F-1-4-A (“February 14 Anonymous”)

I am the knock on your window
I am the fierce desert storm
I am the rustle in the leaves
I am the kindling in the brush

I am the ache in your chest
I am the scrabbling at the door
I am the dying of the light
I am the Phoenix – some day

– from “Days of dreams” by Kayode Oluyinka

I was standing at the cards stand in the Stop Centre supermarket and gift shop in Victoria Island. I had my hand on one of the cards. I was wondering what I was doing. I knew what I had in mind. But still where would it end?

“That’s a nice card.”

There was an older woman standing next to me. Her diction and the elegant air she had about her spoke of sophistication.

I forced a smile. “Thank you ma.”

“Forgive my inquisitiveness. I should really learn to mind my own business. But are you planning to send that to some lucky young lady?”

To lie or not to lie.

“Well. Actually no. I did send one last year. But I won’t be sending any this time.”

“Oh. So why are you buying it?”

“It was a mistake. I shouldn’t have come here at all.” I said.

“It was nice meeting you ma.” I made to leave.

“I am sorry if I said something wrong.” she said.

“No ma. You didn’t.”

“Alright then. Can you help me pick out one?”

“OK ma.”

“What do you think of this one?” she says holding one up.

I examined the card. Read the inscription inside. My mind wasn’t really taking anything in. But I went ahead and said it was a lovely card.

“Thank you.” she replied.

“You are welcome ma.”

“I should be leaving .” I said.

“Why don’t you see me to the till.” She leaned towards me conspiratorially and whispered, “Won’t it be hilarious if they thought we are together?” she said laughing.

I smiled and she led the way. No harm in humoring her for another minute or two.

She paid for the card, stuck it in her bag and hooked her arm through mine and made for the door. The thought crossed my mind that anyone that sees us would probably assume she was my aunt.

She led the way towards her car. A monster of a thing with a driver behind the wheel.

“You are such a nice young man.” I held the door open as she got in the back.

“So if you are not buying nor sending a card, should I assume you are spending this evening alone?”

Ok. Now. This was bordering on the ridiculous. Was she hitting on me?

She burst out laughing. “Young man. I am not hitting on you. If that’s what you are thinking.”

I was embarrassed and laughed as well to cover it up. “Probably” I said.

“In that case, I would like to invite you to a meeting.”

I was about to throw up some excuse, but before I could come up with a suitable one, she continued.

“I can’t promise you would enjoy it. But I can tell you it’s an experience you would not want to miss.”

“And I promise there’s no hanky panky involved. Come formally dressed.” She had a sense of humour.

“What’s the meeting about?” I asked.

“What’s today about?” she responded.

“Does this meeting have any name or subject?”


“Excuse me?”

“February 14 Anonymous. You will be my guest.”

I really should find that excuse. “What’s that? People addicted to February 14?” I said half joking.

“You could say that.” She said. She didn’t look like she was joking. In fact for a quick second, there was a flitting expression on her face that I couldn’t quite place. Still I hesitated.

“Be a sport. You can leave any time. And Lekki is not that far away is it.”

I weighed my options again. I had planned to go see a movie at the Genesis Deluxe Cinema by myself. Then indulge in some Bunny Ice Cream L”sin” afterwards and hit the Shawn Tee’s insanity exercise video with a vengeance tomorrow morning as a penance for my planned self-indulgence.

“OK.” I said. “Thanks for the invite. Let me have the address please.”

She scribbled it on the back of a complimentary card. “Here it is. And that’s my card.” I glanced at the text in front. The name was vaguely familiar. “Do you have one of yours on you?” she asked.

I took out my wallet and fished out one.

“Gotcha!” She said laughing. “if I don’t see you by 15 minutes to 8, I am going to start calling.”

“I will be there.” I said smiling. “That was neatly done.” I was referring to the way she got my phone number.

I closed the door and waved. “See you later ma.”

I stood there watching until the car pulled out into the street, then made my way to my own car.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I knocked on the gate of the house at the address she had given me earlier. I had waited in my car for about 20 minutes. I was expecting some traffic but the road had been free and I had arrived early. I was casually dressed but added a jacket in case it was more formal than I expected. I had a bottle of some wine in my hands. I don’t know why I decided to bring it. I was watching too many western movies I guess.

A gentleman opened the door for me and bowed a little.

“I am here for the meeting.” I said.

It was enough. Because he ushered me in straight away into what was probably the biggest seating room I have seen in a private house. There were less than 20 people in the room. I noticed immediately I was probably the youngest and also one of only 4 men in the room. There was a long narrow table set to one side laden with food. My stomach grumbled a little at the sight of all that food. It reminded me that I hadn’t eaten anything that day. My host called out my name and waved vigorously at me. I made for the empty seat beside her.

