It is that time of the year again, when journalists have no story to tell and they start their woeful tales with `it is that time of the year. ` I shouldn’t call them journalists, that are an affront to the career. Content creators probably? Or story tailors.
Never in my life have I envisaged a month so hard, and long. My bank account, like yours is at an all-time zilch point. I guess the December leak was not a leak, it was a deluge. And now, like you am grimacing as I hold the tiny receipt from the ATM teller, for the umpteenth time I have been checking whether luck has fallen on my side, and somehow, just somehow some miracle happened and my monthly salary was deposited. Dreams are valid, you know?
There is nothing to do. Even the journalists are bored since there is no news. I hope some of them are sleeping on set. The days stretch on and on, from one end to the other. The sun beats all of us. You know everything is bad when we have to spend a whole week digesting and dissecting what Trump meant by his `shi*****` remarks, and reporting which ambassador has been summoned by the host government to shed more light on what the president meant. Things are bad, it is January.
Outside of those American diplomats unfortunate enough to be posted to an African country or Hawaii at this time, I think I have had the worst of weeks, capping the worst of a month. Honestly, who made this month so long, and so arduous. That one person should be arrested for treason or something; he was not fair at all. How do you place January after the brouhaha of December, how do you? Is that even humane?
My girlfriend wants to go out on a date, in the middle of the month. I have been offering a plethora of excuses not to. I mean, who does it? I hope I will find a way to let go of her by valentines. First time she came over I had not even an onion in the tiny bachelor pad I live in. we couldn’t cook, and neither could we eat, so we sat up and looked at the telly, and hoped that one of us would feel hungry and order some pizza. But she didn’t, and I had to sleep on water for supper. This guy never learned how to pick a tab in their lives. Then she started talking about missing the holidays, and the flowers I raided my bank to buy her, and I clutched the remote control a little harder, subtly added the volume of the TV, and just then decided that someone had called me, so I picked the phone and went outside. I don’t listen to nostalgia, ever!
Of late she’s been whining and nagging about me being cold. I hope she notices it better. I can’t text her anymore. All the use my phone is left with is the boyish game that has been there for all eternity, and lies. Lies to the ever present landlord, lies to the ever chasing debt hounds, lies to my employer that I am home sick when in reality I don’t have the fare. And the ultimate one lies to the nag in chief. I have perfected the art of telling her that am in some far flung place on job, you know how journalists work? Yes we had to go to the end of the world to shoot this human interest story, yes; there is no news to chase anymore. The fine spindle of tales goes on and on, and it will go on and on. What have I to lose after all? I have no money to lose anymore!
She’s daft, so daft. I never knew she was. Does she really believe the webs I spin her? If she does am going to write me a story about January sometime, as I am doing now. Come to think of it, this isn’t more about my January woes than her; all of us get carried away sometime by the tirade of feelings and lies within us. Let me get back to the story, forgive the moments of gossip[s that goes through our minds every other times. We have to find things to make this long, extrapolated January days move, you know.
My parents too are making the month unbearable for me. Like all African kids I decided to flaunt the little wealth I had made the whole year out by hiring a small self-drive car and riding the bumpy road in the tiny contraption to the village. Now they want me every day in the village. They think I have hit paycheck in my job, like am going straight from an overworked intern to a hotshot show host with a million followers on instagram. They are inviting me to fundraisers, to women`s meetings, to everything that anyone can be invited for. The new found village fame is invigorating, intoxicating yes, but it swishes with the wind, it needs money to maintain. Even the chief now calls me `his son`, did you hear that. Yes, am the son of the chief. Am feeling like Keanu Reeves, without the money that is. Stuck in a limbo, and its January, of all the times for goodness sake!
I have held on too long, I have borrowed from whence I wouldn’t borrow in my right state of mind. The media house I work for has just today decided to slap my intelligence with a `special edition` on `how to go through the January woes`. I wasn’t given a part in its writing, but we do have too much space in the papers top fill, so I might as well offer the editor some advice from my briefcase of January wisdom. I hope he will pay for it. Okay, the piece was enlightening, but not realistic, honestly, how do you tell me to avoid impulsive spending when I have already spent all the cash? How? Are you providing help or a prophylaxis?
First, you should change telephone numbers when January beckons. Next time you drive from your village, or wherever, stop by the nearest shop and get yourself a new GSM card. Don’t transfer any of the `old` contacts, don’t. They never will call you for a cup of tea in January! Get yourself on the obituary pages of any newspaper, that`s pretty extreme, but no one asks a dead man for money, ever. And when you die, everyone forgets you, even those you owe money. Just do hope that you do not appear on the obituary today, then tomorrow on social media whining. You never fake a death because the police will come for you. Good thing about this trick is that the fundraiser for `burial expenses` never fails, even in the most sadist of societies. Death is king.
And finally, before the boss starts yelling about our insubordination, get yourself divorced if you have a wife. Not, not exactly so, I was never married but we keep getting stories how financial woes turn to wars in a family. You might as well avoid the harangue, and if it works out, hey don’t forget to send me some of the dough. But you and I know that my advice won’t make the paper, don’t we? Easiest way is to avoid the spending, be a man as poor as we are, and to cling to your good old paper like its life. They will confuse you, you know, and it’s January!