Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hips Don't Lie and Other Stories

Sometimes in conversations, I remember totally unrelated stuff. This particular recollection is from the days of rage.

Sometime in my past, I met this young woman, who was 25 then. She was a virgin, she said, and I asked her how she'd managed that. She wasn't sure herself, through grace or something, she said. but I respected her discipline or whatever had kept her going.

One day, after a long 'friendship' that lasted more than a year, she called me to offer her honour and I ...em ...honoured her offer. That night, we stayed up offering and honouring but I knew she had lied even though she repeatedly pretended pain. (The more sensitive readers should forgive the graphics here. I'm bleeping as much as I can but please read on. There's a lesson to this story)

The next day, she went her way but sent messages to me that made it appear as if I now held a special place in her heart for all time and me thinking of leaving her would amount to first degree murder.

So I sent a message saying, I was really sorry, but I knew there had been someone in occupation before. A kinder man might have kept mute but I hate injustice of all sorts (I think) and I couldn't bear to think that this young woman would go through life thinking

1) She had fooled me

2) I was stupid

3) Life was full of stupid people
.

She didn't reply my message or contact me for many months until one morning my phone rang. It was her.

HER: How are you?

ME: I'm ok

HER: Are you sure?

ME: 'cos I'm sure, what's wrong?

HER: Well, I've been dreaming about you. Every Night.

ME: Yes?

HER: Really bad dreams. Something seriously evil happened to you

ME: What kind?

HER: Don't worry about that. Are you sure you're ok, though?

ME: (Light dawning) Yeah, I'm fine.

HER: (Reluctantly) ok, bye.

ME: Bye.

An undeveloped mind thinking she could stampede me into fear? a re-union? I never told her that having a relationship with a virgin was a condition for a relationship. It was her idea. Unfortunately, her infrastructure couldn't handle her claims. And that bit about me being the victim in her dreams? What a load of rubbish. Does she know how many people spend their nights baying at the moon because of me? Not that I was bad like that but...

But into the now and the lesson in this recollected story- Never lay claims to being what you're not. We must remember the latin maxim- Nemo dat quod non habet- A man cannot/does not have the right to (or a woman in this case) give what he does not have.


THE OLD WOMAN AND THE BROOM

One night at about 10pm, and as I drove on the outskirts of Lagos with a female passenger, my car passed a man walking fast in the darkness and holding what seemed to be a cutlass. Just in front of him, a few metres down, there was an old woman holding a plastic bag and walking very fast too. It was dark at this point in the road, a turn that had only bushes on either side. I slowed down by the woman, at leat 70 years old, keeping a sharp lookout for the man who had been following. He disappeared into the bush the moment my car rolled to a halt, engine running.

So I called out in vernacular to this elderly woman whom I could now see was half crazed with fear, "Mama, what are you doing on this deserted road?". She was afraid to come near me but soon partly overcame her fear and approached the car. Mama, I asked again, do you know the man that was following you?

And then it came out in a rush. She had been coming from Ibadan, her son's home where she had been holidaying and when she got to the expressway by the airport, she saw there were no buses and decided to walk further away from the waiting crowd to another bus-stop where buses might be easy. The man had followed and when they'd gotten to a deserted place had started yelling from behind, "fi 'le", or drop it. This was in relation to the platic bag she was carrying which contained only a broom and N70. Mama had not let go of the 'worthless' bag but had kept walking, half-stumbling.

At this point, my own hackles up, I asked her to get into the car, but her fear, now of me, returned. I spoke harshly, "Mama, if you don't get into the car, I will leave you here." I could already imagine the would-be assailant moving through the bushes to cut me, Super Man, off and deal me a kryptonite blow on the neck with his machete.

My tone jolted her into the car and we took off. She was staying with another son in a remote part of Lagos and knowing his family would have been worrying about her, had decided to start walking towards the general direction of home and until she could get a bus. When I stopped in civilization, she knelt by the car and prayed for me by the roadside. Prayers like that still act as a barrier against those who curse at the stars when they recollect my name.


PAPA, MAMA AND THE FIRE

I was driving on the 3rd Mainland Bridge with little traffic one quiet Sunday, with my friend, Wale, who was half asleep beside me when we saw a car (an old 504) with fire running along its fuselage underneath where it was parked. There was an elderly couple well into their sixties standing behind it, the female helpless and the old man futilely throwing handfuls of sand underneath the car. We stopped just ahead of them and raced back on foot as other cars numbering about 9 or 10 stopped, people hurtling out and racing towards the burning car.

