Visual Art and a Funds-Bereft Researcher.

Ogun.

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Ah, dammit. He said he was going to alert me when it was time to leave. He didn’t. And now I’m stranded here.

Dammit.

I put on my clothes. Get my glasses.

Where are my shoes?

There is an Art Exhibition today. It’s taking place at Victoria Island, Lagos Nigeria.

About twenty minutes ago, my mind was almost completely set on not going. But look at me now- all dressed up and what not. Watching my younger brother get dressed for the event had a rousing effect on me. Talk about peer pressure in action. Hah.

Right now my life is largely centered around procuring direly needed funds for The Language Project. I’ve been sending out applications for grants, fellowships, etcetera. But no luck, not yet. Not yet. Hopefully all that changes soon. (And please if you do happen to be aware of any open opportunities for funding, drop a comment below and let me know about it, thanks.)

I leave the house. It’s time to head for Victoria Island.

 

Lagos.

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I’m drifting across the ground floor of the Civic Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos. Taking a look at the art pieces up for display. Yinka Shonibare’s work is center stage. Hmm. Some of his book are up for display too. I pick one up and browse through. Title is “Criminal Ornamentation” if I remember correctly.

My phone vibrates in my left pocket. Call from my younger brother.

You, you, you left me stranded right? Right?

He says he’s on the topmost floor. Alright, We’ll eventually come across each other. I keep involving myself in the art pieces on display. Some of them are actually considerably interesting.

There are various sorts of works being exhibited: Oil on Canvas, Terracotta, Video, Audio, , 3D animation, Virtual Reality, etc. Works centered on issues ranging from life in Lagos Nigeria, to emigration and the slave trade in Libya, to artist impressions of Lagos in 2115.

Interesting.

I keep browsing.

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I see some people with cups of wine. Naturally I become curious as to how they got the wine. I search through the different galleries.

Where did all of these people get wine? Hmm?

Eventually I come across a number of people seated around a small table. On the table is a bucket containing a number of wine bottles.

Aha. Gotcha.

I immediately walk up to one of them.

Hello (waving), is the wine free?

A few minutes later I am viewing the works on display at a nearby stand, cup of Rosé in hand.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

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I keep browsing through the art on display.

 

All of this takes a couple of hours until the end of the exhibition.

That cup of Rosé lasts much longer than it should. I am not in a hurry at all to finish it.

My phone vibrates in my left pocket. Call from my younger brother. We discuss where to meet.

 

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On Post-Decision Eventuality Children.

Curtain opens.

From the two opposite ends of the stage, enter two men. These two men are identical in everything except clothing. Same height, facial features, etc.

 

Man 1: Hey man! Hey! How’re you doing?

Man 2: Great! Great, man! You?

Man 1: Ehh. Feeling meh. Not doing too good. Just meh.

Man 2: Eyyy. Things aren’t looking too shiny on your end eh?

Man 1: Yeah man, yeah, My end is just glum. But you’re having tons of fun aren’t you?

Man 2: *smiles* Haha, can’t complain, man can’t complain. But yeah, tons of fun is a lot like it haha!!

Man 1: The decision fucked me man. The decision that separated us, fucked me. Condemned me to this pitifully uneventful existence. The decision really fucked me man.

Man 2: Cheer up man, cheer up. I am sure there are versions of us who are doing much worse- dead maybe. You hear that? Dead!

Man 1: Ugh. I might as well be dead with this life. Ugh.

Man 2: Cheer up man, cheer up!!

 

Men walk across stage.

 

Curtains close.

 

On Post-Decision Eventuality Children.

Anxious Ramble

Question: Have I gotten to the point in my life before which there exist decisions made- decisions which unmaking or making differently, would engender a radically different life for me?

Decisions for which if I had gone one way in lieu of the other, my life would have been different from what it is now? A difference of substantial magnitude?

From what it will be?

For better? For worse?

Have I?

Regret, what is regret.

 

“A single hurt colour and a system to pointing”

 

How justified is regret if the space of time that serves as justification for it, is very spatially diminutive relative to elapsed lifespan?

Is there point in crying now?

A life path is a series of lines in between a series of points which represent possible branches.

How much of a deviation exists between me and my counterfactual selves? How large?

Is there a parallel universe in which I am someone who would think lowly of my present occurred self?

Someone who would think extremely highly? Look up to?

If at every major life decision I pulled away from some people, then those people could function as an estimate for my counterfactual self.

How much space exists? How much of a deviation?

Or?

Is destiny real? Is it?

