Yesterday morning I headed to my brother’s room in search of my headphones, he likes to ‘borrow’ them and keep them in his room until I go on a retrieval mission. He was trying to cling to the last wisps of sleep but I snatched them out of his grip by shaking his feet and hitting his ankles.
“you’re awake” he mused
“I should be asking you that” I snapped as I grabbed the headphones from the counter-top that runs alongside his bed.
“I think I’m hungry”
“So what’s for breakfast?’ I replied.
“Fried eggs and bread, I think there’s bread too”
“So who’s going to fry the eggs?” I was smiling because I already knew the answer. My brothers hate frying food, ironically they both loved fried things. They both would do anything to avoid frying, they hate washing pots too.
“You, based on logistics” And we both burst into laughter at his words.
A few minutes later, I was slicing a tomato and listening to a song on my phone. I like to listen to music as I cook, though I like to cook and create recipes, I find it rather boring. In the past I would take a novel with me to the kitchen but the sight of me reading while I had food on the fire always seemed to upset my mother and I had to give that up and settle for music. I chose to listen to Englishman in New York by Sting and the Police.
It’s an old song inspired by a certain Englishman named Quinton who was gay back when it wasn’t mainstream, he was a fascinating man (you can look him on google). I love the song but there was a time in my life when I binge listened to it, sang it at any and every opportunity because the chorus seemed to fit my tongue and my life too well. At the time, I didn’t even know the lyrics well, all I knew was the mantra “ooo I’m an alien, I’m a — alien” and I made up other words as I went along.
At the time and at many moments in this present life, I wonder where my mother ship is- why my alien parents abandoned me to this cruel, miserable place, and most importantly, when would I go back to my real world. The only person I could talk about it was my uncle Nnamdi, who since March 2007 I have referred to in past tense even though my heart breaks each time. He didn’t think it was weird that I did not, could not fit in to anything and anywhere, he thought it was something I would outgrow. I didn’t outgrow it though, I’ve just learned to mask it better.
As memories flooded my mind, I remembered that I wasn’t the first to walk the misfit path. Two millennia ago, a certain Jewish Carpenter walked this earth and became the original master of disrupt (My darling Firms, is the photocopy). Because Christianity has become so mainstream, we do not realise just how sensational Jesus Christ was to the people who knew him. Here was a man who was ‘uneducated’, a son of a humble carpenter and a carpenter himself, the same man whose family lineage they all knew tracing back to Abraham. Who was he to claim he was the son of God and the Messiah when they all expected that the Messiah would be royalty, handsome, a scholar of international repute and most importantly- a warrior who would liberate Israel from the tyranny of the Romans.
Yet Jesus didn’t even fit the poverty mould that the circumstances of his birth was determined to force him into, he was given gold, frankincense and myrrh as christening presents and went to Egypt- the centre of civilisation at the time, when he was a toddler, he’d confounded wise men and priests when he was still a preteen. He became a man, performed miracles, preached with astounding wisdom and eloquence and most importantly- declared himself the son of God. I wonder if we realise just how blasphemous that must have seemed to the Jews then, imagine a person arises now and claims he is the son of God and the dude is performing miracles and calling your fav pastors, GOs and Daddies in the lord, hypocrites. I have never felt the Jews were any less human for not saving the innocent Jesus instead of Barnabas, many of us today would have bombed Jesus for “talking trash”.
Being different isn’t always bad, you can be amazing just because you are different. So many others have walked on that path before, including Jesus- who is the patron saint (yes saint, no, that’s not blasphemy) of the misfits around the world. I’ll end this post with one of my favourite quotes, it’s from the 1997 Think Different advert by Apple inc and the original version was recited by my absolute favourite actor Richard Dreyfus.
“Here’s to the crazy ones.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them,
glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
While some may see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world, are the ones who do”.