Retire at 35 to making nude art and depressing music.
Journal of another ordinary guy. Posts are on the go and in raw form. Expect lots of grammatical errors :P
Retire at 35 to making nude art and depressing music.
- I get bored easily with things. Career paths, women, TV shows, and the world. I have learnt to quit the other things except the world. It’s hard to quit that without dying. I’m not ready.
- I can be surprisingly introverted. Someone comes to play with the switch sometimes that it gets too scary…
I made my side project paid few days ago. I have been running it for a few months and decided to make it paid with a month free trial. Existing users get 3 months free trial.
I don’t know how it will go yet. I can’t say till a month or 3 (when the existing users’ free trial expire). And I am really looking forward to it even though I don’t even have a thousand users yet. What is interesting however is that charging has changed my mentality and shoved me more towards the business side. Usually, I’d be thinking development in terms of engineering but now I find myself thinking more about development in terms of getting more users, retaining them, making sure they love it enough to pay and all those shit. And even if all fails, it will be great exploring that side and having that experience.
Those clients that keep changing project specs again and again, run from them!
It’s been like 2 months that I got back. And honestly I can’t remember why/if I actually missed Nigeria.
I was broke just immediately I got back. I remember lying back in my room in Ghana wondering how to get cash for flight back to Nigeria. It was that bad. I pushed an update to a client work that has been dragged since January (his fault) and got some dough. Dough in, I booked the cheapest next flight.
Thinking of it, maybe I shouldn’t have rushed back to Nigeria. Ya, Ebola epidemic. But it’s difficult to be out that long and not want to see the fam and friend soon. And the gf.
Ben came to pick me at the airport, I spent few days with him, then went to Ib. I spent few days with the homeboys, then finally to Akure to meet the fam.
Needless to say, it was great seeing everyone again. And yes, they were happy to see me. It felt good to be home - back to a need of my own, back to the familiar tastes. But, I was still broke. Then one day, En called and told me a company he works for will be interested in me doing some work for them. Normally, I wouldn’t have considered but I gave it a go. A week after I was back in Lagos to meet up the guys. (Turned out that job has been my saving grace as regards dough so far)
It’s been two weeks now and I’m back again in Akure. Within that two weeks, I’ve been to Ib and Abeokuta. Nothing interesting is happening. I’m even confused on what’s next. Things are not going as planned. And it sucks having that feeling.
My aunt called me yesterday and was quizzing me about what’s next? I must have looked unserious with this entrepreneur shit. She was worried about having a steady income and settling down soon. And I can understand her point.
Sigh. What’s next? What’s next?
Just turned down a CTO role proposal. I will definitely vote the guy as likely to succeed but a CTO role in another “startup” is complicated for me now.
1. The role takes 100% of u. Unfortunately I’m distracted with other things now and have a CTO role in something else.
2. I can’t go the equity without salary road again. It’s been a crazy 4 years that line. Anything I’m taking now must be able to afford my bills monthly.
3. CTO in Naija = doing all the Dev work. If there are no other [good] devs I can easily delicate to, it’s a no.
Adi was the last person I was expecting a text from.
“How are you doing? What are you up to on your last night?”
I replied that I was up to nothing and stuck watching boring programmes on TV. Even if I had plans, the hope of seeing her would make me reconsider.
“We should do something! What would you like to do on your last day”.
My face lit with joy. My hopes rose. I replied that she should come up with something. Anything by her is fine by me.
I waited patiently for her reply, wondering if telling her to come up with an idea was a bad decision. It came just few minutes later.
“I have an idea for a park. We should get ice cream too”.
She went on to ask where I was and that she’d come pick me in about 30 minutes.
I jumped off the bed happily. I looked round the room. My cloths were everywhere; my guitar flung across one of the chairs. A travel bag was there beside me on the bed - opened, empty. The other duffel bag was on the table. The whole room was a mess. I should start from there.
I tidied up hurriedly. Time went slowly - really slow. I paced up and down the room. Then took a shower. I silently hoped she shows up. She stood me up the last two times. She shouldn’t this time. It was a real battle to not text and ask if she was already on her way.
Finally her text came. 45 minutes later.
“I am here”
I rushed downstairs to meet her.
She stepped out of the car as she spotted me. Her smile was radiant as ever. The sunset reflected on her black short hair. She threw her arms round me and gave me a tight hug. There is something about the way she hugs. It’s so childish; so hearty; so sincere.
“Good to see you again. Want to come up”
“No…let’s just go. Time, remember?”
“Ok. Let me grab my jacket. Give me one minute”.
She smiled at me as she drove. I couldn’t get my eyes off her. Two weeks have never been that long.
“So what have you been up to?”, she asked me.
“Hmmm…a couple of things actually”, wondering where to start. In truth, there wasn’t really anything pretty interesting in the last few days. I ended up giving her bits of everything, trying to keep a good conversation as she drove.
I didn’t know where we were going. I didn’t ask. It would only ruin the fun. The last time she surprised me, she took me to Bliss Dance, Treasure Island. It was an amazing night. The different lighting of the 40 foot tall sculpture in the dark night against the cold and distant city lights was just perfect.
"We are here", she announced as she parked the car.
It was quiet and diserted. The only other parked car looked parked for days.
She threw one arm round my waste and rested on my shoulders as we walked down. I still didn’t ask. I followed her steps. The sand, the sound and the cold told me we were at a beach or something similar.
Then I saw the water; soft waves riding to and fro. We walked close and sat on a log just few meters from the water. She cuddled my arm.
