I had a really long day and I just wanted to get home and pass out. The demon that is Port Harcourt traffic had other plans for me, as nearly all my access routes were locked down and I was stuck. My mom still hadn’t called me, so I supposed the idiotic cousin has not said anything to her, and I was happy I didn’t have to deal with that drama at the moment. I just pulled into Ada George Road, singing along to Mikka’s Love You When I’m Drunk, when my phone beeped. And it was my uncle – yes, the father to the idiotic cousin. I increased the volume of my music, and then answered the call.
Me: Good evening, sir.
Nosy Uncle: Good evening, my dear, how are you?
Me: I am fine, thank you.
NU: Where you are? It is quite noisy.
Me: *increasing the volume again* Yes, it’s quite noisy here. Can I call you later, sir?
NU: NO! (As if he knew I had no such plan) I want to see you in Onitsha this weekend! (He was shouting over the music)
Me: I take classes during the weekends, so it may not be possible. (Big lie. All my classes are virtual; I can take them anytime)
NU: So when will you make it?
Me: I really can’t say now, but I will work out something and call you. (Right!)
NU: I heard from your brother, he told me everything. You are still my son and I know it’s youthful exuberance that has driven you into the devil’s trap. You must find your way back to the Lord, you were an altar boy, and you taught catechism –
Me: *cutting in* I don’t know what your son told you, sir, and if you believe him, well, good for you, because whatever impression you people have about me doesn’t concern me. (My voice was rising at this point). But you don’t call me and order me around, I am not a kid.
NU: You don’t have respect.
Me: *struggles to keep calm* You have disrespected me too and I am an adult. Look, uncle, TIMARIV is in front of me (another lie) they will book me for talking on the cell phone. I will call you later.
And I hung up. I have no intention of ever speaking to him on the phone again.
Well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it now? If they call my mom and tell her, I will not lie to her. I will just refrain from giving a response. Nigerian families do take a lot of things for granted. Mstchew!
Now the other day I was chatting up with an old friend from my then-church, who was trying to get me to turn from my backsliding ways. We started talking about faith and religion, and she started telling me how I needed safety and security that being in tune with God provides. I disagreed, telling her that horrible things still happen every day to people who love God and go to church. I cited an example with Bimbo Odukoya (who I totally loved) and Myles Monroe, and she did not have anything to say. Then I mentioned another member of our church back then who was so committed and genuine (at least it seemed so to me) in his passion for God, but later died in an accident (so I was told). She looked at me as if she was struggling to say something, hesitated a bit, and then said it.
Her: Did you know Brother Henry (not real name) very well?
Me: No, why?
Her: Did you know he was HIV positive?
Me: *mouth dropping open* I was not aware.
Her: Well, he was positive and on ART, but suddenly stopped taking his meds. He started taking Rhapsody of Realities (a daily devotional) instead, believing that God would heal him. His immunity dropped considerably and he succumbed to common cold.
This shocked me to my marrow, even as I remembered the case of a woman who was childless for many years and a fertility specialist began managing her case. She conceived eventually after eight years of marriage, but when it was time to deliver, her cervix would not dilate. Her Ob/Gyn decided to operate and this woman refused to have the surgery, claiming that God promised in the bible that she would deliver like the Hebrew women. She lost the baby right there in her, and she still had to have a surgery to evacuate the fetus. The doctor went on to ban her from his clinic for throwing away all the work he had done over the years.
This is my problem with religion, which is why the phrase “opium of the masses” is fitting, because the people become high on this opium and lose the ability to reason logically.
I have said here before that I hate men who kiss and tell; if we do something in the bedroom, the gory details should remain right there in the bedroom. However some people go as far and lying about things that did not happen, maybe to have bragging rights or to malign you. This is very common amongst gay men and it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. I was on my own the other day watching a movie, and my friend pinged me “Man whore”, and I responded with “What have I done again this time?” It turned out he was drinking with some friends and I came up somehow, and one of the guys started going on and on about how well he ‘knows’ me. I hate being objectified but I was like, “Yea right whatever, I am a single man and I have sex, deal.” Then I asked him to show me a photo of the guy, and I did not recognize the man in the photo, which was strange because I may forget a name, but I will NEVER forget a face.
I was upset and I headed out to the bar where they were. And when I got there, the lying jerk started stuttering, as he did not know I was going to come there. I am friends with someone he knows so he went ahead to make up stories about us being lovers and all. After exposing his trickery, I told him that it was not cool to tell lies about people. He was so embarrassed that he did not say a word again until he left.
One of my best friends is a straight man and he is married with a son whom they gave me the honor of being his godparent. Anyway his wife has been in and out of town, busy with law school, so he is mostly alone with the child. But this week, he had to go to Lagos for a work thing. He came over to my house and was going on and on about not knowing who will watch the boy. You know when someone is lamenting to your hearing about a problem you can solve without actually asking you to help? That was what he was doing. I felt manipulated but I still offered to keep the boy for the weekend.
I was petrified as hell as I generally like kids only in small doses and not for long periods of time. But hey, this is what friendship is about, right? And yes, I realize I am usually selfish, so this one time I conceded. I dropped off my friend at the airport and came home with the little boy, and after one weekend crash course in Parenting 101, here is what I have learnt about kids.
- They ask a whole lot of questions: Uncle D, how does the light come on… Uncle D, where does the water come from… How did the people in the TV enter there… I must have answered three million questions during that weekend. I hail parents who do this every day.
- Their attention span is so fickle that it is annoying. One minute he wants to play with a book, the next minute your shoes, and then he wants you to take down a painting for him, and next thing he wants to climb the glass table. This is exhausting.
- I want indomie! You make indomie for him and after a few spoons + a messy floor, he suddenly wants cornflakes, which also goes the way of the noodles, and then bread etc…*sigh*
- They go through like 20 clothes in one day, as they always get dirty. Good luck if you don’t have a washing machine.
- Keep all mobile phones, tablets and remote controls way out of reach.
It was a fun experience for me even though finding ways to entertain a child is the hardest thing ever; he taught me to be patient, which honestly is a virtue that I really need.
His dad returned on Sunday and came to get him, and why we were leaning on his car chatting, I asked him why he was not calling hourly to check on us. He looked at me for like 30 seconds and then said:
“I have confidence in your abilities and I was not worried one bit as I knew he was in good hands. Even though you have convinced yourself otherwise, Dennis, I know you will make a great dad. I totally support and endorse your decision not to marry, but please I beg you with anything you hold dear, do not close the door on kids. I don’t want you to look back at your life at 60 and regret not making that choice.”
I promised him I would give it some thought and we can debate it later. And just as I said goodbye and turned to enter inside, the little boy came running toward me and gave me the tightest hug ever, and my heart just melted.
OAN: I (finally) started watching How To Get Away With Murder and Empire, plus I also have started updating my viewing of Scandal. *carefully irons LASTMA jacket, folds it neatly and ships it via FEDEX to Chestnut*