Fiction

ONE DAY…

BAD ABG...Cockroach comedy

One day, you shall be an old person. An ancient human being with a back bent from severe arthritis. You will be hard of both hearing and sight, as most ninety year olds normally are. Anything more than three feet away from you will appear as a shadowy haze. Anything more than two metres away will be invisible, the scales in your eyes having rendered it so. Your eighteen year old grandson will have to shout a statement several times into your ear for you to get what he is saying (that’s if you are lucky enough to have gotten married early). Even then, it will be shouted only into the right ear, for the left would have completely died by then.

You will have only your incisors left in your mouth, the joys of eating “Goat meat or Isi ewu” as it’s called, will be gone, having been extinguished by your losing your canines roughly say like ten years earlier. You will only have the pleasures of still been able to take fresh fish pepper soup and whatever they make with it at that time.

You will be living alone in your house, save for your eleven year old dog(That’s around a million in dog years), if you even decided to have one earlier, you know Nigerians can be a bit funny about pets and your man/Woman-servant (I’ve always wanted to use that word), who will be completing his/her thirty-second year of service to you (That is if you have money to pay for the services or if your grown up kids are extremely nice to afford you one).

He/she will be called Itseme, not because an angel revealed that name to his/her mother, but because the mother’s first boyfriend was called Itseme, though she had lied to her husband that she had gotten the name from the Bible. Your dog will simply be called “Captain”, as your mind will be too tired to name it properly and also because it refused to respond when you called it “Malcolm”. Arrogant dog that.

You will be living in a duplex or maybe a mansion (if you had a lot of money back in your days to build one) somewhere on the Island. Somewhere far enough from town as to provide a delusion of peace and tranquillity, but at the same time close enough that you do not feel out of the loop. You are an urbane, old person, so there is no way you are going to punish yourself to the boring rigidness of rural life. Most of your friends will have been long dead by then. The few that remain will either be comatose in an ICU somewhere or too loopy for you to have a decent conversation with.

Your sole companion, apart from your dog, Captain, shall be your man/woman-servant (That word again) Itseme. Sometimes you will forget the story of his/her mother’s first boyfriend and call him/her “Ogbeni” instead. This is because, in your head, you will deem it unfair that you have never known anybody called OGBENI but have an uncle, a son, a grandson and a great-grandson all called Itseme. 4 Itseme’s’ in your direct line; 3 sired from your loins. Now, your man/woman-servant.

Haha! No, the bastard shall be called “Ogbeni”. Maybe the dog should be called Itseme…

Ogbeni (the one formerly known as Itseme) will cook all your meals for you. Your diet shall consist of mashed foods, Wheetabix, Cerelac and Golden Morn (that’s if they still exist by then); because that is the only thing the mouths of toothless bastards can muster.

Ogbeni will also be in charge of your hygiene (Read that he/she will bathe you.) You will be vexed that a fellow (wo)man has to wash you, and will once in a while stubbornly insist on showering by yourself. Only when you are slumped on the clod bathroom tiles after your legs have given up on you, will you then call Ogbeni for help. Ogbeni will refuse to come saying that that is not his/her name. You will be forced to call the bastard Itseme, and instead of the man/woman-servant coming, your grandson called Itseme will come running, see you on the floor and then run back to tell his father, also called Itseme, that he has seen Granny’s Pee Pee Thing.

Once in your while, your grand-kids will ask you to tell them how life was like in the early part of the 21st century. You will regale them with stories of your early years; you’ll tell them all about whatsapp, bbm, Instagram and Facebook. You will tell them how everybody with a phone/tab and an internet access had a blog. They will look at you with shock, wonder and ask you what a phone/tab is. You will shake your head and pray to God to take you away because you would have been tired of everything new.

By that time, you will be an old respected citizen of Nigeria and you will feel like “Ken Saro-Wiwa” felt in his days. You will be one of those rare people who existed when Justin Bieber & Wole Soyinka was still alive. By that time, Bieber will have been dead for 50 years, having died of a drug overdose, as every other person in his type of business does and Wole Soyinka will have died even before you became 50 out of a severe heart attack. Fortunately, he will have a statue to himself placed somewhere at the outskirts of Lagos and a plaque of him in every theatrical house in Nigeria.

