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Musings: My Top Ten

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writing-is-hard

 

 

 

 

 

Writing a new year good wishes at this time seems like something most people won’t do (seeing that the year is not so new anymore), but I guess it’s either this scribbler isn’t really like most people or something is not entirely right. I’m more comfortable with the former.

This is several weeks overdue, but I’ll go on regardless and wish readers a wonderful and fruitful new year and new month. On the bright side, I got the opportunity to wish you on the double, probably better than the “gyn-ish” double the Eritrean government supposedly has to offer.

By now, resolutions that would really stay will be in motion already, while the other resolutions―those guidelines for the first few days/weeks of the year that usually fade away with the frenzy―would have met their usual fate: total abandon, or if you like, calamitous waterloo (I miss Honorable Patrick Obahiagbon).

In my defense for my one-month long hiatus post- last post (pardon that combo), I’ve been doing a little reading on the blog, trying to figure the major glitches that caused the bad market last year. Okay, scratch that. That was me being dramatic.

So far, it’s been a long interesting read. I think I found a bit of what I was looking for, in addition to the typos and omissions of course. Some of the posts made me laugh and got me asking myself what I was thinking when I wrote them. I marveled at the experiences I never thought I could share but did. A few were products of testing new waters; attempts at new style/genre. I still can’t pinpoint the ghost readers or send them a little dose of insomnia until they comment and share, but I can do my part and see where it goes from here.

In no particular order, below are my top favorite posts I’ll like you to check:

Dear Future Bae
Sour-prano Untamed
The Judge Next Door
The Things We Share
Client X: The End of Me
Knocked Out
The Things in Your Heart
A Tale of Sevens and Perfection
Sow a Seed
Life Drama

I would love to start the year with your feedback on these posts or any other post that interests you. Perhaps this would help identify a niche or two that should get more devotion.

This is me grinning in anticipation that you’ll read and say what you think.

I am @jossef69 on twitter.

photo credit: google images

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To The Faceless Woman

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faceless-woman

The day ends in a few tick-tocks

Proletariat’s period of relief

Couple of days off the routines

She must have had the smile on her face

This I know ‘cuz I had it too

Beaming, packing… beaming again

Whistling all songs and no song

The weekend is here!

 

Keep calm little mini-me, Jane

Momma is coming home

We can have our girl-time soon

 

Hold on hubby

A weather to ― ahem…

Hold the thought till I’m home, try!

 

The weekend is here Màámi

Your jokes and drama I really miss

We’ll chat and laugh like old times

 

Life and the many roles we play

 

But Momma never came

Wife lost the warmth

Daughter never showed up

 

All along was the hood-man

Lurking with a scythe and a cold mien

Trailing the wheels till the very end

A clash, a fall and a thud

A smashing sound and the gory scene

Altered feature of a once beautiful face

Abrupt end to plans and aspirations

Dreams and whims doomed to fizzle

A painful and rushed exit

 

I hope she finds home

I wish she had what it takes

To rest and have peace

Sleep on

Sleep well

Dedicated to a faceless woman who lost her life in a motorcycle accident.

photo credit: google images

I am @Jossef69 on twitter.

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Lost

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I saw, sought and took the shot
Heeding a strange voice that numbs control
Lending motion to emotions held at bay
A moment of no restraints
Succumbing to what thrills, yet profane

Free like a bird, I’d sing
But the hollow remains what it is:
Hollow. Sunken. Empty
Gallivanting in captivity
A flighty bird in a see-through cage
Freedom in bondage

A part of me is missing
Nay, not entirely gone
It shrinks and dwindles
A dying ember longing to be fanned
Mumbling from a place remote
Stifled and bound, seeking liberty

I miss the familiar voice
That directs against the temptress’ wiles
How did I get here?
To this brink of glaring abyss
Fleeting bliss that choked my peace
I have to find my way back

I miss HIM

I am @jossef69 on twitter

http://www.facebook.com/senorjoesblog

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Knocked Out

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I could open this post by giving a trite but dramatic “happy new year” followed by many good wishes, but seeing as that would be tantamount to saying opening prayer when it’s already time for benediction, I’ll save myself the disgrace and wish y’all greatness within myself. May we never run out of fishes to fry nor lose our certificate(s) to the utmost mockery of our enemies.

Of course, I’m murmuring the above within myself.

Many thanks to everyone who took time to go through my scribbles in times past despite my shortcomings and inconsistencies; it’s a great honour to have you. To ghost readers who stroll in for a peep like the biblical thief in the night (most thieves get caught eventually you know?), God is watching you. And Amadiora too. Thank you…but you must repent. 🙂

Hearty “shout salute” to avid commenters; the core to my reactor and source of immense encouragement. Leonardo Da Vinci must have really understood the importance of feedback before he wrote this: You have not farted if nobody grumbled nor contorted their face upon your gaseous release. Totally, I concur! I appreciate y’all. I hope it turns out to be a year of great and concentrated releases from SJB.

Here’s a little something I wrote late last year, featured on Elsieisy’s blog. Grab a bottle of coke or sorrel and enjoy.

*•*•*

A soft voice reached me from a distance, though not strong enough to bother me. I was in a state that felt great, but I couldn’t describe it. The voice got louder and harsher as a masculine voice chipped in an inglorious roughness, dragging me from my unknown state to what I later realised was consciousness.

“Damn! I did it again.”

Two days earlier I had slept off in a car en route to work. The driver I told my destination upon getting on-board had taken me several bus stops away from my stop, making excuses that he asked me but I didn’t answer. I believe people reason and talk in their sleep in his village.

I sat up as my tired eyes fixated on the source of my disturbance-cum-saving grace. The last time I checked, I was in a bus with five passengers. I must have dozed for so long, for the bus had filled up and almost at my destination.

