What I Want to Say Isn’t OK
Unfortunately, every now and then, I find myself itching to write something. I say ‘unfortunately’ because I mustn’t scratch the surface or I will bleed and I mustn’t bleed as the words will scar and the subject may stain because what I want to say isn’t OK.
Naturally (or unnaturally) I become restless, shuffling uncomfortably whenever a scent prickles a complicated memory or a sight births a painful thought. I eye paper longingly, sometimes I reach for ink but most of the time I suffocate because what I want to say isn’t OK.
There are a handful of riveting topics set aside for twenty-something twenty-first century Nigerian women: fashion, family, love, marriage, food and feminism (not the advocacy of gender equality or the belief that women have the right to do whatever they want because women are human beings capable of independent thought. We are allowed to discuss our right to work, our right to receive an education…anything that doesn’t dangerously tilt the balance of society).
You dare not state “I should be allowed to have as many sexual partners as I want” but you can carefully word “I should be allowed to have sex as long as I’m not sleeping around” because what you want to say isn’t OK.
Death isn’t OK.
Hate isn’t OK.
Violence isn’t OK.
Mental illness isn’t OK.
Sex isn’t OK.
Money isn’t OK.
Addiction isn’t OK.
So I scribble a paragraph about the rising rate of suicide, a sentence about the importance of foreplay, a chapter about paralysing depression and a page about the normalization of cocaine and then I stab, cremate and bury my ashes because what you want to know isn’t OK.