By Morak Babajide-Alabi
This piece is adapted from a note published in my blog on January 19, 2017
As I sat in the office reception on the 26th floor of the gigantic tower overlooking the Central Park, Manhattan, many thoughts were running through my mind. To be honest, I was only there physically but my mind seems to have taken a flight (out of anxiety and excitement). I shifted from one side of my buttock to the other, pretending to be in control, as I adjusted my tie for what seemed the 100th time. Yet I still felt lightheaded because I had cut the supply of air to my head by the tightly-knotted tie.
There were security guards positioned at every corner of the hall. I didn’t want to stare at them so as not to attract attention, but I could swear I saw one or two of them whispering to each other, and a few talking to themselves. I was to realise later that they had earpieces on. For a strange reason, a cold sweat broke out all over me as I thought to myself that they probably were talking about “the strange guy” – me.
My palm was greasy from the excitement. I looked around, trying to recollect why I was sat there and how I got here. I just couldn’t as my mind would not stay still to think straight. The more I tried to bring to memories the events leading to my being here the more confused I became. Coupled with the frenzy of activities around me, it was practically impossible for me to breathe.
Stylishly, so as not to draw further undue attention to myself, I shook my head vigorously to clear my thoughts. It did not help in any way. I stole a glance to the right, left and in a swift movement I wiped my sweaty face with the “tail” of my tie and momentarily tucked it back in place. What a relief this was. For the first time since my arrival, I noticed the effect of the many air conditioning units “blowing” in the office. I adjusted myself again on the massive sofa, and gradually the “fuzziness” cleared from my head.
I turned right and immediately saw one of the lady receptionists smiling at me. I could not be stingy with my smiles now, so I gave her a full thirty-two. Before I could cover my teeth with the lips, the main office door swung open and a tall lanky, ‘ginger-haired’ seventy-year-old man walked through. Everybody was at attention.
That is him. Donald Trump! I whispered to myself.
He looked a little less different from what I had been used to seeing on television. Although he was standing a few metres away from me, I could not shut out the memorable pictures of him, as portrayed by the media. I closed my eyes momentarily in an attempt to get back to reality, but this only made it worse. All my head could process at this time was him, through 2016, on various stages promising his supporters that he would “make America great again”.
I was struggling with reality and the vision in my head. I was not concentrating anymore.
Then in a fraction of a second, I heard: “Morak, where is Morak? Where is he?”
I could feel myself “about to die”, but the shout of “Morak” brought me back to life. This was getting too much for me. What were all these and how did I find myself here?
“Morak“, the voice thundered! I helped myself out of the sofa in one clean sweep. “Your Excellency!” I said with a great deal of humility.
“Come here, you “burger”, he said excitedly. I stepped closer to him and grabbed the hand he extended. I am not a small man in stature, but I must say my hand got “lost” in his palm. We both looked into each other’s eyes and smiled. It was a smile of understanding. A smile of “I know your journey“, “I know how you were told you would not make it, yet you did“.
Within seconds, the outer door opened and journalists “poured” into the room. They positioned themselves and took pictures of us shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries. At this time, I had pushed aside all the excitements and anxieties and I “blended”.
This was my moment in history. I felt so “high I really touched the sky” just the way Nigel Farage felt when he visited. The cologne of this man intoxicated me.
“Good to see you, Morak“, he said, still holding on to my hand and sometimes pumping it for emphasis.
“Thank God you made it“, he said.
I replied: “Thank God you made it, sir. I am particularly happy for you. Nobody thought you could ever make it.” He nodded his head and said: “Everybody wrote me off,” the journalists were all ears now. Some of the reporters writing, while others brought out their dictaphones.
“They all wrote me off! They did not realise that the thoughts of human beings are not the same as the Lord’s. They said I was not good enough to be elected but here I am,” he put his right hand on my shoulder and smiled once again into my eyes. I nodded in agreement as I held him close to my side. At this moment in history, he was my guy and I wasn’t going to let him off.
“Mr President …” I started off but he took the words off my mouth.
“Gentlemen of the press, please join me in welcoming Morak, who had come all the way from the United Kingdom, to witness my inauguration as the 45th President of the United States. He played a great role in our becoming the President of this great nation. From day one, he was always sending “prayer points” to the campaign team. It is instructive to know that these “prayer points” were focused on how to have victories over our opponents. I must confess that they were indeed useful in winning the “war“, he said.
There was applause from the staff in the office. I felt really proud of myself. I raised my head and looked straight at the cameras because I knew the focus was on me now. I would have loved to adjust my tie again but who cared.
He looked around, nodded at a tall, well-proportioned black lady and said “Please make Morak welcome and comfortable. He is a jolly good fellow and you will enjoy him.” The lady nodded and winked at me conspiratorially. My heart jumped as I thought of what the lady might be thinking in her head on what “to do to me” when only two of us leave the Tower.
The President-elect turned to me, grabbed my hand again and said: “Morak, enjoy yourself.” Like a flash, he was gone behind the massive door frame at the Tower.
The lady walked towards me, extended her hands and said “Morak, shift, you have taken over my space on the bed. You have almost pushed me off the bed.”
I turned around and I realised I was on the bed, in my room with my wife nudging me to make space for her.
“What?” I said as I reached for the bedside lamp. It was 3:12 am (UK time).
I had been dreaming.
Happy Birthday to my dear wife, Biola.
As published in the Sunday Vanguard of February 25, 2018.