“Madam, take it easy.”

A man likely in his forties said calmly in an apparent attempt to settle the ongoing vituperative exchange between a woman and another man; a well suit-ed man for that matter.

I wasn’t interested. I’d experienced a lot to last a lifetime in bus rides—from terror-voiced singing passenger to four full hours of chronic beansy farts endurance from an obvious source, to a preaching driver who paused intermittently to call for passengers, etc. Experience has taught me that such dramas are often not worth the effort of thinking them through. They are best enjoyed than understood.

I turned from them, but the Judas Iscariot ears I posses wouldn’t turn with me.

“Stupid woman! You have no respect. I wonder what you do to your husband at home…” He vented.

“I wonder what unfortunate woman married an insane man like you. Tragedy!” She parried.

I didn’t look back but I knew her counter crawled up his spine and sank into his brain. A rough scuffle ensued, but a familiar calm voice came in again.

“You two should stop this. You’re grown-ups. Woman…” he called with a bit of an elevated pitch, like he had some control over her, “…it’s time you kept quiet for good. I mean it.”

It worked like magic; I almost requested for a bit of the juju. She muted, but her fellow-in-dispute took it as the beginning of his victory. I had a feeling doom lurked in the boot for him, but he spilled more invectives like it was expedient for a promotion at work. He raved and dropped the thick one that broke the proverbial camel’s back—or nose.

“Woman, I’m not so worried about your insanity. From all you’ve been saying I’m sure you married someone like you; someone equally supercilious and condescending.” He paused, probably in admiration of his vocabulary. I wondered what the matter had to do with the husband. “Get home soon, woman, and let your irresponsible numbskull of a husband know how sick you are.”

She broke her silence and replied curtly, in an unbelievable low voice, “You can tell him yourself.”

Action flew first class.

Something cracked. It was more of a snap. It seemed as though the human nose is plastic like people say after all. Much as I tried to think otherwise, I knew it wasn’t just a crack of the calm mediator’s phalanges upon his fisty impact on someone else’s face—the face of a familiar man in suit. Something else definitely got broken.

I missed the action, but not everything it left in its wake.

Blood trickled down the nose of a corporately dressed owner even as he attempted to help his distressed organ with his hands, letting out grunts in pain. His vituperation-laden mouth contorted with confusion. I pondered as the dots connected before me.

Mediator was madam’s numbskull.

I am @jossef69 on twitter.

http://www.facebook.com/senorjoesblog

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The Nomination

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It was on a beautiful cold morning. Nah, make that three beautiful cold mornings. The weather was breezy and the sky azure…

Biko who send me story? *smiles*

About a week ago I got a shocker from a wonderful mind and blogger, Sheedart. I was still in that state of mild electrocution when I got another zap by a very revered blogger, Topazo. Recently, Zika shocked me the most! (I’m a secret admirer of her art, don’t tell nobody).

Senor Joe’s Blog was nominated for Lobsters Award!

Oh shoot! I made the mistake again! I mean SJB was nominated for Liebster Blog Award.

wpid-liebster-award

Dumbfounded is just a little close to how I felt. It got me “flowing” like Divine Oduduru.

I was like…

Oduduru

I never expe-rred it!

“…God gave it to me!  I’m grateful to Him…. although the wind was very muwsssh!”

I could go on and write a piece just to tell all what these people do with their respective arts, but it won’t make them more awesome than they already are. Besides, I fear the blogger ma’am, Sheedart–who strikes me as a romantic *coughs*–could be prone to beet-red kinda blushing. I’m sometimes allergic to red. 🙂

Thanks for the nomination. Thanks for the honour!

The basic rules are as follows:

*Acknowledge the person(s) that nominated you.

*Answer the questions asked by the blogger(s) who nominated you.

I’ve got three sets of questions to answer here (this should qualify me to at least have triplets twins with bae in the future, right?), but the spirits told me there will be similar questions.

*Nominate other blogs with less than 200 followers.

The third rule is quite simple, but I won’t follow it to the letter. Matter of fact I won’t follow it at all!

*Ask the bloggers you have nominated eleven (11) questions.

*Let your nominees know you have nominated them.

*Add the Liebster award badge to your blog.

Here are the questions and my answers. The madams go first.

Sheedart’s questions:

When and why did you start blogging?

SJB would have been in existence for two years in the next three weeks. Yeah, it all started on the 19th day of January 2013.

I started blogging because facebook (then) wouldn’t allow me express myself satisfactorily; I was always exceeding the word/character limit. I wrote a couple of facebook notes just before I “PORTed” to wordpress dot com.

What inspires your writing?

Anything and everything! A school of thought believes that means nothing though, I disagree. You get the drift.

What or who could stop you from blogging ever again?

Busy life schedules could be a threat, but I won’t give in very easily.

Would you rather read a book or watch a movie?

Assuming that they carry the same weight, a movie I shall watch! After all, a movie is a book in motion/on screen.

What is your most awesome/proud moment? Share if you will.

Quite a difficult one with the ranking. A moment involved helping someone out of a dire strait. I’ll write about it someday, perhaps.

If you had the opportunity to choose the country to be born in, would you still choose Nigeria? If not which will you choose and why?

Who does this?! Sheedart, you seriously asked the obvious? Without being hypocritical, following the crowd or embracing BS, I won’t. I’ll choose Iraq or Pakistan because I’m a rational human being! Seriously now, Iceland sounds cool in my ears. It’s my choice ‘cuz I love ice :). I think you know the exact reason actually.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

I’ll effect a change towards achieving equality among all, to a very great extent but not absolutely. Absolute equality is also a problem.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Now I feel like I’m in a job interview session *straight face*. I’m not clairvoyant or psychic so it’s kinda hard to be precise here… but I know where I wanna be, God helping me. I wanna be already well-placed in my career; a very good son to Ma’ and Da’; a responsible husband to my wife and father of my twins and erm… never mind. I wanna be lots of good things beneficial to those around me.

