’ believing every single ‘comforting’ word ‘i missed you so much’

How to be single i believe is an eyeopening rollercoaster that splashes you hard into water at the end. Its like you suddenly realise things you have always known. Dakota Johnson who plays the main character Alice is presented as the ‘Green girl’ She is a constant reminder of what late bloomers like me and some of you have to deal with. The twenty first century came with its new advances in relationships. Never pay attention to the sweet things guys say, they never mean it (Really?! *sheds a tear * ) and sleep around with no affection what so ever like the lessons Alice received from Tom. Tom is played by Andres Holmes. A hot guy at the bar. How to be single encourages the green girl to let loose, live, drink as much beer and sleep with as many guys. One would say it encourages a life of promiscuity intertwined with a state of emotional mishap.

An emotional vendetta that lashes out solely to cure a throbbing hurt palpitating through ones chest. I shall live today and revisit my hurt tomorrow. It however contradicts itself at the end. Alice confronted by her three lovers is thrown in a whirlwind of confusion. She goes back into the confines of her room and puts up the sign ‘just me’. She begins a process of self discovery and reads a book. Tom played on the other hand gets tired of playing after been rejected by the love of his life. So it got me thinking, what really is the proper way to be single?Do we engage in coitus with every guy we meet and after take time out like Alice did? Do we green girls have to experience that rebirth from naivity first to meet our Prince Charming? Do we have to get so lost first to eventually be found? are there actually set rules and regulations on how to be single or are we just following a manual written by someone in a bathroom stall?

So yeah, the movie left me stunned from reality’s kiss. i have come to realise that some of my comfort hugs with people i am attracted to are probably just me sinking deep into their quicksand. Some of my hopes and aspirations that a guy would eventually like me might never come to pass because, hey, they have mastered the single life better than me. Green girls do not remain green forever, winter comes and they wither. No more would they be looked at as vulnerable and gullible.

I found a caterpillar on my stalk gnawing away, sinking treacherous holes like a sledge hammer. I think i might break. no, I might fall. Its sucking deep. draining me. replenish me quickly. seal my gaping holes and make me reborn. Let me burst out from my mothers shield and taste the sun. Close my ears to  whipers at night. unwanted and seductive words encroaching on my innocence. save me.  I am no longer green.



The term ‘green girl’ is gotten from Kate Zambrenos book titled the green girl. It is a perfect illustration of a girls journey to self discovery.

Penny for your Soul

It was the middle of the night and i sat in a dug grave in an old church compound with my knees drawn to my chest. I had always seen myself as a strong independent woman that could never break. A woman who would never compromise comfort, a woman who sophistication defined, a woman who would never sit in a grave. I watched as the prophet splattered incantations everywhere and circled a chicken above my head. Desperate for a cure for cancer i  had found this church. 

I had been to all the good and expensive hospitals in town and gotten opinions from various doctors. I had travelled to India and the United Kingdom and came back with a clean bill of health but that did not last long. The pain came back strong like it never left. It felt like a million cuts slicing through my back and chest at the same time. It had reduced me to a size six. A size I had never been my entire life. my straight back now arched from constant bending in pain. Cold became an enemy and time in the bathroom became luxury as I was always in a hurry to cover up. My pride and dignity that once soared could now be likened to used tissue. Wearing underpants became a hassle and my daughters constantly tried to cover me up and close my legs. My long hair which once caught the attention of many had fallen off .My breasts sagged and skin on my face and forearms wrinkled. My two kids still told me i looked beautiful, something my excuse of a husband never did. Whenever they came to see me, Ngozi my second girl would come with her makeup bag and attempt to beat my face. Most times i could barely stay put because of the pain. Anytime i looked in the mirror i knew what I saw.  bless them, i thought.