”I am so glad you came. I wasn’t so sure you would turn up.” She said beaming me at me.

“Have a seat” she said patting the seat beside hers.

She leaned over after I sat down. “Just so you know, you have to introduce yourself. You start by stating your name. Then saying that you are an addict. That’s just to make it fun. Then if possible, a few sentences about why you are here today, and not out with some young lady.”

That started my heart fluttering a little. I didn’t quite care for public speaking and the supposed subject made it even worse.

“Relax. Just think of it like taking an injection. It will be over before you know it.” she smiled and patted my hand.

What have I got myself into?

“Do you want something to drink? We are about to start.”

“No. Thank you.” my stomach was in a knot.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

An elegant lady seated across the room got up and tapped a spoon lightly against a glass cup in her other hand.

“Thank you all for showing up. If you look round, you might notice that there’s been some attrition right? We are fewer than we were this time last year. But I can see at least one new face.”

“This is of course the annual meeting of the February 14 Anonymous. But as you know, we communicate throughout the year and even meet from time to time in town, at various functions and so on.”

“Mrs Douglas sends her regrets. She had to fly out to England on short notice.”

“As is usual practice, we shall introduce ourselves. Starting from Yemi as she has told me the gentleman seated to her left is her guest.”

“Good evening all” said Yemi (I hadn’t seen a ring so wasn’t sure if she was Ms or Mrs).

“It’s so nice to see all of you again. My name is Yemi and I am an addict. As I always do, I have a card in my hands here.”

The lady continued. “Yemi has graciously agreed. Finally! To tell us her story today. So we will go round with the introductions first.”

Yemi (I keep thinking it is wrong to think of her as Yemi when she’s much older than me) squeezed my hand at that, I took a look at her face and noticed her smile was a little forced.

The room was silent. I looked round. They all had this expectant look on their faces and a kindly smile.

“Good evening all. My name is Tola. I am addict.”

“Welcome Tola” Echoed everyone in the room.

I must have been overwhelmed at some level because I surprised myself when I continued.

“I have spent all my valentine days alone except for the past two. I would give an arm and a leg to repeat the very last one.  But here I am. I am happy to be in this company though. And thanks Yemi for inviting me.”

Another round of “Welcome Tola”

“Welcome Tola”. Said the lady who I assume was in charge and I suspect was our host.

“We don’t call today Valentine’s day for reasons that will become clear later. We just refer to it as February 14. Just one of our little quirks” she said smiling.

The introductions continued around the circle of seats. It was obvious they all knew one another and I was the only new face in the room.

“As Tola is new, I will just give a brief introduction to who we are and what we are about. To start with, just so we are clear, we are not a cult” there was general laughter in the room.

“We are just a group of people whose life changed dramatically on February 14. We seek release in sharing. We do not force people to tell their stories until they are well and truly ready to do so. We understand some things are so personal, it may never even be shared. But we also understand the release that comes from sharing such stories in a non-judgemental setting such as this.” She said looking around the room.

“And not all stories are negative. We had a couple who met on February 14 and have been happily married for decades for example. We had a gentleman who was born on the same day and who just preferred to be here than anywhere else once he knew about us. Yes. It does seem majority of the stories are negative. I guess that’s life. But we encourage “members” (if I may use the word) to move on. To move past whatever it is. That in part accounts for the small size of the group. We are about one of the few groups that actively tries to get rid of our members if that makes sense” she said laughing.

“But life is about living while we are still alive. Not hiding. Of course, we do not chase away people who choose to stay either.”

“Frankly. We have been waiting several years for Yemi to tell us her story. I am not sure why the change in heart but I suspect that may have something to do with you. But no matter we are ready for it.”

There was a low murmur of accent in the room. And bobbing of heads as well.

“Members are free to speak at any time. They just need to indicate by raising up their hands.”

“Oh. And contrary to what most first-time visitors assume, I am not the boss, head or anything of the sort. We are all equals. I just coordinate the meetings.”

“Yemi. Thank you very much. You have the floor.”

She started off a little hesitantly. I guess now that it was time, it wasn’t easy for her.

“Hi. My name is Yemi. I am an addict.”

“Welcome Yemi” the room chorused.

She delved into it without any preambles.

“I have been attending this yearly meetings from almost the beginning.”

“I got married relatively early even by the standards of the time. But things quickly went awry. It wasn’t one thing. It was a combination of several things. Some avoidable, others not so much. I quickly found myself single with a 2-year old boy in tow when I finally called it quits with the marriage.

Life wasn’t fun any longer. It was a lot of responsibility. Hindsight is 20-20. I am not sure anything we did could have saved the marriage, but we could definitely have tried harder.”

