For the last 24 hours I have neither eaten nor drank anything. I did not speak to a single soul. I set eyes on no one on account of being locked up intentionally in my room.
I read my SMS but responded to none. I had turned off my mobile data and done the same to the Internet service provider modems of which I had two. I had shutdown my laptop as well. I had unplugged the TV and DSTV.

I had set the status on my Whatsapp profile to “SMS only”. I have to remember to change it. So I have more or less been cut off from all social media.

On the table is a plate with 3 slices of bread which I kept just in case. There’s a bag full of 20 pieces of 50-CL water sachets just in case as well. I didn’t touch either the bread or water. There’s half a bucket of water which I finally dipped a small face towel into and used to wipe my face and torso sometime in the afternoon. Not that I was really uncomfortable or sweaty but it was something to do. 24 hours is a long time.

I had a fan running all day courtesy of the inverter. No AC since there’s no electricity supply from the mains since morning. I was loath to open the windows during the day even when the temperature went up. It came close to being unbearable at some point.

As at 9PM I had 49 missed calls. Probably from under 20 people. Most are probably work related. Most of the SMS are from automated systems at the various banks at which I held accounts. It’s surprising that even on our birthdays especially those of us who are naturally reticent the few number of calls we get. I suspect when I enable mobile data on my phone and put on my laptop, there will be plenty of impersonal one-liners from friends and acquaintances. We get what we sow. Someone who wants friends must show himself friendly or something like that so I cannot complain. On the other hand, the Yorubas say it’s impossible for the same 20 kids to remain close friends for 20 years.

I am grateful for the calls (apologies for not accepting them) and those one-liners. The fact that people even take the pains to write them means they spared you a thought even during their busy schedules. Thank you.

I have read a ton of Sherlock Holmes and come away with the believe that “The Yellow face” is one of the best of his engagements. I am sure it’s based on sentiments: especially the ending. I read most of the book “The Rhineland Mystics: an anthology”.

I remember for some reason that the word “interregnum” is one of my most favourite words.

I did a few other “things” while alone in my room of course. I tried to exorcise myself of some of my personal demons. I am not sure if how successful I have been but hopefully I am better now in all aspects than I was 24 hours ago.

At 9:44PM someone put on the generator and it was blissful to feel the first waves of cool air wafting from the AC.

A little “Sunshine” would have made a world of difference but she shines a long way away across the oceans.

I cannot say if I have achieved anything permanently positive by my actions of the past 24 hours though I hope so.

Final tally was 54 missed calls, several SMS and 119 new Whatsapp messages. I suspect most of them are from my secondary school class Whatsapp group.

Now that the “break” is over, I intend to take a proper bath and then go and indulge in something light. After all, it’s my birthday.

NB: apologies again to all those who tried to reach me. I will get around to returning the calls and SMS shortly.


Midnight (25-05-2014)

He had been feeling restless lately. His mind was on many things: his mind was on one thing.
He went to bed pretty early now to see if he could at least get a decent amount of sleep. On days that he had an important or early meeting, he took a sleeping tablet the night before which helped a little. Such a night was this one. He had a meeting with a big prospect tomorrow. If the meeting went well, he could easily make his numbers for the year!

He came awake suddenly. Tapping the face of his phone revealed the time was a minute after 12. He should have been all groggy but for some reason he felt as if he had had a whole night’s sleep. His throat felt patched so he made his way from the bedroom across the sitting/dinning room to the kitchen. He didn’t bother to put on any lights on the way since he was quite familiar with the layout of the apartment.

He opened the fridge door and stood there looking at the Content. He tried to decide on whether to take a soft-drink or water. The soft-drink might keep him awake due to the sugar and caffeine content so he went with the water.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

She wasn’t much of a drinker. But she liked a little drink now and again – especially after a very stressful day. This was one of those days. All she wanted to do was take a shower, jump into bed, and wind down with a cup in her hand and her favourite romance soap on the TV. She must have been more tired than she suspected because all she was able to manage was the bath before she hopped into bed and straight into a dreamless sleep.

