The sun is being really mean as I return from yet another day in court. Not quite one month since my debut appearance, not quite three months since I officially earned the right to be referred to as “lawyer”. The pots are expectedly empty (I have no plans of cooking this year), and I can’t really say whether my mattress is big enough for two, tomorrow being Valentine’s Day will be a better day to worry about that. I desire to have that siesta I like to think I deserve, but before I drift away, one unusual thought comes into my head ( as usual.) What if none of this is real? What if all that my life has been thus far is just part of a long dream, a dream I am having at age ten? (Some are of the view that six hours spent asleep could add up to a decade in the world of dreams.)
Maybe it’s still 24th December 2000, and it’s me anticipating the punishment I should get for refusing to wash the dishes my mother earlier instructed me to, without the slightest premonition that by the next twenty-four hours, she wouldn’t be able to issue any orders, and in fact battle (unsuccessfully) to keep breathing. Yea, maybe it’s still that year in human existence when people feared for their gadgets thanks to the rumoured Millennium Bug, when soft drinks still sold for about twenty naira, when Daddy Showkey and the “galala” dance (which I barely managed to perfect) were still relevant, and when Real Madrid still dominated the world of club football.
Maybe this long dream decided to kick off from 2002 instead, when a hundred naira could get you overfed, when Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour had not dipped their oil-rich hands into the beautiful game and people still played football from the heart, when university degrees still bore the slightest bit of relevance in getting a job, yea, when lecturers still lived up to their reputation by conducting extensive research, when family units were still closely knit because they visited one another and did not rely on text messages or e-mails, when petrol was still less than forty naira, when movie makers still cared about the sensitivity of viewers, and when you really didn’t need shapely semi-nude ladies to make a music video.
Ok, maybe I have gone too far back into time. Just what if, all I have found myself doing makes up part of a deep slumber whereas in reality it is still 2003? The year 2003, when people could still dance at nightclubs without excessive body contact, when talk of ordaining an openly gay man as a bishop (ah, bishop!) was seen as abominable, when I still did not know what a woman’s lip gloss tasted like, or what shape a condom was. Right, 2003, when “love songs” still bore an element of love in their content, and people thought of much better ways to get famous than simply feature on sex tapes.
How about not having dreamt too far? How about the year still being 2004, when Arsene Wenger could still fight for trophies, and making music was still a lot more than copying beats and mouthing the same phrase from start to finish because back then artistes still had meaningful messages to pass? Yea, 2004, when I registered at a gym weighing 58kg and added four extra kilogrammes at the end of the month-long session, when the Nigerian virgin was respected and not ridiculed, when pastors still tried to focus on their calling rather than treat females in the flock to “a level of grace they don’t understand”, when JAMB officials had the fate of so many youths solely in their palms, and when Football could still boast of a little bit of competition in terms of which player was best on the planet, rather than the duopoly we get to see in 2014 (supposing this is all real).
I am used to having my memories confuse myself with dreams, and as such, I could make the span of the dream even shorter in my imagination. Well maybe it’s 2009, when my clothes were too ill-fitting for me to care, when Miley Cyrus was still relatively innocent and yet to nauseate us with twerks and nudity, when the name “Boko Haram” rang like something which we could easily nip in the bud, when ASUU embarked on a lengthy strike action which would have Random Girl sit in class with baby in hand (and without a ring) a session later, when boredom from lengthy academic inactivity got me to “fall in love” with a older lady at some law firm, and when my close friends Blessed Obaitan and Charlie Damiete Charles were still very much with us, oblivious of the fact that they would take the exit door in medically inexplicable circumstances the following year (damn, what does kidney failure have to do with the body of twenty-year-old Blessed? Why would cancer visit nineteen-year-old Charlie? Why? Why???)
Maybe it’s still a time in human existence when the only baggage I have to deal with in my life is the content of my schoolbag (instead of emotional imbalance from ladies), when Nigerian politicians and prostitutes are yet clearly distinguishable, when I’m yet to grow a moustache, when people still respect each other’s privacy (and their own) without splashing everything on social networks……or maybe not! Maybe it’s me refusing to come to terms with reality, and the ugly truth that there are certain things (and people) I will never get back, that the world has changed, that I either go with the flow like dead fish, or hold on to those values which I still attach importance to. Maybe I should just stop thinking my life can take the shape of the movie “Inception”, look up that part of The Good Book which says that it’s not wise to always ask why things were better in the past, and accept that I can never return to that age of absolute innocence which I crave for on some nights. Sometimes I wish that certain events and experiences were only dreams which I would eventually wake up from, but until then, I guess I have a lot of fact-facing to do.
P.S: I still miss you Mom (never mind that it’s been thirteen years, one month and nineteen days.).And yes, I still owe you that dish-washing. Rest easy!!
– An offshoot of Random Uncoordinated Thoughts, 3:00pm (or close to that time), February 13th 2014.