There will be a new type of music people will be dancing to, a music genre which you cannot fathom, with artistes bearing names such as Abu the Cockroach and Ekuns the pregnant Butterfly. Some sort of translating device will have been invented, and people will stick mini versions of it in their ears at night, so as to have those pristine night-time conversations with mosquitoes and all sorts of squirming, frillings insects.

You will stay in your house all day long, because the environment outside would be too harsh for you to bear. There will be flying cars all over, which at the press of a button, turn into easily portable briefcases. People will communicate with their minds, because some sort of thought transmitter will have been created. You will be an old fogey, or as is called in our times, an analog bastard.

You will reminisce about your earlier life when you could eat Goat meat/Isi ewu, because all of your teeth were still intact. You will remember the drinking binges of “Alomo bitters & Origin”(which will no longer exist at this time) when you were in the University campus, when you got hang-over for days on end. You will remember Walter, Ama, Nnamdi and Tuoyo, your drinking buddy, those people who could drink a whole bar by themselves. You will start to take out your phone to call them, but then remember that phones no longer exist, and that they are already dead anyway. Walter died of liver cirrhosis in his late fifties, Ama had Alzheimer and got hit by a moving car, Nnamdi had died on a plane coming back from Tokyo and Tuoyo, you remember the last time had Cancer and was supposed to die a while back but because you couldn’t keep in touch, you don’t know much about her life anymore.

You will remember Anita or maybe Michael (if you are female), hot Anita/sexy Michael; the one who made your blood boil like mad in your youth. The first girl/boy you ever truly loved. The girl in the yellow umbrella, the boy in the gorgeous three-piece suit. Yes, that one. You will start crying because his/her funeral was five years ago and also because your eldest grand-kid looks so much like that person.

Captain will come into your room and find you crying. She will climb up onto your shoulders and start licking you. You will be comforted, but only for a bit, because you will realize that dog is very old in dog years, and will die very soon. Your great-granddaughter will come suddenly into the room to show you a ladybug she caught outside.

“Look at it, it’s so pretty.” she’ll say

You will see her lips moving and smile sheepishly at her. She will flash a pretty smile at you, oblivious of the fact that her great granny is ninety years old and cannot hear what she has said.

By this time the sun will be setting. The sun’s rays will cast their shine over the hills in the horizon, lingering, almost daring you to believe that it will stay. The whole place will be a pale red, as the sun casts its last gaze over the land. Captain will still be perched on your shoulder. Your great-granddaughter will still be showcasing the wonders of the ladybird to you. You will think that now the time is ripe for you to pen your memoirs, write about your childhood, your friends, your life. You will lie grossly about events as the people who would have called out your falsehoods are all dead. You will start crying again at this thought. Captain will lick you as she wag her tail.

One day you will write about this place and time.

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14 thoughts on “ONE DAY…”

  1. Too good, only I had to drink a bar and die from cancer…. Dee u make old age feel lonely… my grandma is 91, she’s not deaf yet but she can barely see… she still has nice jibes and a lot of sarcasm too. If you want to win an argument you had better have her on your side. She barely speaks English (she invents new words all the time, merry new year and same happy are festive greetings) and thinks we are spoilt for not knowing urhobo. She doesn’t feel left behind with all dem technology and insists on having her own cell even if it’s always downside up and she feels the need to scream your ears off… Am a bit concerned about not having friends my own age though… that’s why I am happy I have your promise to chill with me when we are old and ready to share something as intimate as toothless grins.

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  2. I think you’re doing well as a writer doing some futuristic write up. And I believe your prose is good. However, I feel your writing contains connotations which sometimes tend to vulgarity. E. g. where you referred to the an aged person as a “toothless bastard”. I don’t think there’s any need and such terms like “bastard” also make your writing seem overly americanized which tends to being plastic.
    Writing as much as it entertains also has a moral, what’s yours?
    OK, I believe like most of the others that old age won’t be this lonely & sickly for us.

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    1. Thanks Mona…I however don’t think using Bastard is making my work Americanalized. Fortunately, I agree with you that writing as it entertains does have morals. I’ll refrain from vugalrity in the future, thanks a lot.

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