The Great Rebellion [Part 1]

“Just because everything is changing doesn’t mean it’s never been this way before” – Regina Spektor

Life! What a thing! It’s lived forwards but can only be understood backwards! The only way to really understand life is having eyes behind your head!

Now, looking back, it’s much easier to understand the events of the past 20+ years. If I had a second shot at life, things would certainly be different but I will still stick out{no contesting that one. you can’t hide a sore thumb!}. Parents inherently underestimate us – what more would you expect from people who saw your pink butt and soiled diapers? They just don’t believe that people who once couldn’t tell shit from sugar someday grow up. Now, I love to “brag” to my parents about my achievements; and they always sound proud of me. But, identifying with one’s achievements is one thing, believing in their dreams when no one else would is something totally different. Parents usually prefer you tow the risk-free, predestined (by them) straight-jacketed, adventure-devoid line; one through which the adrenal glands are eternally hibernating. My folks never understand why I try to spend every holiday as far from them as possible.  But, you see, some animals were born to roam the wild. They don’t thrive in iron cages, getting described by the tour guide in the same words for a hundred years (“oh! He’s my son. He’s gonna be a professor ….”).

They venture into and conquer new territory. They get their hands dirty and their backs bloodied. They crave challenges. That is one phylum I love to identify with. The truth is: God designed man to dominate: animals, plants, the earth in general – but not other humans. The human mind congenitally detests oppression and will fight till the last drop to break free. No prison, no Scofield.

I was having a little chat with my old-man some time ago about taking up an internship with a brand-manager. He quickly got all historic! “You know, his dad was a legendary artist, and he studied law. So, you see, he had all he needed to manage brands!” For some inexplicable reason, my response was not audible. I simple said to myself “even if I were born the emptiest of vessels and had to acquire education by staring at feeding pigs, I’d still be the best at what I do”.

A long time ago, during a routine home-cleaning campaign, I stumbled on my baby-book. That would go on to be a landmark discovery {but I shouldn’t be getting ahead of the story}. You see, I come from a family of three children: two boys, one girl. When I landed at 5:45 that Sunday morning {imagine that the first thing I achieved on earth was denying some people Sunday service! No wonder I still go late}, weighing in at eight pounds, the DIC (Doc-in-charge) was pretty sure I was “just another baby” – how wrong he was. Pop was scheduled to defend his Ph.D. thesis the following day. Little wonder he called me “inspiration” on the eight day (BTW, Imisi means Inspiration). The next 8 years were largely uneventful save the many Sunday-school awards and the curious (but significant) domestic and automobile accidents {that’s a whole new story altogether}. Depending on what faith you hold, there are at least two births in a man’s life. For me, there were three. The second (that of self-discovery) happened while I was 13.

One ordinary day, my pop asked my bro and I to accompany him to the office. Then he said he wanted to talk to us. “Oh shit! My butt’s gonna be sore for another week”, I thought. Pop was naturally good at wielding the whip. Even the beatings without “foreplay” left you reeling. How much more this? My feet (and brain) weren’t quite as fast then, so even if slaughter awaited me, I had to go. We got to the zoo and he had us sit on a dead log. It was then I made the most shocking discovery of my life: Pop was human after all. No, he wasn’t chasing baboons around their cages or trying to sing turtles out of their shell. Hun hun! He was telling the story of his life. His mom had been the last (and definitely the envy) of his illiterate father’s unnumbered wives, he had been his dad’s favourite (but most rascally) son but his dad had died just before hearing that he aced his secondary-school entrance exams – while pop was aged just 12! {“Jeez! I’m 13! Maybe I’m running on extra time”}. Of course, everyone told him he was finished. “Excruciating” isn’t strong enough a word to describe the details – but he made it out. He told me he’d have no greater joy than watch his sons become greater than him. That got me thinking: “what if I wake tomorrow and pop’s dining with his pop?” The veil on my eyes lifted and I began to see 5D. Life is short. Life is crazy. Life CANNOT be predicted! You’ll probably assume it was “happily ever after” from then on. HOW WRONG! LIFE IS CRAZY!