She couldn’t be sure why she was suddenly awake. There was a soft glow coming from the screen of her phone. The source could be anything. Probably WhatsApp. She couldn’t avoid “him”. She could of course block him but that would be obvious. Besides she did like him but just as a friend – why does life have to be so complicated – it would have been great if she felt “something” for him.

She laid there in the dark thinking of him with her hand covering the face of the phone. He was a nice guy. Maybe too nice. Never seems to get angry at anything. Not so much emotional display until he ambushed her with the question.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

He took the bottle of water out of the fridge and got a clean cup from the set on the kitchen counter. He made his way to the dining table and sat down on one of the chairs. He decided to switch on one of the lights so as not to make a mess while pouring the water into the cup. He returned to his seat and had finished filling up the cup when he realized he wasn’t alone. There seated right across from him was a man he didn’t recognize. He would have guessed the age as being approximately the same as his. Somewhere deep in his mind, he knew alarm bells should have started ringing, but yet he felt not even the slightest inclination towards fight or flight. It was peace that he felt. In fact he felt so peaceful, it amazed him.

“Who are you?”, he asked.
“Who do you think I am?” He responded with a smile.
There was a shimmering to him. A certain lack of solidness.
Only one thought that came to his mind: “An angel”. He said it more as a statement and less as a question.
The other man smiled.
“Where or whom do you think I am from?” The angel asked.
“God.” He said.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

She finally rolled out of bed unto her feet. The little fridge in her room hummed slightly. She opened the door and light flooded the room. A few little bottles stared back at her.

Well. She might as well take something. She selected a small half empty bottle and closed the door of the fridge. But the room didn’t go dark. Right there on the single seat at her dressing table sat someone. Her first inclination was to scream as loudly as she could. But there was something comforting about the person. Besides she looked like a woman. It was the soft glow from her that made the room light enough to see. A little smile played on her lips.

“Who are you?”, she asked.
“I am a messenger of the living God. Baah! That sounds too officious. I am an angel.”
“Don’t be afraid. Come. Sit on your bed. Let’s talk.” The angel said.
“I am not afraid”, she responded as she made her way cautiously to the bed.
“Great” the angel said.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Great” the angel said.
And went on almost immediately. “Can you remember the last thing you prayed about before falling asleep?”
His questions had that “one must answer” quality to them.
He tried to think. His brain was now fully awake.
“Ah!” He said. “I prayed for my family.”
“But was that the very last prayer you said?”
He fidgeted a little in his seat. That was sort of personal. Maybe a little embarrassing even. And he really hadn’t remembered until the angel pressed further.
But the angel had an expectant look on his face.
“I , … , I prayed for her.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

They both sat facing each other: the angel and her. Like a couple of good friends about to indulge in some juicy piece of gossip. Somewhere at the back of her mind, a thought briefly intruded on the present: “This is ludicrous” but just as quickly faded away.

She glanced briefly at her phone.