What is the first thing that would likely attract you to a potential friend?

You want the truth or the near-truth? Character and all the abstract stuffs can’t be assessed quickly, good looks can. If the dude is good looking or the babe is…you know, Joe is more inclined to bond quickly. Judge me and call me names my pastor won’t like o, I just told you the truth.

What do you think of the blogger who nominated you?

One of the attracting things about her is her style of writing. She writes freely. Sheedart is quite a liberal and funny ma’am too; her blog reeks of these. Thanks for nominating SJB, I really appreciate it.

Zika’s questions:

What inspired your writing?

Methinks we’ve addressed this. 🙂

What do you think about writing as a way of expression?

It’s one of the best free gifts ever! It’s that mighty voice in prints (often deeper than spoken words because more time is invested), even when the individual behind the pen or idea ordinarily wouldn’t be very articulate through some other means.

Which is your favourite kind of music?

I’ve got quite a handful, depending on the version of me in question. Pop/Soul. Other stuffs that make me wanna dance real hard too.

If you could change one moment in time, which would it be?

Adam shouldn’t have eaten that apple! I’d gladly go back in time to that moment and murder a serpent. I’ll try not to make any apple juice.

What makes you happy?

Fun!

Sir Topazo’s questions:

What made you start writing?

The yearning to let out my thoughts, imaginations… and share the fun.

Who is your favourite author?

Really, I think I’m too adventurous to have something like favourite or best. I love a lot of different stuffs.

Early bird or night owl?

Both. Praying for a moderately long life span.

E-books or paperbacks?

Paperbacks.

Mountain or Beach?

My acrophobia has a PhD! Beach it is.

What project are you working on?

It’s a matter national security. I’ll have to kill you if I tell you.

What are your plans for your writing in 2015?

This is fast becoming a cliché, but in my case I mean it. I don’t really see myself as writer (I believe it takes more than having a blog and writing stuffs on it to be one). However, I enjoy blogging with its attendant fun and therapy. I’ve got no big plan, besides trying to update often.

Favourite relaxation spot?

As of this moment my bedroom has no rival. There are lots of relaxations that can be done in that space of mine.

Share something embarrassing about yourself.

I found a way to evade this :). Will I share something embarrassing about myself? I’m not sure I will. So you wanted to know if I snore or lick my thumb? LOL

Favourite colour?

The fiftieth shade of grey. 🙂

White and blue are perpetually in fisticuffs on that. I hope one wins soon.

What do you fear most in the whole wide world?

Ojuju! Yes, Ojuju Calabar :). I kid.

The idea of leaving when I’ve actually not started or achieved my purpose scares me shitless.

Topazo didn’t ask me of my opinion about him regarding blogging, but I’ll visit it anyway. Who’s suing?

I think he is one of the very versatile bloggers I’ve come across. He chose prose over poetry in a question about his choice between the two, but I think he should’ve just packed the two, look Amity straight in the eye and say “I’m walking away”. He should force it out in Craig’s voice if he could. Thanks for the nomination Doc.

I finally get to nominate! Here:

  1. www.oluwaballer.wordpress.com
  2. www.journeywithchange.wordpress.com
  3. www.heedrizdepearl.com
  4. www.damsylee.wordpress.com
  5. www.africanlovestories.wordpress.com
  6. www.pensofchi.wordpress.com
  7. www.kingkingsley.wordpress.com
  8. www.mindofmalaka.com
  9. www.seunodukoya.wordpress.com
  10. www.mymindsnaps.com

Here are my questions. Feel free, no negative marking please.

  1. Who inspired you to start blogging?
  2. What inspires your writing?
  3. If you were asked to choose a song for a loved one (boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancée, spouse, etc.), which one would you choose to pour out your emotions aptly?
  4. What’s your take about love?
  5. What’s your dream travel destination?
  6. What is the first thing that would likely attract you to a potential friend?
  7. Poetry or prose and why?
  8. In one word, how would you describe your first kiss (I believe you’ve had one)?
  9. If you had one wish, what will you wish for?
  10. What do you do for leisure?
  11. Are you sincere in all the above ten (10) questions? 🙂

Season greetings everyone!

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Dear Future Bae

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Foreword: I find a disclaimer distinguishing the writer and the character in this piece unnecessary, but really (as an advice now), it will make more sense reading this with absolute neutrality. In other news, happy independence-plus-two-days… and happy birthday to me. I’m excited! Please waka come and share in the excitement. Bring a gift or two along. 🙂

*•*•*

Dear Future Bae,

I wish I know an appropriate quote by a great philosopher—or someone of immense reputation, living, in comma, or dead—right now to express how I feel in the shortest possible way. Unfortunately, I don’t. Fortunately though, I have something almost nice and equally brief:

Brevity be damned!

I will try to be coherent, but I can’t even assure myself that. So I’ll rant, ramble, rumble, and tumble if necessary till I let it all out— white, black and the shebang. I hope this gets to you somehow (probably in your dream) before future competing lady, if any, intercepts it.

Scattered all over the internet and every other places information can lodge in or perch on, even if it’s for a moment barely long enough for me to ask “what exactly is it sef?”, are statistics and supposed facts about humans of my kind (I hope): the XY species with healthy body system. I mean the reproductive system and its major organ, to be near specific.

Some random websites or publications tell me with authority the ridiculously unbelievable number of times I put sex in the front page of my mind; as though they are privy to my thoughts and always alerted on every bulge against my trouser fly. I have no problems with the figures. They’re absolutely free to adjust the rate to as high 30 times per hour, or something close to the safe speed limit of an empty fuel tanker on the expressway. The one thing that I sure won’t be quite comfortable with, however, is a (judgemental) speech on why I shouldn’t think about women, especially now that it’s not one woman but many.

