The Green Eyed Monster

[Gloria Estefan x Reach]

The idea of jealousy or envy is embedded in the basic coding of humans. The green eyed monster, as we grow creeps up from under the bed and lives with us. The more the world reveals itself to us the more we begin to envy. But wait who or what is worthy of my envy?

The first person or category of people who came to mind is The Creators. The Jayzs, Nas’, Drakes, J. Coles, Mr. Brainwashs, Tarantinos, Scorseses,  Khaled Housenis, Lauryn Hills et al. The people who painstakingly bring out the content of their minds for the whole world to accept and respect. The people who worked hard to keep us entertained. The people who turn experiences into franchises. The people who influenced generations. What is there not to envy about people like this? They were doing everything I had envisioned myself doing. They were highly skilled at their crafts. Most importantly they knew how to bring their thoughts to life; a lot of people can’t do and that is something I respect in the creators. It’s a typical adolescent/teenager complex to envy someone you see on the television and the internet “making it’. But I never envied JayZ or Nas and I still don’t. I just respect and admire the fact that they are able to make something out of nothing, move themselves from one point to another in life through sheer will power, determination and hard work. But I didn’t envy them

In my quest to find out who I envied, I began to discover problems in envying of a man. Mere mortals with crimson fluids emerging from our wounds. My problem with envying a person was that they are their own worst enemies. The same legends that inspire generations could and have ended up doing the same things they preached against. Men whom were capable of my envy could not outlive themselves. Even the canonized ones. The real thing I could ever be capable of envy was an idea, a belief, a theory. Something intangible but absolutely powerful, depending of its level of penetration into human society and culture. Man is born to die, ironically. But ideas, beliefs, theories are able to achieve eternal life. That to me is something worth being jealous of. Something I’d give my mind for. No man can have the impact religion or war or love or freedom or power has had on mankind. Now this is something I envy. Dominion over all of mankind even after I have existed or without ever being present.

Per the parameters of my writing challenge I cannot envy any other thing but a person. So apart from an idea a belief a theory, the person I envy has to be myself. Who else knows me more than me to want to envy me? Call that egotistic, but it remains the truth. 

 

Tatyana

This is the first post in a new series on my blog. Its a sort of writing challenge. This one is a Letter to My Unborn Child. Enjoy

 

[Nina Simone x Feeling Good]

Tatyana,

I’m here in a dark room arranging little specs of light trying to make the brightest picture in my life. To be completely honest, I have nothing to say to you my dear. I just have a whole lot to live with you.

I have this weird desire to conceive you in Amsterdam (definitely, not in the red light district, I’m too proper for that), with the love of my life, whoever that woman will be. One thing is for certain, I’ll try my hardest to find you the best mother ever. I won’t lie to you; I can’t see myself being the father of the century. At this stage in my life I care about so little in life that I wonder if I will be capable of raising the amazing woman you will group up to be. I don’t wish for you to have everything I never had, but rather everything you’d ever want. I can see us taking walks in Central Park, talking about how the world forces us to drink cyanide in our Styrofoam cups. I can see us discussing the elegance, diversity and richness of our Ghanaian culture, as we watch the film adaptation of Manu Herbstein’s Ama.  Most importantly, I can see you changing my life for the better. I can almost certainly guarantee that you’ll influence my life more than I would yours, and for that I’ll like to say thank you.

It’s a cruel, unforgiving and self-destructive world now that I can only pray and work for the best environment for you to grow up in. Whether that will be along the beautiful beaches of Cabo, or in a Chateau in Burgundy, or in a mud hut near my grandmother’s grave in northern Ghana. I’d love for us to be able to exist in love and happiness before anything else. Trust me dear I’m on my grind busting moves to ensure I’ll make life confortable for you. In fact writing this has made me realized that all my hard work will not be for me, but for you. So pray for me to break the shackles of laziness and lay down the pot filled with other impediments in my life to ensure you live life to the fullest, however you choose to define that.

I wonder what your mother is doing at this moment in time. Sorry dear, but I can’t answer that. As much as I can guarantee you having a super mom, I don’t know or can’t tell you who she is.

I love you Tatyana. I’ve never said this to my parents nor have I ever heard them say it. With you I hope and will try to say it, but like one of my best friends taught me, I will learn to show it. I would record videos of all your important moments growing up (First Steps, First words, school plays, birthday parties, and the likes). I’m sure you’ll find them embarrassing at some point in your growth. But I want you to know that I will only do stuff like that because I want those moments to last forever. I will support you and guide you in making life altering decision, but ultimately I’ll allow you to experience life without having me steer you in a particular direction like a Cargo ship.

After all this, I just can’t wait to meet you, squeeze your cheeks and kiss you on the forehead. Carry you in my arms and sing Daley and Marsha Ambrosuis’s Alone Together to you. Watch you fall asleep as the moon light sneaks into your room causing you to glow like the angel you are. But I’m not going to rush into anything. The world is a wonderful place and I’d love for you to experience it at the best time, which unfortunately is not now. But one day I know you’ll read this and realize that it was worth the wait.