With one mind, we raised the car on its side and began to try to quench the fire, clothes were used to beat it, people had kegs of water in their trunks and one man actually had a mix of soapy water (his own fire extinguisher).

The fire died and there was silence on that bridge. That day, I saw humanity stand to defend one of its own against the elements and I understood the purpose that has brought us all here. Unity. Rising above pettiness. Above inconsequential differences.

25 comments:

Idemili said...

Does she know how many people spend nights baying at the moon because of you?

I don't like that statement. It doesn't matter that you tried to assuage it with 'Not that I was bad like that', the truth is, it sounds like you're proud of the various, many 'bad things' which you have done to make said people 'bay at the moon'.

Also, may I inquire how 'EXACTLY' you knew she was not a virgin? Hmmmm?

Idemili said...

'Prayers like that still work against those who curse at the stars when they recollect my name'?

Ok, Laspapi, what is going on? Something seems coded in your posts and I feels like I am being flung about by the wind...

Idemili said...

Ok, 'Inconsequential things, pettiness' whodunit? Who are you talking to?

Feel free not to publish if you think I'm being a troublemaker/nosy parker.

Isi said...

laspapi, i haven't seen u around in a while. na work? oya come and say hello jare!
meanwhile let me go and read this one... we'll be back!

Black Man Comes said...

"offer her honour "

I like that description. Walahi, you are the master of imagery and words. and why do women lie about the V thing. i like that u confronted her. good man. na so one girl too hala to ease like ur girl here. kai... i was just thinking to myself, who is the last mugu.

i should start updating my blog, but inspiration comes to me at night when i am too sleepy and dreamy. help.

Black Man Comes said...

in addition, omo u are patient o. one whole year? Tru playa for life...

Mamarita said...

I like your honesty, personally I think people shouldn’t disclose their virginity, if am not going to go undercovers with you, you either leave or stay, its my choice, my body and if I offer it to you and you figure out that you have been “gifted” take it whatever way you will…The whole virginity thing is just so over rated…BLA!

Its good to know there are still good people out there, I remember those trips to my home town we’d see accidents on the Lagos – Ibadan express and people stopping to help move the casualites to hospitals….

“I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers”.

rethots said...

...naturally, i get it not why many think 'virginity' increases a person's value.
...in as much as life might seem tough (and people seem most terrible) out there, a few good men still abound (in great numbers).

For the love of me said...

This post aroused the feminist in me. You respected a woman cos she had kept her virginity and yet you agreed to disrespect her by taking it. I would have thought that being that you respected the virginity in her or of her,(didnt know the right way to put it) you would not have attempted to take it from her even if it were offered to you on a platter of gold.You guys never cease to amaze me.You think its great that a gal's a virgin and yet you waste no time in disvirgining one if she comes your way.Interesting.

Ifeanyi Dibia said...

wow! hips dont lie and other stories... chronicles of las-gi-di! am loving it.

CATWALQ a.k.a LAGBA-JESS said...

Okay,so u must know that I love the way you write.

The hips: I think the cliche is that a virgin will be squealing her first time. For many yes. for some no. If she was athletic or overly active or using tampons instead of pads, she would have had nothing to squeal about.
Plus, where do you pick up these females sef?

Old woman and Bush Machete: Men, u were brave

Bridge Humanity: Sometimes we remember that we are all soul and need each other to get to where we need to go.

~Mimi~ said...

awwwwww i really liked the end of the last story... very heart wrenching.

Tinuke said...

The mistake that some girls make is believing that it is a man's place to justify their existence. When you do something hoping to get something in return, more often than not this leads to disappointment.

Even if she had been a virgin, by offering you (for the sake of consistency) her virginity in such a manner she was projecting messiah like qualities unto you.

If you sell sex, and when you offer your body to a man hoping for anything, even if it is emotional gratification, that's what you are doing, selling sex, Then how dare you turn around and play victim when the price he pays for your services falls short of your expectations.

Okay, I'll stop venting now.

Kpakpando said...

As someone who was told she was lying the first time I did have sex, I am more than mildly irritated at your first story. He said, I didn't bleed, plus I knew how to move too well. What a jack ass. You fall into the same category as him.

Lola said...

sorry laspipi, but don't be so quick to judge this lady harshly o! it is very much possible for a woman to be a virgin even without the presence of hymen. it is well documented that active, energetic, sporty young women can loose their hymen at a young age. there are even a few more instances where the hymen is not present so she still could have been telling the truth.

