Of Monsters and Men

Looking for heaven, found the devil in me – Florence + the machine.

Life perplexes me. No, that’s not entirely true. It’s people –yes, people- that I find perplexing. The way they behave, their reactions to things I do, their reactions to my reactions to things they do, and so on and so forth; as they say.

It has always been this way, I think; this perplexedness of mine. While growing up, I never could quite understand why I had always had to quarrel with everyone over my wardrobe choices. What’s wrong with wearing ankara buba and lace sokoto? They’re made of different materials, yes, but so are Jeans and T-shirts but nobody complains about that.

Though I was left to my own devices eventually, that came with it’s own consequences. My elder sister never let me wear anko with her or let me be seen within her vicinity in public. She might have even denied my relation to her on occasion.

Over the years, I’ve had similar incidents with people, like the time I convinced a friend to watch American Horror Story and she later called me that night to curse me in ibo, and the Ofada episode of 2015; incidents -like the one I’m here to write about- that have more or less made me come to the realisation that despite my best intentions, humans are just very confused and confusing creatures.

A couple of weeks ago I was travelling home (Lagos) from Ibadan for the weekend; allies to visit, booty to plunder and all that. Then about 20 minutes into the journey when we were on the expressway good and proper, the man sitting beside me decides to bring out a book and start reading.

Now, the thing is, I can’t read in a moving vehicle. I just can’t. And it’s not just limited to myself either. I get nauseous even if someone directly beside me is doing the reading. I don’t know why it happens; it’s kind of like sympathy pain but you know, with motion sickness.

Anyway, the man starts reading this book, titled born to taste the grapes; a Christian book by the looks of it and when I tried convincing him to put his book away because it was making me dizzy, he just gives me this funny look and continues with it.

After surreptitiously watching me writhe in discomfort for a few minutes, he turns towards me and says: “Is the book really disturbing you?”

No, not the book. I love grapes. They’re delicious. It’s the reading of the book. In a moving bus. I would still feel the same if you were reading a newspaper. I know it’s unusual but trust me, it’s definitely not the book.

Okay, he says and that seems to mollify him for a bit but after a little while he turns again, hesitates for a second, then asks: Would you like me to pray for you?

Wait, what? What?

See, this book is strong. There may be negative forces inside you that’s reacting to it. Maybe that’s why you’re not comfortable.

No, thank you. No forces. You know what, never mind. I feel a lot better now.

I still think we should pray. Give me your hand.

What? No no no. Wait. Seriously, n..

Father LORD!!

Oh, dear God.

Then he launches into this spiel where he’s speaking in tongues, bathing things in blood, battling demons; casting and burning them, and everyone in the bus is staring at us, wondering if we were both mental; and he is staring at me, probably wondering why I hadn’t started convulsing up and down in demonic defiance after all that verbal immolation; and I am staring out the window, watching the dense foliage flash by and brimming with equal parts anger and mortification; trying to think not-too-murderous thoughts until I couldn’t take it anymore and alighted two bus stops from my destination.

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The thing is, the only thing that really rankles about that ordeal is knowing that I was doomed the moment I decided to open my mouth. That no matter what I did or said after that, I’d still end up becoming a testimony in some church that Sunday.

I don’t understand people. Never have and probably never will. Why do I even bother?

______________________________________________

IV: You know, I hardly agree with you about anything.

Oh, really? I’m shocked.

That’s not surprising, you’re a bit daft.

I was being sarcastic.

Sure, sure; Whatever you say. Point is, this time I have to say I’m with you 100%.

Wow, that is surprising.

I mean, which normal person does not like AHS? And please don’t get me started on that ofada thing. If you’re going to ask someone to get you food, you have to be specific. Do you want ofada rice, the stew, or both?

I know, right? I mean, you can’t just say “help me buy ofada” and then get mad when I buy you only ofada stew and meat.

Exactly!! You’re not a mind reader. You can barely even remember what you wore yesterday.

Hey!!

Oh, please. Spare me the indignation.

That’s just a cruel and unfair assumption. And completely untrue.

Okay, fine. What did you wear?

Ah, Erm.. give me a minute.

Idiot.

Occupational Hazard.

Recession is when a neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. -Ronald Reagan

Economic decline, recession, change.. Whatever you choose to call it, there’s no doubt that most Nigerians are currently not finding it easy to survive. Jobs are scarce, layoffs are in abundance.

This is not a situation you really appreciate when you’re still in the University or if you’re one of the lucky few to secure employment immediately after graduating from the ivory tower.

In retrospect, I realize now that I’ve had such a cavalier attitude to things other people take seriously; like grades, or interviews and jobs.

That attitude lasted up until the very second I sat for an interview barely a month after my graduation.The same interview that up until that morning I was feeling inclined not to attend, by the way.  All it took was one look at the interviewer; from his designer shoes to his designer “bear bear” and all of a sudden I wanted that job like nothing else in the world. I mean, some of the things that came out of my mouth, even  Lie Lai Mohammed would cringe.

