THIS IS FOR YOU WHO URGED ME TO WRITE BEFORE I SURRENDER TO SLEEP. THANKS
SO I sit in my office tonight, the noisy hum of the Ox fan that is helping us deal with both the heat and the defiant mosquitoes has an additional function for me, it is playing me some sort of music as it oscillates to the left and the right. The reach of the breeze is however limited as the mosquitoes still have a field day under the table. Let them feed, they have no parents J
I cast my mind back to the turn of the millennium a decade and five years ago and I remember how Dad saw my then book of poems. He was not meant to see it and it was a sort of shock when he said “Oluseye, I saw your poems”. There were less than five poems in the 40 leaves notebook I used for my writing. Of the five, three were love poems inspired by my high school lover. Yes, it was the final year and we were readying ourselves for our WASSCE, and hormones were running wild, and I was channeling part of mine into writing for my ‘lover’.
I expected to be told off by my journalist Dad for ‘wasting my time writing romantic nonsense’ at such a young age but he did the exact opposite. Lauding me, he picked a favourite of the five and encouraged me to do more. I got to publish in the newspaper where he worked, the exact company whose land and structures gave way for the Cocoa Mall in Ibadan today.
I would write and write after my WASSCE exams. I kept writing without any care in the world. I would ink my thoughts in poetry without being scared of anyone to judge me. Even if you wanted to judge me or make uncomplimentary remarks, it would not get to me. Maybe it was the innocence of adolescence; maybe it was the beauty of having nothing to lose and everything to gain by writing, I just kept writing and keeping inside the house or getting space in the youth section of the newspaper. In my writings, there was me; the exuberance of my youth, the happiness of doing something I liked.
Those were sweet old days. Fast forward fifteen years and I have noticed that I have been very careful in my writings. Maybe the demands of adulthood have made me want to stay on a good note with people around. A handshake here and a hug there; a tickle here and a giggle there, and little by little I have slowed down on expressing myself full blast. I have slowly lost the edge in my writing that made me see who I am, and what I want to pass on wholly.
I would craft pieces I would see as beautiful but I would not be satisfied because I have left out the parts that ‘might get me into trouble’ or court controversy. According to the Manager of the team I support in the EPL, I have been writing “with the handbrake on”. I would make my point but I cared too much whose ox was gored. I would prevaricate and dance around calling black what it was in its absolute blackness; I would be too nice and end up calling it ‘grayish black’. Now, that is just an example.
Reflecting over the past few days, I have discovered that I should write without the handbrake. Writing is for me a form of letting out steam and expressing what I feel from my interaction with my immediate environment. Why then have I not fully expressed myself because of what people would think or say? Fact I have come to realize in the past few weeks is that it is a crime against myself and my brain to stifle myself. It might have been acceptable before but it no longer is.
I have therefore come out to say with effect from now I shall write the way I see it. Enough of the buttering up, enough of the sweet talking, enough of the surrendering to people’s whims and bending to their caprices.
I will come out very plain and direct as from now. Some articles will be seen as subliminals, some as direct attacks, some as famzing or whatever we call it. I will see it from my point of view: just writing out my thoughts. Many times I will sound to some like a broken record or a noisy cymbal, please do not pardon me. Just see it as me letting you into the innermost portion of my mind, and sharing with you what I think and feel.
Maybe I will create a category on Oscarpoems blog and name it No More Handbrakes, maybe I will just write at random; maybe I will give it another name. One thing is sure; I am going to write, no holds barred, and I will not apologize for my thoughts. Enjoy this serving, and an introduction to what to expect, a regular piece of my mind. I would still do fiction and faction, but Reflections will regularly feature.
Time to steal some of my employer’s hours and lay down to sleep, after all that’s what they are also doing right now.