Monday, 24 December 2012

Horrors in Utopia

It fails me, it now fails me
My emotions are locked up,
Fighting to break free
Yet smothered by…
I can’t tell.

Beyond my control, my body trembles…
Another strange fit of rage
Heralds the need to assuage my heart
It sears away my dreams
Reality is now too real
Eating into a world of perfection
I dare not steal another glance

Why now?
How can words fail me…how?
My nerves are razor-sharp,
A tango with hysteria
I sit and wait…fingers frozen on a harp
As horrors engulf my Utopia

Monday, 17 December 2012

Christmas and the Contrite Hearts.

So the season is here wishes, church crusades, last-minute shopping, family reunions, lots of food, drinks, travelling, a long list of those. But most importantly, New Year Resolutions. So what's it about the season and the sudden development of contrite hearts in the chests of most men? I think I might have a little idea why. Let's take me for instance, I can feel mine beating irregularly right now- my heart, down flat in contrition. It's as if I fell asleep in January and when i woke up, voila! December. Time...precious time - moves terribly fast. I remember reading a poem in one of  my final exams this semester- last Thursday, talking about time. I just sat there and read the poem over and over again, almost forgetting I was in an exam hall and time; same old time, was running out. It hit me so hard -  the chunk of it I had hit me hard.
But hey, I'm not here to talk about me, oh no, no, not at all. That is my private affair! I'm just here to talk, in general about everything that might concern all of us- might concern you, personally if you take time to think of it. Okay, so I will confront a few major shortfalls we might have all encountered throughout the year and we'll see where that goes.

First on the list is Fear. Yep, that dirty old monster! Now who hasn't been a coward before?? Raise your hands please...well congratulations, you with you hands up! You have never been held back by fear ever in your life, that is awesome!!! Well, some of us suffer withdrawal symptoms when fear is not around. We have spent years and years in fear, we miss it when it goes on holidays. Is that feeling familiar? You might not outright admit it but with careful reflection it might dawn on you, yeah! it sure had been holding you back from taking some giant 'leap of faith' sometime throughout the year. People, lets admit it, fear sucks! It taunts you, threatens you, laughs in your face. We have got to teach it a lesson, don't you think? Now it is scattered all over in the Bible, I don't know exactly how many times but I last heard it was 365 times (I hope I'm right cos I don't want to add any extras to the Bible) that we should not, must not, never even attempt, to fear! DO NOT FEAR! Alright preaching over! Let's just make silent resolutions to kick fear out once and for all before the new year arrives, so help us God.

Second is that other guy called Procrastination. Have you ever had a personal, very intense hatred for an alarm clock before? Hmm! Or maybe your phone? You set the alarm, time catches, it goes off, you hit snooze, minutes later it goes off, you hit snooze again, and then the battle continues for a while until time slowly inches away into nothing! You take your own sweet time to wake up and then start rushing around, trying to squeeze just too much into some poor little time left..and then when time complains, you pull at your hair. Why then do you even set the alarm? It's our nature to drag our feet around, hesitant to do what we know we have got to do, until the 11th hour, then rush, rush ,rush!!! It is evident every semester in our reading rooms, department libraries and the almighty Balme. Oh, let me not forget the newly added 24, where most pillows are now seriously intimate with. I am very much as guilty as you all. Damn! That popular quote about procrastination being something with, or of, or to*t! I can't remember. Anyway, no need to sound 'wise' right now so all I can say is. 'Tomorrow never comes' (at least I got that right) So yeah, procrastination is next in line to the slaughterhouse.

Now who can say he/she is not a 'rational' human being? Definitely we all are. But is it always a good thing? I woke up one morning and there and then decided not to take my bath. No one asked me anything, no one scolded me, but I had a serious fight with some voice in my head, and of course I won. Don't we always win against that voice? I came up with amazing reasons to defend my decision. Rationalization. I fought so hard to justify why I needed not to take my bath that morning.  I had taken my bath late the previous night, it was a Saturday and I wasn't planning on going out., and on and on. Why, that's no big deal, not taking my bath one Saturday morning. But we don't leave the rationalization there, over the little things. We carry it with us everywhere. So you have already justified why you should stay late out with your friends (its just a harmless girls night out), and you justify why those boys can come along (oh, they are just our friends and besides it will be fun), oh and alcohol is being served but that's okay (cos it's just 5% vol.) jeez, my head is beginning to feel light I must stop after this last one (ah, but can I get more drunk than I already am?) and look at this cute guy in my face looking like he wants to kiss me (go for it and blame it on the alcohol!). Now relate this to other scenarios you can think of...having sex with some random guy, getting rid of that 'unwanted' pregnancy, cheating on a test...its been 11 months and a couple of weeks, the year is almost done, the big clock is ticking, have you done some major justifications yourself? I know I did, but as I said, not talking about me. We know what's right from what's wrong, maybe we should just channel all our energetic rationalizations and justifications towards what's right. So go ahead and add that to the list...Positive rational behavior - Check!

