Conversation With The Barber IV

Previous haircuts   Conversation IConversation II, Conversation III

It was mid-April. The London weather finally acted on the memo it received 3 weeks before and allowed the sun to raise the temperature to just above 200C.

As is the norm, once there is any hint of sunshine, Londoners regardless of the actual temperature outside and their body shape, wear the skimpiest outfits they can find in their wardrobe no matter how inappropriate it looks. All in the spirit Carpe diem, for we know not when the sun will visit us again.

For me, it is my cue to shed my medium growth protective Afro in favour of a low-cut skin fade.  So, I went to the barber’s shop and as usual we have the most engaging conversation.

It was early in the day and the shop wasn’t very busy. It would be my turn after the lady in the barber’s chair. I sat down and waited my turn as I watched gospel praise worship video on the huge TV on the wall, streamed from YouTube.

He finished cutting the lady’s hair and I made my way to his chair. We greeted each other leaning in for a Bro hug before I settled into the chair and told him the type of haircut I wanted.

Our conversation as usual is in Igbo and a bit of Pidgin English:

Emenike (EM): So how are things? How is work?

Me: I am ok. Work is good, I can’t complain.

Em: That’s good.  You still dey do that thing?

I knew he wasn’t asking about my freelancing gig with the now disbanded B6-13, but I had to be sure.

Me: Which thing?

Em: You still dey sleep with man?

Me: Yes. I said I wasn’t going to stop last summer when you asked me; I confirmed it again last Christmas and the situation has not changed since you asked me last time I was here 4 weeks ago. Do you have a guy for me?

Em: He laughs. You are not serious. I will be praying for you. In fact come to my church….

Me: Is the Pastor fine?

Em: Yes now. He is a man of God.

Me: Doesn’t mean he is pleasing to the eye. Does he look like JJ Hairston playing on the TV screen?

Em: No.

Me: Invite me when he starts looking like JJ Hairston.

JJ-Press-Photo-2017

Em: You are not well.

Just then a lady with a pram tries to enter the shop but struggled to manoeuvre it through the door. Emenike abandoned my hair to hold the door open for her. She asked him if he had any other pictures of women with styled haircuts apart from those on the wall. He handed her a hairstyle magazine and she thumbs through while he returned to my cutting my hair. He was less than 10 seconds into cutting when, unsure of what haircut would suit her, asked him a question, followed by another question and yet another. All of which he answered politely. All through their exchange I watched her through the mirror, trying hard not to allow my indignation show in my reflection in the mirror – this woman was wasting my time! Eventually she left claiming she had to go to the cash point to get money to pay for the haircut.

Face palm II

Emenike returned to my hair.

Em: You were looking at her, are you interested? She was looking at you too.

Me: Looking at me in what way?

Em: She seemed interested in you.

Me: Really? What about the father of the baby in the pram? He might interest me more. Do you know him?

Em: This man, you are not well o!! Fine boy like you!! As manly as you are, you prefer men. Women will be dying for you. You need a woman not a man.

Me: I know!! It’s terrible, but then God knows best.

Em: This is not God. You need deliverance.

Me: Ok, I will come with you. But first do you have picture of your Pastor? Is he muscular? And I mean visible muscle,not muscle hidden under fat.

Em: God created Adam and Eve…

Eye roll

 This is Homophobia 101. Having that tiring logic NOT served up by Nigerian Christian folk during a debate about homosexuality is like being served Goat meat pepper soup without goat meat. Sacrilegious.

Me: Yup so you keep saying and yet here we are. God probably got bored and decided to spice things up. You and I have been here before…I beg sing another hymn; Quote another Bible verse. Meanwhile please trim my beard as well.

Em: If your father decided to sleep with men, you wouldn’t be here.

Another well-worn out pointless tired argument used by Nigerian Christian folk, which when not presented during such debates, is like serving Jollof rice without fried plantain –  Pointless!!

Me: You know gay men can get women pregnant, right? Anyway, we will never know. I am here, and I am queer, you will be fine in the end. Please don’t forget my eyebrows too.

Em: I will take you out clubbing one night where you will see many women. I am sure you will be tempted to take one home.

Me: Hmm… will there be men in at the club?  I would most likely take one of them home?

Em: How can? They will be straight. They will be into women.

Me: Oh so you think as you are here trying to convert me, there isn’t some other straight guy trying to convert his gay friend by taking him to the same club? If the gay guy is there and he his attractive I will fish him out. Hell, that is even too easy; I will take his straight friend home. But will we be going to the club after or before we go for deliverance at your Church?