Is the myself down the line inescapable? Will I become that person irrespective of whatever deviations occur along the way, will I?

Consoling if the inevitable self is something to smile about.

How much are the decisions I make now going to affect my future life?

Is there a period in life where decisions taken are the most weighted? Am I in that stage of life?

Pressure seeps in, pressure.

Pressure seeps in.

Apprehension raises its head.

Conflict. Were my decisions the right ones? Were they? Are my decisions objectively sensible, or am I just jeopardizing the life of my future self?

I don’t know.

I wonder.

I really do wonder.

I really really do.

 

Anxious ramble.

Where is my “Sir”?

I am a Sir.

Call me Sir.

Shut up. Shut up I’m talking.

I am X years old. I am Y times your age- we are in no way age mates.

Do not tell me “Good Morning”, tell me “Good Morning Sir”-  that Sir is imperative. Non-negotiable.

Shut up. Shut up, I’m talking. Do not attempt to interrupt me. No “buts”.

I am a Sir. Call me Sir.

Silly boy. Born last night, yet has the guts to pay me a greeting without appending my Sir.

Nonsense.

Or what am I supposed to do to make my Sir-status obvious to you?

Scrawl my age on my forehead?

Tattoo my year of birth across my chest?

Re-depict my age as a composite of prime numbers and then sing them out to you?

Nonsense. Rubbish.

I have my own Sirs too. The people I cannot dare to address without their own “Sir”.

You, are my boy. My own boy. The prestige I afford my own taskmasters, you afford me too.

Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes, that is exactly how it is going to be.

Now, where is my “Sir”?


PS: I feel slightly rusty.

Snippets from Peddlers.

“Do not use this drug with the popular Teem soft drink if you do not have a wife at home o!!

Your penis will be hard!!”

For some reason those two sentences find their way through the auditory veil that is ambient conversation in the bus I’m in, right onto my mental platform of attention.

Someone is peddling painkillers. A man beside me asks for clarification. I think he has a wife at home. I think.

Haha.

I continue conversation with my father.

“The insect that will withstand this repellant, its mother has not been given birth to yet…..”

Someone is peddling insect repellant.

Sentences again find their way through to the focal point of my attention.

I continue conversation with my father.

—————

 

I was away for while.

It’s difficult to tell who missed me. You people do not leave any comments.

Please leave more comments, Mayowa’d really appreciate that.

Feels good to be back.

Necromantic Monologues and a Police Van.

Sometime in 2017.

 

Hey.

Hey Hey Heeyyyy

How’re you doing. Good?

Yeah? Great. Great great great. That’s absolutely great to hear.

What did you do?

Today. Today, what did you do today. Tell me.

Tell me. Tell me tell me tell me. I want to know.

I’m smiling. You can see I’m smiling, can’t you.

Hmnn. Haha.

Wait- your nails. You painted your nails. Afresh. You painted them a new colour.

Hmm, they were some other colour the last time I remember. Some strange one. One with some name that I had never heard before. One that I didn’t even know was an actual colour.

Come on- come on help me out here.

Haha!

Aha yes! That’s it! That’s it- Nude. That’s it.

Wait, how is nude even a colour? How does that work? Like, how does that even work?

Or you know what? Forget it. I don’t care. I like it. I like you, and so that automatically means I like it. By extension. By association. By whatever other synonym happens to exist in English. Whichever one. Take your pick.

Haha.

Hahaha.

Hey.

Hey. Do you know I’ve started painting my nails? No? Not at all? Well I have.

I started out with black. I like it. I really really like it.

Here. Take a look.

I don’t know if I bought a standard product however, I don’t know. I feel like my fingernails look like I just poured wall paint on them.

Haha. Yeah. Like actual wall paint.

I mean, you can see it right?

Doesn’t it look like there’s wall paint on my fingernails.

Haha.

Hahaha!

These Nigerian people? They do not get it. They do not get it at all.

Haha. You should see the way they look at me. You should see the way the women look at me- with their own unpainted fingers.

I mean, of course not all of them- some of them paint their nails. Some. But really you should see the ones who don’t. And how they look at me. With my sheeny shiny nails.

Haha. You’d get an immense laugh out of it, I’m sure.

Hahahahaha.

Hahahahahahahaha.

 

Ola.  [Hello]

Ola, Bo’tarde. [Hello, Good afternoon]

I raise my head. It’s a police van.

The letters “P O L I C I A” are spelled across the chassis in bold white letters.

The men inside are muttering something in Portuguese Creole.

