When We Kissed

Our kisses were this ever evolving mystery we were constantly trying to solve.

Earlier today, our kisses were perfunctory. A ritual we had to partake in to keep the appearances of an us up. The activity we engaged in to see if we could stoke the embers and bring a dying flame back to life. We nursed our hopes, individually, of what we would do if our little rose bush would spring back to life and bloom again.

Yesterday, they were slow and deliberate as we reveled in the sensations we were feeling. We explored lengths and depths, textures and varying degrees of pressure. Together. We brought our separate experiences to the table and created a unique feast no one but the both of us could dine upon.

Before that, they were furtive and passionate as we rushed unto this adrenaline inducing roller-coaster ride that drove us at insane speeds through waterfalls and over volcanoes, plied through boulders of ice and leapt over chasms, before depositing us, one heap of breathlessness, at the highest peak it would take ages to climb down from.

At the beginning, they were barely existent. Who cared for appetizers when they could go straight to the main course and still get dessert? Who dwells on first base when they can get to third base easy? Who uses training wheels when they can do a wheelie? Who rides the bus when… Well, you get the idea.

Before you and I were an us, many nights I would stare at your photos on Instagram and imagine what tasting those lips would be like. Were you a good kisser? Did you know how to use your tongue? Did you know what fun could be had when you playfully introduced your teeth? Would you like it if I tugged on your lower lip? Would you do that annoyingly adorable thing were you blew into my mouth when I least expected it? So many questions I could never have guessed the answers to just staring at your photos or reading your tweets.

Now we don’t ever kiss.

And we may never kiss again.

Things I (Will Never) Say

I’m not comfortable with saying these things. I wish I didn’t. I make a conscious effort to not say them out… but these words are constantly being screamed within the cavernous spaces in my head. At certain times in the past, I’ve been hopeful that I will someday be able to reverse the import of these words and in effect, the words themselves. But this has not happened and I have lost much hope.

Theses are words I say that I wish I didn’t.

I used to be a rapper.

I used to be a dancer.

I used to read a lot.

I used to have friends visit me at home.

I used to be more social.

I used to write poetry.

I used to be a sculptor.

I used to draw regularly.

I used to make music.

Some of these words are foregone conclusions. I will say them till the day I die. I’m resigned to the realities they form. I’m tempted to say “These words will never change” but someone once made the profound statement to “Never say never”. 

A few of these though are malleable. There are steps, mostly drastic, which I could take and possibly reverse these words and perhaps, someday I will.

There are other words though, which scare me. They threaten me daily to become as solid in my consciousness as the words above. I hope to never have reason to say them out loud. I never will.

These are words I hope to never say.

I used to make photographs.

I used to write.

I used to be an artist.

I used to be a blogger.

I used to be a romantic.

I used to be on twitter.

I used to design.

I used to want to get married.

I used to love Instagram.

I used to be an actor.

I used to be interested in visual effects.

I used to be an illustrator.

I used to travel a lot.

I used to tell stories.

I used to be alive.

Restless

Feeling some typa way and decided to live blog on twitter.

The result…


Stifled.
The restlessness is back.
I do not want to be in this place.
I do not want to be here any longer.
The stagnation is apparent.

The ceiling needs to be broken.
The rafters need to make way for the skies.

The smell of freedom wafts past my window.
I cannot perceive it, yet I know it is there.
I can see the scent. I can feel it. Taste it even.
Yet I have no idea how it smells.

Break the glass.
Breathe.
Live.

30 Days Late

Here we go.

Three months and here we go.

This is the first piece of any kind I’m writing in three months. Congratulations are in order, I think.

Now, what to write…

Should I write about not writing? Lol. Done that way too often at this point. I’ve found so many different ways of doing that now. Even as of starting this, I knew how I would do it if I would do it… But I won’t.

So what is this about then, if it isn’t about not-writing or why?

This shall be my 30 Days Of Hope entry.

In an ideal world, I would have practiced what I preached and gone first on the first of January before opening the floor to others. But no, I was drained and I chose to procrastinate till the end of the month. That was two months ago.

Three months into the year and I’m finally putting down what I want to accomplish this year. To be quite honest, the reason it’s taken this long is cos I’m still not sure what any of that is. But as the saying goes, “a failure to plan is a plan to fail”. I don’t want to go on coasting. So lemme lay down a pattern for going forward, no matter how sketchy.

