A Wiser Than Solomon
There are things I cannot find room for inside of me, certain things I cannot contain. That a young man and a maiden would frolic for a long time, for years, yet he goes off to marry a total stranger. And it leaves my young heart in bewilderment. What happened to all those days they paraded hand in hand our street, their laughter ringing in our ears; those nights of buying Suya at the mallam’s place, their love brighter than neon signs? When love dies, where does all the ‘I love you’ go? This is a plague under the sun, a waste of time and emotions.
A man treats his wife like a schmuck because she has increased in breadth, yet his neighbor ogles her behind his back. Another woman is loved with utter devotion by her husband such that anything she requires and desires, none is denied her, yet her yearnings are with the driver or the servant boy. This is another evil under the sun.
One day on my way back from school, to avoid the intensity of the sun’s rays, I took a short-cut, a track road surrounded with small bushes and there, I came upon a young man and a woman, razor in hand, piercing their hands about to mingle their blood, binding their souls to an oath. And I say this is meaningless, the folly of young love.
At the window of my house, some other day, I looked through the glass panes and I saw the women who have laid their life long partners to rest and how they have moved on with their lives, first with gentle strides for this transition is not so easy. This I observed from my corner and I realized that no man born of a woman is indispensible. Death is a worse deal for the dead than it is for the living for sooner or later the living move on with their lives.
Yet there are women devoid of understanding who have let their lives sink into oblivion because someone walked away. I know such a woman. She lives in my street, she lives in yours too. Ask me for an object to personify her in the hay days of the affair and I’d say a red lipstick. Then ask me for another to personify her after the epilogue of the affair: a black smelly hair net.
Her life stalled as activities around her mushroomed. All day she’d sit on a low shaky stool. Elbow on knee, jaw in hand, leading the life of a wounded animal. She wears her hurt like a halo. Daily she dusts off pictures and letters, souvenirs of the good old days and at night hot tears roll down and we can hear her grizzling and sniffing, refusing to take the break up with equanimity. Very often does man put asunder to what God has joined together, let alone what He hasn’t!
Here is a thing I have observed under the sun, in the few decades I have spent on planet earth: Success makes love easier. A rich man’s love is like eating well picked beans but a poor man’s love is like a bowl of beans fraught with stones. One either decides to eat it ungrudgingly, thanking God that at least you found food to eat in the first place, smile through the experience and hope for a brighter day; or you grumble while you are at it.
Not that the love shared amongst the well-to-do is immune to life and its many vicissitudes; but plying a pot-holed road with a bad motorcycle can never be the same experience as plying that same road with a strong and healthy car.
But would I deny, that many a night have I heard the muffled cries of a bartered woman in a mansion and because the walls are so thick, the fences so high and barb wired, and the dogs so vicious and alert, no one dares go in to help her. This too is meaningless, another evil disease under the sun.
Here is another folly among men but more so in women; they go about sniffing at their beloved footprints like dogs; tracking and spying; scrolling and hoping to find something incriminating, something they aren’t prepared to face. Ask them what they seek and they’d be unable to work up an answer. It eludes their understanding that love is an act of faith: a love that must sniff to perceive, that must look to believe is fractured in some hidden places.
And when they eventually loses their beloved to another because the constant vigilance became nerve jarring, when their beloved goes to the one who lets them breathe, they mourn and cry. When love’s lost, many women’s tears are sincere but do not let a man’s tears deceive you. When a man cries, he doesn’t mourn the love lost to another, he simply cries because he’s been outwitted by one not much clever than he is.
One day I sat with myself and communed with my soul, to seek out hidden truths. I observed that they are those whom you can only love from a distance. Proximity would thwart such a love and afflict your soul with much pain.
I loved you so well till I became immune to self, for love ought to make one immune to their own whims. But like the opening of eyes after a crunchy bite from the forbidden fruit, I began to observe you in a lopsided manner, like I was a plumber and you, a leaky faucet. I got a hold of my box of tools to fix you. But no sooner does the love die a quick death, a love suddenly gone hypocritical.
I have resolved in my mind to go about this matter in this manner; I shall love, deeply and sincerely the object of my affection. But I shall not let my world revolve around you. You shall not be the life of me, the air I breathe; neither shall you be the chief source of my existence. And if you decide to walk away, I shall move on and love again.
When love lingers too long, heading to no definite direction, months and years roll by without the definition of an affair, soon the apple of your eyes becomes a speck of dust you must blow away.
Man is obsessed with appearances but most times the beauty of a damsel is indirectly proportional to her character and the size of a man could be indirectly proportional to his virility. Some women are as beautiful as their attitude is ugly and some men are as big as their will is small.
You woke one morning and absconded, leaving me with a three month old child. Ten years you returned to start anew with us. You stood at the door awaiting a warm reception, acting up, feigning ignorance and innocence, like ten years were only ten days or even ten minutes, trying to stroke my back into remembrance. Did you not learn in elementary science; that the cells in our bodies die after seven to ten year, that new cells are born? I have ceased to know you for a decade. The part of me that opened to your touch is dead. My body bears cognizance of you no more….
And finally here is my take on this love matter; Love should come with a life time warranty, a cross my heart assurance. Let the hands that hold me tonight be there tomorrow. Let the breath I feel down my neck as I lay me down to sleep never cease. Let your side of the bed remain warm and even if you go away for a moment, may it never thaw till you return to make it warm again. Amen