By Olubunmi Familoni
I see people write about how you should avoid dating a writer, the beasts; but I think — in my honest opinion, and from being a ‘writer’ from a vicarious position some of the time — what you shouldn’t do is undate a write. Don’t ever let on that you have severed a relationship with a writer. Apart from them being sensitive people (with egos bigger than their brains), which inadvertently makes them a rather petty lot, they have this really dark, malicious quality about them which makes them very vengeful people. So when you put on a show and make a production out of the little matter of ending a relationship with a writer (a relationship, it is important to note, he/she might not have been in in the first place, or was only one foot in, since writers have been discovered to be some of the worst sufferers of Restless Legs Disorder, ADHD, and other such convenient disorders that never allow for proper commitment to anything of a remotely romantic nature that is not word-related), he’ll take it to heart, but only halfway, the remaining half will of course be soaked in liquor of strong pedigree and spread out to dry on the next body, an action with the technical term ‘rebound’; but for a writer there’s usually no distinction between one body and the next, no comma between one heart and the next, it’s all one long unbroken sentence to him; so it’s almost like just moving from one word to the next one, reading his lovers’ minds, in that Machiavellian way writers are wont to, just as deftly as he reads their palms and can tell there’s no future with any of them, just a present that, as rapper Common put it, is a gift and you should just be. Basically, a writer is an emotional nomad, the proverbial rolling stone that gathers no moss to itself, just rolls along blithely.
Back to the dramatic one that decides to do the cutting off, of course for such flimsy reasons as not getting as much attention as a normal human would give her/him; but what they don’t realise is that the only object that can command such committed attention from a writer is whatever is the subject of his writing at that moment, that is his primary object of obsession, the only thing that would keep him awake at night, the only thing he has any capacity of romanticizing honestly about, definitely not some real-life woman who isn’t a character in his story.
So the writer’s woman pulls the old knife out and cuts the tie she imagined she had with this writer she fancied she was dating; the interesting bit is that she wants to keep a strand attached called ‘friendship’. Ha-ha. You forget that a writer does not collect friends the way normal people do, does not have any in the true sense of the word, not in a faceless Facebook sense, or those people he drinks with and LOLs with online; those are not his friends, they’re just people. This friendlessness in some writers sometimes tends morbidly towards misanthropy, in others they just embrace loosely the concept of solipsism; I’d say I oscillate between the two extremes, of course encouraged by my natural apathy, with that hint of psychosis. . . So, a writer does not do ‘friends’, especially not after the ‘girl-‘ prefix has been cut off by the girl herself. He’s so averse to the concept of friendship that even the ones with ‘benefits’ are not called friends, they’re just sweethearts that are impressed by your prowess on the page and wouldn’t mind a jolly roll-around in the sack, without strings of course; besides, you never even phone them, so they can’t even be called ‘booty calls’ — they just remember you between relationships and call you up for ‘respite sex’. These are the best kind of people in the world; blessed are they. You see, ‘strings’ are very problematic little things in relationships, they soon become nooses.
Anyway, our lovely little darling has played herself and let go, but wants to hold on with a finger. But the writer lends a helping hand and cuts the entire arm off. The poets are the most malevolent of the lot, they beat out these dark Byronic pieces that can only be published in hell, in which the erstwhile lover becomes the devil. She’ll be the villain or the femme fatale who suffers a grim fate in a novelist’s next tale (sort of how one imagines Tess must have been an estranged lover of Thomas Hardy). After this spite has been spent, the ex lover can now sink into proper oblivion in the writer’s bad books, never to be spoken of or thought about, almost as if they never existed, or like a dead person that died a very long time ago and their face has faded away in the daguerreotype of life, whose face you cannot conjure up no matter how hard you tried. And they usually live with that laughable fear of them being written about in whatever form; so whenever you write they kill themselves trying to figure if it’s an allusion to something about them or not, and that eats away at them in the little corner of existence they’ve been relegated to. But how can you write about something you can’t remember, something you’d have to dig out from under a pile of other sordid memories — writers would rather not work that hard, or dirty.
So, like they say, don’t date a writer, but if you have had the misfortune of dating one of them little devils, don’t undate him/her; the fire eventually burns out, don’t blow it out and cut a demon off in the middle of being possessed by him/her, for Hell hath no fury like a writer shorn.
Disclaimer: The writer of this piece is not a ‘writer’.