Complexa – Part 1 – By P. Ogbaje

December 18, 2020
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She, unlike many women, is a woman of very few words. She hardly spoke about her deepest self. When she opened up to me that evening, after the rain when cool breezes blow, I was almost disturbed. Not because I had no time to listen but because it felt as if a certain responsibility was about to be bestowed upon me. She smiled with a brief and knowing coyness that seemed to say “don’t worry or be scared, I just need an ear or two”. She had a ladylike masculinity, whatever that was. Without further hesitation she started to speak.

 If she had a choice at birth her name would have been hard to coin. As a social blank like every one of us at infancy, she wondered what name she would have chosen for this personality she feels stuck with. It’s not that she feels any more or less human than the rest of us but she often wonders if she is normal. That is exactly where the crossroads leave her perplexed. What is “normal”? To her, this evokes the classic Mona Lisa personality. She is comfortable being different. It makes her feel unique with an appreciative and humble comport.

To most of us, however, she is just another woman amongst many. In fact, she could pass unnoticed in a small crowd. With an unassuming character, she seems to go through life like anyone else. We do not see the raging storms in her quiet package, the quest for explanations, meanings and… something more. Sometimes her thoughts threaten to betray her in ways she cannot even guess. Like her very first period, life seems to throw hardballs at you just when you want to take things one at a time and begin to figure out adulthood. She hides her amusement when she sees the male gender in reckless indulgments while she wonders if they would be ever so careless if cramps and emotional rollercoasters where factored in. Not that she cares about feminist propaganda and debates for she knows that there is dignity in being of a different gender. But she dares to think differently without apologies. To her we are all just people with varying roles often determined by physiology or anatomy. She thinks wide beyond make-up. Somewhat like the minds that ponder outer space and the passage of time. She mused what perspective life would have been if she were in a different body with a different mind and past experiences. At this point her revelations quickly hit the crux of the matter. Hers was a salad of carefully selected, cleaned and self-debated soliloquys rendered and presented with sophisticated simplicity. Strangely, it reminded me of mathematics that offered exciting step-by-step solutions. But as soon as I got the hang of it with a moral formula she presented a whole new world of logic, another topic rears its head as she carefully dissected matters only persons of extreme mental liberty could fathom.

With an impenitent look she apologized in advance, perchance she made no sense to me. I smiled and filled her glass with her choice of orange juice and some ice. For a brief eternity she stared at the drink as if she could see something in it. I had to look. It was just fairly chilled orange juice and ice in a glass.  Again I looked at her, expectant. She picked up her glass, sipped and asked, “what do you think about suicide?” I was completely thrown. At once my thoughts raced crazily and empathetically but she calmed me with a smile and added, “no, I am not contemplating it. I know it is wrong and unappreciative for the privilege to experience life. This life sha!”.  What more could be troubling her within? Then, without any warning and with resolve she took another plunge into a possessed description of how her mind works. She spewed complexities that could make you want to record her thoughts and understandings. She explained like a person who travelled in time, to the past and future. Her grasp of how people unknowingly refuse to explore phenomena beyond what meets the eye and peripheral thoughts and reasoning triggered several parts of my brain that I hardly knew existed. It was a virtual reality journey. When she stopped talking, I could have sworn that she stopped smack in the middle of it all. I was left staring into oblivion, navigating my thoughts. I came back to reality with a little snap and sat back deeper in my couch. I had just discovered a part of myself lost in the labyrinth of an explanation!   It was too complicated to pattern a response despite all the sense it made. I silently promised myself that I must ask her permission to share all she told me. Perhaps a reader would make sense of it all or even a part of it. Believe me, whatever part of her analogies you look at bore deep meaning, like volumes in a sentence. Genius!

I looked at her and asked if I could call her Complexa. She froze. ‘What made you think that, she asked. I shrugged. She said that giving her such a name meant that I understood all she had been saying. I nodded in agreement and she said no more.  She took a long sip and let an ice cube slide into her mouth. Again I could see her old self come back as if released from a trance but with a certain calmness that pleased and bothered me.   

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