This is the morning of thirteenth February; I am sitting in the courtyard by my studio apartment, waiting for the sun to come out. It is 1.06 am. I have a few thoughts that may seem like ramblings, they probably are.
Yesterday, many things happened. Yesterday began sometime around 5.30 in the morning when I decided that I would go to the same church I went last week Sunday. It is a large church very close to where I live. It has more empty white plastic chairs than members and when I went there for the first time, what struck me the most was the fact that none of the members seemed to mind this sparseness. It is unlike the twenty first century church. When it was time to welcome new comers, they welcomed me and two other young men. At the close of church, they did not tell us ‘we hope to see you next week.’ or ‘please join us for our midweek services,’ they told us, ‘God bless you.’ I could have sworn that they were trying to get rid of us. It was strange and I was curious to know why they were so satisfied with being a church with so few members, so satisfied with all those empty white plastic chairs, it was that curiosity that led me back there yesterday. And it is that curiosity that would make me a permanent member if I am to stick around here much longer.
I don’t keep New Year resolutions because I am way too fickle for them. But the idea of resolutions at the start of each year does not seem like a bad one. I understand resolutions like: I want to read more books this year, I want to give to the less privileged this year, I want to listen to more music, I want to party harder. The ones I don’t get are the most common: I want to lose weight this year, I want to stop smoking or stop drinking, I want to become a new person. These are very complex things that cannot just start and stop by the push of a button, and you do not really need to wait for the first day of the year to attempt to begin to achieve them. In the last few years, instead of making resolutions, I have set one single goal for the year. Like last year, my goal was to read thirty five books. I achieved thirty five in November so I met my goal with one month to spare. The year before last, my goal was to get back to school and study Public Health. I got admitted in November, I met my goal with one month to spare. But the problem with setting a single goal for the whole year is this: What happens when you achieve your goal for the year in February? Maybe I should start setting New Year resolutions.
As far as I am concerned, one of my better stories was published on Bella Naija on the 23rd of December, 2014. It is called The Thing that Eats People Up. It is about a dead man’s side-chic. I was just reading it again and I realized (again) why I love it more than many of the stories I have written. I love The Thing that Eats People Up because of the character, Ade’s Wife. It took me close to five months to finish the story because of her. The whole idea for the story came while I was in NYSC camp in August, 2014 and I met a lady whose carriage was so sublime that it was difficult to contemplate life before or after her when she was in the same vicinity as you. I modelled Ade’s wife based on this lady – (still, she was cheated on – men are scum, yes?). I never saw the lady again after camp not because I did not want to, I wanted to, up till this moment, I want to. But there are thirsts are better left unquenched. On nights like these, when I await sunrise, I think of NYSC Camp at Kubwa and I think of The Thing that Eats People Up and inadvertently, I think of Ade’s wife.
It’s 3.08am. I am still waiting for the sun. Good morning, good afternoon or goodnight!