That’s when I moved back to the country. I felt I was a disappointment to my parents. They had been together forever and had this easy-going marriage. You rarely heard a raised voice in my house growing up. They were like best friends. I learnt of course later that they had just learnt to do their quarrelling behind closed doors when no one was around.

I moved back into my parents’ house while trying to get back on my feet in crazy Lagos. I could say with certainty that I hadn’t missed the fast and furious Lagos life when it comes to business or work. Or the crazy traffic! I tried as best as I could. I was close to tears several times, but it did get easier with time. Or maybe I just got used to it.

I put in the time and worked hard. I think I worked so hard to ensure I had no time to dwell on the other things going on in my life. My parents helped with Tade (that’s my son’s name) at the time. I guess I was lonelier after I sent Tola back to his dad so he could attend the school we had already planned for him before we split up.

And friends kept pestering me to go out. Meet people. Have fun.

I just couldn’t find the drive or the inclination to do so.

This went on for a few years. My parents’ only comment from time to time was that I should take all the time I need, but that there’s life out there outside the office.

Then out of the blues one sunny Harmattan morning, Kayode came bursting into my life.

Funny, I still remember everything that happened on that day. I was standing by the window looking out at the slowly moving vehicles on the street below, when there was a knock on the door.

My assistant opened the door with a gentleman hot on her tail. He introduced himself and said he required my services urgently and wasn’t about to deal with the “help”.
I told him I didn’t appreciate his attitude and he retorted that with the amount of business he was about to bring my way, I should be least concerned about his attitude. I could use the distraction so I offered him a seat.

He just seemed to rub me the wrong way from the get go. I just sat there watching him. At some point I admitted to myself that not only was he quite good looking, he also had a nice voice. He was definitely confident bordering on being annoying in his choice of words sometimes.
By the time he was done, I had a good idea of what he wanted done. I saw him to the door.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

We worked closely together with teams from both his office and mine over the next couple of months. He was still annoying from time to time. But on the whole he was quite pleasant. He would call at odd hours of the day and night whenever anything crosses his mind. Despite working a hefty penalty for changes into the contract, he kept making changes to the campaign. Most were positive but I disagreed with a few. Sometimes we went at it for hours and didn’t always come to a compromise. Sometimes he would force his position through and sometimes I stood my ground and refused to budge.
There were working lunches and dinners. Some of these ended up being just the two of us.
Little by little we talked more and more about non-business related matters. I told him over time about my marriage and my little boy and he told me about growing up as an only child and following his dad all over the world as he took up appointments in various postings. He’s never been married.
The first time he asked me out I found an excuse not to go.
But I relented the second time. It wasn’t long before we started going out regularly. He was easy to be with. I didn’t know there were so many clubs and places to hang out in Lagos. He seemed to know where it was “happening” at any given time.
I had been to his place and he to mine several times. Of course we had made out on those times. He hadn’t attempted to do anything more or maybe he sensed I wasn’t ready.
We had made trips to all the beaches at one time or another. We were spending more and more time together.  I started looking forward to both his work visits and the unofficial ones as well. I think we sort of slid into dating without actually having to sit down and discuss it.
Still, I was a little apprehensive for some reason as February came around with all the commercial adverts you are bombarded with everywhere you go and look. I find I wanted so badly for him to be my valentine.”
She laughed.
“I had to keep chiding myself not to behave like a little love-struck girl. After all, I am a grown woman with a little boy in tow.”
He finally asked me out a couple of days before and of course I said yes.
I paid a little more attention to my dressing and make up than usual that morning. I was restless all morning at work. I didn’t get any work done because my mind was everywhere but.
I still remember the exact time it happened. He called me at 11:57am and asked me to look out the window. I got up and went to open the window. There he was on the other side of the street. Grinning up at me with a huge bouquet of flowers in his hand. He definitely knew how to make an entrance.
Then it all went to hell and took me along with it.
It all happened as if in slow motion. Excuse the cliché. But I have thought of it a million times since then and it seemed I could have stopped it.
You see. A car came speeding down the bend in the road. He didn’t even see it. But looking down from above, it came into the periphery of my field of vision just at the last moment. Even as I screamed I watched him get tossed into the air. He was still looking up at me. I can’t forget the expression on his face in that last moment. It went from the grin to what looked like a cross between shock and surprise.
I dashed out the office, down the stairs and into the street. He was there. And there was blood everywhere. I held him and screamed for help. People were just milling around and shouting. They had dragged the other driver out of the car but he appeared too shocked to do anything but sit on the hot Tarmac.
My driver brought the car around and with his help I got him into the back-seat. He was already limp and I guess somewhere deep inside me I knew he was already dead. But we  still went through the motion and got him to the GoldenCross hospital just a couple of streets away. He was put on a stretcher and rushed into the theater but the doctor pronounced him dead almost straight away.
How long I sat there I couldn’t say. Someone had called his father I guess because he was suddenly there beside me talking to the doctor. I had only met him once before. Our eyes met but there was no recognition in his. He left shortly after. I was too out of it to even get up to go after him. I found out later he held me responsible for his son’s death. Not so much in words as in action.  I was hurt but I could understand his feelings much much later.
The next couple of months went by in a blur. I was home most of the time. I just stayed in the house with all the curtains drawn and the lights off. My assistant was a blessing in that dark hour. She came regularly like clockwork. Got me to take my bath. Brought a hairdresser a couple of times. Literally forced me to eat once a day. I can’t even remember what it was I ate. My parents tried to get me to move back in with them but I refused.

