You know all the things you cannot be. You know all the paths you should not take, even before you learn to walk. You do not know who you are; you only know that you should be what is expected, and so you only know how to walk, how to eat, how to manage, how to let people guide you, how to be unhappy, how to be an unaccomplished writer, how to not be gay, how to not mention equality because it would lead you to think of equality and maybe, it would make you feel judged. Oh, you know a lot.
You know how to be sick; how to not expect to be taken care of, but never forgetting to appreciate your caretakers; you know how to not be angry; how to not look aggressive; how to chew with your lips pressed firmly together because the occupant of the seat next to you is misophonic and is choosing to make you work on yourself instead of working on themselves. You know how to laugh, but not too much, unless you would be taken advantage of; but you will never cease to smile because a stranger could misinterpret your face as aggressive, unsmiling, too serious. I am beginning to lose count of what you know -taking abuse from fathers and mother’s because “that is how things are”; knowing you deserved lesser punishment for your offence but choosing to say nothing because you would be accused of wanting to be the wise one. Does this monologue sound personal? Well, I was hoping you would be able to relate.
This is just me taking a break from telling you about Kemi. This is me talking about us (and it’s okay if you cannot relate).