Thursday, 28 August 2008


I stood there knowing full well that I didn’t yet have the courage to go through with my decision. I was nervous. Maybe that was why my hands continued to register the sensation of a thousand tiny thorns prickling at once. Better than suffering from sweaty palms I thought.

I searched through my bag to find a metal object. I held on to it tightly and noticed that the feeling of ‘pins and needles’ slowly began to dissipate until it was no longer there. I said a silent prayer of thanks that a trick my housemistress taught me at only 10 years old still proved useful.

Still I had not mustered the nerve to go in. I had a couple of minutes to spare. As people moved around me, I raised my head to look beyond the sun-smacked parked cars and through the trees; I could see the aquamarine of the Atlantic. I wished I could just go to the beach front and relax with everybody else. It wasn’t an option today... well not at this particular time anyway. I was expected here and all I had to do was walk through the door. I felt betrayed by society… heck…wasn't it was social conditioning that was compelling me to do this instead of sticking to the old fashion methods?

Fuck it. It was not quite against my will... I had a choice.

I turned and opened the door. I took deep breaths to calm myself as I was led downstairs. In the small room, I was asked to take off my clothes. I stripped, from the waist down, to my underwear and then I lay down on my back.

I looked up for reassurance as I questioned how bad it would really be. The eyes that stared back at me were sympathetic. I was told that it affects people at different levels but the pain was a constant factor with all. Then I was asked how far I wanted to take this. All the way; no point doing things like this by halves. My response was greeted with a smile which I tried to return but in truth even the smallest ounce of courage still alluded me.

The hands reached for my legs and split them apart slowly. Then my knickers were pushed gently to one side. I was instructed to hold myself. I didn’t understand. Through a stifled laugh I was told that it would help with the pain I would experienced because it was my first time.

As I felt the warmth of the substance being spread on my inner thigh a soft moan escaped from my lips. It actually felt quite pleasant. I tried to hold on to that thought; pleasure. Then it started and the pain was excruciating. Wave after wave it hit me as I was stripped apart. It became an unbearable assault that caused tears to trickle down my face. Eventually, I lost myself to the pain as the world around me dimmed and went dark.

It was its repetition alone that flickered on the light and brought me back to reality; a distance sounding voice asking me again and again if I was ok.

I whimpered a barely audible confession that it had been hurting. Badly. I was told that I didn’t have to go all the way; this was a good point to stop. Really? I was reassured that I had been trying to be too brave as most people were not able to go through with it completely; not the first time in any case. To keep going would be foolish.

I sat up slowly still dazed and sore. As I put my clothes back on, I was told I needed to return in 4 to 6 weeks. Apparently the pain wouldn’t be as bad the second time round. Yeah right… who was trying to kid who now? I didn't know if I would come back but I knew I would never attempt to go all the way ever again. I knew my limit.

As I stepped outside, I still could not see distinctly despite the fact that it was a sunny afternoon. Now I understood what those poor cartoon characters were meant to have been feeling after they connected with a ‘POW’ and the stars circulated above their heads.

15 months later I recounted the experience to my good friend Jay.

Jay: What made you so confident you could do it?
Shubby Doo: Once I got there...there was no going back.
Jay: Was it worth it?
Shubby Doo: When I looked up and saw the smile on Spartan’s face… it sure was.
Jay: Women… you guys are too hardcore about these things sha.
Shubby Doo: It hurt o but it didn't kill me abi?... I guess it wasn’t that bad really. Hey, you should try it.
Jay: Ehnn… really?… what do you recommend?
Shubby Doo: Waxing? for a guy?… I think probably a ‘back, sack and crack’… hmmm… for you?… I dunno but I would love to be a fly on the wall if you ever do go sha because getting that bikini wax felt like torture the 1st time… not as much now sha… but mehnnn... I have nothing but respect for all those women that opt for a Brazilian or the full Hollywood ‘bald eagle’ look.

Jay smiled as he raised an eyebrow at me. Then he changed the subject.


