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18 - The Good Ole Magical Threshold [explicit]

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Nigerian Diaries



1:45am 2nd Jan, 2005



Not quite four months... but enough. I've had enough. There is a burning rage inside of me... an unrelenting anger that won't be appeased until I return home. The more you expect the more you will become disappointed. I thought I learned that long ago, but it seems I am still as stupid as I ever was. Then inject the sadness... the despair. Could it be the lack of atmosphere? Considering the recent Asian crisis? Or is it that I'm just stuck in another country, another culture, another time in space? Is it the lack of true friends? Or the loneliness imposed by lack of true love? Just when you think you have a grasp on life's meaning, it slips through your fingers and you're as lost as you ever were.



Here come the tears... the cavalcade. The salty reminders of your emptiness. And then... the ashes rise! My fucking Phoenix lives! I trample the absurdity threatening my sanity. I trample the little sympathy I have for others. I trample anything blocking my path to bliss. I trample...



So the tears have dried... the pain has dissipated. All the dials are pointing in the right direction, once again. The eternal facade is reborn. Inside I am dying.



But now, I'm also dying on the outside. The decay is in totality. I have no regenerating remedies at hand.



I want to sleep. I want to sleep for a very long time...



I want to sing!





Lying through my teeth again... self destructing one bullet at a time.



I think I have pushed beyond the admissible threshold. Once again... the point of no return.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Coming down from a very uneventful New Years Eve...

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17 – Du Gamla, Du Fria, Du Fjنllhِga Nord!

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Nigerian Diaries



10:18am 16/12/04 Stockholm…



Back ‘home’ for the first time in over ten years. Staying with my mother, who I’ve only seen half a dozen times in the past fifteen years. She lives on a lousy pension, so her fridge is quite bare. My first mission today is to rectify this situation. I’m taking her food shopping, and may pick up a kettle while I’m there… she uses an old microwave to heat up water. Well, better go have my shower and get ready.



09:41am 17/12/04



Got the food, got the kettle…now I just have to take her out one night, to break the monotony of her mundane life. I think she’s going slightly crazy. She walks around all day, talking to herself out aloud. She completely forgets something that happened only minutes ago.



We visited her father yesterday, who is now almost completely blind and going deaf. His life consists of eating, shitting and sleeping. He seemed somewhat happy to know that I was present. I filmed him for quite a while, as he reminisced on some old stories.



This place is depressing… the dreary winter weather, with its handful of hours of sunlight, doesn’t help either. All the leafy trees are barren skeletons, lit up by the gray skies. It’s hard to trade three months of the midday sun being directly over your head, to being slightly over the horizon. The sun rises around nine ‘o’clock. By two ‘o’clock in the afternoon it’s dark again. And it’s not even mid-winter yet!  



Think I’ll go visit my sister tonight, mainly for internet usage, so I can book a hotel in Fiji. This time I might splurge a bit. No more ‘Lonely Planet’ recommendations that end up being tiny rooms with almost no services! This time I want to spoil myself… room service, massage, snorkeling, swim-up-bar, jet-ski, kava ceremonies! :op Can’t wait…




Author's Notes/Comments: 

Guess I've run out of interesting things to say... if there ever was such an instance!

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The philosophy of canteen break

Past experience,

Canteen break

with the perm staff,

they feel awkward.

I feel awkward too.

Why?

Because they have some information,

of which is not convenient to share

with myself.

And me,

don't have much to share.

Awkward silences,

glances.

They don't want me to know,

And I'm not supposed to know.

So independent,

free agent

I

must be,

learn

on my own.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Okay, this is something I've just thought up of. It may sound like gibberish or rubbish but it sort of makes sense to me.

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15 – Amsterdam Mushrooms [explicit]

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Nigerian Diaries

7:48pm 13/12/04



Amsterdam…



Where else in the world can you walk in to a shop, approach the attendant and ask “excuse me, could I please have twenty grams of your finest fresh Hawaiian Panaeolus Cyanescens mushrooms?” Well, I guess you could ask any shop attendant this, but the only place in the world where you’ll actually have your request satisfied is Amsterdam.



