“We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.”
Every day I would notice that our oyinbo neighbors take their children to the neighborhood pool, so I decided to take the kids to the pool o! Mek una see bushman, I have never swam in my life. If the water is not in a bucket I am not touching it. Fearless Fang also has my gene, an adorable habit of falling hard in love with total strangers who happen to be drop-dead gorgeous.
So at the pool, this 6-year old drop-dead gorgeous blonde white girl was in the pool, cute white goddess languidly swimming in the 6-foot deep section, and she turns to Fearless Fang who was testing his itty bitty black toes at the pool’s edge.
“You are kinda cute,” she purrs, “come on in and join me!”
Wo, do you know that fool jumped in? And almost drowned. Because of woman! SMH. It was an army of life guards and God that saved my son’s black ass. Jesus, be a fence!
This life is an interesting sequence of mimicry – of the other. The other is the asymptote, and intense competition to be the best mimic is the daily rage. Living in America has made this affliction worse. To be an African, to be an African-American, to be black, to be brown, is to be forced through a rigid maze of compliance, of total assimilation and surrender. To resist is futile, armed with this uplifting knowledge one lives angry every restless day of life.
This world is not our own abeg. Take our house here in America. It is pretty, but this house was not built for us. My Lover (ML) and I heard one day that home ownership is the ultimate American dream investment (Hahahahahaha!) and so we bought this house that was built in the hedonistic anti-intellectual consumerist ways of the first owners, a white couple who liked looking the part of scholars, but had never really opened a book that had no examination at the end of the inquisition.
The study had been converted to a gym (!) and the book shelves were mostly empty, with a few books that were gaudy celebrations of American consumerism and shallow motivational bullshit.
Before we bought our house, they proudly showed us the rooms hard-wired for LAN and the Internet. Who uses wired connections in the 21st century? SMH. They showed us a Jacuzzi out in the yard posing by a barbecue grill and they regaled us with Norman Rockwell idyllic summer evenings grilling hot dogs and lounging half-naked in the Jacuzzi.
Back in our car as we headed back to our hut, ML and I laughed uproariously at the spectacle of us frolicking half-naked in the backyard in full view of neighbors and children doing the same nonsense in their backyards.
Why are oyinbo people like this? We are yet to use the hot tub since we bought the house. That was ten years ago. The children use it in the summers. They are Americans. We do love the barbecue grill; in the summers we roast plantain, corn on one side, and our children, the Americans, grill steaks, hot dogs and burgers on the other side. That is life in America, we live a bipolar existence.
Our house was built for the white man.
The closets were built for blue suits and slim dresses. The spaces were not built for ML’s gele, they loiter around the closet, forlorn, looking like distressed undocumented aliens. Our “native dresses”, agbada, aso ebi, et al are stuffed in Ghana Must Go bags; like their owners, they don’t fit in places not meant for them. They are miserable. Like us.
The kitchen is a marvel of modern aka Western living. If we were Americans we would be in kitchen heaven, wait, we are Americans! The kitchen reminds us that living in this house is purgatory for escaping the hell of our ancestry. There is no space for ML’s eba stick and all our mammoth aluminium pans sit upended like miserable tortoises. *whines*
Why won’t the white man build us a house that lives and breathes like we do? Why are oyinbo people like this?