Thursday, October 29, 2009

The camel's back

I’m lying on the floor and typing this. Andromeda says I must have superhuman powers because she does not understand how I can possible spend as long as I do on my laptop in the position that I currently am.
I simply smile at her and get back to work. This after all is my life for the next week.
I have been ordered to lie down for the rest of the week.
It happened on Sunday.

The anniversary weekend was coming on great. Saturday had been a blast. We spent the entire day watching romantic movies whilst nibbling out of a bag filled with all sorts of junk. When I got tired of nibbling on those I would nibble on her. It was fun. Simple. The world’s truest definition of a balanced diet.
Much later on in the evening I took her to some restaurant which a friend of hers had assured me was her favourite. We had a lovely time—even when she pointed out to me that I was using my salad fork the wrong way and that I was holding it in the wrong hand. I pointed out to her that because I was seating opposite her, my left hand was located on her right side. She gasped at her mistake and looked really mortified.
I suspect she realizes how cute she is when she does that.
Saturday was fun. Saturday night was even more so. The trouble all began on Sunday morning.

We were getting ready for church. Andromeda was adamant about it. We might be having an anniversary weekend but no way were we going to miss out on stopping by to say hi to Jesus. I wisely did not complain and went about getting ready. I checked the mirror to make sure my hair was brushed and there were no visible smears of lipstick or love bites on my face. Everything looked okay.

I was just bending down to tie my shoe lace when it happened. I sneezed. It was a pretty serious sneeze as sneezes go. The kind you would expect to have if you were tied down and had pepper sprinkled into your nose with a pinch of thyme. My back certainly agreed because immediately after the sneeze I felt a sharp tear in my lower back. Two seconds later I was sprawled on the floor groaning in pain.
For those of you who are curious—No! There is nothing amusing about rolling about the hotel room floor with only one shoe on.

After Andromeda was convinced that I was really in pain and not trying to escape going to church she called a doctor friend of mine to quickly solicit his medical advice. My friend went through the discussion of how I felt and where the pain was located. After a pause he finally offered his medical opinion.
“I think you’ve slipped a disk Carlang.” He waited for another half a second before asking me the question “So how did it happen again?”
I took time to go through the whole motion of events. Me. My shoe lace. I bend. A sneeze. Roaring pain. I could feel him nod on the other end of the phone.
“A sneeze you say.” He sighed. “Nice try.”
His voice grew even lower as he asked me “Now tell me seriously. What did Andromeda do to you?”

Everyone has been asking me the same question all week.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Day One

Andromeda is in the bathroom taking a shower.
She has just returned from 5 hours in the market—a mission that ended with only a lone pair of shoes. Women and their weird meter of accomplishment. I have ceased to try and understand them. Whenever I get confused I simply kiss them.
Thus far it has worked.

We are in a hotel for the next three days.
It has been 370 days since she said a firm “yes” to my stammered request that she be my girlfriend.
We are celebrating our anniversary this weekend. Or rather I am.
When I asked Andromeda what she would like to do for our anniversary she looked at me like I had asked her if Jesus might possibly have been a blinded 78 year old hunched back Asian, whose deformities were mistaken as Messianic in proportions.
According to her—women never plan anniversaries, they merely experience it. The job she says is completely mine.
“Surprise me” she announced.
The message has been received.
I am doing my best.

Thus far, everything seems to be going okay. She seemed delighted with the hotel that I picked. She walked out to the balcony which gave a nice overview to the city of Abuja and smiled. In her world that is a “Well done Carl. You’re doing great.”

There are two more days ahead of me.
Plenty of time for me to let her down. But at least for now, I have survived the first day.
She likes the room. She likes the view and she still likes the boyfriend. Friday is done.
We’ll just take one day at at a time.
And if things get really bad....well...there’s always kissing.

That always seems to work.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The curious case of blogging

If I had stayed and persisted in whipping out of my complaining hands a few more months of writing, I would have, by now, been celebrating my second year of blogging. But I didn’t stay and the rules of blogging took over. For every month that I have been away, I have aged backwards. And so today I find myself not at the 2 year mark, but somewhere worryingly around the 11th month.
It is enough to make you weep.

There is some advantage to being 11 months again. For one, I get to look forward to another one year old birthday celebration. For another I am better equipped to handle the time because of my experience. Much has changed since I was 11months and yet again very little has. The company is different. I do not expect this blog to be read because most of my dear friends have all gone. Swallowed by that ever ravenous shark that is life.
For example Naapali is gone. There are rumours that he is has been stolen by a loving wife and delightfully troublesome children. I have never been one to pay attention to proffered truth. Naapali is exactly where I left him. The only problem is I cannot remember where.

