So I entered this piece in a writing competition and I did not win anything 😦 not even one thing, not even a top 7 recognition…hahaha, so anyway, at least I have my blog
John Baptist was the best thing that had happened to her in many many months. In fact, she realized he was about her favourite thing about her job. His absence was beyond noticeable because she laughed less. He made her laugh without even meaning to, until her tummy hurt. He didn’t even set out to be funny; at least she didn’t think he did. It’s just that his thoughts were funny and he shared them, a lot.
There is nothing unusual about John Baptist or JB like she cheekily refers to him. He is just like everyone else. He is one of those guys with dreadlocks, actual dreadlocks without extensions. He detests people who have extensions for dreadlocks; what he does not realize is that genetics are not necessarily on everyone’s side. Not everyone has hair as nice as his. Not everyone’s hair can lock and grow and still look presentable in certain places of work.
He likes Peter Tosh. Some might even call it an obsession. I mean, what do you call it when someone has a Peter Tosh shirt that he wears at least once every week? In all fairness, it could be that he only has seven shirts, but she still thinks he might be obsessed. She has never really been a fan of reggae music; she could tell if the song playing through the speakers was of the genre but if she had to name the artist for food, she would starve.
JB, at least according to her, qualified to be called a guru in this aspect. It was because of JB that she knew that Peter Tosh used to sing with Bob Marley when it was still “The Wailers” right before it changed to “Bob Marley and the Wailers”. Asking him questions about reggae was akin to giving him the most valued privilege that exists in the universe. He spoke with passion and great knowledge and was usually the first to admit that he might be biased when it came to certain artists and albums.
She had realized over time that this was his approach to life. He was a rebel; one of the best ways to get him to do something was to declare it forbidden. He wasn’t a rebel just for the sake of being a rebel. He actually stuck to his guns about ninety eight percent of the time. You would have to hold him down, probably with a knife to his throat to get him to put modern medicine in his mouth. She had a feeling that even on the verge of death he’d still refuse. Ironically, he was always quick to proclaim that his mind was changeable.
One day, JB walked into the office and declared that the day was special. That wasn’t unusual, he loved making grand entrances. He said they saved him the trouble of having to walk up to everyone individually and greet them. Every time he said that, she said he reminded her of some scene in Megamind, the movie, he said he knew it too and they always laughed and reminisced as if they were talking about it for the first time.
On this particular day however, the reason was different. It was St. John the Baptist day. He admitted that he had found out through Google. JB wasn’t very religious even though he was raised Catholic and sent to the most Catholic of boarding schools (if that was even possible) from an early age. Nevertheless, it was “his” day. He didn’t seem to have a plan that went beyond reminding everyone that he met, but that seemed to suffice for the moment. Sometimes just people knowing was enough it seemed.
Whenever someone would ask what made the day so special he’d have this look on his face as if to say “I thought you’d never ask” and get into a tale, yes a tale, about John the Baptist of the Bible. He said, yes, Jesus was special, but maybe John the Baptist was special too. He didn’t really care much for his message or his relation to Jesus. He however made sure to point out that John the Baptist and Christ were first cousins, but that did not matter to him.
He went on to talk about his hair, asking if you knew that John the Baptist was the most authentic guy there was. He had genuine dreadlocks, partly because there were no extensions back in those days, maybe far away in Egypt where they had wigs, but it also could have been due to the fact that John the Baptist had one sole purpose in life, and that was to talk about the coming of his cousin.
He therefore did not bother with minor things like showers and combs. He figured he kept clean because he baptized people a lot and there was no way water could miss him. Some people were a bit hydrophobic, (JB at this point would pause to inquire if anyone had noticed his usage of an extra ordinary word not caring if it were properly placed or not) and some in an attempt to raise their hands to heaven, would instead reach for the very long oh so real dreadlocks and that is how baptizer and disciple both ended up drenched.
If unstopped by maybe the “demanding” work he had to attend to, or the loss of interest of whoever had asked the question, he would then go on to talk about how John the Baptist may have been the most authentic Rasta that ever lived, way before we even knew what was happening in Jamaica. He hates stereotypes by the way, and at that point he’d point out that Rastas did not just come from Jamaica. He insisted that as misguided as his parents may have been in baptizing him into a foreign religion, they couldn’t have chosen a better person to name him after. In fact, he mused, he might even be the John the Baptist of our time.