‘THE BIOGRAPHY OF AN 18-SEATER BUS’ (III)
The bible says, “By their fruit we shall know them,” that fruit is equivalent to our behaviour, the by-products of our personalities. I analysed human psychological makeup and finalised that our cognition, emotions and actions makeup our personality. This is the sum total of who we truly are, who we aspire to be, who we pretend, think or say we are. A man might deck very clean clothes and appear chic, cute but has dirty, maybe stinking underwear. This is contradictory but says a lot about his personality. His dirty boxers contrast his posh denim trousers and crisp polo shirt.
Shade was undoubtedly the celeb of the 18-seater bus. Just like Doli and Rin Tin Tin were celebs of sheep and dogs respectively. Doli was the first animal to be cloned while Rin-tin-tin was an actor. Many wanted to be in Shade’s shoes. They loved the attention showered on her – from her siblings to parents, relatives and even her amorous lecturer, Dr Oni. Men may not truly understand the pleasurable feelings women sip and enjoy in secrecy when men they like are pursuing them Ethiope (Delta state, Nigeria) to Ethiopia with love. Yes the feelings of being desirable!
Chizoba was particularly jealous of Shade for she felt she should be in her shoes after all she was a medical doctor in training better still a medical-doctor in an incubator. With her angelic eyes, Shade was prettier but Chizoba was taller, slimmer and garnished with travelling hips. She spoke five languages: Igbo, Yoruba, Isoko, English and French. Her curves are processed and packaged by the best manufacturer the world over. He put fat, flesh at the appropriate places and filled to the brim! She on the other hand knew how to aesthetically carry them around with poise and grace. Many of her friends said she was the missing lady in Beauty School later found in Medical School. Her fiancé, Emeka was an alumnus of Yale and Harvard University.
I think I should define travelling hips again though I’ve done it before. If you think travelling hips are hips in motion I’ll give you 49.99999 per cent for you’re not absolutely right or completely wrong because hips move in consonance with our body movements! However, my basic idea of travelling hips are hips where all compartments, departments are dancing, strolling, shaking, jogging and doing 360-degree to and fro, back and forth movement, not minding the number of eyes watching and assessing. Not many have this special gift! If you see one today you’ll recognize without being told, in fact your eyes might rebel and revolt if you try to look in another direction regardless of gender. Before you say ‘this man!’ I’m a researcher and the basic tools of painstaking researchers are their major senses.
No man or woman has monopoly of beauty. Appreciate your gap tooth, dimples, liquorice gum, dulcet voice, starry eyes, sweet smiles, raven hair, sharp mind, glossy, conventional or soft ebony complexion or whatever it is you’re blessed with.
People who read novels would be familiar with ‘dark skin.’ Please note that white authors are not referring to black but white skins that are a bit dark. So don’t misinterpret an American or European author if he says, “Her boyfriend was tall, dark and handsome.” Though we belong to the human family, we’re all specially and uniquely made. Lets’ complement one another. Though life’s competitive don’t compete with bad blood, if you win a contest be magnanimous if you lose be happy for the winner after all life is about times and seasons. If comedian Bovi decides to bike from Offa to Mopa for a cause Kofi is not expected to jog or ‘kekenapep’ from Mopa to Offa to rival him!
Models in camp fight for the crown but only one eventually wins the ultimate prize and becomes the beauty queen yet it’s not over for those that lost out for some could win even bigger contests in the future. Plantains (awaiting trial) in front of tax office Idi-Oro, Mushin, Lagos don’t pay tax but are perpetually anxious that the tax masters might swoop on them unexpectedly but even if they don’t their life could expire any time, no thanks to the unapologetic, unrepentant mouths of their various colonial masters. Interestingly, the plantains on our various plantations are crying for they want to see how life looks like in the city. How ironic!
