Diary notes: The Raeberry Street inmate

Half formed thoughts
Still birthed, they haunt
My mind their play ground
In greyed corners they abound
Remnants of a creation lost
Death should be their conception thus
Yet they partake of actions formed
And now randomness becomes

DATE-LINE: 14/08/2010
The old man sits, pipe in mouth beneath a tree, watching the kid, prancing about as the nearby stream, it’s ripples chatting noisily with each other, flows past. Reels are pulled with care from memories’ museum, ancient tendons twitching as they roll tape; he groans.

The child, numb to the world outside the mind, indulges his whole being in his fascination. Writhing and twisting, a kaleidoscope of seemingly Sankoh* structured limbs grotesque in their temporary opus yet in fluid motion, unnaturally captivating. Gollum finally with the ring, dancing beneath traffic lights.

Frowning and tired of waiting on a scene with no future, constantly on rewind, I take my cue from the gathering dusk, kill the loop, strangle the child, insert a full stop randomly and aim for the old man, whom has suddenly become the kid.

Again.

And I flee.

His laughter chasing my hands as my fingers hurry through the nearby stream of randoms, searching for another dream bubble. But with forebodings lusting after tense extensions, the unlucky bubble’s fate is placed in rhythm with footfalls as….

… the tall dark warden suddenly walks into the room; awake, instinctively, I untie myself, but not from a sudden rainbow of slow forgotten guilt and the ghosts of slain dreams.

“Hey!  Why did you do that? My *snookie!”

“Why are you here?”

“Nooo old man….why are you here… you are not supposed to be. My snookie….I’m telling mum!”

“Shut up… Kid. We are not brothers.”

“Oh yes we are dimsum”

I reach for my watch to see how time ages and the body beside mine, finally free of my limbs, stirs, still afloat in that shallow nothingness between dreams, perhaps. I don’t think she actually slept, dream sleep I mean. Neither did I.

“Liar!”

My mind feels like a school boy’s bum at the mercy of the cane and boy, could her stories make canes sing? Their downward journey whistled the many notes of my foolishness in loud volumes. Dear Poetry, she must get a kick from seeing Nigerians cry… I tell you, the story those canes told me would be worthwhile for your ears. They brought….

Unfettered tears streaming to fast flowing rivers
Unsure how strong the currents grow, I deigned a deep
Now how do I tell what I have seen?
There are thorns in her feet
Tattoos in her eyes
Bruised petals aching in the wind
The rose that grew from the concrete walk

I have a new found respect for her; her shoes require feet I doubt I am blessed with. She ups and out the bed she goes with the warden, the untied rope that was sleep providing an escape from the company of lost souls. Her brief attention and presence though an achievement for me, did taste like an anal victory in a world of vaginas.

During the night, as Audemet Piguet’s fingers spun on the bedside table, I had reached through the winding minutes, past hours and returned with the notion amongst other things that the other warden, the one with mask like face, asleep in the living room told porkies when he said knew her. For you see, different shades of a particular colour will look the same from a distance, except you are chanced a close observation. I gloat inwardly, I never judged. I have always been right.

“I never judge, I am right, I never judge, I am right … hahaha … your shirt of self deceit should be rags now, what with your age, old man. To forget your past you assume false morals. Don’t judge me, I am different.”

“Show some respect kid and shut up”

“Hey you shut up and listen. I have got your goat for the next few days, you are mine. I will make you remember”

I feel the throbbing in my head again. My mind, now a jigsaw of mismatched vignettes.
Poetry where art thou?

The wind stalls in between tree leaves.
 wee birds in still flight, the sea, a sudden calm,
As Sun rays part ways and sound loses life
Exactly when she comes forth, the little flower in my garden
Wonder what happens when she blooms

 As I leave the bathroom, today whispers a doomed ending but so did yesterday. My respite will be short lived, time says. Poetry nods sadly in response; there is little my old lover can do but offer her breasts and listen. Sure, hope flares anew with each word but the ashes quickly return before my ink dries. I think back, bits of our conversations floating in from the past days and the whole tells my life a waste beside hers. I wish I could find a new pair of ears and a mouth. Poetry speaks not to me words that soothe.

The girl might listen but I couldn’t travel back to the beginning. What good will it bring her anyway? And though seemingly asinine, her mockery or disdain would hurt.

“Serves you right, you will never tell; you are slaved to the past…. to me”

“Nothing lasts forever kid. Maybe another round of colourful pills and you lose, freedom lies in the sachets hidden in my drawer”

“Hahahaha….. like they freed you last time?”

