Oh Woman

Baker’s Pick
A. Gonzaga


Daltonism - 070/366
Photo Credit: Frikjan

Five months into his doomed relationship with her, Winfred could not pronounce Anna’s name properly. Before he began dating her, he had been exposed to more than his fair share of the irrational anger that inevitably follows a woman’s unexpected disappointment.

So often had he felt the blast of their combined wrath that Winfred was convinced a nameless British poet whose exaggerated verse on Tiger Woods’ divorce, which had become an internet sensation, had either spiritually stolen from his thoughts bank without first seeking Winfred’s permission—under the copyright law which protects ideas, and not just their expression (for none of his were expressed yet)—or that the poet was located somewhere in the Nordic region.

Titled “Tiger,” the poet had composed this:

Now that she wants three-fourths
of a billion dollars, I suppose I should
assume that Tiger had married
a Nordic woman
without asking questions firstly?
With ‘Forgiveness’ missing still in our vernacular,
and the future not looking good for Christ here,
I too have come to like to consume
revenge as though it were cheesecake…

*

Such a prolonged fuss can’t be all about ‘saying her name correctly’ Winfred thought that evening as he sat alone in the Amarillo restaurant and bar, in the heart of the city, having read—with moderate shock—Anna’s text message ending their relationship just a few hours earlier.

*

Anna was knock-kneed but, quite frankly, hers was a sexy genu valgum. The twenty-six-year-old understood perfectly that life is what you make it. In winter, she inserted those thick, knock-kneed legs into black-and-white striped leggings, creating balance with a matching neck scarf. And was on fire then, with her black, funnel-shaped thigh-reaching overcoat, at one with her black, knee-reaching leather boots, allowing just the right amount of striped leggings to be seen. Metropolitans observed her admiringly in that particular attire. She knew and loved it, their eyes on her.

*

There is definitely more to it than her name, brooded Winfred. She has been easily irritated from day one, finding fault where there was absolutely nothing wrong, as if I caused her writer-ex to dump her. See me see wahala o! The writer guy probably had his valid reasons. What an average woman she is, and thinks she’s something special! And what’s the big deal if I call her ‘Ana’ instead of ‘Anna’, stressing the double ‘n’ the Finnish way? Would my stressing that double ‘n’ make her prettier? Would it straighten her knock-kneed legs? This must be the world’s most laughable reason for two adult people to break up! I should have seen it coming! How did I let a girl younger than me selfishly use me to enhance her depressed life—because of being discharged by her dream ‘writer’ man—while she repaired herself, and then dumped me with a text message in the end. A text message! Winfred, how you have suffered in the hands of these females!

If you are simple and quiet they stupidly conclude you are an ojodu (crude and possibly stupid). If you are expressive they wrongly accuse you of being a show-off who’s trying to dominate them, and thence see you as their competition. The other guy who braggingly calls himself prince comes to mind. Who would have, two months ago, foreseen his sudden downfall? It seemed obvious the dude always did his best to appear presentable and, seemingly, wait on his then-lady hand and foot which should have been enough for any normal woman. But no! These twenty-first century ones are after the impossible which explains why she first showed him off around town, then punishingly dismissed him. But I ask—for what sin? And didn’t the guy who always behaved as if flood water can never reach his corner, humiliatingly commence his mourning with the depressing Facebook message “Guys get lonely too!” How sad.

Now isn’t it obvious these females are looking for a superman in the name of a partner?

*

First there was Marina, who thought Winfred looked like a basketball player and quickly smuggled him out of the nightclub before her two friends, who had gone to the ladies’ room, returned. She had hoped to bed a black man—a tall, huge one—that night, eternally concealing it from her two friends who didn’t warm to the idea when, once, she had dreamily and adventurously mentioned it. They drank that evening.

Forty-five minutes later Winfred had negatively amazed Marina as he stood frozen two arm-lengths away from her. The semen he prematurely ejaculated as he caught sight of her nudity, had hit her navel area, splashed about and caused the horny lady to stop dead, agape. They had earlier just romanced and smooched, while standing, for a short while before pausing to undress.

