*The Jesus Problem*
One of the strangest things about life is paradigm. If you check Webster’s you will find this definition of the word ‘Paradigm’: a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly : a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind”
Well all that is big big grammar. Every time I think of the word paradigm, I always have the picture of blinds in my mind or windscreen or window panes. If you stand behind a window and try to look through it at the surrounding areas, you will see the surroundings through it. If the blinds are dark, the environment will look darker than they usually are. Paradigms for me are like that: mental frameworks that help us interpret our world. The problem most times is that we forget that we are looking through blinds and that the world might not be exactly the way we see it.
Paradigms are great — they help us see our world, giving us a framework for reference.
But that’s the problem… That is the reason they can become prisons!
Yes, where was I…
Frank and I walked towards his house, which was one turn away from mine. It was amazing to see the order on his street. It was so funny as I was just screaming over the cute cars I saw parked outside people’s garage and then the fine girls! Gosh!
Let me digress a little…
In secondary school, my code name was “Mojo” or “Mojojojo.” Remember Powerpuff Girls? Now imagine that instead of creating evil stuff, Mojojojo created cute lingerie and always talked about cute girls… That gives you a background story. Between both of us, Frank was the calmer one, the one the girls liked but always perceived he was naive. I was the one the girls used to talk to about him and eventually the girls would get carried away by my outgoing personality. So we had a sort of symbiotic relationship he could attract the girls, I could keep them. That’s how we became friends.
Then we bonded on Arithmetics
(Stay with the discourse MJ stop digressing)
When we got to his gate, he hesitated to get in… I had to take a step back because I was agitated by his hesitancy. Did they have a big dog? It had to be big enough to scare it’s owner. But Frank loves dogs — that’s another thing we bonded on.
Well, he continued in and faked a smile. I remember that smile — It was too fake. I know my friend. I know when he was excited. I had seen him score many goals. This, was nothing like it. This was the kind of smile he had on him when I told him May liked me. He liked May. But she liked spending time with me. I promised him I would keep my distance since it made him uncomfortable. I kept my word… But I still remember that smile.
Well, we were in the compound…. It’s all this English styled compounds that didn’t have our classical Nigerian prison gates. We walked in and I noticed the fake smile weaning.
See, as I write this I am almost standing in that place in time….A small boy with his friend that was slowly dying and I didn’t know what to do.
Well, we got in to the main house.
His mother was warm towards me. She had heard about Usen the boy genius, member of the “Fantastic Four.” Well, I still feel it was all over rated though.
But she was cold towards him.
He slipped into his room and slipped the socks into my bag…. I wanted to go into the room with him, but his mother would not let me out of her gaze with talks about all my accolades and how her son had a great friend and how he didn’t wash plates etc., as though she lived in my house and knew that I washed plates.
It intensified when he came out of the room… She simply ridiculed him. I don’t know what her plan was. I was Frank’s closest friend. What she was doing couldn’t change my view of my friend.
So as I said “let me be going ma”, she slipped 200 NGN in my palms and said In a thick Igbo accent “bye dia, greet ya mammy”
That was the longest walk I have ever been in to a person’s gate. We were both quiet.
So we got to the gate, and before we could open it, it was swung open by a huge formally dressed hunk of a man. I can’t remember his name, but I remember he was Frank’s elder brother. He barely paid any attention to our pleasantries as he walked into the house like a god. As Frank’s mother saw him, she ran out to him and screamed “my son!” She hugged him took his small bag from him and walked him in.
If I had known, I would have kept my mouth shut. As we left the gate into the streets, I asked Frank “where did he travel to?” He just kept looking at me like he was seeing a puzzle with no answer in sight. “Did he come back from a trip” I asked and I saw that former look blur. As it came back into focus, Frank was in tears. He understood why I asked that question.
The problem wasn’t that Frank wasn’t a good boy. Actually the problem was that his brother was a great Son.
Another problem was that everyone had forgotten a simple fact; great was first good. Great couldn’t be great if it wasn’t good.
I left him crying. I couldn’t keep him from crying. I practically ran away because I didn’t know what to do.
If that was all, it wouldn’t be a major issue. But more events followed and I remember every bit of them.
(To be continued)