Monday, February 15, 2016

#UGBlogWeek Presents: The Cedric Conundrum (1/7)

This week, I (Symon) have invited a guest to collaborate with, so listen. I'll introduce him. He's called Cedric, a guy who, for the most part, fancies himself as an artist and enjoyer of life. He resides in my head, so I have the misfortune of dealing with his chirpiness all the time. There's barely a quiet moment in my life, save for when he has 'something personal' to deal with. Those times are, unfortunately, few and far between. For the next 7 days, he'll be narrating events through his point of view.

Take it away, Cedric!

Ah, finally... My chance to stretch my writing muscles. This chance could not have come at a better time. Because I've been dying to tell someone. Symon's friend (I'm yet to meet him) became a baby daddy! It was so cute to see him carry the little guy, eyes glistening with pride and joy. I could barely contain myself. I could have said a lot more to the happy couple, had Symon not been either too tipsy or too exhausted.

We were at a party earlier and he was drinking that whiskey like he thought it would drown his inner demon. I was familiar with this routine of his, and he had been warned about it a few times before. You see, a party is not so party-ish when you have guys like him who sit quietly in a corner and be on their phone, generally existing while life happens around them. He had been warned that if he kept that up, he'd be invited to less parties. He was ready to resign to this fate but I could not allow that. So, he's since outsourced the party scene interactions to me, and I've been enjoying them immensely. Meeting people is such fun, I don't know why Symon has been avoiding it. I think in the past three weeks, we've met more new people than we did the whole of last year. He grimaces each time he sees me interact freely. I think inwardly he's rather jealous of me. Makes me want to piss him off even more. 
Having indulged generously in camaraderie, I excused myself to take a breath of the cool breeze away from the crowd. It was a still night, with moonlight glowing its halo in the revering dark sky. It was a good night for a walk and some life changing event. I thought of that as I returned to continue from whence I'd left off. On the way, I received a message that my friend's wife was in labour.

Now, Symon tends to avoid getting overly involved in people's lives. For some reason, he thinks people are better off without him hanging around. But, I managed to talk him into getting invested in his friend's impending fatherhood. I made him promise to be there when his baby was being born. It seems he thought I had forgotten about that promise as I found him refilling his whiskey glass. I had to remind him that we had a life-altering moment to attend later. He shrugged, checked his phone, and reluctantly threw down the 12-year old whiskey. I could see the disgust on his face for making him do that. Apparently, whiskey must be respected. How I wish he gave as much respect to the people in his life that deserve it. Anyway, I shall teach him. I shall teach him how to feel things again.

I had digressed. So, we were at the hospital waiting in the corridors as we heard the blood-curdling screams associated with childbirth. Naturally, Symon tried his best to distract his friend with off-handed remarks about the straightforwardness of the whole affair, as he understood it. It wasn't helping. His friend remained nervous. While I was biting my fingers anxiously, gu Symon remained stoic. Like seriously, how can someone hear those screams and remain unbothered? Maybe he's seen some traumatic stuff and this didn't even compare. I don't know. He doesn't talk about such things. I was relieved to hear the screams of a woman replaced by the wails of a newborn. I was ecstatic! I ran about the hallway, dragging his friend along with me for a giddy prance. His friend couldn't wipe his astonished expression off his face. Sure, he was happy, but maybe jumping about wasn't what he had in mind. Soon, the wife and baby were wheeled out of the labour ward. I screamed a spirited 'congratulations' to the new parents. They stared at me with incredulity. Of course they did. They didn't recognize me. I whispered to Symon to introduce me and he muttered, "Not now." Heh, guess I'll have to wait another day. I did manage to get him to tell his friend that he had just received the best Valentine's gift ever! The baby was looking so cute, and his wife was radiant. She looked like she'd just eased the baby out. She was all smiles and hi-fiving whoever came to congratulate her. His friend then turned his attentions to Symon, asking why he was still single and childless. He encouraged him to catch up and not miss out on such joys. I told Symon the same. He's letting the good stuff pass him by and he doesn't seem to care even one bit. You should see the way he looks at beautiful women. Oba to him, they appear like bowls of matooke? I'm not sure.

(Symon doesn't like matooke. He never even glances twice at it in a buffet line-up.)

So, his friend asked him when he plans to settle down, he callously responds, "It will happen when it happens." I guess his friends are used to it by now. But it's a problem for us, because me I like girls. I think they make for interesting experiences, even if they bring drama. Oh yes, Symon doesn't like the drama that girls bring in life. He has mentioned that a few times. I tell him that's just cowardice. He should embrace it. If it happens, we can always deal with it. Believe it or not, a close friend of his actually recommended that he gets some drama into his life, for the sake of entertainment, because his life is so mundane! It suffocates me. I like a romantic walk under the stars every once in a while. I would like to hand her flowers and recite poetry to her. I'd like to feed her chocolate and massage her feet after a long day. I'd like to go on a boat cruise with her and tell that joke about love and the lake. But no... I can't do that while the tyrant retains the throne. He claims that I've contributed little to the peace we're now enjoying. Mbu where do I get the nerve? Mbu do I know what he went through to get the peaceful existence that we now 'share'? He fought for his peace and he intends to keep it, even if he has to fight again to retain it. When will he realize that we both want the same thing?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Cedric Takes A Hostage...

