Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Prelude to A Calabar Christmas!

Good week everybody! Anyone feeling christmasy yet? Because I am. I don’t know why I’m so excited about this particular season this year given that I just had a mini fight with my Frieda – she’s not talking to me – on account of the fact that I cannot spend Christmas with her this year, our second together. Worse still, she’s at that time of the month when everything and nothing makes sense. I will not mention the word; we made a pact that I’d never mention that word when the visitor approaches and she’s feeling all hormonal at the risk of losing my life or worse still, eating burnt food! So pardon me my gentle folks but you are not coming between me and my tummy. It is interesting though, this phenomenon, I have never experienced anything like it in my life – okay maybe so, but it was in a much lesser scale then. During this period I have to cuddle, comfort, never ever EVER use a harsh word on her because she cries so easily. If any character in any movie, newspaper story, or new dumps his wife for a younger filly or cheats on her, I get the blame. If she has a nightmare where I happen to be the antagonist, I get the blame. Never mind that my face could easily change into someone else’s in the course of the accursed dream, I still get the blame. I then have to pacify her and persuade her to go back to sleep so I can make amends and right the wrong I inflicted on her in the dream. The brunt of my fury is now on my main man Tiger. The man is a tiger! My guy answer im name true true. Fifteen mistresses that we know of? Man o man! Oh, sorry babes! That was disgusting! How could he? At least if he had to let the news leak, why did he have to do it during this period? And now I’m on my way to Calabar on a working holiday, my ears are ringing with admonitions on where to eat and where not to eat. I must only eat hotel food and nowhere else. I must call from time to time to reassure her of my safety - and of her security. Why does the one I love just have to be so wonderfully complicated? What’s with me and moody women? Why can’t simple just mix with its fellow simple companion – you know, birds of the same feather? I wouldn’t have anyone else though. Like Drake’s song says “You the #%@#ing best!”

This week I have little to write about as I have been banned from writing about the work I’ll be doing in Calabar until it’s done. The company wants to keep its secrets secret and have the element of surprise over its competitors. That’s fine by me, but be assured that my tongue will run like my belly on a bad day when it is done. Instead of looking forward to the tradtional Christmas rice and chicken stew, ( that’s for wimps) I’ll be looking forward to afang, afere, ekpang nkwukwo meals in Calabar – on the hotel’s menu of course!

Do have a great Christmas everybody, and a prosperous New Year. Let’s have a fun filled and, of course, reflective holiday! Now I know why this season is exciting for me; I’m sharing it with you and would very much love to hear about yours and your plans for this season as well. Have a great week everybody and I love you all.




Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Asaba!

Hello and a good week to everyone and a not so good one to myself. Why? Because I just lost all the data I have been compiling about my trips to Asaba and Umuahia! Where am I going to start now, and at such short notice at that? I’m so angry with myself. I’m also wondering if it got lost when the computer decided to automatically update itself – I usually leave it on standby so I can continue where I left off. I just feel like smashing something especially this stupid laptop but alas, all my eggs are in this goose. So I’ll swallow and get on with it as best as I can.

First of all let me commend all who live in Asaba on their hardiness. That town is hot! Bleedin’ ‘eck! It is super hot! It is so hot you can even chew on the air itself. If there was ever a time I appreciated water, it was in that town I did so. To try any other drink in that town with a view to assuaging your thirst is a quest in futility. Let that girl who calls herself Frieda come and brag about her inferno of a town to me again and she’ll see what fiery wrath I have in store for her – yes she’s from Asaba! I still can’t talk, and that’s unusual for someone who talks as much as I do. Every step one took in that heat was equivalent to a mile trekked on a cool day. It was so hot one had to sit near an air conditioning system to keep one’s thoughts from evaporating. Scientists say if one goes without water for three days that one could die but in this town, that has the river Niger right beside it, twelve hours without water would certainly kill me – I don’t know of others. And then the work, I was shooting a movie, was so heavy because I had very limited time to work on the set making it very tasking, especially with the three thousand plus watt lights we were using to work. And they wonder why we actors are so touchy – they don’t have to stand the heat.

Respite came at night though; I made sure I sampled all the joints the lovely town – at night – had to offer. I first went to a point and kill joint called Y2K where they had one of the most humongous catfish I have seen in a long time. I picked out the biggest there and went to our seat as they carted the protesting sod away. When it arrived on a platter, all grilled and steaming in a bed of roast ripe plantain and garlands of red hot peppers, onions and lime an hour later, I remembered my main purpose for coming to Asaba. I don’t think my head ever rose from bending over that platter until I was done licking my fingers and my chops. In fact I don’t remember a word escaping the lips of any three of us that seated at that table except to call for more beer or tissue for our eyes and noses. That wasn’t all; I made time for isi-ewu (goat- head) and bush meat pepper soup and palm wine before I left. Now you see why I am so healthy?

Alas, I was to go back home the next day as I had to catch the morning flight to Owerri the next day. My plan was to charter one of the state taxis to take me to Benin where I could hop on a flight to Lagos. A friend of mine took me to the park to get one but to our disappointment they were all gone save the private taxis who swore to me they were a comparable choice of means of transport. Looking doubtfully at their cars, I asked one of the drivers if he had air conditioning in his car to which he swore blind that he did, and had just serviced it the day before. We haggled, agreed on a price for an air conditioned vehicle and set off on our journey. He then pleaded my indulgence so he could get some fuel at a nearby petrol station and then we would be on our merry way. I assented and when we filled our tank, we went on our merry way, with the windows still wound down.

Excusing his forgetfulness, I reminded him to put the A/C on, to which he apologised and turned a few knobs while winding the windows up he then inserted a CD in the stereo and the car was filled with gospel music extolling the graces of God and how he (the driver sang along with the singer) longed to follow His righteous path and statutes. It began to get considerably warm in the entombed car and I remarked as such. The driver suddenly bent over the vents, felt this way and that with an incredulous look on his face, exclaiming he’d never had an experience like this before in his fifteen years of driving commercially. He then proceeded to dig into the glove compartment, brought out his mobile phone and began to look through it. Before I could remind him that he was about to use a mobile phone on a highway, he had already begun to hurl abuses on ‘whoever’ was on the other end of the line about why the miscreant didn’t fill his a/c unit with gas and now his customer was sweating it out in the back of his car. He then turned to me and apologised profusely swearing this had never happened to him before. I put him at ease and told him it was okay, all I needed was for him to get me to the airport on time for my 1.30 flight. We did get there on time and on getting my luggage out, I paid him the agreed (a/c) sum. He looked at the money, then at me and asked if I wasn’t going to give him a little something for the pains he took to rush me to the airport on time! Nigeria, we hail thee! Have good week everyone. I’ve missed you all!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Plea

Good week everybody! I don’t know why I feel very optimistic about life as I sit here in spite of the challenges that surround me today. I hear and listen with pleasure to the muezzin with the typically eastern lilt to his voice calling the faithful to prayer. This is actually my favourte part of the early morning when I’m in any part or predominantly Moslem city especially when I’m securely ensconced in sleep, a bit like the early morning downpour when you’re snug in bed. The only snag here is that the taxi will be coming to pick up any time from now to take me to Asaba for work. I’m bleary eyed from having no sleep at all and Frieda worried sick that I’ll be hurled into a ravine on the way, all thanks to our roads that have more craters than the moon itself. Bless ‘er! It’s my fault actually; packing at the last minute and trying to rush through my script brought me to this despicable point.

Long and short of it all is that this little whining missive is all I can cough up today my good people and next week’s post might be a little late but I will let you know what happened in Asaba especially the grilled fish on a platter with roast plantain and tomatoes, lime and onions I’ll be feasting on at least twice whilst I’m there. Okay, I need to rush off and shave – can’t believe I almost forgot to do that. Oh yes, and my traveling iron too – the prices they charge in hotels just iron a shirt!. Don’t mind me, I’m writing all this stuff down so I don’t forget to pack them as well. Okay guys gotta run. Hate traveling by road so wish me a safe trip guys. Have a wonderful week ahead everybody and love you guys! Bye!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Court of Appeal

Good week everyone! Thank you for all your responses. Interestingly enough, Frieda and I had a little spar over that post as well, arguing about the veracity of the events I related. Don’t worry, it was good natured; in the mutual knowledge that I had stretched my facts a little in revenge for the upper hand she always has in our ‘debates’. It was a good laugh though, especially in the irony that most people were on her side even when I tried to turn it to suit me. Thanks!

This week I’m going to annoy her even further but I will need your feedback and support so she can see reason in what I’m trying to propose. We’ve had an argument on this issue before and she at the time refused to see the big picture that would be to the benefit of us both – the benefit of living life to the full! I want to buy a motorbike! No, it is not the suicidal speedos that go so fast that the wind gives you a grotesque grin by stretching your lips right back to your ears and make your cheeks flap like a flag on a happy day. A safety record on those fiends is to retain all your limbs and spine – not necessarily all your skin - after at least ten crashes, and that’s in a year. I’m talking about the big massive touring bikes that you actually have the time to slot in a CD or ipod, cruise along the highway and drink in the scenery around you. With these beauties, there’s no need for those hideous cocoon like helmets that make one look like an alien but has one shaped rather like a cap that’s strapped just under the chin. I first saw it on George Clooney and fell in love. Plus one can pose much as he wants to, as bikes give one the cool aura that cannot be replicated anywhere else.

