Perhaps, a strong wave of spiritual renaissance is coming through’, I say, startling myself by my loud thoughts.
I remember the hint of luck I had a few hours back, while I prepared for this very same interview I was now headed for. A television broadcast begins while I dither over which of my ties to combine with my new shirt. A short man with a podgy frame is dressed in a red robe. He has a white waist band which further accentuates the protruding shape of his mid-section. To complete his bishoply appearance, he wears a long chain that ends in a sparkling crucifix. He talks about the wonders of the cross and speaks with so much conviction. His baritone voice has a compelling power. But I’m too busy staring at the reflection of light on his shiny bald head, wondering how easily it could be mistaken for a ball-shaped mirror. Then he suddenly blurts out, “There’s someone out there watching this telecast. He has lost count of the number of job interviews he’s attended so far. And for the umpteenth time, he’s been scheduled for another, as I speak. I’ve been asked to tell you this will be the last. Your fate is sealed by the wonder of the cross!” THE CROSS! The camera zooms in and focusses on the piece of T-shaped jewelry- so long- that dangles beneath his lower abdomen. Something tells me I’m the recipient here. I’m tempted to doubt those words, but still I believe.
Back to the present; I’m wondering if the ubiquity of the crucifix is a sign of renaissance or a telltale sign of wicked perversion. The other side to those people I saw bearing the cross suddenly hits me. The guy who bumped into me had red eyes and wobbly steps. He looked every bit like a druggie at the height of ecstasy. The bus conductor had a weird haircut. He wore earrings and had a crazy tattoo on his upper arm. “Your head like isi-ewu”, he said when I turned down his invitation to board his bus. He reeked of cannabis smoke; Miss Hot-legs who almost had me tumbling, blinked seductively in this brazen come-and-do manner, when our eyes met. Her legs were bare up to her laps and her breasts struggled to free themselves from the stranglehold of her tight-fitting top. She chewed endlessly with irritating ‘Pa-Pa-Pa’ sounds, very much unlike ruminant animals that chewed curd quietly. I could easily decipher that she was one of those ladies of easy virtues who exchanged their bodies for money at the popular rendezvous spots in Zone four.
The bus speeds past a large billboard that has a famous music star endorsing a popular household brand. It gets me thinking about music and its famous superstars. Hip-hop is fast becoming a culture; a religion where the artiste plays god. Rap is my forte; First because I love words. Secondly, because of the beautiful puns and metaphors laced on groovy rhythms. They take my breath away, but only for a short time. I hate rappers. I hate their attitude. I hate their guts. I hate their dress sense. The list is endless. The tight-fitting, body-hugging and sometimes sequined tops hanging over a falling pair of denim pants. Around the neck a chain sits, studded with precious stones and glistening metals. The chains, commonly known as ‘blings’ bear pendants from giant crucifixes to weird-looking skulls and other absurdities. They go on to whine about their fame in d ‘game’ clad in the ‘holy crucifix’; Their conquests- the drug, the women- form the common themes. I find it really desecrating; the mix of this sacred symbol of God-in-human-flesh with so much evil is too appalling to be true. I learnt about the significance of the crucifix as a tot, and how it represents God’s huge attempt at redeeming mankind.
As I near my destination now, I see the robed bishop through my mind’s eye. I hear the words again, “…your fate is sealed by the wonder of the cross”. I experience peace as I decide I’d rather wear the cross as a symbol of faith. It’ll hang around my neck for a very long time. Long after the chaplets, rosaries and anklets of this world go out of fashion