It was a beautiful Monday morning; Tolu had prepared herself for work after what I called the best morning exercise ever. I laid there on the bed of the hotel room knowing so well that I wouldn’t be checking out till noon; obviously, last night’s adventure had been one helluva crazy fun. The sex had been great and Tolu had been as fantastically sporadic as ever; I thought of resting a little before the check-out time but I just couldn’t find sleep. I decided I’ll just stroll downstairs to the bar and find myself breakfast and a quick morning shot of whiskey; I hopped out of the bed, showered again and dressed up. There was so much to do today but very little time; I’ll need to devise a befitting schedule if I was to achieve quite the lot I had planned for myself – Kate was obviously a part of it.
I descended down the stairs briskly, skipping 2 to 3 steps as I jumped down playfully; the room key jingling in my hand. I made my way through the bend and walked straight for the bar. Exerting a little pressure on the door as I pushed it forward, the atmosphere in the bar felt totally different from last night; the air was lighter and warmer. The work of art on display at strategic points looked more appealing to the eye under the natural lightening of the sun rather than what I had appreciated last night when the bar was brought to live by the different spectrum of flashing lights. I couldn’t help but walk up to the drawing of Mohammed Ali that hung on the east side wall of the bar; this is one man out of very few black heroes I respect so much – from his past days in the ring to the ring in his present days. I had stayed up most nights reading and studying extensively on Mohammed Ali; The Greatest, The People’s Champion and my favorite – The Louisville Lip. These 3 nicknames had motivated me in diversified directions of life. I had always wondered if I had a characteristic signature of my own as I always envisioned the legendary boxer epitomized by his catch phrase; float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
The door to the bar made a hissing noise as it opened inwards; I instantly turned around to see who had brought my meditation to an abrupt end.
“Good morning”, said the young man in a white shirt and a black trouser.
I replied his greetings as he walked towards the bartenders’ corner. “You in charge here?” I asked.
“Yes sir, you want anything?” He replied.
“Would it be too early to have a drink?” I questioned him, frantically awaiting his response.
He dragged out a hand towel from under the stand and raised his head to look at me. “What would you like sir?”
“A lot.” I said to him. “First I need a packet of cigarette, then plenty food.” After a brief pause and scanning of the refrigerator, I added “wow, didn’t know you sell Alomo, and add a Fayrouz to it, Pineapple flavor most preferably.”
He smiled, “I’ll be back soon.”
As the door to the bar retracted behind him, I moved on to the next picture frame that hung on the wall – Martin Luther King, Jr. An American pastor, activist, humanitarian and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. A great man of high caliber who saw to the advancement of civil rights without violence but civil disobedience. He kept to his belief. Asides his “I Have A Dream” speech, lots of people ignore his after-remark: “Freedom is one thing. You have it all or you are not free.” This was his remark after he was awarded the American Liberties Medallion by the American Jewish Committee for his exceptional advancement of the principles of human liberty. With over 50 awards and honors, the most globally known remains his Nobel Peace Award; he remains the youngest to have ever received it.
A frame of Africa’s most decorated footballer, Kanu Nwankwo, also hung on the south of the walls, right next to the door. Obviously meant to be missed by customers who walk in but conspicuous to sitters who face the door; I had noticed it when the bartender came in. Slowly taking a round turn and surveying the walls and corners of the bar, the most appreciative of art were the figurines that stood at detailed angles, ranging from a date setting of 2 lovers sharing drinks to that of an African nursing mother breast-feeding her little child. Intense passion for the creativity of the artistes’ craftsmanship lifted my spirit; I was once again brought back to reality by the hissing noise of the door as the bartender and a young fair lady walked into the bar.
With 2 hours left to checkout, I beckoned to the bartender to come help me clear the table of the dish I had just consumed; poorly garnished noodles for such exorbitant price, definitely I was paying the price of satisfaction away from home. But of what right has a bachelor who hates the kitchen to complain? I was sure getting used to it. The bartender approached and I made my fresh order for the morning consumption of alcohol. It definitely would have to take God’s intervention to have me reduce my intake of alcohol to the minimal; quitting alcohol is definitely not an option. Pulling out a stick of cigarette from it’s pack, I made a quick hit of it’s filtered base on the nail of my thumb thrice and lifted it to meet my lips, a spark from the lighter and in seconds, I had a fine cloud of smoke escaping my mouth. I inhaled and exhaled, dragged and puffed while contemplating on what next to do in order to keep myself busy before the 1st agenda of the day gets cancelled out from my To-Do List of the day. Unlocking my phone and scrolling through the unread messages and notifications, there was basically nothing interesting that needed my attention; my notepad was sure next in line. It was time for me to scribble down something, anything. I just knew I felt like writing but had no idea what it was going to be. My ordered drink joined me on the table, perfect timing for a little inspiration.
“Can I have an ash tray, please?” I said to the bartender, as he nodded and walked away while I returned to my notepad and wrote the first thing that came to my mind; “Love is…“
Title: FOR THEN; Love is…
Skeptical of what the future holds?
Past are stories of present told
Behold! A sight to behold
For then; Love at first sight.
Magical, the mystery of a ball – Crystal.
So strong is water to become ice
The inner beauty can be seen with closed eyes
For then; Love is blind.
The best things in life are free
Just like ABC and 1, 2, 3
The heart beats; Melodies of Do Re Mi
For then: Love don’t cost a thing.
Affection is birthed when the heart bleeds
Pierced by an arrow from the hunters’ greed
The fruit of it’s labour sown in pain as seed
For then; Love is wicked.
The heart; synonymous to a Libra scale
Happiness and sadness in proportions weighed
Like thy sight gone dead that fingers might feel the braille
For then; Love is evil.
A little longer, the heart would wait
That another might find it’s way
1st Corinthians, Chapter 13 Verse 4
For then; Love is patient, love is kind.
A feather in a hat, to help the head fly
Donned in majesty, with thy shoulder high
On bended knees or to the floor, did hate lay
For then; Love is respect.
Breathless, was that not how you felt?
Speechless, did thou not find thy voice?
Helpless, that with all these you must live
For then; Love is life.
… To be continued.
“Only an act of true love can fall a frozen heart.” – Grandpa Troll in “Frozen [The Movie, 2013 Film]“
BOOKINGS & INQUIRIES