I had gone to pick up my invitation card at the studio for the wrap up Tinsel party when Alex, one of the directors on set ran up to me to gleefully drag me to see his new toy. He had bought a Suzuki bike earlier on – it had an automatic transmission- and it was an absolute steal. It was so pretty and at the same time very frugal. I had salivated on the time I’d cut in half in Lagos traffic with it and proposed buying it to Frieda. Hm, na wa O! I don’t know why women always love to end a matter before understanding the beginning at least. She began by panicking and mourning my death which she could clearly see and attacked me for threatening to cut short the plans we have together. Did I know how many people died from motorbike accidents? I, being naturally cool headed and logical, told her that I would not get on any bike unless I was fully trained to do so, until I’d learnt to ride in a manner that wouldn’t harm me or people around me. Besides I wasn’t like all those okada riders (commercial motorcyclists) who leave their brains at home and have a chronic aversion to patience and stopping for anybody except to pick up passengers. I was a responsible young man who has a desire to build and fend for his family and so wants to live long and healthily. She won that round and the matter was rested.

Alex’s new bike was a roaring beauty – 750cc of gleaming chrome and studded plastic seats, complete with an orgasmic throb from under the seats. I could imagine carrying my lady on the pillion – if she go gree! The best part of it, he told me was that he belonged to a club of bikers that had two groups – the speeders and the tourers. He belongs in the tourers’ They always train members in the club and safety is their watchword. They even have a fifty six year old lady who has just joined and is taking lessons in riding! The best part? They periodically go en masse on tours around the country; from Lagos to Maiduguri in the northern part of the country or to Bayesla in the south or even take an eight day tour to circumvent the country. Could you imagine the possibilities that could come from such an experience? The brotherhood, the invaluable insights one could garner from experiencing new cultures and meeting diverse tribes never known before? Imagine the countless stories and experiences I’d share with you my good people about people, animals, sights, smells and sounds and foods? Speak for me my brethren. I have come to you first so you can convince Frieda to let me join this club. Let this slogan reverberate in your psyche – Safety is their Watchword – and consider that I have chosen wisely and am not a madman waving brands of fire about. I’m going to face madam with my second proposal but first I’ll pray, post this article, wait till evening or tomorrow morning before I tell her. Hopefully, I’ll be able to refer her to your favourable comments for leverage. So go on, Speak hands for me! Have a great week ahead everybody and a happy Sallah weekend to my Muslim brethren – actually me too because I’m going to start looking for whose house I’ll be eating ram at this weekend!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Armageddon

A good week to my good people on the net. I hope everyone had a great weekend. It’s night time here and I’m just licking my wounds from a weekend long battle with my girlfriend through absolutely no fault of mine. And no, I am not taking advantage of the fact that she’s not here to defend herself to try and drag you to my side of this tug of war game. I’m just trying to lay it out as objectively as I can and leave it to you good people to judge. Truth be told, this is one of my very rare chances of getting back at her – she always has to win in all the arguments and fights we have. When I am at fault, and believe me, I hear no end of it, I apologize. When she is at fault, and she finally sees the error of her ways, she apologizes, and then I apologize for hurting her feelings! I have since learnt never to attempt to win an argument in a verbal swordplay with the woman, especially when she’s your significant other. She’ll duck, dive, shout, weave, feign, stab, sneak, double cross, cry, ‘hurt’, shift the goal post, mess with your head – anything at all to be ahead of the game and make you feel you’re the worst bully or dolt in the world and make you see how vulnerable she is. Well my dear, this is my riposte – my pen triumphing over your swordy tongue, in a place where you can’t touch me! Hehehe! Don’t worry baby, you know I love you.

What happened? Absolutely nothing that I can call my fault except for her extremely intelligent over analytic mind that on the one hand has helped me surmount huge obstacles with relative ease and on the other, sees conspiracies where there is none especially where it comes to the womenfolk. Okay, so I made a call to a friend in the middle of the night at about 3:30am and some stupid demon decided to choose that very time for her to call me and get a busy tone – no, I’m not saying you were influenced by the Devil to call me o! Before I go and add that one to my many sorrows. I was bored, couldn’t sleep, didn’t feel like reading or watching TV or surfing the net so I called my female buddy that I have known for four years now. We usually hang out and while one or two things may have happened between us in the past, we still got back on track and have been fast friends ever since and I told her so! Did she want to hear that? Oh noooo! “Kalu, I know you mean well and everything and your mind is open and all and I know -if you know what’s good for you - you wouldn’t do anything funny behind my back but what if there’s a teeny weeny longing for her buried deep in your subconscious? Do you realize cheating is not just sexual? There’s also emotional cheating as well.” At this point I just blinked and stared at her. There are some things my simple man mind just can’t comprehend. “I mean you guys have been close all this while so there must be some bond between you two (which I mean to break! – interpretation)”. Then here’s her next line of attack. “Besides I’m a woman and I know what we women can be like. You don’t know if she has designs on you and has been wanting to have you for keeps. Women can be very patient you know; they are capable of any kind of machinations and can blend into anything you want them to be just to get their hooks into you.” Now can you imagine what would happen if we were to have an argument about who has the right of way on a particular matter and I were to quote this very statement she made? Bloody hell! Burnt food for the rest of the day plus I wouldn’t be served; I’d have to go to the kitchen and get it myself. That’s not all o! Oh, I’m loving this!

I spent the best part of the day AND night trying to pacify her and eventually went to the sitting room to watch my favourite TV series, CSI Vegas. I was in the middle of the show when she came out to begin making hints at having make up sex. Perfect timing! I gave her mine too! I told her I wanted to finish what I was watching first. The result? Cold war III, series II! We didn’t speak to each other for the best part of the next day until the evening when we finally talked, apologized to one another and then uh hum, uh hum! The rest of what happened you do not need to know, thank you!

I find the battle of the sexes to be one the true spices of romance in a spousal relationship, rather like sibling rivalry where each party loves to hate, hates to love, hates to hate and loves to love one another – I love it! I celebrate the romance( even though I’d die before I’ll call myself romantic), fights, make ups, talks, the highs and lows and challenges in a relationship especially when each party is committed to seeing it work, love and have a mutual respect for one another. The tremendous benefit this adds to both people’s personality and character is unquantifiable and there is no limit to what they can achieve as a team if they set their minds to it. Families that sprout from such unions will invariably be very stable, cohesive and unified. This one’s for you baby; I love you; you’re the best. Have a great week everybody!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Les Arbres

Good week everyone. The reception of last week’s post was very refreshing in its mini controversy. The Igbo musician, Osita Osadebe’s famous song, may his soul rest in peace, Osondi Owendi (some like it, some hate it) is so apt in this case. Many thanks to my many readers: Ebbe (Aba die? Been ages!), Kemi, Formerly Stealth Reader – can’t beat that name for humour, Rosa Winkler, JustDoyin, Nollywood Forever to mention just a very few, and of course the very dear ones who choose to remain anonymous and just want to enjoy a (hopefully) good read on my blog. Muchos gracias to you all. I had one very offended reader who felt my attempt at logic in the way I would create humans to adapt to their environment with a view to caring for their young, however numerous, and our conception of beauty relating to the result, as being typically (being a man) obsessed with breasts. Like I said before, osondi owendi. Thank you all the same.

I had a revelation over the weekend, one of those small steps that take you further and further down that road towards enlightenment about who you are and what you want in life. I went to see a friend of mine I had become acquainted with not too long ago at her residence by the ocean on the island of Lagos. It was a lovely place, not the flat; which was quite sumptuous, you can get that anywhere, but the view was breathtaking. The green glassy sea with the fishermen in their canoes looking like a picture occasionally betrayed by a gentle waft of that thickly humid breeze native only to Lagos. She then told me of her love for water which had been with her since childhood thus making this newly acquired abode of hers like a dream come true and her therapeutic haven. I looked at her and saw the way her eyes lit up as she looked out the sea, drinking in the view that was all hers and turn to me for affirmation. I hesitated, looking at the sea and wondering what was missing and whether I truly and wholly shared her sentiment, fearing to hurt her feelings and yet determined to say what was on my mind when it came. Trees! There were no trees. I think that’s where I realized where my pet therapeutic love lay.

My recent working trip to Kaduna brought me close to a world that I love so much. Because the movie I was working on there was set in the seventies, I had to grow a pair of sideburns that my manager Nkem thought hideous – I’ll try and see if I can upload the pictures on this page, we had to choose locations that would depict the sane genteel urban setting of the time. A time when houses where built to specifications which followed orientations of cross ventilation and sun settings during the day – thanks Nse! (he’s my architect friend, had to call him up to coin it for me so I don’t look stupid), and compounds had trees surrounding them completely eliminating the need for air-conditioning. It breaks my heart when I see fine and sometimes unnecessarily monstrous buildings on a sizeable plot of land, only to have the rest of the available space obliterated by slabs of ugly concrete; no greenery of any kind allowed! The adage, Money miss road rings so true in these apologies for places of abode. One of the locations we sought out was a fairly large compound with a colonial style bungalow in the middle. It wasn’t very large- probably about four bedrooms big – and had a low slung roof and was wonderfully surrounded by lots and lots of mango and Dongoyaro trees which gave it such a serene atmosphere. The harshness of the sun was cut down to a minimum, the breeze rustled through the branches, lizards darted in and out of the gnarled roots that crisscrossed all over the yard and a little bird even pooped on the top of my head from high up in the branches. Beautiful! I looked out at that sea musingly and I know I had that same illuminated look in my eyes when I turned to my friend and told her that trees were my therapeutic haven.