Atutu is also gone from the world of blogging. Fortunately I get to chat with him every now and then. But even in our conversations I sense the absence of what was. The magical lure of blogging is gone, replaced by the harsh realities of life. “LOL” in the world of cyber space calls to the mind the happy chatter of bloggers. In the real world they are just alphabets with very little significance.

Nigerian drama queen is supposed to be around. But even I am half convinced that this is untrue. The other half of me knows for certain that it most certainly is not. True there still are some of my old friends hanging around the woods. It appears Bumight is yet to perform her first medical murder and Fantasy queen is still very much in her Eldorado. Shubby doo still posts the occasional post and Afrobabe is still in search for the 6 hour orgasm experience. But even though many of these familiar names are still present, most of them have evolved without me. They are who they are before I left, but now even so much more that they aren’t.
The world of blogging has changed. The people. The colours and even the language.

Sometimes I feel like I am getting old.
Other times I wake up and realize that indeed I am.
But every now and then I get to experience the thrill of being young again. In another five minutes, I will return to the real world filled with work, deadline, coke and the never ending pursuit of physical fulfilment.
But until that happens I will remain here.
And for a little while, I will be 11 months again.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Life's Gamble

This is a work of fiction.

Last night someone asked me if I loved to gamble and my immediate thought was “Yes. Everyday.”.
I gamble in the morning when the 3 year old alarm next to my bed, lets loose another of its daily shrills. Wincing in pain, I ponder my choices. Do I ignore its announcement and go for another 30 minutes or do I trust my body’s ability to make it to the bathroom without my brain.
I gamble when I brush my teeth. Do I go for 15 strokes, 50 strokes or do I trust the 200 strokes of yesterday to carry me on through today.
I gamble when I head out of the house at a slow walk. I am hoping that the train does not break its routine and somehow make it to the station early.
Most of the time I’m lucky. But other times I have to seat through an angry boss.

You see what I’m talking about?
Everyone gambles.
It’s an inherent instinct of life. I laugh when people shake their heads in pious shock when they are asked the gamble question. They do not believe themselves capable of such behaviour. Gambling is too risky they claim. I nod my head as they announce this familiar bit of defense. It is not out of concordance. It is more out of the situation’s irony. If gambling is too risky what then can be said of living?

Life is a series of gambles. We walk the streets gambling on the chance that the tattooed individual in the corner is not really a disgruntled employer itching to take a swipe at anyone who comes within 3 feet of him. We gamble as we drive—that the 3 million other cars sharing the city with us is not being chauffeured by speed demons who like the look of mangled metal. We breathe daily , gambling that we suddenly will not take an accidental whiff of one of those secret killer fumes that we are assured by the CIA is out there, but instead continued to run into good old, terribly plain oxygen.

Most of the time it works.
We wake in the morning and go through the day with nothing to show for our risky acceptance of fate’s dice except one or two splashes of mud. It is one of the nicer rules of playing the game of life. Most of the time, with very little bit of planning involved, we end up breaking even.
But every now and then our luck runs out and we are left with one of those situations that we might have avoided had chosen differently. Situations that might have been avoided if we hadn’t been so rash in our decisions.

And so last night when he looked at me and asked me if I loved to gamble, I shook my head slowly--even though my thoughts echoed differently—swallowed hard and gently handed over my wallet.
His grim gaze, hovering over the gripped gun told me I had made the right choice.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


There are times when being an Angel sucks.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being an Angel. The pay is fantastic, the management is more than decent and the method of transportation is simply, quite frankly, out of this world.
It rocks being an angel. Being able to whiz around the world at will. Being able to speak over a million languages. Being able to walk through walls into homes, offices and yes—shower rooms, those are advantages that very few occupations can boast of`.
But there are other times when, despite the seemingly infinite benefits, being an Angel truly can suck.
Like now.

I stared at the sitting frame of my new assignment.
He was slouched in a couch watching some channel called CNN. In his hand was a bottle of water—His lone source of hydration ever since he had sworn of coke 3 months ago. On any other day, I would have considered him a fine specimen as far as human standards went but today I found him to be most irritating.

I wasn’t on vacation—that rarely happens for Angels. It is one of those things that we are not allowed to do, right after eating chocolates (No one likes an overweight angel you see).Besides, the whole idea of vacation is stopping to have a great time. Angels already have a great time. Vacation , for us, was totally unnecessary.

So I wasn’t on vacation.
If I was on vacation then—maybe—I would have been less irritated with the cross-legged human in front of me. But I wasn’t and so I was.
You see the thing was, it wasn’t just that I was on assignment.
It was the worrying fact that he was the assignment.
And as far as assignments go he was like one of those calculus equations that teachers sometimes give 3rd graders just to frustrate them.
He was being irritatingly difficult.

