Ramblings Of An Angry Nigerian: NARROW ESCAPE

I am not going to church today.

Why, well, I have nothing to wear. My plan was to wash my best pair of trousers yesterday, first thing in the morning. But first thing in the morning I was hungry. I decided to cook something and discovered I had little kerosene. I went for kerosene, there, at the shop, I found out I hadn’t got enough money. So I got into a bus and I headed to the ATM. The ATM was like the Sermon on the Mount, ten thousand people about. So I got a bike to Bank Road and withdrew. Trying to save money I shunned okada riders and I trekked to where I’d get bus; I found no bus and took okada. I got to my neighbourhood sweating like a hunter/farmer/labourer. I stopped by a shop and drank Nutri Milk, went home and slept, actually died in bed.

When I resurrected I was too hungry to cook. I went out in search of snacks. I ended up with the snack in the viewing centre where I watched Man City, where our Iheanacho scored two brilliant goals but the overpaid, spoilt, overweight Man City players led by that thug made of cement and iron Yaya Toure refused to celebrate with him; very disgusting watching the poor lad celebrating by pointing to heaven alone. I hope Madrid disgrace these losers on Tuesday. Nonsense!

I watched Chelsea too. Boring, slept all through. I did see Hazard score a premiership goal for the first time in 365 days. It doesn’t change anything because Chelsea will finish in ninth or tenth in the table, and they won’t play in Europe until, at earliest, September 2017. Then I watched Man Utd in a platter of pure luck beat Everton to qualify for the FA Cup final for the first time since Obasanjo was farming in Aso Rock. Man Utd winning goal, a gift from John Stones, gave their thuggish supporters the opportunity to pour me saliva and rub me with sweat while celebrating as though they had won a tanker of fuel jackpot. Msscheeew. I left the viewing hall angry and hungry. I landed in a restaurant where I kept stuffing my face with food until I lost the ownership of my body and soul. I was carried home.

So dear Angel Mikel, with these few points of mine I hope you have seen that my desire not to go to church today is not my desire. I am really a believer of the gathering of the brethren. I am not for that “I am a good person even though I don’t go to church” bullshit. I go to church, almost every Sunday. I couldn’t go today, which is no big deal seeing that we have 30 more Sundays in 2016. Will make it up to you sir angel, next Sunday. Hugs.

Right now I’m just grateful to be alive. I am exhausted, clueless and almost helpless. It is rare moments like this that make me wish for a wife. She would have come with food on bed and feed the hell out of me.

Did I tell you that I nearly got married in 2015? Me, Kingsley Okechukwu, yes! Nearly got married! See, I was in love with this beautiful girl in Ibadan. We loved each other so much that she suggested that we should just get married, what are we waiting for? The plan was that after my service in Osun I would move to Ibadan, and she’ll leave her guardians and move in with me. I will get a job in Ibadan and see about making a good husband. We’ll raise a family and only call on our parents to bless the union when (if) we make enough money. It was a revolutionary romantic deal when she suggested it. So after my NYSC, while she was searching for our matrimonial room in Ibadan, I decided to drop into Anambra before resuming my marriage in Ibadan. One thing led to another in Anambra and I never made it to Ibadan. That was how I escaped! I escaped!! I escapeeed!!!

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Now, this is me thanking God (with a broken heart) for saving my life. Imagine me as broke and angry as I am, a husband, with little Chukwuemeka crying in the background, with a wife that is as strong as a tigress whom, when we played wrestling I never succeeded in throwing her to the floor… Chai, chai, Olisa I bless Your name; Chukwu Okike I worship Your majesty, You alone ruleth oh Alpha, Omega, Elohim, Adoni.

Mehn, I would have gone out of my mind. In fact, I would have climbed the pedestrian bridge in Iwo Road and just fall and die. And you guys would have come to my Facebook wall pretending you’ll miss me and write RIP followed with bad short poetry extolling my virtues even though the last time we exchanged hi was in November 2009. #RIPOkechukwu might even trend on twitter. Ewww. But guy, just imagine for a minute the premature, amateur, novice, dabbler, nursery marriage I would have had? One of these days I’ll buy a ram and do thanksgiving in church. For what God has done for me, my mouth cannot say it all.

What happened to the Ibadan babe, you ask. She’s somewhere in Benue probably looking for her thanksgiving ram. It’s a mutual narrow escape for who in her right faculties would have become Mrs Kingsley Okechukwu in 2015? Who!!

I will marry someday, why not? But as a big boy, not a one-room kerosene husband. My friend who’s thirty-one, richer, handsomer, fatter, better-connected etc is talking of settling down in 2020, Vision 2020. So I will gladly eye Vision 2030 or 2040. As the Lord chooseth…

So lying in bed, clueless, it’s cute to salivate about the wife coming to bed with breakfast. The reality is that an average Internet Age wife would storm into the room and say, Kingsley get up there and come help out in the kitchen! You are not feeling fine? Then let’s forget about breakfast because I’ve been nursing a headache since 1986 and never complained. But seriously I’m sick and tired of this attitude of yours Kingsley…

Sigh. Kingsley, Kingsley not even honey or Tom Tom. It’s sometimes like that, a war zone, some marriage. I can’t dare, for now. Yes, I am presently panel-beaten in bed but I will survive it. Can’t start a riot because I want to be fed burnt fried egg on bed.