I love you like I’ve never know before. I will always be,

Your awesome Father.

Hakeem.

 

Hypothesis

What if i die today, hypothetically
I’m thinking of pulling a “Catipal Steeze”
Become legendary
And my legacy
like the waves of the sea
Shall flow for eternity
And make me near heavenly
Hypothetically.
What if my hypothesis should materialize
I’ll leave my kids bastardized
While people will harmonize
many rumours as to why
I took my promising life
hypothetically.
What if i decided I’ll live like a Tarantino script
Make my viewers enjoy some visionary shit
And make the moral stick
Clandestinely, and watch them discern it from a bottomless pit
Hypothetically.
what if i cut my teeth on life through reality
And not vicariously
I stop thinking of wanting it,
But work towards it.
Stop being theoretical
And be practical
Hypothetically.
What if i become accustomed to serving a fiend
Along with the rest of society cos its our genes,
To succumb to all the chicanery and debauchery.
Hypothetically?
What if the final outcomes of all these scenarios are before me
And I’m too busy buried in books to see,
Or too dumb to believe,
Or just scared of what the outcome will be?
hypothetically?

Regardless of the outcomes of my hypothesis,
one thing is for certain.
I will live.

Confessions Of A Brat

Confessions OF A Brat

 

 

Good God Almighty,

                                          Forgive me for I have sinned. That phrase should really sound cliché to you by now. Every now and then I come to you feeling sorry for myself, begging for forgiveness. I don’t know when you stopped forgiving me but I believe you still do, even though I have never deserved it. But thanks anyway.

                                         God, can I call you my nigga? I need to make this confession personal, so it will feel a bit more comfortable if I called you my nigga. I remember some religious person shouting out that our connection with our maker should feel as personal as ever. So I guess this is how different this confession will feel from the others. Honestly nigga I can’t explain why I sin. It’s not like I don’t know it’s bad, or I don’t know it comes with a punishment, but my “Adamly” genes still cause me to sin. Or maybe nigga it’s you? I mean why create sin when you know humans like me will fall prey to temptations and commit it?  Wait, hold up, I guess I shouldn’t be trying to get on your wrong side by questioning you, because I desperately need your forgiveness and in effect blessings.

                                         Just last week, I was just driving around in the neighborhood. It was raining cats and dogs but that didn’t deter me from enjoying my ride. As I approached the junction, I saw the waakye seller frantically stopping me for a lift, but I sped by and consequently splashed the rain water from the pot hole onto her already drenched attire. I felt no remorse for leaving this geriatric alone in the cold rain. After all she wasn’t my responsibility. I went further to brag to my friends about how I had abandoned the woman, and they were all thrilled by my actions. Such fools. The next day I sent my brother to get us some waakye. He returned in a short while and began to narrate  how the waakye seller had made him cut the queue and given us extra portions of meat. I was utterly surprised. He even reported that she made my order, which she knew all too well, extra special and asked that her regards be extended to me. I was shell shocked. Ah?! This woman, knew exactly the way my Range Rover looked. She would never have mistaken it for anyone else’s. (No one had chrome rims like mine)  She also clearly saw my face as I approached her that rainy day. So why then would she treat me so nicely after the ordeal I had put her through?

                                  Whatever her motives were they clearly pinched my soul. She chose to drive out the hate she had for me with love, sweet tasting Ghanaian love. Nigga in heaven, I realised my sin when this woman chose not to hate me but love me, and it hurt badly. I didn’t know how to respond to this after eating the waakye, obviously. So, I went on my knees and opened my tobacco stained mouth to ask her forgiveness for my bad behaviour. I thought she would lambast me with that “rich boy, bad attitude, your parents didn’t raise you well speech”. But yet again she hugged me and told me to go home for I had done nothing.  Jaw dropped, I dragged my deflated ego behind my steering wheel and drove home.

                              I began to think, and then it hit me. The waakye seller had succeed in making me feel remorseful for my actions by reacting in the exact opposite way I predicted her to. An effective way to curb sin? What if my father had spared me the lashes when I first stole his Jaguar to impress the girls in high school? What if my school had educated me rather than sent me home on suspension when I stole test answer? What if everyone in the world LOVED everyone else, and treated them as such. Would there be war, starvation, and all those other global issues? But hey nigga, what do I know? I’m just a fool who has just realized how much of a wreck I really am.

                     Nigga (I should really stop calling you that), I guess in the world of Cinderella, which is the only book I ever read, the waakye seller was my fairy godmother who transformed me from a rotten grape to a temptingly beautiful bottle of 1943 Chardonnay. But before this transformation is complete, I need your forgiveness. I would love to list them all, but we both know that my grand-kids will be born before I’m over with that. So please God, forgive me (the full package with the blessings and all).  For I think that will be your little contribution to this decaying world. Helping a young man become wholesome, as he was at birth. And I Swear, this time I really mean every words.

             So yeah, say hello to all the goodfellas in heaven chilling with you. I’ll be joining y’all soon. Have fun and Thank You Very Much.

