Friday, December 19, 2008

I Wish, I Wish, I Wish…

Written In A Moment Of Dignified Insanity

“…and they lived happily ever after”

Those six words encompass what I call “The Greatest Fraud of Fiction.” Those words have turned round to haunt many a heartbroken man or woman who as little boy or girl happened to have read them literally without realizing the author was very, very tipsy when he penned those lines.

The words that are most probably rank closest to them in Fiction Fraud ratings would actually be the words: “I grant you 3 wishes!”

Now, what would I wish for if I had just 3 wishes?

Well, simple. The first wish, of course, would be to have an unlimited number of wishes. Then maybe a duplex of my own (maintenance-free of course) complete with a cute wife with a killer figure that matches her intellect and a few Einstein kids running around their own Neverland-type ranch playing with their friends. Then an Apple iPhone or maybe the very best of the Nokia E-series, PlayStation 3 alongside a PSP and 365 games for each console (for me not the kids), several Apple iPods each one coloured to match my moods and my own super-ultra-high-tech Home Theatre system dutifully installed in my own home theatre. Also, the wish to
give and also get the very best out of Life, love and lovemaking, 26th century laptops, fitting my entire music, photo and video collection on my phone’s 1 GB SD card, finally making it to Heaven when I die… the wish list would be endless.

So apart from becoming the CEO of Nemesis Corp and losing my virginity to either Funmi Iyanda or Stella Damasus-Aboderin (I still can’t decide which of them would be the wilder sex vixen), here’s a slightly random post about wishing I wrote during one of my moments of dignified insanity.

I Wish…

I wish I could ride a bike. No, not the 750 cc kind. I mean a bicycle. Surprised? I can’t drive either! It’s amazing that in this 21st century, there exists a full-grown adult who cannot ride. As a matter of fact, I wish I could ride anything: a boat, canoe, kayak, yacht, ATV, SUV, witch’s broom, anything. Growing up under the massive shelter of my parents who provided just too much of the sheltering for my own good denied me of this one pleasure. Like Richard Gere said in the movie Pretty Woman: “My very first car
was a limousine”

Well, not exactly. We were way too poorer than that. Our first car was LA 9745 A. That was actually the license plate registration of my father’s Peugeot 504 saloon car. I don’t know how old the car was; I was born and saw that car. We kids always tried to think of a befitting nickname for it but nothing fit better than the name: LA 9745 A.

It might sound harsh to say this but my father loved that car more than all of us combined. Till it was sold off as scrap to those Mile 1 mgbuka men, the most we boys were allowed to do was wash it. Woe betide you if you did as much as turn the steering wheel (which would promptly lock unless you had the car keys to free it). Of course by the time I entered SS1, LA 9745 A had made way for the Suzuki “bread” bus my father had started riding then. Whenever I see those toy buses being used now for transport in Osun State, I smile. My father must have been the very first Nigerian to drive the bread bus.

SS1/2 was my time of rebellion. All my contemporaries were sprouting beards and test-driving (and crashing) their fathers’ vehicles and I wouldn’t be left out. Once when my father, The Senior traveled, I took the ignition to KD (the first two letters of the bread bus’ plates) and started her up just like I’d been warming her engine for some years now. Frowning hard to recall what The Senior did when he took out the vehicle, I engaged the gear. I didn’t crash.

After several tries the best I could do was to reverse KD in a straight line and then take her back to the former packed position. Very soon I tired of the exercise and jumped down from the vehicle, ignoring the neighbours’ looks as I went indoors. I knew they’d report me to The Senior when he returned. They didn’t disappoint me, those ass-kissers.

The Senior’s reaction was puzzling though. He walked round the car while I washed it the next morning inspecting every bumper and taillight and when he was satisfied that there wasn’t a scratch on KD, he turned around and went back to his shaving ritual. Immediately, I began scratching my head in exactly the same spot I’d been earlier expecting a scalp-splitting blow from his belt head.

His silence should have been my passport to painting the town red behind the wheels of KD but I then overheard him say to one of his friends who asked him why his kids weren’t driving yet: “My children have refused to learn with this my bus. They say their friends will laugh at them when they see them.”

It was partially the truth (especially the laughing part) but the lie in the statement stung me. We were practically dying to learn, if for nothing to at least crash that car. He just wouldn’t release the keys. In those days, part of my rebellious tactics involved proving my father’s lies to be true. We all refused to learn with the bus. Or any vehicle of his for that matter.