“Do you want to check that? It’s a WhatsApp message. It’s from him” said the angel.
She could guess at the content. Usually some variation on “How was your day” but she checked it all the same. All the message said was “Hi”.
“Now.” The angel said. “You like him. A lot in fact. He just doesn’t make your heart go racing like a wild horse across the open prairie. Right?”
“Yes”. She responded. A little smile on her lips at the angel’s turn of words.
“Also. You are not so sure about him. You think he has got secrets”.
She nodded.
“Yes he has. Just like all humans. The totality of what you get is not just what you see.”
“Don’t worry. His secrets are not heinous or deal breakers. In fact most of them are completely harmless. Even bothering on the ridiculous.”
Both of them laughed silently.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Yes indeed. That was the very last piece of prayer you said. And God was listening as usual.” said the angel.
He doesn’t usually get involved in these things beyond a certain extent, but in this case there are other things hanging in the balance. I know you don’t understand fully, but trust me, it’s the truth.
“She has said no”. He said it with a flatness that betrayed his composure.
“Yes I know. But this time you must fight. You must not just go quietly into that good night. You must remain in whatever capacity possible. Be her friend if that’s what she wants. Be there if she calls.”
“She doesn’t.” He said.
“Be patient. I know you think of yourself as a patient person but really you are not much more patient than other people.”
“She will call” said the angel.
“She will call” he repeated after the angel. His expression gave nothing away. But the angel could see right through him, that his stomach was churning.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“He is a keeper”. The angel said. “Like his father before him. And his father’s father before his father.”
“If you want a keeper, give it a chance. I know you think of him as a friend right now. There is nothing wrong with that. But before you look elsewhere, when you are ready, give it a chance.”
“I know literally what you are thinking. People such as him are not always exciting in the beginning. But trust me, when the time comes, he will upend your world. Your friends will wonder how it happened. I have said too much already.” said the angel.
“If you absolutely can’t think of him as anything other than a friend, then make your decisions accordingly. Follow your heart as you have always done. You are a strong woman.” concluded the angel.
“Complicated much.” She said with a wry smile.
“Complicated much.” The angel said in response.
Then she started to fade. And the room started to get darker.
“Wait a minute!” she wasn’t sure what or why so she blurted out the only thing that came to her mind “What’s your name?”
“It doesn’t matter what you call me. Even the genie in the bottle is fine.” She said with a smile, eyeing the little bottle in her hand.
Then she was gone.
She put the bottle down on the bedside table, turned on her side. She wasn’t sure she would be able to sleep any more till morning, but in a few minutes, she was fast asleep.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

They sat there quietly. For some reason there was no awkwardness in the silence.
“What now?” He finally asked.
“I return to where I came from, and you go to bed.” The angel said with a smile.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

25-05-2014 – 5:05am (That “special” person who might read this story and who is not moved by words should pay attention to the date it was written: Over a year ago. The person will know 🙂



Before you scoff and move one, I would ask you to put aside your convictions and your prejudices for a minute or two. I am sure you would say dogs can’t read. What if I were to say dogs can’t read braille? Right? Right? Of course dogs don’t need to read braille. How many healthy blind dogs have you seen around? (No offence meant to humans please). But that doesn’t necessarily mean dogs can’t read braille, does it? But let’s leave that aside for the moment.

I once had a dog called Zulu. He was small and cute and cuddly, but not to lie through the rose-colored lens of remembrance (of the past), he was also a mongrel. Now there is nothing wrong with being a mongrel. I just thought I should state that fact: if on top of that, you still want to think of me as a member of the bourgeois, go right ahead.


Since Zulu was relatively small, it could get away with some of those things you see kittens or cats do in all those YouTube videos such as walking all over the keyboard of my desktop computer or generally just being all playful up on my desk where I wouldn’t even allow a tiny tort to go near.


I didn’t realize there was method to the madness of his playfully hugging my system. When he gets up to it, I just use the excuse to take a break.  The reality hit me when I got a pink slip it appeared I had specifically ordered. You see, I lost my first job when Zulu decided I wasn’t giving him enough attention and proceeded to send a resignation letter on my behalf to my boss. It wouldn’t have been so bad if he hadn’t included in the letter all those one hundred things (and names) I would have gladly said to him, or called him to his face if I had been brave enough. So any thoughts of trying to get that job back was a no-no.


Fortunately, he (Zulu) found me my next job as penance for the one he cost me. You see, after seeing me mope around the house and verbalizing certain suicidal thoughts, he went online and applied for several jobs I wasn’t even smart enough to use Google to find. I suddenly found myself with an offer letter and I was back on top!

Things were OK once again in Neverland. But suddenly Zulu disappeared just as suddenly as he had come into my life. That’s of course another story, but the short version was that I was trudging along in the rain one day, when a car pulled over beside me. Thinking the occupant was someone I knew or maybe the person was going to offer me a ride, I went closer and the window came down. The chap behind the wheel handed me a small carton and said “Hey bro, would you hold this while I get out of the car?” I think it was the combination of the appellation “bro” and the involuntary reaction when someone has already stretched out his hands that made me accept the box. I moved back to give him space to get out of the car, but instead, the window went back up and he was out of there like the Cerberus* was on his tail. I was still looking after the rapidly vanishing car in confusion when I head the whimpering coming from the little box in my hand. I opened it to see this very tiny thing with liquid eyes looking up at me, and that was how I became a dog whisperer.

