The 29th of December was ending with a warm evening.
I was sitting outside staring at the darkening sky with a cup of palm wine, my fifth, in my hand. I watched the sun set behind the hills. Nature’s timer was ticking. Another three sunset and this New Year madness would come to an end.
People would return to their jobs.
Families would go back to their homes.
And lovely vistas like the one I was watching would go by unnoticed. Hidden by the shroud of life’s busy toll.
Till then though it was a lovely evening for sitting down, staring at the sky and sipping palm wine.
The evening was beautiful.
And then my phone rang.
I had fallen to the habit of setting different ring tones for people who called often. I listened to the opening score of the horror movie Omen.
Only one person had that ring tone.
“Hello. Carl! Happy New year.”
“We’re not yet there. We’ve still got a couple more sunsets.” I said wearily.
“That’s just a technicality. I’ve already got my new year resolution ready.”
I sighed inwards. I hated resolutions so much. Somehow I always managed to break them before the next year came around.
“Seriously?” I asked with a half smile.
“Absolutely. The cool thing about it is I’m starting it right now. I’m not going to wait till the New Year before I begin.” Stolich announced proudly.
“And what’s your New Year resolution going to be?”
There was a pause over the line as she debated how best to tell me. Finally she settled with a simple.
“I’m going celibate!”
I couldn’t help it. I laughed.
Understandably she hung up.
Going celibate and giving up sex.
Just thinking about it gave me goose bumps. I had had a partially sucessful experience with that bit of resolution some months ago. I had celebrated going six months without sex.
I had been all set for making it an even seven months off the wagon until one day I met a girl. We had a moment. She gave me a kiss. Did something incredibly with her tongue. Roved her hand over my body. Knocked me on the bed. Slipped her hand beneath my shorts, did something more incredible with her hand and next thing I was all over the place.
Record time 2 minutes.
True I hadn’t exactly had sex. But seeing as having orgasms was against my resolution I had to conclude that my resolute spell was at a delightful end and get on with my life.
The point though was, the seven months (almost) that I had spent celibate hadn’t been easy. I didn’t expect it to be any different for her.
The 30th of December came without the warmth of 29th.
There had been a light drizzle and with it had come the comfortable biting cold of the harmattan. Staying outside wasn’t an option and so I hobbled into the parlor.
I sat with members of my extended family and watched in horror my first Nigerian movie of the year. It was a disaster.
Has anyone watched “The Last Billionaire”?
Word of advise. Dont.
I was watching a scene unfold with concern.
Some Members of the Nigerian Secret service were about to kidnap a known felon from the United Kingdom. He had murdered a relation of the Nigerian president a year before and had since fled to the UK for safety.
Ignoring the obvious process of extradition thy decided they would just go and kidnap him a la Umaru Dikko.
The head of the SSS was announcing his grand plan of getting to the United Kingdom.
“We’ll fly to China. From there we’ll go to Japan. Take a boat to Indonesia, head to India. Go to Russia. Cross over to Vienna. Then we’ll fly to Argentina. We’ll drive through Brazil. Mexico. United States finally ending up in Canada. Fly to Greenland and then, then gentlemen, we get to the United Kingdom.”
I closed my eyes in frustration. Who wrote theses scripts? Save me lord I prayed.
My phone rang.
The Omen ring tone.
Her voice was cheerful as she yelled into the phone.
“I’ve gone one day!”
“Huh?” I asked. My mind was still in numb shock from the movie I was watching.
“I’ve stayed celibate for one day. I’m unto a roaring start with my resolution.”
“Yeah the first day is always the hardest. You’re so silly” I laughed. “What does your boyfriend/fiancé think about your decision?”
‘Er…he doesn’t know yet. He is not around. He is flying in today.”
“You haven’t seen him in over 3 month’s right?” I remembered.
“Nothing. So he flies in after three months horny as hell and finds out his nymph of a girlfriend has decided to go celibate. I can’t wait to hear how this goes!”
“He won’t mind.” She said confidently.
I heard her inhale sharply.
“Look Carlang. Stop being a Schadenfreude. If you can’t be for me. Then don’t be against me.” She snapped and then hung up.
She was doing that a lot.
I returned to the television screen. The movie was unreeling with unbelievable stupidity. The SS agents had found the targeted individual. I watched as thy raided his London home and stunned him with some kind of gas. Nerve gas or something. What the chemical constituents was was not the issue. The gas worked fine because he passed out.
What was absurd was the fact that the terribly overweight SS guys stood next to him in the potently lethal gas without gas masks and none of them was affected.
Must be one of those selective nerve gases.
I couldn’t take anymore. If I kept watching I wouldn’t make it till 2008.
I went to bed.
The 31st of December brought with it the familiar feeling of excitement and hope. People chatted expectantly as they waited for the big transition into 2008. I had given up trying to figure out what New Year fuss was all about. I mean, Apart from a number, nothing else really changed.
Stolich called me early in the morning.
“He is coming in another 4 hour.”
“Coming?” I asked with a smile.
I heard her sigh loudly over the phone. “You know what I mean Carl. Not that kind of coming. I mean he arrives in 4 hours.”
“And I’m going to welcome him.”
