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That Night

Shit talking up all night,
Saying things we haven’t for a while
We’re smiling but we’re close to tears…

The Script sang ‘For the First Time’ all through that night, because my music player had it on repeat. I stayed up; relished being awake instead of dead to the world, weakened by medication I didn’t want to be taking. I listened to the wind whistle outside the shut windows, it sounded as always: strong, unhappy… the whimper of strength. I had just switched off the air conditioning because I wanted to listen to the sounds of night.

Night…

There’s something seductive about dark. Whether it’s  gracing a body, beautifying a painting, claiming earth,  entrapping a soul, or frustrating dreams. It’s the things you understand when you stay up all night and listen to the world whisper to you of its depths. The conversations held by your broken body or spirit, a drink, and the voices in your head for the singular court that’s you. The kind of smiles that are really cries for help, or of victory, or of the knowledge that you don’t really know.

That night…

My neighbour’s curtains were drawn, and the music was too low, so I was audience of thrusts and moans the performers didn’t know I was privy to. As I watched, a beep alerted me to Facebook and a friend’s ode to his heart, torn out by the unfeeling hands of death. The moans peaked, so I looked up from my laptop, and at the frenzy of the racing duo reaching for climax, palms clasped. A groan, sacred appreciation, prequel to arching bodies shooting off the dining table to be nailed against the wall; lips moving in whispered hymns. Another beep: my calendar, reminding me of medication to be taken in the next couple of hours, work deadlines approaching… the grim of approaching dawn.

Just then, they hit the spot. I smiled, closed my eyes, and sang along with The Script, adding my voice to other sounds of that night.

Oh, these times are hard

Yeah, they’re making us crazy

Don’t give up on me Baby

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He Was

He was fantasy.

His eyes were a dark brown, almost black, circle set in contrast against a clear white pool. They shone bright with intelligence, danced with mischief, lowered lazily to strip me of flimsy clothes, and pierced sharply to read the depths of my heart.

His voice was caramel nuts and rum on a starstruck night; deep, dark, full, textured, layered, irresistible… breaking with delicious emotions. He was whispering something I could not hear because goosebumps on my skin had my mind foxed, as did the melting honey weakening my knees someplace south.

His gait was temptation. Strong, it hinted at determined ambition and, lazy, it incited yearnings for evening strolls with the wind kissing hair tousled. Both ways it was muscled, and told of paces to orgasmic heavens.

His lips twitched, a slight teasing movement that drew me forward. I was going to touch, taste, elicit a groan, and maybe fevered beseeching; but he was a wisp of imagined desires.

He was fantasy. The protagonist of the novel that had my heart thumping a racy beat.

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A Little Bit of Magic

Have you ever watched a city from its heights, at night?

Last night I sat on a cabana set atop a rock, and saw magic.

Magic was red and yellow lights, piercing the darkness, moving to unknown destinations. It was orange bulbs set at mathematical distances, lighting the roads for users. It was the shaded white house in the middle of bushes with a lit porch just behind me, like the scene from a fantasy film or a cartoon. Aah, Cartoons. Did you know of a long time ago, when media was black and white, and the fair lady always got the loyal knight? When programs started at 4p.m with the national anthem, and the television was a box of happily ever afters?

Last night something snapped, deep within, released acceptance of myself. It felt like peace; the confident breeze that caused the trees to dance and bow. I knew I couldn’t return to disgusted judging eyes, loaded salvos, hands that wouldn’t touch me, lips that slandered me. So last night I enjoyed the last bit of magic in my life; including the knowledge that I can take my own life by shutting my eyes and letting my feet jump off the cliff. The magic that I could smile while a rock split my skull into open dead shards of bloodied brains; because it was less painful than the discrimination I had lived with up until then.

When I coasted above earth a free soul, I saw a baby being brought forth out of its mother; innocent, precious, bloodied, priceless, beautiful. The best of simply awe-inspiring unadulterated magic. Then I realised how much more magical a smile through the discriminatory pain my life was, would have been.

#StandOut for #ZeroDiscrimination today; it’s a sparkle you can put in someone’s life. Your little bit of magic.

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February

She waltzed in on black pumps; a sultry woman whose gait glued your eyes to her graceful curves. The immaculate bodycon gown clung like a perfume, and was highlighted by the red signature soles of her shoes: was she a seductress in white, or an innocent lined with crimson?

