I do not subscribe to the school of thought that limits our circle of friends to the cliched chorused “show me your friends and I will tell you who you are”.
There are too many life experiences to go through as a person. Variety is the spice of life, they said.
Befriend an old man and steal a glance at the world as it was while you were still baking in the womb. Embrace a younger lad/lass and marvel at the difference in vocabulary, choose your peers from a pool of characters. Surround yourself with a healthy mix of then, now and possibly tomorrow.
Being an unapologetically vocal woman is an uphill task.
People scrutinize everything you say searching for a loophole to exploit. It makes conversations pretty guarded and dry. There is no silhouette of honesty and passion in the things we hold dear, the philosophies we live by and the convictions we act on. This horror is an existential nightmare to me. Only in my case, it’s a palaver I can work with. The same way we coexist with the epic levels of stupidity around us daily.
Unless you are paying me, chances are I am not doing life the way you expect. Cue my choice of friends. Alright, one specifically.
See, I am a big champion for girl power. Not just because I have a bosom (albeit subtle) and my passport says female but also because I know what it is to want more yet society only allows you so much.
Naturally, it is expected that my squad, if you please, should consist of nothing but feminists and gender equality crusaders. And it does. There’s also a certified bigot who just happens to hold a Bachelor’s in Modern Day Misogyny and a Master’s in Fragile Egoism in my list. I can explain.
I stared long at his face that now looked like an overdue apology and decided I needed air.
We are going to call him Fred for no other reason than I could not think of a shorter name faster. Fred possesses deceitful looks. Stands at about five feet nine. Towering with silky ebony complexion, embedded hints of roasted almond around his chin and a beard to boot. His face is chiseled and sharp enough to cut through the innocence of a staring passerby. Long arms, a powerful torso, and legs for days. And then some. His fingers, however, tell a different story. His pinky fingers look like an abused toe. His hand stretched out will give you nightmares involving webbed feet and unsanitary claws. His voice makes up for the tragedy that is his upper extremities. He has a thunderous laugh. A harmonious sound that deserves an address to a house with a functioning zip code and a two-door garage. When he laughs, even the breeze slows down.
He, however, is a devoted donkey. If it were up to him the world would only embrace the modernity that glorified the imbalance of patriarchy. The men would get their way, and women would be the trumpets that blew at their crowning ceremonies. He is not necessarily popular among my girlfriends. I like the way he handles himself when we are especially hostile. When women disagree with him so vehemently they want to storm out, never has he been disrespectful or gotten violent. He is consistently collected in his nonsense. Something rare and intriguing at the same time. His beliefs are older than the Vasco Da Gama pillar, but they do not take away anything from his character. Or so I think.
It is easy to always want to be in an agreeable environment. Fred is my telescope into the minds of the people we are trying to enlighten at a snail’s pace. In his retrogressive and borderline abusive opinions lies the answers that only he and his cronies (a disgraceful bunch) can provide. That thing about keeping friends close and enemies closer. The word enemy is a euphemism in this case.
I recently just unblocked him on Facebook. He had sat across from me and said “when a man cheats it’s a very African thing. But when a woman cheats it’s because of these dramatic television programs you are following these days.”
I stared long at his face that now looked like an overdue apology and decided I needed air. Then the headlines reported a woman killed by the police yet somehow implied the involvement of the husband. Now I have a question: How is it that when a man cheats the woman can just walk away but when the woman cheats the man is so broken it must end in tragedy? I will not find the answer among like-minded people. I am not looking for a response that sounds like a soused catechism class. I want a different perspective. So I look the other side.