So, yesterday Cedric and I found ourselves in quite a pickle. You see, when I returned home, there was no electricity. The house was dark as a haunted manor. Sensing the mood, Cedric suggested we don’t waste the moment, and instead should make the most of it. He suggested we play out a hostage negotiation. I hate being the victim of stories, but alas, the straws were drawn and I chose the short one. I think the game was rigged, but who’s to know for sure? Anyway, there was two of us and we needed one more role; that of the hostage negotiator. Why? I was the hostage and Cedric fancied himself a capable villain. So, we needed someone to rescue me from his evil clutches. Naturally, it was my duty to cry out for help. I yelled as loud as I could and you’ll never guess who turned up! It was none other than the Spectacular Spider-Man himself!

The following takes place between 11pm and 12am:

Cedric stands across the room from me, gun trained on me. I dare not make any sudden movements that will startle or annoy him. He’s quite the sharpshooter. Naturally, I’m concerned about why he’s holding me hostage, and we have a third party to explain things to. Let’s call him SSM.

SSM: Put the gun down, vile villain. Or else I’ll take you down.

Cedric: Hey ‘Spider-Man’! No need for violence. I’m a peacef…

SSM: You’re holding an innocent man hostage!

Cedric (chuckles sarcastically): This guy? Oh, he’s far from innocent. The things he’s done! If I told you, you’d blush with embarrassment.

Me: Hey, turn it down a notch. You know we’re playing right?

Cedric: Shush! Stay in character.

SSM: Look, I’m not sure of what’s going on here, but the guy with the gun is clearly not the victim. Why don’t you tell me what’s up so we can work something out.

Cedric: All I want is for him to hand me the Chalice of Zerunath.

SMM: What's that?

Cedric: It's an artifact that amplifies the user's latent abilities to exponential levels. It has the power to effect real change, and yet all this buffoon does with it is keep it in his study. I'm telling you, such power doesn't belong to people who can't wield it.

Me: That kind of power is dangerous for anyone to wield. You know about dangerous power, don't you, Spider-Man?

SSM: I know a thing or two. But you know, with great power comes...

Me: Ah, cummon Spider-Man! Get out of my face with such nonsense. Do you not know that power corrupts? How about the mere thought of it? Look at Cedric. He's obsessed with it.

Cedric: Yeah, because it hurts to see you just hold on to something even you are afraid to use. Tell me, what terrifies you about it?

Me: Nothing.

Cedric: Really? Then why don't you use it?

Me: I don't want to hurt anyone in the process.

Cedric: Oh please! Pain is inevitable. It's like trying to stop the flow of time. It is going to happen whether you contribute or not. 

SSM: Cedric does have a point, you know.

Me: You're taking HIS side now? 

SMM: How about you hand me that chal...

Cedric and I (in unison): NO!

SMM: Sheesh! I'm just trying to help here.

Cedric: Give me the Chalice. You're not using it. What good is it just sitting there?

Me (contemplating): What if I prove you wrong and use it?

Cedric: No matter how you use it, you can never wield its power like I can. You know why? Because I'm better than you.

SSM makes himself comfortable on the wall adjacent to us. It’s disturbing to talk to a guy sitting on a wall. Then again, they do call him ‘spectacular’.

SSM: Interesting!

Cedric: I’m just tired of being treated like a second-class citizen. We both know I’M the brains of this operation.

Me: Brains? More like brawn. You barely ever think. All you are capable of is ‘doing’.

Cedric: Just because I think faster than you can comprehend doesn’t mean I don’t think at all.

SSM (midway through munching crisps): Oh snap!

Cedric and I (in unison): Where the heck did you get crisps from?

SSM: That’s irrelevant at the moment. As you recall, I’m here to save a victim. But it’s becoming confusing to understand which one of you it is.So, get on with clearing the air. I have a train to catch.

Me: The Midnight Express?

Cedric groans and rolls his eyes. In that moment, I see the emptiness that's within him. It's pretty sad. I almost feel sorry for him. But he does have me at gunpoint still. I have to resolve this quickly.

SSM: Okay. Each of you is going to tell me what you want with the chalice. Then I'll decide who's the real bad guy. You know, because it's an instinct only heroes have.

Me: Heh... I seem to recall that most of your troubles are brought about by your own flawed point of view, Spider-Man. You're no saint. 

Cedric: Strange. I agree.

SSM: Can we please get back to the point?

Cedric: Well, I already told you what I want to do with it.