I tried reaching out to his dad but all my attempts were rebuffed. I did manage to go for his burial. His casket was closed. But I had managed to see him once at the mortuary. I thought I had done my crying and breakdown before that day but still it took all my strength and the support of my assistant not to fall to pieces again.
Some uncle of his had contacted me once before the burial. He said the family won’t stop me from attending his burial but they would appreciate it if I kept it low key as they don’t want any distractions. So I arrived early but did not sit with his immediate family. I was in a black suit skirt. Most attendees where in dark clothing as well.

It was a quiet and brief affair.

I have never had any contact with his dad since then. I have gone to visit his grave every year on February 14. I miss him even now. It’s strange. This is someone I knew for less than a year.  It’s better now. Even his face has faded a little in my memory despite having his framed portrait by my bedside. I don’t believe in destiny but I have come to believe that once in a lifetime it’s possible to meet someone that’s “it” for you. If you are lucky, you get to spend a lifetime together. And sometimes in a case such as mine, that lifetime is a year.
I have dated a few times since then of course, but none lasted any length of time. I am sure I didn’t give it any of them any real attention though.
So after Bola over there invited me 5 years ago to this meeting. Well. I have been here every year with you lovely people.”
“Thank you for allowing me to share my story”
“Thank you Yemi. Can we all go give her a hug now”. Said Yinka.
I waited until they were all done. Then with a smile on my face, I stood up and gave her a bear hug that lasted for a full minute.
“We should probably have a break now. Please don’t be shy. There’s food on the side table over there. Let’s mingle and chat while we partake of the delicacies provided by our lovely host for today, Wura. Thanks again Wura.”
“Thanks Wura.” We all chorused as we got up.
The rest of the evening was spent hanging around in continuously shifting small groups getting to know one another or in the case of the older members, catching up.
* * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

She invited me to dinner and we ended up at 355 (the club). It was mostly drinks though as we had eaten after the meeting.

“Tola, you know it would help if you talk about your story. You are too young to get stuck in the past.”

“Besides I like a good story. OK. I agree. I am just inquisitive!” She laughed.

It might have been all the drinks. Like it was that night a year ago. I was tipsy. I had said too much. Which didn’t help either. Or it might have been the lyrics of the song playing at that moment in the background: “… Ain’t no Sunshine when she’s gone; Only darkness everyday; Ain’t no Sunshine when she’s gone; … ; I know, I know, I know, …“. Or maybe I just needed to talk:

“My name is Tola. I am an addict.”

“Welcome Tola” she said with all seriousness.

“Do you want to share your story with me tonight?” she said.

I nodded.

“Please start whenever you are ready.” She said.

“There was this girl I met a couple of years ago. If the world were mine, I would have laid it at her feet. …”

“Wait! Wait!” She said, holding up her hand. “I know I am not supposed to interrupt but could you leave out the writer’s bullsh*t?”

“OK. What I meant was that if I had all the money in the word, I would …”

“Which obviously you don’t. Did you meet this girl on February 14?” She asked.

“No. But …”

“Did she die on February 14?”

“No. She’s still alive.”

“Did you lose your you-know-what on February 14?”

“No. As I was …”

“So why is this story relevant today?”

“Ma’am, are you going to let me tell the story?!” I said in as respectful a tone I could muster given that I was feeling exasperated.

“Sorry. I sometimes get that way. Please go on.” She said.

“Where was I? Yes, I remember. There was this girl …”

We were still there well past the witching hour.
* * * *  * * * ** * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

NB: *Tola* claims the F.1.4.A. is real: though one needs an invite by an existing “member”.


I wrote the following some time after I learnt of Sergio’s passing. It’s on my Facebook timeline. It contains a lot of references to events during the short time I knew him.
It’s roughly a year since his passing.

All we have now are memories

How did we part?
Vaguely remember
Was it at the car park 
Or was it at the house?