I need to conquer at least two new countries this year. Three would be great. I ’suffer’ from wanderlust and I started with my ‘two new countries (minimum) a year’ plan in 2013. Last year, I managed to do just one, though I also managed a road trip within Nigeria. Couldn’t afford the second country due to the impromptu art project I embarked on (more on that soon). This year, I’ve already embarked on a road trip with this awesome travel collective I joined and I hope to share some of those experiences on here. However, I still plan to do two new countries this year. Three would be awesome, to make up for last year. Now, to figure out how…

Last year, I staged an exhibition. It was a greatly fulfilling project… for the most part. This year, I have no idea how I can possibly pull it off, but I hope to release a publication of some sort. Okay, a book. This is awfully ambitious but definitely possible. What kind of book, I don’t yet know. How? I haven’t the slightest idea. When? Haha. also want to do a deliberate art project. Definitely another exhibition to go along with it. Man, I almost feel like I’m shooting myself in the foot here. Sigh. Oh well…

Career wise, something has got to give. I’m itching for a change and there are several variables here. It could be a change in position, a change in location or a change in resolution. I’ve worked my butt off these last three years and especially these last three months. Something has just got to give. Hmm, We’ll see…

My walk with Christ has been rather lame these last few years. A few weeks ago, I made a step in the general direction of correcting the limp. It’s something I’ve been avoiding for years now but I finally ran out of excuses. I no longer had any reason to run. It was time to give in and so I did. My prayer is that it pays off. Lol, like it has a choice.

This year shall be great. In many ramifications. For me, for you, for all of us. It doesn’t matter what the first quarter has been like. Easy peasy, rough or tough… E go sha better.

In the end, e go better.

Amen.

The First Time We Said Our Vows

For the duration of Valentine’s week last year, I moderated a beautiful series (if I do say so myself) on TheNakedConvos. On the 14th of February, 2014, this post written by yours truly went live.

It’s been a year, and I believe it’s time to share it here.


My dearest Abim,

There will always be finer women
There will always be smarter women
There will be women sexier,
As there will be women more motherly

If I ever chose to,
(And this does not mean I ever would)
I could find another woman I’d deem
More suited to me than you
I can find a woman who loves me
Even more than you do
One who I find more lovable than you.
The irony though, is if I were to choose
To embark upon that quest now,
And found a woman whom I thought
Was more suited to me than you
I would soon find yet another
Who seemed even more suitable than her

Yet, I choose you

For love is a choice
A decision
A commitment
And after considering many variables
Such as our friendship
Steady and true
And the way our hands fit
Into each other’s
And the way your voice
Resonates with my heart
And my spirit
And my very soul
And the convenient fact
That our genotypes match
And also because my loving you
Comes entirely naturally
Even when my head tried to fight it
My heart already chose you
It was only common sense to follow through

And so I chose you

Regardless of your shortcomings,
Or your flaws
Regardless of the ups or the downs,
Regardless of sickness or wellness
No matter what else may be offered,
For no matter how long

Only on the condition of death
Will I let you go
And even then,
Never in my heart

I make the choice to love you
And only you

Abimbola, I will always choose you

Yours Forever,
Tokini

_____

My Tokini,

You were always the creative one. Poet. Artist. Musician. Thespian. You may never have been master of any of those art forms, but having all of that myriad of talent balled behind your beautiful personality made you out to be the most charming man anyone would ever come across. It’s funny though, how you tried and tried to charm the socks off of me. And failed. Drama king that you were, I don’t know how you ever thought the antics you displayed- the spontaneous romantiques, the unnecessarily boisterous shows of affection- would win me over. I was the realistic one. The no nonsense one. The one who couldn’t be bothered with your type. And there you were, doing everything wrong to win me over.

But that letter changed everything.

Oh, I saw through the bullshit that was flowery words and a bundle of figurative expressions put together to make a girl weak in the knees. But then again, we’d already established the fact that I was not that type of girl. The go-weak-in-the-knees type of girl. What did it for me was how through the My heart beats for yous and I will die for yous, I could see the practicality of choosing you, based on the words you stated in writing. The promises you were making which I could hold on to. It was how I could take that letter for what I first saw it as: a binding contract I could always hold you to.

Nothing had changed. I was still the stoic; you, the boisterous. And we fit. You were in your element when you brought out all that charm and wit again at the wedding. For the first time, you ‘performed’ the words you had sent me in that letter, up-staging me. You had to wait until I was done with my drab, straight-from-the-books vows before dramatically shushing the priest and then wowing our audience with your performance. The letter had read like they were vows, I just never expected you’d go all Hollywood on me at my wedding. I was not impressed. These were your vows to ME. I, not the blasted audience, should have been impressed. Frankly, I would have been most impressed if you’d just stuck to the bleeding script and not gone firing on all your loose cannons again.

But you were you. And I am me. We were different, yes, but we fit perfectly. Your bullshit and my no-nonsense like the repelling, yet forever attached ends of a magnet. The practicality of us; this was what held me the most from leaving when you so earnestly broke those vows. I should have expected more from you after that display at the wedding but if anything, it made me expect less. Much less. You were, after all, all about the talk.