Isn’t it strange that I’m writing this to you without trying to hide the fact that I think about lots of women in a similar way? Please try not to hurl a stiletto or break something for my annoying audacity. Don’t be quick to call me unserious, strongly possessed, flirty… or a to-be polygamist. I’ll tell you why I do the things I do.

There is this young lady I see every night on my way home. It has almost become a duty to always look in her direction, and she never disappoints. She’s always there; eyes well located on a welcoming countenance, wide open to stare right back at me. She’s of average build, slightly fair, well-carved face beautiful enough for me to see in the dark… and a structure that tends towards the eight. She’s blessed, but not so blessed. She’s about two inches from the category “short”. I’m not very tall myself, and I won’t like to be blamed by my offsprings for their inherited “brevity” (“short” is derogatory!). We kept staring, but I’m never going to make the move.

I made a new friend not so long ago. The way she talks is like music to my ears. Momma would always lecture me (as though I’m so dumb not to know these things already) that choosing a bae isn’t totally about beauty, but also about other qualities like intelligence, good nature, and all other things eyes even behind Harry Porter glasses won’t see. She’s got all that too. Irrespective of how you view her—with a magnifying spectacles or discerning church mind plus a touch of wizardry—she screams “hawtt” through and through. You probably know already, but I’d like to explain “hawtt” according to a trusted dictionary. A hawtt lady is one who makes men whistle unconsciously, twist their necks at odd angles, and fall into gutter like dominoes when she passes by. The ma’am, however, is 2.688years (yes, I like figures) older than me. Age is just a number right? Hian! Puhleease! In this circumstance, age is also a bucket of cold water that dilutes all “hawttness”. Yes you guessed right, another no-no.

The stranger-turned-friend from the bus the other night is another great handwork of God. You know what they say about the Creator moulding some creatures with so much attention to detail, interest, and patience on a day likely to be a weekend in heaven? I kid you not. From the way she picks her words, to the disarming smile that reveals her well-spaced gap teeth (this is the part where I’ll hold my head and scream “ojigbi-jigbi!”), down to the other “God-given features” that adorned her here and there (the little the description the better, don’t you think?)… she’s the full package! Nay, I mean she’s almost the full package. I found out about some little things later and ratings took a sharp and disappointing dive into nothingness.

In case you’ve got your analytical game on, trying to establish a trend to arrive at my type of girl, please bae, do not filter by colour. Yellow bus or red BRT, they both transport. Dora is many nautical miles away from fair. She’s a quintessential pretty dark lady Sir Don Jazzy himself would gladly dub the Doro title. But then, Doro is a useless title—and I repeat, a VERY useless title—if the ma’am is so impressive only to the eyes, but with a not-so-desirable attitude (I can almost hear momma’s advice ringing in my ears, again). A crush could be in existence, but it would remain a crush and nothing more. Hopefully, it won’t crush this son of man.

There is also the mulatto on my device’s messenger, and the very responsive cute belle I met on the Badoo I never use. What of the radiating Clara that sparkles all the time from the choir stand? I dare not forget the beautiful almost albino chic beside the confectionery, and the unbelievably “tush” walnut babe (*shudders* What was I thinking? Bae, scratch out the last part, that was a joke). The more I add entries to the list, cutting across boundaries, tribes, colours, heights, ages and temperaments, the more I nail myself to the cross of likely infidelity. I don’t want to make the wrong impression.

So here goes the right impression.

Right now right here, I don’t know who you are bae. In fact, you could be anywhere on the surface of the planet. You could be in Czechoslovakia or France right now (Syria is not your portion IJN); or doing some stuff only you understand in an Indian village somewhere (no offence); or even close to home hanging out with a boyfriend (a boyfriend you’ll have to break up with soon by the way) some few miles away from here. What I know and sure of is that I want the best; an outstanding woman I’ll gladly spend the rest of my life with. I picture you at every attempt I get, bringing up images of the lot of things that thrill me in a woman.

Is it now a crime to think of you? Will it be so difficult to understand how all these ladies get into my head any time I try to think of the perfect you? Is it an offence to picture you with the eyes of Kemi, amazing “wicked” structure of Tola (jcheesox!), the radiance of Clara, disarming gap-toothed smile of Lara, the pretty cool finesse of Sandra… bla, bla and more bla? Believe me, I’ve considered this a problem and tried so much to find a remedy, but I’m not doing so well at achieving the desired result.

A friend once told me I shouldn’t bother looking for the perfect one—since I won’t even find her—but rather, find one I’ll be perfect with. Besides, I’m also not even close to perfect. She implied that I shouldn’t center my idea of perfection on the stuffs I read in books or see on the big screens (you know the sharp bright eyes, firm jaw, curvy this, supple that thinggies), but rather face the plain reality. She said a lot of sensible things, but it didn’t change much. Not yet. Perhaps I’ve got a very weird and rare strain of perfectionism affecting me. Perhaps I need the service of very good and experienced shrinks (I fear one would turn out to be inadequate).

Getting to you eventually depends on this; I’m sure you have your own flaws too. Perhaps I’ve found you already, but putting you in a no-no zone because of a little “but”; flaw(s) I have as well.

I’ll try harder to get better and come for you (definitely not on a horse nor in a shiny armour; preferably in an S-Class Benz), but while I do that, try not to listen to that guy sending you messages, calling you angel as though you’ve got the halo and wings, and bombarding you with pseudo-affection. We know what he wants, and NO, we… no, I mean you, are not giving it to him. He won’t like that, yes, but friend zone doesn’t kill… it makes one stronger. (Unknown author)

I know I’ve got no right or say now, just try and consider the advice.

