a. A blue screen has various meanings. There’s the blue-screen process in filmmaking, where actors and objects are staged, filmed in blue backgrounds; the blue background is later removed, and then the subject of the film or photograph is cast against an alternate background or desired digital effect. Special effects.
b. As a kid I often wondered how films are made, how people flew from one end of the world to another corner of boundless realities. How bicycles fly. How someone is trapped, left on a dangling steel higher than what one’s mind can envision or reach on literal planes.
c. There is also a blue screen related to computing. Blue screen of death, it is called. It’s a screen display stating that there’s been an error with the computer system. It could be a system crash, a malfunction somewhere with the drives, an unsafe operation, a fault in memory, and so on. This has happened several times to my laptop, and it usually calls for a quick troubleshooting or calls to restart the system.
d. While waiting for your computer to restart, a glass of wine or a cup of tea to pass the time, you could blast a short, soft verse like this:
spin a blue, sing a tune
start a life anew
clink, clink, clink, clink
an old glass full of life
e. I talk about an old glass here for one reason: my mum often told us about glass dinnerware that are older than us. I bought this glass plate before you were born, she would say. As a kid, it was a big matter of interest to hear that an object was older than me. So that anything or anyone older than you got a higher respect. Mum found a way to humble us. But it didn’t go without rejoinders. We also found a way to humble her, to challenge her dinnerware approach. Because you are not ignorant of those tactics, you spend days plotting yours, waiting for that day she is going to crack another joke.
f. Wait for a glass of joke, a glass of coke too.
g. There’s a lot of waiting in this life: from the day of conception to the day a child is born; moving from a tea kettle to a state of warmth; waiting for an innocent chicken to defrost; waiting for your hospital results; waiting for winter days to pass over, waiting for summer stock; waiting for rain; waiting for a bus, a train, a flight; waiting for a wave, for a buzz; waiting to hear from a lover who is oceans away.
h. My first romantic relationship was with a woman oceans away. It was a cyber affair. Phone calls, instant messaging, video calls, sexting and so on. We had a six-hour time difference between us. I was always up at night. She was always up at night.
i. How is it possible for two strangers to love each other over the internet, without having physically met? People wonder. How is it possible for you to send an email or an application to a university abroad and then get admitted? I reply.
j. All things are possible.
k. Virtually all my romantic relationships started on Facebook—that’s where I used to live. I was addicted to Facebook.
l. Question: where do you live? Answer: I live online; the internet is my home. What’s on your mind? Poetry. How many friends do you have? So many friends, from all parts of the world. So, what do you do? I write and publish and share my work with others. Mostly writers, artists and lovers of art.
m. This has been my journey in the writing world. Publishing poetry in several online magazines. Reading and sharing the works of brilliant poets online.
n. When two poems of mine appeared in a print publication in Paris, I made a note saying: if you cannot go, send your art; send light somewhere. The artist’s work goes to places he might never ever go. Poetry is technology, too.
o. A journey over Facebook. Over blue screens, over blue skies. Strangers have now become friends, blood and strong support. They made donations to my crowdfunding to fund my travel to the UK, to secure my full tuition-waiver scholarship from the University of Kent for a master’s in creative writing.
p. So far, I have met so many Facebook friends in the flesh. In Abuja, in Zaria, in Kaduna, in Kano, in Jos, in London, in Wales, in Cornwall, Canterbury, Lagos.
q. My favorite poet and mentor, Uche Nduka, who currently lives in New York, wrote to me some time back, saying: “I hope you can visit us one day.” He and I have not yet met in person; I really hope that very soon we shall meet. I hope to meet many other Facebook friends across other cities with time.
r. Self is a community.
s. Inventing realities.
t. It’s a world of limitless possibilities.
u. Films, music, photography, architecture, painting, computer science, coding, graphic design, fashion, creative writing, publishing, name them. This is the 21st century.
v. Six years after finishing a degree in environmental science, a classmate switched to computer programming fulltime. He said he developed a sudden interest in computing and wanted to try his hands. He taught himself. He spent hours watching instructional videos on YouTube. He dug out materials and samples from different online sources. He would study the works of other programmers, task himself with fresh goals and try to meet them. Computer programming, this is what he said he does for a living.
w. I live for myself, said a friend.