by Ezinne Ukoha
This is my last testimony.
It will capture a period in time that was boundless and earnestly reckless in the level of freedom that can’t be assuaged with timed rhythms that attempt to capture or even encapsulate what it really felt like.
To be there.
The night before was a fiesta. Life was being good to me without permission. I had the kind of friends that you watch on TV — and with every gulp of wine — you imagine how dope it would be to have that sense of security.
I had a job that I kinda liked and didn’t loathe, because when you live in New York City and work as a banker’s assistant, you can guarantee such feats as having a constant roof over your head — and the luxury of three meals a day. In my case two was enough. The paved runways are littered with regular people who look like supermodels, so my mornings began with the injection of Equinox, while the nights were instituted with shots of Tequila.
The night of my rebirth began like any other, except the mood was heightened by the prospect that something incredible was on the horizon. The drinks were flowing, the music bopping and the screens electric with numbers and faces that promised how sure we were that our dreams were about to come true.
It didn’t take long for the haze of my tipsy mood to give way to an elated and sobering realization that the unfathomable had occurred. If our hearts burst on cue — it wasn’t because we accepted more free drinks than we could muster. It sure wasn’t because we were weakened by the weakness of our knees as we held each other up with slobbering pride and joy.
The screams of declaration deafened the silence in my eyes as I surveyed the crowd and witnessed all sorts banging each other with relish as the pleasure of the passing minutes collided into streams of caressed consciousness.
Orgies are meant to be secretive but this time the openness of giving and receiving was meant for public consumption.
It was decadent and slow moving. It was stimulating and prosperous. It was achingly perfect and direly foreboding. It was gigantic in presentation and thoughtfully enrapturing. It was fervently delightful with the all the hashtags tattooed on my body like symbols that were unrecognisable but easy to translate.
The morning after was a flood that swished me to and fro as every smile met mine with sensible understanding. Gliding through the city that understood my rules was empowering. Stamping the envelopes on behalf of over-privileged managers who added an extra pile as a gesture of good will to punish my “happy spot” — resonated with spiced amusement.
They teetered into murky disbelief, while me and mine walked around with show tunes echoing through our pores.
The music never stopped.
It played through the day into the end of day. It followed us to the sofas of content as we laughed, cried and sat still though the ceremony of our lives.
America’s First Black family never looked so good. We never felt better. America never seemed so bright. The flag never seemed so pure in content. You never seemed so genuine and generous.
We never thought it would end.
The Obama years were the best of my life. The girl in me matured into the role of a Black woman who knew exactly what needed to be done. I needed to be better. I needed to quit my dead end assignment and be a writer. I needed to take awesome trips and drink margaritas on the beach while reminiscing about the day that changed everything. I needed to enjoy the discovery of citizenship as it pertains to an address that until then represented a neighborhood that didn’t warrant my emotional investment.
The last time is always the best, especially when in good company.
The hardest part about a breakup — is the memories that you want to forget, but hold on to for dear life — even when it threatens to break you.
So much shit has gone down since that gorgeously cold day in January — when we held each other close as the words that spurned a generational shift embodied ancestral tidings of what will forever be.
My latest offering signals the end of an era that mirrors all that I was and all that I hope to be — if I can just live long enough to believe that I can survive without him.
The tears are coming strong and so it’s time to end this summary of pain, acceptance, gratitude and nostalgic binging.
President Barack Hussein Obama was such good company and I will miss chilling with him for 8 years as we effortlessly exchanged the glow of give and take — in the midst of historical chaos that will be settled when we are long gone.
If you are suffering — I leave you with the words from a man who was loved for his greatness and hated for the exact same thing:
I believe that people are more good than bad. In my core — I believe that we will be okay.
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija
Ezinne Ukoha is a Juggling Wordsmith and delightfully mumbling poet. She blogs @https://medium.com/@nilegirl