Like I said earlier, the journey to self discovery is a never ending one even to the point of the grave. This life, I see, is full of challenges and it behoves one to strive to make his her environment as comfortable as possible for him or herself. I believe in life after death but I also believe it is possible for every one to create his or her own heaven on earth. Being rich is not a prerequisite to creating an area of comfort. Pictures, paintings of and visits to the desired haven would suffice until one gets to ones goal. Have you made out the time to find yours? Have a great week everybody

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

If I were God

Good week everybody. I thank everyone for the wonderful reception of my Sarah mini saga. It’s nice to know people know a good thing when they see one, and while I did not have anything further to do with her nor did I harbour any special feelings for her, I wonder what would happen if I were to be married and how my wife would react were she to read my celebration of Sarah’s beauty. Well hopefully she would understand me enough not to take me too seriously on matters like this. But that is beside the point. My focus on this post is to explore our conception of beauty and what the parametres for beauty are.

I’ve often wondered how I’d define and create beauty if I were to be God. I have observed how groups of animals are created. Generally, preys have eyes on the sides of their heads giving them a peripheral view of goings on around them. They are usually able to spy predators coming up behind them aided by their usually long and upright necks. They usually have one or two young who are able to take flight just a few hours after birth. The mothers typically have two teats (adapted to breasts in humans) with which to suckle their young. Predators on the other hand have both eyes on the front of their heads to focus on their prey in front of them added to the fact that they have little need to fear any predator that may be lurking behind them. Their necks are usually short and craned forward for focus and speed. They, unlike the animals they prey upon, have upwards of four to eight young who cannot walk or fend for themselves for about six weeks or more after birth. To nurture their numerous young they are created to have four to six rows of teats giving them eight to twelve breasts in total. The obvious reasons being the sense of security surrounding them. This is where we humans come in and what I would probably do if I were God.

Now the question I ask is, in what class do we qualify, prey or predator? I think the answer is obvious; we are the most successful predators on earth and so typically, we have our eyes on the front of our heads; we have little to fear except our fellow man. Our young, when we reproduce, are utterly dependent on us and cannot walk let alone run for ten months to a year from birth giving us the ultimate invincibility status. We also reproduce them in ones, very rarely in twos and even rarer in threes, fours and fives. Would it not be logical then to conserve valuable resources of skin, muscle(in miniscule amounts if you ask me), and lactate by creating just one breast for most women, two for those who are prone to bearing twins, three for the triplet bearers and four for the quadruplets? For those with a breast, I would place them in the middle of their chest so they wouldn’t feel they are missing out on something by looking lopsided. The twin bearers, well, naturally I’d leave them as they are presently and for triplets, it’s quite simple. I’d place the third breast just above the navel so that the three babies do not necessarily have to jostle for position to feed. The quadruplets are best left to the imagination regarding how theirs are to be arranged.

Now imagine us men ogling gorgeous women on the beach or the poolside in their halter neck mono cup bikini tops. The one baby bearers looking so attractive with their protuberances of varying sizes swinging or jutting from the middle of their chests. The triplet bearers would look equally resplendent in their tri cupped tops; some in their one piece tops and others wearing two piece bras designed rather like reading glasses and a false nose fastened securely in place by two straps round the back in their bid to show off their midriffs, their third breasts looking more like outrageously distended navels or ‘outies’, beauty lying entirely at the mercy of we the beholders. Oops! Forgot I was supposed to be playing God and therefore having no business checking ladies out. The quadruplet prone mothers who insist on being skimpily dressed would probably wear their tops like suspender belts; twin cups vertically positioned, one on top of the other, on each side and showing off their sexy midriffs in one stroke. Oh, what a wonderful and logic world I’d create if I were God but, better Him than me. I’m just content with running wild with my imagination.

I apologise if this piece might come across as being sexist but I assure you that that is not the intention. The truth is men find women very attractive and women, well, make themselves very attractive making it very hard for men to shift their attention from them. This piece is mostly written to provoke us to explore our horizons on the vastness of the beauty available to us and to see things from the fun side as well. May we continually seek beauty in the strivings of our lives. Other thoughts on beauty are very welcome and I would to hear your perspective on the subject. Have a great week everyone

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sarah, The Conclusion

Another good week to all and sundry. Where did I stop last week? Ah yes! Our Sarah. Oh did I also forget to mention that that while we were standing admiring the place we also noticed a few couples seated and talking with one another. Occasionally the lady companions would beckon to the liveried waiters over and make their orders. We thought it rather strange that the men would sit back aloof while the ladies apparently bought the drinks. They also seemed to know one another as they exchanged momentary pleasantries with each other on their way to or from the conveniences. They were all elegantly dressed in evening wear as if en route to some glamourous formal evening cocktail party. All were slim, pretty and groomed. Sarah floated up to us.

She wore a pale coloured figure length evening gown that looked oriental; it covered her shoulders and her neck giving her that understated sexiness that at the same time awoke every nerve in me that is usually reserved for the fairer sex. It was perfectly seamless, having none of those irritating telltale jutting of lurking underwear beneath. She had the perfect poise: shoulders unaffectedly straight, her undulating provocative hips swaying almost imperceptibly as their mistress glided towards us with short but graceful strides, sidestepping this way and that, owing to the economy of space in the bar, offering courteous pacifying smiles to the male customers around her who seemed to want her immediate attention. She came up to our table at last and perched on the edge of a couch beside ours – mine actually, and introduced herself in flawless French – not that I could tell one way or the other, I was more interested in the movement of her lips – as Sarah, pronounced “Sar – harh” with the typical French guttural “r” rolling ever so gently at the back of her lovely throat. Begging her pardon, I leaned towards her to catch her name again, and to attach the voice to the vision beside me. She breathed it again, in a light tinkling note buttressed by the deep womanly resonance that comes with the full awareness of one’s femininity. She arched her eyebrows appreciatively when I pronounced it correctly, making me wonder if I’d get a kiss on the cheek for my efforts. I, in the broken French I could muster, asked her if she spoke any English at all as my French was very bad. She shook her head smiling apologetically but assured us that we would be well looked after, I believe that’s what she said. At that moment I wasn’t sure if I wanted to understand what she was saying; it just sounded so wonderful more so in its mystery. There is a sexiness in listening to a beautiful woman with a lovely voice speaking or singing in an unintelligible tongue. There was no limit to my listening to her but alas the reason for our presence there had to be attended to and so after a lengthy enquiry into what drinks they had, we finally settled on a bottle of Jack Daniels and its accompanying coke. She beckoned to one of the waiters standing alert unobtrusively in the corners who immediately came forward. She gave him our orders and when he left, turned back to us.

She had a small round face, with smiling cheeks one could playfully pinch or kiss. Her eyes were large, liquid and intelligent yet unfathomable apart from the smile she allowed to pass through, giving me the impression that her private life was to be kept just that. Her nose was pert and perched at the right spot allowing other features on her face to be admired. Her lips were full and looked soft with an ever ready smile lurking in the corners of her mouth. One got the impression that they rarely said anything out of turn. She was still perched on the edge of her couch, elegant long legs crossed at the ankles. The slit that ran down her gown, or is it dress, from her mid thigh, revealed smooth flawless skin and a perfectly shaped leg that was accentuated by a slender silvery anklet just above her heeled slippers. She tried to answer our questions as best as she could and from it all we gathered that she was a third year student at the local university. She augmented her income needed for her studies with her job as a hostess at the bar. Each one of the hostess’ job was to be companions to the customers, the apparent implication being to encourage them to buy as many drinks as possible. She must have caught the questioning looks on our faces because she hastily added that soliciting was strictly forbidden on the premises and her job and that of the other hostesses present was just that and nothing else.

The waiter came back with our drinks and a bucket of ice. He opened them and made to pour them for us when she stopped him. She meticulously poured and mixed our drinks for us and asked if we cared to smoke. JB said yes and she got up to get them. We weren’t sure which one to appreciate more, her approaching or retreating figure; both were sublime. She came back with the cigarettes, one of which she lit for him before lighting one for herself, and smoking it with the aid of a slender bone cigarette holder. I don’t know how long we were inside there chatting in the wonderfully relaxing atmosphere, in the company of our wonderful hostess, the stresses of the day melted from our system, but I do know we finished our bottle – Sarah allowed herself only a drink. We paid for our drinks, thanked Sarah for a wonderful evening and plastered two big ones on each of her cheeks after she saw us to the door and left happy.

I never saw her again after that night. I sometimes wondered what lay underneath that elegant inscrutable fa├žade Sarah presented the world with. She possibly could very different in the stark daylight and could well be a slovenly cantankerous nag constantly fighting neighbours over the communal clothes line in her ‘face me, I face you’ tenancy quarters in her private life but I will always remember her as that elegant lady with wonderful poise and a very gifted panache for handling men; making them feel like kings and yet not giving anything away and not making them feel cheated or manipulated in the process. This one’s for you Sarah and for the rest of you, well, have a wonderful week ahead.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sarah

Hello and a wonderful good week to everybody. I’m seated at my desk listening to my favourite music for the mood I’m in at the moment, Look and Laugh by Fela Anikulapo Kuti. His instrumentals are simply amazing. They carry with them this sort of laid back yet purposeful beat to them with the keyboard weaving intricate patterns in and out of the soul like little ribbons wrapping themselves round several little packages and stringing them together in the most complex and comprehensive beauty. I listen to him when I’m in the mood for melancholy which has the habit of evoking the fondest of memories from me. This time it makes me long for a good holiday, like the last one I shared with my friend JB a short while ago.

