The Way Here

I watch Ayomide sleep and can’t but wonder “How close am I to the real thing?” Does the child see me and think “Farce”? Am I good enough?

The road to get here was murky, thorny and stony all at once. Before I found myself here, it was easy to look into the eyes of the man I blamed for the childhood I detested. Now, I look back and see with pristine clarity that I perhaps judged the man too harshly. No, not “perhaps”. Without doubt, I judged him wrongly.

“Walk a mile in a man’s shoes…”

I cursed the man and his shoes. Who wanted to wear such smelly, stupid shoes? Then in trying to put as many miles as I possibly could between the man, his shoes and myself, I stepped right into the same shoes and walked the same miles I tried to run from. The more I tried to be different from him, the more I became him. What’s worse, the man I tried so vehemently not to become wanted as vehemently as I did for me to not become him. But in my foolishness at the time, I found his methods incredibly, and interestingly, foolish. Such foolishness.

I was wrong. Clearly.

It was when I must have just hit puberty and had begun to try to find my way for myself that I realized, or so I thought, how wrong his was. How could all the other kids have mums except me? How could I not even know her? …what she looked like? …if she loved me? She couldn’t possibly, and it was all his fault. Why else would she leave? Certainly couldn’t be my fault and if it wasn’t mine, whose could it be but his? It was my father’s fault my mother left and no one could tell me any different. It was my dad’s fault I had no mum…

Sigh.

Such utter foolishness.

With that entirely flawed notion in mind, I went against everything the man ever told me: the lies, the truths and the misyarns. Everything. Everything the man tried to protect me from, I flung myself at. I went shining lights into the places he’d always hid in darkness; went seeking the people he’d barred from me; went digging up the dead things he’d buried away. And everything I sought, I found.

I found out the man I thought was my father was not.

I found out the woman I expected would be my mother was my grandmother.

I found out the man that was indeed my father was long dead.

I found my mother wanted nothing to do with me. Never had.

I found that the man I had always thought to be my father was the most selfless person ever walked the face of the earth, as far as I was concerned.

But all this I found out too late.

“A man who knows not the mistakes in his-story is doomed to repeat them.”

Already, Morolake was pregnant and we were expecting Ayomide. Just like my father had impregnated my mother out of wedlock. Just like my father had been conceived before the man I call father had wed my grandmother.

Rolake and I were to be wed though, that was the plan. We would be wed after Ayomide was born. We would be the generation in which everything changed. We would not be like the men before me, bringing children into the world who would have no mothers. We would be different. We would be different.

We turned out to be the same, just not in the same way. Morolake died before Ayomide was even a year old, leaving me all alone to raise our child. And thus, once again everything was much the same. One man, one child.

Perhaps our entire lives are all an effort in futility. Perhaps everything we fight to not be are the very things we are cursed to become; doomed to endlessly repeat the cycle. Perhaps I shall strive all my life to be as good a father to my daughter as my grandfather was to me and she would only run run run from me and everything I try to teach her.

I see now that my grandfather, was indeed the best father and mother he could possibly be, considering all his shortcomings. A man worthy of emulation. An inspiration to me and to  my daughter. The way she looks at him, the way she stretches her hands for him to lift her, the way she says “gwampa”… Sigh. I wonder if I can ever be as good a father to her. I wonder if she will ever look at me with the same eyes. Eyes filled with pride and joy.

“A man who knows not his history…”

How can I show her? Show my daughter the shortcomings of all the men who came before her. How can I raise her without protecting her from the horrible realities of her past? Am I to repeat the mistakes of my father? Am I doomed to fail before I even begin?

Damned if I do. Damned if I don’t.

Now I see even clearer the dilemmas my father was forced through while raising me. Now that I am faced with same, I see the wisdom in his choices and I realise that I must protect my daughter from his ugly truths. I must maintain, for as long as I can, the hero vision she has of him. Wise, strong, dependable grampa.

“Gwampa will catch me before I fall.”

“Gwampa will always be there for me.”

“I love gwampa.”

I love grampa aka daddy. I appreciate him. He knows that now. I’ve told him in thought, word and deed. Now, I can only hope that one day, Ayomide will say also “I love you, daddy”. And if we are lucky, we won’t have to go through half the murky route my father and I had to go through before we arrived here.

