by Ore Fakorede
We think too much when we’re alone.
We drown in our thoughts when we’re alone and we don’t know when we’ll have company again.
I’m underwater now and damn, clarity is a scary thing. I’m seeing parts of myself for the first time and wondering who the hell this person is.
More questions, fewer answers.
Things to fight with myself over and things to make peace with. It’s a free-for-all brawl and a cloudless sky in my head at the same time.
Am I better off being in casual relationships?
Where do I want to live next year?
Have I ever been in love? How can I know?
Will I ever be friends with my father again? Do I even want to be?
Should I run this evening or wait till tomorrow morning?
Urgent shit, random shit, pointless shit.
Hopes, fears and an endless probing.
I worry about everything, then I’m extremely happy, then I’m sad and I don’t know why.
I go back.
I remember Saturdays growing up, playing by myself close to the hedge that divided our yard from the creepy neighbour’s yard.
The creepy neighbour was a single man who lived by himself in a house with four bedrooms. Or maybe he wasn’t single. Maybe his family was abroad, or everyone couldn’t stand him so they left, or he couldn’t stand anyone so he left.
Whatever, he was alone.
I’m alone now and I feel a dozen different emotions and more every hour. Is this how Creepy Neighbour felt?
Then I go forward.
Isolation puts things in perspective:
1. I should love more freely, think less about not wanting to be vulnerable.
2. I haven’t travelled enough. Not nearly enough. I’m going away more often if we survive this.
3. A clean house doesn’t mean much when there’s no one to share it with. I should throw a house party, the real kind.
4. It’s not sex I miss, it’s mutual exploration. And sex.
5. Phone calls have nothing on two hands on your body, a gentle breath down your neck or the smell of soft perfume lingering in a room.
I’ve always talked to myself. I always will. But maybe I need other voices that aren’t in my head.
Let’s talk when this is over, face-to-face in places we love. In twos and threes and as a crowd of agreeable strangers.
Let’s dance and eat and argue and laugh and not give a shit about status or manners for a while.
Let’s break rules, break protocol, break through these artificial barriers to be ourselves again.
I don’t remember what that feels like.
*Ore Fakorede is currently surviving Lagos. He blogs about his crazy, beautiful, ordinary life at OreFakorede.com.
Joy, Inc. is a teaching and media company mainstreaming the research and evidence on human flourishing and positive emotions to transform the culture and build a new generation of Africans focused on the greatest happiness for the greatest many.