Emenike Laughs. Then he gestures outside the shop window at the bus stop. There was a young couple standing waiting for the bus. She quite pretty and curvaceous and he was good looking too, fit but no bum.

 Em: The lady is fine with a nice ass. How can you not want to tap that?

Me: Quite easily. I am not attracted to her. Now if her boyfriend had more ass I could tap that.

Em: Crazy. Man to man is like Bone to bone….

Yet another worn out gem used by the Nigerian anti-gay brigade….and  I refuse to waste good Nigerian food similes on it. 

Me: Well I don’t know the kind of men you come across, but me I like them with flesh and better fine nyash (ass)

Convo Bum_3

Em: So you won‘t tap me, as I don’t have a big nyash? (Ass)

Ok, that threw me. No matter his sexuality, in my experience the most devastating thing you can say to an Igbo man (third after telling him he has lost his money and he is not well endowed) is that he has a flat ass. Emenike has a nice set of cakes which are proportionate to his slim frame, but by no stretch of the imagination has he got a bubble. Visible yes, but not bubble. And for me, it’s bubble or nothing. I had to break the news to him gentle, especially as he was about to shape my eyebrows and one slip, they could end up being asymmetrical.

Convo~_Bum1

Me: You have a nice ass for your frame, but I can’t tap you as you are a happily married man with young kids and what God has but together, let no dick put asunder. But I think women find a firm round bum attractive on men. If you do more squats in the gym, it will improve your already nice ass and your wife I am sure would be delighted.

Em: God forbid! What does a woman want to do with a man’s ass?

Me: For starters, something for her to grab hold of and a few other tricks to ginger up things in bed.  If done correctly, she could lift you a higher ground. But there is no time to go through details now.  I can send you a few links for you and your wife to go through and if you have any questions, ask me after you get your Pastor’s blessing.

Em: Yes, you need prayers.

And with that he finished off my hair. beard nicely trimmed and eye brows in sync, I paid and said good bye.

Who knows next time we could discuss the Joys of Anal sex.

Watch this space

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Crap I Get On Grindr IX

 

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Reading is fundamental😏

 

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Tired lines….🙄

 

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He asked. I kinda answered..🚶🏿

 

 

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Every gay black man’s dream. I couldn’t possibly refuse….I packed a weekend bag💼🏃🏿

 

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Finally agreed at £450. Please don’t judge me….Food prices have gone up 30% last 2 years…😉

No Sex Please, We Are Facebook.

Early on Valentine’s Day after being on Mark Zuckerberg’s good side for a good stretch, his crew flipped on me. I was banned from using Facebook.

What really piqued me about the ban and its timing this year was that I missed the mawkish valentine’s day messages, between grown men living together, appear on my timeline. I live for the absurdity.

No_Valentines_DayRead More »

Crap I Get On Grindr XIII

After years of suppressing  his sexuality,  a friend recently came out of the closet and told his close friends and family. The level of acceptance by all told is encouraging considering he is Nigerian.

Buoyed by his new found freedom to be his authentic self  he hits Grindr, as you do and below happened

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Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.🚶🏿🚶🏿🚶🏿

Dear Nigerian Homophobe II

Hello fiends,

I throway salute o!!

It’s been a minute.

In my previous  letter I said I’d try and help you look less asinine in the World Forum of Homophobes (Click here to recap). Not an easy task and I am under no illusion that it will happen in my life time. But as the saying goes “The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step”.

This one is directed at the Bible thumping ones among you.

In Chike Frankie Edozien’s brilliant memoir “Lives of Great Men” (or as I like to call it, “Naija Homophobes fear God – Stay in your lane or be run over), he said “……In recent times many Nigerians have embraced a rabid religiosity that veers towards conservative and literal interpretations of religious texts…..”Read More »

Movie Review: Call Me By Your Name

Call-Me-By-Your-Name-Film-Poster-2017

I will be brief.

Without giving anything away that is not already out there, this film is about Apricots. Yes, Apricots.

It is set in summer somewhere in Northern Italy, in the early 80s when white folk threw their limbs all over the place in the name of dancing to music….It is now 2017 and not much has changed since.