_______

This was one of several pieces which made up a week long series titled For Our Fathers hosted by @Rolayomide on her blog</em>

Not Just Another Ramble

Because I don’t know what to write and many things are popping all over my head.

Yesterday was #NoHornDay and I’m proud to say I managed to honked my car horn only once all day. Just one tiny little tap which came out of nowhere before I could stop it. But it’s fine though. I said what I think about the #NoHornDay initiative in the previous post which you can read here.

Ooh, I just had an idea what to do with this post. Yeah, I was serious when I said I didn’t know what to write. I’m just going to freestyle the whole thing through. You’ll see what my idea was as I go along.

Today is the 16th day of October, meaning it’s the midpoint of the month. This is the 14th post I’m putting up in this ‘blog everyday this month’ challenge I’m doing. If you do the math, that means I’ve missed out on one day/post. Not cool. Technically, this is yesterday’s post, I plan to post another before the day is done. I’ll make up for the one I missed with two in November 🙂

Before the #NoHornDay post, I reblogged Super Woman, a story I wrote and illustrated not too long ago for Art Stories on TheNakedConvos. That’s something I’m going to be doing now and then going forward, reblogging some of my favorite Art Stories. This way, loyal Nostalgians who don’t frequent TNC get to read them and enjoy the art.

Before Super Woman, I told a mildly mirthful tale of how and when I first met MoCheddah. She’s a doll.

Before that, on Day 10, I shared A Quote I wrote which is the probably the shortest post I’ve ever put up on this blog. I wonder if I will be forced to surpass that brevity before the month is over. Yes, I know ‘surpass’ is used wrongly there. Call it poetic justice. Bite me.

Interesting, but what inspired that oh-so-deep quote was the same thing that formed the subject matter of the two previous posts: The Linda Ikeji/Intellectual property/Copyright debate. Over the previous weekend, there’d been a lot of drama over Linda’s copyright theft of one MrAyeDee (looking back, this might all just have been one huge publicity stunt), which culminated in her blog being temporarily shut down, allegedly by Google. I wrote first about what I felt about the whole drama, focusing on the Intellectual Property/Copyright debate and then about the reality of Cybersquatting, something MrAyeDee has been accused of doing.

Now, I find myself in the predicament I was in at the beginning of this post a little too often. Where I’m saddled with the obligation to write a piece and have nothing to write. Several times when I’ve found myself in that position, I simply write up something about not being able to write, killing two birds with one stone. That was the situation I found myself in on Day 7 and that was the solution I came up with when I wrote a small ramble between 11pm and midnight.

The long weekend of two weeks ago saw me on the road. I took a road trip with old, new and not-so-new friends across several states in south-western Nigeria. Many adventures. The three posts I put up over those days were road inspired. This one was about the toll the journey was taking on my body, this one was about the terrible state of the roads and this one was a little fiction I came up with inspired by a small moment we experienced on the way back.

The night before that trip began, I’d written another piece of fiction inspired by real experiences. I’ve done a little bit of event photography and something I bet annoys ALL photographers who cover events was documented in that tale.

The day this challenge really took off was the 2nd day of October. I reblogged the first Art Story I ever posted on TNC. A touching tale, if I do say so myself, which dealt with the issues of tribalism, age difference in marriage and judging books by covers.

On the first day, I spontaneously decided to embark on this challenge. Probably the second shortest blog post here.

So there you have it. If you didn’t realize yet, this was a recap of the challenge so far. If you look close, you’ll see that there are links to all the posts, so you can click to whichever may have piqued your interest.

Please enjoy 🙂

Honk Your Horn For Practicality

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Today, October 15th, is Lagos Horn Free Day and from the title of this post, I bet you think you already know where I stand on the subject. Walk with me.

I love scenarios. They make it harder to argue against sensible points and make bad points more apparent. Now, let’s paint a few scenarios:

You live in one of those nice, enclosed estates where the street lights (which somehow exist in the first place) still work and where, on a quarterly basis, they harass all residents for estate dues as they drive out of the estate gate in the morning. Like many people in Lagos, you leave your house really early in the morning, before the sun even comes up. As you drive down one empty, well lit street, you come across reverse lights. They are backing out of the open gates to a residence, right towards your car. You can see the head of the young lady in the driver’s seat swinging this way and that to use her rear mirrors but you can also tell that she somehow hasn’t spotted you. You have only a split second to alert her… and you begin flashing your headlights at her, even though you know the eager street light overhead has swallowed them. She runs into you. It’s Lagos Horn Free Day, so you didn’t honk for her.

