It was on a Tuesday morning that I saw the email and I instantly became uncomfortable with it. Something about it did not sit right with me. One of my very senior bosses wrote a mail to my direct boss on a particular deal that we were working on with some government agency, and he specifically requested for me to work on the deal. In fact, he wrote in caps: ‘DENNIS SHOULD BE ASSIGNED TO WORK ON THIS PROJECT, AND I BELIEVE THAT HE WILL BRING ABOUT A BREAKTHROUGH.” After sometime, I shook off the uneasy feeling and told myself instead that I was being given more responsibilities, which was an opportunity to prove myself again and maybe snag another promotion.
To be honest, the amount of money involved in this deal and the levels of access to government officials required was higher than my cadre. But if my boss believed I could nail this, then – by God! – I would.
On the day I was supposed to go make the pitch, the senior boss called me from Lagos and gave me the name of the person I should ask for when I get to the government ministry. The project was part of a US government funded programme in partnership with the state government, so I had to meet the project manager and make our pitch and hopefully close the deal.
I arrived at the office and was ushered in to the waiting area. The project manager had just stepped out and would be with me soon, his secretary said. I whipped out my phone and was bugging PP et al, when I heard the high-pitched voice. “Hello, darling… OMG, I love your hair… Send my coffee in…” It sounded like Ross Mathews, only gayer. (Is that even a word? Lol) I looked up and saw this extremely light-skinned, bearded man of middle age. He was talking to one of the workers there, and then he turned to me, said hello and moved on. The man could flame for Africa and Asia combined; I mean, RuPaul had nothing on him, as he sashayed into the inner office, shaking his generous bum.
Eventually I was ushered into the office and I took my seat.
And within minutes of being there, I understood why Mr. Senior Boss specifically chose me to do this.
Now, Mr. Senior Boss is an American and joined my company recently after a merger with another company. I know he knows I’m gay; we were staying at a hotel once for a retreat and he spotted me at the bar with one expat I met on Grindr, who incidentally was staying at the same hotel. (Story for another journal entry) So, I know he knows, but he’d never asked me anything about it. It was so ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell.’
Eventually however, I was able to gather that he went to business school in South Africa with this project manager, figured out that the guy was gay, and was now trying to pimp me out in exchange for the deal . . . sort of.
And ever since our first meeting, the project manager has been so unprofessional. Darling, how are you doing today… Dearie, did you get my email… Sweetheart, how’s it going… And all this via whatsapp – I mean, who whatsapps on official business?
Now I am a bit torn and quite frankly very pissed at my boss. How involved would I have to be with the project manager (whom I have no interest in whatsoever…I mean he is forty-something) to get the deal signed, seeing as we are still in the negotiation process? I cannot even confront my boss, because my thinking is all circumstantial. And if I nail this because the project manager wants me, I would feel terrible, like I did not earn it.
What’s a boy gotta do?
One of my besties was visiting me. I was glad I’d get distracted from school work a bit and have some fun – Wait, not that kind that you are thinking o. Anyways, on Friday, we hit the town; I’d gotten off work pretty early. We went to Port Harcourt mall to buy some stuff before hitting the bars.
Now, this my friend can catwalk more than Naomi Campbell (lol, seriously), and I really don’t care because he is a very loyal friend to me. Infact many times we have been out in the past, a guy has come on to him, and I ended up eating free lunch or drinking expensive drink as per attaché consine. So, hanging out with him can also have its perks.
Anyway, we were in a clothing store, trying out outrageously expensive clothes which we had no interest in buying (Port Harcourt boutique owners are crazy people), when this very butch girl walked into the store and came straight toward us. I initially thought it was a guy and was thinking say my friend market don sell and I go chop free pizza as always. But then, I looked closely and realized that it was a girl that was approaching us. She came closer and gave us a handshake each, and then turned to my friend and said, “Hello what’s up?” My friend responded warmly. Then she lowered her voice so I wouldn’t hear, and asked him, “TB?” My friend answered in the affirmative, and she loosened up, said hello to me too and started chatting up my friend. Then she said we should come outside and meet her friends, adding that they were new in town and did not know anybody.
We went outside to meet a gang of lesbians. They were about a dozen, a bevy that left me stunned. I don’t mean to be disrespectful to lesbians, but aside from a few of them I know, I could have sworn this lot were all boys – baggy jeans, timberland boots, corn rows, even masculine perfume! There was no iota of femininity in these women, so much so that when I told one of them, “Babes, shift small, a car is coming”, she quickly snapped, “Dude, not Babe. Dude! I’m a guy.” (Lol) We eventually went to have drinks and all, and I was really happy I met them.
They were a mix, mostly athletes, one was a hair dresser (the girly one), one other was a school teacher who taught sports (duh), and a third was a banker. I joked with my friend that some of these women were even more masculine than the both of us combined, and we had a good laugh. The truth is that lesbians have fascinated me for years, and except a few I went to school with, I did not know any lesbians personally. So I was happy to finally make friends that would answer all my questions. I hope to convince one of them to write for Kito Diaries though.
I sent someone to buy me some vegetables that I was going to eat at home. (I’m on this 60 days clean-eating challenge which I keep asking myself how I let the fitness trainer at my gym talk me into. In my defense, I was staring at his abs, so I would have agreed to walk to China if he’d asked.
So, I sent someone to buy my vegetables, and the girl went and bought all the wrong things, in spite of the list I gave to her. There was even some mistakes with the pricing, and I got upset and made a mental note to always do something myself if I don’t want mistakes.
I marched to the store in a Khaleesi mood ready to breathe fire on the guy in the vegetables section. However, when he turned to look at me and said ever-so courteously, “Sir, is there a problem?” I turned to jelly. Suddenly my legs could no longer hold me up, the air-conditioned store became hot, and me that prides myself on being very vocal could no longer find my voice.
The guy was FOINE, as in Tyson Beckford, Jude Law and Justin Bieber all rolled into one. He was new there, otherwise I would have noticed him before. Skin the color of caramel, deep hazel eyes like he was wearing colored contacts, and there and then, I lost myself. It took me a few moments to gather what was left of my wits, and I began stuttering my explanation as to why I was there. When he began explaining and apologizing, his voice sounded like a very distant echo, because my focus was on his facial features – eyes, lips, cheekbones, jaw line… iDied! Is this guy Nigerian sef? He looked exotic!
Eventually he sorted out the issue and asked if I wanted anything else. ‘Yes. You,’ I answered under my breath. He started calling out more vegetables they had, and I just kept on nodding. (I simply had no voice) After my folly, I walked away with cauliflower, pomegranate, chia, purple cabbage and a bunch of other stuff I had no idea what they were used for! *sigh*
Before you pick up that gavel, judge me only if you have not checked out a random, hot guy before. Nonsense and condiments!
On a final note, I have a question. Suppose (hypothetically of course) you meet a guy on Grindr and you people eventually develop a friendship. Suppose the friendship metamorphoses into something serious and you both want to be together? At what point do you delete the Grindr, or change your username? Again, remember that this is hypothetically speaking. *straight face*
See you guys next week. Do follow on twitter @Dennis_Macaulay