I’ll anticipate a reply, if by any weird but fortunate means you get this.

Yours truly,
Imperfect Future Hubby

I am @jossef69 on twitter

http://www.facebook.com/senorjoesblog

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The Judge Next Door

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Foreword: This piece is in a way, a sequel to a piece in the Dear Diary category: Sour-prano Untamed. Many thanks to beautiful readers and contributors who instigated this delivery. They triggered the impulse that searched for this memory at the secret place it was hitherto lodged. I hope you enjoy this.

————————-

No matter how much of enjoyment the present presents me, a short mental stroll down memory lane, childhood avenue, always gives me the beams; sometimes a loud laugh LOL would understate.

The exact place it took me this time I’ll gladly regale. Before I do though, allow me to quickly go on a brief commercial of the sponsors of this programme.

I’m just kidding. Please don’t go away.

On that very cold night that was so ideal for a serious slumber, I grumbled and dragged along with my siblings, clutching a mat in my arm and raving incoherence as we trailed behind our parents. In contrast to my unhappy mien was the clear grey star-less sky which shone so effortlessly that it kindled my anger. On nights like that, we would plead with them or feign deep sleep and yawns in an attempt to avoid the vigil, but we hardly ever succeed. By the time they’re done telling us how night prayers are very effective; and how the devil, the roaring lion looking for whom to devour, comes in the night to sow weeds into lives, we would open our eyes wide and drop the antics, pick up our cover cloths and simply tag along.

I had determined to take the tonight-I-must-sleep ministry to the permanent site, but somehow along the line that changed. The pastor-in-charge was particularly so good and vibrant it became hard to slumber, not when he was lambasting witches and borrowing the sword of the God of Jacob every two minutes. Wouldn’t it be so stupid to sleep when witches are vexing and looking for escape routes?

My eyes remained shut as I dragged myself into the spirit by force, lips moving hastily, releasing words of prayer to counter any homeless wandering spirit.

Casting and binding finally stopped. As a small church, the norm during vigil was that the most qualified drummer in attendance would beat the drum. Unfortunately, the role fell on me, leaving me no room for escape at all. I grudgingly motioned to the drum-stand in full realisation of a sleep gone down the drain.

It wasn’t long before my reluctance fizzled and gave way for zeal. Engrossed in the rhythm and melodious delivery of sister Shade in the praise session, I didn’t notice I was hitting too hard. The church was in a frenzy, jubilating and twerking unto the Lord in a new song and with a loud voice. Our loyal reconstructed yamaha speakers at the corners were doing great jobs; booming at a decibel that would put Kenwood to naked shame. The tiny-but-mighty funnel shape speaker on the roof aided by air movement spread the good news more than it was sent. Satisfactory nods came from the pastor every time the drum-set rocked with effect. What better motivation did the drummer boy need?

A gentle breeze swept through the little space of the church just at the time we switched to a song of God’s miracles, reiterating how He made dry land across the Red sea, fell the wall of Jericho and raised the dead. The cold caress of the breeze reminded me of the nap, but I was already in the mood for action.

I noticed a figure from afar but I couldn’t make out the face. The usher at the side of the entrance had somehow disappeared. A man strolled in gently, squinting under the lights with his hands folded behind him as he made his way in the direction of the pulpit. It wasn’t a time for altar call so I couldn’t understand his mission. He became so familiar as he got nearer, and at that exact moment I had a full recall of him and a hint of his likely mission, he switched from melancholic to vitriolic. He dashed and hurled his sandal at the pastor, rushing him in a flash.

It wasn’t the mortal combat game on Play Station. The speed was near impossible!

I was shocked. The whole church was. We rushed to the altar to get a clear glimpse of what was happening, but the deed had gone beyond done. Sounds that managed to echo in the confusion had followed repeatedly. I knew the sounds very well; I hear them often on my way to school whenever garage boys are taking stances in pointless fisticuffs.

At the age a few years shy of 50years, the well-built and very fair Mr Giwa has had lots of health issues linked mainly to his disturbing blood pressure. He was a quiet man; a very gentle man who would do everything to stop anything that poses a threat to his health, especially unsettling loud noise in the middle of the night.

For the love of God and His anointed son, everyone rushed to the rescue and restrained Mr Giwa from dealing the fourth blow. What he lacked in melanin he gained in the strength of Mohammed Ali. Sneaky sister Shade was no more on scene. I knew as a fellow accomplice I shouldn’t be visible as well. Blows that put a grown man to the ground all-mute would surely work a deafening miracle—or anti-miracle, depending on impact intensity—on a boy of my age. I disappeared too, not because I was scared, but because, well. . . I strictly preferred God’s miracles in our last song.

Ambulance would have been too much for the occasion, first and second aid treatments wouldn’t. I remembered one of pastor’s favourite verses that talks about the devil that comes to steal, kill and destroy. As I later watched him cooling at a corner of the building (it could’ve been me), I couldn’t fight the urge to conjure up satisfied smiling witches, and the devil in a flowing black robe with a hood over his head; a familiar devil in sallow Mr Giwa’s image. Indeed, that devil had not come to steal, kill or destroy; he came to deliver a few fist sentences and nothing stopped him. Not even the usher he sentenced first by silently putting him out of service at the entrance.

If I had been told earlier that the vigil would end two hours before closing I would’ve countered in the line of “get thee behind me, satan”. Who would’ve thought that our arch-enemy, the accuser of brethren and tormentor of the beloved, had an ally close by?

Days later Mr G apologised. As you would guess, he blamed the devil and his health concern. I agreed with the latter and kicked out the former just like the rubbish that it was. The forgiveness was quick and both parties, especially the church, learnt a lesson. We all subscribed to the golden quote:

“If you do not make a noise, no class captain will put your name in the list of noise-makers let alone get you flogged—or boxed (ceteris paribus).”Julius Ceasar

Selah.