Me: You want it?! Fine. You have it. Let's see what you can do with it. 

Cedric: I thought you'd never ask.

We head to the study where the Chalice is kept. Cedric walks toward it, eyes mesmerized by his delusions of grandeur as he reaches for it. But before he can touch it, a glass cage drops from above, encasing him. He angrily beats the glass but it doesn't budge. He empties his clip at it but it's all vanity. He collapses to his knees in exasperation as he realizes the gravity of his situation. 

Me: I told you. Your obsession with power will be the end of you.

Cedric: This isn't over. Not by a long shot.

Me: No, it's not. But you must never forget why I'm the Alpha of this operation.

SSM picks his jaw up from the floor.

SSM: You're the villain?!

Me: No. I'm the guardian. This Cedric fellow is a nut case and needs to be closely monitored. I don't even know where he got the gun. Who knows what he'll do if I let him have the run of things? 

SSM was kind enough to vacate the premises without further incident. It's a good thing he showed up and bought me time or else Cedric would surely have overrun me. (*shivers at the thought of it.)

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Versatile Blogger Award

There I was, on a lazy Sunday afternoon enjoying my weekly serving of comics. Upon a sudden, my phone buzzed with distracting urgency. I checked and saw that it was a Twitter notification. I tossed the phone aside and continued reading. I do not pay attention to Facebook and Twitter much during the weekend. They have a nasty way of inducing unwarranted FOMO. What with all the situation pics and trendy hashtags (is that what they call trending topics?). Anyway, I saw the message today morning and... Here we are! 

Thank you Nev and Denise for nominating me for the suspicious (Cedric: Ahem, it's 'auspicious'.), sorry... auspicious award. I didn't even know I was noteworthy until well-respected readers of my blog brought it to my attention. Babawe kyemunywa.

The Rules (I'd like to think of them as more like... guidelines.)
1. Thank the person that nominated you and include a link to their blog.
2. Nominate at least 15 bloggers of your choice. When considering a fellow blogger for the Versatile Blogger Award, keep in mind the quality of their writing, the uniqueness of their subject matter and the level of love displayed on the virtual page.
3. Link your nominees and let them know about their nomination.
4. Share seven facts about yourself

The following people have amused, inspired, excited, frustrated, informed and enlightened me through their writings. As such, they deserve to be nominated (I'm not heavy on praises, except when I'm MC'ing. Then I'm brazenly extravagant with the niceties).

Simon - You could think his life is entirely comedic. Good thing he blogs regularly.
Rogers - No one narrates escapades like this lawyer/cook.
Robyn - When you read his stuff, you feel like you're sailing on the Mississippi (or a similar river not known for rapids).
Edmund - Back in the day, he used to be a big deal. He kinda faded from the limelight.
Edna - She has a certain quiet appeal about her that lingers long after the tab has been closed.
Beewol - Crazy, both in thought and in deed.
Bazanye - Wizened sage of the writing arts, and wannabe comedian. 
Lynn - My mortal enemy. But she deserves a mention, for all the trouble she's caused me.
Rhyno - Mostly philosophical. Some of his posts have been known to induce violent headaches (sometimes resulting from furious fits of laughter).
Colin - His insights are, well... Insightful. This one doesn't know the meaning of 'going easy'.
Qatahar - Thanks to him, information is not boring to read, at all. 
Pearl - She wears her heart on her sleeves, as it were. Look, they have frills! 
Olee Branch (Yeah, one of those with whom you have to use both names. Singularly, they don't have gravitas) Beautiful in word as she is in being.
Those guys of Urban Legend - They are legion-dary! (Cedric is groaning, but he'll be fine.)
Peter - how I wish he were a playwright instead.

These are either little known or very known facts:

#1 - I don't like animals. I tolerate them. I'm not cruel to them. I just find a way to coexist peacefully with them. Although there was this one cat...

#2 - I'm the guy that will sit quietly at a bar and watch life happen around him, feeling no need to partake. I'm happy being left alone to my thoughts. However, it has recently come to my attention that if I continue behaving like that, I won't be invited to many parties. They have forced my hand, so for the most part, I'll behave like I'm really interested in socializing.

#3 - I love liver! Sadly, there's not many people/places that prepare liver the way I like it, so I barely indulge. 

#4 - I barely go on coffee dates for the coffee. Depending on the time and level of hunger, it can be anything from ice cream to a burger with fries. So, when someone says, "Let's meet for coffee," I tend to get confused. 

#5 - I've never gone on a blind date. Probably never will. One of the few things that I dread.

#6 - I don't know why people mistake me for an IT guy. I'm not. Not even close.

#7 - I'm a man of few words, but plenty of imagination. And it's not odd to catch me talking to myself. Okay, maybe it is but I no longer care.

Now, if you'd be so kind as to pass this along (and do the same, of course), the world will be a better place. If butterflies could clap, you'd be dancing by now. But wait... (listens ko) you may dance now.