Our usual haunt to go to, my friends and I, when we want to take a break from it all, especially when we are on a tight budget, is to go to the neighbouring country, Benin republic, to Cotonou in particular, the commercial centre. It is such a different environment from ours here in Nigeria where the hustle and bustle is eternally at an annoyingly feverish pitch. Everyone everywhere is in a constant state of stress trying to eke out a living to find where the next meal is coming from. The rich try to grab as much as they can to shore up as much as they can for fear of reverting to the poverty they once knew while the poor in desperation, claw their way towards finding their lone meal for the day, day by day; no contentment anywhere. In Cotonou one can just sit back in an outdoor bar with a cool beer and watch the world go by at a leisurely pace. One could sense contentment in the air even amongst the poor. It is wonderful to see locals and tourists milling about together or zipping about on the local motorbike taxis – the tourists standing out because of the constant swiveling of their heads from side to side drinking in the sights, sounds and smells new to them. I am one of them and more so because I can’t speak the language, French and/or Fon – not that I am particularly bothered about my impediment. I had since learnt in Poland that one of the best ways to learn a new language in adulthood is to try chatting up a pretty lady who’s a local or do so while buying something at her shop or stall. It helps a lot if you have an open smile or a charming disposition though, if you, like me, are not particularly rich. There was one of these occasions however, that I did not bother practicing my pitiful French; when I was confronted with true beauty, however superficial.

JB and I had finished for the day. We had had lunch at our hosts’ in the country, shopped for artifacts – I’d come away with a lovely stringed drum, a leather portrait depicting a fishing village and a lovely wooden female mask – and stashed them at the hotel. For supper we went to the local Lebanese grill to grab a kebab while planning our next modus operandi. It was as we were leaving that we happed upon a nondescript bar close to our hotel. JB my friend has an uncanny knack for sniffing out joints wherever he is and naturally, it was he who spotted this one. We went in, and were pleasantly astounded. The interior looked nothing like the exterior. It looked more like a Middle Eastern sultan’s harem than a bar. It was a fair sized room, about the size of two large sitting rooms. It also had a low ceiling that was rounded off by sloping arcs at the corners, giving it a softer more intimate look. The lights were different shades of red and blue lending the room a softer rather than garish look, discreet rather than furtive. Low soft couches, cushions and pillows were strewn about the place without cluttering the room or making one stumble over them. The atmosphere was pleasantly scented with incense wafting from braziers in the corners of the room, unseen odours and colours of strange petals transporting one to exotic gardens unknown. I half expected to see hookahs or water smoking pipes beside the cushions and couches but there were none. We stood there drinking in the atmosphere, not believing our find, wondering what else our night had in store for us and contemplating where to sit when Sarah our hostess floated up to us.

Here I will have to do the unthinkable and beg to be let off as yet again my pen threatens to do a runaway again and make this post unpalatably long. But I assure you that I will complete the story of our fleeting encounter with our lovely hostess Sarah. I ask you my dear readers to please bear with me with your infinite patience until we see once again next week. Until then, do have a wonderful week everyone.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Tribute to My Dear Condom

A good week to all and sundry. Tis another week God has given us. I somehow feel the need to apologise for the dark poem I posted last week but choose not to do so on account of the fact that I did say from the onset that I would like to share my highs and lows with you my gentle folks. For who is it that calls him/herself a friend that does not share all seasons with that one he or she claims to be beholden to. Thank you for your patronage.

This week is on a lighter note and I think the title is self explanatory so there’s no need to bore you with verbose words. I have tried to make my meaning in the poem as clear as possible but the playful and mystery loving part of me keeps getting the better of me and so I end up using words that try to provoke images in colour. I was actually inspired to write this one after watching the psycho thriller Fatal Attraction where Glen Close’s character was murderously bent on ruining Michael Douglas’ character’s life. The startling thing about it was that I was physically( okay maybe mentally, but the fact is I was there) there with him when he was having raw blissful sex with Glen on the kitchen sink and in the elevator to later on became chillingly aware of the consequences of my previous five minute stints as she boiled his family bunny. This is my humble attempt at a poetic fatal attraction. Enjoy!


My brother, my friend,
My protector, my armour.
Thou protectest my head as thou leadst
Me into the dark cloying passages
Of joy
And of mystery.
The viscous and the vicious loomed out
Of their ambush.
The walls like octopi closed in and engulfed me.
Back and forth and grunting,
Cross eyed,
A bemused smile
Fixed across my face,
I struggled to extricate myself
But two steely vice entwined themselves
Around my back.
Finally, with spasmodic convulsions I spewed
Millions of lives
Which you held in check.
Thank you my raincoat
For protecting me from the acid rain.
I come out dry and safe
From painful pees
And sharply braked education
With two lives in my hands
In the startled bondage
Of an unhappy marriage.


That’s all folks so please do have a great week everyone.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Arcade

I sit staring at the white screen
In search of words to write.
I search for what to right
In this desolate screen
I call my life.

Heavy footsteps thud across my heart,
Ever upon me
But never seeming to recede.
I look at the bright sun rays flooding the room
And see only darkness.
Hope is such a fearful thing to touch
When I cannot even see my hands.

The heart is such a lonely place to be
Because it’s all mine
And mine only.
All may come in
But only I may come out.

I drink thirstily of Your word
In the desperate hope that
Your seedlings may shoot forth.
Alas, the desolate sands of my heart
Remain just that.
I stare at the opaque walls around me,
Plastered with the smudges of my palms
And take comfort in the knowledge that
I hold You prisoner
In this arcade You created.
I’ll grab hold of the only part of You
That I can grapple;
Your feet,
To be dragged along
The length and breadth
Of this entombed space
Until YOU give up.
Other pastures I know not.
Nor others do I wish to know
Save this Breast I suckled
From childhood,
At which Breast I will flourish.
You wish to drag me outside
For all the world see?
Fine!
Let them scoff at the embarrassment
Latched to Your feet.
Let them laugh
At Your ward’s trust
As a request for bread
Is turned to stone.
A prayer for fish,
Turned to snakes.
In this grim game,
I am the madman.
And You,
The Relative.

Have a great week everybody. I feel better now.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Petrified

A good week to everyone once again. I know what I want to talk about this week but I’m not sure how to go about putting it down. This is probably because I know little or nothing about the subject even though I sojourned at the subject’s home a long while ago – children.

My very close encounter with this incredible specie came for the first time in the past weekend when my very dear friend Dekunle came to Nigeria spend to celebrate his mother’s 70th birthday in Lagos. He came with his family: his wife and two young sons aged one and two and a half. Having not seen him in almost a year, I naturally went to spend the weekend at his house. We, our circle of friends; Dekunle, JB and Lamide hung out, as is our custom, at his, despoiling platters of suya, grilled chicken and yes, quaffed copious amounts of liquor amidst raucous jest and laughter. Mostly throwing jibes at one another especially JB whose turn it was to be the butt our jokes this time around owing to his usual tall tales. This time, when we asked him why his car was so badly smashed in front, he told us he smashed it against his gate in a rush to get home so he wouldn’t blow his head gasket because his engine was overheating. We all knew that the road to his house was so bumpy anything above 3km/h would be breakshock speed. His car would have to travel at speeds of at least 40km/h to effect the kind of damage inflicted on it and we hounded him mercilessly with this theory until at last, in exasperation, he stalked off much to our glee. But JB my spoilt silver spooned brat friend is not the subject of my post today but Dekunle’s George and Tim, and David their cousin.

I was partially given charge over George, Tim and David, their cousin, for a substantial part of the weekend by their parents. I think what was more daunting for me was that it wasn’t so much as cleaning up after them that was my task, which I hardly did, as it was that Dekunle seemed to want me to be a part of the boys’ upbringing in their formative years. This I found the harder of the two tasks as I found myself watching the boys’ every move, their motivations, their motor skills, the ways they tackled different challenges that presented themselves to them. Like I said, George is two and a half years old, Tim just a year old and David four. Before this time I had a wariness of children especially from infancy to the toddler stage, I wouldn’t say morbid, but it was paralyzing all the same. I always pictured them as eternally screaming tearaways who seemed perpetually bent on putting themselves in harm’s way, pooping all over the place, smashing everything in sight and putting a permanent end to their parents’ peace and independence until they (the parents) were too old to enjoy anything they would ordinarily have done in their youth. I slowly began to see the reward loving parents have in the midst of all this ‘chaotic’ behaviour.

Because I couldn’t just let them be, just in case they curiously stuck their fingers in an electric socket or pulled a television set unto their delicate heads, I had to keep them within sight and engage them in play, conversation, admonish them when necessary and encourage them when tackling a problem. I slowly and surely began to see their individual personalities begin to unfold as they played, fought, tried to get my attention. I began to see which one was the most focused, which one was the most caring, which one was the most cunning and instinctively found myself working out how best to strengthen each child’s weaker point while administering the same love to all, which was the main thing I found they thrived on. It was like watching a budding flower unfold; it was simply beautiful. Suddenly all the wahala (trouble) children are known for simply paled to insignificance in the face of this wonderful potential to be cultivated and harvested. I found myself thinking of what games to play with them, what lessons to teach them, what things to shield them from and such like. What was even more miraculous was the blueprint was already there from birth to be worked on, A blueprint that even a half witted but loving parent could, with dedication, mould the child into the most wonderful swan (if I may be permitted to use this figure of speech) ever to be with the best of them. Their propensity for learning was simply astounding. They soaked up knowledge like the desert does water.