AND.......as weird as it sounds enh?, i have those kinds of dreams too. Randomly. And the way I usually deal with it is exactly how this lady did. I'll call the person, tell them to make sure they remain prayerful and call it a day. Example, i had a dream once where i was reading the guardian and saw the obituary of a friend of mine, his fiancee, and his soon to be brother in law, and the thing said they had died in a car accident on the road. That kind of thing is very scary and you just can't keep it to yourself. so i called him and told him and he was like, ok, that they, 3 of them, where supposed to be heading to ibadan that weekend. This guy was an ex of mine and i'd hate to think he was there thinking that that was my last ditch effort to get him back.
It wasn't.

these things are possible o!

Mona said...

ONE WORD: WOW!

Nyemoni said...

I've been away for too long.....now I have to catch up on older posts! LOL at honouring the offer and offering her honour...too funny!

rethots said...

Hmmm..... why do people think 'virginity' makes others see them as having 'great' qualities?
No matter how bad the situation in the country is, or appalling people would rather paint the country; believe it, there still abound a few good men.

laspapi said...

@ idemili- didn't publish your comments early because I didn't want them to guide the discourse.

I don't stand proud of the 'bad things' I have done in my wanderings over the years where I have actually done them. It would take a really crass soul to be like that. Where I haven't done anything, who gives a hoot?

I knew the girl in issue wasn't what she claimed to be, she tried too hard to play the part.

There's no code in the things I have written. All who've lived eventful lives have people like this. Its not directed at anyone.

@ isi- I'll come soon, how are you doing?

@ blackman - you're a man, you see the point. I had to confront her. If she hadn't gone all coy on me, I'd have left her in her self-delusion. The prissiness that followed offended my sensibilities.

@ for the love of me- I salute your feminism but we must get this straight. Even though I respected her for "keeping" it, I didn't disrespect her for giving it. She had nothing to give, that was the point, and she tried to create a national holiday out of an event that never was. I refused.

@ mamarita- thank you, m'rita. I found it annoying that this person not only felt she had deceived me but had also succeeded in doing so to herself.

@ rethots- I have never been of the frame of mind that virginity increases a girl's value. This girl built her character on that premise.

@ ifeanyi- thanks, glad you liked it.

@ catwalq- I just chose that title, catty, I wasn't expecting her to squeal, scream or to display a white bedsheet as proof after. The nonsense she did annoyed me.

@ mimi- thank you, ~idol~. Are you settled at the new place now?

@ tinuke- I don't know why she did that. I didn't put pressure on her throughout our friendship. Anyman who's ever been with a virgin knows the experience is often a very exasperating one. I do not crave nor desire the experience. My wahala was a refusal to have her going through the rest of her life claiming, if only to herself, I was responsible.

@ kpakpando- much as I think you're a great person, I also think you're transferring aggression here. Elementary science tells us there need not be blood. As to moving, some are just natural. I'll be graphic- she acted as if she was undergoing the pain of child labour. It had nothing to do with what you stated.

I must decline the honour of being placed in that gentleman's category.

@ lola- even without being obsessed by the female anatomy, most men know horse-riding, rigorous exercise etc can rupture the hymen.
As for that 'dream', she had the courage to call, but not to tell me what it was about? I know this girl, and there are certain aspects of her personality and demeanour I cannot find words for but which point out that I'm correct.

@ mona- I agree.

@ nyemoni- I'd wondered for a long while where you were. How've you been?

Sherri said...

papi,
are u ok?

laspapi said...

I'm ok, sherri. You?

Kpakpando said...

Maybe she was "going through labor pains" because she was actually in pain. Either way, unless you saw previously having relations, you really don't know whether or not she wasor wasn't a virgin. Your comments (to her) and reaction was insensitive to say the least.
Don't see aggression where there isn't any.

Prousette said...

I could not help smiling at the supposed virgin's story.
Desperate times called for really desperate measures indeed.

No, I do not think what she did was right but I would understand where she is coming from. Adding value where there was none before advertisers do it all the time;)

Babawilly said...

This poor girl is a victim of circumstance. She thought she could impress with a lie and it worked for a year. That happens everyday. Trying to impress with 'add ons' eg Toronto certificates.
Perhaps she was motivated by love. One should be flatterred if another human being is so desperate for you that they like. It is cute in a round about way. If the babe didn't car, sh would not even make the effort. Poor girl

pamelastitch said...

hmmm...

there was no need to tell her all that...na wetin??