“Is that all you can say.”
“If I can’t be for you I shall not be against you.” I said in my best imitation of a robot.
Predictably, She did the hang up thing.
I lazed the entire morning away.
I started doing my laundry and changed my mind.Then I picked a novel, one by James Patterson and read for a bit.
After watching them murder a couple of goats that was destined to be used as pepper soup I returned to the parlor. Fortunately no one was watching a Nigerian movie.
My aunt had dug up and old VHS tape and an even older video tape player.
VHS? What would I see next? A T-rex? It was almost like I was back in the Jurassic period. Anyways it turned out to be everyone’s ostensibly favorite movie.
Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
With nothing else to do I sat down next to my aunt and watched the coolest man in the world strut his stuff.
In the midst of a powerful speech from Jesus my phone rang with the demonic ring tone from Omen.
My aunt shot me a cold look. I had just ruined her concentration. I worsened my plight by answering the phone. I knew I was in trouble. What kind of idiot answers the phone when Jesus is giving a lecture?
“Hello? Who is this” I asked even though I knew damn well who it was.
“I’m too young. “She said.
“You’re too young or he looks really sexy.” I said. My aunt actually paused to look at me. Children of nowadays. Back in the days I would be stoned.
“Both. He looks really sexy. I’m not sure I can pull this celibate thing off. I mean .Do I really need to be celibate? Is there any point to it? What do I stand to gain by denying myself sex?”
“Right.” I muttered in reply.
“Seriously. He is in the next room looking so sexy. It would be a sin I didn’t do anything about it. He is my boy friend for crissakes. HE bought me a Christmas gift. I haven’t opened it but it looks promising.”
“ I’m a hedonist. Plain and simple. I’m too young to give up pleasure. That’s insane isn’t it?”
“Right.” I replied again.
I looked at the screen. Jesus was still giving the lecture. I felt really uncomfortable. I was talking about unbridled and unsanctioned sex right in front of him. He paused and looked at the screen. I felt my hair go white. I tried to listen to what he was saying.
What are you doing? You’re not helping me.”Stolich’s voice barked into my ear.
“Sorry. I was trying to hear something.”
Her voice was irritated.
“Whatever you’re doing stop doing it and focus on me. You’re supposed to be my best friend.”
2000 years after Adam and the Garden of Eden, we still were suckers for women.
Same scenario and we were still making the same mistakes.
I stopped listening to Jesus and focused on her conversation.
“Don’t do it then. I thought you said you were going celibate.” I said.
My aunt had stopped looking at the screen. Her entire focus was now on me. She was glaring at me like I had a bra tied around my head.
I considered my options and left the room.
“You’re a terrible friend. If you can’t be for me then don’t be against me” Stolich retorted.
I felt confused.
“I thought the for option meant I supported your celibate bid. I’m supporting you.”
“But I want to break my vow. You need to support me on that now. There’s been a change in agenda. Haven’t you been listening?I want to make out with my boyfriend.” Stolich groaned into my ear.
“Oh? Now you want to quit celibacy?” I asked wearily.
“Yes. Didn’t you get the memo?”
I thought about it. What would Jesus do?
I hung up.
After the build up and excitement to the New Year the transition was surprisingly uneventful. Someone yelled happy New Year and the entire town went wild with the bang of fireworks and crackers.
I waited 3 minutes but no Alien ship appeared.
I guess the world was going to survive for another year.
My phone ran at 20 minutes past 12.
“Happy New year Carl.” It was Stolich and she sounded exhausted.
“You did it?” I asked sagely.
It was funny how our conversations had degenerated to the point where it could only mean one thing.
Sex. The Mc Nasty. Transitional Cotius.
‘Yes. It was great. We did…”
“Save me the details. I don’t want to hear the skinny on your sexcapades.” I said wearily.
She laughed at me. There was a voice in the background, his, and then she said.
“He says Merry Christmas. “
I returned the greeting.
“Any plans for the new year. Do you have any resolutions that you’re making.” She asked me. Her voice sounded strained. Was he trying for an encore already? I was in a different state 30 miles from her and he still felt the need to mark his territory.
Men.We were such beasts.
“Yes. I’m giving up coke.”
“Nice. I’m sure you’ll do well. You're a lot stronger than I am.” She observed “ I couldn’t even stay celibate for a year.”
“Well technically you did. You last had sex last year in 2007. Its 2008 now. Officially you haven’t had sex for a year.”
She burst out laughing.
“Thanks Carl. You’re good for my ego.” She gave a loud gasp " Happy New Year darling. “And then she hung up still laughing.
Ten minutes later I walked into the house and met my aunt. She still had the look on her face. If the rapture had happened at midnight, and she had her way, I would probably be in hell right now.
“Happy New year Aunt.”
“You too. “She said quietly. “Do you have a resolution?”
I nodded that I did.
I left her and walked to the kitchen. There was still some pepper soup left in the pot. I filled a bowl for myself , grabbed a bottle of water and walked to what had been designated my room. Half way there I stopped and thought about it.
What’s the point?
I walked back to the kitchen. Opened the fridge replaced the bottle of water and pulled out a bottle of coke.
Happy New Year.