The_Black_Window_by_GwarfThere is a deep longing within my being for someone who can listen to my heart and understand perfectly, everything I feel. If that is love, then it means I’m looking for love. I don’t realise it until I’m lying down on my bed, lights off, music playing; a little louder than usual.

There is no playlist, I select random songs that take me to places in my heart that I don’t know exist. I feel the strong urge to talk to someone. I pick up my phone and scroll through my WhatsApp chats. I send a few ‘HI’s’, get a few responses, but the banality of the chats leave me frustrated. I want a real conversation. I open Twitter and scroll through my TL, looking for a tweet or thread that is a response to the conversation I wish I’m having. I find none.

Is this what being lonely feels like? I can call up several people, in fact, some might even show up in my house at my request, but the conversation I desire is one that is so intimate that words are not required. Just the beating of hearts in perfect silence that is completely understood.

I will just lie here and take solace in the music.

I’ll listen to ‘Lie in the Sound’ by Trespassers William or ‘Apologies by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals or ‘I Never Told You’ by Colbie Caillat or ‘Vi To Er Smeltet Sammen by Stoffer & Maskinen from the movie ‘Copenhagen’ , a song I don’t know what the heck they’re saying, or…


Fool’s Gold

img_0375She looked up from her computer and it took a lot of self-control to keep from gawking. The definition of ugly had definitely shifted to the dude standing in front of her. In complexion, he wasn’t dark; he was black—crisp black—like a malicious burnt offering to the gods from disgruntled worshippers. Not only was he black, he had a mouth that always curved into an ‘O’ no matter what he said.

That and so many other things that could go wrong with a guy were the entirety of this guy. Effy couldn’t help but wonder why she had to be the one stuck with such a horrendous site as her first customer on a Monday morning. But pushing all that behind her, she attended to him robotically, wearing her plastic smile like she was paid to do:

‘Good morning sir, please take a seat, my name is Effy. How may I help you?’ He took his seat. He wanted to open an account. After talking him through the procedure, she gave him the necessary forms to fill out and buried her head behind her computer, hoping that would be the end of the encounter. But no way; Instead of the customer to fill his form in silence, he started a conversation ‘Your face looks pretty familiar, you know.’

Oh no! Was he trying to chat her up and with that line? Aargh! It didn’t help that the sadist Head Office sent to carry out a Customer Satisfaction Survey was prancing round the banking hall like he owned the place and she had to maintain the plastic smile that was already beginning to hurt. This was not the beginning of the bright and cheery week she had pictured in her mind in church yesterday when the handsome Pastor Moses was prophesying good things for the coming week. Sigh, Pastor Moses… tall, dreamy eyes, thick hair, sharp dresser, hunk of a…

‘So when will you be free for dinner?’ His last statement snapped her out of her reverie. ‘Huh?’ she replied, looking up in time to catch his ‘O’ mouth close. She blinked at him, clueless. How on earth could he have moved so quickly from ‘familiar face’ to ‘free for dinner?’ He repeated himself. Hia, Pastor James said it o, that enemies of progress would come disguised in various forms; this one did not even bother disguising himself. If not for where she was, she would have unleashed her arsenal of insults that she reserved for people like him. Instead, still smiling, she said jokingly: ‘With the nature of this job, will I ever be free?’

Undaunted, he dropped his card on her table as he got up to leave and asked her to give him a call whenever she could find the time.‘I sure will,’ she said as she flung the card into her drawer without even as much as a glance. She allowed him step out of the banking hall before she released her rattlesnake hiss.‘Thunder faya you, bad market!’

As he stepped out of the banking hall, he began to whistle. He hadn’t felt so lightheaded in a long time. The pretty face that attended to him in the bank was dancing before his eyes and that cherubic smile that didn’t waver for a second was turning his insides to jellyfish and making his heart melt like butter in a hot frying pan. Surely, she must have enjoyed his little chit chat for though she didn’t contribute, she never stopped smiling. He could spend the rest of his life gazing into those hypnotic eyes that blinked innocently adding a certain quality to the smile, and those dimples…sigh. He had definitely encountered the definition of beauty today.
He was happy with himself for being able to overcome his usual shyness and start a conversation even though it was quite one-sided. At a point, he felt like he was babbling. The fact that she kept his card in her drawer, unlike many others who tossed it in the trash right in his presence, gave him hope. Even if she got too busy to call, he knew where to find her. As far as he was concerned, judging from her body language, the stage was set for a romantic journey that he foresaw leading all the way to the altar. With these happy thoughts in mind, he got into his car and drove off to his other engagements, approaching his day with the enthusiasm of Romeo as he approached Juliet’s window.