Her hair was shiny ebony; a luxurious mane with curls that made you want to bury your fingers in them. It was packed in a tight bun that left her face naked, and you attendant to the curious stories it told. Her lips were unpainted, but the lights of the hall danced on the gloss on them. Her pout made you want to dive in for a kiss, yet the curvature told you to explore slowly. The little black mole on the left side of her face -just below her lip- made you want to ask questions.

Had it always been there? Did she know it highlighted the shape of her face that little much more? Had she ever tried to remove it?

It made you wonder if perhaps, just perhaps, you could nibble on it.

Lost in my thoughts, I did not see her until she was right in front of me, her nose so close to mine we were exchanging breaths. Her eyes sparkled, and danced with mischief; two dark crystal balls with flecks of gold that mirrored my face; yet wouldn’t tell me the future. Her perfume intoxicated, so I looked down and found her lips.

“I’m February. Let me love you”

That was the whisper her curved lips let slip.

 

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Found Peace

“What is the time by your watch please?”

Dark chocolate dipped in American Honey whisky.

The thought came unbidden; an observation, a ghost of something in my subconscious. I hadn’t yet processed the meaning of whatever he had said. My brain felt slow, drugged by the sex-me allure of the voice that had spoken from somewhere behind me. My body was waking to electric currents along lusty paths; causing my heart to beat faster, and my legs to cross at the ankles…

***

“8:23”

Her voice emerged breathless, a needy whisper, and she winced inwardly. Mortified heat popped goose pimples over her, and she bit her lip to prevent words falling out. She did not trust her voice to sound better. And chances were that she would ramble stupidly, instead of salvaging the situation or initiating a conversation with the stranger. Her shoulders slumped sadly as she figured he probably thought she was either ill or uninterested in discussions of any sort. Resigned, she lowered her forehead to the backrest of the seat in front of her; grateful for the dark bus, and the fact that she was not looking the sexy-voiced stranger in the face.

He is probably ugly or bad for me.

The thought made her feel a tad better, so she let it float in her subconscious; let it ease the melancholy of shattering fantasies. Many minutes later she heard him notify the conductor that he was getting off. When he walked past her as he alighted, his perfume filled the air, and stayed on after the bus’ door was shut.  She sighed, looked to the bustling street beyond the window, acknowledged the hollow ache in her chest, and forced down a ball of emotion lodged in her throat. She blinked to clear moist pools from her eyes, and announced:

“Oke-Afa wa!”

***

It was best that way. There’s no need wanting things I can’t keep.

It was over five minutes since I had alighted from the bus; five minutes of trying unsuccessfully to convince myself that I didn’t wish that conversation had gone differently. Five minutes spent on the bridge, watching the waters of the canal, wondering if what I was living was indeed ‘life’.

His voice had reached something deep inside me, something encased in ice for the past 14 years. I could have had him for a little while; even if not forever. But I had kept quiet and he had alighted; leaving the trail of Woods to haunt me. By the way, what kind of young Nigerian man knew enough about perfumes to be using one from the 1990s? And why would that kind of man, definitely from old money, be in a yellow and black painted bus, sardined with too many people, a driver high on God-knew-what, and an uncouth conductor? A lot was puzzling, but the perfume sat right in with the voice. Classy, strong, sensual, deep, textured, intoxicating… like the chorus of waters gushing through a channel. Would his voice break if he groaned? Or become huskier if arousal swamped his senses? Where would he taste of Woods, of man, and of desire? Would his hands grab me, or something, if he thought he was losing thought and control?

“I hoped you would come here”

For a heartbeat, I thought the voice another whip of my tortuous thoughts. Then my brain processed the meaning of the words, and I swung around, trembling…

***

I had stayed a while in the shadows, watching the arch of her back as she looked over the canal. Her lips were slightly parted, her head slightly raised, and I wondered what thoughts caressed her mind so. Then she deepened the arch of her back; thrusting her breasts and hips slightly out; and I couldn’t wait a minute longer to be by her side. To tell her, to see if she remembered, to know if it had been a dream or real, to determine what future I had died for.

She turned around so fast, I thought she would lose the balance her heeled pumps provided. Per reflex, I reached out to steady her waist, and the world faded behind a veil of honks, conversations, hoarse calls of “Jakande”, “Oshodi”, and lights. Only her, the fire coursing through my veins, and blood rushing to my head existed.

