The Four Corners of the World

four corners

Drank. Drank. Drank. Drank.

I can hear you through the haze of my clouded mind. I can feel the touch of your skin against mine. You are itching to hear my story, I know, but a man must first register his bearings lest he guides you to the wrong kind of the past.

1 Touch – 8 Stones – 4 Boys

Clever co-ordinates for a breathless round of football game. A man might wonder how 8 stones convince 4 boys to kick the ball once. A man might ask how a man can be so naive in his thoughts. In a world dominated by Insta-success, it is quite easy for a man to filter the slow, elaborate processes involved in having fun. Epic? Black and white? Sepia?

First, a man must understand time.

The year is 1990 – 2005, the month a random choice among 12 mutually exclusive possibilities. The internet is hardly a thing, and for those who live outside the exciting world of Nintendo and Sega consoles, a lot of after-school time was spent in the open.

Which brings us to space.

In the four corners of the world, there is an empty patch of dusty earth just beyond the main street. Stones are everywhere. Pebbles mostly, and a big gutter cutting through the ground like some lazy snake taking a stroll. The notion of a covered gutter has not yet registered. Truly; there is either a gutter or there is none. There is no such thing as a covered gutter, and nobody who knew of the word “drainage” was outside in the first place. Sega consoles, remember?

…the four corners

For insta-hipsters, it is easy to draw a cross on the ground, elongating the lines so that you have four quadrant amounting to a total area of about 2 square metres. It could be larger, but that would make it less fun. Then at the tip of each line, you make a goal post using two stones. Or a pair of slippers. Or anything practically useful, like the broken console of your dada bee friend.

Note that the post should be reasonably-sized. Placing each of the two stones/slippers 2.5 feet apart is just fine. Now that the space is set, the four of you start a game of kicks.

not just any kicks, mind you.

Four poles is built on the spontaneous genius of the Ghanaian child. The idea that everything in the world is against you is evident here: though there are four of you, your job as a participant is to try and beat each of your friends; that translates to three enemies at each stage of the game. Where there are other friends waiting on the wings, whoever has his goal breached is kicked out so another can take his place. Yes. No mercy.

You might think I am drank for saying this, but it is the reason why those people from these spaces are able to stand against all the odds. I mean, imagine corrupt politicians. Quack doctors. Fake imams and pastors. Mosquitoes doing acrobatics in the DAY TIME! Hospitals without oxygen tanks. Homeless folk sleeping in the streets. Petty thieves sentenced to ten years imprisonment with hard labour while politicians routinely get pardons. Imagine all these, and yet, like Ja Rule said, “We still here!!”

The margin of error is just tiny enough to make life an impossibility. But it hasn’t stopped us from living and fighting for our dreams.

Yet, that is not the greatest gift the 90s gave us.

What if I should tell you that you have the opportunity of achieving anything you want in your life? What if you actually see that I am not bullshitting you? What if there is a caveat?

Like a jackpot, you have only one chance!

You only get to kick the ball only once. One touch. But what is one touch?

We will talk about One Touch the next time we meet and I am sober!




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