Month: October 2012

A not so bad Sell by Date


As I drove towards a junction in Oregun the other day, an unusual thing happened. I watched an old man, well advanced in age, hobble across the junction. In the mad rush that is Lagos, another driver might have made a meal of the occurrence, harassing the seeming octogenarian with blaring horns and a rev of his engine.
Unusually, the scene brought an immediate state of reflection upon me.
As I watched the man make attempts to hurry across the momentarily quiet junction, it seemed a futile attempt, laboured. His back was painfully bent and the trembling in his weakened legs were too evident. His only support on this journey was a short umbrella which he had converted to a walking stick, it really didn’t help him much, the length of the entire umbrella forced him to bend even lower.
I tried to imagine how he would have navigated such a task decades ago: with some graceful gait, a straightened back, most likely no form of support.
I was staring at the inevitable. A moment that if granted by God’s mercies, we were all sure to pass through.
This surely was a right of passage, this moment where man hobbles and limbers, trying to move along with the constantly rushing world around him.

We start off in a rush as kids, hurrying and screaming, trying to leave a mark in the world. Wondering why everything is so slow, asking if time probably had a cheat mode. We harass and scream at the world, wondering why established fundamentals exist. It most evidently is futile, but I will never discourage anyone from asking questions.

To some folks its an inconvenient truth, getting old. At my age its much too apparent, sitting around or sweating it out at your day job wondering if you’re where you planned on being a decade ago. Most of the people in my generation are asking themselves that question right now.
I’d rather not dwell, it really is futile. The old man sure asked himself the same question when he was my age, it didn’t stop him from hobbling across the road on this fateful day.
What we must is ‘Do’. Plan to and act upon doing. There really isn’t any other option.
I want to be the guy who a young twenty something year old looks at 50 years from now and thinks, “that guy rocked..”.
Maybe I’m asking for too much, maybe I’ll be left all by myself, self acknowledging my own awesomeness. But it still won’t stop me from seeking awesomeness NOW.

Old man

As the nimble old man went on his way, as I continued my own journey to my destination and in life, hoping to arrive where he currently was(probably in a better condition), I kept on wondering, contemplating how much I hated Lagos drivers……

Picture Courtesy masterfile.com

Rage becomes me


Been a while,
Was on my way home one night when this piece came to me (more like part of it), decided I’d give mayhem a try.
……………..

Its not every time you share a filthy cell with a dead body, but when such an occasion presents itself, its the closest you can ever come to staring death in the face.

Brain injuries it seemed. His eyes were cold and white, the neck had gotten stiff. Drops of blood streamed from his forehead to the floor he lay on. I just lay the beside him, staring back, lying on my stomach. The filth crawled up my nostrils and into my lungs; already aching from sustained bruises. My stomach had only guts and intestine to spill now but the pain in the arm coursed through me with far more intensity. It belittled the filth, even belittled my dead companion who once drew breath right beside me.

Despite it all, I felt a disconnect. I enjoyed feeling the pain when it was bearable, now it was.

I had a broken arm definitely, probably several broken ribs and death was sipping through the eyes of the body that lay beside me. Was I next? I wondered, mentally assessing my current condition, I figured it would take a lot more to join him.

“Oga, this man don die oh!”

………….

It had been raining all evening, just before quitting time. The pressure at work had finally taken form as a headache to the right side of my brain, one I didn’t particularly appreciate. Painkillers were on the bedroom fridge and here was I, stuck in the office half an hour after quitting time.

By the time I finally convinced a bike man to take me to my destination it was closer to 9:00PM than I would have liked. Madness, I was feeling an unfamiliar rage. Faces seemed like punching bags to me and I sure wanted to punch a whole lot.

A wench would have been befitting for the night, one who knew how to hurt..

The bike I sat on zoomed past, behind and in between cars stuck in traffic, picking up speed appeased the adrenalin within me to a lesser extent, the overall rage had become overbearing, something had to happen, my gut told me it would.

Alausa, Ikeja.

Just past the ministry blocks and making a dash for the express junction, I spied a sign post with a ‘No bikes allowed’ on it. I was caught in two minds, to warn my dear bike man or stay mute. I said nothing.
He stopped at the airport junction, my blood still raged, the headache had taken on the form of a whirlpool in my head (maybe because of all the speeding).
As soon as I paid him his ridiculously high fare another bike with two men on it crossed him from the left. The man behind immediately grabbed his bike keys, my mind started to take control.
The bike man, clearly bitter/angry/aggressive didn’t want to let go of his motorcycle. The traffic officer who had grabbed the bike’s keys, sensing resistance gave the now raging bike man a nudge, followed by a punch on the arm. I, being in close proximity knew all this was a bad idea.

Its an infection you see, and human contact is its easiest means of transfer, the slightest touch is just enough.
At this point it was too late. Almost stealthily, I had picked up a hardened rock and given it to my new friend the bike man. With or without thinking the traffic officer was on the floor in 15 seconds, the side of his head gashed and spilling blood. The shock and subsequent death was immediate.
Like clockwork headlights flashed and more bikes came.
I was also beaten but the bike man was destroyed.

It kept spreading, the rage, through the officers and to the other people they touched. Now everyone had it.

……………………..

Now I’m lying here waiting. The other cells are empty, in fact the entire police station is abandoned. From the noise I heard an hour ago a lot of people are no more.
The rage is spreading and it still rages within me as well.
The body beside me is one of its victims and I can’t wait to count more. I just need to get up and move, to see my work of art on a city wide canvass. Yes, I am the artist, I am the one who wields the paint brush,
I am Rage.