But back to the recent present. Zulu’s disappearance! I was frantic for a couple of days and really considered logging a missing person report with the local police station, but I suspected I might be charged to court with wasting public resources or the time of an officer of the law. I must have chewed through a box of pencils (something I learnt from Zulu) when on the fourth day or so, while staring bleakly at my screen, a mail arrived from Zulu.

As to be expected from a very advanced member of his specie, there was no apology but a very bubbly note telling me that it had signed up to accompany the space shuttle Rosetta on its comet-meeting journey knowing fully well it a walk in the dark up a one-way alley (if there is any such thing). It was all of course hush-hush even till today so as not to infuriate any animal rights people, even though he made the decision completely sane of mind and under no duress etcetera etcetera.


I had resigned myself to missing him and I had got into the rhythm of once again living life without a dog (it was taking a sizable chunk of my pay to feed him and treat him anyway). But then one day, I was channel surfing when I happened upon a Snoop Dogg (now Snoop Lion) video on Channel-O. I caught the tail end of the video and I could have sworn I saw Zulu having a good old time in the background. It took me some days to lay hands on the video since I didn’t know the title of the song and wasn’t actually sure it was Zulu anyway.  But when I finally did, I was still almost a 100% sure it was him – but then didn’t he take off into space several years ago? I then naturally became an official fan of Snoop’s videos and went on to see the same dog several times. It was of course trying to behave like a regular canine but its “moves” from time to time gave it away as being much smarter. How many dogs have you seen sipping on pina coladas and whistling at the ladies?


That was when I had the brilliant idea of contacting Snoop Dogg’s (Snoop Lion) publicist or manager. After sending several missives intimating my desire to get together with Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion) to discuss some urgent dogging business, I guess the chap or lady at the other end (Snoop cub or Snoop Lioness or Snoop Sec) got fed up and sent me a specially autographed picture of Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion). But there was also a letter in the delivery box which to cut a long story short said “We appreciate all our fans, but the big dog would really like you to stop dogging him. If the dog in the video is truly yours, make your own music video asking it to come home. We promise to get you some airplay.”


Which would have been wonderful if I could sing. That was the dilemma facing me until recently. Oh. I did I mention there was a paw print at the back of  the picture?

Which finally brings us to the main subject of this post.

You see, a couple of months ago, my car took a dunking (I repeat again, I wasn’t drunk – it was very late at night and very dark). The net effect was that the engine had to be changed and the car is still not back to it’s “pre-M-Phelps” days. So I was surfing the web yesterday for a cheap stand-in when I came up an ’06 no-accident version of my car on OLX going for a third of the cost of my own 3-year-used-on-bad-Nigerian-roads ’05 model! As it was a Sunday, I sent an SMS asking about the car rather than disturb “Ms A.”

Bright and early this morning, I got an SMS from the contact. I decided Whatsapp might be a better medium of communication and was lucky to find she was also on there with her picture in all her Custom’s uniform glory probably just “clearing” a car for some lucky dude.
















After ruminating on how so-so lucky I was for a while and how certain recent events had almost made me think my life was a “dog”, Zulu suddenly crossed my mind. Which was when it struck me that if Zulu could be on a space shuttle in outer-space, and cavorting with Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion) on video shoots at the same time, what stops him from being in a third place such as in the front of a remote computer or smart phone pretending to be Ms A and pranking me?

Not that I am saying Ms A is a dog, far from it. In fact isn’t everything on OLX legit and above board? Isn’t every person on their representing their true selves and completely beyond reproach? (Sarcasm – even OLX says to be cautious).  If Zulu can charm the weed off Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion), getting Ms A to do his bidding should be literally a “walk in the park” for him, right? He could be sitting next to Ms A, smoking weed, and going “Yeah, yeah, say that to him. He’s going to fall for it. Just wait a minute. He’s going to come round and pony up that N10,000. Stingy bas***d! Can you believe how much he makes in a month and he won’t let go of 10K?! without wasting your Internet data?”