“Would you like some ‘mushroom enhancer’ joints? You know about m.i inhibitors right?” he kindly replied. I told him about last night’s fiasco with the dried version - I bought a hit of the same type but in the dried version and it had virtually no effect on me – so he was doing his best to help me reach a fantastic high this time around, with the fresh version. The advice I got was to eat them on an empty stomach, eat little sugar, and smoke the enhancers just after I’d eaten the mushies.



Was supposed to meet up with Berry & Aiden tonight (two UK/Irish characters I met last night, playing pool at the ‘Waterfront’) to see ‘Boom Chicago’ at the theatre. I really can’t be fucked… and besides, I can’t remember what time it was we were supposed to meet… was it six or eight?



8:02pm  First 10 grams is down the hatch, so it’s time to light up the first enhancer joint. ;)



Think I’ll wait and see what the first 10 grams do to me before a devour the rest…. Already feeling tingles and it’s only been five minutes! It did say that this variety was the strongest, with the most intense visuals. Not sure what’s in this fucking ‘mushroom enhancer’ joint, but I’m getting fucking high! :op





*     *     *



10:01am

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Ok, so I'm no longer in Nigeria, but I wouldn't be here in Amsterdam if it wasn't for my contract in Nigeria, so I'll just keep posting in here...

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14 – Highway Robbery

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Nigerian Diaries

06/12/04  22:20pm



Was going to reminisce about my trip to Port Harcourt a few weeks ago but I don’t think I can be fucked any more. Worked twelve hours today and I really can’t be bothered repeating the story. Most people who wanted/needed to know about it were told in emails anyway… maybe another time. Perhaps when I’m flying towards Dubai, getting out of the surrounding filth, I will feel more inspired.



Actually, my current surroundings aren’t so filthy. I’m back in Abuja. Back to the clean streets… a good warm up for the senses – just in time for the impending culture shock, due next Thursday morning, when I arrive in London.



I don’t even have the energy to winge about the hotel reservation mix-up debacle this morning. Nor do I have the energy to complain about the unknown asshole who vandalized one of the cables my driver brought up here – meaning it would be impossible for me to complete my job without flying back to Lagos to pick up a replacement cable. No, don’t think I have much energy for anything more tonight… not even a wank. So, goodnight.


Author's Notes/Comments: 

One day I might write about it...

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13 – What Have You Got For Me? [explicit]

Folder: 
Nigerian Diaries

Thu 4/11



My wavering attention span has forsaken me yet again.



Ok, the second reportable event(s)…



If you drive around in Nigeria late at night (especially in Lagos), it is very likely that you will be stopped at a police checkpoint. Your driver is required to turn on his interior light before the vehicle comes to a full stop, thus enabling the cops to see what type of corruption mode to get ready for – local or foreigner. When the car stops the cop will walk over to your (the passenger) window and gesture for you to wind down the window. Once the window is down the cop will begin his routine. If the day of the week happens to be Friday, Saturday or Sunday, then the first thing the cop will say is “happy weekend”. I think there should be an exclamation mark after that greeting, though I’m inclined to think that the most relevant notation would be a question mark. It is as if they’re asking you if you’ve had a good weekend, or if it is going to be good, cause if the answer is yes, then they sure want a slice of this good fortune.



On all other days, or immediately following the previously mentioned greeting, they will ask, “what have you got for me?”

This is supposed to be your cue to reach into your wallet and grab a few hundred Naira, to bribe them into letting you go without a hassle.

