I like to be happy, most times. Actually, I like to be happy all of the time, although I have realized that it is when I am not so extraordinarily happy, yet charged with sufficient energy that I am the most creative. I like to be happy because there is no trophy for sadness. Nothing is romantic about it. There is no medal for a constant gloomy state of mind. I have discovered that cheerfulness, laughter, conviviality are better alternatives to gloom, and sadness. I like to be sarcastic only because it gives me more avenue to laugh and be happy. I am an optimist in a way that can sometimes manifest in occasional pessimism, or is it sacrasm. But I love life, and I enjoy it, each second of the way. This is my affirmation of life.
I’m thinking back to some good times I’ve had in life. Some times, the days appear long and a simple conversation with a pleasant company either over the phone or in an internet chat brings back moments of familiar conviviality, I relapse into a sweet nostalgia of the fun care free days. They are not gone yet. They are here still. I smell them in the cold night air. Tonight I remember Ibadan, not of childhood and innocence, but of youth and pseudo-recklessness and revelry. Well, not so much. I remember Sola Olorunyomi with his truck, his bicycle and his guitar at the Students Union Building bar in the Ibadan University campus in the early 2000, discussing poetry and politics within cigarette smokes, beers and music. There was Loomnie. There was Benson. There was Bukky who loved Benson, and there was Benson who loved his bottle. There was Luvles. There was Olads. There was Kemi who later became Idayat. There was Pinheiro. There was Lola. There was Kunle. There was fun. There was the religious Seni who had a bible verse for every situation. There was Chiedu, and Chido. There was Busola, who had a first class in Linguistics. Then there was Ropo, and Chris Dudu, and Funmi who liked to write daringly. There was poetry. There was Ify. There was Najite. There was harmattan and the dry wind of November. Then there was Uncle Prof whom we embarrassed by reading his love poems back to him in that public get-together. There was his lovely wife. There was Adelugba. There was the Arts Theatre which never ever ceased to be a fun place to be at evenings. And then, there was Nike who was so thin she almost didn’t have a shadow. There was Sophie who smuggled tobacco in from Germany to give to Benson, and there were Nadine and Bettina who saw Ibadan once with Sophie and could not wait to return, just to see us. There were days of walking all night from the University all the way to Dugbe. There was Noffield House. There was palm wine and pepper soup at Niser. There was Elizabeth. And there was Bidemi. There was fun Biodun who died, but was so tall that his legs stuck out of the coffin. There was Henrietta who I liked, and who Olumide liked, but who perhaps thought that we were all bad boys. There was Demola who was going to be a monk, and who became a butt of beer jokes. And later there was changed Demola who finally fell in love and got Ope before Pinheiro made his move. There was UCJ, and the different folks it attracted. There were endless dinners. There were endless protests. There was Mellamby Hall. There was Upper Mellamby. There was room A52 and its many adventures. There was Fidho. There was Ibukun. There was Kunle. There was Ositelu. There were riots. There were strikes. There were moments of silliness and idleness. There were moments of stupidity. They were good times.
I remember Lagos a few days before I travelled to the United States, at the Silverbird Galleria for a mini bear summit. There were books. There was laughter. There were jokes. There was Tolu, and Chris, and Rayo and Kris, and Bukky and Sunkanmi, and music. And ice cream. There was fun. And food. Before then, there was Bimbo on the expressway. Then Elizabeth, sometimes earlier in the day. Then there was Food Major, and roasted beef. And family. And Jolaade. And Leke. And Yemi. And Laitan. And strawberry juice. And suya. Tonight, I remember the good times. Whenever the cold wind blows within recurring laughters, whenever I smile, whenever the days seem long and only a phone conversation, or a pleasant internet chat, connects me with a world I have since left for a little while, I remember the good fun times. Those are the moments that count.