I wonder at the construct behind time. Science told me some years back that if you moved faster than the speed of light you could actually see the past. I had asked him how and he replied with the question, “Your brain isn’t dead, is it?” Now only Nigerians supply questions as answers to a question so it shouldn’t be a long stretch to consider time as one of the clan would it? We seem to be popping out of every hole these days. Settling down in front of my lap top, I consider the possibility of untying a lot of knots in my past. The big knot of 1992 would be my first shot.

I try to focus on my website tasks. I have been called many things but never an IT consultant and it sure sounds nice to my pockets if my thoughts do not interfere but the mind strays again …. His breath, painted with cheap gin … Why can’t my legs move … Someone is outside the room; please lord let him knock on the door … The light bouncing off his belt buckle; I escape inside … There is a door inside the light …. I open it and enter my room just as my laptop battery calls out in distress.

Oh lord, Poetry! Where art thou?

Words of love, borne in the wind,
Leaves me giddy
and lightly, like a butterfly
I fall,
tasting you like cherry drops

Touch of love, borne in the wind
Leaves me still
until my hands recover from your skin

Taste of you, borne in the wind
Beckoning me….beckoning me.

“Black Robbie Burns? I think not old man.”
“You cannot intrude here”
“Hahaha…. your thoughts are my playground and I go where I please. So you seek a connection? The girl might seem a runner but she cares less, old man and besides, teeth like yours scare young people”

DATE-LINE: 15/08/2010
My respite is truly short lived. Time ends its daily lap, starts another and I am yet to succumb.  Fear is indeed great a weapon in battle against the self. The images on the television simulate medieval battle scenes with the atypical brave soldier defiant to the very end. The warden on the couch stirs briefly and I wonder what battles he has fought. His story has always seemed the sort I would have liked to act. No running. No darkness. We always see the other side of the fence as better than ours. But I think the ability to see one’s self as others perceive us and perceive others as they see themselves allows us knowledge to a great extent of how green the grass is on the other side of the fence. This I greatly lack for it is hard to run and think at the same time. I look at my feet, upright in the air as I lie on the couch, swift to action they are. We have come a great distance together, my feet and I, yet I despise them and gloat at their unkempt appearance.

The girl walks into the living room to turn off the light and my thoughts change direction. Is she really a runner? Why ask, I know she is, what with those sleeping pills, her sometimes irrational behaviours and strange moods. She tried to run the final mile two days back and I didn’t even know. I seek something from her yet so into myself I am that I didn’t even hear the final footsteps of a fellow runner as she tried the last mile. I think her track was laid on broken glasses. I wonder how different from my colourful pills they are. Which is quicker?

I nod my disapproval with her intent to send me into the waiting arms of the dark and she comes over. Asking me why I am not asleep, she bends over and gives me a kiss, wishing me good night. I shudder inwards for it feels like a seal on the promise that waits if I dare close my eyes.

I watch through the corners of my eye, like a sly dog, as she walks off.

Weird.

Why does she enter my room in that manner? I remember the tall dark warden going to the other room briefly and then returning to my room; walking across the short corridor with a quick furtive glance into the living room.

My mind smiles sadly at the budding thoughts. He paints the gift of his wife in my presence with his saliva and behind my back, his semen, inking she and I fools in her vagina. She doesn’t deserve her character in this his masterpiece. I hate him.

I hate him and that’s why I ate him. I hate so I ate him. I hate him so I ate him without the honour of a plate.

I get up and seek a better comfort on the horizontal in the next room. These wardens, keepers of morals and our rules of engagement; one a liar, the other …. I don’t know… don’t care. Poetry, were art thou breasts?

The broth of manhood was quite early in coming. On that fateful day out with my virginity, the brutal thrusts, back and forth, seared that taste into memory for all time. Standing with the others, mentally naked and now devoid of unseen teen years, the collective holding the cup was relentless. With the aftermath a kaleidoscope of the many evils residual in thenewly formed man, punishingly on mental rewind, I bleed my heart and I run.Run Forrest, run!!!

I run hard and fast. Little boyish feet pit pattering in grown men shoes. I run until I find myself amongst colourful small respites. The red one takes you here and the blue one takes you there but a good measure, stirred and shaken takes you on the final mile. I hop on the redrum ride, bid sentience goodbye and wake to destination, the welcoming party caring less. Shock bleeds my heart and I run. Run Forrest, run!!!

