10

How Writing Began

To be honest, there was no defining moment in my life when I suddenly felt the burning desire to write. It sort of just happened. All I can remember is that I was in JSS2 when I wrote my first two poems called “Life” and “Best Friends”. Reading them now, they seem very crude and forced, but I guess that’s normal.

I simply loved my English teacher at the time, so I gave them to her to look over. She read them, looked at me with an expression I still can’t figure out, then told me that she loved them, that they seemed like they’d been written by someone older, that I shouldn’t stop writing.

And so it began. During my secondary school days,I must have written at least 60 poems, though I never kept track of all of them. Most were written just to pin down whatever emotion held me hostage at the time. Then, of course, there was my novel which I started in SS1 and abandoned about three chapters in…

Poetry has always been my staple, it’s almost instinctive to me now. It’s the fiction and articles I struggle with; writing anything longer than two pages feels like homework to me sometimes, like I’m going to get graded afterwards.

I have never written “professional” poetry; I probably never will. Sometimes it takes me weeks to write a poem. It starts out as a quickening of my heartbeat, a general restlessness, a feeling of dissatisfaction, a strong leaning towards listening to loud music alone in my room, a kind of boiling of my blood…

Finally, I climax violently, suddenly rushing to my pen and paper (it must always be pen and paper), scribbling and crossing out frantically. At that point, I am truly not myself; lost in in emotions, in words, struggling to quiet my heart, striving to scratch the itch in my veins. Afterwards, I lie curled up, hand on my notepad, my body trying to normalize…

Sometimes it doesn’t go so well, though. I start to write and stop, frustrated and feeling powerless. What I see on paper does not even begin to reflect the turmoil inside of me.

As for my pieces; articles and short stories, they are never truly fictional. I personally don’t believe that a person can write a story without leaving some little fragment of himself in it, like a brand name forever etched into a product. There is always a tiny piece of me in everything I write. Something/ someone I want, wanted, saw, heard, wish for, dream of; someone, something!

Basically, I write for me, but with the tiny hope of someday connecting with you.

Advertisements
10

Encounter

7-06-07

Maiduguri

The bar was crowded. She sat, perched on a tall stool, the slit on her long, black dress effectively exposing a slash of pale brown thigh. Her hair was packed up in a bun high on her head, baring her long neck. Long black earrings trailed down to creamy shoulders, untouched by the low cut of the sheath dress. A single bracelet adorned one wrist. Her feet looked naked in flat black slippers, a silver anklet encircling one ankle.

She tapped her foot, trying not to look as impatient as she felt. Sipping Smirnoff, she searched the crowd. A voice from behind her said, “Heineken!”. Her head whipped around.

He stood there, his recent haircut making him look young and fresh. The fingers of his left hand drummed absently on the counter top, while his right thumb hung from his pants pocket. He wore a dress shirt, a baby blue with white stripes down the front. The band around his wrist professed his loyalty to his football club. Pale corduroys made her want to see the back view and a pair of sporty shoes finished it off.

“Nice shoes.”

He looked at her then, at the shoes, then back up. And smiled.

“Thanks. You’ve got a nice… dress.”

His gaze still lingered on her cleavage.

“Thank you, Mr. …?”

“Steele. Rambo Steele.”

She liked the impatient way he waved away the bartender’s offer of a glass, flicked off the cork and drank his beer straight from the bottle. The movement of his Adam’s apple had her reflexively licking her lower lip.

“May I sit, Ms…?”

“Erm… Christine.”

He raised an eyebrow. A very nice eyebrow.

“Christine Skillz. And yes, you may sit.”

He sat, blazing an optical trail from her toes, up her leg, to the exposed thigh, up to the cleavage and back to her face.

“Thank you”, he said, a gleam in his eye.

“You’re welcome”, she said, drinking thirstily from her glass, her eyes gleaming back.

*     *      *

She stepped out of his car and followed him up to the door. A dog appeared, wagging half its body in silent welcome, a big doggy grin on its face.

“Hey, you!” Rambo bent down to scratch the proffered belly.

“Nice dog”, Christine smiled, waggling her fingers at the animal.

“Let’s go in, babe”, he said, leading the way.

The dog thumped his tail, looking longingly after them as they went inside. Minutes later, he cocked his ears when he heard a series of moans coming from within. His head dropped onto his front paws as the sounds reached a crescendo. He whined softly when he heard the sound of contented feminine laughter. And in resignation, fell asleep.

*    *   *

She rolled onto her side, a smile still playing on her lips. He was flat on his back, still breathing heavily. Her phone beeped. She quickly read the text and dropped the phone, slightly irritated. As if on cue, his phone rang shrilly, piercing the sweaty silence. She watched him as he spoke to the unknown, invisible intruder on the other end of the line. A raised eyebrow was her only reaction to his mumbled “Love you too, babe.” There was an uncertain silence for a few minutes, then he got up and started to rummage around the scattered clothes for his boxers.

“Babe, time to go”, he said, pulling on his pants.

She stretched languidly and began sorting out her undies, absently wondering just how many “babes” he had in his life.

This time, she patted the dog’s head while he thumped his bushy tail on the floor. They both got into the car, Rambo having asked for and gotten her phone number, Christine having accepted his offer of a ride home.

And so it began…