The first prophet I visited took turns in seeing people with different problems. On this particular visit, a man burst through the door screaming giving praise to God for his healing. “Agidigba oo” he sang stretching his two hands out wide and swinging his waist from left to right. I wondered what he had been cured of. A lady followed behind and called ‘ Gladys Obo’ , I stood up wincing in pain and half walked half crawled into the office. It was a room poorly lit with candles and scented oils everywhere. Incense burned in the corner. books arranged on the shelf in the left corner of the room with doll babies arranged at the top.  It had a musty smell that reminded me of damp clothes. There was a stool set in the centre of the room. ‘Good afternoon Gladys, you have cancer and you are looking for a cure, you have come to the right place. You will pay the sum of 200,000 naira for this healing. ‘Please take your clothes off’

I had never met this man but yet he knew my name. He even knew why i was here and the extent to which my cancer had spread and now he was telling me to take off my clothes. “My God” I whispered as  I looked at him with my jaw dropped.  Fear and trepidation wrapped round me like a tight rope. I felt a cold breeze blow leaving goosebumps all over my body even though i knew it was 28 degrees outside. My heart skipped beats like Usain bolt jumping over three hoops at once and for the first time i felt fear physically throbbing my chest. I turned to look at the door contemplating walking out.  As I sat there I remembered the man i saw run out healed and thought of how desperately i wanted to feel that euphoria. This might just be my last stop i thought, i do not want to miss out on my healing. Gladys, are you with me? The prophet called out as I had been lost in thoughts. Yes I am, i answered shakily. I  inched towards the edge of the chair and stood up. Shamefully, I took off each piece of clothing, dropping it along with my self worth. Stifling a tear, I  watched as the prophet watched my body with vulture eyes. He sat me down on the stool and began pressing my back and chest. Vigorously. Pressing out despicable things from my body that i never would have imagined could be in a human being. Things to heinous to describe. I paid the money and went home feeling sour. I woke up the next day in excruciating pain and 200000 naira less. I had no praise song to sing.

‘Madam you can come out now, you will be fine in the morning’ The prophets words pierced through my thoughts and startled me. He stretched his hands into the pit and helped drag me out. I groaned. Jisike, the devil does not have a strong hold on you he said. This has worked, you will be fine and do not forget to transfer the money into the church account. He assisted me to my cupboard turned into a room and walked away. I stood at the door and looked at the worn-out mattress on the floor with a flimsy cloth spread over it.

I cast my eyes to the corner of the room where several bottles of concoctions given to me by the prophet were laid out. My bible opened up on the floor. It had become my companion at night. I trembled as i dropped to the floor, grief slicing through my heart with a sharp knife making me bleed with no sympathy. God had forsaken me i thought as i immersed myself in self pity drowning. I remembered all my days of ardent worshipping. Why would he desert me now that i needed him so desperately. I  ripped off my scarf and pulled at the tiny strands of hair left on my head. Tears poured down uncontrollably as i hoped the walls of that church would fall and bury me under.   i hoped not as well. I had to be alive for my children. They needed me. I cleaned my eyes as i shifted my weight to one leg and with my shaky hand reached for the door knob to stand up. painfully, i shut the door behind me and found solace in the worn out mattress.

I was awoken by three am with screaming from my own throat. Suffering had opened the flood gates.

 

Cruci-fixation

imageI was born a catholic. Baptised with the name Aniedi (never knew you could be baptised with a native name) I fulfilled most of the requirements of a catholic child. Attended catchism and passed (although nobody ever fails) so that i could receive holy communion at the children mass. It felt good joining the line for communion. With my shoulders high i would get on the queue reciting the prayer before holy communion in my head. I was a big girl. Over the years my parents at some point decided to seek other means of worship and dived into another branch of religious fanatism  called spiritualism. They however worshipped two gods at the same time because we never missed sunday mass.

