I have had my bath four times today, and I am still counting. No thanks to my hostelmates who, aware of other beautiful birthday gifts like sparkling silver wristwatch and smart leather shoes, have elected that the best means to convey their goodwill messages is to bathe me with stinking, filthy water, palm oil and other putrid substances that shrink the integrity of man to name. But I am not complaining. It is after all only once in a year that they have the liberty to commit such atrocities against my body. Even then, I have marked the faces of some of them who trespassed the limits of decorum. A good turn deserves another; I shall be wonderful to them on the day of reckoning- their birthdays. Hihihihi. Anyway, that’s on a lighter mood. It was fun.
Today is the 12th day of June, and I am 19 years old today. As much as I would have loved to give you an overview of my personality, my likes, dislikes and other intriguing info about the celebrant- the custom on people’s birthdays- permit me to disappoint you for once. I am not going to lucidly state anything about my person. Nevertheless, to be fair, how about an intellectual game? Tucked away in this post are some of the nuggets of information you seek. Let’s see how many of them you’d be eagle-eyed enough to deduce.
Few days ago, I resigned voluntarily from a writing contract. The contract had lasted for months and had brought in enough money to make me abandon my parents’ monthly allowance in my bank account. Why? Oh well, other reasons abound, but I shall share one with you: I resigned because I wanted to channel the time I was using to execute that assignment into a personal project. I knew I was going to be 19 years old in a number of days, so I sat down and thought of an awesome way to mark the end of my eighteenth year in life. The outcome of that critical contemplation was to strike out one of my sources of income- and so I did. It might be considered as a crazy decision, but these days, none of my decisions seems to be sensible to the common man. In essence, that decision was a signal to my lazy brains never to be complacent with the status quo, a signal to forego the comfort of the present and work out something better.
Yesterday, it clocked a whole year since I tasted any juice, softdrink or alcohol. I have taken only water and fruits over the past 12 months, and it has been a fascinating experience. Ah, the temptations were strong, believe me. I found it quite curious that it was when I purposed to deny myself of these pleasurable drinks that people remembered to bless me with varieties of them. I rejected as many as were polite to turn down, gave out as many as I couldn’t reject without giving an offence, and sold out as many as I felt too stingy to give out. At many social occasions that I graced- and I attended so many in the last one year that the number would exceed that of my first seventeen years put together- while people drank Fanta and Viju and Ciroc and Don Simon and Fayrouz and whatnot, I had a bottle or sachet of water awkwardly positioned before me, an oddity, the object of query and disdain. Some might think this was done just for the health benefits, but it would interest them to know I learnt the very height of self-discipline, tenacity and the formidable power of determination from this supposedly stupid conviction. Now, I almost do not know what other drinks taste like, but I know the taste of water: It is sweet.
The last one year of my life was cool. I made many quizzical decisions like those stated above. I have become better because of some, and worse for others. In the course of that year, I started a blog, changed my institution, read books that changed my perspectives of life, wrote definitive exams, dived into uncharted waters, churned out creative pieces, received adequate rejection slips, made great acquaintances, joined distinguished non-governmental organisations, had a taste of love and, chief of all, discovered myself like never before, among others. What did I miss?
I would never be able to thank you enough- those who posted on my wall, sent private messages, wrote electric poems, gave mouthwatering presents, sang me songs, called to show love and, of course, those who bathed me with … I love you all.
The fun continues 7.00pm tonight.
Lest I forget, a pretty lady presented me an assortment of fruits today, and a bunch of fresh banana was part of it. Only the Spirit could have revealed this to her. Now, this is how I know those who will make Heaven.