He wakes up around 4.30am and eventually drags himself out of bed by 5am (after engaging the 5-minute snooze button six times, of course). He does this from Monday to Friday; not because he wants to but because he knows if he doesn’t he’ll risk reporting to the office after 7.30am, by which time his line supervisor would issue him a well deserved query. He does a fast clean – no literally, FAST as in Face, Armpits, Scalp and Teeth. It’s arguably ineffective but fools all his colleagues ,whom may actually be birds of the same feather. He throws on his T.M. Lewin shirt – the shirt that makes a bold statement in the business world, the shirt that is so often used to impress at that desperately awaited job interview, the shirt that shouts to the world, ‘I care about how I look and I know I look damn good. Don’t cha wish your T.M was hot like mine?’ But after all this he complements this pristine shirt badly with his overworked suit before dashing out to hustle for sardine space in an overloaded public bus.
Nasal carbon dioxide exchange is on the high especially on those rainy days where you can’t open the windows too much. The sweat is no match for his Brut antiperspirant but his T.M Lewin collar gets it, and so does the full length of his arm sleeve rubbing against the perspiring brute aka bus conductor. He gets off at the usual bus stop and walks down to his office 10 minutes away. His T.M Lewin isn’t looking as sharp as when you first put it on. The starch-effect is fast fading and as he speeds up the stairs and arrives at his desk with one more accessory than the neck tie and cuff links he left home with – sweat beads. He makes it just in time for his weekly review meeting which is no different from the Spanish inquisition.
Alas, T.M. Lewin can’t impress his boss if his sales figures can’t. In fact, it becomes a source of ridicule; how he can look so good and yet have his figures look so bad. He returns to work after the meeting…dejected and demoralized…he goes to the restroom to have a private moment to reflect. He’s arrested in his tracks as he’s greeted by Mr. T.M Lewin staring right back at him in the mirror. His momentary admiration borders on narcissism but he suddenly leaks a little smile, adjusts his lopsided necktie and tells himself, ‘One day I will rise…I will break away and do my own thing…The world hasn’t seen the best of me…I’m the man’. He rolls up his sleeves then leaves the restroom. He walks back to his table with his head held high with an air of confidence…in his sparkling white (but slightly wrinkled) custom-fitted T.M. Lewin. He looks good so he feels good. He is ready to face the day’s challenges and
slave put in some overtime to get back into his master’s good book where the latter was once impressed by the T.M. Lewin look…
That FAST clean sounds a lot like “rub and shine” in secondary school. To afford the T.M.Lewin shirt in the first place, he needs that job. But why can’t Naija guys just wear a non-designer brand shirt? Beats me.
I hope there’s a sequel to this.
Thanks Sharon. When I was in secondary school the FAST clean was called “dryclean” lol. In Lagos I’ve come to realize that ‘packaging’ goes a long way. So T.M. Lewin sales tends to be the popular choice for white-collar workers aiming to impress. I agree however that it doesn’t always have to be about designer shirts but men need to know their measurements and buy fitted shirts – that way no one would care who the designer is so long as it looks good. Sequel? That wasn’t in the pipeline. Instead, I wanted to leave the rest to the reader’s imagination 🙂
This summed up my former life but instead of the crowded bus, I had to beat okada and mobile in their game without scratching my car and get somewhere to park for N200 and pray the agbero does not get tempted to break the car glass to steal nothing in the car.
Glad your former life is over, lol. It couldn’t have been easy, especially avoiding the ‘christening’ of your car with scratches. Thanks for sharing 🙂