You look forward to your first time and all you remember is the pregnancy scare. You look forward to your first flight and all remember is your stomach sinking. You dream of meeting your crush and all you remember is that she’s human, a bit.

I have always known fear but she likes to change her looks. First, she was the koboko my dad hung on the wall – 4 strands of dried leather, cream coloured and innocent. Then the silent hush of an assembly as the Principal called out the punishment for the ‘bad eggs that were caught in town’. Then it was the harsh glare of the bathroom light, smell of urine and harsh whisper of you asking ‘What did it say? Are you pregnant ni?’ Then it was your job, your boss and now you called it a new name, ‘anxiety’. So you left the damn job but that was throwing drops of water on a fire because anxiety fear is a sly thing who knows your home address.

This year disappointed me, like the rest. Maybe because I thought I would achieve Finish. But you walked on water when you published your book, then you learnt how to swim because one thing leads to another and even that didn’t last. I should stop looking for success in one place, because things have come and gone and all that remains is whisky.

Reading is as important as its accompaniment. Read ‘This Bitch of a Life’ with Fela playing. Read ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’ with Bob Marley playing, and ‘Midnight Ravers’ on a continuous loop. Read ‘Gone with the Wind’ with Frank Sinatra playing. I read this year with the wrong song playing, with no song actually. We experience what we experience but how we experience it is what matters. It seems as if this year was a beach party and I showed up in brogues. It was supposed to be a party but I turned up sober. It was a Muslim get-together and I brought pork chops. I told Efe the background to this and I hope he told you because I can’t write everything down myself

In 11 days, I will be 26 and that is far from 25 and even farther from my twenties and I miss when life was a party to be thrown. But there’s an issue, I can’t remember being 22.

I remember 20 – graduated school.

21 – worked for a campaign team.

Then 23 – changed alliance from vodka to whisky.

But see, no 22. I try to remember being 22 but I can’t. No one can. There’s also another thing, I fear that I never had the chance to be young. I was too eager for life to start properly, and that’s why I pressed the Pause button recently.

If you date somebody who didn’t live good before and you start giving him blowjobs and doing different positions, you can spoil him. – Svetlana Z

That’s what happened to me. I turned down the volume on life but I am not used to this silence. I gave my life’s occupants a quit notice but now there’s air whistling through the spaces and I want my life back, not that one, not that f***ing one.

It’s still not Finish. I fear that I will crash and burn, that I’ll never have kids or be able to afford them. D’you understand what I’m saying without speaking? This year disappointed me, like the rest and I could come here and say I want to do this and that next year but I don’t like people who only talk about what they are about to do.


I feel what happened to you this year. Your sense of humour in looking at it all will be your final victory. Yes, when you are able to look back on these years and months and days and laugh at them genuinely, then you will know that you have won. Thank you so much for sharing Osisiye.