Monday, 18 August 2008

crossroad blues

This post is dedicated to Naapali (doc since you say you have a compass and a map…I’d really like to know where you got those from so that I may source mine too and use them to avoid the hazards of the valleys).

Anyway… back to my post…

I will start with snowflakes… these are formed from tiny super-cooled cloud droplets as they freeze. Each one is approx 10μm (i.e. 10 microns) in diameter…delicate things don’t you think?… they have a geometry that is so intricate that each one is deemed unique… much like the human soul.

I have said before that within the House of Agbada Daggers I am Flying Snow (do you like the new profile pic btw?… I think it quite appropriate!)

Well sometimes I feel like a glacier formed from snow; a slow river of compacted ice made so because the years have forced so much air out of me. If that is truly the case then I hope I am like a tidewater glacier that flows back into the sea of life. However, I am scared that when I get there a piece of me will break off in the deep water and in doing so that iceberg might cause the water to explode upwards.

I came very close to exploding this weekend when somebody close to me lied to me. They looked into my eyes, then called God’s name and lied.

The lie could not hurt me but my heart bled for the one that he would keep hurting; as well as for the others that he would keep trying to hurt. That I cannot abide. To say my soul is not troubled about this… about what I am capable of doing to stop this… is untrue.

This weekend I realised that I was at a metaphorically juncture in my life because both the physical and abstract met. I saw the devil in his eyes and he offered me a deal but I refused to trade in my soul or theirs. He told me that he would release the pain I have carried for too long so that Flying Snow would not become as cold and hard as ice.

Good Shepherd with you there is no pain… whatever there is here in this life… is not everlasting… that comes after.

So knowing this to be true, how could I suddenly accept a deal with the devil to become the King of the Delta Blues?… I could not. I did not. I will not. What did I do?… I simply chose to sing my ordinary version of the crossroad blues. For now, that is the small thing that I can do to ward him off; in doing so I have committed my worries and fears to God.

So here I am… at an intersection of roads…is there a better way to say that?… hmmm… I think there is… I am at a crossroad in life and I want to continue and embark on my own path. In doing so I feel like I am betraying another because I know I must leave the old behind. Only then can I return to it; only then can I understand more about the beauty of ages.

Good Shepherd I am looking to you (as I have always have) to guide me on this path.

Besides… you know I hate the idea of a satellite navigation systems simply because someone once told me that ‘women can’t read maps’… I will not be beaten by that statement… yes, I admit that I have gotten lost plenty of times; within cities, en route to cities, en route in life. Mostly because I have not trusted myself. This lack of self belief somtimes causes me to take a left or right turn much too early when I should have just continued forward. Goodness me, I even remember my delight at actually being able to drive on my own only to find out that I had missed my exit at a roundabout and was already halfway to Liverpool instead of Manchester.

Good Shepherd I want you to know that I will not stop trying to master how to read that map.

I will continue trying to drive through life without the devil on my shoulder, whispering where to go to me or telling me when to change gears … so what if I failed my driving test two times before… I passed it the third time. So what if I crashed the company hire car into the car park gates as I tried to reverse out… I believe that that is what car insurance is for.

My soul is insured through you. I smile now as I remember crying late that night when I was driving. I had followed diversion upon diversion not really knowing where they were taking me. I had been on the road for nearly 8 hours. It was close to midnight. I was tired and lost…very certain I would drive into a ditch cloaked in darkness. I calmed myself down and prayed. I decided to risk it and take the next turning and suddenly I stumbled upon a hotel. They had no spare room but the lady at the desk called another hotel about 5 miles away and organised a room for me. There is where I laid my head to sleep that night. It was a peaceful sleep for I knew that:

‘... thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me...’ Psalm 23

I will continue my best on this path… Yes I know I drive a little too fast for your liking at times… darn, I even admit to taking part in those unofficial races on the motorway. Er… I guess I am also a little too impatient at other times… I have used the inside lane to undertake in the past and you've seen me overtake those slow moving tractors on narrow country lanes… and perhaps once or twice I have very stupidly tried to out manoeuvre another on a blind summit.