I could go on and on but space and good sense dictates that I be frugal with my words. I desperately hope that I have managed to share some of this glow that warms my heart with such hope, faith and love. And I am not being syrupy here – I absolutely hate soppy syrupy stuff. This is the manly me saying, “Hm, it wouldn’t be bad at all going for this stuff”, and if I hear any “Awwww, that is so sweet!” from anybody, I’ll crack that person’s skull! Now I understand why and how children are such a blessing, why they are our future, our reward and why we must not be just biological parents to them but really be their guide to their future. Just a few hours of concentrated attention devoted to them will make all the difference. Sadly I have to stop here or risk writing a thesis but I leave in the hope that I have shared something of my experience. Have a blessed week everyone!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SWEET HEMLOCK

Good week everyone! I was going through some of my family pictures the other day and with a wistful smile paused at my late father’s photograph. This particular one he had taken when he had just received his doctorate degree with my four year old self perched on his knee with a quizzed look on my face, probably wondering why I was asked to sit still and look at the mechanical eye staring at me. I remembered the admonition my father used to instruct me with when I’d actively begun appreciating the female form. I was in my last year of secondary school and my ever tidying mother had found some irreverent pictures of women in various forms of undress. My ears, while being too old to be pulled, knew no rest for the best part of a fortnight – a larger percentage of the assault being from my mother. My father in very few words, at four o’clock in the morning, that time most old school parents feel their words sink into their children’s obstinate heads the most, instructed me on the evils of chasing after vagrant women (as he called it) because they were the downfall of would be great men.- a heavy robe he had hung on my broad shoulders from childhood, one I have come to appreciate.

I, as all teenagers are born to do, rebelled (passively of course) against my dad’s instructions. I saw it as him being a spoilsport, and my opinion was enhanced by my uncles’ tales of my dad’s escapades with the fairer sex before he got married to my mother. I wrote this poem in university in my third year with a smile of mischief playing on my lips as I put pen to paper. I want to share with you my thoughts then and hope you’ll enjoy it. Have a great week ahead. Cheerio!


Never again a woman will I chase!
For the evils that abide within
Are such that have no depths.
Eve to Adam
And the fall of Mankind!
But ooooh…
What bliss lies therein the secrets of woman?
Those breasts
Those buttocks
Those thighs
That…
So sweet, so intoxicating, so comforta-
No!
Never!
I shall be wise!
Solomon fell!
Samson fell!
I refuse to be beguiled!
But then…
Sweet is the fall caused by women
For bloodless is the fall.
Like opiated sleep it is.
Retrospect shall now I
On the moonlit blanket beneath which we lay,
Freda and I,
As we writhed and…
Oooh!
Truly, sweet and sour
Is the weapon of a woman.

Copyright Notice (©): All poetry, photography, art work and images appearing on this blog page- Kalu Ikeagwu Blog Spot- may not be reproduced, reprinted or retransmitted or altered in any form without the express written consent from the author. Individual poems/pieces remain the copyright of the poet/writer appearing and the poet holding the copyright must be contacted prior to any use of such said work.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Calabar For Real This Time 2

They sat (Good week everyone!) down beside us. They were both on the full side, size wise, not fat, just full. One was light in complexion and the other dark and both were good looking in a hard sort of way. The fair complexioned lady, who seemed to be the more dominant of the two, looked to be in her thirties or a very matured mid twenties and had a set smile on her lips and an even more set look in her eyes. She sat at my left and leaned precariously towards me while her partner sat at the other side of X. Leaning forward to put away the serviette I’d just wiped my hands with, I caught sight of her chest under her open necked shirt, and discreetly paused to take a closer look. Half the vee of her chest that was revealed was covered in a mass of tight hairy curls. The odd thing was that she seemed oblivious to this ‘anomaly’ and instead seemed to flaunt it, promising furrier delights underneath to those for whom it was a preference. We took pictures with them and went into the ward to complete the scenes we had left. When we came out four hours later we saw to our surprise, the two ladies seated calmly right outside the ward, waiting. The fair fuzzy lady had the same set smile on her lips, and eyes, looking like she would never take no for an answer no matter what harsh or derogatory words she’d be assailed with.

We greeted them and walked past to our car. Fortunately for us, we had been given one of the props, an SUV, to drive about with since Calabar was a relatively safe and quiet city which was quite convenient for us as we could move about at night as we pleased - never mind that we didn’t get the chance to utilize this rare gift. Our dilemma started when we realized we had no clue on how we were to make our way back to the hotel. The main crew wasn’t done with their location shots and so couldn’t accompany us. We were scratching our heads over what to do when two angels of mercy came from nowhere to rescue us from our maze – yes, our very ladies in waiting. See, it does pay to be kind and accommodating. They had a car of their own and asked us where we were headed. We told them our hotel was in Asari Eso road just near the airport and they exclaimed they knew the place; it was
‘right’ near where they lived, so we spat in our palms, shook hands in agreement (just kidding) and set off behind them. As we drove on we began to discuss what their motives could possibly be and I stated the obvious; they probably wanted to cuddle us to sleep. We then fell into an argument about which one of us was their target and I teased X to take a chance. The ladies weren’t bad looking, they wanted him and made no bones about it, plus he had curly hair to nestle into – that evoked a cry of panic from him. We looked around to see if there were any landmarks we could recognize so we could veer off the beaten track and escape to safety but there were none. We meekly followed; and then God intervened.

There was a police checkpoint ahead of us and they let the ladies pass; we weren’t so ‘lucky’. Our vehicle had no number plates, was a luxury SUV, had tree male occupants – the still photographer was with us, all potent ingredients for armed robbery suspects. We were pulled to the side and had torchlights shone in our faces and then an exclamation, “Na you? And you! I know una now! Una dey act film!” We smiled and said hello to them and after a little banter about what we came to Calabar for and pleasantries they let us go. To our relief we found the ladies’ car was nowhere in sight and better still, we were familiar with the area. We zoomed off and spotted their car waiting in a side street nearby. X didn’t need me to tell him what to do. He stepped on the accelerator and I was hurled back in the seat I espied their car reversing onto the main road through the side mirror. It was a race back to the hotel and as soon as we got to our street X leaned on the horn and we blared our way to the hotel gates. The foolish gateman obviously had more important or no – thing(s) on his mind because he drowsily opened the gates thirty seconds later, by which time the ladies had caught up with us. Cursing, X drove maniacally into the compound, jumped out of the car without bothering to turn the engine off and ran into his suite – the judas – leaving me all alone to contend with them! I turned off the engine, locked the car and walked up to them and thanked them for their help. They pooh poohed my gratitude insisting it was their pleasure to be of help and then Fair asked me if I wanted to go out for a drink or if I wanted to stay up and chat a little while. I told them I was smashed and had an early day the next day. They told me they’d be back the next day. True to their word, not only did they turn up, they also got “waka pass” roles in the project we were working on. Suffice it to say it had nothing to do with X or me.

Here almost ends my tale about my trip. There’s so much more to write but it would probably turn into a soap opera by the time I’m done; this story alone has been stretched a little bit. I think it’s a good thing to be on the lookout for events or people that could turn into wonderful or interesting memories to us that will make us remember them and smile. I think this is the difference between living a relaxed and fulfilling life and living a stress filled one full of bitterness. There’s always something to carry away from every experience we go through no matter how drab. Let’s lighten our load by stashing away memories we can pull out in future to laugh at with our loved ones. Have a great week everyone and thanks for being patient with me.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Calabar for real this time...

Truth be told, I went to work in Calabar to get away from it all. To be in a place were life is leisurely, listen to the locals thrillingly mystify me with their singsong encrypted Efik tongue, enjoy their neat town and, well much else – touch nose. Alas I played the lead role in the project I was working in and had no time whatsoever to myself except to sleep. Be that as it may, drama still managed to find its way into my tight schedule right where I was on set. God, why do You have to follow me everywhere I go?

Good week to everyone. It’s about 10am on Wednesday and Nkem my manager is hopping mad at me – to use her Americana lingo – for being late. Yes I know as a business woman she has to do things right on schedule but I at the same have to write about things that are real to me. If it does not connect with me I simply cannot write. I just freeze and remain there with a blank look. Sometimes I go inside my head with a torch looking in every rounded corner of the cavernous space for something to grab and run out to the keyboard with. Sometimes she just doesn’t understand. I love her though; she does look after me very well. You see what I go through for you guys?!! Just kidding; you are the best.

It was in the second week of our work there and we just had about four more days to get to the end of the production. That day had been dedicated to all the hospital scenes in the script and we had found a very good location on the outskirts of the town. It was small but very welcoming. Everywhere had the characteristic neatness, cleanliness and tidiness the Efiks are known for. The staff was very friendly and we soon settled in comfortably to get to work. I was working there with two very notable artists and the news of our coming soon filtered out to the local community and hordes of people came to see us especially one of the other two I will call X, for the benefit of those of you who are familiar with algebra. Most of the adoring fans were kept outside but some, probably those with whom the staff were familiar, managed to wangle their way into the premises. One of them, a young impressionable lady of about eighteen or nineteen, was simply dressed in a tee shirt and a pair of jeans. She wore no makeup and flirted outrageously with X. He, in his typical ebullient manner, was very accommodating and friendly to her and everyone else, whom she saw as competition. After a short while, she got up and left the place and came back with a significantly altered look. She was dressed in a new tee shirt and wore heavy makeup on her face. Her hair was not to be left out of the loop as it was let down to sprawl over her shoulders and she kept twiddling at it as she batted her lashes at him faster than a high speed camera’s shutter. We were to tease X mercilessly after the incident but we little knew the best was yet to come.