Hope you’ll go to church today, please do. As for me, I’m just happy to be a bachelor and breathing.

I am outta here.

Tweets to @Oke4chukwu

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MUTUAL ASSURED DESTRUCTION

She was seated in the sitting room watching the TV when he entered the room. He scowled at the screen for two or three seconds; chunk Korean movie. He suppressed a hiss and turned to shut and bolt the door. As he drew the curtain, she said good evening in that tone that was almost an insult which he considered an insult. He ignored her. Carrying his Bible close to his heart, head straight, eyes forward, the perfect don’t-glance-at-the-devil posture, he marched to his bedroom.

Theirs was a three bedroom apartment and his bedroom was the guest room which, since three months now, had been his bedroom. He placed the Bible on his reading desk and loosened his tie. It was an enriching sermon he just had with the youths, and the Holy Spirit was powerfully evident in their midst. Thank you, Jesus. He removed his suit and made for the wardrobe.

Five minutes later, clad in three-quarter trousers and singlet he returned to the sitting room. He no longer felt comfortable donning boxers in his wife’s presence. He made for the dining area. He had to pass between his wife and the TV and didn’t look at her, and although she saw him past she didn’t see him, a butterfly flying by would have made more impression.

He pulled a chair at the end of the rectangular table beautifully donned with floral polyspun linen. He felt the flask with a suspicious backhand, lukewarm. He sneered. He opened the flask. A small steam of steam fanned his face. He wasn’t impressed. Jollof rice and fish. He never admitted to any favourite but this was in the top four. There was no plate to dish the food, he was lucky to find a spoon. He began to eat right from the flask, squeezing his face as though he ate from a bowl of bitter leaf, refusing to chew, giving the impression that chewing and admitting to any taste would do honour to the food/cook, in spite of him.

After six or seven spoons, he gave up. He refused to eat the fish, spite. As he covered the flask he saw a piece of paper neatly folded by the flask. He picked it up, unfolded it. From his wife.

No garri
Soup things
=N3,500

This time he couldn’t suppress a hiss, and he thought he heard a return hiss from her. Jezebel! He rose slowly to his feet and looked at his wife, for the first time in nearly a week. She wore a sleeveless knee-length gown, her hair natural, well packed, her defiant chin on her palm, the other hand clenched on her lap, a warrior’s pose. There was no denial of her beauty but it was a hard beauty, almost diseased. Watching her, he wished his eyes could pop with bullets and kill her.

Tufia, he spat in his mind’s mouth, shrugged and made for his room. He came out with three one thousand naira notes and a pen. He placed the money on the pen, put the paper on it and wrote: “manage this”. “The country is hard” he wanted to add but thought against it. So he let his eyes burn on the paper, helpless as animosity, like a seed germinated inside him, grew thorny branches that filled his abdominal cavity like acidic pregnancy. This marriage was a burden.

They had been married for three years and had lost their marital juice for more than a year. It was gradual. A drop in the show of affection, and another drop and another until their love became a giant empty tunnel where a stream of romance and bliss had flourished. At first, there were the occasional rainfalls that filled them with remembered, rather than renewed love, and they tried to make the fire burn on.

They were up against a few obstacles, his pastoring of the church and frequent travels across Nigerian, her loneliness, her frustration at her inability to put her banking and finance HND to use, the stress of living up to the perfect role of a pastor’s wife and their shared failure to make babies.

They were up against a few obstacles, his pastoring of the church and frequent travels across Nigerian, her loneliness, her frustration at her inability to put her banking and finance HND to use, the stress of living up to the perfect role of a pastor’s wife and their shared failure to make babies.

But more crippling was their self-blindness: the husband never saw where he erred, he only saw his wife becoming colder and colder; the wife didn’t see her coldness, but she saw clearly his physical absence and his emotional non-commitment. So one day they just woke up and discovered that they no longer loved each other. But they remained in the same room, making love, eating together, having dialogues like normal married people do (or should do).

Even this drama didn’t come off. It soon became melodramatic, robotic, false. A boring task. One day, the last time, he was making love with his wife but it was like performing a bitter push-up exercise. He braked to look at his wife and caught her glaring at him, her face twisted with disgust. He got down and moved his things to the guest room.

Pastor and Mrs Adetunji are married. Pastor and Mrs Adetunji are no longer in love. Pastor and Mrs Adetunji will never consider divorce because they bear the expected image of matrimonial unity and felicity. But last night, Pastor Adetunji wrote I hate you on the paper his wife had used to request money. This morning, Pastor (Mrs) Adetunji saw the note and quickly responded, I HATE YOU TOO.

@Oke4chukwu

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