I run hard and fast. Teenish feet pit pattering in grown men shoes. I run until I find myself in a smoke filled room piled with lazy bodies.Pausing, the man recedes and the boy sways to sweet chin music. Dancers float dimly in the corners and I grab a partner, the undulating movement in rhythm with the winding silhouettes of hazy forms clothed in smoky promises of peace. The tempo gradually changes as more bodies appear and the man wakens. Unable to confront his presence, I bleed my heart and I run. Run Forrest, run!!!

I run hard and fast. Misshapen feet pattering, thumping hurriedly in a montage of boyish teen old men shoes. I run until I wake up in the land of the cold sun. Armed with the winter and the distance, I stand firm, tired and angered by my broken feet. As doom grins in delight, scaled tongue slithering in anticipation of what is rightfully his until She appears, soulful eyed; her silent knowing seals the void, boy and man merge, Forrest stops running.

I stand steadfast, misshapen feet, yes, but no longer running. Picking up the Princess, I put her safely in my pocket and face the ether. “Run Forrest, run. Run Forrest, run” it mocks but my feet steadies, Forrest Gump runs no more.

The new day breaks to find my fear blunted and the battle lost. My lover did exert herself most diligently all night but nature doesn’t appreciate disobedience. Snatches of the past pulled me in gradually … an intermittent flow of coarse and then gentle tugs. My eye lids laid bowed in defeat until the warden, maskface, intervenes.  Our presence will be required outside of the prisons today it seems.

There is a hint of foreboding doom in the air as I dress and I think about the girl. The shaky bridge built between you both will be shattered, says her tarot cards on the dresser.

“Haha….you lose again. Forest Gump and the Princess my arse! Today, I’ll end this whole crap.”

I man up and rush my internal gates; hold the fort, these walls will not be breached. Whatever awaits me today will be broken on these walls like water on a rock. Maskface and I attend to our summons for a while until the first attack. Forget the bravado; I had suspected that I would stand no chance. It was just a word, “Labourers”. A simple word it was, like an ordinary spear that finds it’s way to the parts of the body uncovered by armour. I left the warden at the site of our summons wondering what was happening as I hurried back to the prisons, impeding defeat closing in with each step. I enter my cell just as Rome falls to the barbarians and I reach for my lover. Her breasts are cold and they repulse me. As I flee from her, the tall dark warden removes the remaining vestiges of the wall that protected Rome and the last of the barbarians pour in. He looks at me with concern like he knows and asks if I slept during the night.

The barbarians roam free amongst the ruins and the girl gets the first taste of the ensuing rage before I could escape.

“Come to me old man. Your fate has long been sealed.”
“Can I at least make peace with the girl first”
“Fuck Forest Gump and The Princess….”
“Please…”
“It won’t make any difference, your smoke and mirrors made sure she, like everybody else never truly saw you. She might sense some truth but unlike the wardens, she has issues more serious than the burden of your unpleasantness”
“Please…”
“Come to me old man.”
“Please…… how about the wardens?”
“The wardens? Who says you will be coming back”

Strong broths of the bad thing flood the ether
Innocent of how the world schemes, the boy entered
The ensuing ashes gain wings in the weightless mess
as the Man falls in helplessness
It was never part of the truth, that He would join the linnets
Where’s the seller of time? I need more minutes

I was once told the boy did father the Man
The last seconds reveal Him dying with my last hope
Tell father I will not be coming home
I have killed a man

Post-Script (DATE-LINE: 18/08/2010)
The sun has run its periodic race twice since the barbarians breached the walls.  I look out from my dungeon, everything still seems the same.

The kid is asleep, I venture forth; Òran Mór, our Cathedral of Guinness.

Old McLeod is there, smiling into his pint; a thick Scottish smile, broken nose and all. Francine is behind the bar staring at me with her big doughy eyes, “Hi hun, what can I get you?”  I tell the usual jokes. McLeod laughs “You need to chain these darkies” and growls, “come here black boy”.  The *PC crowd throw evil eyed darts.  McLeod gets more excited. I goad him in bad English “Wait..wait.. masa, why your women like black cock”. We get warned. I drift some hours forward. The wardens and the girl are now at the cathedral. I hover around for awhile, working the crowd with McLeod, patter and jokes in hand. We get warned again. Everyone is getting more excited, Arthur Guinness working hard. Everything still seems the same.

Yet I still pretend, indulging myself till the colourful respites finally beckon. Behind closed doors of the Bar’s loo, I dabble in colourful play and time takes a back seat. Redrum ride to the final mile, “good bye kid.”