We had just finished six scenes and decided to take a break wherein the producer, X and I decided to have something local, something bukaish (roadside restaurants), oh I just love them! Sorry where was I? Ah yes, we sent one of the PAs to order for fried yam and plantain with tomato stew and as soon as it arrived we fell upon it with great gusto after offering a cursory invitation to the people in the reception which was declined. We were licking our chops when two more ladies walked in and wedged themselves between us without much preamble. We looked at one another and looked at them. Sensing their manners might not have been interpreted as cordial, they apologized and asked if they could take a photograph with us while at the same beckoning the still photographer round to come take the picture. We, nonplussed, agreed in the hope that, satisfied they would leave us alone…

Sorry guys but I’m going to have to stop here because this tale will take up a lot more space than usual and I wouldn’t want it to become to tedious for you. Be rest assured that I will complete it next week so in the meantime have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Battle of the Bulge

Hi and a great week to all and sundry. My back is almost breaking from the grueling work I’ve done today but it has been full of fun and stress. One thing I have to say is I know that when this film comes out I dare not show it to my mum. I don’t care how brave I am or will be in future there is no way I can stand up to my mother with what I did on set yesterday. Actually I did a couple o very raunchy scenes which I don’t know what the editor’s going to do with. But that is gist for another day. Today is what I promised to dish up two weeks ago and that is about Calabar.

I’d love to say Calabar was exciting and all, and that I sampled every local cuisine there was to offer but alas, it was work I went there for and every waking hour there was, was completely dedicated to work. The cast and crew were so wonderful and most of us worked as a tea… You know what the truth is? I’m struggling to resist talking about food as I have had so many jibes from my friends, old and new, over my fixation with ‘food’. I want to make one thing very very clear. I love good food and not food – there’s a difference! The former is simply poetry while the latter is just the run of the mill stuff. Sometimes I wonder and then opine that maybe I should marry someone who’s a terrible cook. That way I’d hate to eat and stay slim. What I’m struggling with is where my priorities lie; my mouth or my tummy. I’m now at the stage where everything I eat goes straight to increasing my girth or widening the spread of my bottom. It is no longer a subtle approach but a full fledged battle of the bulge. I now call my rear guard buddy ‘broadband megahertz’ in a desperate attempt to continually remind myself of the relentless onslaught of Mr Fat. I can’t eat my beloved pounded yam or akpu (fufu) anymore. Rather I go searching for healthier alternatives like tofu, soya extracts and suchlike supplements to replace my addiction to swallow food. My metabolism rate has dropped twice this year alone and every little thing I eat goes straight to the pantry for storage. If I don’t eat, trouble, I become so dizzy and I immediately wear the look of one who’s just trekked across the desert. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t! it wasn’t always like this.

As a teenager, my motto was ‘ Kama nri g’adoro n’ite, ka o doro n‘afo!’ Meaning, food is better placed in the tummy than in the pot. I could eat! I could wolf down a family sized loaf of bread, chug a jug of ovaltine beverage before jogging over to my friend’s house three streets away. I ate in one meal then what would take me two days to eat today and I was still as thin as the space between prison bars. I think most of what I ate then was put into making me grow from a runt of just 5 feet at fifteen to a dizzying 6”2” by age seventeen. Thank you my Lord. Someone once told about some native fetish or magic spell that could make one eat and the food would be diverted straight to the stomachs of those seated around him. While I may doubt the veracity of that claim, I can’t but think about it sometimes and then with a sigh bend down to pick up my jump rope to begin my dreary routine of 600 jumps. I hope, no, I pray (I’m very serious Lord) that it will be a very very long time before my best buddy - the one downstairs - gets tired of eating. Say, another fifty years? Please? Thank you!

Calabar? Ah yes Calabar. That, once again, is still a topic to be snatched at another day. Have a great week ahead folks and I love you guys!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Rat Race

I am sitting in my hotel room at five in the morning trying to meet the deadline of this morning’s post. I’m still shivering from the experience of my last scene which was spent in a swimming pool frolicking with a buxom lass. Loads of fun you might think, and yes it may have been so if one were to take away the fact that the gorgeous lady in the picture had been at work all day long, trundled through the rush hour traffic, take away the fact that mosquitoes armed with straws were stocking up their blood reserves from our unprotected bodies and that I was dreading Nkem’s wrath if I failed to make the deadline for this morning’s post. It was fun in the end for the short while it lasted though. We romped about and I had gleeful fun throwing her in the air and dunking Sylvia in the water getting her wig soaked much to her giggling indignation – it was hers and not the costumier’s. I drove back to the hotel clad in just my wet trunks with Sylvia beside me hoping to be pulled over at the ubiquitous police checkpoints. We both mused over what explanation we’d give them. No she was clothed, anything otherwise would have been stretching it a bit far. Sadly there was none. And now to this week’s topic, which is where I’ll crave your infinite patience. Patience because I want to apologize for my sporadic posting of late because of the work load I have at present. I want to let you know however that this blog and you my readers are foremost on my mind. Chiefly so because I get to air all my views, silly and serious, and also have an audience to share them with, making you invaluable to me. Please indulge my shortcomings. Thanks..

Okay, this one’s on the brighter side of life and not to be taken seriously but then again, who knows? I’d just finished a grueling day’s shoot and was hanging out with my colleagues in camp quite late into the night, past midnight. We were too tired to eat, I hadn’t eaten for the best part of the day. I decided to sit out with them and wind down slowly with idle chat when suddenly a huge rat emerged from a nearby gutter and scurried across the yard.. One of my colleagues, Lizzy, screamed and jumped out of her chair. Everyone began complaining animatedly about the menace of rats in the area and how difficult they were to eradicate; and then it occurred to me in a flash! Grinning mischievously I turned to them and told them I had the perfect solution to end the scourge.

The one thing that brings about scarcity, raises the value of a commodity is good old demand. I asked to them to paint a picture in their minds where there was absolute famine in the land and there was nothing to eat let alone meat. I asked them to then imagine having our little, sorry, huge furry well fed rodents skewered on a spit over an open fire roast, three at a time, all garnished with garlands of red peppers and onion rings and glistening with sizzling dripping oil. Would they be so vile then? Not only would these vermin’s status be raised to desirable, they would disappear in an instant! Why are diamonds so far out of our reach? Because they are desirable. Therefore it follows that the only way a problem, in this case the form of a creature, can be eliminated is by desiring it. Quad erat demonstratum. I probably will be pooh poohed over this unique school of thought but hey, no knowledge is wasted! If nothing else, it is already on record that Kalu has an opinion about something. Ha!

It’s 9am now and my shutters are getting the better of me. I’m going to catch a little nap before I dive into that mad traffic heading home. What to do when I get there: see if there’s anything to eat in the fridge, go to the mechanic’s, fix Betty’s brakes, post this piece, er, what else? Pack my stuff for Wednesday, no, call the cleaning lady, then… I don’t know, I’m going to bed so erm, I guess it’s goodnigh sorry good morning everyone. Have a great week ahead. God, I love it when it gets to this part! Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

On a Rainy Day...

Sniff sniff , snuffle snuffle and a good week to everyone out there. I just broke down with a cold from a combination of a typically rainy Calabar weather and the almost sleepless nights spent working. Thank God I didn’t have to pull any stunts on set this time around. I am desperately looking for anything loaded with vitamin C before my condition gets worse.

It did get worse because I write this section six days after I wrote the first paragraph. I’ve been like a middle aged woman going through the tumultuous hot flushes of menopause. One minute I’m baking hot, desperately reaching for the air conditioning knob and the next, snapping it off. Right now my concentration, as my flu abates, is to be very careful when clearing my throat or laughing out loud in public, lest a gob of phlegm rockets out of my throat unto someone’s face or mouth. I am in Port Harcourt now. This means that I have been in the South South region of the country for close to three weeks now. The longest I’ve spent in this part of the country. The rains here are unbelievable! If I were to compute the total sun hours there have been in the period I’ve been here I would come up with less than ten. The rest, night and day, rain! Rain, rain, rain. Oh and, the rain just increased fourfold as I type now. I’d love to say I hate it, especially with the cold it’s just given me, but I love it. It seems to give it a character of its own and its inhabitants are in perfect harmony with it. It has a sort of cleansing quality to it and seems to bring out the vibrancy in its people. I know I’m sounding rather like one narrating a documentary but it is true. I feel very reluctant to leave this city but a guy gorra work for im bread so… It is a nice place. Had to wear a fisherman’s hat most of the time though 'cause… ahem!

Right now I’m seated at my cousin’s desk, he’s self employed, ravishing a breakfast of bole( grilled plantain) and fish in palm oil tomato and pepper sauce. Hm! What can I say? For those who haven’t tried this simple yet sumptuous ‘poor man’s’ meal, chai! Please, try it, spoil yourself a little; you deserve it, honestly, you do. I tear open the plastic bags in which my feast is ensconced, letting out the trapped clouds of steam and dive straight for the shy succulent grilled yellow skewered plantain halves puckering up at me, desperately trying to hide in the dark recesses of the folded plastic. Deftly I catch one, looking longingly at all the other pieces I’ll be devouring in a few seconds, mop up as much sauce as I can, remembering to save some for the others, and cram it into my mouth closing my eyes and waiting for the searing heat of the crunchy red peppers and the steaming morsel, both fighting for supremacy over who will be the hotter. My eyes and nose smart in acknowledgement to the fiery delight below as they run down my cheeks in salty unison. The juicy tartness of the semi ripe plantain suddenly awakens me as my teeth mash the soft flesh asunder opening them up to more wanton ravishing… And I’m not onto the fish yet. Hmmm! Bole and fish. Try it Port Harcourt style.