“Where is this place called?”, I finally asked.
“You come here often?”
“Not that much of late. But once in while to have alone time or meditate”
“Hmmm”, I nodded gently.
She pulled off her white converse shoes and socks and buried both legs inside the sand.
“You should try that”, she told me.
I did. It felt warm and moisturizing. We laughed. We felt like lost kids.
I just wanted to be lost at that time, at that place, with her just there beside me. The water waves rode carefree. It was the only sound you could hear. The wind was cold. That cold was soothing. Everything was just beautiful.
I finally broke the silence even though I wanted us to remain like that for as long as possible.
“Your turn; how have you been? How was your birthday?”
She told me about how she had been since we last saw; her birthday; how her feet got infected at dance class and her new data entry job for a research organization.
“The new data I’m entry is scary. The samples are married women between 26-35 with kids. Over 70% of them have sex just once or less per week.”
“Yeah. Really. I mean, it’s scary”
“So how many times do you think you’ll be having sex when married?”
She looked at me and laughed. “Like 5 times at least”.
I laughed hysterically.
“No. I am serious. To start with, I have a large sexual appetite so ofcourse, once is a no no”.
“Well, those women in your analysis probably said the same thing before they were married”, I replied and laughed again.
“How many times will you want to have sex weekly when married”, she asked back.
“Well, I am a guy. Generally, the thing, as believed, is guys don’t say no. I mean I can pride myself to say I can go as much as my wife wants. I will want to think it will definitely be a different result if your data was from men”
“That said, I honestly don’t know what marriage is like. I haven’t been married. But maybe the passion just goes down when the kids starts coming. Then life happens, you have to work more to take care of the family and you barely have the time and stress sets in and all that”
She nodded, “Yeah maybe”.
“Do you believe in monogamy?” She went on to ask.
“Well, there are many ways to look at it”, I started, trying to get the right angle to the question.
“I mean, that I am married to someone shouldn’t mean I can’t possibly have the urge to have sex with someone else for the rest of my life don’t you think?”
“I mean we can have an arrangement that for two weeks in a year or so we can go on separate vacations and do what we want - have sex with anyone else”, she continued
“That can work actually. It’s just to find a consenting partner”. Then I went on to tell her about T-pain and his wife.
We talked about love, sex and marriage for a while. Then we switched to talk about the water front, the sand and nature as we made to leave.
It was just around 11pm when she pulled in at the inn. Every moment of the night had been interesting. From the water front, we had gone to grab ice cream and then talk about Isreal crisis then religion.
She got down and gave me that warm hug again.
“I will miss you. Have a good night”
I held her hands and didn’t let go.
She smiled. “What?”
“You don’t want to come upstairs?”
She smiled again. “You know it’s past my bed time and I have an early one tomorrow”
“Yeah, I know. 30 minutes?”
“You know I can’t. I’m sorry.”
“At this point, even 10 minutes more with you is ok by me”.
She laughed. My eyes were probably pleading please don’t leave me yet.
“Ok. 10 minutes and not a minute more”.
“Yah!”. I smiled happily.
I threw my arms round her and led the way.
Good bye SF. Hope to see u again soon.
This black guy approached me in the train and asked for a dollar for him and his daughter to get “off the train”. (I don’t even understand what getting off the train means).
He wasn’t with a daughter. And he wasn’t dressed as someone who was genuinely stranded. He had this junkie look and dressed haggardly. I didn’t even make these conclusions before I shook my head and ignored him.
Then he moved to the next passenger.
I, we, see them everyday. People begging for this and that; some direct about it, some with interesting lies.
As he made to the next person to ask, it occurred to me I didn’t even feel any empathy for him. I didn’t even consider him. I literally said a big no before he was done asking. And that moment I felt bad about who I was becoming - a man molded by the generalization and assumption that it is all deceit and thus not worth my dime.
Deceit? Most probably. But who am I to judge? Some people will always be poor. Some will beg. Life is not fair after all. The best I can do is show empathy and give when possible.
Co was sick for some days and it was crazy to see how worn he became. It started with a cold attack, then headache and fever. Then he started complaining about his right tonsils.
He couldn’t speak and was in bed all day. He couldn’t eat. he had difficulty in swallowing. I literally forced him to every time. And when he does, it is very little.
I got him some pain reducer/fever suppressant drugs to start with. But when it wasn’t getting better, we had to start looking at seeing a doctor. Tosin was really helpful. I got to speak with her mum, a nurse, on the phone. I learnt health care without insurance in the States is fucking expensive. Tosin mentioned emergency can cost around $2k. What?!
(By the way, Tosin is my new Nigerian friend in the area, introduced to me by my homeboy Ben back in Nigeria. She stays close and in few days we have been like great friends. The other day, she drove me to the African market and I finally got some Nigerian foodstuff - egusi, beans, rice, garri, palm oil and yam to be precise. And she came over and made jollof rice the next day).
Her mum was to help us find out the easiest/cheapest possible option/prescription from her medical director once she gets to work the next day. But the situation got crazy in the morning and we had to act fast. I helped co ask on his Facebook wall and someone recommended a clinic in SF.
Julia, our very interesting [new] host, drove us there. We saw the doc, he did the usual things docs do and gave him some meds. We spent just around $200 in all. And by the end of the day, co was better.
It is funny how life humbles you irrespective of who you are. It is amazing to see how someone so full of life and so hearty can within few hours become helpless and worn out. I think sickness is just one of life’s way of reminding us we are humans after all.