Another scenario:

You hit the highway and you’re gunning up one of the numerous bridges when you hit a little ‘hold up’. After years of living and working in Las Gidi, you know now that every second counts and the smallest pocket of traffic could be the one responsible for making you late. You’re growing impatient. You take a peek around the avensus in front of you at the road in front of the danfo further up front to see if you can perhaps spot the reason for the traffic and… Behold, the road is free, bereft of vehicular or human traffic. The danfo is picking up passengers and is neatly parked on the road so no one can pass till it’s done. The avensus in front of you won’t toot his horn to let the danfo driver, his conductor and their passengers know that this is utter madness. You won’t toot yours to let the avensus know you agree. The passat behind you can’t honk to agree with something you haven’t expressed. No one presses their horn because it’s Lagos Horn Free Day.

Final scenario:

You arrive home late from work, tired. You point your car at your gate and pause for a moment debating what to do next. Typically, you honk and the gateman, who knows the sound of your horn like he knowns his mother’s voice from even a street away, scurries to throw them gates wide open like he’s overjoyed to see you. But today is Lagos Horn Free Day. So you throw your car in reverse and proceed to three-point-park right in front of your destination, so you can go knock on the gate or just open it by yourself. Stress.

And those are my scenarios.

I believe the Lagos Horn Free Day initiative is a laudable cause. It strives to reduce noise pollution in Lagos, which is undoubtedly an issue which needs tackling. I doubt there’s any real research out there but I’m sure if there was, we’d marvel at the amounts of cases of stress disorder, mental illness and depression that are direct results of an abnormally high level of noise pollution here. Something is being done and that is good.

However, I wonder at the practicality of driving in Lagos today without the use of your horn. It is widely known that Lagos roads are a place of pure insanity and a school of thought I wholly subscribe to says “Drive in Lagos like you’re the only sane one on the road”. I believe this is called ‘defensive driving’ – a form of driving which involves a mix of paranoia, unnecessary bravadoccio and frequent useless bouts of road rage. Sigh. Why should there even exist a thing such as defensive or offensive driving? Why? Only in Lagos.

Here’s how I see things… Honking is the severely temporary solution to a problem and has now, sadly, become a problem itself. Lagos Horn Free Day brings awareness to and attempts to tackle the resultant problem, which is all well and good, except that the initial problem hasn’t been effectively tackled yet. If this time, energy, funds, publicity, etc were channelled more towards curbing bad, nay very terrible behaviour in our driving, we would hardly need to drive same resources towards changing the adaptive behaviour we’ve cultivated.

Also, and rather sadly, it’s worthy of note that our best changes in road behaviour have come about as a result of perpetual policing and not mere education aka nicely suggesting. Cases in point are our better use of seat belts, the absence of hawkers and road side traders (in certain locations) and the more steady application of insurance policy. We are a hard headed people and the only way we tend to see reason is when it is enforced upon us. That’s just the hard reality.

I’d honestly hate to see such a good hearted initiative as Lagos Horn Free Day go from educative to enforced, especially if the previous issues haven’t yet been properly addressed (Lastma, I’m looking at you) but I also have to admit that that’s the only way this will become entrenched.

So in conclusion, my stance is: In Lagos, the use of horns is a very necessary evil… but only for now. I’ll try my best to adhere though, so help me God.

What’s your stance?

Super Woman

You see them everyday but pay them nothing more than a cursory glance because you’ve come to see them as the norm rather than the exception. You forget that to achieve the feats they do under the kind of conditions they endure on a daily basis, they must be super human. Deep down, you want to admit to yourself that if you ever let yourself dwell even a little on their circumstances, you would probably crumble. But you do not dwell on them long enough.

