• Dami Afam Ade-Odiachi

The takeover, the break's over - If you're fucked, how do you get unfucked?

I need a minute to restore myself.


Hours of YouTube.

Do you know there’s a new YouTube trend?

People… maybe bots - the difference grows slimmer by the day, summarise, condense, and explain films. They transform hours-long multi-million dollar productions into ten-minute summaries; 6 films an hour.

It is perverse. I like it.

With the best films, the telling of the story is frequently more interesting than the ending of the story. Most films aren’t like that. I’m frequently more interested in the ending than I am in the telling.

Back to those guys, the content lords who reduce movies to 10-minute explanations available to everyone with an internet connection.

How reductive?

How brilliant?

How lazy of me.

I like them though.


I can’t write.

I’ve been reading and everyone’s better than me.

There’s this new writer. Well, she’s not exactly new but she’s new to me.

She has a way with words, a way with prose. She’s good. Too good for me to resent her success with a clean conscience.

If I could write like her, I’d write everything all of the time.

I need to get better but I don’t quite know how.

I need a minute. I need a break. I need hours, carnal hours, to distract myself from my own ineptitude, from my fear.

How long?

As long as it takes.

Forever and a day.

Maybe ten minutes.



They’re knocking on my door.

This man wants this. This woman wants that.

We think you’re a good fit.

I probably am. It’s a bit much though.

How dare they think me better than I think myself?

I can’t deal. I need time. An hour, maybe two. I need a drink. I need a party. I need to shake with exertion. I need to two-step so aggressively that it’s an eight-step. Momentum in a body, sweat drops flying from brows, the exorcism groove.

Roco-coco in the sun,

Sounds of laughter everyone

Roco-coco here I come

Time to drink and have some fun.

I’m cramping from exertion. My mouth is dry from talking. I am spent. Time to sleep, to rest, to bury myself, to hide. I dare not be productive. I am not at my best. This world needs my best. If I can’t give it, I’ll stay home, dead, alone. Massaging my ego, and catering to my feelings.

My flesh, my desires, my gods.



If only I could tell you of all the ways I’ve been terrible, but why should I bother?

I can’t explain.

Even if I could, it’s nobody’s business. It is my concern.

I’m the one who suffers. I’m the one in peril. I’m the one at risk.

It’s much too much this life, these feelings, this guilt.

I can’t do it. I’m only human.

I’ll take some time.

How long?

Who knows?

Sorry to the ones that love me. Congratulations to the ones who wish me ill.

The guy who told that other guy, “the things he lost he’ll never get back. The little mound of earth he once stood on, he’ll never again climb that high.”

Congratulations to him. He’s a prophet.

I need a holiday. I need to not be. I need to give myself space to breathe.

Am I the Asshole? It’s a series on Reddit.

You’ll find the most interesting stories on there. Brilliant! Enough content to accommodate me and my flight of fancy for a day, maybe more. It’s alright though.

This is healing.

This is what they mean when they say self-care isn’t it?

I’m making myself feel good.

That’s the only thing that matters isn’t it?

Feeling good.

Am I the asshole?

Probably, yes.

Do I care though?

Humpty Dumpty climbed a wall.

Humpty Dumpty had a fall,

And none of the shrinks, and none of the priests,

Could put him together again.

Isn’t it a pity that a guy named Pity doesn’t have it in him to pity the pitiful things he did in that land called Pity?



I need a minute.


Time passed.

Birthdays came.

Funerals happened.

There were weddings too, wouldn’t you know?

Life went on.

How dare it, that bitch, disrespect my break like that?

I don’t feel good anymore. Let me close my eyes.

Do you know there’s a whole world there? You can only see it when your eyes are shut, framed by your eyelashes but I swear it's real.

Flashing lights, swirling lights, is that a woman or a dog?

Do I see these things because my eyelids aren’t quite opaque, or is this the fourth dimension?

It doesn’t matter.

I can live here.

No one can find me here.

This is my break, my holiday. It isn’t restful, not by a long shot. There’s life outside it. People trying to reach me but it’s all about me. I need what I need. It’s safe here. I’m the only one here. Others are bad. I alone am good. Nobody understands. There is a reason why the lost stay lost.


The gap year, gap years… they are lonely.

Should I splinter? Make another me? Someone to do that which I'm willing but unable to do?

I’ve done it before. Two souls near-identical inhabiting the same body.

Let’s call up Afam again. He’s a good lad, the Chaotic Prince.

No. An alter ego couldn't possibly bear the load. It won't be enough, just like Afam wasn't enough.

It is time to come out of the break. The holiday’s over. Staying in it is stressful. The break solved nothing, did nothing, helped nothing. Everything I escaped was waiting for me outside it.


I could only peek at first. Leave it for a fraction then return to it almost instantly. Breaks are addictive like that.

The world is on fire. Things happened. Sparks met fibre. The devil on my back doused the flames with perfume. It’s an inferno now, hot enough that I feel it here. If I do nothing I will be shish kebab that much is clear.

I’ve left it, the break.

It’s really quite terrible. So much has been destroyed and sorry isn’t fire extinguisher enough.

I'm fucked.

When you’re fucked, how do you get unfucked?

That’s the question.

51 views2 comments