Mama birthed this. This Utopia. I remember she would raise her voice at me in our dim lit brown marbled kitchen and my 8 year old self would shrink to the floor, shaking violently with tears. I had a great deal of emotional turmoil going on. It might have just been three words “Adẹ́lẹ́kẹ̀ Nathan! Shut up!!!” Or “Goan bring Àródan” but she had a way of saying it that brought instant pain and sadness to the heart. It occurred mostly when she was cooking. Mama demanded absolute silence whenever she worked her magic hands through spices and broth. Cooking,like worship,was sacred in our household. I didn’t quite understand it. I would go on rambling about how Tolstoy was better than Tolkein (Foolish me!) or start the Mummy Series; “Mummy,why does God expect us to serve Him? Mummy, don’t you think it’s diic-tay-toRyiAL? Mummy, why did Àdìgún die?” Mummy, why do I have Dàda??” It annoyed the hell out of her. Older, I have come to realize that the best time to think or pray is when one is making culinary magic. I really can’t explain it; it’s just what it is. Maybe Mama was right after all.
I also remember the death of my goldfish,Salewa. Mama had flushed her down the kitchen drain saying she was boring and too expensive to maintain. A great deal of pain that was.(For heaven’s sake, she was MY pet!)
- Apart from our frequent encounters in the kitchen, Mama wasn’t violent or abusive in any way. The ‘encounters’ were just her way of showing how frustrated she was. (which was quite often) Later,she’d take up space on the floor beside me,the residual smell of chopped onions lingering, grab my little shoulders with love and look me straight in the eye, “Nathan,you have to get up and stop crying. Life is going to kick your guts. People are going to scream at you. Ọ gbódọ̀ dìdẹ́(You have got to rise) You have to be strong. You know I love you.” I would snuggle into her arms while she’d whisper in my black locs that she was indeed sorry.
I always knew mother was bothered about me. On one or two occasions, I’d overheard her speaking with my father,her ÒséỌlọ́hun Coffee in hand, (Always drinking that same coffee as if the coffee took the concerns of her heart right into her mouth!) Her opening line would be “I’m concerned for Nate” and then she would go on to explain her many concerns and fears. My dad,fufilling his role as the loving spouse, would pat her back softly and top it with a hug. A very long one. “He’s a great kid and God’s gift to us. He’ll be fine. God will take care of Him” he’d say with great doubt in his eyes. The irony!
I have always been an idealist and so when I told Mama I would create my own universe, she thought I’d finally gone bunkers and my mission, undoable. All those years with Mama had birthed something. The universe had given me a cause from my ‘encounters’ and Mama’s constant reminder of how “evil is meant to balance the world”. You could call it Utopia but I have created a world where humans would be able to air out their frustrations in the kindest way. No longer would any one feel hurt. No longer would anyone give hurt! No child would have to go through ‘encounters’ with mothers and parents. All questions would be answered! There would be zero concerns and worries. In there would exist warmheartedness and utter perfection in all men. No rebellion, no heartaches. Just kindness and peace throughout the city. This is the cause I have dedicated my life to. I am 55 years old now. Mama is dead. I have no family,no friends. Just my universe with top class neurologists and scientists, who believe in my cause, constantly working on people to achieve mind and soul perfection. It is finally happening. Before Mama died, her last words to me were “Nate. Life is not life without pain” I held her now frail magic hands and smiled sadly “No Mama, there can be a world without pain”.
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