The Mad Woman

the Mad Woman

 The mad woman is what they call me

I don’t think I’m mad, at least not to myself, it seems.

I was deemed mad because I could often be seen laughing without known motivation.

Many had often wondered how to this place I came to be

But if they knew my oh my how they would scream!

My story began long ago in a land far away from the under bridge

In a town a flight away from the famous oil ridge.

Before the madness took over, I went by a name called Abeni.

The one I loved shared with me a private joke since his name was Benjamin.

From the east and from the west did our love come to be.

Ignoring the haters and naysayers, we settled down with ease.

Like people in love, we made love and soon the fruit of the womb was revealed!

And unto us a son was given and unto us a daughter was born

And unto us such happiness that nothing could ever destroy!

On the fateful day, the arsonist was loose

And to flames he set the homes with good views.

I had been driving home when the call came in.

“Abeni, Abeni! There is cause to weep!”

And so on the bridge, I sped out of control like a drunken bird

And flew straight into the net of the Lord Death.

Unlike my husband and twin children, I escaped an untimely death

Only to enter a fate that all would dread.

I began my walk home after from the hospital being released.

I walked and walked with a strange peace.

Entering my estate, my home was nowhere to be found

Then I remembered what memory the doctors had bound.

I laughed so hard so as to push away the tears.

I chuckled away all the memories that were far from dear!

I take myself to the bridge where the news was delivered.

Sitting there, the memories come back and I quiver.

I am all alone now

Gone are the days when my husband’s smile used to be just a mile away.

With such thoughts, I fall asleep.

I wake up with such thoughts

And with such thoughts, I repeat the actions of yesterday for an eternity.

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Nine to Five: The Torment of the White Collar

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It starts with a sudden coming-to-be, then a frantic search for my phone to check the time: 4:46am. Next comes relief, then indulgence in what must be a brief sleep.

There is another sudden coming-to-be and frantic search for the time; 5:15am. A harried shower and don-ing of clothes, then off into the morning to corporate slavery.

Mornings are for routines and double shots of coffee between the review of the previous day’s numbers.

Got to be on top of your game is what they say. They speak with muffled voices, in whispers at the coffee shack and the convenience of a ferocious titan who once battled boardrooms and investor presentations. The first lesson is always on stray bullets. When O.T comes out of her office and ‘randomly’ asks you what your unit’s numbers for the last three months were; you got to know, or better still act like you know for the life of you, because – and this is the most important part – O.T does not know either.

O.T is the general supervisor and she is faking it like everyone else in the group.

It has been a tough year, the economy is on its knees and the numbers have been bad. Really bad. We are the laughing stock at company wide meetings.
There are rumors that O.T is somewhat mad with confusion and despair from the constant bashing at these meetings. She goes into wild fits sometimes at the unit heads where she makes them write memos on the similarities between their behavior in a certain client-company situation and some base characteristics of animals. Once, she made Braimoh write on the similarities between his erroneous analysis of the root cause of a cement industry giant’s inability to break-even and dogs eating their own shit.

She is a director and revered as a marketing savant in her feisty feline ways.

She only wears skirt suits and her legs – chiseled to perfection – shine.  

Despite the bashing, the bastards at HQ know they cannot get rid of O.T. She is a pillar of the company, her name entrenched into the halls of fame as a marketing genius. Erratic, yet resolute in her ways as she wills and wants.  She is given a free pass of sorts and her group is considered a death sentence for the outliers and castaways of the organization.

I was at best, an okay deal once. I work for her because I told my former general supervisor at HQ to fuck off one horrible Thursday afternoon.

The rest is history and therefore inconsequential in the grander scheme of unfortunate things. Now, work is the bane of my existence and this purple Zegna tie I inherited from my Father is the hangman’s noose. I reply emails and write reports and watch the time as it comforts me with thoughts of freedom with each passing of the hour.

To me, O.T is beautiful, intelligent and in so many marvelous ways, woman.

I reach for my phone this particular morning to tell her I think it’s okay she doesn’t  care about the numbers anymore but needs the unit heads to care or look like they care for fucks and their miserable live’s sake.

I can see into her office from my cubicle and I marvel at her posture as she stands and flips earnestly through a book. Her legs glisten through the glass and her skirt is flattering so I think up what i imagine is a cute message the very moment she turns and denies me the previous glory of her form, inspect for the right amount of millennial wit then hit send.

Me: Face your front. The view is better that way. Were you ever athletic or into any form of ?

 O.T : Wtf are you talking about?

 Me: The yams 

OT: Why are you beefing my legs?

This last reply makes me laugh out loud. O.T does this thing where she uses what she calls ‘young people lingo’ while ‘texting’

Me: Beefing? Really? That’s what you think I’m doing ? Or the best you could come up with?

I see her laugh and expectantly catch her suggestive smile as she spins to stare at me all the way across the dell monitor laden shop floor

O.T: Okay, enlighten me as to what drew your attention to my awesome legs this morning

Me: The yams, of course. Well not really, first them thighs (the ones you like to call fat although I think not) – them thighs you won’t let me caress when we make out – so we moved to the legs

O.T: I can’t deal, bye

 Me: Why?

 a) sensitive subject?

 b) too early to flirt?

 c) too many numbers to memorize 

d) you tell me

 O.T: None of the above, not in the mood.

 Me: what’s wrong?

 O.T: nothing, send me the report on our overdue receivables.

I go through my computer for the file in a hurry to please the only thing that makes working in this hell-hole manageable. 

Not long after, a reminder from a year ago pops up on my monitor indicating that it is almost time for the yearly individual appraisal with the slavers from HQ. In an instant, I feel sorry for O.T. She cannot help and it is my fourth year on the same level. If I do not get promoted, I would have to resign the next day. If I get another letter of appreciation from HR or am asked to shake the MDs hand as compensation, I may go to jail. 

Times are hard, I know, but I live with my parents and they will not kick me into the streets no matter how long it takes to get back on my feet.
I click on the snooze button, close the computer then head to the bathroom for a confidence boosting chant, or self-assuredness mantra as my therapist would call it.

The words come to the fore of my mind at the very spark of its thought; I am not the only one who is unhappy.

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