Punta Cana
Wish I woulda
Still hope you coulda

I see your face!
Your smile
Your voice
Your ease

Your Bunny!
Your folks
Your kids
Your friends

Not even a year ago
That I got to know you
Did we start with hello
Or a hug in June

Those who miss you
The tears they shed
Those who knew you
Their eyes are red

The flames of life
The struggle, the strife
All lie down one by one
Strange as it is, you are truly gone

All we have now are memories.



I am sitting in a wicker chair on a wooden platform jutting out over the lagoon. The DJ is rocking out Tupac’s “Change” on his turntable. There’s some wind so the humidity is not too bad. 

The lights of Ikoyi are visible in the dark across the lagoon.

The fellow on the next table just lost his phone. He got up but was a little tipsy. He tripped and the phone went flying. He scrambled for it but was no where quick enough. There was a soft plunk when the phone hit the water. I only heard it because I was on the next table and watching. 

He signaled to one of the attendants. She told him if he leaves his details they will see if it can be retrieved the next day. She didn’t sound too hopeful. 

I signaled her over and asked if that happens often. She said more often than they care to count. 

Do the phones ever get retrieved and handed to the owner. Her response was a polite version of “ain’t nobody got time for that.”

I smiled. She asked if I needed anything. I said no. She walked away. 

I leaned over the rail and looked into the water. I fancy I can see the phone but it’s just my imagination. There’s no light over the water so it’s just black.

I wonder if there’s “reception” (GSM signal) down there. Something I have to google later.

Do mermaids make calls? Are there even mermaids in lagoons?

The DJ and I are the only people on our own. He has no choice. I guess I do. But the concept of choice is tricky and can be deceptive. For example, should one rather choose the company of someone you find obnoxious rather than be alone?

I stretch my legs. That’s at least one benefit on being on a table that’s supposed to sit four by myself. 

If you think about someone all the time and they in turn think about you all the time, it’s love. If it’s one sided, then it’s infatuation or obsession, what’s up with that? Don’t answer that. Ignore. 

I am not a “drinker”. I don’t know how to “stretch” a drink out. If it’s in my cup, I tend to down it. Then stop. But that’s not social. But I am alone so who cares. But then the eagle eyed attendants is likely to swoop in and ask if I need a fresh bottle. I have learnt to eat ice to fill in the gaps, but I don’t have any. Maybe I should ask for some. I still have an hour to kill. We will see. 

Someone observed that ladies go around in threes. One main beauty and two sidekicks. Not sure it’s always true. What’s the equivalent for men? One dominant and two less aggressive sidekicks? Since I am alone, that makes it me, myself and I. Wonder which one is dominant and which two are the side kicks. That’s a joke, I am not even slightly tipsy. 

“I hope this night lasts forever. … Makes me happy, makes me feel this way. …” 

Note to self, “Keep phone well away from the water.”

The guys on the next table ordered pepper soup. It smells nice. But I am not really hungry. One of them commented that the price of anything you order while seated out here is 50% more than if you were inside. That’s news to me. Makes no difference though. I just imagine that I was going to order two bottles. But still, that’s some expensive breeze.

The phone guy finally leaves. I hope he makes it home. I think people are more dangerous when they are almost completely wasted. They disagree with you on everything and think the little control they still have makes them superman or something. That’s a disaster waiting to happen when they get behind the wheels of a vehicle. At least a completely wasted person who can’t even make it off his seat is likely to be driven home if he’s with company.

Time passes slowly.

I wonder where you are, and who you are with, but that’s infatuation, so I put on a happy face for the attendant who showed up with my bill. Maybe I should have ordered that second bottle. But that would have made me like my “phone friend” who just left, and “I ain’t that guy.”

Time to pack it in and hit the road. There’s church in the morning. 

Major Complaint

Major Complaint

Open letter to all world governments and all you fu*ktards up on top messing up the planet.

I know you’all have something for lists and as I am a busy guy (y’know, going to and fro), I will use one. I am aiming for clarity here. After all, we can’t have people escaping their due rewards on a technicality.

1. You are making too much noise up there and it’s getting so we can’t here ourselves scream from toasting in the fires anymore. You are way too loud. Screaming from pleasure shouldn’t be louder than screaming from pain. Duh!

2. We are getting headaches down here from you stomping all over the place up there. Partying it up, blowing each other up, drilling everywhere you see a hint of “shiny black”, then being cry babies when things go wrong? WTF!

3. All those Beyoncé wannabes need their vocal cords cauterized. They need to leave the torturing to me. Their lame a*s attempt is lowering the worth of the word alright? When people start using the word lightly like in “Oh. He’s torturing my ears”, it is just plain annoying for perfectionists such as myself. That’s not torture, that’s just more noise. And ain’t nobody got time for that. Shout out to Beyoncé, Nikki and Yeezus. I am a huge fan. In fact I am a groupie. I hope we get to meet. But bring your own big daddy chairs OK? Only so much ego can fit in the one I have down here and yours truly is already in occupation. (More people on that list, but I don’t want to bore you with my own personal playlist).