I don't want to say too much, cos people hate to read too much but I just want to end with something that has been on my mind these few days. We are a bunch of filthy wrong-doers, oh yes we are. At least I know I am. We look up to the peak of the mountain, bursting with energy, adrenaline pumping at the start of the year and we head out, spirits high, up the mountain and bam! we fall...we wallow there for a while, get nudged up, and we start over, we fall, and we fall and we fall again. God knows how many times I have been there. And we tend to get tired of falling, cos we suffer bruises each time we fall so we are tempted to stay on the ground the next time we fall cos we feel we are better off down there, that son-of-a-***** called fear comes in at this point, fear of falling again. No matter how big your injury after your last fall, I think you should get up and start again. Look, the fact that we try again and fall yet again does not mean we should stop trying. Hell no! I think it only means we must change our strategies, train harder for the race, lick up more glucose powder as we run up, it is terribly steep, who says its not? But look around you, you are not alone on the track.

Christmas for us Christians is a perfect time to reflect, not only because it's the end of the year, but because it's a holy time full of blessings and all you men with your chests heavy with contrite hearts, you better shed some tears of joy like I'm doing behind this virus-infested laptop of mine right now, because you just got your share of blessings. The Lord has fueled our hearts with contrition and we have got to make good use of it. Don't wait for another year, fuel prices might shoot up!

I got to go before I get dehydrated from too much crying, lol.

Merry, merry Christmas!!! And lots of best-wishes to all those contrite hearts. Mwuaaaaaah!!!

Monday, 10 December 2012

And So We Asked For Peace...?

I am not letting anyone in on how I feel about the election results. Elated? Sad? Honestly, I don't know. But Ghanaians are funny ooh! We don't take things too seriously and that's for our own good.

So Mahama won! (I can still hear jubilation in town). NPP is refusing to go down without a fight and some people are saying, 'All lose be lose'. Anyway, did you hear Hassan Ayariga? lol He came out to concede defeat. Hilarious! Was that necessary? He said, based on the party's investigations and projections, the PNC had lost, but further investigations were going to be made to find out what caused the party to lose (how ironic!) At least they won a couple of seats in parliament.

Muntaka won his seat again?! Why?? Makes me wonder what people look out for in the candidates. Some people will vote for anything, so far as it is in the party they favor. (I once heard one strong party 'A' person say: "Even if the flagbearer for party 'A' is a goat, I will still vote for it!") Interesting.

Ei Ursula Owusu! Iron Lady. She wasn't loud-mouthed for nothing ooh...she secured the seat!

But Ras Mubarak too paa, how else did he want them to count the ballot papers? Doesn't he know how to lose?? He should ask Ofosu- Ampofo!    

Ahah, so what are the NDC saying?? E Dey Beeeee Keke!!! Their 'John Mahama Dey Bee" track was not bad at all! Four more years- we have given it to them so we must all get ready for over 200 new schools, teacher-training colleges in every region and abi you know, QUALITY EDUCATION.

Didn't you hear? Some NDC guy, (what's his name again?...Dela! Yeah, yeah, Dela Edem). He prophesied by quoting from the Bible (or was it another book that looked like it?) on Peace FM a few days back before the election - (Romans 35:8) - no man must say "all die be die", for it is not true. The son of man died to set us all was not just any common 'die' ooh...hw3!! it was the greatest 'die' of all! Is it not true? Whoever says "all die be die" is trying to say that, that die too was a die but it wasn't!
However, I opened my Bible to read this guy's quotation and alas, it was no where to be found. Last time I checked, Romans still had only 16 chapters. Ah but this guy paa! Which book was he quoting from again??

So legon campus, is that how you people are?? After the standing fans, free bus rides, tear-rubber KIA picanto's, cash, laptops, notepads (some sleek one be too ooh), and so on, you didn't vote for the NDC guy (Awuah-Darko)? Aaaah, so you wanted the pure water the NPP guy (Kyeremateng Agyarko) was distributing eh? But I must admit the water too is Oh Awuah-Darko sorry ooh. But as for that cute baby boy of yours, i'll have a daughter for him soon! Herh! Boy no y3 chupa-chops papa! And Agyarko too, so it's true that you have 3 wives? ei Barima!! Yoo, it is none of my business.