I had agreed with Nkem to write a piece about my work in Calabar but I was afraid of losing the magic I’m experiencing in this city and decided to capture as much of it as I could. I will write about my time in Calabar next week so please bear with me. The dank weather of the South South region of the country with its incessant rains has exacted its toll on my body but it has given me much more than it has taken. It’s nice to appreciate a place for what it is, to seek to know why its people love it so much and then perhaps one can go away learning something different to take away with him and add a little more colour to his life. Have a great week everyone

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Shadow

A loud and cheery good week to all. I’m feeling some sense of accomplishment at the moment. Elation because I have found another avenue to express in some way how I feel and also share with people around me my feelings and thoughts however absurd they may seem to be. This is probably the third month of my writing this post and each is just as challenging as the first one I started off with, if not more. Truly, the adage that goes, “One is only as good as one’s last job,” rings so true in this post I try write every week. I start off agonizing over what to write about, and when I settle upon it, struggle through the post, trying to put in words the beauty, humour or passion and experience that’s in my heart, handicapped by my limited vocabulary, and then wait with bated breath to see how my post is received. I once remarked to a friend that the written language is one of the most primitive means of expression there is and there is no better proof of this observation than what I go through writing this. I think the hardest thing for me to do is to maintain my resolve to write only things that are heartfelt and are real to me. To do otherwise would to me, be tantamount to writing a lie, and that I cannot afford. Thank you so much everyone who supports me and deigns to read what I write – you are my greatest accolade ever! Anyway, enough of this gibberish and on to the main thing I want to write about this week, my earliest memory.

I once had an argument with a friend of mine over who had the better memory. I, ably representing my brothers in bragging rights, put my opponent to the test challenging him to let us use our earliest memories as the yardstick for whose was the superior. He managed to conjure up memories dating back to the time he was five years old, I, ten months old! I know it seems laughable but it is true. I know it is because my mother told me I learnt to walk when I was ten months old and I had my experience when I knew I couldn’t walk! I remember the incident vividly because that was the first time I knew what the fear of being alone was.

I remember being alone in a room on a bed with a pleated quilt, as I know it be now. It was lit up by a light shining high above my head and I looked at the little birds flying all over the wall wondering where they all went to and why I couldn’t pluck them from the wall no matter how much I tried to grab at them . I crawled along the quilt with the birds meaning to find out where all of them were headed - they all seemed to fly in one direction. It was then I noticed the presence of another. It was a dark figure, almost the same size as me bur unlike anyone I’d seen before. It had no eyes or mouth I could see but seemed to have ears that I could recognize. Playfully I called out to it but it didn’t reply me. I reached out to it and it did too, touching my hand. I called out to it again but it still remained silent. Becoming bored of its muteness, I crawled off to continue with my investigation of my birds’ destination and it followed me. I stopped; it stopped too! Irritated with its tenacity I screamed at it to leave me alone if it wasn’t going to play properly and made for the opposite direction; it still followed me. Observing its dark figure more closely it slowly began to dawn on me that there might be more to this strange being than met the eye. It had no features that I could recognize save for its form that was very like mine and was eerily present where my mother was absent! In a panic I crawled to the edge of the bed and to my dismay, I could go no further as the bed was too high for me to clamber down to the floor. Bawling, I doubled back to the other end frantically trying to get away form this mysterious being but it adamantly followed my every move and I couldn’t get past the edges of the bed whichever way I went. It was a total frenzy of bawling and whirling this way and that in a total panic when I was suddenly scooped up by the strong arms of my mum. Almost instantly soothed, I nuzzled into the safe haven of my mummy’s soft neck and smell that I knew so well as that little monster, the little birds and the bed receded into nothingness.

Of course I never told my friend this. Me, tell him how a grown man like me ran from his shadow? Tufiakwa! God forbid! It’s funny how scary life or challenges in life can be when you’re alone. It’s also scary how daunting life can be without a mentor, guide and protector. We seek daily to indemnify our lives as well as our loved ones’ and our environment against the unknown that we perceive to be constantly prevailing against us. The inherent fear of abandonment we are born with first manifests itself when we, as infants, cling to our parents seeking our sense of security in their loving care. This craving stays with us throughout our lives prompting us to sate its appetite in all ramifications, good or bad. Perhaps this is why most of us seek partners for lifelong companionship and a deity to believe in and to be guided by. May we see our shadows for what they are and not what our fear of the unknown tries to exaggerate them to be. Have a great week ahead everyone.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Aspiring Poet

Tis a good and merry week everybody.
The torrid rains’ fervency has abated somewhat,
The shy sun starts to peek from behind the curtains,
The plantlings have some respite.
Farmers breathe,
And a bumper year comes hither to us all.

My humble attempt at a poem, but then again a poem is what one makes it to be, n’est ce pas? Poems for me are one of the scariest things to write. I always feel like a pretender trying to call myself a poet anytime I try to embark on one. I feel as an English Literature graduate, I am supposed to know everything about poetry and yet I get stumped whenever I try to write the damned thing. I just sit there staring at the blank paper or screen not knowing where to start; my mind befuddled with a jumbled kaleidoscope of tools I should employ: rhyme, metre, hyperbole, metaphor, compressed yet pregnant words, in short anything that will make me look clever. If my mind still remains blank then I, like everyone before me has done, employ the use of nature. I stare at the skies, looking for some pattern in the clouds, or listen for bird calls or observe chickens as they scratch about for food and I’m occasionally rewarded with some spark of inspiration. The trouble is, by the time I look down on the paper to begin to write, the image vanishes and I have start all over again or throw my pen away in frustration. Even when I turn to the poems of the greats: Soyinka, Yeats, Milton et al, I only get the messages they try to convey through textbooks that analyze their works. Resigned, I brand myself a dolt who is but a pretender to the profession. It was not always like this.

I was admitted to the grand citadel of learning called the University of Nigeria, Nsukka with great expectations for myself. One whole year of ardent study under the stern tutelage of my uncle after a failed bid to exceed the cut off point required to gain entry into the department of my choice had armed me with a considerable grasp of the literary tools for expression. Not only was I ready to easily understand sister phrases to such famous quotes as “the child is the father of man” and “the pen is mightier than the sword”, but I was ready to invent priceless nuggets of my own. I attacked my first poetry course, “Introduction to Poetry 101” with great gusto, absorbing everything I could: imagery, metaphor and such like. I was in heaven. I especially enjoyed the delightful satire in Alexander Pope’s mock epic, The Rape of the Lock and Homer’s narrative Iliad. My grades never went below A-. All this was plain sailing until an incident happened that would change my passion for poetry.

It was the first semester of my second year and the professor handling our poetry class had come out with handouts on the course for sale to all who cared to buy them. The class representative, a friend of the lecturer, was given the responsibility selling the material. One morning, my friends and I were waiting for a lecture at our usual ‘bad boys’’ spot; the back benches when Basil, the class rep came to us with a stricken look on his face. Concerned, we asked him what the matter was to which he lamented that the entire batch handouts he had been given had been stolen. He didn’t know what to tell the professor and he was in such an agitated state that we did what we could to help. We asked everyone in the class if they had seen anything and all said no. I then suggested that those of us who could afford it, should pitch in some money and give him to lessen his culpability. We did what we could and Basil was very grateful to us for our efforts. The incident was forgotten until the next morning when Basil came to tell me the professor wanted to see me in his office. I went with him thinking I was going to be graded for a paper I’d handed in the week before. To my astonishment, the professor began to ask me what I knew about the missing handouts. In shock I turned to Basil and asked him to explain what the lecturer meant by the question and to tell him what lengths I had gone to help him out of his predicament. It was like hitting a brick wall. As far as they were concerned, I was the culprit no matter how much I argued. At the end of that semester I got an E in the poetry exams. I never went to the professor’s class again.

I’m now older and wise enough to know that I shouldn’t let anyone, for whatever reason, dissuade me from my passions in life. I still stare uncomprehendingly at many poems I see, and have long since given up trying to seem intellectual about it all. I do not understand Soyinka’s or Yeats’ or Milton’s works hoha (period). I can’t fear anybody! I have found I am more suited to writing narrative poems that tell stories so I can comfortably shoot from the heart instead of the head. I write about things I like, and write mischievously when the fancy takes me. I write whenever I want to, whatever I want to and however I want to. I am very content with being the irreverent poet who has little regard for metre, rhyme and lines in his works thank you very much!

As I sit propped at my top
Waiting for the words to pop
Nothing seems to drop
So I let my eyelids droop!

Have a wonderful week everyone

Friday, July 17, 2009

Apologies for non posting

Hello folks, many apologies for the non posting this week. Have been caught up in circumstances beyond my control. The next posting should be on schedule on tuesday next week. I will also be available for chat on my fanbook website on the same day. Details and time to be furnished tomorrow. In the meantime here's a short poem I wrote a while ago for your perusal.

