You Did Not Die, You Lived.

So. You were bested.

Was it not temporary? Will you not stand again?


Did you not get back up? Did you not survive? Did you not breathe again – deeply?

Don’t you just hiccup now at the thought?


At the time, in the very beginning, it seemed that all was lost.

It was not.

It held together as most things tend to do, when will is the glue piecing them through.

Save your victory lap, though. Get to the end and that was not the end. It was a part of the journey. That

Was not the beginning. You remember the beginning.

This was one stumble.

One out of a great many, parsed out over the journey.

Convoluted, hard,

Not an easy route.

Save that which you can, and remember to breathe, when you can.


Just so. And when you consider it later, I want you tempted to hiccup at the thought.

Close your eyes and savour it. But just for a moment.

I need your eyes open to continue down that road. And to know you will not die.

It will not kill you. Not till it is your time. And then, even then, you will breathe- deeply

As you go.

Prose et Poesie


She gets off the train and swiftly tucks her gloveless hands in her coat pockets; jamming her right thumb into the clumped up earphone cords connected to her phone that is, also, jammed in her pocket. She walks briskly to the traffic light and waits with head bowed for the light to favour her crossing. Five minutes after she has crossed the slushy mess of a road, she is letting herself into a warm lobby with a fob that is part of the tangled mess of that same right coat pocket. She briefly debates checking her mailbox but doesn’t do it. She, more pressingly, needs to pee. She takes the elevator up to her floor and walks – trots- to her door. She pauses for the briefest of beats outside her door and swings her tote off her shoulder. She lets it hang at her side as she opens the door – it will discourage the cat from dashing outside when she opens the door wide enough to walk in. He is sitting by the door as expected, he is shooed back by the bag he has not yet come to expect after six months of the same… Cats are not known to be exceptionally bright. She closes the door and does a pee-jig by it as she hangs up her coat. It has become more like a pee-shimmy by the time she kicks off her boots and walks sideways to the bathroom. She pees – relief. The cat winds his way around her legs. She wishes that he wouldn’t. He rubs himself on her tights. She tells him to go away. He seems to listen and settles just outside the door. She needs a shower and some dinner – in that order. The shower is warm and necessary. The cat sits just behind the shower curtain and jumps back when she is done and moves the curtains out of the way. She puts some music on and sashays as she lotions. She throws on something comfy then passes through a body spray mist she has created on her way out the bathroom door. She decides a quick stir fry will do and gets out a chopping board. The cat trails her to the kitchen, meowing now in hopes of a cat treat. She picks out a knife to chop some onions, the cat lays it’s upright tail lazily on her legs. She squats, plants her vegetable knife deep in the thorax of the cat in one swift motion, then walks back to the bathroom for another shower. 

Prose et Poesie


One blow… One pronounced skip of the calming rhythm of my heart’s steady pace. That was my initial reaction to the news. One blow that plunged me first into shock then into hyper reaction then into the stark flow of silent tears then back into shock. One blow was the only punctuation I felt in the next 20 minutes of an unending sentence that I endured before I felt myself truly breathing again. Just that one blow. Only one…

Missy came into my life when I was 10/11. The years are blurry at this point. But I remember that she came when the office was still on Awolowo road, super close to Munchies. Super close to Bacchus as well (but I wasn’t aware of the latter till much later in my adolescence). And her name was as spontaneous and attitude driven as the person she was named after at a whim – Missy Elliott.

She was the perfect character from day one. And with the trepidation of the young who love all furry four- legged friends but who are also smart enough to have a certain regard for  life and self preservation, I played with her coyly at first; quickly nervous if she got irritated or overly excited with me. Eventually, and not after very long, I decided I loved her. Like you know the kind of love you have for something or someone that never fully leaves your thoughts? That importance of their wellbeing? That happiness in the reunion? I loved her.

It has always been clear how incredibly blessed I was to know Missy. How blessed I still am to have known her. It’s not common in Nigeria to have dogs as pets. This is not to say that people do not have dogs or that people have a shortage of love for these adorably loyal creatures. But what tends to happen is that a lot of people who love dogs in Nigeria do not have the means or the motivations to own dogs, and those who do tend to own them as guard dogs. It would seem of little consequence – these shifts in role title- but the only people with enough patience or time to love these guard dogs are usually those responsible for putting food and water in theirs kennels and releasing them at night. These people are also not usually their owners and more often than not, give abuse instead of love. But I, to my greatest advantage, grew up around dogs who were genuinely loved for their quirks and definitely not treated like “animals”. I was blessed in this way and was blessed to experience the best of Missy in this vein.

As an aside, I will say that the expression “being treated like animals” never sat well with me. Animals should be treated kindly and lovingly across the board, with pretty much the same courtesy we would give to complete strangers at the very least. Even in cases where we eat animals, their method of execution should be merciful and their grooming for this execution, humane. In other words, in an ideal world, that expression wouldn’t mean the things it does now. But back to Missy…

This post was really to acknowledge the life of an amazing dog. A dog that acted a good deal like a cat. One that added a lot of laughter and attitude to my life; a dog who had such emotion that sometimes I swear she could talk. And I think that single immense blow, the one that stopped everything for one second was my heart’s way of affirming what I already knew: that she will be missed tremendously.

RIP Missy