Growing up, i always struggled to get into the adult mass. I was a big girl and i thought i should mingle with my kind. I admired the church cathedral. A Building so big it could fit thousands of people. The structure looked so magnificent with the drawings of angels and saints on the windows and rooftops. It gave an idea of what michealangelo drawings look like. The altar, a site to behold with gold engraved in the holy tabernacle making you feel Gods presence. I marvelled at the ceremonious way the priests walked in with the alter servers swaying left and right to the melodious song from the choir. The server in front swinging the incense with all masculinity and vigour. I remeber once having a crush on an alter server. He walked with all confidence, his footsteps following the ryhtm of his head movement, SO MANLY.  The choiristers possessed the voice of angels i always thought. I would like to sing like this in future and cause people to have goosebumps. I paid rapt attention to the sermons because i would be asked to recount it on the way back home. Church was bliss.

I am grown now and i do not have to struggle to get into adult mass. I am no longer in awe of the structure, its something some people call see finish. I no longer have crushes on alter servers, i have grown a higher taste in boys. I no longer have to listen attentively to the sermon, i am a grown woman and i owe nobody a recount, i owe myself. As i sat in the pew today listening to the reverend father preaching i looked around and i experienced mixed feelings of contentment and inbalance. Why am i still here when i do not feel exactly filled when i leave but yet i feel so much at home. I have built a home in my comfort zone. I discovered my allegiance would not let me leave. I cannot break this habit i have built up. I realised that people will intentionally fail to accept the cons of the experience and keep living pretending like they do not exist strongly because of allegiance.

I said a couple of prayers and left church today the same way i came. I will see you next sunday. The bells chimed as they always do.

photo credit- shuttershock Inc.

Abide

burial

‘Abide with me fast falls the even tide, the darkness deepens Lord with me abide’

The words of this old hynm by Hayley Westenra chimed through the ancient catholic church. It was my husbands funeral. I sat at the front row, dressed in black with a white handkerchief in my hand which i used to dry the occasional tears that trickled down. Everybody else was draped in black from head to toe. The women styled in head gears that reminded me of fishing nets. It was offertory time and they all walked subtly down the aisle each of them casting a gloomy look my way as they passed my seat. I could spot my cousin Ibidun from across the room ‘Witch’ i murmured to myself. I hope shes happy now that he is dead. Ibidun was one of the girls that added misery to my life when my husband was alive. I had suspected her and my husband on several occasions. I had even come home to meet her leaving my house at odd hours but no matter how much i asked my husband, he always denied it. I might not have caught them red handed but my guts never lie to me, how dare her show her face at this funeral! I cursed in my head so loud it seemed to have echoed out, ‘Sister Tola, are you ok?’ Very stupid question i thought to myself. Bolanle never got it right with sensitivity. ‘I am not ok Bola, I am sitting in front of my husbands corpse’ That response made Bola sit back in her seat.

My husband had not only cheated on me with Ibidun but with a host of other girls. The thought of Ibidun being my cousin made it sickening. I would often find a ladies underwear in his pocket and lipstick stains on his shirts. When approached he always came up with one lie or the other until one day, his lies were not needed. I had come home earlier than usual. I usually had migraines but on this day it was worse than i could manage. On passing through the gate i realised it was open and Adamu the gateman was no where to be found. I walked into the house thinking of how to pay Adamu off and send him on his way. ‘How would he not lock the gate in this unsafe environment ‘ i thought to myself. I climbed the stair case and almost putting my foot on the last landing i heard muffled sounds coming from our bed room. I crept to the door and i swore i could hear my husbands voice ‘whos your daddy! uuuhuuh! My heart leapt more from accomplishment reserving the feeling of disappointment for later ‘i had caught him red handed! I pushed open the door with so much strength i thought the house would collapse. I almost fainted at the sight. Adamu was in my matrimonial bed, bent over on his knees with my husband on top of him. I screamed at the top of my lungs releasing anger, disappointment at myself for ending up with such a man. Adamu ran out almost immediately. Out of anger i picked one of his golf clubs and wiped my husbands head. Blood splashed everywhere and i could feel his skull crack under the weight of the club but that did not stop me, i kept hitting till i could feel the anguish dissipate.