4. Global warming is real. How else do we explain things are getting slightly cooler down here? What are we going to have next at this rate? People down here getting brain freeze on badly mixed pina colada?

5. Stop digging around so much in the earth crust for oil. You are putting pigs to shame and the sound is driving us crazy and we don’t like the loose soil and rocks fallen through on our heads. Not to talk of the oil. Which is not of the right quality for basting sinners you know? It may sound ironical, but Crude is too flammable even if I say so myself. What we aim for down here is a “slow burn”. After all, what’s the hurry. We have got eternity to burn (pun intended). 

6. By gosh, if one more person accuses me wrongly I am coming up there to cause a major raucous. If I did all those things I have been accused of, I had be omniscient and where does that leave us? Two Gods ruling in the affairs of men? Common, get real!

7. When you die, your a*s is mine. Literarily. So show some respect now and stop writing my name with a small “d”.

8. Which one of those fu*kboys you call presidents is going to unleash the dragon, sorry, a nuclear weapon first? Frankly, I am not seeing the sort of foot traffic I expect down here for the level of debauchery going on up there. My money’s on that little fu*ktard over in North Korea who has a “bad hair day” every day. I think I should go press his buttons a little harder.

9. And if you don’t like my tone, I’m sorry, frankly I don’t fu*king care. If you end up down here, my tone would be the least of your problems. In fact, I would be aiming for perfect pitch from you while you scream in pain and terror. 

10. One last thing, the Internet has become too slow down here and it’s disrupting my ability to monitor what you’all doing up there. The NSA has got nothing on me. So I need someone really smart to come take a look. The smart as*es down here are just such cry babies! A little pain and they can’t clean the snort off their faces long enough to run even a simple DDOS attack. Bill, Jeff, Richard, Larry my man!, Mark, Elion, Eric, any one? Any takers? Don’t keep me waiting. 

The fact is I don’t like the idea of the “second coming” any more than you sinners. But that shit’s going to happen sooner or later, but in the meantime, “can we all just get along?”


The Big D with the big D. (If you don’t like my title, go jump off some tall bridge, I’ll be waiting for you)

BVN scam

BVM Scam

I got an SMS today with the text below from +234-812-273-9332.

“Dear Customer, Due to the BVN validation in compliance with CBN bank directives, your ATM card has been De_activated call our help line on 08109310498 now.”

So I called the number. Listened briefly to some Nigerian artiste belting out a popular track before some fellow came on the line. Completely unprofessional sounding greeting.

“Afternoon. I got an SMS that my ATM card has been de-activated and I am to call this number.” I said.

“Oh. Are you one of those who got that message. We are sorry. We are working on that now.
Do you have your card there with you so we can re-activate it immediately?”

“Yes” I replied.

“Is it Mastercard or VISA?”


“There’s a 16 digit number on the front. Can you call it out?”

I guess I hesitated a little too long while thinking of an appropriate response (something about how he should get a life instead of running a 419 scam was on my mind) because he dropped the call.

It’s funny how he didn’t mention any bank’s name throughout the conversation.
I ran the number that sent the original SMS through Truecaller and got the entry: “Destiny E1”
I ran the number 08109310498 through Truecaller and not the single entry: “Scam Lacasera Ibrahim”



“Mr latecomer, as usual, you don’t disappoint” he said waving. I stood up straight from my crouching position, stretched my back and waved back politely. I wondered again why I had chosen to return to school for a master’s degree after so long (12 years after my bachelors) and even stranger, why I had chosen this elective in theology which had nothing to do with my course of study. The truth is that I was “searching”. After recent events in my life.
I had tried to sneak into the class, but I think by now, he had made up his mind to always look out for my less than dignified entrances to his class. I don’t know why I still bother.
A hundred pairs of eyes turned my way, and as it has come to be expected, I smile and waved at the class. To which there was a corresponding wave back.

“So as I was saying, sometimes we have to bend for peace.”