TO MY TRUE LOVE

My Sweet
My Sour
My Bitter
Lay me by your bosom that
I may abide in you and you I
For the rest of my days.
Night and day you entice and
Flush out my most conservative desires.
When I was ill you coaxed me
I rejected you.
When I was vexed you coaxed me
I rejected you .
Save only God, you are the most intimate
With my insides.
When we kiss, you tickle the feminine fancy
Of my tongue as you entwine yourselves
In serpentine romance.
When we kiss you excite the masculine aggression
Of my teeth, and jaws as you grind and chomp yourselves
In wild abandon.
My oesophagus like the temple of a woman
Enfolds and guides you down to my stomach
In warming slickness.
And aaahhh…
Oh that another dish of Eba and Edikangikong
Were by my side that we could commence our romance
All over again.
Ooooh
My darling!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nse

A charming week to everyone and welcome to a new month. Gosh, it’s already the second half of the year and I can’t but wonder what I’ve accomplished so far. I started out the year setting up a number of resolutions and goals I hoped to attain by the year’s end. Some I have met and most I am yet to meet. Naturally this assessment brings with it the attendant feelings of depression and some sense of foreboding. A gnawing worry about what’s coming round the corner tempts me to just let life take its course until the numerous things I want to achieve compel me to run through its blind gauntlet. Sometimes I wonder whether this is all what life is about; to set goals in order to achieve them. Is it to experience the exhilaration of accomplishment or the depression of failure to spur us to strive to reach for more? I ask because even when we achieve what we want, we soon become bored and soon begin to hunger for more, much like the graveyard. What then, I ask, is real achievement or real success? For me, there’s no other person that embodies the answers to those questions than my dear friend Nse. He is the goodliest, if I may be permitted to use that word, man I have known.

Nse reminds me of Jesus because of his very simplistic nature while at the same time one of the most intelligent people I know. He is friendly to all and judges no one. He lives life by the day and concentrates on every hour each day has to offer and yet saves for the rainy day. On a typical day at work, Nse ‘terrorizes’ everyone, he’s an architect, with his camera, looking for whom to catch off guard in the most undignified positions possible. If it’s not a colleague fast asleep at his or her desk, it’s a startled picture of another one about to shovel amala with fingers dripping with gbegiri soup into the mouth only for him to dart in with another picture of the embarrassed and or enraged victim trying to ward him off with soup soiled fingers. I know because I have been his victim on many occasions and have had the indignity of having some of those pictures posted on facebook. He preys mostly on the introverts; he brings unwanted attention to them by constantly introducing them to new people, ostentatiously extolling their virtues to all within earshot but makes sure it is in familiar territory to the victim. He teases people incessantly and the most annoying thing is that he is relentless in all his mischief. The best way I would describe this wonderful pest God sent to ‘torture’ us- his enclave of friends- would be to use the igbo idiom; nwere nwere n’iru, gwompiti n’azu, which I loosely translate as, ‘serene as a lake when observed but gambols about like a colt once one’s back is turned!’. Nse would, when we his friends try to unmask him in the presence of strangers, put on a cherub like face only to make the most hideous faces at us once the unsuspecting sap turns away. And yet in all this he still remains genuinely attentive to all his friends’ needs in times of trouble.

I had gone to visit Nse some weeks ago after a very long spell. We hadn’t seen each other for quite a while and I was feeling rather guilty that I hadn’t bothered calling him to ask how he was. It was one of those times when I wasn’t particularly feeling on top of the world and wasn’t feeling very productive either. I wanted a friend I could unburden myself to – he’s one person I never have to put up a veneer of well being for. He was home, at work on a project that was due for submission the next day but he put that aside and sat down with me to some green tea and honey. We chatted for a while and of course he teased me about my ‘numerous girlfriends’ disguised as my fans, asking me when I was going to pick one and settle down for a change – pot calling the kettle black! I laughed it off and soon got down to the nitty gritty. I talked at length about some scrapes God had recently saved me from and some insecurity I was having at the time. He listened patiently and when we’d talked about mine and he’d given his advice and thoughts, proceeded to tell me his.

A friend of his had died about a fortnight ago in a hospital of malaria. The young man, whom he hardly knew at the time, had just got a job with a local airline in Lagos some months earlier and just coming from another state, needed a place to stay until he could get his feet on the ground. Nse, benevolent as ever, opened his door to him. Things went well for a while until alas the economic meltdown forced the airline to downsize its workforce. Nse’s friend lost his job. He, I’ll use the fictitious name Bora, became extremely depressed and believed nobody cared about him. He was constantly encouraged by Nse who told him his own story of how he lost his own job a year earlier and had the choice of whether to live or die when things got so bad for him; he chose life because he wanted to enjoy what life had to offer and see it through. Bora soon fell ill with malaria and one day on Nse’s return from work with a friend saw him prone on the floor talking deliriously. They rushed him to the hospital and attached him to an oxygen tank. Nse was by his side when he died that night. The one thing Nse said that struck me was that his joy was that he was able to be there for someone who needed a friend and he was glad he didn’t let fear of the unknown prevent him from carrying out God’s given duty to man. He, like I said, just lives life to the full, taking every day as it comes, travels, visits, plays, works at what he loves best – architecture( which he is very good at) and laps up any news about Donna Summer of whom he is a die hard fan and constantly tries to foist upon our very unwilling selves. Interestingly, in all this he still displays maturity and thriftiness as he makes time and effort to invest and save significantly while retaining that childlike nature that helps him not to take life too seriously.

To this day I often ponder and ask myself if I could ever, ever be as selfless as Nse or be as giving as he is. Until then I fear I must label myself a hypocrite and as selfish especially when I presume to call myself a Christian who is supposed to be his brother’s keeper. I know I probably sound like a schoolboy who has been asked to write an essay about his best friend and the writing looks a bit disjointed but it is as a result of trying to cram so much information on this wonderful friend of mine into such little space. Fact of the matter is, Nse is one of my best friends, he my hero and his lifestyle plays a major part in my evaluation on my progress so far and what I hope to achieve in this second half of this year. He is an embodiment of most of what is important in life. Have a great week everyone.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Beacon

Good week everybody! It was a particularly good week for me that passed by on account of the fact that it’s been raining cats and dogs all week. Why? Because it’s cooled the whole place down from the soaring temperatures of the previous weeks. My work doesn’t suffer as I leave the house at five am when there’s little traffic to return at eleven at night. Sadly the week was coloured in no small measure by the demise of a great personality I’d admired from childhood, Michael Jackson.

My tribute to him would be to try to relate how he affected me on a personal level starting from my childhood days when the Billie Jean video came out. His moves in it were incredible and everyone in my school tried as much as possible to enact it including me to the utter irritation of my parents. I ruined so many of my dad’s jackets and trench coats – he refused to get me the leather jackets he was famed for. Funny enough, quite unlike him, my dad never punished us, my brothers and I, for depleting his wardrobe for such ‘trivial’ pursuits. We’d steal my mother’s powder, talcum, dusting – all sorts, take off to school, pour them liberally on the classroom floor and begin practicing the moonwalk, the backslide (as we called it then) and the helicopter. For a not so good dancer as I was then – still struggling -, the talcum proved invaluable for making floors mirror smooth and shiny, making my slides and spins. I make bold to say I can still my own today when it comes to the backslide and the moonwalk although I never could get beyond one and a half spins before finishing up in that tiptoe standstill pose he ended his routine with in the video. Ah, those were the days.

His energy and belief with which he sang always sent me to subliminal levels when I listened to his songs especially Dirty Diana, Beat it and Earth Song. At first I sort of hated him because he was just too good looking and had the most wonderful smile. I think it was because I felt so threatened that he’d get all the pretty girls; it didn’t matter that we’d probably never be in direct competition with one another. Actually I was justified in my animosity towards him because all the girls in my school were going gaga over him – not a good boost to my self esteem. It was therefore with shock, and relief, that I welcomed his 1987 album BAD; he looked so different! Gone was that characteristic chocolate complexion that accentuated that dazzling smile and in its place was this very pale almost unrecognizable caricature of the former. My initial elation was quickly replaced by the concern that the music of this incredible man would follow the stark metamorphosis of his physical looks. The Dirty Diana video proved me wrong. The raw energy that emanated from that waiflike body was astounding! I watched mesmerized as MJ strutted and whirled in perfect unison with the psychedelic wailing of the lead guitar. I didn’t move a muscle, I just sat there drinking in every iota of energy that was coming out of him and observed how he abandoned himself completely to his music. I knew I probably would never be able to sing like him but I stored that passion in my heart promising myself to someday, as only a shy person could, even if it was just once, express myself without inhibition for all the world to see. His music became a safety net or should I say a compass that sort of guided me along the path to relentlessly pursue truth through passion and belief and I think that made me the unwavering follower I was, and still am, through his many controversies.

Personally, I don’t think Michael ever grew older than twelve throughout his life. The kid that was never allowed to play and do all the things that children do to be able to make the transition into adulthood never left him and I think that was what made him live the “Peter Pan- like” life that he did. It was because of this that I never really believed his love songs like, "You Are Not Alone" or "You Rock My World."
I didn’t because I didn’t believe he knew what really loving a woman as a partner meant. I knew how I felt about girls when I was in my childhood. They were the most irritating beings to be with; they loved flowers, talked all day about stupid things like love, wanted you to hold their hands and sing silly songs like “Bobby Shaftoe’s gone to sea” and one had to behave himself around them. All I wanted was play with my toys, ride bikes and dream of racing cars. I could see that aversion towards the opposite sex, for the same reasons, in Michael throughout his life. I admired the resolute and level headed way he talked when he answered his critics and accusers. He never faltered in his convictions and stood firm in the midst of the numerous accusations and slurs, and they were legion, that dogged his life. He believed absolutely in everything he did and that for me is the mark of a great man.

I believe that life is too short to be influenced by what people think of you. I believe that one should carefully consider what mission one has to accomplish in this world and look to what talent one has to bring it to effect. Having found this, I believe that the one should pursue it to the utmost while living life to the full. One should also be able to learn from mistakes and be brave enough to continually assess his or her intrinsic motives and mental progress. Adieu Michael Jackson, may you finally find the peace you’ve long sought for. Have a great week everyone.