Yes i killed my husband without the slightest feeling of regret, and i would do it over and over again, i had been killed a million times. A human without a soul could feel no depth.

‘Tola i am extremely sorry for your loss, if there is anything i can do to help please let me know’ I looked ahead at the cross hanging above the casket of my ‘beloved’ husband

‘Oh thou who changest not abide with me’

 

Unwanted Conformity

89920c4d1fc130dde8be4ca5e0c9c155She had seen her before. Her face, a striking resemblance with someone she had encountered in an intimate and forbidden way. She knew how those lips tasted, cherry, she thought. She walked and swayed those hips from left to right with her skirt obeying the rhythm effortlessly. She was jealous of how close her skirt was to her body, How the breeze fingered through her hair ‘ fake Brazilian hair’ she thought. Her legs looked like yams. Her carriage made them appear beautiful, beautiful yams. She walked upright like she had been taught posture by the queen herself walking from one end of a room to the other with a book balanced on her head. It reminded her of those American movies she loved to watch on Angela’s computer; the beautiful actresses presented as deeply flawless humans with beautiful hair and body. It was hard to imagine they would ever take a shit, God forbid. And as they moved, fast and bustling cities slowed down giving them a moment to dive into their perfection, motion delaying the movements of their hands, the way their mouth half opened to reveal just the two top sets of teeth, enough to drown the watcher in their sex appeal.

Yes! That was it. She thought to herself, sex appeal, that was what Ngozi had and as she stared at her, she could see sex appeal drooling out of her, it shot out of her body into other people’s faces as well like Cupid with its arrows. Just that this time love was not the end result, lust was. Ngozi had sex appeal, that one thing she lacked and tried to make up for in her ability to think deeper and officiate intelligent conversations.

The other night, She had been sleeping just to wake up to someone watching her. She felt an overshadow presence over her face that caused her to open her eyes. Ngozi was the one looking over her face. ‘I’m so sorry, I tried waking you up but you just laid there like a log of wood’ she giggled laughing at her own not so obvious joke – narcissism. ‘I had a bad dream’ she said . Mabel moved in leaving space for her to lie down not minding that she never liked sharing her bed but she felt an inner joy Ngozi was there. Ngozi spoke about her dream and She listened attentively for the sole purpose of wanting something intelligent to say at the end; to give herself satisfaction with the thought that she had been helpful.

‘Thank you’ Ngozi said laying her head on her shoulder and intertwining her hands with Mabel’s. tension slowly creeped into the air like an unwanted visitor in the room accompanied by shortness of breath. Heart pumping 20 times faster. She could not understand why her heart would beat so fast to the mere touches of Ngozi. She took in deep breaths to try slowing down her heart beat so Ngozi doesn’t notice. Deep breath once, twice…unwanted attractions ran deep in her veins. she tried to think about her last sex session with Farouk which only made her heart rate faster. ‘Bad idea she thought to herself ‘She could feel Mother Nature watering the flowers in her little secret garden and she thought to her self ‘WTF’ Ngozi raised her face, looked into her eyes and planted a kiss on her lips. Parting both lips like the river Nile, she drove her tongue into Mabel’s mouth, caressing both lips with hers at the same time. Fireworks shot right out of Mabel’s body ‘oh my God’ she wanted to yelp, it felt so wrong yet she would not pull away, yet the courage to send Ngozi out of her room failed. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak; the flesh was weak and it danced with Ngozi to the rhythm of heartbeat songs and guilty pleasures.

 She watched Ngozi walk past looking like a supermodel, ‘Bastard’, she thought. She knew she was in trouble, she was affected by this arrow that society had taught was naturally meant for boys. Boys ONLY. She had gotten to the end of this journey of self discovery without beginning.

Mabel bit her lips. Society  had already decided her fate.