5

Life, Camera, Toast!

Once upon a very weird Christmas time, an uncle of mine came over, and took me and a couple of my siblings to the zoo. It was a cheesy stab at “family fun”, but it exposed me to…well, the zoo.
So after then, I would go to the zoo from time to time, stare at the animals, give them names in my head and imagine them doing rather Dr. Seuss-like things.
It was a great idea (on paper), because I got to be on my own, cultivate some kind of a personal habit, and just be on my own and think.
It worked only once. Second time I went, I was accosted by this young chap. Senegalese, abi from Niger Republic, I can’t for the life of me remember. He stuck to me like a cow tick in a well fed dog’s fur, and wouldn’t let go.
How I was so beautiful, he was sure I could sing because I had such a lovely voice… Dude sang a couple bars of a song from an album he was allegedly working to drop real soon.
Sigh.
My girlfriend’s bf was competing in that Maltina Dance All show one year, and we all went to cheer the guy on. Seemed like a legit enough thing to do. During a break, I moved away from the “pack” to make a phone call, turned, and there he was. This wet-eyed Igbo boy, offering me a hanky because I was sweating from the heat and excitement inside the hall.
Toh, feeling a large drop of sweat on the cusp of splashing dramatically into my eye, I accepted the hanky and pushed aside thoughts of how weird it all was. And that was how I accepted a major stalker into my life.
There is nothing I didn’t do to shake off that guy, but even at that, it took a few months.
This one time, I was innocently walking from the house to the junction to get a keke. Suddenly I catch sight of a guy and girl standing outside a shop. The girl goes, “Ah, see this fine geh!” and in no time, the guy is coming up after me. Long story short (I never learn, I know this) I give him my number because it’s embarrassing; he has my bag and won’t let go, so passionate is his pleading.
That guy once gave me thirty – something missed calls and like four text messages ranging from “Why won’t you pick up, hope you’re ok” to “I’m very disappointed in you, why would you treat me like this, I’m never calling you again “.
Then he left some more missed calls.
What about when they fixed traffic lights at this roundabout in town here? There I was one bright Saturday morning, perched rather youthfully on a bike, heading to the tailor’s. Now, the light turned red so I was there o, only for me to hear, “Hello, baby, long time.” A slimy smile accompanied this fond greeting, after which the MAN in question proceeded to tell me how I was “his colour”. Mehn, I was Ray Charles to that guy and his teeth until that light changed and I moved on with normal life.
Right from secondary school, there was the (older) guy who’d show up in the mornings with cards and other related love-practices.
Same thing in Uni. The only time I was safe was when I hid in a particular corner of the library…
NYSC camp? Oh God. It was annoying, because I couldn’t be rude to the ones I didn’t like just so I could hang out with the interesting ones, like I would have wanted to 😦
Only last weekend, I asked an electrician to come fix a faulty outlet in my house. Now, I hate having handymen around because, small talk. I will never get the hang of talking for the sake of it, and to strangers, no less. So I hid somewhere with a Charles Dickens and waited for the guy to finish, abegs. I should mention that right when he came in, I was holding a half – finished pure water sachet in my hand. I asked if I should get him some water and your man smoothly took the one in my hand, wordlessly putting the edge I’d been drinking from to his mouth, like a promise… the chills, guys. The chills!
Anyway, your guy finished and I paid him off only for him to ask, just before I closed the gate:
“So… you living in this area, ba?”
You working…where?”
I was all like, hell nah, nicca, and closed the gate behind him.
So far, I’m still waiting for the type I see in Nollywood; that will sweep into my life, wash away my financial and material sins, expose my skin to the best creams and polish me, generally. And all this without thinking to ask for any kind of gratification in return.
In the meantime, though, this one guy said he loves me and he buys me pens from time to time…
That counts, no? 😦

Yours,
@MsMeddle