Youthful arms entwined in the beginnings of love stories, pristine off-campus housing–mansions in comparison to the bare russet bungalows of the town’s original inhabitants. The prevailing scent of suya, kosh and dosh sellers competing for attention … Ice-cream parlours next to business centre’s next to Mai shayi stalls, with backyards of stretched un-tarred paths; best friends to lonely dogs. Government primary schools with hopeful children, congestion, tempers flaring, automobiles racing the sun … laughter, youth, laughter, age. Then those two lanky horses, of one rich Mallam, majestic with grief, unashamed of their peeking rib bones. Scorching noon’s; preludes to damp evenings, Oh lord, Generators…
Boarding school was the scent of green bar soap, spotted with garri, cabin biscuits, granulated sugar, cornflakes, and something else you could never place. It wasn’t a stench, this unexplainable whiff, but it was a flavour wrapped in a lingering feeling that made you almost sad in a happy kind of way. It was memories of simple moments; the sounds of iron buckets, squeaking hostel bunks, puerile rivalries, love letters, twilight before sunrise, obnoxious teachers, the smell of charcoal irons on checkered uniforms, film shows after dinner, and bursts of evolving knowledge … in the classrooms, in the dorms, at the sports field, and beyond. Boarding school was the aroma of growing up.
The smell of blooming flowers against the fading Queen of the night, very early mornings agreed with yellow hues. From the darkness, soft kerosene lamps flickered on, candles were relit, or yellow bulbs haloed the ceiling, and then the rising sun was borne. In came the pleasant sounds of peculiar birds that would go missing for the rest of the day. Those early mornings welcomed smiles, gentle coughs, sniffing. Hot cocoa, toast and eggs, akara scents, ankara Mothers’, oily fingers, purring cats, doors creaking open, then creeping shut, car engines yawning a shaky hum, until they roared … Good morning
Yeah, you could just be … you know, a regular worm.
Back at University, whenever friends, neighbours, or their guests dropped by my place for the first time, the usual reaction to the soiree of books in my off-k dorm was, “what the hell are all these books doing here!”
It was an exotic creepiness … observed almost as a fetish. The girl with a book thing. How could one human have so many books just hanging around? It didn’t also help that often I shared the flat with my older brother, a fellow book lover, who actually accounted for 70 percent of the books in there.
It was one thing for guests to absorb I owned more than ten books (I assume the subconscious legal limit), but finding me, sprawled on the floor on a hot Gwagalada noon, reading a novel (that wasn’t a M and B) … for fun? Now that was the limit. I needed an intervention, before I converted to geekism.
Some neighbours would exclaim at the lewd sight, as though I had announced a tragedy, “Why are you jacking like this!”
Sometimes it was pleasant surprise; as one would react to witnessing the unveiling of a secret talent; “So you jack?” often accompanied by a follow up mumble, (always in a mumble) “I didn’t know you were a serious student oh.”
Other times friends would exclaim in a fever, “Jesus, do we have a test on Monday?” … because reading, and not just reading, but finding un-coaxed pleasure in reading was an absurdity reserved for a bookworm with giant nerdy glasses peeking it’s absoluteness like a yellow blackberry smiley, a bookworm who needed real friends, a drink and then some, and/or a boyfriend.
My response was always to shrug and smile it off, but I was often sincerely flushed to be caught red handed enjoying the pleasures of words or indeed studying.
It wasn’t odd to hear the occasional, “So you are reading … someone really wants to pass exams.” UNDERTONE: So you are crafting a plot to graduate with a better result in the secrecy of your bedroom … pure evil…
In retrospect I have come to ruminate over the senselessness of those days. Why was being somewhat studious or having a genuine love for books associated with craftiness, and fetishized by the cool gang and why on earth where you lauded by the so called “nerds” who thought you to be a flawless gem headed for the good life and the pearly gates in the afterlife for no other reason but because you were an active reader. These same nobles wore the grimace of a disappointed parent when you were spotted going for a party or a night out with the girls… there was always this look of; oh dear, she has started losing her way. How sad, I thought she read?
Zebra’s only existed in the wilderness. In this forest of urban Uni culture, you had to pick one stripe.
Why did/do these inane polarities exist? Why is the idea of living and living one’s entirety the “absurd thing”, when leaving half of who you are behind isn’t really living.
Why must you be perceived as a gifted bookworm to qualify as worthy of simply reading a book? Whatever happened to regular worms?
However do you make your blog a success without absurd sensational blog-buster hits like:
“Woman accused of giving birth to flower pot”
“Raunchy lover caught SEXTING MARRIED woman in church … See NUDE pix here!”
However will people log in, read, or maybe even drop a comment when there is no;
Thief beaten to pulp, CLICK for gruesome pix displaying his deserving step by step agony,
Lecturer caught toasting jambite, click for FULL audio tape LEAK + NUDE pix HERE!!
My answer … You get over the urge to yardstick your blog and write anyway, because writing is your thing, and you freaking just love it … well, let’s hope you do.
Hello there, and welcome to my blog! So I really don’t know much about first post blogsphere etiquette. I mean, is there some cyber tea I ought to offer first? Is this the part I awkwardly shake your hand … then sincerely smile?
What I do know is I love writing. So this is me being all, “explore your craft” and this is my little safe space where I will do just that.
So, let there be words! And there were mine …
Oooh … fancy 🙂