When you see them now, you do not even think at all. Not of how they ended up in their ‘little’ predicaments. Not of the kind of shitty existences they must live. And certainly not of what hopes or dreams they must have. When you see them, you just honk your horn to get them out of the way as fast as they can so you can roll on by. They cross the road in front of your vehicle and they’re so sluggish that the people in the next lane chance you before you can rush forward. And then you arrive at work late. All because you were nice enough to let one woman like that across the road. Now, so scarred by such events, you try to kiss the bumper in front of you just a little bit everytime you’re in traffic, just so no one can cross in front of you. From the corner of your eye, you see them begging you to make room for them so they don’t have to walk all the way around you and your car but you just troway face, memories of the tongue-lashing your boss is infamous for haunting you. You send dem message? Bloody pauper women.

You’re on your way home from work when this one crosses in front of you at an intersection. Perhaps it’s because of the longness of the day you’ve had; or maybe it’s the relief you feel at the fact that you’re just around the corner from home anyway; but this time, you do not honk. For whatever reason, or perhaps the lack of it, you enter into a moment of sober reflection as the woman waddles across the road and you actually dwell on her for a few moments. Big mistake.

She is heavily laden. She is heavy laden all around. There is a bundle balanced on her head, one protruding from her front and another strung to her back. The bundle on her head is big. Bigger than anything anyone should have on their head. Yet, perhaps miraculously, her head and neck have not somehow sunk into the crevice between her shoulder blades. That bundle could contain anything: bales of okrika clothing you would never touch again in your life; or human skulls strung together tightly and padded by swaddling cloths on the outside to disguise their appearance; or the cinders of the hopes and dreams she strives everyday to stoke and keep alight for the children she bears on her back and within her.

The woman makes it safely across and is beginning to get swallowed up by the ocean of other desperate people and the yellow-painted vehicles which ferry them, when you make out something. The very small boy who is saddled to the woman’s back such that he can move nothing but his head turns his head in your direction. His big eyes catch your staring ones and you both hold each others’ gazes for a beautiful moment in time. Despite the distance and the motion, you see many marvels in that small frame of time. Marvels which go beyond the way the bright lights reflect off the shiny innocence in his eyes. Marvels which are darker than the darkness beyond your headlamps which is now swallowing him and his mother up. Marvels that are more likely than not only the figment of your over-active and now over-stretched imagination.

The mongoose behind you is honking away your reverie. And even as you ease your foot off one pedal and unto another, you have already forgotten what colour or colours the woman might have been wearing or whether her little boy was fair or dark of skin. You’ve forgotten if her hair was braided up into a convenient shuku or if she had a mismatched scarf tied around her crown. Only a few seconds later and you can’t remember any details about her appearance or if perhaps, she and her laden self were even nothing more than an apparition. That same woman could pass you tomorrow, even in that same spot and you would be unable to recognise her or her child. There’s one thing you can’t forget though, just that one thing…

The certainty in your mind that, regardless of her situation, her attitude towards it or what she may be doing to drag herself and her children out of it, she must be Superwoman.

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How The Tables Turn

True story.

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I peeped into the main office – the one where all the writers sat – and seeing that Bayo, the editor-in-theif, was not in, I allowed the rest of my body and presence be absorbed into the large room. I needed a break from the designers’ office with its over-efficient AC and endless piles of work and it was a delight to see the tv was on.

It was tuned to Nigezie, a travesty. How could staff of Soundcity Blast Magazine be watching the better rival station right in the office. Such a sacrilege. Such an insult. Such… Bravery. Folk weren’t paying much attention to the screen, so I planted myself right in front of it. Some spanking new music video was showing.

I love music videos. When beautifully done, I see them as high art. Music videos present a chance to tell a story within 3-5mins inspired by a song/music you (usually) had no hand in creating. This presents a challenge because rather than creating this piece of film from scratch, you have to work with a canvas which already has sketches by someone else’s hand on it. If you’re a creative of any kind, you know how much more challenging this is. Then there’s the brevity of the time-frame. The music video director and editor do not have the luxury of hours to introduce the characters, breakdown the plot, present the twist and show the resolution. All these must be done withing a very small time frame. And this is why I marvel at particularly good videos, bacause despite all these odds, they still bring that magic to life.

