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The old man’s why.

For those who know me personally, you might have heard me make such a sweeping statement like “Atta is the coolest person in the world!” Well, I won’t go into why I think so. But I’ve brought you one of his shorter pieces to read. It’s a bit different from what you’ve been seeing on here but I’m glad I have versatile readers here. Without further ado, I bring you Atta Otigba’s ‘The Old Man’s Why’.


I was born without a smile. I do not smile because I must. Long before I learned to laugh I knew what sadness was. I was born in the dead of night, into large freezing hands and a frost-bitten world with nothing but my wailing to call my own. I did not know the hands were large. If I did then I have forgotten and will never know. So I did not. I only knew to scream at the top of my lungs – they would not listen otherwise. It was all I knew and far too cold for smiling.

Now I am old and frail and weary of wailing. I have learned one thing more I did not know before – or if I did, I have forgotten; that nothing stops. Even still things move in time. Perish the wailing. There is now, for me, only laughter. It is all I know and far too late for crying.

I smile before I must. Smile, I must. So I do not wait to have no choice. I smile without a cause. I am not mad, only weary of waiting. There is no reason in waiting for reasons. There is no reason in waiting; if time will not wait then neither will I.

I was born without a smile. But I will die smiling. I will go to sleep with both corners turned up, on one side of a great, grim, grey curtain, and wake up on golden sheets, laughing at the top of my lungs – and they will listen.


Can you identify any talking point? I’ll just let you guys share your thoughts on the piece using the comment box.

Now, Thetoolsman has mandated me to give away 5 invites to The Naked Convos #1. I’m really not a big fan of these things so I hope this challenge doesn’t come across as too ‘challenging’.

I’ll give out invites to the following:

1. First two people to give me a synonym for the word ‘pulchritudinous‘.
2. First person to name my first ever post on this blog.
3. First person to name all the writers the participated in The Vagina Monologues on this blog.
4. First person to name the other blog I write for.

Good luck.

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