Good Shepherd thank you for always being there with me and stopping me from endangering others and myself.

I have discovered that it is important to pace myself… the key is to learn from my mistakes and grow into that which I know myself to be … as a result I am a better driver… my map reading is coming along too :-)

Good Shepherd I choose you. Always.


Monday, 11 August 2008

trick modes

Reverie: You are going to be in so much trouble you know.
Shubby Doo: Why?
Reverie: They already think something happened between us.
Shubby Doo: Why would they?
Reverie: That time you gave me a massage.
Shubby Doo: oh!

‘Rewind’ back to that Easter Sunday. Reverie had been in a playful mood at the beach. In the pool, I caught a glimpse of something moving in the corner of my right eye. I realised too late that it was him underwater as he grabbed my ankles and pulled me under.

When we both re-surfaced for air, he started pulling me by my waist towards the deep end. Now he wore a mischievous grin, in addition to his togs. I recognised this as my ‘cue so I threw my arms around his neck and held on to him too. I was amused… he had assumed wrongly that I couldn’t swim… hmmm… interesting!

Shubby Doo: What are you doing?
Reverie: Nothing.
Shubby Doo: I can swim you know.

As if to test me, he let go and swam away. I was tempted to feign panic… to start throwing my arms in the air… to start begging to be rescued. I didn’t. I was already aware of the crowd of people watching us. Instead I swam towards him smiling. As I got nearer, I reached out and started to take his face into my hands... for a caress perhaps. As he let his guard down, I jumped up and plunged his head under the water. Laughing, this time, I swam away.

Rosetta: What was that between you and Reverie in the pool?
Shubby Doo: He thought I couldn’t swim.
Rosetta: And?
Shubby Doo: And nothing.
Rosetta: Well it sure didn’t look like nothing to me and everybody else watching.

I ‘paused’ for thought at my words... had they been an ‘empty speech act’? Had I expressed something false? Granted, an underlying chemistry had always been there between us but neither Reverie or I had ever made it a big deal. We were family friends first. I tried to dismiss them but her words kept niggling at the back of my mind. I was now a little uncomfortable as I ‘re-played’ an earlier conversation in my head.

Reverie: Nope, I’m not taking you to the beach.
Shubby Doo: Please.
Reverie: Hmmm…ok but in exchange for a massage?
Shubby Doo: Fine.
Reverie: I’ll be there in 10mins. Be ready.

I hadn’t been serious when I had said yes but apparently he was. He made it quite clear that there was no way he was going to let me to renege on our deal.

From the beach we went to Churrascos with the others to grab a bite to eat and then it was back to his. After the Terminator 3 DVD finished I woke him up and asked him to take me back home. As he dropped me off he told me he’d be back to pick me up in 30mins; we were going clubbing. After that it was back to his again. We drank vodka shots, looked at his Christmas pictures and swapped stories. Finally, we went upstairs to his room. He took off his clothes and got on the bed, face down, in just his boxers. I straddled him, applied the oil and worked his body. It was just a back massage… honestly that's all… but I ended up spending the night there.

As if someone had suddenly pressed ‘play’, my mind jolted back to the present.

Shubby Doo: You told them nothing happened right?!
Reverie: Yep… but they don’t believe me.

I sighed. I wished I could ‘fast forward’ into the future again… I needed to know if the current premise of our relationship would always hold true. Was holding on to it ‘delusional’ or was it a ‘limiting belief’ which inhibited exploration? I remembered I was the child of a dream’ which had revealed Reverie... but now I was no longer sure which of two ‘modifiers’ accompanied its inevitability... was it scepticism or gullibility?

I made up my mind there and then to ‘practice believing’; to ‘exercise faith’. However, in the car, I stayed silent in my resolve.

It was now after 6am on New Years Day and Reverie was driving me back home. To his.


