I love to write about death and sad events and mental diseases, so I have been officially tagged a morbid writer. Okay, maybe a depressing or dark writer… Morbid seems a bit far-fetched. I don’t even know if that is a good thing or a bad thing.
This is not something I acquired because life dealt with me… For some weird reason, I have always been a weirdo. When I was about 10, I think that was when I started writing, if you call my 2-page stories writing. They were so good that (I think) my principal in school refused to give one back to me after I gave him to review. He said he “lost it”. I wrote it in Yoruba, complete with the “ami” and proper tenses and stuff.
I used to read out my stories to my juniors and mates whenever we had to wait for the afternoon bus after school. For some weird reason, bad things just always happened to the protagonists in my books. And they were usually female. For example, Bose would be raped by her Uncle at 8, she would get pregnant and her parents would throw her out because they do not believe her, then she would give birth under a bridge and lose the baby to tuberculosis. She might also get raped by some tout or whatever once or twice. Then she would meet someone who would eventually take care of her. You would think that’s the end? Alas! She dies of HIV at 25!
My mum always saw these stories, seized them and tore them. I suspect she cried too. She called me many times to beg me to stop being so depressing… She would say how she enjoyed the fact that I wrote, and tell me she believed I would be a great writer someday, but voice her concern that nobody wanted to read all these sad stories. If continued, she said, I would not sell any books. But it was just so hard…
My other favorite topic was love… I love love. I love to write love poems. I would write about heartbreak and wilted roses… They came easy, but nothing could ever replace the death reeking from my fingertips… (At this point, I hear my Mum saying “God forbid!”)
Then I started a blog. A friend encouraged me to not restrict my writings to my faded journal (half of what’s in there will probably die with me) and to be more open with my opinions on topics. Not every time BBM and Twitter. That’s how I carried my morbidity to the great internet! Even though I have not really been very active about promoting it, most of the people who carried themselves to follow me are non-Nigerians, who also enjoy reading about love or bipolar disease or related scoin scoin. I love them, they get me!
Then, my Dad found out! And, of course, the preaching started. He told me how I would not build a good follower base. I really am indifferent: I don’t see the hype about my writing so I don’t mind if my friends don’t like it. He told me I would not sell. He told me about some famous morbid writers and asked me if they were as famous as John Grisham. The answer was obviously no. He begged me to write happy stuff and even encouraged me to allow other people to write on my blog for me. (To which, my answer will always be “No sir, thanks for the fatherly advice”.) Sometimes having educated folks, or a Dad who’s a writer in his own right, is not a blessing.
Don’t get the wrong impression, I’m not all doom and gloom. I can even be described as “happy-go-lucky” sometimes. I listen to Electronic music. I walk on the road with headphones on and I skip and pretend I’m in a music video. I am impulsive and fun and well… I love Ice Cream, loud music, and pizza. I have no beef with anyone, I do not wish anyone evil… Well, sometimes my mind wanders and I imagine a car in front of me involved in a “Final Destination” scene but then I pray it away and even speak in tongues. Before it happens and I will think I have evil powers, better not test it!
I am also not afraid of death. The other day I took a bus to Ajah from CMS. The driver was speeding and everyone was screaming, but I was so calm and peaceful. I kept reading my “Godfessions” and I whispered a very honest prayer: “Forgive me my sins. If I die, please let me go to heaven”. Then, my brain told me I’m actually supposed to say the “I shall not die” prayer, so I did and screamed at the bus driver too for full effect. I think I blended in.
Maybe I should pray. Maybe it is a spiritual something. Maybe I have a wire gone wrong in my head. But should I keep it up even though I will not sell? Maybe not everyone gets a light at the end of their tunnel. Maybe some people go through so much pain and kill themselves afterward. Maybe some people kill other people. Or maybe life is sad enough already, and nobody wants to read about such darkness. Maybe I should tap into the happiness in me and just say something other than what I say 90% of the time. Maybe I should be someone else.