Back to the baby-book story. We had stumbled on my bro’s baby-book a while prior – and the details were stupefying. Someone obviously took delight in filling it out. So, when I found mine, practically empty, there was a 7.0-magnitude mind-quake within me. I musta been 8 or 9 at the time. Then, all the details came back to me in HD. My head was inundated with a piercing revealing light of those tiny details I had ignored. It felt like I had taken a swim in a river of vintage “Shepe*“. Alas!, my bro had been born under more exhilarating circumstances. He was the life of the party – the kind of kid everyone noticed. If he wasn’t beating another kid up, he was disconnecting the stabilizer mid-way through a gig. I was the second boy in the space of only fourteen months; wee bit shy, made no huge demands – except on breast-milk (men! I’ve always loved that stuff). If mom had a dream at the time in which some dark dude with flaming-red eyes called me “a bloody photocopy”, she wouldn’t have dubbed it a nightmare. Then, about three years after my “inspiring” birth came my sister. She completed the swing of the spotlight. I was now no more than a “backdrop” – one against which others shone!

I suddenly realized that my parents held on to a convenient but yet-to-be-proven concept that I was the quiet one – the “good-kid”; the Uomo Di Panza – as my Italian friends would say. But,know this for a fact: SILENCE IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF SOUND. IT IS THE ABSENCE OF AUDIBLE SOUND! A lot goes on in the mind behind sealed lips. That mind moved into overtime activity – building muscles for that once-feeble frame. It began to observe everything. I became more attentive to the fact that I could never win a petition against my bro as long as my mom was judge. Putting it simply: my mom had a soft spot for my bro, my pop for my sis – and me? Oh what luck!!!. I really couldn’t understand why my dad wouldn’t “declare for me”. We obviously connected better than he did with my bro, he seemed to understand me and have more success in reaching the “me” that was fast bottling up. Somehow he just didn’t. Maybe he was just scared of how mom would react (she was pretty explosive, but, come on! A poor kid’s mind was at stake!). Yea right! “Good kid” indeed.

Thankfully, grandma (mom’s mom) still lived. That angel made me feel worth something. Though she stayed in far-away Ijebu-ode, she’d always find a “flimsy” pretext or schedule a doc’s appointment to coincide with my birthday. (I’ll love you forever, ma. RIP). She’d bring me a book or a bible – or just a hug. She kept me going – like insulin to a diabetic. So, when she died in my JSS 2, I was more than convinced my life was over. Till date, memories of her are my most precious possessions.

The Great Rebellion [Part 2]

*That’s some local brew. Legend has it that it endows one with the ability to walk with the head – while the brain moves to the feet!

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5 Responses to The Great Rebellion [Part 1]

  1. Moninuola says:

    I believe God had a complete drawing of what he wants each one of us to accomplish on this planet before we came here at all. He has a course that he wants us to take and he wants us to have finished that course by the time death approaches so that we can face it confidently.The course is not usually vague for he will uniquely equip each person for his unique path of life.You have been facing the trauma of knowing your path in life and being prevented from running in it. Life is a theater of dreams where each person should be given the opportunity act out his own unique dream. You have a dream but others have been imposing theirs on yours so that it seems as if you will never be able to act out the part you were meant to play in life.The way out! I have to wait for your update but something has to change somewhere. Someone has said that a cemetery is the place where most treasures lie because people die with their unfulfilled dreams. Some ran the race of life in the wrong direction under parental control. Imagine if Usain Bolts had ran his record breaking 100m in the wrong direction! No man might have known that he ran that fast.

  2. ... says:

    Wow! Fola! This is highly insightful. You would make a great writer.. Thanx. Pls read on!

  3. marian assin says:

    whatever tale i have 2tell pales next to this.

  4. Imisi says:

    @Marian: Ahw! Thanx. Everything happens for a purpose. In time, we all discover this truth.

  5. Pingback: The Great Rebellion [Part 2] | De-Me-Stified

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