I’ve never been much of a conformist, so these fuckers have never got a single Naira from me. In the beginning I used to just put on a dumb face and nod and smile, “yes, happy weekend!” pretending to have no idea of what they were after. After a while I got sick of these silly charades, and one drunken night, on my way home from ‘Y***’s’, I totally humiliated one of these ‘cops’. Having beaten almost every challenger on the pool table that night I was feeling rather cocky and invincible.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Got ahead of myself there... wasn't so cocky against the Warri highway patrol - but that's another story. ;o)

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Parody Of A Busy Man

I wish I could fly

A bird in the sky

Free to be in love

Like a pigeon or dove



Yet now in a cage

A Prisoner of the stage

An artist that has lost

The courage to cut loose



I’m tied to my profession

Been married to the depression

I want to break free

Have a cup of tea



Tomorrow I will wake up

Again in my lonely top

So many things left undone

Time will soon be none



Everyday is always the same

Can’t argue, nobody to blame

Someday though things will change

Making my life very strange!


Author's Notes/Comments: 

Sometimes I feel like I'm just fed up with my everyday routine, I want to do something else but I can't! I have to work!!!

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12 - Billy B Finds Some Beam! - or - The 'Warm Up' Strike [mostly harmless]

Folder: 
Nigerian Diaries

Tue 26/10



Finally! Park'N'Shop decided to stock a handful of bottles of Jim Beam, so Billy Boarster is getting his first taste of Kentucky Bourbon in almost seven weeks.



Ok, so it's been a bit quiet on the diary front the past three weeks, but I assure you, dear reader, that this is purely due to laziness and not lack of reportable events.



First reportable event that took place after I was struck with chronic laziness: the Nigerian general strike over price increases in petroleum.



This wasn't actually a 'general' strike, as I was to learn later. A 'general' strike means everybody strikes - nobody goes to work. During this four-day strike, however, many retail shops were still open, so we could still send our drivers out on food & alcohol errands (but mostly alcohol, as our constant boozing decamated our supplies). Apparently the only sector that went on strike was the transportation sector. Still, this did not change the fact that I, along with all the other imported E******* employees, were under house arrest during the entire four days.



(several hours later)



Ok, where was I? Procrastination threatened the climax yet again.



For this initial four-day strike I was offered J***'s apartment, as he was temporarily moving in to P***'s one, as P*** was still on holidays in England. I gladly accepted seeing my 'guest house' would have been an unbearably boring residence to sit out the strike.

At least in the 'Denver' apartment compound there were several Swedes who I could socialise with during the strike.



Anticipating a hard time getting  food and drink supplies, we all stocked up on the weekend, before the strike commenced.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Stay tuned...

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11 - Ballad of Lagos [explicit]

Folder: 
Nigerian Diaries

Thur 07/10



The Ballad of Lagos



The highways freeze

The side streets burn

Mechanics seize

Autopilot's turn



Addiction's squeeze

I never learn

The mozzie's tease

It's no concern



Could have been a street begging drifter type

Could have been an architect of all the hype

Could have been a banker counting all the cash

Could have been a dealer distributing the stash



Nursing destruction

Promoting world peace

A sudden distraction

And I am at ease



Evading detection

The emotions cease

Sponge of infection

Next puzzle piece



Could have been anything I wanted to be

Could have been a tall growing chestnut tree

Could have been a fungus between your toes

Could have been the cell where cancer grows



*     *     *



Every day I think about it... every day it crosses my mind...



/eat less junk, exercise more, stop drinking so much, start playing squash on a regular basis, drink lots of water, think positive/



Every day I come home and pour myself a scotch and coke. I fetch one of the bed pillows and tuck it into the backrest of my otherwise uncomfortable armchair. I switch on the cable TV and flick through countless channels of muted shit. I sip my drink.



I bought a toaster oven to break the monotony. Now I can get even fatter, through midnight dates with cheese, mayo & salami toast sandwiches.



Tomorrow night a bag of green is gonna do its best to aid me in the same quest.



Every star is a damsel in distress... Another wanker of a soul, desperately in need of serious therapy... just like me.



Distracted by yet another soft-porn cable movie...

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Think I even strummed out some guitar chords to this happy song... mustn't have been good enough to remember.... like every other experience here. :op

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