Dr. Oni’s self-esteem was battered, rubbished that day so he felt somber, highly sober. He disliked his actions, and guilt feelings feasted on his mind. If your private parts itch seriously in public you feel intense urge to scratch but it’s an abomination to do so except you’re very raw and crudely conc! Your immediate response is to scream, shout with the voice of your skin but if it gets worse you might run to a facility out of prying eyes and scratch with anger, hunger like a man who picked a cutlass (out of frustration) to behead the mosquito feasting on the blood of his six-month’s old baby just discharged from the hospital from malaria infection. Many times however itching groin is caused by dirty underwear. Your mind’s an abstract entity therefore if it itches can your scratch with your finger, a concrete tool to alleviate the discomfort?
Dr. Oni knew he’d not be able to look his wife in the face back home that evening which would make his wife suspect he’d done something terribly wrong so he decided to pacify his conscience by buying her the Toyota Camry he’d promised her over a year ago. He left his office and drove straight to the showroom of his car dealer, chose a clean white camry – his wife’s favourite. He pressed some buttons on his phone shortly after N1.5m was debited from his account and he smiled thereafter. Fortunately for him it was his wife’s birthday so his wife was very glad, pretty happy for she thought he’d remembered her birthday for once in fourteen years. She bathed and drenched him with kisses and nearly suffocated him with hugs.
Where and when people converge they converse. In the movies a man and a woman might kickoff friendship from talks about the heroic exploits of an actor, maybe the atrocious deeds of a villain. In a commercial transport it could be altercation between a job applicant impeccably dressed for an interview but got stained with grease terrorizing the clothes of an auto mechanic sited next to him. At the polling booth it could be hugs, backslappings and shouts of joy by the electorates if their favourite candidate had won at that domot sorry domain.
Smiles often keep us company in restaurants; at the casino it could be anxieties and disappointments. Two nursing mums while shopping at the department store might discuss why a particular brand of baby formula is better than the other. The suspect in the law court might break down inconsolably after being convicted by the judge and sentenced accordingly. At the airport family share hugs and kisses some may even cry as their loved ones depart for other climes either for work, pleasure or in some cases as medical tourists. Anxieties flow in embassies the way blood flow in arteries.
Who can define the line that separates fashion and nudity? This issue is very controversial for it’s a relative matter. What Obasi may commend in fashion, Obasa may condemn however, public space should be respected and I believe every society has its codes (maybe unwritten) that guides our actions, inactions and utterances in public space and shouldn’t just be violated but respected. People who sag are boys and the phenomenon is a passing fad, why? Leave the boy or man and come back in thirty years if he still sags he needs psychological intervention.
Bikini may not be a taboo on the beach but not on the streets, bum shorts, tank tops in the confines of your home or living room is accepted and acceptable but not in church! Shade dressed suggestively because she saw no crime in it after all she’d always ‘dressed’ like that from childhood. On this premise her fashion sense was shaped and structured by her external not internal environment but a man who interpreted her overt mode of dressing as being promiscuous might suffer the fate of the feet if he tries to blackmail or manipulate banana peel in order to sleep with her.
But every Tanko in Kano, Wakama in Rivers, Makama in Zaria won’t bother his mind diving below the surface in his analysis of her. For he has a firm cognition base on this issue which is the belief that a suggestively dressed woman is a stockbroker in the capital market of flesh-trading. Royalty detests nudity, little wonder it has zero tolerance for provocative fashion. Royal people are special class of people. They’re pampered, adored, idolized and entertained. People in entertainment world may expose their bodies but not royalty. I may not have royal lineage but I’m first class royalty for I belong to the royal people of God.
They’d a safe trip and eventually got to Lag. The passengers were excited to get to Lag but very few of them remembered to thank God for a safe trip. Some became better, some worse than they were when they left Abuja. Chizoba became more competitive; Shade became more confident and had the feelings to be conservative in her dressing. Bantok became more reflective, Aliyu became more sensitive! Bose was challenged to go back to school. Rev. Obasi decided to base his Sunday sermon on premarital and extramarital sex. Alfa Lateef vowed to fight nudity from the cradle by focusing on parents and children. Not a single person remained the same after the journey. In fact, Ife the three-year-old girl was some hours older!
Hope you enjoyed the short story? Olayemi Ogunojo signing out!