Monday, 4 August 2008

redemption song

I was thinking about Bob Marley’s Redemption Song all weekend, this part in particular:

‘…But my hand was made strong, By the ‘and of the Almighty.
We forward in this generation, Triumphantly.
Won't you help to sing, These songs of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have: Redemption songs;

Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
'Cause none of them can stop the time…’

The song reminds me of an altercation I had with an armed officer this year who thought I was ‘a nobody’ and didn’t know that:
· I am not afraid of trained officers holding guns because my father was in the Air Force.
· I wasn’t going to stand for his small mindedness or his patronizing and covertly racists remarks.
· My hand was made strong by the hand of the Almighty.

I am going to call him PC Plod (which is an big insult to Enid Blyton’s character... so I'm taking a moment here to apologise to the author... the PC Plod in this post bears no resemblance at all to hers).

PC Plod saw me and wrongly thought me to be ‘Noddy’; however, he failed to understand that ‘Noddy’ got into trouble because he never knew how ‘Toyland’ worked.

I do.

Below are various excerpts from a letter I wrote to his office and the regulators of his office. I confess that I've had to edit it quite heavily (it was over 4 pages long...); however, I've tried my best to make it read as a whole here.

At 8:19am …I left my car and started to exit the car park on foot. I saw I was being approached by a member of the constabulary from the gate. I now know this to be PC Plod. I stopped to listen to what he had to say.

He informed me that the speed at which I had come around the bend was a cause of concern. He said that seeing a car approaching at that speed automatically put the constabulary at the gates on their guard. I said I... acknowledged what he was saying and... would take his advice on board. He proceeded to point to where my car had been moving at speed when it had startled the constabulary. At this point I corrected him. I said that I had not been speeding because I was driving at about 30mph. He agreed.

He chose to repeat his statement and I chose to repeat mine; I had not been speeding. I decided to walk away and avoid an argument when I realised that neither of us would relent; however, I only headed towards my office building after I acknowledging his concerns again and thanking him for bringing it to my attention.

At approximately 10:00 my Company Director… came to tell me that I had visitors…two ‘armed policemen’… wanted to see me. I asked if he would accompany me and sit in on the conversation because I wanted a credible witness to what was to take place. He agreed.

As there were four people in the room I will only continue to highlight parts of the discussion that I believe were important.

I find it disturbing that after my Director mentioned that I had worked on a secure site, the conversation moved away from the incident that morning and centred on what I believe to be the PC Plod’s unjust and scornful ‘perception’ of my attitude.

I am a professional at work...I take serious offence to somebody saying they think that I have a
‘just got out of bed’, and ‘could not be bothered’ attitude. That comment made by PC Plod is unfounded and I take it to be real slight on my character... For the record I wanted it noted that the day before the incident, I had just been told that a close family relation had died... This was on my mind the morning I was approached by PC Plod. I have a text message I sent and phone records to family members in London and Nigeria to prove this fact.

PC Plod said I... walked away while he was talking to me
‘with a talk to the hand’ attitude. Please note he said this twice. At both times I said I took offence to that particular statement because I had never actually said those words and asked him what he meant by that. He did not answer... I never raised my hand at PC Plod or gestured inappropriately to PC Plod at anytime when he had approached me as I left the car park or entered the office building.

I do not feel it was correct for PC Plod to put me under additional duress at my workplace by saying things about me that are disparate to the initial incident that had cause him to approach me in the morning. Comments such as ‘just getting out of bed’, ‘not being bothered’ or my so called ‘talk to the hand’ attitudes are condescending, out of context and have not place in the discussion.

As long as I do not pose a danger to the public... I believe I should be able to drive to and from work with peace of mind. I do not want to feel that I am being targeted or harassed unjustly for correcting a member of the constabulary about the fact that I was not speeding if I felt he kept implying that I had been. I chose to walk away from him after I had agreed to take note of his point several times to avoid a heated altercation. The way I was driving...was not illegal or dangerous.

I want to make clear that if the speed limit approaching the gate is changed to 10mph, I would adjust my speed accordingly and drive at 10mph. As... stated several times, I have taken aboard the concerns of the constabulary at the gate because I also want to avoid any possibility of an accidental discharge of firearms aimed at a vehicle that I (or any law abiding citizen) is driving.

I got a 2 page letter in response with an apology.


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