THE WEIGHT OF MY HOPE (A Prosaic Poem on Writing) by Victor Olugbemiro

My thoughts that someone thought worthy of blogging

Su'eddie in Life n' Literature

Speaking has never been able to carry the weight of my emotions or thoughts or feelings or desires or dreams…
Somehow, I have been able to convince myself that ink on paper is an effective outlet; so I write
But when I read what I write, it just stares back at me, an incriminating evidence of yet another inadequacy.
I keep writing though, with the hope that someday, I won’t still feel hollow after writing; someday, I can fully express writingmyself through writing and be satisfied that what I write expresses exactly what I feel.

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Once Upon A Time (A Poem) by Gabriel Okara

Barefaced reality

Su'eddie in Life n' Literature

Once upon a time, son,
they used to laugh with their hearts
and laugh with their eyes:
but now they only laugh with their teeth,
while their ice-block-cold eyes
search behind my shadow.

There was a time indeed
they used to shake hands with their hearts:
but that’s gone, son.
Now they shake hands without hearts
while their left hands search
my empty pockets.

‘Feel at home!’ ‘Come again’:
they say, and when I come
again and feel
at home, once, twice,
there will be no thrice-
for then I find doors shut on me.

So I have learned many things, son.
I have learned to wear many faces
like dresses – homeface,

Gabriel Okara Gabriel Okara

officeface, streetface, hostface,
cocktailface, with all their conforming smiles
like a fixed portrait smile.

And I have learned too
to laugh with only my teeth
and shake hands without my heart.
I have also learned…

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… Daddy had been living in Lagos for the past four years and he felt it was time for his family to be with him. The journey was to be a road trip and the excitement in the air was almost tangible. The whole family shifted into preparation mode but with distinct concerns.

Daddy was constantly at the mechanic workshop to ensure that the car was in good condition for the journey. Mummy had more important things on her mind, like deciding what will be taken or left behind, and stocking the store with enough food to last a few weeks before we (more like Daddy) will send money to Aunty and Sina who were not going with us. Sina wasn’t going because he had to sit for his Senior Secondary Certificate Examination, and Aunty wasn’t going because she wasn’t going.

Olamide was concerned with what only she knew, and me? I was concerned with what everyone was concerned about.

Sometimes I went with Daddy to the mechanic, and sometimes I stayed at home to help Mummy. At other times, I simply went out to play and enjoy the attention of my friends. We had discussions on what Lagos was like and sometimes this degenerated into arguments over ridiculous things such as the sizes of buildings, the number of cars and all such irrelevancies that would fascinate only 10 year olds. Naturally, they turned to me for answers. Of course, it didn’t seem to matter that I had never been to Lagos and was as ignorant as my friends. What mattered was that I was going to Lagos and they were not. I guess that was supposed to make me know better.

At night as I lay in bed, I thought of the new friends I’d make and how everything was going to change. It scared me a little, but the prospect of a new town, new house, new school, new church, and new friends allayed my fears but kept me from sleeping most nights.

And so it was that peugeot_305_sr_bw_side_1978though the days seemed long, and the nights longer still, d-day eventually came. The tears, laughter, and goodbyes of that day remain crystal clear in my memory. Our Peugeot 305 was packed full. Bags and boxes were in the boot, a table fan and various kitchen utensils were piled high in the backseat with just enough space for Olamide and I to sit.

We drove out of the compound at exactly 4pm amidst the cheers and waving of neighbours and friends. Anyone seeing us would have only seen four people in a car, loaded with all sorts, but deep within our hearts we carried much more than the eye could see, we carried hope.

The Slip

freedom-bottom-newSaturday morning. Tranquil. Me, in bed. Lounging. Music in the background. Inhale. Exhale. This moment should be frozen. Savoured. My neighbour doesn’t think so. I open on the eighth knock. She knows I’m in. I see her lips move, her voice a meaningless echo in my head. It takes a while for some words to register. I do not belabour my mind to connect them. Her voice drones on. Incessant. I’m getting antsy. Too polite to slam the door in her face, I nod in a way that suggests comprehension. She stops talking. I assume she’s done. As the door slams, the word ‘rude’ filters in. Too bad. I am half-way across the living room already.

Ah, music. Soothing. I drift to sleep. Short-lived though. Somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, I sense a presence. I open first one eye, then the other. Emem is smiling at me. She has a key. How come? I don’t return the smile. ‘You look cute in your sleep.’ I don’t reply. She wants something, as usual. I close my eyes in a vain attempt to sleep. Her lips touch mine. Soft. Intoxicating. I remember how she got the key.

The end is clear. She will leave with something I don’t want to give. I resign myself to fate. I cannot match her energy today. Physically. Mentally. She knows. Clothes rustle. She is topless now. My eyes remain shut. Images from the last time still linger. There is a knock on the door. I open my eyes. She grabs my shirt and rushes out. I hear Chidinma’s voice. So much for tranquil. I dress up hurriedly. Grab my wallet. Toss my phone into the wardrobe. The high pitch of their voices has assumed alarming proportions. They don’t hear me slip out.