I wish I could tell you it all ended happily. Sadly time resets and I am back to the beginning. Picking myself up, I find the wardens and the girl at the bar. “McLeod was looking for you” says the mask faced one.  The other stares nonplussed at some imagery while the girl chats happily away. Everything is still the same, nothing changed, nothing changes.

I drift gradually towards my dungeon, the kid’s waiting wrath a sudden comfort from this reality.



15 thoughts on “Diary notes: The Raeberry Street inmate” by Eldee (@codrojac)

  1. With all due respect…what’s going on here?

    1. I second that question. I guess the protagonist is supposed to be insane but…it’s really disjoint. I could hardly make any sense of what I read.

      Maybe if the writer could shed some light…

      1. I felt the same way too, even though I admit that there is fine poetry infused in this work, but the writer didn’t mix it well enough for us to really enjoy this work.

        @seun-odukoya, I guess this writer reminds you of someone we both know, abi?

        1. Hmmm.

          Someone who’s still very much around here somewhere.

          I feel I should post the remainder of that story…but…

          1. I kinda miss reading that ‘someone’s’ work you know…it would be nice to read from him again, his works are much clearer.

  2. This is crazy..has left me with a lil headache..
    @eldee..Pray do tell..what is happening with/to the Raeberry Street Inmate?

  3. This must be some highly-rated literary exposé or something. I’ll have a second go at it, and then I s’pose I’ll have something concrete to comment upon

    Anyways, the poetic infusion is brilliant, I hope I find the missing link

  4. Hahahahaha, I think I get this. This is deep.
    But I don’t like the writer so am gonna just…
    Lol

  5. I don’t understand jack of what i just read…infact i gt confused at a point bt d poetry is nt bad

  6. @obionyinye @kaycee @midas @seun-odukoya @scopeman60 @adaobiokwy @sibbylwhyte Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to read this, please find below, notes that should have been included in the post containing the story if not for the word limit.

    Notes on the Story
    1) *Sankoh = Foday Sankoh was a Sierra Leonean Warlord notorious for hacking off the limbs of children as a punishment.
    *Snookie = Also spelt “snooki” is a term used by urban teens (in the western world and also in Nigeria to my surprise) to describe sexually acts like cuddling and fondling.
    *PC = Politically correct
    *Òran Mór = An old Cathedral building used as a pub, club and theatre in Glasgow.
    *Redrum = “Murder” spelled backwards, a plot device in various works such as Stephen King’s novel The Shining

    2) This is an eperimental work set in a two bedroom flat on Raeberry street, in the city of Glasgow, (where the author resides) exploring the theme of mental disorder by combining poetry and prose in a singular work of fiction. The subject(or Narrator if you will) of this work, a Nigerian male is undergoing some form of mental conflict, the story is played out in prose, with poetry used as plot device when the subject attempts to escape from the reality of his present condition. Poetry is also used at the beginning of the story as an introduction and at the end before the post-script to summarise the story. Allusions are made in the story to the source of the subject’s (narrator’s) mental conflict.

    3) There will be some typographical / spelling errors in this work but I hope it doesn’t detract from the essence of the story. I am more interested in opinions with regards to the concept, narrative and my description of events, places and the subject’s mind state. (Espeacially as the narrative seems flat; I don’t think it engages the reader (who follows it) enough for the him/her to associate with the main character.)

    4) Apologies to those who will read this, if it seems a difficult read, I mostly write poetry but have been using NS as a sound board (for a year now) for my attempts at story telling / fiction , using both prose and poetry, of which this is about the third serious attempt. And like the other prior attempts, it is an experimental piece.

    5) The sentence “Yet I still pretend, indulging myself till the colourful respites finally beckon.” is one to be considered.
    The words “Yet I still…” is said to be an example of tautology but is found in everyday speech, especially amongst non-native English speakers. I believe it shouldn’t be a problem and the usage allowed by writers hence my persistence in using it even after being previously corrected by @emmanuella-nduonofit in the poem Ballad of a broken man. I would like to know how wrong my position is.

    1. hmmmmmmm…tanks 4 d explanation,i wil try 2 read it again

  7. And if this had been allowed into the piece, It would have made more sense at the “First read”..

    For this reason…@admin..How about removing the word limit?.

    1. In this case, we actually allowed Eldee to post more than the word limit, as he will confirm.

  8. Yes @admin, review the word limit please.

    1. We will consider it with time.

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