Apologies for the digression. Where was I? Aha, Nigezie was showing a spanking new video from all these new cats. The song was listed as Knighthouse featuring MI, who was making huge waves with his first 2 or 3 singles at the time; Kel, whose smash hit, Waa Wa Alright was still making waves; and a young girl I’d never seen before. Her name was recorded as Mo Cheddah and I had fallen in love. Or crush. Whatever.

I was so much in it that I proclaimed it to all who were in the office that day. I don’t know what it was or if it was an ‘it’ sef. Had to be everything. Her smile, her looks, her voice, her big nose, her charisma. The effect on me was instant.

Someone who already knew about her was like “Ah. She’s a small girl o. She just entered uni sef. Don’t be a paedophile” or something to that effect. I just shrugged.

Fast forward about 2weeks (or so), I need another break and so I poke my head in the writer’s office and the tv is off, Bayo is in and there’s a bunch of strangers he’s having a meeting with. All the reasons I have to turn around and head back to my office. But no, there’s only one reason I cannot do that: the people Bayo was meeting were the (then) entire Knighthouse. That’s Rogba, Sabre, Othello and… Mo Cheddah.

Oh. My. Gosh! I can’t believe this. This goddess was here! This amazing, gorgeous, talented girl. [Insert scream here] But of course, all that was in my head. I casually strolled into the office to one of the writers spots and casually pretended to be in conversation while I casually flipped through a mag or something and casually cast a glance in her direction.

Our eyes met.

She smiled.

I died.

Of course, I didn’t go back to my office. I hung around until that meeting was done. And while her ‘handlers’ gisted with Bayo and the other writers and stuff, Mo walked over to me. I promise, I was not hyperventilating. Not outwardly anyway.

“Hi, I’m Modupe.”

“I’m Toks.”

“Oh, I know.”

I did a double take.

“Wait, what? How do you know that?”

“Ah ahn, shebi you were in Lag?”

“Yeah?…”

“Creative Arts, shebi? That’s what I’m studying. Just entered year 2. In year 1, I used to see you around in school and I used to scope you from far. Plus I watch Shallow Waters, I’m a big fan.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know how I’m writing this now, because I died and went to heaven that day.

Part 2?

All day long, I’ve considered writing a follow up post to yesterday’s. Wanted to address certain things time and word-count constraints wouldn’t let me in that post. However, I couldn’t help but ask myself…

Is it necessary?

So while I hadn’t quite made up my mind what to write, I didn’t think it would be a follow up post to last nights.

Then I’d only just gotten home from work when I was presented with the fact that LIB had launched a new site and I knew I absolutely had to read it before I could write today’s post. And…

Well, I guess you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

_________________________________

Moving on, I want to tell a very short and simple story.

Story, story…

Once upon a time…

In the days long ago, when Legoland was very small and had little variation and limited options and the real estate was abundant, there was established a small business. A very small business it was. So small, that it only existed as a small shop at the edge of no where.

The business was called The Centre.

The proprietors of The Centre never imagined or anticipated the exponential rate at which their business would grow… And grow it did.

But growing took time and while business was booming, the owners never though to also grow their vision. But some lessons will be learnt, one way or another.

Pretty soon, The Centre outgrew that little store they had in the hinterlands of Legoland and it was pretty obvious where they should move to next: the centre of Lego City.

Only one problem, the wide range of land which had been prime, virgin and available earlier had all been bought up by a set of more forward thinking people. People who, interestingly, had nothing to do with the business but were now charging exorbitantly to sell spaces in the city centre to the highest bidder.

Are these people wrong for owning property they knew was best suited to someone else? Property that was initially available to any and every one.

_________________________________

N.B.

Real questions:

What is the big deal about cyber squatting?

Should first come, first serve in buying domain names no longer be a thing?

Some context:

The website for the White House is whitehouse.gov/ You know why, because by the time it occurred to them to have a site, whitehouse.com was already taken. Not even the American government could bully the original buyers and as they were not willing to buy it, they got creative and created ‘.gov’ for all government bodies.

Another example, Twitter’s popular video sharing platform – Vine – is hosted at vine.co/ not vine.com/ The latter was taken and rather than engage the ‘cyber squatter’ who’d already taken up the name (long before twitter came up with the concept of Vine), they got creative. They understand the reality of first come, first serve and even though they had the resources, they choose to respect it. Noble people.