So many years later, I wish I could ride. Maybe a bicycle first, then a motorbike, then a car, then a plane? I don’t know.

I wish I were rich. We were poor. Broke ass poor. We did eat three times a day but sometimes it was equivalent to one meal split three ways. I don’t know why we were because it wasn’t like there wasn’t any money available. It just wasn’t readily at hand.

I know my parents weren’t rich but that didn’t mean we had to wear the same clothes year in year out while The Senior changed his wardrobe countless times, did it? Ironing those clothes was once my job for a very long time. As I felt those rich fabrics I wondered why mom didn’t stand up to challenge him when we had to go out as a family and only he had something appropriate to wear. And even after a while the family never went out together anyway. We just couldn’t. Even if we wanted to, our 3 year-old clothes got tired of us wearing them and decided to go on strike springing leaks in every seam. The Senior just had to have his though. After all a good-looking head of the house makes up for the other rag-wearing parts of the body, doesn’t he?

I wish I could leave the Ghosts of Fashions Past far behind but even when I have the money to buy clothes, I never do. My shoes get worn out yet I am paralyzed by the fear that my money will soon run out and I’ll be broke ass poor again. Or that I may end up like The Senior with his countless rows of shoes which I had to polish in the mornings before I dragged my cut sandals along the tarmac as I walked to school. I wish I could go out and spend, spend, spend, knowing that tomorrow when I wake up there’ll still be more to spend. Not just for me but for my future kids.

I wish I could be more human. It still puzzles my mom till now. “All of us went through the same family-in-trouble times,” she says to me, “why then does it seem to have affected you more?” I retort and tell her I inherited my over-sensitivity from her. Only both of us seem to feel wounds so deeply to our hearts than all the others. Every single minuscule hurt makes our heart bleed and we then seal up the gaping holes in our slow-healing hearts with stone. Mom turned to prayer a long time ago and it worked wonders for her. Me, I just turned into a hard-nosed cynic stuck full of principles and unbreakable rules. A stout disbeliever in the human nature. Just one big mistake and I delete your name from my phonebook forever. And I NEVER look back.

I wish I could laugh again. Once upon a time, my problem was that people didn’t take me too seriously because every sentence I made was constructed in such a way as to make people laugh. I had my different styles of laughter than could at least trigger a smile from a broken or grieving heart. If only those people could see me now. My inner motto used to be “Joy to the world”. Nowadays I wish my motto could be “Joy to my inner world”. The kind of humour I create nowadays is usually the sarcastic kind. What happened to those days laced with peals of laughter when I would roll on the floor in stitches? What happened to when I could so easily smile in a picture? What happened to the days of taking pictures?

I wish I could love again. Once was an incurable romantic. Now an incurable realist. I know there is no such thing as love but still I miss the unconditional nature of it all. The total lack of restraint when rolling on a newly-made bed sweaty from work and with your shoes still on clutching in your arms the one you love. Drinking in her perspiration, filling your nostrils with her unwashed hair and both of you kissing without brushing your teeth. The trust, the certainty, the belief that when she says we’ll see by 8 pm, she actually means 7:45 pm.

Knowing that you could take a bullet shot for someone you never knew from birth, someone tied to you not by an umbilical cord but by love and faith almost akin to the type that moves mountains. Risking that ride on a motorcycle driven by a mad okada man in the raging wind and rain just to see her, for the touch of her hands, the sound of her voice. And when you stand shivering in her doorway, the first words that come out of her mouth are: “You shouldn’t have! Look at the storm outside. What if you killed yourself?”

It sounds over-clichéd but you say it anyway: “Babe, you know I’d die for you…”

And feeling her heartbeat as she lies cuddled in your arms while the rains beat madly on the rooftops and the angry winds howl all around you. You sense God’s presence, you think you can hear His voice saying: And I looked down on both of you. And I saw it was good…

I wish I could get help. I can’t help it. I listen to other people’s problems and make them my own. Willingly I offer advice but no one seems to realize that I also need someone to talk to. My sister, like the Psychologist she is, does try to help once in a while. I jokingly tell her I would never take advice from anyone whose job description starts with “Psycho”!

