Here is a trio of scribbles that the Universe has managed to trigger in the past 2 days.
Monday morning, I’m on a train, heading to my chemistry exam. I’m reading Americanah (I have around 100 pages left) because who studies an hour before an exam and this man (it’s always a man) is sitting opposite me. Nothing dodgy, nothing obscene about a man sitting opposite me, it is how it is. 10 minutes in, his legs are about 10cm apart. A bit wide but hey, I continue reading. Another 10 minutes, I glance up and he might as well be doing gymnastic practice across two seats, his legs are that widely splayed. You may or may not have seen my tweets about it. Here’s one:
It was so disturbing, I gave him the screw-face of life and that still didn’t stop him. What made it even weirder was the fact that he wasn’t channelling pervert pheromones; he was just on the train. I don’t even think he was aware of what he was doing but still, who the hell does that? No pair of ballsacks is that big, I don’t care. The only reasonable excuse would be if he had the clap or elephantitis (Google it at your own peril). I was almost tempted to mimic him. I read somewhere that when men do that, the splaying of the legs, it’s to demonstrate dominance and when they notice someone else doing it, it creates this sense of defeat; of them becoming the beta male.
I should have done it, shouldn’t I? There’s always next time.
I was in the hair salon on Tuesday. I had been waiting for 2 hours (standard), I was hungry, I was kind of tired and finally, I was beckoned to have my hair done. The stylist was African, obviously, but not Nigerian. I have no clue where she was from but her English wasn’t the best. She starts sectioning my hair so she can start the cornrows and suddenly she looks at me bewilderedly through the mirror. For a second, I think she’s going to tell me I have a bald spot or something, her expression is so grave. Then, she clucks her tongue in that disapproving way every African knows, parts away my front baby hairs from the rest and dismissively says “your hair not grow.” I know my front hair is shit, years of tight braids have wrecked it, it refuses to grow more than 2 inches unlike the rest of my hair even though I nourish it as if it were a human being. Still, her saying that almost pushed me to tears, right in the middle of a packed out hair salon. I had to blink at the speed of a hummingbird’s wings in flight to stop myself from blubbering in front of this woman and a room full of other people whose heads and ears were also at the mercy of these stylists. She didn’t notice and she continued braiding and I started typing this because there’s nothing like immediate emotion to spark sincere creativity.
Despite me knowing my hair is a problem and a half, her words still hurt, I don’t know why, even though she was just stating a fact. Maybe it hurt because I didn’t know her so having a stranger validate what I already know just made the situation even worse internally. I should be a psychologist, no? A part of me knows I should just cut it all off but I don’t have the balls. I would rather stuff my hair into braids or entangle it in weave than leave it out. I’m not bald, my hair isn’t obscene, I just don’t like it. It’s too short to do anything with, it’s just about shoulder length. I would post a picture to go with what I’m saying but
1) The only picture I have on my phone with my hair out, I look like roadkill in it. I am not plastering it on the internet, hello.
2) I ain’t got nothing to prove, yo.
Another unarmed African-American man has been killed by the very people who are paid to protect him, an earthquake has killed over 5000 people in Nepal and the Chibok girls amongst many others have possibly been found. Even though there are so many things happening around you and to your fellow citizens of the Earth, do you ever feel useless, in that you can’t actually do anything to alleviate anything that’s happening because a single you just isn’t enough? If I stopped everything and cloned myself so I was a part of the protests in Baltimore, helping out in Nepal somehow, being with the girls who have just been rescued, what does that really do for anyone? I can’t singlehandedly do anything to help anything, not even my own damn hair. It’s all just sad and if an existential moment like the one I seem to be having right now doesn’t make you feel puny, doesn’t make you feel the smallness of being one out of seven billion (and counting) human beings, I don’t know what will. What I need is an intervention, so it seems.
Song of the Week (thanks to my new friend, you know who you are. I didn’t know Nigeria had music like this to offer, it’s not all afrobeats after all.)
And, this gem here:
It’s my birthday next week Wednesday. I expect cake from all of you.
See you on the other side,