We do it everyday. If done right, no one comes away feeling exploited or disgruntled or chafing at the bits, itching for revenge. It’s all a matter of degrees and extent. If you take it too far, it becomes a compromise. Compromises are in no way negative. Depending again on the degree. You can come off looking like a wuss or a peacemaker. It all depends. Back in the early days of Christianity, our forerunners compromised. Rather than fight the push-back from the pagan Romans for example, they found it easier around 4 C.E., to incorporate some of their festivities into our own. December 25th was no where even close to when Jesus was born, which was probably during the summer or maybe closer to the middle of the year if you go by that most Roman of devices – the Julian calendar. Given to us in self worship by the Roman emperor Julius Caesar. December 25th was the concluding day of the Roman week long celebration of depravity. That was known as the Saturnalia. Unfortunately that didn’t quite work out as planned. We held on to the last day though and to all intent and purposes there’s no link to the Roman’s pagan celebration anymore. The only point here that the JW got right is the origin of the date. I have nothing against them. In fact if not for a couple of other believes or non-believes of theirs, I would probably be a card-carrying member. But that is a subject for another class. Where I disagree with them on that issue is that the celebration is now symbolic and should be taken as such. It’s better to remember a monumental event on a supposedly wrong day if it contributes positively to the spread of the gospel of Christ than not at all. After all, it is not the day that matters but the event. We shall leave that there so we don’t digress too much.”

“The evolutionists would have us believe we all originated from some primordial soup, then via the sea and unto land. And then some creatures such as certain turtles and mammalian sea dwellers for example, thought better of it and returned to the water.”

“Does anyone have a bible? “ all eyes swiveled round the room. There were no takers.

“I didn’t expect to find one. But no issues. technology never ceases to amaze right? Here in the palm of my hands, I have a smart phone with several versions of the bible in it. something that used to be the prerogatives of only the few way back in history, when only kings and clergy could have it without been burnt at the stake for heresy. When it took years to make a copy. Hmmn.”

“So I intend to support the creationist for once. Not all the way, mind you.”

“In Genesis, if you follow the sequence by which all things were made, the sea was populated first, then followed by the land, then finally people – you and I, and all those living and dead. Here, let me read a few verses.”

He read several verses from the first chapter of Genesis.

“So you see, even if we do not agree that things crawled out of the sea and became land animals, we can agree that sea creatures came before land creatures.

Of course another major area we diverge is in how long the earth and all that’s therein have been around. But again that’s additional bullsh*t for another class. Excuse my French.”

There was some low laughter in the hall.

“So we bend a little to accommodate our learned colleagues. If hopefully by doing so, we may bring them to the knowledge of Christ and the acceptance of creationism or vice versa”

Some laughter in the hall.

“I appreciate your lightheartedness but of course you know this is serious business.

To be realistic, that amount of bending doesn’t do anything for our colleagues. But as we are not wusses, we will bend but not break.”
“And if it comes down to the wire, we will go by that age old saying, “to your tents, O Israel!”

And in case that’s not clear, it means we won’t compromise on the core tenets of our believes”
“And there goes the bell! See you next class. If your busy partying schedule allows it, slot a quick look at Genesis chapter one in there, would you? Mr Latecomer, kindly stay behind for a minute or two. Thank you. And happy shopping on Black Friday but avoid the crush if you can! Don’t read anything extra into the name. Be grateful for the opportunity to give thanks in good health on thanksgiving.”
I walked down the aisle to the front of the room where he was putting away his notes and books into his bag. I didn’t know what to expect.

“Ah. Mr Latecomer. I still have hopes of you. You and I are on a journey as long as this class is in session. The journey may be only a a few months long, but we shall make it interesting. I have three questions for you sir”

I raised an eyebrow slightly.

“Do you think we can compel God?”

“No.” I said.

“Do you think God rules in the affairs of men?”

“Yes” I responded.

“Do you believe in destiny?”


“Ah. Be careful how you answer. I think you may have contemplated the first two questions before, but that last one I think you answered a little too glibly. Think on it a little sir. And we shall return to it – say – after the next class.”

And with that he was gone before I could say another word.
I stood there alone in that classroom. Looking up at the seats that made up the amphitheater.

I had the strange feeling he knew more about me than he was letting on and that my “search” wasn’t going to end easily or anytime soon.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Rango makes unscripted appearance

Rango makes unscripted appearance

I was working late in the office of a big client. And as is usually the case, once the pressure of work eases up, staff start to talk. I wasn’t part of the conversation but when I started to laugh towards the end, they commented that they assumed I still had my earphones on (which I did earlier). So the funniest of the group of three was holding fort:

“… I just want a good girl.
But where dem dey? Ladies of nowadays are all “Instagram girls” O!
e get one girl I don dey trip for.
A few days ago I come de lift dey come office. The girl come de inside the lift too.
she no wear make up.
I just vex!
I think to myself say na so you look without make up??!!
You know Rango? Na Rango she resemble (at this point he brought up a full bust picture of Rango the lizard on his laptop)
The thing way vex me pass be say
As you know once you don dey stay with the lady
dem no go dey wear make up again
So, na so-so vex I go dey vex everyday (every time I see her face)??!”


He’s calling?

He’s calling?

