In less than five days I, child of the soil, sister of nations, daughter of the Most High Jah bless, mother of dragons…errr-beg your pardon-mother of dreams, will be in fourth year. Not first, not second, not third but the very fourth year of college education. College is the politically correct term to describe what I do at school. College cuts it because it is so grounded, not fancy like university or trial-version like campus. Campus is for people who take media: library specialty and go through the semester with the ease of an Indian doing yoga, or a Kisii peeling off a ripe banana, or a (true) Jaluo eating those wide-eyed small creatures they like to call fish-take your pick. My experience of this so called ‘campus’ is that of an overweight okadaman from West Africa called Ojuelegba (hehe) learning Kung Fu from the master himself, Bruce Lee. Very laborious ordeal, despite the knowledge gained and the weight lost.
If you asked me I’d tell you fourth year is almost an alien feeling. It sounds foreign in a local way. Just the other day I was fumbling with the high-flyer series preparing for my form four exams and now this? Time truly does have wings. Fourth year is a word that does not roll off my tongue well when I am referring to myself. I am yet to dig the whole idea. It’s like telling me that tomorrow evening I’ll be in front of the Eiffel tower in Paris, taking selfies with Barack Obama and a Mexican band made of bulky men with ridiculous hats and more ridiculous accents will suddenly join in and serenade us with the best of Tony Nyadundo’s Ohangla.See,nothing in that sentence sounds right. Yet that is the voice of reason I get when I realize that I am actually aging and not as gracefully as I figured. That what lies ahead after fourth year is not sweet sixteen but the fifth and final year when I’m expected to wow my lecturers with a mighty science project,get out of college in one piece,hopefully graduate with honors and start worrying about steady employment,a good boss and bills.
Life is in such a hurry. It’s as though its running late for an important function or interview or highly-advertised booked-in-advance event. Yet life in itself is the event of events. The irony. Life does not even understand what it is.
Sometimes,those times when it becomes really blurry and priorities are all over the place, I am tempted to believe that it must be going through an identity crisis of its own. That it needs to see one of those psychologists like in movies. You know, the over-eagerly ones who balance their glasses delicately on their noses and look the client from above the rims like those glasses are props-only their for effect- while they sip on their green teas time and another with cosmetic indulgence .In fact,one of those psychologists,probably one called Miranda ,needs to offer life(preferably mine) some of that goddamn green tea. Or if Miranda is risky enough to not care about calories maybe she hands it a goddamn cold coke? Because seriously life needs to chill, grab a cold one and taste the feeling.
At this rate I see myself waking up one of these fine sunny mornings, looking in the mirror and catching that first grey hair. That hair will be bold grey, confident in its grayness, standing out amongst all the other fairly black strands as in mockery. I can see it a few inches from my hairline, right there at the front-middle where not long ago my childhood pulse beat, there where my youthful brain cells now die a fast painless death,uncelebrated. If it has a sunny personality it might see my sad face and sing me one of those sun-downer jams while swaying this way and that way. Something old and wistful and tasty like crackles.
That grey hair will remind me that it is high time I drop that Fifty Shades of grey crap I have been holding onto and move on to more revolutionary spheres of literature and thinking, say Malcolm Gladwell. That Mills and Boons is not my place anymore; those hazel-eyed men on horses that toyed my adolescent fantasies with husky voices and broad chests like the Himalayas-chests that tucked out of sweaty shirts daring to tear them with nothing but sheer masculinity and ego-dripping libidos-they are not even within my geographical jurisdiction. In fact, there are no horses in my geographical jurisdiction. All those honey-laced stories were nothing but pure fiction too far from becoming reality. What more,the ranches in those Harlequin books were run down and turned into malls. Talk of sad endings!
I will be challenged to stop looking for love and wait for it to find me. That just like 2go,Tinder will not hand me my knight-in-shining-armor bended on one knee, especially not after I rated it with one star. That I was never one for the fumbling need to fit in but mine was meant to be the old school type of love, nervous smiles before lowered defenses and not the other way round. The bold grey hair will tell me to take my time in the mundane pleasures of life, the silly joke made by ally or stranger, the fall and rise of my breathe when I sleep at night, the last sip of Lyons frusion strawberry yoghurt and that moment in Titanic when Jack saves Rose(only for him to die first and leave her lovelorn, SMH).If it has a sunny and honest personality it will tell me to lose the act of being too picky, too careful, too afraid. It will open my mind to the fleeting nature of my days, all our days, that there was never a better moment to seize the moment than now. Today.
But as at now, as at the time this story goes to press there is no single grey hair on my head. At least not any that a normal human eye looking through in between the rims of their glasses can see. Therefore I will keep checking the mirror time and again. I will keep checking my watch too because lo and behold! Fourth year of college beckons.