But then Ms A could definitely be Zulu just trying to take the mickey out of me. But rather than “scream foul”, I decided to play along and see how far the conspiracy goes. After all, she’s only asking for N10,000 of my hard-earned money and if it was indeed Zulu, he would of course return it to me after being satisfied he’s taught me a lesson.

Epilogue (what’s a great story without one)

Ms A was not one to give up on N10,000 so easily. I got a couple of calls a few days apart from her second number. I just ignored it. The one time I did talk to her briefly, she didn’t sound anything like she looked in her Whatsapp profile. She sounded younger and hesitant (unsure).

Well, if it’s you out there Zulu, enjoy your dog-life! And if not, then Ms A, you need to try harder. But be careful not to work yourself into a pair of handcuffs OK? Good!

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

*Cerberus in Greek and Roman mythology, is a multi-headed dog, or “hellhound” with a serpent’s tail, a mane of snakes, and lion’s claws. He guards the entrance of the underworld to prevent the dead from escaping and the living from entering.

Just in Case

Just in Case

I like flying. It’s generally safe. Safer than the other means of transport. That safety comes at a premium of course. In addition, when things go wrong, they often do so spectacularly. One can generally stop a car given the right conditions (for example), but one can’t decide mid-air to alight from a malfunctioning plane.
So, once the pilot starts the run down the runway for take-off, I say a little prayer that goes something like “Dear God, forgive me all my sins. See us to our destination safely. But if this should be my last flight, let it end quickly and accept me into your heaven. Amen.” After that prayer, I am completely at peace and ready to enjoy the flight.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be boarding an estimated 8 separate flights. That’s a lot of opportunity to find one’s self knocking on heaven’s door. So in preparation (I have done something less elaborate before), I am sending a mail to myself though addressed to my “sibs”. I will then send them via Whatsapp/SMS a cryptic but easily decrypted code for my password and instructions to read the mail in case “just in case” becomes “in fact.”

The text of the mail is below (heavily redacted 🙂

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


Hi redacted/redacted/redacted/redacted (my siblings),

This mail is just in case something unplanned happens – such as any of the flights I will be taking in the next couple of weeks falls out of the sky – God forbid, but still – sh*t happens and time and chance happens to us all.

As much as possible, all “papers” should be in my room.

Unfinished Business

1. Approx. redacted Naira paid to redacted for redacted (contact my friend redacted for details). Balance of redacted remaining for a total of redacted Naira.
Requires another redacted Naira to perfect it (redacted for the redacted, redacted for the redacted, redacted for redacted – the redacted.

Credit: (10 items under here – guess I haven’t done too badly – thank God – last 2 items are “dodgy” investments)


Creditors 🙂

1. Owe redacted  over redacted Naira. I paid roughly redacted for redacted. Then check my redacted bank account (both current/savings) for several transfers to redacted redacted bank account to figure out the total I have paid. redacted originally borrowed me redacted Naira.

Debtors 🙂


There are probably a few I can’t remember!

People to say sorry to on my behalf

1. redacted – She is special. I didn’t do enough to make her “(redacted)” me. “Complicated much” – “Whoosh!” (those are some of her words I find intriguing). Send her a cake, a card and a single rose on her birthday: July (redacted). redacted can organize it. Cake must be from redacted.

2. redacted

3. redacted – should have done much more

4. redacted – should have done much more

People to say thank you to on my behalf (8 people listed)

1. Same lady in the previous section
2. ideally everybody or anybody who knows me
3. redacted
4. redacted
5. redacted
6. redacted
7. redacted
8. redacted
9. redacted

People to give the evil look to on my behalf

– thankfully none

Bank Accounts (with account types)

1. redacted
2. redacted
3. redacted
4. redacted  for redacted

Other matters

– get Mummie to finish reviewing the 2 books (short stories and poems) then print them. Don’t put my picture anywhere on them. But for the cover you can find some painting by myself or a couple of those Daddy’s watercolor paintings (should be in the room if I haven’t lost them)


Tunde Itayemi