September 24, 2011

Battle of words

Words...they can heal and they can repair as much as they can disease and destroy. The Bible says the tongue is a little fire. Fire can warm. And it can burn. 

Thank you John Doe

If i had a dollar for every time i have unpacked these boxes,
I would be on the Forbes list.
Alas my packing skills come cheap

Goodbye is so final, you say.
So you reach out and kiss me fare well instead.
And then i forget why i wanted to leave in the first place

Until the next time.

Mere words, 
And yet i rely on them to help me leave you
Mere words,
And yet i find myself tangled up in them time after time.
"Goodbye, fare well, i am sorry, don't leave, i hate you, i love you"...

The boxes are packed again.
I know better now.
They are but mere words.
Unable to heal, powerless to repair,
Until you mean them.

So we will not be saying these words.
I will be taking the back door out.
Silence wins more battles than words.

Song of the day: U2 - With or without you.

September 23, 2011

Inspiration runs dry

I hate this place.

Inspiration runs dry. My muse has taken a leave of absence. The faces are unfamiliar. Their stories are not mine to tell.

I might as well just give up. :(

Song of the day: Aaliyah: Miss you

September 22, 2011


There are some names you hear and you never forget. Imamuli is one of those names for me. I never even learnt its meaning or origin. The Imamuli i met is beautiful and her eyes shine like the stars. Wherever she is i hope she still shines

I woke up and she wasn't there. I reached out for her just in case my eyes were playing games with me. The familiar outline that crisscrossed my sheets every other night was gone. 

Her purse was gone. She didn't need her purse to make the early morning coffee she could not do without. Her clothes were not neatly folded on the drawers where i had left them after undressing her last night. Imamuli had no problem walking around in her birthday suit. I smiled as i remembered the first night she slept over. I had almost gotten a heart attack from running round the house, trying to pull down the window blinds before she sashayed her naked way past them. The neighbors thought me weird enough as it were.

Before Imamuli, i was the puzzle with the missing pieces. Surely it would take more than this five-foot high woman to fill in the blank spaces of my life. One woman could never be enough to sort me out, i had boasted many a time to my friends. It turned out i wasn't missing pieces, just some thing to keep the pieces from falling apart. Imamuli turned out to be the glue.

Last night, Imamuli hit me. And then she cried while i rocked her to sleep. It took a long time for the tears to stop falling and for her to sleep to. With every tear drop, a part of my soul leaked away.

"I would have told you eventually" I said to her before the slap and the tears. "Eventually???" she asked looking at me incredulously. "Pray tell when or what is eventually to you? When you are dead??" The British accent was back. The one she used with the obnoxious sales girl at the grocery store.

"I am supposed to be your best friend. Every other freaking person knew except me. How could you let me find out from someone else. How could you have gone through these past months and not needed me when all i do is need you? And i am not even the one with cancer!" 
" Maybe its because i am not weak and needy like you" I replied. As soon as the words left my mouth, i knew i had made a mistake. The slap that followed confirmed it. 
"There is a difference between being needy and needing you" She said in a voice that would have felled giants and then the tears began to fall.

I had held her and whispered how sorry i was. She had not said another word. 

I had hoped that morning would come and it would be as if none of it had ever happened. Not yesterday, not two months ago when i got my results from the lab, not whenever this evil decided to wreck its havoc on my body...i would give anything to take it all back.

I got out of bed and stepped onto the balcony. In another four hours, i would be up for my first round of chemotherapy. And then what?? 


I turned around and she was there. She was backing the sun and even with her puffy eyes, i had never seen anything more beautiful.

"You are dressed." I said
She eyed me, daring me to say more. "Yes. I went to the store to buy stuff to cook breakfast." 
This from the woman who burnt even toast bread. I wanted to laugh but my cheeks stung from the night before so i walked over and kissed her instead.

"You are not going to die, dammit. I will not let you die, you hear?" She said as she reached up to cradle my head. 'I need you too damned much for you to die". 

My cheeks were disinclined towards getting fresh abuse so I agreed with every word she said. As i held her, i realized - this was as complicated as it got and as simple as it would ever be. For my life to make sense, i needed for this woman to need me. If she ever decided self-sufficiency was the way, then there was no telling if wholeness would ever find me again. Chemotherapy could only go so far. 

Song of the day: Dido-Who makes you feel?

