For you, because you deserve good things.
Enyonam had a secret. A dirty secret she could not bear anyone ever finding out. She knew how it looked like more than she understood what it meant; but maybe that was the problem, that no one would ever really understand what it meant *to her.
Enyonam spent a few minutes every evening, right before she slept, watching YouTube videos of unfortunate people living under terrible circumstances. In the beginning, she watched out of sheer intrigue and curiosity. Meth Addicts, Pimps, Prostitutes and homeless people moped around her screen in a dull haze, beaten to a pulp by a life they seemed too afraid of to exit. She watched their suffering intently, taking mental notes of every slur in their voice and limp in their gait. It went on for days, and then weeks. Soon, Enyonam could not bring herself to sleep without the videos. She pushed the truth out her mind every time it tried to make sense of it. This was merely a quirk. There was nothing wrong with her. Yes, the videos calmed the agitations inside of her head. Yes, meditating on them added some colour to the grey drab her life was during the day but that was all there was to it. A calmness. A perverted cure to her own suffering. She was not a bad person.
Then it had gotten worse. Like every addiction, soon the videos were not enough anymore. Minutes turned to hours browsing through the same content and being met with the gaping hole dissatisfaction leaves inside the chest. She realised that if she was to find escape inside her habit again, she would have to excite her other senses as well. She put on her boots and a large jacket and started marching the streets at night. Like a ghost she hang around dark alleyways, close enough to bear witness, yet far enough to remain out of sight. Through dark corners, she watched pimps beat up their whores with the buckle end of their leather belts. She watched addicts fuck on bare concrete, their dirty needles flailing still inside their skins. The high was orgasmic. Her sleep, dead peaceful. She would take pictures and videos on her phone and casually browse through them during lunch break while slurping at her spaghetti. Little got her off more. Her lonely isolation did not feel much anymore.
Then it had gotten worse. An urge she had been slowly tracing her fingers on gave way one evening. While watching as she so often did, a man had driven up to her. He had rolled down the passengers mirror and held up two fifty cedi notes to her. She had walked up to the car uncertainly and quietly gotten into the seat beside him. They had driven in silence to a dark corner. She had shifted her weight to her left and slowly bent over the man’s member. He had finished inside her mouth. In the pulsating blur her vision became, her quivering hands found the door sooner than they found her earnings. The man folded the notes into a fist and threw them at her before speeding off. Her hands were still shaking when she picked the monies up. She stared at the notes, two crumpled pieces inside her palms, and thought how she had never felt anything like this in her life.
Enyonam had no secrets. She lived her new life with a violent honesty. A phoenix come alive by fire and brimstone. At daytime, she slept wherever she found home. At night, she came alive in her greasy jacket and tattered boots. Between knuckles striking sharply at her sockets, she swore the world had never looked better than it did. Her street friends were family. On Christmas night, they huddled up beside each other in front of a closed store and watched fireworks screech high up into the sky from a world they did not belong to anymore. She looked around at the stained faces of her friends and realised something in all of the noise. Enyonam had no secrets anymore. All she had now was peace.
Art credit: David Brady, Adjustment.