A struggling man perspective

Chapter 1

AB INITIO (From the beginning)

Ouch! Ouch! A sharp throbbing sting in my eyes… At that moment, I was feeling so meager and I knew that I was helpless. Like anyone in a great deal of pain, I wanted so much for everything to cease. You would think that I had hurt my eyes so badly, but it wasn’t that, it was something different. My pain was extreme, as I remember, and I believe that “extreme” does not account for how intense and excessive my pain was.

My foreground had a pile of rubbish – trash or junk as for the US natives’ lexicon – that I was charged to put away into two separate rubbish-bins. For this task, I was allotted only three hours, and my wage was to be $30. If my work today was ever suspected as inferior by contrast to any of my previous work with this employer, I will have unintentionally reduced both my wage as well as all future job opportunities with my present employer. It was only ten minutes into this business when Chicago reminded me of its bipolar nature; only this time it was monsoon, a brisk drizzle – like that was not typical.

Perhaps the weather was another compounding factor to my already present frustration, who knows at this point? knowing that the happenstance (sudden or coincidental) changes in the weather condition alluded (hinted) that my time would be a waste and the money I was anticipating after finished the job would be a mare ration of what i had hoped for, I felt discontented; a good percentage of my expected income would be lost that day. “For Christ sake, Chicago, I had over $2000 in debt that must somehow be paid, would you cut me a break?” thinking to myself hoping that my anthropomorphic enemy – Chicago’s weather – could somehow hear me and stop its madness.

As things continued to going awry, my eyes slowly became teary because all the happening around me was becoming overwhelming. But I continued to do my job almost – totally – neglecting the poising (imminent) weather conditions, that was when it happened…


“By the time you have tasted your sweat you are already at the beginning of your journey to true enlightenment in as much as you never forget why you work so hard.”

A Plaster-of-Paris (POP) board, slight under an inch thick, and about six feet by three feet in dimension with seriously jagged edges that I lifted overhead to put away broke midway and debris from it flew straight into my cornea. Ouch! Ouch! A sharp throbbing sting in my eyes. I screamed as the areas in my brain responsible processing distressful – parietal lobe and amygdala – were in a frenzy, working arduously, as I in turn struggled not itch or rub my eyes to avoid any significant damages. Pain and fear had become my new reality. The pain came from the already know discomfort which didn’t matter much to me since I knew that my body would deal with it slowly. But the fear which gripped me was numbing. I had become like a Petra (like stone) for the next few minute; in that fly of time, my mind worked like a 90’s radio tuning into memories for the salient one that can implicitly explain how we – body and mind – got ourselves here. There is no euphemism for how I felt right there and then. I believe then that I was in despair. In this frantic state it suddenly dawned on us – body and mind – that it was not a single past event in my life that had led me to lose my self-efficacy, rather it was a constellation of events over my growing years that had brought my high and mighty self to my knees.

For the next passing minutes, I would attempt and fail to inch away from this dull reality. But i met failure in every attempt. Still under the duress, I finally started to pay attention to what I avoiding , my past. I was born in the year 1900 in Lagos läˌɡōs Nigeria to a proletariat household of three including I. As the stories were told, my mother was working at that time as an unregistered nurse at one of the city’s mainland clinic; My father, who used to appear to me as a queer visitor in military uniform, was a high-ranking Nigeria Navy officer. Nana (grandma) was the silent type who was always slurring (taking her time to talk slow) her words, as I later learned. Sega’s gaming console and everyone favorite game, Mario, was at its popularity climax in those years, even,the ones spanning my formative years. Just a little under a year old, as I distorting-ly recall in addition to the multiple iterations of this past that my mother presently tells, I was already able to tell time, tune the TV set, and play the trending games of that time – Mario especially. Not only was I performing jaw-dropping feats for my age, I exhibited other signs of higher aptitude for language that I was already speaking much early than the average record time of a child. These abilities came at a price for me…


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Chapter 2

Untitled ( working progress)

He asked, ‘what is 9 x 9?’

Me: 81

He: Umm! – he was still looking displeased with me.

Then he asked a series of multiplication questions that I was supposed to have been studying while he had locked me in that room.

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