I’m staring at them- I’m still entirely in my head. Not yet conscious enough of my physical surroundings to make sense of what is happening.

 

Fala Creolo?          [Do you speak Creole?]

Fala Creolo?          [Do you speak Creole?]

 

Muaso menche. Poc.          [Somewhat. A little]

I am not sure if I am articulating the first expression correctly. I make an augmenting gesticulation with my hands.

Muaso menche.          [Somewhat]

 

You have to come with us to the station. You’re tresspassing. You have to come with us to the station.

 

I take a look around me. I am outside the city. I’m not particularly sure of how it was that I got here.

I remember I was going for a walk. No precise idea of where.

I’m not particularly sure… What?

How? ……….

 

You have to come with us to the station. You tresspassing. You have to come with us to the station.

 

Into the Police Van.

Into the Police Van Mayowa, into the Police Van.

Into the van you go.

 

No handcuffs this time Mayowa.

No handcuffs this time.

A Collision, a Crowd, and a Splintered Windshield.

Sometime in 2017.

There is blood streaming down my face.

Some trickles across my lips. An instinctive lick. Yeup. It’s blood alright.
A small crowd has already gathered. Number of Cape Verdeans walking by. A Senegalese shop owner who happened to be in proximity.

I can see his eyes darting towards the bag slung from my right hand. There is a hole in the bottom-right corner of the bag. Or bottom-left – depending on what perspective you decide to take.

I have been meaning to patch that hole for a while now. I just haven’t exactly had the time to get around to it.

A silver object protrudes from the mentioned hole. It’s my MacBook Pro. I see recognition on the face of the Senegalese shop owner. He has seen me with the computer before.
I realized he began to treat me with a lot more regard after that day- when he realized I had a MacBook Pro.

Human beings. Because I really am just another quotidian entity perambulating space and time and deserving of nothing more- no more regard than just another alien face occupying some distant mental patch comprising the mosaic backdrop of his own existence.

All until he discovers I am in possession of some consensually-regarded-as for-whatever-reasons-prestigious silver rectangular object that is.

Human beings. Human beings and physical things.

I wonder what’ll happen if I lose this object. I wonder.
I wonder if he’ll still wave me fervent greetings from his business post whenever I walk past the street.

I wonder if he’ll still- of his own volition, call me over and present me with his very interesting Senegalese dishes- as his own personal guest of honour.

Mister Apple Computer is now just Mister. No more Apple computer. Why should I invite him over to my shop, entertain him with a meal I procured with my own money- my own hardwork. Tell me, why should I?

There is blood streaming down my face.

I think there are some pieces of glass stuck in my forehead.
The ad-hoc clinical assessment committee begins to bestow me with all of their different medical opinions.

Ah, go to the hospital!
Ah, go to the hospital here!
Ah no, go to the other hospital- the one in the other place!

Ah, this!
Ah, that!

Thank you very much my esteemed panel of judges, I am the one receiving whatever signals of alarm my facial nerves are disseminating. I think I should do just fine as I am.

Come wash your face! Come inside! Come into this hotel! Come in, and wash your face!

Aha. One suggestion that actually does ease my situation.

The speaker is a worker at a hotel- apparently he was audience to the accident right from his duty post.
No one else would have suggested I go into the hotel. They had probably never even visited it themselves.

The pragmatic-reach of all of their sympathies was bounded by limits on their own experience(s?)- by the constraints on their own situations.

Ah. Life. Hotel it is.

My body finds its way through the council of my very sympathetic medical examiners.
I think Mr Senegalese shopowner takes his time to take some more glances at my bag.

Let’s go wash this face.

The Progress Ideal.

Disciplines, as Facets of Existence:

Human existence, nebulous and inconceivably multivariate as it is, is subjugated to tractability by the notion of disciplines, each one representing a corresponding component of life — each comprising field of study constituting a foundational pillar of the human experience (Hereafter referred to as a foundational discipline).

[Undiscovered, and Un/Incompletely -mapped facets (mapped to corresponding disciplines) are an evident exemption, so a continual attenuation of the concerned case instances, should be striven for.]

 

A Case for Progress:

If every conceivable facet of the human experience can be mapped to at least one discipline, then this implies that whatever problems exist, pertaining to some facet F of human life, should encounter solutions at some level of proficiency in its (F’s) corresponding discipline(s).

The mentioned correspondence also implies that substantial progress in a foundational discipline will reciprocally imply an upliftment in the experienced quality of the corresponding facet of human life.