***

“Dem no know say na canal dey under bridge?”

“Children of nowadays, no where wey dem no go play love”

Comments from busy-body Lagosians, meaningless sounds to the deathly silent duo standing atop the bridge, eyes locked. They stayed quiet for many minutes; her mouth moving but uttering no words, his bobbing Adam’s apple telling that he too struggled internally with something. Then a tear rolled down her right eye, a liquid crystal of words which refused to be spoken, questions which refused to be asked, and he closed the distance between their bodies; held her to his thumping heart while the moon shone to reveal tears on his own cheeks.

After endless moments, she pulled away. Eyes locked, she put her hand on his cheek, picked a tear drop off with her thumb, and put it in her mouth. His jaw clenched, and the hands loosely around her waist held her tighter. She remembered him, it had all been real, but he needed to tell her before he could know what the future held.

***

“That was stupid”

“No, it was hopeful. I wanted now, today.”

She looked him in the eyes again, then slid her palm over his to interlock their fingers.

“What now?”

She saw the hint of fear in his eyes, even as he asked with an even voice. He had been the subject of all her dreams, her desires, so…

“Let’s go someplace far. We’ll live together till our times expire.”

He felt like a truckload of emotions, struggled to hold tears back, and nodded vigorously. By silent accord they walked to the Oke-Afa memorial arcade and read off the marbles:

Here lies the victims of the bomb explosions from the armory of the Ikeja Cantonment which occurred on Sunday, January 27 2002. More than a thousand innocent lives, including children scampering for safety, perished in the brackish waters of the Oke-Afa canal. May their souls rest in peace.

To passersby, they were two people at the Mass Burial arcade, perhaps coming to read it on the anniversary of the deaths of so many people, 14 years ago. In reality, she was a young woman who had run into the canal, seeking refuge from the bombs going off, intending to swim to safety, oblivious of the imprisoning murky depths of the water below. And the man who had jumped in after her, seeking to rescue the woman he loved from death he knew was imminent. Together, they were two souls whose unidentified bodies had long been buried at the arcade, finding each other after almost two decades of searching. Two souls finally finding peace; ready to live again.

 

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North Pole Express

                                                                                                            Oluyole Estate,

                                                                                                            Ibadan, Oyo State,

                                                                                                            Nigeria.

                                                                                                            Dec. 16, 2015

                                                                                                            *Candy thoughts*

Hello Santa,

Good day to you. How’s your sleigh, Rudolph, and all?

You know how people say you don’t really live in the North pole and you’re just a myth? Well, I know that’s all false because you gift me most years. I’m just wondering about a technicality, so I thought to clear it up with you because you know that I know we both know I really want the present I requested for this year.

I hear you only gift those who have been good. Well, here’s the thing: I’ve been really good this year. Good at being bad. I still get my present; right?

Yours sincerely,

Little Dupe

September Notes

In Bed,

Strawberry Thoughts,

September 29, 2015

02:24hrs

Dear Scar,

Muddy floors, puddled potholes on tarred roads, expensive umbrellas in rainbowed half-circles, stashed shower caps shielding priceless hairdos from wrecking raindrops, fancy rubber foot wears taking the place of leather and suede luxuries… September.

September in 2015 Nigeria is the month of cloudy grey skies, wheezing cold winds, tapping rains on rooftops, long queues of jerking automobiles conveying humans to numerous places, and flooded homes and roads invaded by pregnant waters. It is also the month of ‘esusu’: that yummy insect which warms itself by dancing around electric bulbs in swarms during the rainy season. Nigeria also had sleeping teens relishing the last days of summer holidays, happy citizens released from the drudgery of work by long weekends, and bleating rams bemoaning their sacrificial role in religious celebrations. September…

I’m thinking of you this September. Perhaps because the days have been filled with scalding hot beverages, the nights with liqueur and silken pillow cuddles… I don’t know. You see, September trademarks cuddling lovers caressing intertwined limbs, hickeys explaining roughened sheets torn by raking nails, paced groans punctuating silent night with husky commands, pleas, and gratitude, whispered gibberish inflaming wild grinds and pointed thrusts. September…

The nights are cold and horngry. See you soon; perhaps?

#XOXOimages (6)