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Now, I don’t have that job anymore (long story), but I might have to go through that whole procedure again sometime in the future- after I’m done with this scam “scheme” known as NYSC–  and this time, there’s a few things I’d try to do differently.

  • I might have been feeling too nervous to fall asleep, but playing The Witcher to calm my nerves was probably not a good idea. By 3 am I was still trying to beat some stupid dwarf at gwent.
  • Keep the fibbing to a minimum. Or not. I mean, what do you expect when the job requirements read: Age between 20-23 with 5 years postgraduate experience. and that’s most likely why they coined the phrase “learning on the job” anyway.
  • Maybe find something else to stuff into the old briefcase other than packing paper. A design portfolio couldn’t hurt.
  • If there’s a need to get new shoes, it’s probably better to buy them instead of accepting any uncle’s hand-me-downs. Not even if they say the shoes are original Italian leather and they bought them in London. Let’s not have a repeat of what happened the last time.

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What are thoose?!!

  • Lastly, I’ll try to keep the sarcasm to a minimum, even if the question is an especially stupid one; Like where do I see myself in 10 years? 10 years! Who do I look like, Nostradamus?

 

Anyway, that’s it. That’s all I can remember. And I hope that if I ever have to do an interview again, I don’t make any more bad decisions. At least not any that would put me in the same league as those morons who came up with “Change the change”.

And by the way, those are not my legs.. Seriously, they’re not.

À bientôt.

                                                                                                                                                                                 

So, there are a few things you have to clarify..

Such as?

Some people might not know what gwent is..

Aww.. Those poor deprived souls. Gwent is a card game in The Witcher 3.

So, it’s a game within a game?

More like an addiction within an addiction.

Right..  Anything else you’d like to add?

Yes. I once peed through the window because I couldn’t stop playing the game long enough to go to the toilet.

*sigh* I know. I was there. But no one else needs to know that. Do you have anything else to add that doesn’t have to do with the Witcher?

No, but…

We’re done here.

Prologue.

I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do the day after – Oscar Wilde

3.. 2.. 1.. *cracks knuckles*.. Let’s do this.

Hello there and welcome to my very first blog post. Just in case you were wondering, I’d like to clarify a few things. First and foremost, this is not a blog about architecture, but rather, an architecture about a blog..

Hmm..no.. that’s quite senseless.

 

Hello there. This is a blog not about architecture, but about that moronic little dumbass who should have known better than deciding to become an architect..

No.. Too bitter.

This is a blog about the life and times of an Ijebu architect in the zanga.

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Just getting all the stupid ideas out of the way..

Okay, I’ll just be frank here and admit that I don’t know how to start this.. or what exactly this blog is supposed to be about. I mean, it’s not that I don’t know.. I know, but, not really, you know?

I don’t know how the idea came into my head, that I had to have a “theme” for this when I know that I’m terrible at defining things; which is why I ended up spending months coming up with squat. Now, I just don’t care anymore.

This blog is about anything I decide it to be; it’s for my thoughts and my stories; for expressing my fears and my pain; for those hilarious jokes I come up with when there’s no one around to hear them, or when I read an especially terrible book and I just have to talk about it in my scathing best.

It’s a place for me to vent when a policeman tries to arrest me because I’m wearing the colour black, or when my parents wake me up at 2 o’clock in the morning to ask if I’m a cultist.

It’s for those embarassing times when I’m halfway to the mosque before I realise that I’m wearing different feet of slippers or when I get to the airport only for someone to point out to me that I’m wearing the wrong side of my shirt.

It’s a place to wonder about my quirks; why I eat groundnut/onions with everything, why I love okra and bread, or why for some reason, I get aroused when I’m losing at FIFA.

It’s also for those melancholic moments when I can’t get those dark thoughts out of my mind; when I wonder why people say suicide is cowardly because it doesn’t seem so to me. It’s probably not going to be about love though, I believe that pain should be enjoyed in private.

This blog is about making things up as I go along.

Welcome to my little slice of the blogoshphere.

Welcome to anything.

                                                                                                                                                                                 

inner voice: Bravo, bravo.. you finally did it..

Oh, stop it.. you’re making me blush.

inner voice: But.. you created this blog since march.. it took you three months to come up with one post?

Well, things came up.

inner voice: What things?

You know, things.. see, never mind that; just tell me what you think.

inner voice: Hmm.. so when you said “that moronic little dumbass”, you were talking about you?

Yes.. you, me.. we’re one and the same.

inner voice: Oh really? and what the hell is first and foremost? You spent six years in the university and you never heard of tautology? Your parents would be so proud.

It was a mistake. You don’t have to be so mean about it..

inner voice: Well, I’ve read it and I think it was terrible. You should have taken another three months.

You’re an asshole.

inner voice: That’s what you get for calling me a moron.

I hate you. Let’s see if you can say that to my face next week.