 

The Progress Ideal:

A continual striving towards progress (linear or not) in designated foundational disciplines, holds immense benefit for humanity- both as an endeavour to discover solutions to existing humanity-scale problems, and as an avenue to procure upliftment of the associated quality of life.

I Should Not Have Smoked: A Viscous Midnight on THC.

I am not at ease.

It is about 12:30 AM.

I am perambulating the darkness-enshrouded streets of Victoria Island, Lagos Nigeria.

I am not at ease.

There is THC in my system. I feel particularly vulnerable.

:: It felt like the ingestion had for that space in time, dispossessed me of my cognitive shell- the protective exterior forged by training and thinking and identity-moulding experience, and that in that period in time I was a naked inchoate mind- exposed and soft and malleable- being bullied about by the intimidating darkness and the midnight island air.

I am not at ease.

I should not have smoked.

I am not at ease.

I should not have smoked.

I am moving about, not precisely sure in what direction I am headed, trusting that intuition and its sibling unconscious sense of navigation have things under control- although my conscious mind is far from feeling convinced.

I hear the voices of my parents in my head. I find myself walking through feeling-beams made of words- their words. Like discontinuous ropes of constituent raindrops in my path, each beam making sure to smite me in its own unique way.

There was the person who something horrific happened to, while they were out at night in Lagos.

Ahh.

That smites me somewhere in my face.

There was the old man who got lost in Lagos, in search of his child who preceded him in being misplaced.

Ahh.

That smites me somewhere else along my physical frame.

There is a scalding verbal downpour today.

No public transport tricycle has passed by for a considerable amount of time. 

Jesus, great. One proactive thought. One proactive thought. One thought that in contrast to an indulgent revelling in haplessness, actually endeavours to commence searching for a path towards a means of direly necessitated extrication from this foundationally perturbing situation.

I’ll need more of those. I’ll need more of those proactive thoughts, I’ll need more of those.

I have training. I have experience. The task before me should not at all be a problem. It just feels like the direction-designating, directive-effectuating resource that is my mind, is running on Vaseline. Everything is just so, slooowww.

And I feel detached from it.

I feel like I am a separate entity- disparate from this facility that is my mind, and experiencing my personal consciousness from the perspective of a passenger.

I’m attempting to prod the driver: Hey! Hey! I need to get somewhere! It’s late! And I’m here on the road!

But the intravening pathway feels blocked. The conduit through which the urgency borne of my disconcertion should be communicated, feels clogged. 

My agency-driver is on THC.

Ah, I shouldn’t have smoked.

I find myself going in and out of a number of restaurants. I am not sure what is happening. I am saying something to the attendants. They are responding. Apparently I am making sense. I find myself browsing through menus, glimpsing different options and their accompanying price tags.

Mayowa, what are you doing here? It is 12:30 AM! Is this what you are supposed to be doing right now?

I keep perambulating.

Next I’m engaging in disagreements with a number of security guards.

These people are so hostile, all of these people are so hostile. Nobody even appears interested in taking time to calmly exchange words. Not even the security guards, not even them who should be the guardians of the night.

My parents had chilled me appropriately with richly-gruesome stories before I left their house for Lagos earlier that evening.

In the midst of my unsettlement I find myself walking towards a building. For refuge apparently.

::There was a glowing emblem illuminating the muzzle of a formidably composed guard dog.

I find myself drifting towards this building. The gates appear so strong and confidence-inspiring.

Ah. Let me relax here for a while. I should be safe here. I don’t think anyone will come to enact any adversarial intent on my own existence, at least not while I’m here.

I stop to take a look at the building.

In my marijuana-induced- haze, I gape in awe at the intimidating imposingness of this building.

Jesus Christ! This building is so big! And tall! Yeh!!

At the top of the building, I make out a name. In bold glowing red.

“THE MIKE ADENUGA BUILDING”

AHHHHHHH. Jesus Christ!! MIke Adenuga!!! Yeehhhh!! You were the one who built this thing??!! Yeeehhhhhh!!!! 

Look at how huge this building is!!! Yeehhhhh!!!

I have definitely seen bigger buildings before, but the THC in my system appeared to have temporarily undone a learnt imperviousness to the sheer magnitude of such buildings.

Yeeeehhhhh!!! Mike Adenugaaa!!!! Yeeeehhhhhh!!!!

Now I see why people speak of you with regard in this country. Yeehhhh!!!! Look at this big building!!!!

Jessuuss Chrisstt!!!!!!!!!! Mike Adenuga oooooo!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

I should not have smoked.

 

 

A Viscous Midnight on THC.