How I celebrated Cap’n Blood’s Birthday with Him

Ballpoint-pen portrait of Wole Soyinka

Yesterday, as I was making octopus pepper soup, I decided to have a sip of seaweed kinkana, a mild alcoholic spirit. Paramole had given me the recipe to make the still when he returned from the Great Gangway. The Davy Jones Locker rendezvous was quiet, cold and sterile as usual but also inspirational and unencumbering. I must emphasise I love the place; it is my kind of place; it is my home now. I only use my submarine to come onshore these days, which is not often.
My unfailing experience was, an hour before a Forgone Terrors arrives at the Davy Jones Locker rendezvous, the Entrance would turn deep indigo or even purple. It is a signal for me to get ready to Mascot a Forgone Terror to the Great Gangway in any manner I choose. Now, for the first time in my experience, the Entrance turned blood red. It was a signal that an unauthorised person was arriving. I had never seen this happen and wondered who would appear at the Entrance. Was it the Devil himself, Sir Francis Drake, Vasco Da Gama, Black Beard, William Kidd, Calico Jack or the god, Poseidon? I knew it had to be a man by the laws of natures. The pepper soup was ready and scenting fine, and what a meal! No more sips.

The Entrance door opened and I saw a very familiar face, white halo afro and a white goatee. It was Captain Blood. “Sir, you are not supposed to be here,” were the first words to come out of my mouth. His demeanour could not hide his sudden disappointment with me. “Bark and act pyratically,” he demanded. “O Cap’n Blood of Tortuga, An Infinite Sailing Ahoy to You!” I offered. “An’ Ahoy to You, lubber”, he said looking me in the eyes and offering me his hand for a handshake. I turned away from his gaze but ordered me, “Look me in the eyes, are you scared of me?” I said “Yes.” His eyes widened, “You scared of me?” mimicking or showing disbelief, and he broke into heavy laughter. I was embarrassed though it was better than calling me a fibber.
“O Cap’n Blood, you are not authorised to be here,” I reminded him. “Die it!” he said abruptly. “This rendezvous is my pet creation and don’t forget I sent you here!” he continued. “I am not stepping on your rod, O CB, why are you treating me like a Pyrate? You put me on a UV spot.” I said with audacity. “Do you know why?” he asked. I shook my head. “I did not want you to lose your sincerity to the 4-7 Creed and the rest. I know the sincere and insincere Pyrates immediately, especially when I look into their eyes. You were losing your sincerity, and I could not allow that happen,” he assured me. “You made me a pariah to my Brethren,” I said almost recklessly. He took a long stare at me and shook his head a few times. “No sincere Pyrate hates, resents or disowns you. Not one. If you think so, it is only in your head. We have many insincere Pyrates, so many. We should have kept the rule of ‘the Fewer, the Merrier’. We should have,” his voiced filled with marked resignation.
To change the topic, abruptly wished him, “A Minimum of One Century on the Planet Happy Birthday to You.” He then stretched his hand to me for a handshake. And with a genuine smile, he said, “Many thanks to you, My Little Brother.” “I have always said you will cross the 100 years of age barrier in good health,” I said for reasons I know not. In a snappy response, he uttered, “O Wrong Travesty, you seem to be the only Pyrate that thinks so. They are all preoccupied with my passing.” I remembered the necessity of some hospitality and rushed to get the bottle of Seaweed Kinkana. I poured out two glasses of the still up to their brims and, I asked to propose a toast. He refused and said I, do it. It was easy, “To Gbogborima, the 4-7 Creed and its practitioners and the personage of Cap’n Blood,” I said – he was unresponsive. “And to all my Brethren,” I added awkwardly. He raised his glass to mine, and we downed all its content in one swig. “What is this exotic tasting rum made of?” he asked, predictably. I explained how it was a product of delicately brewing seaweed, algae and tinbace, a melon-tasting marine flavouring. We shared a few more glasses in silence. Then he headed back to Ash Montana, hugging me like he would a son before he left.
And that is how I celebrated Cap’n Blood’s birthday with him. He was with me for barely half an hour, but it was enough. I had sailed onboard Tortuga on a tatally level despite the UV. Sailing onekindishly is legitimate to those who know. “Who Knows, Knows,” is not for empty mouthing.
Be Good, not Lucky

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