6 Days in The Life of Afam: Notes on the Cheshire Cat, The Game of Thrones and Wire Wool.

I finished my exams last week Thursday and I've been in a little bit of a phunk since. This phunk is unlike all the others. It isn't an infusion of melancholy, it's more like a confusion has afflicted my bones. After spending the better part of one month in the Library and the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons I no longer know what to do with myself.
This is a photo taken by an account on flickr called the University of Manchester Library. I didn't know that my University library had a flickr account but no matter. The Alan Gilbert Learning Commons appears to be quite the modern building made out of more glass than concrete (I do not know if this is true or not, but it seems plausible). It was originally intended as a 24 hour building but we students know that it cannot be relied on. How can a building that's spent more time shut than open be reliable? 

When designing the interior the University thought it best to fill the building with comfortable chairs and open space. I believe that the chairs do not pass the comfort requirement. What is the Comfort Requirement? University chairs must be so uncomfortable that they dissuade anyone from catching a wink or 40 but not so uncomfortable that they render one incapable of walking. Those chairs are far too comfortable.
 After the exams, I celebrated by going to the official University of Manchester post exam Student Party, Pangaea dressed like this.
The theme was Alice in Wonderland. I got a Zebra onesie from primark, chopped off the head, and the mane and called it a Cheshire Cat. Ingenious? I know!
During my time in Manchester I have become quite the fancy dress connoisseur. There is no theme I cannot crush! Observe below!
That time I dressed as a cross between a shepherd, an angel and a wise man. The theme was the nativity. It is evident that I, Afam exceeded expectations. That is what you call a "threefer" (A three for one)
I wore this a year ago. The theme was the circus so I went dressed as a sexy clown. Admittedly it wasn't my best idea, as it was winter and snowing.
However the week took a turn for the less exciting and more sobering on Tuesday. I  no longer find it surprising how the events preceding the receipt of tragic news gain some sort of supernatural sharpness after the news has been received.

A friend that I went to school with died of non-hodgkins lymphoma. It wasn't surprising. I'd known he had been in a bad way so I wasn't surprised. I'd promised myself that I wouldn't mourn, so that night while looking out of my window on the 21st floor of this questionable Student Castle that manages to be simultaneously brilliant and inconvenient I wrote the following,

"Ser Mbakwe second of his name Heartsbane, has seen fit to go adventuring where I cannot presently follow. I can only wish him Godspeed on his most recent endeavour. I begged him to leave me a ledger of his travels that I may follow. There's really no need to mourn. How can you mourn the adventurer that's gone before you to lands untried? You can only wait your turn. I'm sure that one day in the near of far future I shall follow, and I know I will find him waiting."

Is it not spectacular? The view was made to get lost in. Of course a few weeks ago I couldn't quite get lost in the view because the pitter patter of water dripping from the ceiling was most distracting. Such is the nature of the building. It has a carrot and a very ample stick. I have never encountered such a punitive structure. Just as you manage to fall in love with its dazzling newness it reminds you that it is fully capable of making your life uncomfortable. But not so uncomfortable that you pack your bags and flee.
 In the Spirit of my non-mourning pledge, I continued on as if nothing had happened. My struggles are my struggles, best not put on full display. The world doesn't stop so that you can come to terms with whatever has happened, and by extension you cannot stop the world so that you can come to terms with whatever it is that has happened. You can only steal moments of meaning from your pre-existing routine. To break from this routine is to invite doom. Two weeks off can easily turn into four weeks off and four weeks off can easily turn into 8 weeks off and before you know it you're on a six month bender hung over somewhere in Bermuda. And my grief isn't sizeable enough to warrant that sort of reaction. 

On Wednesday, I went to my first ever photography society meeting. I joined the Photography society in September but my lack of a camera and my distaste for borrowing things prevented me from attending any previous meetings. Growing up in my house in Nigeria you didn't borrow things, to borrow was to admit to a sort of greed for the things of the world and was symptomatic of the greenest sort of envy in the world. There was a time my brother, Gbaddy borrowed a neighbours game boy, the swiftness and severity of his punishment left me rolling with laughter. When I was younger, I wasn't my brothers biggest fan so I delighted in his punishments as he delighted in mine. I was always quick to tell on him. At the time I imagined that I was more suited to be the older one. My dislike for him, and my Jacobian tendencies ended with one particularly nasty fight during which I found myself branded with a toothbrush. I still have the scar.

I bought myself the Nikon Coolpix S8200
It isn't the biggest or the best, but I quite like it. It's got the CMOS censor and that allows for pretty decent night time pictures. It hasn't got a manual mode but I can work around that.

The society meeting involved following the gang to Castlefields in Manchester for a wirewool experiment and some light painting. 
This is Castlefields. It's quite a nice area especially for Manchester. Don't get me wrong I love the place but it's just not the prettiest city.

Maybe Manchester like Lagos, looks best in pictures. You'd never guess that it was 2 degrees Celsius and extremely windy  when I took that photograph.
Now for the stuff you've all been waiting for, the light painting and wire wool action.

That is a star.

This is what happens when you set wire wool on fire and spin it around in circles.
I quite like this one.
The Wire wool, though beautiful once afire and awhirl only lasted a maximum of 13 seconds, after which it burnt out. Even though 13 seconds is a short time, we managed to capture the best bits of the event. It got me thinking that maybe it's okay that some things don't last. If they did we wouldn't know that we were meant to appreciate them.

Happy Days,

1 comment:

Starmix said...

I love the wirewool analogy at the end. RIP to your friend and a friend to many others I'm sure.

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