Now let’s come down to Nigeria, people are giving a certain someone flak and terming him a parasite because he owns a domain name which is perfectly suited to someone else. Why? I am not endorsing his tactics or strategy but we have to be objective in the specific matter of him buying those domains. Personally, I see nothing wrong in the matter. I work in an organisation that has had to shell out some serious, painful dough to cyber squatters because people did not have foresight to purchase those domains early on. I hold no grouse against the cyber squatters for that. They are simply shrewd business people who have chosen to take the risk of (legally) purchasing something they hope will become more valuable down the line. Emphasis on “hope”. As has been proven, there are no guaranties in the matter.

We see this principle play out every day in real estate, no complaints. Why are folk then so upset about the same principles being applied in cyber space? Online real estate is real estate too.

So again, I ask. What is the big deal about cyber squatting?

How I Feel About The LIB/IP Debate

I’m Happy.

Because Linda Ikeji’s blog was finally taken down. I’m ecstatic, in fact, and here’s why…

I’m a writer. An actor. An artist. A photographer. I know the value of my creativity, I gain my daily bread from it. Sometimes, I offer my art for free, not because I consider it worthless, but because I choose to gift it. If someone took my freely given or paid for art and used it to their own gain in any way whatsoever, they are stealing from me.

I may not be able to identify my work that anyone may have stolen (and that’s only because I haven’t bothered to check), but I have more than a few friends who have been affected directly by plagiarism from online platforms and I stand solidly beside them every chance I get. I still remember @StNaija making a big big fuss when Ynaija took a piece from her site without any permission or remuneration and published it, merely crediting her name.

I’m Sad.

That people are so ignorant that they say “At least, she was credited, what else does she want again?” Like say na credit pesin wan chop.

Let me educate you a bit. If you use unsolicited and unapproved content and you directly or indirectly benefit from doing so, you are stealing Intellectual Property.

I’m Grateful.

For @MrAyeDee, who chose to do something about the theft of his intellectual property. We’ve grown lazy as a collective, not getting up to fight for ourselves against the things which threaten our lives daily.

“Someone elso will do it. Eventually.” And thus is it never done.

MrAyeDee shows us that it CAN be done! Justice can be served. Just because the rest of us are too lazy or too busy or not affected enough to do anything about it or don’t know how to go about it and as such, have sunk into despair and hopelessness, doesn’t mean we should remain there. We can have a Hope and pursue it passionately till it yields fruit.

I’m Proud.

Of people like Noble Igwe (of 360nobs) and Uche Pedro (of BellaNaija) and Wale Adetula (of TheNakedConvos) who know the value of talent and reward it in ways people like LIB chose to eschew. They realize that they can easily take advantage of others on their platforms but instead choose integrity and professionalism. They prove that not “everyone is doing it” and they show how it should be done.

I’m Not Naive.

I know none of those people are perfect, but they are the few doing the right things to a large extent and deserve to be celebrated.

I’m Bewildered.

At how people see justice taking its course and say something like “Don’t kick a man when he’s down” or “It’s wrong to rejoice at someone’s downfall”. The downfall of a thief? So because you are not the one being stolen from and you enjoy the dividends from that thievery, it’s suddenly fine for them to carry on? Noted.

I’m Confused.

By the argument by some that MrAyeDee is only out to draw blood for his own gain and thus has no right to bring a case against her. Let’s assume this is true and the man is a blood-sucking leech who has no care for the cause he appears to fight for, but only seeks to line his own pockets with Linda’s loot, does this in any way justify her of her own crimes? Does this suddenly absolve her of her guilt. Ever heard or read the saying “two wrongs don’t make a right”?

I’m Disappointed.

That people who should know better – educated people, enlightened people, people of (seemingly) good moral standing – are supportive of and/or feel sympathy for Linda Ikeji because her source of livelihood (at the expensive expense of many other people) has been taken away from her (perhaps temporarily).

I’m even more Disappointed.

That anyone at all would say “These haters are just jealous of her success” or “It’s because she can afford/has bought a 2014 Range Rover”. The latter one, I find extremely disappointing.

I’m Disgusted.

When someone who is confronted with their wrong doing chooses to say something like “I’m not the only one who’s doing it” or “You’re just jealous of my success” or “I may be a sinner but you also have skeletons in your cupboard”. What happened to owning your shit and taking responsibility for your actions? Where is the remorse?