How could you bring another woman into our home and so wantonly disregard my opinion on account of hers? You chose her countless times over me. Breaking your vows again and again. What ever happened to “I choose you and only you”? Where did all the promises go?

Bullshit.

She and I constantly fought for your attention. Outwardly, we bickered like school kids over who was right and who didn’t know anything but silently, we waged war upon each other, each fighting for the cause of who knew you better and who loved you more. Yet, somehow, it did not feel like victory the day I walked in on you telling mama off on my account.

“She is my wife, mama. She is me. If you cannot accept that whether you like it or not, she is your daughter, then maybe you should go back to your husband’s house and leave her own for her.”

That woman. She had the look of an obstinate goat chewing on the naira notes that should buy its feed and remaining petulant to its master’s display of dismay. You weren’t getting through to her. Yet, every word you said that day stung my very soul. No one should speak to their mother that way, least of all on my account.

I will never know what went through my head when I dashed towards my then arch enemy, crumpled at her feet, wrapped my arms around her legs and began weeping like a baby. Through the film of the tears in my eyes, I saw what appeared to be a mixture of shock, incredulity and utter confusion in your face. It was the first time you ever saw me weep.

Mama’s white flag was sent waving when she reached down, pulled me up and held me to her bosom. You could not have understood what had gone on that day. At the time, even I didn’t. An allegiance was formed and your words were replayed back to me…

I make the choice to love you and only you

When ten years later, you stood proud and ended with that, again upstaging me with my simple vows, I was more tolerant of your performance. Especially with our small audience of two, who you were doing an excellent job of entertaining with your loud gestures and over-the-top voice. They may not have seen the significance of the words but they felt the love. I felt the love. I saw less bullshit to see through by this point. Much less bullshit.

No matter what else may be offered,
For no matter how long…

When you came to this part at our twentieth anniversary, with much less gusto and much less conviction, all I could see was the bullshit. Thick, dark, smelly, disgusting bullshit that was too much to possibly see through.

It had taken you many, many years for you to convince me that perhaps, not all men were lying, cheating dogs. At least, not my man. And then you had, in one fell swoop, disproved your entire theory.

The episode of Hauwa in our story was a short, dark interlude which many times I wish I could just package neatly and ship off to the farthest reaches of my memory and never again remember. But it happened and I have a daily reminder in the form of Andi.

Choosing to take in the evidence of my husband’s indiscretions and raise him as my own is a decision I have never come to regret. I knew what it felt like to lose one’s mother at a tender age and Andi was not deserving of that punishment for crimes he did not commit. Crimes I had come to accept my complicity in. I could defend my actions of four years previous all I wanted, but I had come to admit to myself that when I vowed that I belonged to you,

To have and to hold from this day forward…
…to love and to cherish

I had broken my vows by locking up shop just as much as you had when you strayed to Hauwa’s honeypot. Of course, this did not absolve you of any guilt. None at all. I may have played a part in driving you into another woman’s arms but I did not also give you the directions to get there. That was all you. But forgiving you was a choice I had chosen to make long before you ever even committed any offences. Same as choosing to love you…

In sickness and in health,
Till death do us part

Bald headed, withered-bodied and causing you to pause every few moments so I could spit over the side of the bed into the waiting pan, I witnessed the beauty of you nursing me – and our love – back to full health. Our thirtieth anniversary vow renewals couldn’t have had a more apt venue than a recovery ward.

There was no more bullshit. We had laid ourselves bare before each other and found ourselves out of the deepest darknesses… together. I had been ready to let go and move on, but you refused. I… We… could never have beaten the cancer if it hadn’t been for you. Being there, supporting, praying, caring and mopping up the bullshit that had caked over our love over many years.

And then when you were done, in your usual dramatic fashion, you went and died yourself. After not allowing me, abi? Well done, Tokini. Well done o.

Tonight, I will perform the vows you made to me. As always, the audience will be just our children. You’ve been gone eight years now but I refuse to stop celebrating our love. Death may have separated us but I have chosen that never…

Will I let you go…
…Never in my heart

It suddenly occurred to me early this morning that in over forty years, I had never replied that first letter. And so, here I am now, doing you that courtesy.

You were a talented man, Tokini. A good son. An excellent father. A beautiful lover.

And I am so glad I chose you.

Yours forever,
Abimbola.


Dedicated to the beautiful Honey whose presence I was given the exquisite pleasure of indulging in today. Loving you is a thing of beauty.

Announcing: The Disconnect

2

For 30 years, a man has expressed himself via different media, perpetually bringing into light the immense variety of form and formlessness which co-exist – sometimes in perfect balance; sometimes bringing about utter chaos – within his head.