Money, cars, fame and fortune, the legacy of a good name, super-intelligent kids who live on to become great parents to their own kids and take care of their wellbeing at every step, and most of all happiness; the kind of things The Senior never gave us.

I wish for all of these.

But most importantly, I wish to be human again. I wish for love.


rayo said...

this was rili touching, i can imagine how tough it must have been living with 'the senior' and u ssay u have become cynical, yep it shows in this piece. u wish u could love again, could laugh again. i hope u do N.E, rili hope u do...

seye said...

i feel you man! Been there, done that! I mean...father, cars, love!

Naughty Eyes said...

@ Rayo: Think Santa's gonna fulfil my wishlist? Woulda made a whole lotta sense if I believed in him anyway...
Thanks for the love though. And MOST ESPECIALLY the call!

@ Seye: Fathers and cars! My kids are gonna be riding from birth if I can help it. Giving your child your car to learn is almost like bequeathing the greatest trust you can on him/her. It's like saying: "I believe you're very responsible. Responsible enough to drive the car without crashing it and even if you do we can always get the panel-beaters to fix it, can't we?"
And the parent gets the services of a "free" driver in the bargain!

Buttercup said... was so deep..

all i can do is offer my prayers..u'll be just fine..


teebay said...

man! dis is a long ass post, damn!

neways, wish u all d best in gettin ur wishes cm tru, last i heard, santa was on strike.

so whrs kd now?

teebay said...
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teebay said...
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doug said...

"Used to be a romantic; now a realist"?--- which pretty much bunches romanticism up with optimism, and follows the reasoning that both are fickle huh? Having been a strong proponent of this sort of reasoning and seen its many flaws, I find it amusing to hear people say things like this. Why do you consider yourself a realist? Because you understand and believe in moral realism and its underlying axioms or because life and a few people knocked you about a few times and made you into what you really are - a cynic? And if you're a cynic which (as most people seem not to understand) is not the most honourable thing to be, does the fault lie with love or with your world view? Love is a truth. A universal, unfading truth. It's a valid as hate and deceit. But the job of a cynic is to ascribe verity to the one, and make the other out to be merely a dream. Your logic is flawed by the very fact that a concept of the nature of love exists. If it exists in your mind, then it can (and indeed does) exist outside of it.
Just a thought bruv. Sorry to use up so much of your space. And I hope you know that I mean no offense by any of this. I've been told that I'm quite tactless, so if I've offended you unwittingly, please accept my most abject apology.

Cynicism - "a disposition to disbelieve in the sincerity or goodness of human motives and actions" and a tendency "to express this by sneers and sarcasms".

"We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose ones attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose ones own way" - Victor Frankl

mizchif said...

Very touching!

Naughty Eyes said...

@ Buttercup: Thanks for the prayers Burra dearie! Hope you've enjoyed your stayin Naija so far? If Chari misbehaves, just report him to me, OK?
*accepts hug then steps back slightly to peek into BC's cleavage*

@ teebay: Long, huh? Sorry, I should have put the alert like blogtiquette dictates. Your first time here, maybe so let me caution: I write LOOOOOOOOOOONNNGGGG!
PS: Santa's on strike huh? What's he beefing about this time? Thinner snow? Or lower tax cuts?
PPS: Oh, I forgot to mention... The Senior went out with KD one bright morning and had an auto crash with it. The windscreen was the only part affected but he never rode it after that and later sold it off (I wonder who to?). Later successors were a VW Passat and last I heard, a Mercedes V-Boot.
Another long comment. Sorry!

Naughty Eyes said...

@ Mizchif: Yes dear, it was touching to me too having to pour out all that stuff.
By the way, I tried retaliating the visit but I need permission to read your stuff so kindly include me, puhleeeeeassssse!!!!

teebay said...

yeah another long one, u forgiven. cool blog though. gonna stop by aften, make dem good o...


trae_z said...

interesting fellow, such a sad tale...I wish we could meet up for a drink someday.

Naughty Eyes said...

@ Doug: Hmmm... Quite a lot to chew on here. I'll reply you through a post or e-mail, whichever is more convenient for me. And no, I don't offend easily. You did make a lot of sense.

@ teebay: Thanks for the compliment. FYI, I always post LOOOOOONGGGGG

@ TRAE: I'm looking forward to that drink. Thanks for stopping by.