The main character is a precocious, 17 year old,who mopes around the house shirtless named Elio.  He is on vacation with his parents in their house surrounded by apricot trees, in the village. His father is an American Professor and his mother a translator. They are a multi lingual family and dialogue flows effortlessly between Italian, English, French and German. If you never thought German was a sensual language, you’d be in for a  pleasant, albeit brief surprise. Read More »

Wild Thoughts

The hustle is real, so off to work I go.

I do the 10 minute walk to the London Underground station. I have my headphones on. I am listening to music from my “recently played” playlist set on random selection mode. There are 175 songs. Means songs from Classical, Musicals, Pop, RnB, Gospel, Hip Hop, Afrobeat and possibly Apala music genres can start playing any time. I like the unpredictability.

The sassy song “Trouble” by Iggy Azelea ft. Jennifer Hudson is currently playing.  

I get to the Tube station and the platform is crowded.  About 3 people deep from the edge of the platform, there is some delay on the line. I was hoping for a trouble free journey into work today.

And right on cue, Andra Day starts singing “Not Today” in my ears with her mellow and soul stirring voice .

I maneuver myself into position on the section of the platform, where I can get on the carriage nearest the exit when the train arrives at my stop. Most people do this.

I am behind a young interracial couple. They are probably in their mid to late twenties. She white, blonde, about 5’7” tall, wearing light make up and a body hugging short black dress, that accentuates her curves. He Indian, stands at roughly 5’10”, athletic build, wearing a blue turban on his head and a light pink shirt tucked into a pair of grey slim fitting trousers and holding a gym bag. I assume he will be going to the gym at some point in the day. They look so loved up.

Tina Turner starts to serenade me with “Two People”. How sweet.

I steal a look at this bum. It would be rude not to. It is visible. Not flat. Not big, but round and firm. It complements his athletic body nicely. I know I shouldn’t foster stereotypes, but for an Indian, “Baby got back”.  Would I tap that?  Most likely, but that’s not up to me. He kinda looks hella straight. I will call him Ramdeep.

Blue turban 6

 

Two busy trains come into the platform in succession. No one gets off from the carriage we are positioned in front of, so no one gets on. Shit I will be late for a meeting at work. A third one comes in. Some passengers get off and more people on the platform try to occupy the space they vacate. Back in the day, in Lasgidi (Lagos), I learned how to squeeze myself into a crowded Molue bus. If they think I will forget those skills for the sake of propriety, they have another thing coming.

Molue

I manage to get on.

Fela Kuti starts playing  “Shuffering and Shmilling” through my headphones. The line in the song “49 sitting and 99 standing” very much describes the situation in the train carriage. The rest of the song, though released over 30 years ago, highlights endemic corruption which is still very pertinent to Nigeria…But I digress.

It’s a tight squeeze. My back is pressed against the carriage door. Ramdeep with the nice cakes, is in front of me. He is facing his girlfriend with his back to me and his firm round butt just about grazing my groin area. Any slight movement and it will brush against me for sure.

I press my back as much as I comfortably can against the door, to create a respectable distance between my groin and his butt. I won’t be in this position for too long. Maximum 3 minutes.  The next stop has connections to other underground lines and a good number of passengers will get off.

The train sets off. 30 seconds into the journey, something causes Ramdeep to move back a bit. Perhaps being the attentive boyfriend that he is, he is trying to give his girlfriend a bit of space to ease the crush on her. Not sure if he is aware but, he just entered the unspoken allowable personal space of an adjacent individual in a packed train.

I don’t say anything. No point causing a fuss. Besides if he doesn’t mind his backside just about resting on another man’s groin…more power to him.

Now, his butt is grazing my groin and he unconsciously mirrors the slight rocking motion of the train, only he is subtly swaying back and forth into me.

Christina Aguilera  croons “Want your skin up against mine. Move my hips to the baseline…” from her song “Get mine, Get yours” from the playlist. 

Oh Lord, this is not good.  It would be over in about 2 and a half minutes. Wrong.Read More »

Whose Child Is This?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/30/kevin-spacey-anthony-rapp-apologises-accused-sexual-advance-14-year-old-boy

spacey-rapp

Any form of sexual harassment is inappropriate between adults of consenting age and more so if the victim is underage.

Yes what a 26 year old Kevin Spacey did to a 14 year Old Anthony Rapp, 30 years ago was improper under any circumstance.