It’s Friday night. I have to agree. I am no fun. I can’t provide excitement. It’s not an age thing though. I “locked it down” (not in a positive way) growing up. It’s hard to break the habit of a lifetime. I am putting in the time, but it’s hard or as some self-help materials would have me believe, I am making it hard(er).

It seems I haven’t been listening. I am like Jonah. It ain’t gonna happen till I listen to him. No matter how hard I try. Or maybe that’s just my excuse for my failings.

I made up my mind long ago that he exists. Yet when I see the evil both caused by ourselves and those that appear completely random, (what there is of) my faith takes a hit.

Today on a 140KM journey, I came across a burning car around the 40KM mark. Seems only one car was involved. The fire was raging so fiercely that very little was left of the car despite the fact that the accident probably only just happened. I think they got out all the occupants in time. I tried not to look. Traffic was being diverted away from the car. I should have kept my eye on the burning car. But I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t see something similar to what I saw several years back. Burnt bodies hanging out of the Windows of a burnt bus. They were in several stages of egress. Some had almost made it out before the flames overcame them.

Unfortunately the passengers of the car were sitting on the ground on the other side of the road, looking lost. Their bodies wide bands of white burnt and pilled skin interspersed by areas of regular brown skin including their heads and faces. It was hard for me to imagine the kind of pain they must be going through.

It helped me put my own issues in perspective for all of 30 mins. So close to the end of the year. Would I rather have that? No way. For a minute I thought if I was one of them, I would have preferred to have died in the fire. I don’t know why the sight of them conjured up the images of pigs, goats and sheep I had seen roasted in the past. Except in this case they are still alive. It brought again forcefully to my mind that on many levels, we are not so different from the lower animals. Especially on a biological (flesh and bones) level. Natural forces can’t tell humans apart from animals: All are carbon-based organisms to be consumed.

But there’s a spark in every human that refuses to die until it’s literally taken out of our grasps sometimes forcefully. Even then we fight till the very end no matter what we are going through.

I guess the best we can hope for is never to be in such a situation. Like someone close said, “those who grow old and die quietly in their sleep with not much in the way of any (protracted) ailment don’t know what they are missing”

Or maybe it should be “what they missed or had the good fortune to have missed.”

And 30 minutes after I am brooding on my own issues again. Typical. I guess it’s the curse of humanity to never be satisfied. We are always seeking. Happy are those who have achieved contentment. Whether it’s via religion or other means. As long as it’s not something destructive such as alcohol or drugs. Unfortunately that seems to be the default option for most people. Maybe because it requires no brain matter. No need to think. It ends your search for the answer to that question (why am I here? and where am I going?) for as long as the high lasts. But more and more, the answers people give become too simplistic (yet he said if we don’t accept it in that way, like little kids would, we won’t be joining him “up yonder”). If we take it that we are being prepared for eternity in heaven only, then it’s hard to see how what one does or doesn’t do in a life spanning a 100 years at most justify a label we would carry for all eternity. I make exceptions for people such as Hitler and his cronies. But that just muddles the water further. For how low would we need to put the bar to decide who was and who wasn’t culpable in Second World War Germany and so punish such people for all eternity?

And if this whole arrangement is to be dimmed fair (by whose standard? Pottery for honor and dishonor comes to mind), then it would require that all be given equal chances to make their choices. But making the “right” choices come easier for people who live in some reasonably stable western societies, but what about the millions that are slaughtered in places such as some African countries by a combination of wars, disease, hunger, illiteracy before they even grasp the good news? It’s hard to listen to anything when you are in pain or dying from hunger.

I have to assume he’s still calling.

How to say yes, and yes to what are the issues. Place that next to all the possibilities (temptations) out there, and it’s obvious what I need is a voice screaming blue murder during the day and not one whispering quietly in the dark of night.

Scotched Earth

Scotched earth

You are a writer. Dig deep! There’s always something to write about.

Sorry men. The earth is scotched and the well is dry. It’s all dust. Nothing but dust. Only the rains can make a change. But who knows when?

So bless that thing or curse it. Which ever brings deliverance.

What are you thinking about?

Nothing but strangeness. 
There’s terror in their hearts
And fear in their minds

The world is at an end
But why worry
When it happens we won’t be here to mourn or regret

Things that go bump in the dark
Are just things
No power to harm or to save
But you heard the stories when you were young

You have put them on a pedestal
Now that you are grown
They watch your days and haunt your nights

But look away for a moment
Look into the light
It’s all transient like life itself.
The morning will come.
It will be alright.

Or maybe not.
But either way, in the end, it matters not.
Nothing does.

A million dollars

“I need a million dollars.”
I am just gonna leave this here in case someone decides the right thing to do is give it to me. As the saying goes, if you don’t ask, don’t expect or something of that nature. And the good book is in agreement as well: “ask …”