I stared at his unruffled forehead. To the casual observer, he looked to be in perfect health. His body was not overweight, his eyes darted around in focused scrutiny and the silent bob of his head gave evidence to his hearing.
However as far as I was concerned, he seemed dead to my existence.

I heard a soft whoosh behind me and heaved a sigh of relief.
“Hello Legna.” I said quietly.
Angel Legna walked up to my side and smiled at me. “You’re getting better Mourinho.” He murmured. His perfect wings softly beating up and down. “You knew it was me without looking.”
I gave a half smile. Normally it would have been a good compliment but right now I wasn’t feeling particularly receptive. There was a reason why wings were tucked between my legs and it wasn’t because of the overhead fan.
Legna stood beside me and we both stared at my assignment. We watched as he reached for the remote control beside him and quickly surfed through the channels. After a stunning change of stations he settled on some channel called “E”. They were talking about some lady called Angelina Jolie. He sighed happily and relaxed deeper into his chair.
“This is him?”Legna asked me.
“Yes it is!” I replied.
“He doesn’t look that troublesome.”
“They rarely do.” I replied tersely.

Angel Legna laughed at me.
“Don’t let it get to you. Humans are notoriously difficult and stubborn.” Again he chuckled softly. Probably at some memory. He scratched his smooth chin “What’s the assignment anyway?”
I sighed out loud.
“I’m supposed to inspire him. According to the reports he is supposed to be a writer. But he hasn’t written anything worthwhile recently.” I explained.
“So you’re here to help him?” Legna asked.
“Yes. That would be it.”
“Kinda like a Muse. You’re on Muse detail.” Legna said.
“Yes. I guess you could say that. Only this Muse is not amused with this musing moose.” I retorted.
Legna laughed out loud.
“You’re really adjusting to being an angel. Musing moose… that’s priceless.”
This time I couldn’t help it. I smiled back at him.
We chuckled for another 5 seconds then Angel Legna quietened down.
“So what is he suppose to write. What are you trying to prod him into writing? A story? An essay? An assignment”
I shook my head. “None of those. Try a blog.”
“OH?” Angel Legna said. “He is a blogger?”
“Yes.”I muttered. “Goes by the name Carlang. I have no idea why he chose that.”
Legna chuckled.
“That’s actually simple as far as blogging names go. You should try names like Afrobabe and Nigeriadramaqueen.”
I frowned.
He nodded in affirmation. “Yes. Both of them. I was assigned to them recently. They had the same problem with this……Cartlan?”
“Carlang.” I corrected.
“Carlang. Got it!” Legna said. “Well... I had to persuade my two to get writing as well. Like him they had tumbled into an unnecessary hiatus. Unlike him they eventually they got round to it.” He stared at my assignment who was still staring at Angelina Jolie. I wasn’t sure but it looked like he was drooling “Off course, I suspect my job was a lot easier because my subjects were females. Males are notoriously difficult to get through.”
“I noticed” I said dryly.

“Have you tried talking to him” Legna asked.
I snorted.
“Right.” Legna said with a laugh.”I’m sorry about that. I’m guessing you’ve tried everything by the book.”
“Everything!” I stressed in frustration.
Legna smile.
“Well then I guess it’s time you tried something out of the book.”
“What would that be?”
He gave me a mischievous smile. I never thought Angels were capable of those. I became wary.
Legna pointed at my waist. “Use it.”
It took me a second to comprehend what he was talking about.
“No!” I gasped.
“Yes!” he said firmly. Then his smile softened. “Don’t worry. You’re not doing anything illegal. We do it all the time.”
“Really?” I asked.
“Really!” Angel Legna said with a serious expression. “How do you think Noah managed to complete building the ark?”
“I always wondered about that.” I murmured.
I stared at Carlang. He was channel surfing again—did humans ever stop watching TV. It seemed like all they seemed to be ever doing.
“So do it already.” Legna said.
“Poke?” I suggested.
“Poke!” he confirmed.

There are times when being an Angel sucks.
And there are times when it is totally cool to be one.
With a happy smile I pulled out my sword. It was a beautiful engraved piece. I had never made out exactly what the symbols on the blade meant but it was exquisite. I stared at the smooth blade which had fire softly trailing the edge. Up until now I had never used it. I hoped I wasn’t drooling.
Beside me Angel Legna chuckled.

I stared at the lazy unreceptive blogger called Carlang.
And then I poked him with my sword!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

At the insistence of "We".

I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while now.

