- The Storried Platform
THE PAST – By Oluwaseyi Isaac Ayodeji
The past is a shape-shifter. Sometimes it takes the form of brutal punches, smacking your face forcefully with a barrage of images, which, usually are forgettable moments that keeps you stunned for a minute or two, the echoes of scornful laughter resonating from a distance. Other times, the past is a sensual kiss, a grainy image tuning up slowly like the gentle ascent to an orgasmic remembrance — the first rendezvous in the urine-soaked air of the school backyard, the pride on the parent’s face as I, cute in a black suit and red suspenders, rapped three straight chapters of the bible or the successful interview that got me into the Lagos State Hospital.
The past could also be snippets, like the white flashes of a camera on a moonless night, with cuts and bits of unrelated experiences too brief to ascribe emotions flying up your face — the yellow teeth of a smiling cobbler, an owl perched on an electrical line rotating his neck a shocking 360 degrees to reveal lightbulb eyes, a madman with nothing but a tie on, a green-suited Yemi Tella pacing the touchline nervously.
The past could also come in sounds and smells, the subsequent nostalgia gushing through your veins underlining the past’s desire to make you work for images –the resonance of “this is super story a life of…”, the jubilant boom-box mien of “Rick Dees and the weekly top fortay!’, the trembling voice shouting “Jack Jack”, the mechanical husky voice yelling ” Round 1 Fight!”, the lingering smell of fried chicken, rat poison and kolanut.
Sometimes I succeed in attaching images to these cues- a frosted Kate Winslet tapping a gorgeous but dead DiCaprio, the dim black and white television box displaying a miserable Suara in flailing ankara trudging down a desolated road, my fat self in an oversized singlet planting a transistor radio against my ear, my mother hoisting fried chicken from the popping frying pan into a perforated bowl.
Sometimes I fail to place images to some of the errant cues or the images I lazily dream up are grossly inappropriate, like trying to fit triangular pegs into trapezoid holes. Sometimes I just ignore the past and its visits. Not because I want to but because this eventful present demands so so much of me that energy sapping retrospective journeys appear foolish.
By Oluwaseyi Isaac Ayodeji
The past is a shape-shifter. Sometimes it takes the form of brutal punches, smacking your face forcefully with a barrage of images, which, usually are forgettable moments that keeps you stunned for a minute or two, the echoes of scornful laughter resonating from a distance.