I struggled my way through a drunken crowd of happy people that were dancing their night away into blessed oblivion. With the hard techno music playing in the bar, I was well aware it was no place for me to seek any kind of solace but I trudged on; found myself a comfortable seat at the counter and summoned the bar tender who meticulously executed his duties with much ease. I carefully opened my bottle of whisky, poured some into the glass and galloped it away in a quick German dose. I then quietly started drinking the scotching drink slowly as my mind raced through a series of flashbacks.

On both my left and right were two beautiful young ladies that I hadn’t noticed for a reason I couldn’t fathom, but whose attention I picked over an hour later because of their conversations that were passing over my head. It was evident that I wasn’t happy and actually more bored than concerned about all those around me save for the bar tender. The lady on my right ordered for a round of tequila shots one of which she put before me. I quickly turned around with a very inquisitive facial expression trying to mumble something inaudible to which she returned with a coy smile and a handshake. “I am Jenny” she quickly proffered her name and in one word, I replied Sam but you can call me Sos to make it feel more casual. I turned to the other who mentioned a name I couldn’t remember, got her handbag, bade the friend farewell and off she went. “Am a psychologist and from the mere look of things, you must be troubled” she said. I smiled as she considered and raced through options of my problems; “marital issues or a bad day? Deep down in my mind, I knew all options were correlated and close to true but wasn’t about to open up my junk of problems to a total stranger. I could only proffer a cynical facial expression. We indeed picked up a great conversation after one too many at the point that tipsy stupor drives you into a jovial mental state and you try to forge an amiable atmosphere with total strangers as though they were your old time friends that you hadn’t seen in many years. So I started.

 

Despair is an unfamiliar friend. A sometime-away acquaintance that is older and leaner at each unexpected return and tonight, I shall not anchor in my pride but open up to you my dear trusted stranger. And at this point, it reminded me of the saying that goes; “a drunken person is always open and honest especially about the most hurting things”. Therefore, I first set a disclaimer before bombarding her with my problems. Listen to this carefully, a bosom friend once told me there are four different kinds of people we shall talk to in an attempt to find solutions to our problems and their reaction really matters. The first is a person that shall listen to you and try to help you find a solution or give you advice good or bad. The second is one that listens and pities you at best. The third is one that listens and is non-committal something that always makes me feel like I have spent all my time playing a guitar for a goat, the fourth is one that listens and simply doesn’t stop at that but goes ahead to make your problems public ( the bigmouthed alias village lip). So, which one are you? I continued. All she could offer was a wry smile but with a facial expression to listen.

That day on my way out of home, I got a puncture that cost me a lot of time then came this mean looking Policeman who served me a ticket for wreckless driving in attempt to beat time, A pregnant, “venom spitting” and nauseated supervisor at work, sad news of a demise of your dog at home, stress out of family pressure, the fear of driving home late in fear of cops arresting motor vehicle users on the road for drink driving to the annoying music in the bar to further aggravate you mood. To my utter annoyance and vexation, all she offered was a big hug and a sneak peck on my cheek, whispered clearly in my ears for thus to hear “My dear, you are such a monument of problems and I don’t think I am in position to offer a solution” and off she went. I looked at her disappear through the crowd and I actually smiled. It was the first time I was smiling that day despite a new friend walking out on me. However, it was paradoxical in every single way. It clearly reminded me of that local hit, “To’nkuba ‘nnakuyo” .To this day, I never understood her intentions. Was she a spy or simply an incarnate of the devil himself? I can now surely confirm the adage that goes;

A man’s best friend is surely himself!

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