I am @jossef69 on twitter.

image credit: medicinenet.com

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Client X: The End Of Me

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“A file containing each candidate’s questions will be distributed now,” she paused and motioned some staffs to share the files, “and you’re required to answer the questions in the spaces provided. You will study the role play questions carefully and act out your solutions when the time comes, as you would in a real life situation.”

She finished with the instructions and asked if anyone has questions or requires some clarifications. Taking cue that all was well from the silence that followed, she stepped out in her rocking stilettos.

It was an assessment day as a part of the recruitment process of a big service firm. In a nice suit and a well placed fitting spectacles that complemented the bonhomie exuding smile on my clean-shaven face, I sat in the reception amidst a number of other candidates, scribbling out answers and mulling over my role playing questions.

A pitch of just a minute to convince a potential customer to save her huge fund in our firm didn’t seem like a very hard first role to play, considering that I had ample time to contemplate. I came up with an idea and reiterated it severally till it stuck. Many lips around me ventured in similar silent movements. Everyone except the young man beside me whose mouth moved and hummed like that of an herbalist in an incantation spree.

A familiar pair of eyes settled on me as I entered the cosy office space where my first role playing assessment was to commence. Young, pretty. . . and with everything that screamed ‘hawwtt’. She was the ma’am from some moments earlier. I didn’t fall for the usual seat trick; she didn’t offer it either. She went through my file, did some blinking and nodding before she relaxed and looked up at me.

“You’re welcome! I’m Mabel, and your session starts now. Make your pitch!”

She meant business. I like business.

I spilled out my recital on quality service, the need for her to get value for her hard-earned money, the consideration of her convenience in the overall scheme of things, and rested my case seconds to the one minute stop.

She acted the rich potential customer and was pretty good at it.

“That’s what you all say!” she objected. “There are several firms out there that offer the same packages as you do. What’s to make me pick you and not anyone of them?”

“True!” I feigned sudden realisation, “You’re right on the point.”

I moved closer to her and explained with rich gesticulations.

“Ours is quality solid servicing that runs deep; flexible, stimulating and satisfying the core of your very needs.” I motioned my right palm downwards, subconsciously pointing at an imaginary core.

A flicker appeared in her eyes briefly and I took it as a cue that I was making sense. Perhaps I wasn’t. I added a rejoinder without delay.

“Everyone wants service packages and experiences that are convenient, exhilarating and appropriately matching their expectation; like a long round peg in a deep round hole. Fitting. Ma’am, it’ll take your breath away and keep you wanting more.”

She went from a flicker to raised brows over eyes that stared deeply into my very being like I’ve hinted her the location of a treasure stash. I quickly took advantage of the moment. Confidence burgeoning.

“Yes. We are that good. Our impeccable reputation and testimonies from customers we service steadily over the years can attest to this.”

Like a runway judge assessing a well trimmed sizzling hot six-packs-possessing male model, her gaze ran me over with skilled subtlety.

“Hmmmmn. Okay. . . This officially ends the proper role playing session. Please sit.”

She smiled and paused at the last word, motioning me to the seat across her. I gave a warm smile as well and she continued.

“You appear to know stuffs about erm—”

A moment passed before she got a grip of the word.

“. . . about servicing.”

She scrutinised my expression for some non-verbal cues I think. I pulled up the right façade for the moment.

“Can you share with me how you honed the skill? Some post-graduate experience or what?”

“Honed” and “post-graduate experience” up-notched a little in a drawl I would call titillating if not for the official ambience and my potential job on the line. I answered her and several questions followed. They somehow hovered around servicing, with keywords like deep, strong, core, quality, flexible, satisfaction, and the shebang taking the center stage. The rest of my session with her was smooth, and the feeling helped me in the other stages. I had a good start.

My journey home was spent reminiscing the past few hours of the day. I flashed to my speech on quality service and the loads of conviction, and I kept asking myself, “Where did all that come from?” Really, interview teaches one to be a good liar and a sly fox, among other things. I stifled a mirth at the thought of the second assessor trying to intimidate me, oblivious of the “battery full” on my confidence-o-meter. Who intimidates a graduate with five (5) months of requisite no-experience anyway?

Later that night I got a text from a strange number. A concise content with some inviting words about servicing, and details of an appointment somewhere in town. It ended with a name: Mabel.

Then it dawned on me. Perhaps I had used lots of “servicing” in convincing my role client and she had given it a meaning of her choice: a servicing that involves two opposite sexes, coital cravings, and a whole lot of potentials going kinetic.

I’m not at liberty to disclose my employment status and details, but she says my servicing is thrilling and indispensable. It’s been two months of active duty. I fear I’ll expire, but she never tires. She never will.

My boss. My belle. My bane.

I am @jossef69 on twitter.

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A Tale Of Sevens And Perfection

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Foreword: This piece is a popular tale told in our typical way. It’s an attempt—and yes, a trespass; a venture driven (perhaps) by the scribbler’s fascination with a character in the story, and certain occurrences. Versatile bloggers who sparkle in this fiefdom go by the names Sifa Gowon (check My Bible Story series on http://www.mymindsnaps.com) and Ogundare Tope. The latter blogs at (http://www.zaphnathpaaneah05.wordpress.com). Enjoy the read.

____________________________

He writhed for several seconds on his majestic bed as series of moving pictures flashed before him behind his shut eyes. Sweat beads gathered on his face, a few trickling down his temples, finding their way down to wet the soft fabric of his bed. He broke loose and jerked up, letting out a draught of air accompanied by a mild grunt through his throat. Befuddled, clueless and exhausted as he was, he motioned to a window in his furnished chamber, exposing his face to the naked caress of the breeze and taking in a lungful. He sighed at the peak of his preoccupation.

