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.