It’s been lingering in the back of my mind, rearing its uninvited head when the occasion presented itself. Like when I was caught in traffic, firmly sandwiched amongst three hundred cars and what looked in the distance to be an elephant. I thought to myself with irritated amusement “Wouldn’t this be a fun thing to blog about?”

It progressed slowly over the weeks. When I noticed that the planners of the year 2009 had somehow goofed and accidentally assigned the 14th of February to a Saturday I was blinded with fury. What was the reason behind their mistake? Why would they do something so silly? Who assigns Valentine’s day to a Saturday? The horror. All my excuses for avoiding valentine which I had saved over the years would be completely useless this year. How was I supposed to be in a business meeting on Saturday? No girl would believe that excuse. What had those idiots done this year? Shouldn’t I be doing something about this? Like blogging a complaint?

Finally it came to a head last night.

Oddly enough nothing special happened. I was there lying on my bed celebrating the end of another busy work day. I had my earphones on and Keri Hilson was yelling something about her Energy. I was dressed in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt which had the picture of Obama and the words “Change” emblazoned on it. I was particularly fond of that T-Shirt. A while ago the T-shirt had suffered a meeting with a bottle of ketchup. Now Obama stared back at me with ketchup on his chin and a smile that didn’t seem fitting anymore. I had refused to wash the T-shirt. I loved the look of shock when people spotted me wearing it.
“Is that blood or ketchup?” they would ask, looking quickly at my face and then back at the shirt.
It was always hard to decide what to answer.

So there I was ,smelling like a man who works in a ketchup factory dedicated solely to the culinary demands of America’s number one citizen. I had just finished chuckling over some joke I heard a girl say—I can never be Lesbian. I’m not crazy about the female Vah-jay-jay. I’m so paranoid about it, they gave birth to me via caesarian.—and now had nothing else to do except return to reading my current Novel (Double Tap by Steve Martini) or attacking the Rubik’s cube which had been in my possession for the last 3 months. The pressure of choice. I was lying there trying to decide which of the two would be more fun when suddenly my alter ego Karlang sighed and asked out loud.

“Why don’t you just write something?”

Now I’m not particularly fond of Karlang. He is the annoying half of me that enjoys asking ridiculous questions.
Like what constitutes sexual Harassment at work?
Supposing you wink at your secretary would that be sexual harassment?
Supposing it’s just because you have something n your eye?
Supposing it’s her right breast?

Whenever people asked me if it was Blood or Ketchup that smeared Obama’s chin, it was always Karlang who thought saying Blood would be a great idea. Karlang was responsible for seeing imaginary elephants in holdups and the major reason why I was always in holdups in the first place. Karlang was my annoying irresponsible half who I had had to deal with all my life. He was the cocky bastard who thought he was so cool he could make gay women straight and I was the accompanying sidekick who feared he could turn straight women gay. Every week I wished there was some way I could trade him for something else—like a cricket for instance. And yet, despite our differed perception of the world and its bylaws, every once in a while he sometimes managed to say something that resonated on the reasonable or, at least ,mutually acceptable to us both.
Like when I found out the 14th of February was on a Saturday.
We both groaned out loud.
“Saturday?” I moaned. “That’s terrible.”
“Tell me about it.” He muttered. “I’m not going to be able to watch the football matches.”

This seemed to be one of those rare Moments when we both seemed to agree on an idea. I paused and considered his suggestion. It seemed like a good idea. Hell it seemed like an extremely great idea.
“I’m smart like that.”Karlang pointed out.
“Oh shut up.” I snapped.
There was sudden knock on my door and then without pausing, my cousin stuck his head into my room. He looked at me for a second.
“Who are you talking to?”
“Er.. No one.” I said with an embarrassed smile. Just some creep who lives in my head.
He shook his head sadly and left. I didn’t want to consider the conversation currently going on in his head.

I lay down for a bit more, pondering what exactly I would write if did decide to listen to my advice and write.
What could I possibly write on? I wondered. My life had been really boring thus far except for that one time when I feared I was pregnant.
Ha Ha.
Karlang sighed out loud with irritation.
“How about we just start writing and figure out what to write along the way.”
Sometimes he does make a little sense.

And so we did.
This is it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Blogville's triumph

I always knew it would be something interesting that would draw me back for a 43rd post.
I am delighted that it is this.
One of our very own has lived my dream.
When Isi announced that she had finally completed her novel I knew that i just had to share the good news with you all.

It is a joy to read our many delightful scribbles.
It is even more delightful when some of our scribbles make it into print.

I celebrate the achievement of one of us.
I still expect Angelina Jolie's phone number for Christmas.
But until then this makes for a delightful pre-christmas gift.

Thank you Santa.
Thank you Isi.
Thank you Blogville.