No you are not self-absorbed, you are just living life on the inside but choosing to smile on the outside.
Let’s all just play pretend
Wait, we are too good at this
Tell that to all the lovers we’ve met
Others we’ve ignored when they were not looking
Those with the perfect image,
unblemished even after past lives but still we filtered them
Looking for damages in places there were none
But aren’t we really the damaged ones?
Edging through the door, piece by piece
Slipping to the other side before they knew we were gone
We just wanna speed away and leave no trail
If only we could tip the scale,
make us lighter, less scared to want things
There is not really much out there anyway
Hey ye of little faith, have you never made a wish to the wind?
Wait a minute, is that a trick question?
No one said anything about going in deep
Let’s keep it simple, let’s play pretend.
Let’s pretend that we’ve mastered the art of conversation
That’s nothing is really lost in the ones that end too soon
Or the ones that change course mid-sentence
Let’s pretend that we care deeply about the smiles in the crowd
Those are the easiest to cheat, no time to linger
Please don’t judge
We are merely moving on to the next best thing
Let’s pretend that we didn’t start running to give ourselves a headstart
That we both waited long enough to bolt out
And there was the grace period before we pushed the clock forward into the future
Where even the heart with the best intention has a mind of its own
Hey, I know from somewhere. Have we met before?
The hard swallow as we dust away our memories
There are no ghosts left in my corner
No, you must have me confused with someone else
Let’s pretend that we were all pure when we first met
Those days we fed each other only parts we loved
Putting the price of gold in even the tinniest things
Like the touch of a hand
Such hands are evasive
Such hands know more than they are telling
But they are really useless if they can’t send us to places we’ve never been
Like thriving in the underbelly of a heart
Where it is easy to reach in and squeeze out the air
Is that what you mean when you say you are out of breath?
What’s that they always say, make peace with the mirror and smile?
But who’s that on the other side?
Come out, let’s play pretend
Let’s pretend that all liars first met in the streets
and they followed each other home
And behind closed doors, they schemed how to trick us all
Let’s pretend that it’s never really a lie
until you learn to choose the right side
When no one else is listening
Let us all make holes in our fortress of solitude,
so that we can hear each others think
Let us build bridges in between the spaces
so we can learn to speak in the code of silence
When all the voices are pleading to get in
Let us all run to the edges and seal all the openings
When the lies are ready to spill
Let us all build a wall
so we can shut out the pain
Let us cover our eyes with pride
so we never have to meet at the kitchen table
It must be such a burden to be a closeted lover
You poor soul, lost in another person’s story
Searching for something you can’t find
Treasuring things that have never been yours
Or those that go away too easily
What has the world done to you?
Idris Elba cannot play the role of 007, they said. He is too street to play the ever classy – martini drinking James Bond, they said. Pfft…too street to play Bond? Have they seen this Londoner rock a bespoke suit? Meanwhile, I’ll just leave this one here as Exhibit A. Doesn’t he look like a Bond?
To all naysayers, if you still have doubts that Idris can pull off a Bond role, I present Exhibit B: Beasts of No Nation.
In this Netflix production, Idris stamps his reputation as a world-class actor when he plays Commandant, a brutal warlord commandeering an army of predominantly child soldiers in a West African country plagued by civil war.
The movie starts out on a really comical tone but builds up to a depressing and gruesome story where little boys are trained to torture, kill and rape.
As Commandant, Idris is so despicable that some of his fans would find it difficult reconcile the man they swoon over from the rebel leader who enjoys molesting the boys in his army just as much as he likes protecting them.
I put my friend up to watching this movie (because why wouldn’t you?), and she came back to me the next morning with her review, “You have ruined Idris Elba for me. I liked the movie but did he really have to be so brutal?”
She is currently scouring the internet looking for anything that might redeem Idris from the monster he was in Beasts. Poor thing. Your suggestions for mending her broken heart are welcome.
Beasts of No Nation works because of a number of reasons but mostly because of Idris. You see, there is something about this actor. It’s not even about his tall, dark and handsome self (not that we mind), it’s about his whole presence, the power he commands when he strolls into a scene. I can’t really describe it without sounding like a stalker. But you all get my point, those who don’t I send you back to exhibit A above.
A powerful presence, isn’t this what is expected of all our James Bonds? Well, other than their obsession to woo women with awkwardly suggestive names (Pussy Galore and Octopussy still kill me to date…SMH).
You all didn’t think I was going to finish this post without mentioning newcomer Abraham Attah as Agu, the little boy through whose eyes Beasts unfold. Agu delivers a poignant performance from his age of innocence to the point he is corrupted by his maniacal commandant.
To act alongside Idris is intimidating because chances you will get swallowed by his magnitude. But not Agu, tiny as he may be, this is a boy who demands attention, whether he is just selling an Imagination TV or going for his first kill with a machete.
As you take in every word, every pause in his present-continuous narration, you realize that this is Agu’s world. The Commandant may be in charge but it is still Agu’s world, if only fate would let him take control of it.
This is a movie that people will remember for years, whether it’s because it dehumanizes little children or because Idris delivers a disturbingly compelling performance. Either way, and taking the Oscar buzz into account, Idris Elba’s powerful presence in Beasts is something the Academy Award cannot ignore. Or would they?
I talk better in my head but when the words come out, it’s all jerked up
Too many ers…
But why do you choke when you speak?
Why do you swallow your voice?
That’s not me, that’s not me at all.
I am not that awkward, I don’t stutter that many times
I don’t even halt to think about my next word
Boy, you should meet me when I’m inside my head.
You should hear my words flow, it’s fluid, it’s a harmony
I could bend glass with my words
I am an orator inside my head, I am damn Morgan Freeman
No, scratch that. That’s underselling it, I am Winston Churchill
I’m sorry, did I say all this out loud