I’m Livid.

At her idiotic arrogance and ignorance. For many years, she’d been advised and warned to properly structure her business, buy a proper domain name and to stop stealing content. But oh no, these people just want to “chop my (ill-gotten) wealth with me. I shall not pay them a dime!” Her selfishness and greed just had to keep pushing her to this cliff from which she shall undoubtedly climb back over, hopefully, lessons learned.

A Small Ramble Between 11pm And Midnight

Tis 11pm and not a soul stirs
But the one who his phone presses
He knows not what he writes
Only that he must
Before the clock strike twelve

Fatigue weighs heavily upon his eyes
Another yawn escapes his lips
He scratches that itch on his leg
For only the umpteenth time

He would rather be doing several other things
Than tapping away on his phone

He feels clammy
His eyelids droop
His head and scalp flake
The effect of a visit to his barber
His imagination begins to roam
To the cool shower which awaits
The chance to finally splash water into the eye
Which has itched all evening long

And again, he is sure he would rather not be typing this

He glances down at the word count
And comes to the realisation
That before he began
He set no target
And so could end up typing only a hundred words
Or perhaps as much as ten times that

He bothers a little bit
About the subject of the post
And whether the readers will relate
But about the bloggers,
And the writers,
He is not concerned
For he knows beyond all doubt
That every writer feels this way sometimes

They would rather be elsewhere
Than here writing, which they love so much

For inspiration is priceless
And has us searching for it
Endlessly, daily,
Seeking its direction
But sometimes,
Much like now,
There will be none
And every writer has had to inspire themselves
By themselves

And so this is him trying
Regardless

He has attained some length
Small as it might be
And with it,
He has acquired some satisfaction
Such that finally
All of a sudden
The things he fantasized about
Are now within reach

Which is why this ends
Oh so abruptly…

Road Race

Today’s tale is dedicated to the Yellow Mitsubishi crew. Thanks for the adventure this weekend.

*   *   *

This was a race. Mr Alani knew it and the truck driver knew it too. Races of this sort were usually short, with both racers having different objectives and the race being over when the driver of the smaller vehicle achieved his (or hers).

Mr Alani drove a fifteen-seater bus of unknown make. It must have once upon a time been of a particular brand but now had recycled parts and stolen pieces from so many junkyards that identifying the original brand was an impossible task. The truck driver drove an eighteen wheeler twice-and-a-half as high as Mr Alani’s pot-pourri of a bus.

Mr Alani’s simple objective in this race was to get past the truck. The objective of the truck driver was to keep this from happening for as long as possible. Sure, there could be only one winner, but when?

For over ten minutes, Mr Alani had darted and shaunted, horned and charged, all to no avail. The truck kept swinging from one lane to the next, sometimes dangerously, using his bumbum to block the bus from shooting beyond. At times, the truck driver wouldn’t bother moving to block the bus. An approaching vehicle occupying the other side of the two-lane road would force him to dart back behind the truck. But for how long more?

Mr Alani was getting frustrated and soon, something drastic would happen. At this point, it was easy to imagine one or both vehicles flying off the road and into a ditch or one slamming into the other resulting in a huge ball of flame and Mr Alani’s passengers had already begun to plead with him to “take it easy o” and “leave the lorry nah”. But all fell on deaf ears. And then the bus fell silent when Mr Alani finally broke free and raced toward the front of the truck which couldn’t possibly move as fast. That wasn’t the reason for the silence though. The silence was because everyone waited with bated breath as the bus charged towards a tractor which had occupied the other lane of the interstate and was now flashing it’s lights desperately at the oncoming vehicles, neither of which showed any signs of slowing.

It was close. Real close. So close that when Mr Alani swung sharply in front of the truck, with inches to spare from crashing into the tractor, there were no inches to spare on the other side and so his right tail light was sprinkled and spattered all over the road, causing even the truck to slow dramatically immediately following the small impact. Mr Alani didn’t slow down though, he just charged on with a small, victorious smile on his face till he mounted the next hill and could no longer see the diminishing truck in his rearview mirror.

It wouldn’t even be until he arrived at the bus park where his last few passengers would alight that he would check the extent of the damage to his vehicle.