It’s a strange and scary dream. He thought. Another depiction in all similitude with the first he had seen moments earlier. Two scenarios in a dream in a night, having one thing in common: seven. Coincidence was a word he would have loved to welcome but he knew that would be the grandest self-served baloney and he wouldn’t bother making a fool of himself. Not when his dream might have a great import on him and his people. He wouldn’t allow negligence get the better of him. He is the king, the sovereign king of the land in all its riches and glory.

Stuck in the mire of his troubled spirit, he couldn’t sleep. The dream made no sense to him as he pondered. He dropped the idea of self-decryption and resolved to consult the great men of the land: the grey-haired men of wisdom so large it could span swathes of grassland; and the men of tricks and magic, so adept in their trade that they can levitate and animate a sculpture with a hum of their gibberish. He hoped he could speed up the break of dawn. Naturally but seemingly sluggishly, morning came.

Confident that the assembly before him would be the key to unlock the mystery of the sevens, he sat on the throne starring at the blank on the faces of the men. They looked like they had scorpions in their robes; like a bullock witnessing the whetting of the knife that would soon be its undoing. He was disappointed. Amidst their consultations and futile discussions, he went from lurid through different shades of livid until he arrived at the darkest hue.

“You useless lots! You mean to tell me that my dream is too twisted for you melon-heads to decipher? Perhaps you’ve been deceiving me all these while.” He bellowed, his voice spanning the entire length of the palace hall. Silence followed. He was indeed the sovereign.

Ruffled in the wake of the unfolding events, the cup bearer lost his grip and the clanging sound of a golden goblet hitting hard floor reverberated, breaking the silence with the attendant shrill sound. His heart left his chest in bated breath and lodged in his throat, but his worst fear failed to materialise; the king neither flinched nor looked in his direction.

Bowing before the king in fidgets not well concealed, the men remained fixed on the spot, expecting the words à la guillotine to drop on their soon-to-be rolling wise and magical heads. They were right. The words did drop, albeit a few notches down on their scale of worst nightmares, mild enough to let them munch a few grapes for yet another day.

“I will have the interpretations before noon tomorrow. Yes! From you!” He pointed at the wise men and moved his finger to their fellow in distress. In a flash he leaned away from his seat and pointed at the cup bearer, “and you too. All of you!” Pointing at everyone in fury, not minding the shuddering cup bearer and the tension building up around. The dreaded followed.

“Else you’ll all feel the wrath of your king!”

And hell broke loose.

Fear displayed its wares in various shapes and quantity enough to go round even in two turns. His wrath was well known, and it is better known than felt. As vividly as the men could imagine the fate that awaited them, so also could the cup bearer remember the agony of one season in prison and the image of the decapitated remains of his counterpart hung on a tree; a fate that could have as well befallen him. He swallowed hard at the thought.

Murmurs fizzled and all eyes turned to him as he mumbled incoherently before gaining composure. “I think I realise my mistake.” It was the cup bearer. The effect of his statement reiterated by the rapt attention and silence. He rushed through the rest like he had a wild boar on his trail.

“Great king, many seasons ago we wronged you and we were imprisoned, the master baker and I.” He paused to catch his breath. He narrated how they had both dreamt in one night and how a certain young man, servant of the chief guard as he gathered, had interpreted their dreams. “I was freed and restored, but baker was— ” he stuttered, then swallowed, “he was executed, just as the dream man had said.”

The hall went slightly in a buzz for a moment. A flicker of hope illuminated the king’s countenance. “And where is this man you so speak of?” He inquired.

Guilt swept over him. He had failed the dream man. He didn’t return the favour he promised him; he had pledged upon his release to speak on behalf of the dream man to the king.

“You delayed because you needed your head on the block to help your memory?” The bearer cringed at the king’s words. No! Not again! He thought to himself. The king wasn’t expecting his reply anyway.

“Bring him to me at once!” The king commanded.

His bidden was immediately executed. The prisoner’s overgrown hairs were neatly shaved and his tattered cloths replaced. Though the hardship of prison had taken its toll on him, he was nonetheless a man of fair countenance. The king gave him a once-over, then narrated all that had happened till that moment, facing the men and telling him of how useless they had been in his ordeal. He subtly stopped the king from praising him based on what the cup bearer had said, but intoned that The One who blessed him with the gift be acknowledged instead.

The hall murmured in disbelief as the king narrated his dream; a dream with details that defy logic. In his first he had witnessed seven fat cows grazing on a grassland eaten by seven other inferior and srawny cows who after doing the impossible still remained lean. The second part was not short of ridiculous as well. He had seen seven fresh and healthy ears in a stalk and another stalk bearing seven dry and dying ears. With the wind as an accomplice, the bad ears sprang after the healthy ears and destroyed them.

“And I told these fools all these, but they stood mute looking like— ” he skipped a moment to find the word, ” —looking like a fool that they are.” It was the king lambasting the wise men. Again.

The dream man interpreted immediately, much to the dismay of many. The source of his gift must be really powerful, they reasoned. He knew it was a warning from the Great One and he explained without ambiguity. The seven robust cows and healthy ears he translated as seven years of plenty harvest in the kingdom, while the lean cows and withered ears were translated as seven years of intense famine after the good times. He displayed even greater wisdom by proffering solution to remedy the disaster.

He had advised that a wise and diligent man be appointed to ensure that twenty per cent of all foods in all the land within the seven years of plenty harvest be stored against the seven years of famine that would follow. The simplicity and efficiency of his suggestion appealed to the king, but he was also aware that corrupt officers in the system would foil the plan.