 

                                                                                                                     I Will Always BE,

                                                                                                                        Your Child the spoilt Brat.

PS: The Waakye is to die for!!! You should try it before you destroy this world again. Bye!  

 

 

 

Cold Water

As a child I was extremely infatuated with the beach. Safe to say I still am. I used to beg my parents to take me there, but seldom materialized. But whenever it did happen it was bliss. The sound of the waves crushing on to the beach. The beautiful white sand. The joyful people all around. But most importantly the never ending Atlantic ocean hugging the

horizon.

The Sea to me was a gateway to a parallel universe, I surreal place of happiness. I have no idea why I associate it with happiness when reality teaches me otherwise. It is these same brutal waters that carried my ancestors to a cruel and unforgiving land to suffer for four hundred years. It is these same waters that brought the blue eyed masters (monster, in the opinion of other, not mine) to our soil, who robbed us of our gold, timber, family, civilization, and sovereignty. All the Atlantic had ever brought to Ghana has been misery and pain. It is right to conclude that it is the cause of all the social and economic decadence all around.

But it still gave me joy. There were times when I will feel so depressed that I wished for the waves to carry me away from all the mental debauchery. I prayed it will ferry me to a distant land of milk and honey, with women clad in fine linen, servants at my command, panoramic views to die for most essentially peace.

If you haven’t visited a beach before I feel very sorry for you. It is rather a very chaotic environment. There is no peace there. Remains a mystery as to how I am able to find it there. Maybe it’s just the magnificence of the ocean, or the comfort of the beach (not all beaches are comfortable, most of them, in Ghana are eyesores and home to the homeless and spiritual groups), or maybe the peace to be found there is inner? Whatever it is, it’s one of the most beautiful feelings or experience to me.

Today my eyes were blessed with the sight of the Magnificent Atlantic Ocean. It wasn’t how I had envisioned the experience to be after my hiatus from the beach, hey but what do they say about a bird in the hand? I relaxed and opened my mind to the ends of the ocean. I rid it of all sinister thoughts like they were carcasses being washed up to the beach. I became clear and pure, just as the very master under whose spell I was transfixed. For a very short while I was free of all the fiends’ society and myself were accustomed to serving. BLISS!!!

Its rather ironic how something so turbulent and destructive, in every sense of the word, can be calming and relaxing. I guess this world is just a messed up place with little to no respite that it has forced us to find peace in chaos.

Guilty Pleasures

Here is another piece from our featured writer Finagle Jones: The Provost. Enjoy!

 

Guilty Pleasures

You put the tea in the kettle and light it, put your hand on the metal and feel it, but do you even feel it anymore? Are we numb to mistakes? The border line between good and bad is much like simulated texture. On paper, we can easily distinguish between the two but on the ground it may look like a herculean task. Yes, mistakes are part and parcel of the human make-up but surely a recurring act of wrongdoing should cease to be judged as an honest unconscious mistake.

Unpopularly, I’d gladly make some mistakes again – shameful but truthful. Short term pleasures are equivalent to long term losses. I’ve made consciously made mistakes with the possible lifeline of confession lingering in my cerebrum. Cliché, but for the benevolence of our Supreme Dictator where will we be? You give a human a meter so why can’t he have a yard? Dig deep and you’ll find out that the benevolence of your superior could create some empathy in relation to a malpractice. Believe me, we need unstained thoughts.

Fantasies rule the world – women as well, but this notion shall be deliberated on a later date – You don’t dream, you’re as good as a toothless bulldog but how tight is your grip on your fantasies? We can all attest to ill fantasies. Putting a cap on them seems a tall order the more they keep occurring; so says Psych 101. Whether borne out of mere pleasure or anger, ill fantasies can only afford us a wee bit of immediate fulfillment which eventually dies out. Should you make a big break financially and then forget that something like a financial adviser existed, the outcome will be boldly painted and underlined on the walls but you will be blind to it. That’s a short term pleasure. Pleasure which doesn’t last leaves you licking your wounds in a bid to experience it again. When that hunger kicks in……yes, man will do anything.

Climbing the age ladder, it has kicked in that the things that last forever are what I should be geared towards gaining. The one who uses iron and steel to construct stands a greater chance to survive in the era of disaster. God’s grace, Family, love, tight bonds; all these are long term projects. You need to give a part of you in order to gain them and it’s not just a day’s work in the field, but when it pays off you can afford to smile forever. We are our choices. A brain with a staggering amount of clean thoughts floating inside will certainly make the right choices while we are young for the adult battle that awaits us.

 

Finagle Jones: The Provost

I’m about to dr…

I’m about to drive in the ocean
I’mma try to swim from something bigger than me

These are the first line from the hook of Frank Ocean’s song “Swim Good”, of his Nostalgia, Ultra mix-tape. Something about these lines just make me think. I’m not trying to find any angle of meaning or depth in the lines. I’m simply celebrating to lyrically powers of the artist and the musical beauty of the song.