I’m inking this on a work-shy afternoon on this artsy-crafty desk, not really a desk but more a coffee table because it is made of glass and supported by decussating wood. On the ceiling there are metal buckets that play the role of chandeliers. It’s a hip space, like the cool-looking kid who travels to exotic locations and has a vlog. Is it still woke to have a vlog because this place looks woke. (More on it on the next paragraph) I’m in a college jacket, blue jeans and on my feet, black vans. I have been doing this thing lately where I wear shoes without socks for at least thrice a week and every time I look down I get a flash of my yellow skin. It feels risqué, I imagine the same way women must feel when they wear a mini with no panties manning the gate.
Speaking of risqué. “Hey Mama” is playing in the other room. Which is setup like a reception area with a big emerald-green sofa in the corner and these cushioned crates that give it a retro feel, only it’s not a reception area, it’s a lounge unit and it confuses visitors every time they come here and find the ‘receptionist’ blasting music. Nicki Minaj candy voice is pungent in the air. The words, “Yes I do the cooking, yes I do the cleaning, plus I keep the nana real sweet for your eating.” are heavy in my ears and I’m nodding my head while tapping my socks-less feet on the floor.
On my left is a girl. Dark chocolate complexion, slender, relaxed hair in figure hugging pants and a cream blouse clucking away at her pink MacBook. She’s working on Virtual Reality, alluring, the idea of getting lost in another reality is always welcome in this world of pain. We are waxing poetic about reading. I’m saying that people are mistaken to think reading is a leisure activity. It’s not. When you read, you improve your speech. You don’t make those embarrassing typos. You know, write ‘rich’ when you mean ‘reach.’ Your world view expands and when you voice an opinion you don’t make an ass of yourself like our beloved leader of the free world.
Speaking of typos, this blog needs an editor. If words mean something to you. If you get up at night sweltering wondering if you should use American or British English in your copy, if you go Tasmanian devil at the thought of a grammatical error, drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me why I should trust you with my words. If we hit it off we’ll have a coffee and talk pocket money.
Back to my VR friend. Her feet are dipped in flats, they are bare just like mine. Haha. She’s telling me reading for her is something she makes time for, it’s a class of sorts. She tells me she’s currently teaching herself fashion design and cooking and I look at her differently because I’m a self-taught writer. I have never walked into anybody’s writing class. Which goes to prove that if you really want to do something you find a way to do it. But if you don’t, you look up every hang up under the sun. Don’t be the guy who walks to the pearly gates and when the Alpha and the Omega asks why you didn’t pursue your talents you say something feeble like, “I didn’t have a mentor.” because he will just roll his eyes, snatch your wings along with your hairline and send you to the same corner with the leader of the free world.
She bakes, everything from cookies, banana bread to cupcakes. I have a sweet tooth so she is preaching to the choir. I tell her if she ever happens to roll by with a box of the trinkets I will be the first on to promote her.
After her, on the far end is a chap. Early twenties, tall, nappy hair hunched on his MacBook Air doing a report. He’s at the age where he consumes everything he suspects might get him high. We took a walk earlier and he stopped to take a smoke. Dunhill is he’s preferred poison. I tell him smoking never grew on me. I tried it but I like smelling good and having teeth in my gums way too much. I tell him my dad lost all his teeth because of that stick dangled between his middle and forefinger. It’s not glib or fable to scare him, it’s true. As we speak my old man has a new set of teeth.
“When did he start?” He asks a bit shaken.
“Around your age.” I say, matter-of-factly.
His movements’ slow down from the effort of thinking. “How old is he now?”
“Sixty, sixty three. Give or take some years.”
He gazes at the blue sky which has streaks of yellow and white in it as if an artist just began a painting, smashes the butt end of his cigarette on a nearby poll and lights another stick. We walk while he tells me what he has planned for the weekend for the few girls disturbing him. He tells me he’s great at multitasking.
Behind him is another chap, bald head, you could use it as a mirror. Dapper, clean as a cat. I told him he’s the kind of son my dad would love because he’s always in material trousers and blazers. My old man is not too crazy about my dressing. He thinks suits and leather shoes make a man. I find them uninspiring and tedious. If I dressed like that I would hang my Hemingway gab and pursue a dull career, something that has two C’s in it like Credit Control. He’s a developer, not the type that grabs children’s playgrounds and later a concrete hotel flies in the air, no. The type that thinks in zeros and ones. The kind that is always typing on a dark screen and when you ask what they are doing they say HTML and you think ‘Heh, when did learning How To Meet Ladies get this complicated?’
My phone is now buzzing, I pick it up, a woman with a soft voice that could soothe a restless child is on the other end. We exchange a flurry of words. It’s another brief that needs my copy. After I thumb the red receiver and the line goes dead I look at the brief that has just been sent and wonder where I will unpack it. Will I do it in the reception lounge or will, ‘Hey Mama’ get in the way? Will I take it out to the gazebo, get tea and maybe a samosa? Briefs I have come to learn are like people, they like to be pampered, they have big egos that need stroking. I have very little time to nanny it though because a meeting beckons on the morrow and we need something to show client, you know, something that tells them those trinkets they serve us in those morning meetings are not in vain. I lean on my chair and mull over this while ‘Hey Mama’ fizzles out. The words, “Beating my drum like, dum di di day.” Bursting in the air like confetti.
If you have been wondering why I haven’t been coming here to wax lyrical a short story or a lifestyle piece and hang out with you for the last month. That is why. Life happened a little bit too fast and I was trying to get my footing right before I came back to base. Did I even get to wish you a happy new year, no? Well, here goes, happy New Year to you and yours. How have you been? How are you holding up? It’s Valentine’s, chaps, do you have something special planned for her? Ladies, are you doing the cooking and the cleaning, are you keeping the nana real sweet for his eating? And can someone please tell us what all the rave about the nana is and how you keep it sweet for the eating, you might save a life.
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I like to think of myself as a reader who writes, a Pan-African who thinks with the tips of his fingers, but when I'm not molesting the keyboard I'm usually destroying yogurt (not Frusion) or staring into the vastness of space.