“Who else would be more appropriate for the job if not the wise one whom the Great One had shown meanings to the deepest of dreams?” He thought. Convinced and certain of his decision, he told the dream man all and pronounced him officer in charge of the task and his house, and second-in-command in the kingdom; an ascension greater than what anyone could ever imagine. In a moment he exited bondage and servitude and became the highest ruler of the land, save the king himself.

Who would’ve thought that a man sold into slavery could become a ruler in a strange land? Who would’ve believed that a great nation would solely depend on a foreigner in his thirties? He attempted the logical way—the way of men through familiarity and connections—to gain his freedom through the cup bearer, but the Great One gave him more than his freedom through a confusing dream.

I am @jossef69 on twitter.

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Quiescence: Our Great Undoing

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*Inspired by Tolulope John*

* * *

The answers to these questions are fundamental; they’ll aid the understanding of this post. Please take a moment on them.

(1) Which would make you feel awkward the most: an electric shock from a faulty electric iron or an electric shock from an apple?

(2) What is/are the reason(s) behind your choice?

• • •

There is a category of individuals who will stand on their ground and stay rooted even if another Mount Vesuvius erupts in their immediate environment. I know there’s a verisimilitude of blithering stupidity in that, but these ones would rather die than renege on their words or beliefs, especially when they are nothing short of the truth.

A member of another category would promise to crucify his girlfriend because she wronged him, vent on how he would strike her dead with thunder as soon as she appears; but you’d be surprised to see him melt like ice cream in the microwave when she finally arrives and rubs his head, displays the come-and-do eyes and pouts him endearment. Mumu-button is pressed and the god of thunder loses his wrath. He sleeps off.

Kenneth belonged to the former category; I was unavoidably the largest shareholder in the latter. The other shareholders, Kenneth and I all lived together in the same building (a hostel of many self-contain rooms) as members of a family would. There were no boundaries in the way we co-relate. We’d see movies, play games, cook, discuss — current affairs, women affairs, sports, politics… and the corruption in the society, murder erring rats, and do many other things altogether.

We were like brothers with healthy camaraderie and common interests. But we had a common enemy too.

If you lived in my neighbourhood then and you don’t know Thunder, you seriously need to buy a scratch card and apply for your LASTMA cap online; you have officially jonzed. He is the terror that forces tenor out of you even though you never want to sing. “Unfortunate” is when you walk into him on a day he’s in the mood to “tax” you. “Very unfortunate” is when all the conditions in the “unfortunate” are present when he had just finished some wraps— not one, not two —of indian hemp.

As routine, instead of saying “deliver us from evil” every morning when saying the Lord’s prayer, we’d change that part and ask God to “deliver us from Thunder”. Likely are you to be in trouble if you greet him. You’re definitely in trouble if you don’t. The best remedy is complete avoidance.

The day he stormed our hostel with his protégés after one too many bottles of beer, for a reason that eludes me even till date, was one that should be named a national holiday in our honour. Say “Beating day” or “Thrashing day”. Kenneth was lucky not to be around. He met us all putting up a strong face, a futile attempt at obscurantism; weak joints, tumid cheeks and dark eye rings can’t be hidden.

He was so annoyed. Not that he would’ve turned to a superhero and fight for us, but we knew he would’ve faced Thunder and said his mind, even if the blows that were sure to follow would put him in a coma for months or some three-sixty-something days at least. He opined that we report the very heinous and totally execrable act to the police, but we knew the simple service rule: customers are always right. True, he would be arrested, say by 9pm, then you’d see him knocking on your door by 9:25pm— same day and same time zone —to tell you he’s back.

Will one survive the beating that must follow? That’s a question for the gods.

Unanimously, we debunked the idea and made sure he didn’t pursue it on his own. About a week later, our own Kenneth was “very unfortunate”. He had blatantly refused to give Thunder any tax after his rather rude and unwarranted demand. The consequence was obstreperous, forceful and gory. Thunder punched him heavily on the face, focusing on the nose and mouth until he lost balance; retrieved Kenneth’s wallet from his pocket and left him for his aides to finish off.

We watched as he writhed in pain. We witnessed his suffering and the hard kicks to his sides amidst the torrents of weed-invoked invectives. At a point he stopped fighting it. He lowered his defences and focused on us with glaring bewilderment on his rumpled face. In between his contorted mien were confusion, disappointment. . . and puzzled questions I didn’t entirely understand.

Our friend was being plummeted by touts but we didn’t interfere. We were silent. Scared. Traders minded their businesses as though it was a normal thing; the same way they neglected us the day we were thrashed in our beds. We would discuss injustice and proffer solutions in the comfy of our hostel but lose our power of speech and right to act when they matter most.

I understand him better now. I fully understand the looks on his face.

Thunder’s treatment was noxious and not humane, but what else would you expect from a half-sane— if sane at all —inveterate thug? The same way a bad electric iron is expected to shock (no shock is good but it’s not strange in this case).

As friends and neighbours to Kenneth, the proverbial apple a day that keeps the doctor away, we betrayed him with our silence and inaction. The shock must have been very devastating, just like an unexpected electrocution from a green apple.

Life is a tragedy not because of the strident clamour of the bad people but because of the appalling silence of the good people.
Martin Luther King Jr.

What difference does it make in shouting in your closet and keeping mute in public? For you have not spoken until you’re heard.
Anonymous

In the end, we will remember not the words of the enemies but the silence of our friends.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Ken is doing well as a budding activitist. He says he has forgiven us, but we’ve not forgiven ourselves.

Only if I can go back in time and undo things by raising my voice and acting against it; make others join me. We were more than them. We would’ve won, but our silence was a cue for them to go on.

If we do not act against injustice, we are accomplices in the perpetuation of evil.

I can’t travel through time, but the present is mine to fashion the future.

I am @jossef69 on twitter.

Adewoyin Joseph A.
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