I can go on and on, and truth be told, I might be back with more to off-load but what is done is done. Whether 'E Dey Bee', or 'Yebedii' Keke, we are being ushered into part two of the whole show. It has been a one of a kind ride, from Woyomisation to Ayarigation with some gargantuanism in-between. It's all good! We asked for peace, and so far, with the view I have from my room some where in Tema community 18, I think we have it

But before I leave I want to again pray for the souls of our late President John Evans Attah-Mills, and former vice-president Hon. Aliu Mahama (Ei Charley, this year too big men were called paa ooh. Hmm!). May they continue to rest in peace as we also continue to pray for peace periodically.

Catch you later!!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

A Need to Forget

It was 1am when we arrived. At such an unholy hour, we were there at the cemetery. Boakye, my kid brother, tip-toed close behind me - his breathing sounded heavy and irregular.

“Keep a hold on yourself, you girl! You got us into this mess, remember?”  
He mumbled a reply that was barely audible and sighed.
As we inched slowly towards our targeted tombstone, my mind quickly traveled back to that blasted morning when I unwisely stood up to my brother’s long-time bully, only to be caught up in a dare-war. I comforted myself with the awareness that finally, many years down life’s rugged lane, I would sit my grandchildren down and say, “In my lifetime, I looted a paramount chief’s grave”. I would be happy to watch their eyeballs dilate to splitting point. But before any of that, I needed to tackle the current situation first. I felt a well of unusual pride. For the first time, in all my 18 years on earth, I was doing something thoroughly illegal.
As if on cue, I heard what sounded like the howl of a wounded dog, but I knew it came from Boakye. He was nowhere to be found. I had no idea when I had lost him or he had lost me, or whatever was out there had got him, but adrenaline had set in and all I could think of was finding my 15-year old brother before it was too late. It seemed my feet knew where they were going because I got to him and there he was, laying in a coffin with blood splashed across his chest. His eyes were vacant and it took me a moment to snap out of the shock I was in and notice his chest moving…he was alive!

Three years, and he still had not spoken a word. I know I should have told the truth but then after I had realized that night, that the blood on him had not been his there was no point in talking about it to anyone. We only needed to get home quietly. At that time, I had thought he was in shock but I was also very sure it was a prank we had fallen directly into and the worst that was going to happen was that our lives will fall back to how they had always been. I live a lonely quiet life – no friends, no sports life, no boys, and absolutely no fun. And my brother gets his too-smart and bookish self extremely bullied. I was wrong.

There had been no change, he said nothing, and he hardly ate. Visits to the doctors and pastors had taken over the already too little social life I had and my sleep, every night, was plagued with a series of nightmares and guilt-laden dreams of that night in the royal cemetery. I always saw them in each nightmare and in each dream. Three hooded shadows, holding swords similar to ones I remembered seeing at the Manhyia Palace museum when my class did a trip there. They always took off their hooded dark cloaks to reveal their true selves. They were dressed as warriors form tooth to toe, with their huge talisman-strewn smocks and blackened faces. I would scream out to them, demanding the truth as to what exactly they had done to my brother and all they would say in sickening monotonic voices was, “We knew your motives. No one disturbs our royal ancestors.” I always woke up feeling like a log had been dumped on my heart so that it struggled to beat. Whatever Boakye had seen, he was the only one who knew and they were holding his tongue; whoever they were.

The stranger on whose laps I was seated looked like he was ready to cry. He let out breath he had been holding since I began my story and I almost couldn’t bear the brandy, garlic and some other foul thing-laced breath he directed at my face. How old is he, 105? I thought as I focused, for the first time that night, on my client. He had lost a good number of teeth. Then as if I hadn’t just told him the story of my life, he began to whisper something in French and tried without luck to locate my lips. He was obviously drunk beyond redemption.
Then, I felt like crying. Not for myself but for him and all the other men who had come to me just as he had. He had issues he needed to forget. They all did.  I had issues I needed to forget too; Issues that, in my case, kept piling up – guilt upon guilt. So I constantly needed a distraction. The injections did it for a while (kept my head miles away from my neck), the alcohol solved it briefly (turned my limbs liquid), and the sex was simply therapeutic for both parties – less for me, more for them.
 I needed to forget completely, that in my lifetime, I had almost looted a paramount chief’s grave. I needed to forget that in my lifetime, I had killed my brother’s smart brains, drained my family of all savings, and wiped them all off the surface of the earth; my brother first, in his sleep, and later my parents, out of grief.
I needed to forget that I was a complete failure, a need that gnawed away at my sanity, an ever present need... 
to forget.