When met my cousin first on Twitter, he just wanted to fuck, he had seen my tweets and thought I was a sex-starved young lady who he could please with a smokelike date, I was however convinced about meeting him. People fuck their cousins, in fact, I remember a cousin of mine who pressured me for sex, it was intense I had to leave the house on the third day, we lost grandma and everyone travelled for the burial except us, meanwhile, Irene is still my ride or die but just last week, she told me of how much I have changed, of how much I didn’t give two fucks. She was disappointed, I saw it in her eyes.
This community was breathtaking, an upscale bar where you can meet people who are like you, he has a bar where you can get high cheaply without fear of the police, there were so many trees and birds and flowers… and there was a river that wasn’t too clean because all the drainages around that location run into it, I like that it’s a beautiful ugly, that it still manages to sustain life- it was like a forest in that community, I was so proud of this new man- a man who owns a place like this is likely to solve my problems.
I was already getting tired of where I worked, every day was a struggle, a toxic place I spent most of my day in Ogochukwu told me to bring my legs down from my own office table, a very small table cramped to the wall, it was difficult for my legs to fit under, whenever my legs are cramped for too long, I stretch them on my office table, the same table she’s stressing about.
Sometimes when I talk about feminism. I share my personal experiences, and situations that have made me question my gender, the issues with it, and why I am a woman. My cousin’s partner harassed me, a day before he physically assaulted me, he told me that he will harass me, so direct, with no shame, no fear, no respect, no consideration, and no pity for my gender.
I don’t know if my boss was trying to support Ogochukwu out of, maybe personally knowing her- I truly cannot say, but after discovering that Ogochukwu was just a month older than me in that office, I began to have a rethink, the way my boss calls me to her small office decorated with cheap oil paintings with no poetry to it, made me mad, she called me again to her office, this time Ogochukwu was seated across her table with a native short pant- was there ever a day you told Ogochukwu you wanted to fuck her? My lips went dry.
My mother is funny and extra, sometimes I want to make her happy, a way of saying thank you for birthing me into a life that is worthless, one that seems impossible every day I wake.
Aunty Fatty is an old prostitute neighbour of mine who didn’t know shit about internet banking, I don’t blame her though, after all, she isn’t educated, I lost my cool when she gave me a message to read, one that was insulting, the man called her worthless, and said no man will marry a prostitute, Aunty Faty didn’t know the content of the message, I replied him in his coins- sometimes you are karma, sometimes you too can instigate, sometimes fight for people.
The guy that owned this very bar was smooth- smooth in a way a man should be smooth, he said everything a woman would like to hear, every word in a fine baritone voice, he was a sharp man, polished his shoe and shaved his hair so low it’s was almost impossible to see that he is going bald- a great network of friends he had, most of them older and well dressed, they all drove sophisticated cars and wore shiny wrist watches.
When we sat down to talk, he removed a stick of brown Benson cigarette and ordered a bottle of Gulder alongside a spark- I brought out a fined rolled joint and placed it on the table- God, I love this place- when we talked for a few, I discovered he was my cousin, so close a cousin I began to think if I wanted to fuck him, he paid for my Taxify and told me to come the next day.
It’s surprising that people who you haven’t met before or even talked to, could carry an enormous amount of hate- names like ghetto girl, slut were thrown at me as I joined another cab. Men are toxic, Iyke called me after eight months, he was in London he said, reminding me of how he has kept himself so I should too, he reminded me of how I cried when we had sex, of how he gave me money, that he cared, I waited for him to talk about his child- I remembered in 2017 when he said he said he was Catholic and abortion was bad, so bad he still didn’t want the baby and didn’t ask what happened to it.