This is me. Artist. In word, in sound and in imagery. And it is time that you witnessed… The Disconnect.

On Saturday, 13th December, I stage my first art show at The Osh Gallery. 381 Herbert Macaulay way, Yaba. 4pm. 

Come and see some of the characters and entities who play around in my heart, soul and mind and have somehow managed to escape unto canvas. You might even want to take some of them home with you. They are that intriguing.

Drofu will also be showing their art and merchandise. You want to see and purchase that too.

7+17

Today, makes it 17 years.
I planned to pen something in memory of my dear mama, but after reading what her last baby wrote, I knew all that needed to be written had been. My (not) little brother’s words…

Who Be Tobi?

And here we are.

I must say, I’ve both impressed and bested myself. How, you ask. Well, it so is no small feat, proving myself to myself! But that’s a tale for another post, come Thursday. At this point, you’re probably expecting a proper introductory post with what’s to get out of this here blog site, huh? Well, sadly, I must disappoint you to attend to what’s surely priority: honouring my mum.

Expect my introduction (complete with weekly lineup information) before the day wraps up tomorrow.

I, thus, kick this off with an imagined account of the last few living moments of my mum Juliana Folake Aworinde. Yes, you read that right. Imagined. But that’s not to say that these are not based on true events. The roller coaster ride of events leading up to the moment Mum got “caught up” are no less than true-life. But this isn’t a lamentation…

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Modurodoluwa

I had forgotten how to cry. And yet the tears spilt from my eyes, flowed freely even though there was company here. Death is no stranger to me. I have loved and I’ve lost many times over and yet, I do not cry. But I cried when I heard you were gone. I cried, Dolu.

I cried for all the times I should have been in touch and I seemed too busy. I cried because I remembered you just this past week and didn’t call or ping or DM. I cried because, as the testimony all around is, you checked on your friends over and over again and yet, you were easily taken for granted. I cried because you said you were now fine when you apparently were not. I cried because I realize now that what this meant was that you just still cared about us more than the pain you didn’t want to burden us with. I cried because I realize how much of a selfish person I am. That I am only just coming round to writing this is proof.

I cried for you, Dolu.

I already miss you. I can’t even remember the last time I got to see you. I remember December 30th, when we took the only pictures I have of us together. And even now, it’s rather fuzzy whether or not I saw you after that. That’s how bad a friend I have been. I heard and I dug up my old blackberry to read through our last chat (I never end our convos), only to find and remember that I had accidentally ended our chat mid-convo that day two months ago and so only had the last words we wrote each other. That hurt bad. Real bad. Two whole months without speaking to you and all I have to reminisce on are a few sentences and a photograph.

But that isn’t all, is it? I remember your faith. I remember your smile and how despite everything you were going through you never let your smile wane. I remember how much you kept asking how I was doing even when you were the one in pain. I remember that the last convo we had was how you would help me look out for info about getting a new apartment. I remember you dancing crazy at D3ola’s house last year. I remember meeting you for the first time at TNC1 and that the last time I clearly remember seeing you was TNC5. I remember wondering why you seemed upset with me the last time we chatted. I remember you insisting I hadn’t done any wrong and that you were fine. I remember telling you I loved you.

For you, I asked why. You’re the only one for whom I’ve ever asked why and I pray I never come to such a dark place again, where I ask the one who owns all life why He would take what he freely gave us and what we all must undoubtedly relinquish back some day. But I asked why and I’d still like to know clearly why you had to go and amidst so much pain too.

At least, now I know you are at peace. And there’s no more pain. I’m writing this and surprisingly there are no more tears. I’m just glad you’re free now. It hurts that you’re gone and that I didn’t get to say goodbye and I wasn’t there for you leading up to your journey home… but I’m glad your smile now is undoubtedly genuine, through and through. It’s a struggle but I’m smiling with you, Dolu.

Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for being the extra amazing and inspiring person that you are. I celebrate you.

I love you, Dolu and I miss you. Rest well.

image

Modurodoluwa Ige. An angel.

For The Love of A Country

I believe very strongly in this. Let’s do this.

Learning to breathe

Our first Nehemiah Project Prayermob meet-up is Saturday this week and I am excited to say the least. When I finally worked up the courage to tell y’all about it, I honestly didn’t think that it would “blow”. I just wanted to make sure I obeyed that one thing He was calling me to do. Not all of us will be missionaries in the North, Uganda or even the Amazon jungle but all of us are called to radical living right where we are. So, right now for me, “radical” looks like praying for my country on the 15th of every month and getting as many people as I can in on it. I can’t tell you that about a million people followed us on Twitter or that NPPM has 2 million likes on Facebook. I’m not even here to talk about stats because they aren’t impressive by any…

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