Tuesday, October 25, 2011

If Pillows Could Talk...

“If pillows could talk…”

The morning light filtered into the room, basking it in warm glows. In the dim silhouette, you could make out the outline of the bed; the sheets clung to the edge of the bed frame, partially covering the intertwined limbs that were still caught in the throes of sleep, tell-tales to a night of passion. The pillow in contrast was clutched tightly by the sleeping lovers; you could almost feel the warm exhalation of air from slightly parted lips on the pillow…

I’m always outwardly clean, that’s one feature I take pride in and at the same time ashamed of because it paints a faƧade that masks the reality of my life. Looking at me, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference over the years, age has been kind to me and in as much as you might notice a few wrinkles, it would be impossible to guess my age. You may say that I stumbled upon the fountain of youth early and as amazing as that sounds, I wish I were old instead, shriveled and left to spend the rest of my days in solitude.

My mistress was kind-hearted, it didn’t show all the time but she looked after me. I don’t know if she did it out of a sense of obligation or if her actions were borne out of love but over the years I’ve learnt to cling to the few good images of life and leave other riddles unanswered. I still recall when we first met, love had nothing to do it, felt more like a compromise between chemistry and economics if you get my drift, but our relationship was founded on need. I needed to move on from public life and settle down and she needed someone to rest on. We were a perfect match, and our love for each other blossomed from there as time rolled by…Her scent was of summer roses and passionate fruits and once the lights were turned down low, I would close my eyes and bask in her fragrance. I didn’t care much about her other half, I had only eyes for her and everything else around was like a blur to me. Looking back now, I wish I had paid more attention…

The first time I knew something was wrong was when she travelled, for the first few nights there was nothing odd, Iife was its normal routine and I yearned for her touch and return. Then one night, I was awakened by the touch of another woman, her scent was different, subtle but not overpowering and I could taste the soft vapors of margaritas on her lips. Her fingers dug into my skin and I was swept away by the heat of the moment, lost in her moans of passion and bliss. I woke up the next morning on the floor, and as the memories of the previous night came flooding back, reality crept in like the fingers of winter. The evidence of my betrayal was tattooed all over my skin, red lipstick, few strands of hair and the inescapable scent of perfume that clung to me like a halo. Water can wash away stains and time can erase a lot of memories but guilt takes a long time to vanish…

At first I blamed it on the alcohol, there had to be a logical reason as to why it happened, I argued. A voice in my head whispered, “There’s never a reason, just an opportunity…” I shrugged it off, and tried to blank the incident from my mind. “Surely,” I said to myself, “it can’t happen again…” I was mistaken. It did happen again, and again…till I was forced to accept that there was another woman in my life. It sickened me because I couldn’t speak up and I was helpless to stop it. Whenever my mistress returned, she was unaware to what had happened in her absence. At night while she held me with passion, a part of me would cringe in shame at the betrayal. I was playing both sides of the coin and it was only a matter of time before karma caught up.

We were caught finally, it was inevitable so don’t act surprised. My mistress started getting suspicious, and the minor arguments started. I closed my ears to it, and at night she would cry out of frustration. I soaked up her tears and said nothing. I wish I could have said something but I was as guilty as the other woman. It wasn’t the lipstick or the hair strands or the perfume that gave me away, it was an ear-ring…a glittering ear ring that was forgotten by the other woman. Have you ever tasted the tears of a broken-hearted woman? It doesn’t taste salty, it feels like liquid fire to the senses, each drop burning into you like lava drops from a volcano, the trail leaving a scar that may be temporarily removed but permanently etched in your subconscious…

My name is Cole and if pillows could talk, this would be my story…

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Good Boyfriend

Coventry, UK...
October 3, 2011...

Back in the days in the Garden City, there used to be a common phrase amongst the "Pypes" that was rather hilarious. A typical convo would start like this (the translation is in parentheses for the uninitiated:

"Ol boi, u don fool finish" (Dude, u r hopeless)
"Wetin I do?" (What did I do?)
"U mean say u no buy ur malawi anything for Valentine?" (So you didnt get ur girlfriend a Valentine gift?)
"No be so, I dey see my die right now" (It aint like that, I'm broke right now)
"Na u dey carry last for boyfriend of the year" (U r in last place for a "boyfriend of the year" poll)
"Ur father lap!" (This was a basic yab, literal translation, lol)

Dat was in the good old days, when men were still boys and the theory of making relationships work was still a hybrid between trial and error and experience. Fast-forward a couple of years and I really don't know if the world has moved on or if the boys have really matured into men. I've never been of the school of thought that maturity grows with age, there's always an undefined variance to every statistic. I've come across many blogs and articles commenting on the qualities of the "ideal husband/wife". The views have varied from the downright zany to the quite outrageous and impossible, but they were quite interesting I must admit. The opinions reflected different mindsets, the female in sharp contrast to male.