It’s true that when you meet a real one, you don’t have to stress or spend money, when I met Exo and told her I wanted some of that juice respectfully, she wanted to meet too- it wasn’t hard to get a place, she drove me and told me about her beliefs and values and how she doesn’t trust herself with wanting to be single for a longer time, she also expressed her disgust about the state of the country, she told me of her dreams of leaving the country before she becomes 30- not a bad dream, I want to leave tomorrow even I thought- all the scholarships I applied for, Fellowships I worked hard for all came back negative, with a 6 band in IELTS, All documents right and proper, why I’m I am not qualified?
When she opened her legs, I knew it was happening, her breast was like hot chocolates drank in a rush, one that you hope doesn’t finish- she was smooth, smoother than most girls I have met, she said she wanted more and I was ready. I crave Lagos, like vagina or vodka, a way that should be explorative, one that should satisfy me, I want to walk by the beach with my hand in my hair, pulling through every stride, I crave Lagos like the local jollof rice my grandma use to make, she uses local Maggi, lots of onions and dry fish, the palm oil had a different aroma, my grandma was a genius in the kitchen, why do people get old?
My boss openly discussed me with Ogochukwu while I was listening- a way that was derogatory, she complained of her office rent and how she was spending so much money on me, obidi makes too many mistakes on my reports, she doesn’t listen to instruction, and a whole lot of other things- never a day was I taught on the format for doing things- and for the entire four months I was there, I didn’t get an office computer, I worked for two months with my phone before putting funds together to get a personal computer, I guessed my way through things, events, formats, fonts, and even handling calls, I was sent to buy dispensary water and recharge cards, my office was on the third floor, I was the office machine, one time I trekked a mile to get fuel and another mile to subscribe to the official data- I lost it when Chukwuma came to the office one morning with a don’t smoke weed in the office again Obidi- I don’t remember a happy day in that office, my colleagues and I had contradictory views- for one, I was pro LGBTQ and a feminist, their views were spiteful and generated hate in my heart.
I went to a fraternity conference, they are called the lords, never in my life have I seen a gathering of so many men in a place, happy men with no worries, they laughed like they held the world in their hands, I was asked to meet a person who just came to town but what I saw was amusing, this man had love for each other, they shared hotel rooms and bills, Global explained the significance of the axe, and the colour yellow- I bought a neck chain, something I know I will never wear, my street is full of cultists who are out for blood, the very ones who stabbed my neighbour, that chain may never give me the protection I need.
I was pissed because my cousin didn’t know how to handle the conflict that occurred between his partner and me, he assaulted me, held my shirt and called security. Men get angry when they can’t have you, I never fucked my cousin or his partner or his friends, I knew moments like this would come, moments that I will be reminded of my gender and how vulnerable I am, I would have slapped him, it seemed like the right thing- the bottle of water that brought me to the bar rolled out to the gutter, water I paid for, the water I needed so badly fifteen minutes ago, water that made a mere man drag the daughter of a chief. My cousin gave me the five thousand he was owing me for about two months, he also instructed his boys to return all products that I sold at his bar, I knew I had become irrelevant.
I don’t have a programme laid out for writing. There is a process when it is thought out, but I rarely stop to reflect on a process. I just have to write; it’s the same as breathing in and out. I don’t control the energy. What matters to me is that we read and enjoy and publish poetry. Poetry is everywhere, let’s explore it. It’s a mystery, most times. The same thing that drives me to write poetry is the same thing that lulls me to sleep. It’s the same thing that makes me see a beautiful dress and complement it. It’s the same thing that makes me cry. It’s the same thing that makes me want to travel. It’s the same thing that makes me want to walk barefoot. It’s the same thing that makes me want to mount a stair rail and slide down my ass. It’s a playful spirit, it’s intense as well. I should also add that death drives me.
These are the words of David Ishaya Osu in one of the pieces he sent me, death drives me, I miss him, his laughs, and how it was so easy to talk to him- I laugh to the extent I go on my knees and shed tears. If you want to laugh like a mad and happy chicken that escaped Christmas, please read I Do Not Come to You by Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani. Answers can remain in food at a time.
I want to laugh like a happy chicken, I will read Adaobi.