September 17, 2011


I have been staring at the screen for some thirty minutes, more or less. So much i have to say but my fingers fail me. My fingers and my heart. My heart is where the words come from. My fingers only do it's bidding.

I spoke to an old friend today. He asked me out a long time ago and i gave him a resounding no. That NO resounded through our conversation today. We skirted around the issue, indulging in small talk instead. Catching up on the years. He asked me when i was coming over to his city. I said i had noone and nothing that would bring me there. I know he read the underlying meaning. There was a long silence after that.
That was the summary of our 5 minute conversation...small talk and huge silences.
I have few enough friends as it is already in this place. I want to keep him. I hope i can keep him. He sounded the same. Naive and innocent. Unspoiled and virgin. So trusting and so believing of this facade i have put out for the world to see. I want to keep him that way. After another long silence, i told him i had to run. He said he will call again soon. A shiver ran down my spine. I am not sure if its from fear or from anticipation. I am leaning towards the former.

I need to stop pushing people away. It is just that this is the only way i know how to be.

Song of the day: The Script-For the First Time

September 12, 2011


I got a teddy bear today. He may or he may not be my new muse. Bear with him...he just got into this writing business... :)

They warned you but you would not listen. 

The newspapers screamed the words in apostrophes. And yes, you could read. You dropped out of school in class 5 because the creeks and oil bunkering was a better use of your time anyway! But you knew your ABCs and the three letter words that the papers spat at you were easy. Not that you ever bought any papers from Soibi, the vendor! Who had money to waste on such frivolities when there were better things like beer and palm wine to buy?

The radio blared silly tunes over the airwaves. In English, in your native language... Could you claim not to have understood the urgency in those songs?
Night after night, they interrupted your beloved football games with TV commercials that seemed to last forever. Even when Arsenal, your team was playing Barcelona(those bullies), they still would not ease up. 

And the whispering? Ah, those ones were even worse. The way the market women whispered to themselves about Iroro who died after a long illness. They sighed and looked towards her mother's stall and spat on the floor before raising their eyes to the heavens to plead with the ancestors to take evil far from them and theirs. Or the way your beer parlor buddies avoided each others eyes whenever someone whispered the dreaded word. The whispers were what drove shivers down your spine even though the shivers never survived the next round of drinks.

They warned you. They screamed themselves hoarse but their message was not for you. You were invincible, immortal. Money was pouring in from the creeks. Your one bedroom apartment's days were numbered. Death did not take people like you. Death was for other people.

So you ignored the charts in the doctor's office that preached abstinence or single partners. You left your girlfriend when she gave you a choice between condoms and commitment. You ignored the jobless social workers that would not mind their business but kept organizing road shows and events to create awareness.

Tonight, the words in apostrophe have come back to haunt you. Your ears echo with the tunes of the commercials you sniggered at . You have a collection of pamphlets and charts you snitched at the hospital when the nurse was not looking. You kept your eyes out for the social workers on your way back home. You wanted to hear them say again how it was possible to have a normal life with this disease that might have taken up residence in you body.

It was the  whispers that did it. The beer parlor was closed when you visited it yesterday. Rumor has it that Amaechi, the beer parlor owner has HIV. Your closest beer parlor buddy, Umukoro, called it "HIP". You are not sure whether he has suddenly developed a lisp or he just doesn't know any better.The whispers were even quieter as you stood in front of the beer parlor last night but everyone is listening now. The whispers led you to the hospital first thing this morning.

So you got tested today.

Tomorrow you will know your fate.
Tomorrow the whispers will either be drowned out by relief or enhanced to full volume by your conscience.
But for now consolation lies in the woman beneath you and the pack of condoms you filched from the pharmacy.

Song of the day: Jill Scott- Golden

September 7, 2011

Left behind

I have absolutely nothing to write about. It isn't for lack of trying.

Nothing seems to stir up my imagination here. Maybe i haven't looked closely enough. Maybe i am still adjusting. Maybe it will get better. I am counting on it. I am not sure what will happen if i cannot write. I can't say its all i have. But it is all i have that is truly mine...undiluted, uninhibited...

It's not about missing home anymore. Its what i seem to have left behind that shadows my life. It gets worse - i have no clue what was left behind. Maybe if i did, i would find a way to get it back.

Be happy people...

Song of the day: U2- All that you can't leave behind.