So it got me thinking, how do you describe a "good boyfriend" or "good girlfriend"? I have always been of the opinion that you can't describe someone of the opposite sex simply because if you are not a man, then u can't think like a man. Any views you may have of the opposite sex is generally borne out of either experience, public opinion or your imagination, which is essentially a fusion of the qualities of members of your family or close friends who are of the opposite sex. So I think it would be apt for a guy to describe in his own words the qualities he feels the ideal husband or boyfriend should have. All you have to do is look in the mirror and count them off on your fingers, they don't have to be correct, but it helps if you at least have an opinion, so u don't just enter into a relationship trying to be the "ideal dude" when you have no clue what the requirements are. Or perhaps you've read "what women want in an ideal man", and you believe it as the panacea to all problems, well it depends on who wrote the book!

I've always used Adam and Eve as the foundation for all simulations (lol), don't blame me, they were the first couple on the block. Such love and chemistry, Adam woke up from his afternoon daydream to see a stunning beauty lying next to him, the dude didnt even bother to think, he kicked his dog (bingo) away and proposed right there on the spot (to all the ladies, he didnt use a ring, I bet he just plucked a flower and used it instead, lol). Eve didn't waste anytime either, "yes, I do!" she replied, and that was it! It's a pity she ate that apple, now we have royal weddings and 90 carat diamond rings (lol, I ain't complaining though, I love me some Coco). Anyway, how did Adam and Eve's relationship work? The one and only cue to their relationship that I could decipher was that Adam never said NO to Eve, he gave her everything she wanted, took long walks with her, gazed adoringly at her, and ate that apple with so much delight that it got stuck in his throat (next time Adam, get rid of the evidence!)

So what makes a "Good Boyfriend"? Most women would say, "he should be loving and caring". Let me tell you how the male mind deciphers that statement, loving and caring translates to spending money on the girl. That's the easy part, anything that can be bought with money is easy. Like Remix would say, "if money is the only problem you have, then you don't have a problem". Well, true, a good boyfriend should spend money on his girl, ur heart is where your money is, but thatz just a tip of the iceberg. There are some things money can't buy. Add this to the loving and caring checklist. A good boyfriend should...

1. Act like a real man but at the same time be flexible and submissive. Follow your girlfriend to the mall when she asks you to accompany her. If she doesnt ask, offer to accompany her ONLY if you mean it, there's no use trying to be a nice guy and then spend every second glancing at your watch. Enjoy the ride, she's making an effort to look nice, offer constructive criticism to her style and choices and offer your own views, if you have no clue, google it. It took me awhile to figure out the difference between a size 4 and a size 10, but I'm still a work in progress.

2. Know how to cook and clean. Let's not get into the debate of who should cook and who shouldn't. The bottom line is this, when she is pregnant, you'll have to take care of her, so think of it as an internship. And moreover you shouldn't be dependent on anyone for food. That's my opinion, every man ought to know how to cook, simple. Cook for your girl once in awhile, it doesnt matter if it tastes bland, the effort counts. And if it tastes bland, go learn! Google it.

3. Ask for wifey's opinion and listen to her. Well you better start getting used to teamwork. Adam and Eve ate that apple, thatz teamwork right there! What if Adam refused to eat the apple? Maybe Eve would have sewn garments for herself and laughed at Adam, "Yo Adam, go put some clothes on, u r swinging all over the place!" U can imagine the argument.

4. Not be too demanding. If she can't cook, teach her, if you don't know how to cook either, then hush it. She aint ur mum, so don't expect mama put everyday! Patience is a virtue alien to most men. Think like an Arsenal fan, don't be expecting trophies like a Man U or Barcelona fan all the time. Patience, hope and faith, that should be your motto. She'll get better. Go Arsenal!

5. Respect his woman. She is not a man, so don't treat her like one of your guys. Cut out the crass talk and soft yabs. You wouldn't like if it another dude talked to her anyhow, so watch your tone with her. Being a man means backing down from an unnecessary argument, making peace even if she started it, apologizing when you are wrong, accepting her imperfections and admitting your own weaknesses. In my opinion, it takes a king to know how to treat a woman like a queen, if you treat your girlfriend like trash, take a close look at the mirror, you'll most likely see a laborer or a tout staring back at you.

I'm sure you must be wondering if I've been brainwashed by some girl or under the influence of Tequilla (lol). I don't know if I'm a good boyfriend or not, I dey try sha. To be sincere, I just think communication is key for any relationship, intimate or platonic. Give more and expect less in return, and you just might stumble on happiness. I don't solicit for comments, but to all those who read this blog, let me know what you think, drop a comment. And feel free to share the blog/article, my views may be ridiculed by others, but who cares...Hakuna Matata!