The Interview

Den 6. Mai. 2019.

It was an especially windy morning and I was in a losing battle with the rain, my least favourite forecast. By now my mascara was like a plangent river and my nipples seem to have resisted all the confines I had on, and were poking out as if in protest. This is the kind of morning I’d double up on blankets and burrow a hole through with my body. Now I simply had to resist the urge to moan.

Several minutes later, I was in the courtyard of one of the most prestigious establishment of the town’s history. The weather didn’t seem to deter the occupants as there were more than a handful of young adults, running around in the garten, and some if you can believe, making rain angels.

I walked right through the iron-casted door and shook myself like a shaggy mutt, hopefully I’d get some warmth flowing through my veins before the interview. This was my first job interview, but my quivering body and goose-bumped skin subdued all other nerve-wrenching feelings.

As I walked through the long corridor, searching for the waiting room, a door opened and the man wedging his robust body between it was possibly in his late 40s. He seemed to be squinting at me through his rimmed-glasses; “Frau Ukut, Sie sinds?”

I swallowed my words as I replied; “Ja da bin ich”. He motioned to me to wiggle myself past him. I took a seat behind him as he muttered some welcoming words while taking a seat. We were separated by a sturdy table made from maple oak. He adjusted his brims and glared at me. By this time, my smile was beginning to quake. The voices in my head bellowed in unison, “Oh no, the jig is up”.

I dared to break the silence, “Herr Mayer, Gibt es eventuell eine Probleme oder?

“Na ja”, he heaved, ” Sie sind ein bisschen zu groß, eine Patientin hier zu sein”

Entschuldigen Sie, I chuckled at the silly remark, “Ich bewerbe mich nur bei Ihnen als Assistenzärztin. Haben Sie meine unterlagen nicht bekommen oder?”

He toyed with the tip of a pen which seemed to have been heavily chewed on, then picking up the telephone, he punched in numbers and made some affirmations with the person on the other end. A few footsteps later, there was a knock on the door. Herr Mayer stood up, straightened his tie and right before disappearing assured me. “Warten Sie, Ich komme gleich wieder zurück”.

I sat there peering at the obscure hand painted framed images loosely hung on the wall. A couple were of a woman with soft eyes and a reverse smile. Another was of a clown trapped in a burning building, and there were others that had too much going on anyway. Absorbing myself within them kept me from tinkering with Herrn Mayer’s impression about me being a patient..

Shortly as promised, he was back with news, ” Ich freue mich darüber, Sie zu erzählen, dass Sie den Job bekommen haben. Wenn es stimmt dir zu, können Sie schon am heute Nachmittag anfangen”. My heart was palpitating in my chest as I could not believe his utterance. In that moment, I had forgotten every appropriate reply, so I grabbed his hand and shook it vigorously. Before I left the office, his last words since the forty mins I’ve known him were, ” we believe you will fit right in”.

So I went into the changing rooms and reemerged in the courtyard in white overalls. The dress code seemed to grab the kids attentions. Now the rain had stopped and my smile was beaming. Here I was, residing physician at the Institute of Paediatric Neurology and Psychiatry, Cologne. A dream I’ll keep reliving until it comes true.

I too have something to say

Breaking news, beautiful people, I’m back!. If you’re wondering what I mean by that, I honestly have no inkling. But today, I too have something to say regarding cultural silence and violence towards women.

The other day, My dad posted something about why women’s modesty is equal to virtuousness on our whatsapp group. My sister challenged the post with some strong feministic views. Now if there’s anything I’m good at, it’s ignoring conflicts. I’m not proud of it. Albeit, this banter did trigger something almost like a primal defence system in me, Much unlike any conflict. This may have a positive association with an issue I’m still dealing with.

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, then you may remember that I was raped at about age 7 by an uncle. I don’t like to bring it up, and it’s not a ploy for sympathy. I thought that was in the past, but apparently it resurfaces when a women virtues is questioned.

Permit me to derail yet again. Y’all know Nigeria right? the country that I’m rumoured to be from. We tend to be late, however the first feminism movement completely flew past us. Todays, several Nigerian women are what I call “Quasi-feminist”.

I simply do not value gender roles. I don’t care about whose submissive or who makes the most money. So, why did this simple harmless post about women’s choices of outfit churn my tummy into chucks? Then it hit me, this had nothing to do with the post, and everything to do with my father. I can’t come to terms that my father much like many Nigerian men still believe that rape is either partly or wholesomely the victim’s fault. Much like he may have not come to terms with his step-brother’s action. This is a conversation we need to have but I can never see it happening. Maybe in my next life, maybe.

The #MeToo movement bellowed the voices of women that were living in silence. Rape has been an epidemic in Nigeria for years but it has never been brought up as a societal concern because women are silenced against their violators and programmed to believe that it is a consequence of her promiscuity while the offending gender are left on the bench .

Many victims will venture through life never reaching their finest, most distinguished potential, because conflict especially with the opposite gender sets them back to the moment they got assaulted and they are crippled with a need to be submissive in order to survive.

As a writer, I feel like something has been stolen from me every time I want to connect with my childhood experiences and find blocks rather than creative flows. This doesn’t mean I’m bad, I’m acknowledging that there are seams of my memory that I don’t have access to and that really sucks.

My final point is harsh but there’s no polite way around it. I’ve probably penned it in poetry. They say children grow up to be their parents, and that is my biggest fear. I intend to triumph all the many different ways I am messed up, really because my children deserve to not grow up around the same personalities I did.

Thanks for stopping by for one of my self-therapy sessions, but I have to disappear again. I hope you endure my sadistic poetry for another week till I get back to creating real content.

Auf weiderschauen!

Smoke

I sometimes think about hugging you in the middle of a passing crowd in the narrow fashion district. Neither of us can claim bewildering growth, we just perceive that someday these tiny baby steps will amount to an Alpen.

It wasn’t so long ago we met. As always with your saucer eyes, and a self-righteous smirk that says, ‘I’m going places”, you tuned in your satellite to my frequency. You were neither the muse I wanted, nor the mentor I needed, you are much more.

You’re a rare breed of passion and gentle. You re-ignite a fire in me that I thought was burnt out. The smoke from my incense, light as a feather may linger further as they appease your senses.

Your lips are cracked and laced, dark from cigarettes. After the third kiss, I didn’t mind. I just wanted someone who held my stare when they kissed me.

At times I wonder, why we craved each other.Your silhouette guided me like a compass. I learnt to make a bonfire by striking two stones at the golden hour. At the crack of dawn, our love turned into lust.

I hate goodbyes, I know you do too. My heart may shed a drop of tear, when you walk out. But the curls of smoke will bear your weight on lavender clouds past the sycamore tree.

Like a robin, every now and then my soul stirs up a ruckus. Those are moments I step into my head and playback the memories. I’m still drawn to your fragrance like an ant to honeysuckle.

Take care of you… for the both of us, take heed of hills and mountains along your path. I have to heal from you, and you have to do the same. Maybe One day we can stand to be in the same room again.

Till then, i’ll let the embers burn our story down and the smoke erase our slate, fading away before they reach the skies. No survivors recorded. just our ashes