Wednesday, February 13, 2008

When Old Sins Have Long Shadows

I was 'friends' with an undergrad when I was studying for a post-grad degree. I'd go to her room and sometimes meet her room-mate, older than her and her senior at the faculty. Years later, while driving, I saw this room-mate at a bus-stop. 'Old friend', I thought, first waving and then stopping the car to say hi, maybe give a ride. She had been standing talking to someone. I'd noticed an odd look on her face as my car slowed and she'd given a tentative wave back, the kind you keep for nuisances, (You all know that look), but I'd refused to accept it was for me.

So I stopped car, and looked for her. She'd disappeared, companion and all, and she didn't get on a bus or public transport, just 'vanished, transported, utterly transmuted' (courtesy- The politician in The Trials Of Brother Jero). Apparently, she didn't need a ride. My enthusiasm on meeting her had been based on my relationship with the ex, an old favourite, and the fact that she herself had been a friend of sorts then, certainly not someone you'd see later, who'd do a runner upon seeing you.

Apparently, she had no need to re-aquaint herself and I went my way. Fast-forward a few more years. Phone rings and laspapi picks up. It's a female voice saying "I'm from Aunt so & so, (a juggernaut and person of influence in the industry laspapi plays in). She says you're organizing "A Season Of Soyinka" and that I might be of use to you in so & so area". I say, "ok, come in to see me".

She does so the next day and it's the bus-stop girl. I tell her, 'I know you'. She feigns ignorance. 'You do?'. So I go through the charade of telling her who her roomie was and she recollects. "Oh, oh, oh, so very very good to see you"

laspapi: yeah, me too. I stopped to say hello to you at a bus-stop once and you took off

b-s.g: Me?

laspapi: yeah

b-s.g: something must have happened

laspapi: (thinking to self) yeah, the rapture. However, the angel took one look at your face on his way up and lost his grip

b-s.g: I hope the way I behaved won't affect my chances

laspapi: nah, nah. I'll call you if I need you.

(I lied)

The following year, my phone rings again.

b-s.g: it's me, again

laspapi: yeah?

b.s-g: I hear you're directing the monologues. I can be of help.

laspapi: sorry.

So now it's getting to be a pattern. I differ from her, slightly, here. If I do not like you, I will not try to work/play with you.

However, I'm wondering how many things have passed me by because of some wrong whether real or imagined, I might have done someone else eons ago; how many things, big or small, are hinged on an impression, a rash word, a hasty reaction...Old sins have long shadows.

laspapi's philosophy- as much as possible, live peaceably with all men.

Still, this is for those I haven't paid back yet. I'm gonna get you.

If you want to preach at me, go write your own post.


dScR?Be said...

LMAO!!! Eyah... but u shud forgive oh, lol (c who's talking, lmao)

Wow... I wonder why she disappeared like that? wow... this is really funny oh.. and true...

We pray for God's mercy! lmao... i pray 2 NEVER offend u.. lol


Black Man Comes said...

Old sins have long shadows in deed. But then, its funny how we are been paid for what we did not know we did or dindt do at all. and dont go paying nayone back o. only laspapi sha.

Sherri said...

are u ok?
abeg, leave the past in the past and look ahead.

happy vals day.

Mamarita said...

I totally agree with you, I personally finding out that you were you, would have carried my leg and waka pass, if I've been rude to someone in the past, my "pride" won't allow me to ask them for a favour no matter how "huge" the favor is.
There are just some wrongs that you should never hope to right, and yeah thats like one of them.

Of which...em, we have "business"

Prousette said...

I have a rough idea as to why the 'friend' vanished like that LOL!
Maybe the person she was with at the time was not one she would have wanted to know that she knew you...

Minor Insurrection said...

Funny thing is, I tend to go out of my way to defer to people from the past.

Life is short and friends are too few...

And we all have our prejudices.Only we like to call it commonsense.

rethots said...

Uhmm,you know this (not willing to extend any favours to the other) happens if by some chance i have trusted (which seems a default) & by a long chance the person abuses the trust. Unconsciously, the hand to extend that favour just ceases to be stretched forth.

This (senario) defers from an unconscious act (considered offensive), we are only too human to commit per time.

Cheetarah said...

I guess you did at the time what you felt was right, didnt have you done as the vengful sort papi.. but hey I was wrong. I think it wasnt cool that u judged her on her stupidity there were somany parameter to judge her by for the job,calling her on it was good enuff surely even you hav been given a second chance b4?

Tru dat like u said if i've got a problem with it write might own post, but honestly not cool papi..
How u doing? I see you have a full schd with the plays..anyhoo just breezin tru.

laspapi said...

1st Peter- You could never offend me, Scribe

@ bmc- Thanks black man. It makes me wonder too, how many things have been based on real and imagined wrongs.

@ sherri- I try to, shell club babe. I always try to look forward.

@ mamarita- kindred spirit, you know what I'm saying now. What's the deal?

@ prousette- The fellow didnt look like anyone that would have stopped a friend from saluting. How are you doung, prousette? Hope all's quiet on the western front.

@ adeleke- my point exactly, we all hve prejudices.

@ rethots- I'm not sure my act could be classified as offensive, but like mamarita said, you should finish the game you started, not bow out midway

@ cheetarah- I think you missed my point. The issue was to show how life's decisions are made on things that are sometimes not based on what's at stake. I didn't invite her to tender and I sure as &*^% wasn't going to work with her when I had someone who'd done the same work for me for years and who was my friend.

I try as much as possible to live in harmony with all men. Note the "as much as possible". But I would choose someone who respects me, who likes me over the other sort any day. Lord Devlin said of the 'reasonable man' test- "The reasonable man does not reason, he feels".

As for being vengeful, I don't know if I qualify for that tag in this regard, what transpired between us wasn't an issue of revenge, I'd just stopped liking her. Finis. But there's still at least one (or two people) I owe, big time. And oh yeah,I will pay back no matter how long it takes. I'm a Spaniard in that regard.

Cheetarah said...

Touche papi, after all I am french :)
Lord Devlin will be proud that the reasonable man test is being applied so broadly, mutandis mutandi papi I stand corrected.
And as the old saying goes: pay back is it bitch, it creeps up and bites u in the ass just when u dnt expect! ta ta papi

Anonymous said...

u see why we get along... Id do the exact same thing... actually ur a bit nicer than i am... cos i probably would've told her what i thought and put her in her place... omo i have too many friends i really dont need any fake or negative-vibey ppl around me... which reminds me of a guy i got into an argument with a week or so ago... longass story.. ill just write it on my blog.. something slightly similar...

Thirty + said...

"Old sins have long shadow" which chapter and verse is that quotation from?

oyindabasket said...

I mean I totally agree with you as always on the issue of posturing and forming.
However, have u asked urself why she missed? She was hiding something: shame, guilt, inferiority, whatever. In short it was all about her not you! And then instead of feeling sorry for her, you bear a grudge. A case of double jeopardy if you know what i mean!