Afterwards she tried to view the strange man’s involuntary action positively, though it was understandably a bit challenging. One could imagine why; she hadn’t risked her friendship with her girlfriends for this poor show. She didn’t believe any woman’s bodily beauty could inspire such an explosion, particularly not her body, which she called neither special nor poor.

There was a clean up after which the lights were turned off, by her, even though this was Winfred’s one-room apartment.

It was now that Marina realised the just-experienced incident was an omen of the hopelessness that was to come as Winfred refused to join her in his own bed, citing the ridiculous excuse that didn’t just madden her but, in fact, drove her bonkers on the spot.

‘It’s nothing about you, honestly,’ Winfred begged. ‘I really like sleeping here on the floor mat. I prefer it to the bed, believe me. It’s a good bed by the way, and I hope you enjoy it! Please throw me a pillow…’

Marina flew off the bed. Her clothes were easy to put on. ‘What a jackass! A real jackass!’ she protested and banged the door after her. He could hear her stiletto heels marching angrily down the stairs.

*

Sini followed. After she and Winfred met in the city’s main library, she swiftly made up her mind to bed him that same evening. She imagined her little woman self in Winfred’s broad arms behind closed door. It was a beautiful image. Yet this small cute-face was meticulousness-obsessed and to make things worse, despised ‘weak’ males. She owned her own definition of them.

The conversation had progressed in a manner that pleasantly surprised the two till Sini thought it time to test the apparently poised man’s real confidence. ‘Did I hear you say you would like to get to know me better?’ her face misleadingly coated with vexation. Winfred, who was both caught off guard as well as found wanting, stammered, ‘No! No! I didn’t mean it like that. I was just kidding.’ He gave a fake, uneasy smile. Sini watched and grimaced.

Why should I give it to a coward at all, one-night stand or not? She questioned herself, experiencing no trouble finding the answer that satisfied her resolute heart. No. No way!

*

Afterward a true beauty surfaced, Frida, who liked Winfred through and through following their first meeting in a park. But her bisexual friend, at the time metamorphosing into an absolute lesbian, kept calling him at midnight, night after night, calling, calling, calling, and he kept answering, answering, till his brake lights were out of her sight, his voice out of her earshot.

*

Reminiscing here and now in the hottest spot in town, the Amarillo restaurant and bar, Winfred didn’t think it had mostly been his fault with women. He was convinced he was the victim in the cases of Anna, Sini, and Frida. He’d really fucked up with Marina and thus deserved her womanish wrath, he admitted. But it could have been worse.

A woman now rose from the southern end of the room, approached the bar and began to do there what visitors did. Another bottle of the same wine, please, she said. Red—you remember? And chilled of course… The woman was in her seventies, but was visibly winning the war against wrinkles. Winfred closely observed the woman, beheld her charm, feasted his eyes on her sleek red lips and flawless eye makeup and wished someone had advised the wrinkles to stop fighting the losing battle and recognise ‘a hand’s palm cannot conceal the moon’.

She was wonderfully shaped, and sandpapered and polished, and knew just how to be beautiful.

Oh woman, how many manly hearts did you injure who aimed only for a ticket to your temple some five or so decades ago, when my kind was a mystery here and Africa last looked poised? Winfred reflected, uttering nothing as you would wager.

Note: See me see wahala o! is a Nigerian Pidgin English decrying phrase which, if translated into English, can loosely mean How is it my fault!

pencil

A. Gonzaga (Oluchukwu Aloysius-Gonzaga Nwikwu) lives in Newsweek’s 2010 world’s best country—Finland. He is Nigerian-born, Nordic-educated. His literary work has been widely published in journals, magazines and anthologies across Africa, Europe and North America including Helsinki Times, The Battered Suitcase, The Slovenia Times, Itch, The New Black Magazine, Aunt Chleo: A Journal of Artful Candor, Newropeans Magazine, Red Lion Sq., Palapala Magazine, The Glass Coin, and many others. Work on his first book is ongoing with plans for translation into multiple Nordic languages. Email: a.gonzaga[at]ymail.com

Print Friendly, PDF & Email