Activation Energy

This holiday break, Odun is reading a book by Ross Gay called The Book of Delights. In it, starting on his birthday, the author writes daily about something that delights him. Some entries are longer with some backstory about his life, while others are short straightforward descriptions of a delight.

I skim through some of the entries in the book and I’m thinking about the structure as I consider how difficult I find starting to post here.
I’ve read as much as I can about procrastination; the 25 minute Pomodoro method, the ‘1-2-3 just do it’ method, making lists, etc.
I try all of them, sometimes multiple methods at the same time. None of them work, but I stick with the search, because that is one thing I don’t procrastinate about: studying how to beat procrastination.

Later, while waiting for the bus to fill up, a man is giving out copies of a book that he wrote. The book is called Reflections on Visions.
At the back of the book is his photo, wearing a suit staring straight into the camera, and a dedication to his parents for his education and then this line:
“And to my wife and uncoming children namely: Immanuel, Salvation, Grace, and Unction.”
He is handing out the book to the occupants of the bus for free. Pay him whatever you want, he says. Most passengers give nothing but some people pass him money hidden in their palms in that covert way you give bribes.

I refuse a copy, shaking my head pretending to be busy with my phone. But when the bus starts to move leaving him behind, I am assailed with questions.
How are the children “uncoming”?
Is his wife currently pregnant? With quadruplets?
Is she not even pregnant at all and he’s receiving all this in faith?

All day, my mind gnaws at it and I add a few more theories to the list.
Maybe they are not actual children at all.
Maybe he has gotten visions of uncoming grace, salvation, and unction for himself and his wife.

At night, after I find my mind returning to it again, I reluctantly admit that he’s stumbled upon the most effective way to market the book.
(delight!)

Tear Nylon

I was walking to the bus stop this morning. It was early and the sky was dark with a hint of the orange of the day creeping in around the edges. The few cars on the road still had their headlights on.
A motorcycle passed me, slowing as it approached the junction.

There was a passenger on the back of the bike. He was a sturdy man, above average height, broad shouldered with large arms. His beard was carefully trimmed in that fashion conscious way, sideburns drawn down his face merging with the beard and a thin line of hair forming a moustache around his mouth.

He had on a muscle t-shirt that would be tiny on anyone. It was tight around the chest, tight around the arms, choking him. A tattoo poked out of the top of the shirt and crept up the left side of his neck.

He got down from the motorcycle. He was wearing unlaced high-top sneakers, there was a patch of hairy leg and above them cargo shorts that hung down to his calves. The shorts had pockets everywhere.

The okada man was waiting.

The husky man searched for money for the ride. He checked the front pockets of his shorts. Then the back pockets. He checked the tiny pocket inside the front pocket. He bent forward to check the cargo pockets down by his knees.

The man did all of this while carrying a newborn. It was tiny, still wrapped in that white fluffy cloth that brand new babies come in. He had tucked the infant under his arm when he was on the bike. Now, at five in the morning, he juggled it from bicep to bicep as he looked for change.

I stood there staring at him, making no attempt to hide it, watching people as they walked past and thinking, “Is anyone going to stop the man with the stolen baby?”

He paid the bike man. He jogged across four lanes of express, dodging cars as they zipped past. He jumped over the middle divider, and trotted across four more lanes of traffic, protecting the baby’s head as he ran.

Welcome to Lagos, little human.

From Saul’s Private Email Server

******2
From: King1@jol.com
To: HarpBoy17@jahoo.com

Hope u dnt mind. I got ur emal addy from Jonathan.
Sry abt d last time. I had a lot on ma mind. With the war an everything els.e
Sumtims when im lying down, I can feel darkness closing in from the edges, the darts my my enemies are throwin r hitting me right here in my soul, the weight of the kingdom is completely on my chest and my heart is pounding. U dnt knw what itis like. On those days, I av few ppl I can rely on.

And u say ur tryin but. Then you go an play a song I dont like. You prolly dont mean anytin by it, buti warned u severl times before in the past.
I accept your apology though. Nd I shoulnt av thrown the spear at you. That one is My bad.
Pls let m no when u r bak in town. Headaches are gettin worse, only ur harp suuthes them. It is like I wud die without yr help

Forgive my typings

 

 

******1
From: King1@jol.com
To: Giantslayer10Kkilla@jahoo.com

I see, its new achivement, new email address. No probblem.
If you tink dis is the type of thing you should be bragging about. Thatis up to you.
Continue to carry ur shoulders up. Act asif I did not bring you into my house. As if I did not raise u nd treat u as one of my own. And Even give u this opportunity to shine.

I offered u my daughter and u throw it back in my face as if I am begging u. You tink I care about taxes from your peasant family? Honestly, I perfer if you never mention this philistine thing 2 any1 again. If you cannt see fit to tell the truth, to be honest with people, justtell them u dunt want to talk about it.

And I knw its you talking about me behind mt bak telling people I’m crazy.
NO , u David u r d crazy one.

 

 

******3
From: King1@jol.com
To: Soninlaw2dking@jahoo.com

I ddon’tknow who u bin talking to. Spreading all sorts of rumors. That Me, of all people, sending assassins to come and kill you. Why wld I du sometin like that?
If I wantd to kill u, cann I not face u man 2 man and do it? Did I nut throw a spear at you that one time face to face? (and apologize)
And now that we are family. I resent that you wuld accuse me of something like that. After all the foreskins weve shared between us. If you tink I will send asassins to ur house wherrr my own daughter leaves. You tink I will put my child at risk????

My curse on you, my curse on your family, my curse on those two bastard children of mine that are feeding you these rumurs. I swear If I meet you or anyone related to you, anyone who knows you has heard of you or speaks positive of you, I swear on my life I will kill them. I will remove their eyes.
I wish you a slow death.

 

 

******4
From: King1@jol.com
To: KingInHiding@jmail.com

Sorry for that last email. Am going thru a lot of stress right now.

I Think its very disrespekt ful what u r doing to me nd my family.
U invade my privacy, tear my cloths, steal my spear, my water bottle.
After all I’ve done for u. Shame on u.
Delete your account.