Since Mr. Rapp’s (now 46)  story broke yesterday, Mr. Spacey (58) has issued a statement in which he stated that he was “beyond horrified” by the allegation.  He has drawn the ire of many Social media commentators (basically anyone who has access to a keyboard)  because in the statement, he effectively blamed his actions on alcohol and for good measure he took the opportunity to come out as a gay man.

Many people have said, he has used his coming out to deflect from the issue molesting an underage person. A tactic he borrowed from his fictional character President Frank Underwood,in House of Cards. While I see where they are coming from, I do not necessarily entirely agree with that conjecture.

Firstly, It’s been an open secret for years that Spacey is gay. There was an unfortunate incident many years ago during his residency at the Old Vic theatre in London where he was the artistic director (2003-2015), when it was reported that he was attacked while walking his dog around 3am,in a park well known for night time gay cruising. Maybe he was researching  a forthcoming role – Go figure.

Secondly, these days when actors in the West where homosexuality is accepted come out, it does not have the same “wow-factor” as it did 20 years ago. So if it was his intention to use coming out as a softening the sexual advances on a minor blow, it is as limp as a dick on a guy high on GHB at a chemsex party.

I have also read comments that this scandal strengthens the assertion by homophobes , especially those from my Village, that homosexuals are pedophiles by default. Also they will say this one incident was pivotal to Rapp, turning gay. For the next foreseeable future I think one would need the communication skills and tenacity of Sean Spicer to refute these assertions and many more on social media forums. The battle will be fierce.

I am not defending or condoning what Kevin Spacey did. At best it was reprehensible and at worst lewd. However I feel I should  ask a few (probably unpopular) questions  and I am by no means taking away from Anthony Rapp’s terrible ordeal, but –

Where were his parents?

Who lets a 14 year old child go to a Nightclub?

Who lets a 14 year old child into a Nightclub?

Was no one chaperoning the Anthony Rapp that night? Had he no curfew?

From the story so far, what happened that night was entirely Kevin Spacey’s doing and I wholeheartedly agree, but it could have been prevented.

It wasn’t right what happened to Anthony Rapp and he would be forgiven for sending some Klingons to sort Kevin Spacey out, but he shouldn’t have been in that situation unchaperoned even at the best of times.

Perhaps underage kids being allowed to go clubbing , people not raising an eyebrow and chalking it down to just having fun, is the norm in the Hollywood.

But this is a sad consequence of such nonchalance.

Klingon_2

 

 

 

 

Movie Review: God’s Own Country

God's Own Country

The last gay themed movie I saw without muscular guys dancing with their tops off in a night club and then copping off home with one or more guys to have wild drug induced sex all weekend, was Moonlight.

Unlike most gay films, God’s Own Country is not set in the concrete jungle of a big city, but rather it is set against a lush rural backdrop. You can almost breathe the fresh air as the camera pans over rich expanse of rambling fields of green grass in the foggy and wet English countryside. What’s more the film reminds us of how gays used to hook up back in the day sans mobile broadband network or Wifi.

Without giving much away, the film is about a gay farmer (Johnny) in the Yorkshire Pennines who manages to have hard, no strings attached sex with other guys without using modern technology (Read Grindr, Scruff, Instagram, Facebook, etc).

Then a Romanian worker (Gheorghe) who insists he’s not a Roma gypsy (which is a damn shame, because I have seen male Roma Gypsies around London they have bubble butts for days), arrives on the farm and an initial personality clash, they have aggressive sex halfway through a meal of hot Pot noodles. And just like that we get Brokeback Mountain on the Yorkshire dales.

Who knew Pot noodles was such a potent aphrodisiac?

 Romance blossoms between Johnny and Gheorghe as the latter teaches Johnny how to make love and not just have aggressive sex. A bit like how Khalessi tamed Aquaman Khal Drogo and taught him how to have sex in other positions, other than doggy style in Game of Thrones.

What happens when Johnny’s family find out? Does it end well? Is there a happy ending? As a film maker myself – I make home made porn – I understand only too well the displeasure of having the ending of my movie revealed to a non-paying audience, therefore I won’t reveal how the movie ends.

All I can say is that despite the story being told in an aggressive macho background with gratuitous showing of Organic British livestock- and I just don’t mean the grass fed cattle and sheep on the farm; there is a tender tale of love that is soul-stirring and the saliva lubricant sex scene could almost be forgiven.

Assuming my movie ratings counted for anything; I’d give the movie 4 out of 5 stars. Go see it if you can.

Meanwhile I am off to stock up on pot noodles 🏃🏿🏃🏿