Melody to Loneliness

Posted in: News 2005-Older

Column: In Times Like These…

By ‘Rolake Odetoyinbo

Loneliness. Hello, how are you?

You sure have become familiar. You’ve become such an ever present companion; I feel I know you better than ever before. But since I have you so very nicely figured out, why do I still ache and hurt so much when you put up an appearance like you seem to constantly do?

Why do you always have the ability to get me in the dumps? Why do you still have such powers and so strong a hold on the totality of my being? Why can’t I just ignore you and leave you to roll away like you rolled in? Why won’t you just get the hell out and remain forever out?

Maybe if I stop fighting you you’ll go away, but I know you too well to believe that lie and underestimate your abilities. I know you better than to imagine you can ever catch the flow and just let me be.

Perhaps if I welcome you and permit we cohabit side-by-side, perchance if I stop fighting you, you won’t hurt so much. Just maybe, if I agree to let you invade my space and make you a permanent resident, you’ll tire yourself out and I’ll become immune to your wiles and tantrums. Have you become so powerful I can neither ignore nor accept you?

I wish I had the means to kick you out, or at the very worst, ignore you. The upsetting thing is the way you creep in stealthily while I’m doing the most mundane things — reading, driving or just quietly being. Gosh, I hate this feeling. I detest the way you make me feel. I hate with passion, the way you turn me to putty, the way you suddenly out of nowhere turn me into a miserable, desperate hag.

Loneliness, hello… I HATE YOU SO MUCH I CAN DIE!

I detest you with every breadth I take. I refuse to allow you rule my life. I say NO. I reject you. Loneliness, you won’t get the better of me.

Every time you come creeping in like a thief, I’ll remember to sing you out. I’ll sing out so you can hear me loud and clear. I’ll sing the song that reminds me of my Daddy. I’ll sing the song that reminds me of those nights Mommy told us stories in the parlor when the power authority had taken the light. I’ll sing the song that tells me there’s someone who will always be there when it’s just me, myself and I.

Loneliness, I’ll sing the song that reminds me someone bigger than you exists for me.

From the depth of my heart I’ll sing even if I don’t feel like singing. I’ll keep singing even if it reminds me more of your presence. I’ll sing out loud till your deaf ears open. I’ll keep on singing till my blurred vision clears. I’ll keep on singing though it makes me cry and I can’t stop the tears from flowing. I’ll sing though my heart is expanding and causing a constriction in my chest, though this bleeding, weeping, melting heart of mine wants to choke me.

Loneliness. Hello, sit still, listen attentively to me, hear this beautiful voice of mine and these cute lips of mine sing:

Somebody loves me, somebody loves me. Somebody loves my soul
Jesus my savior, Jesus Christ is the man.
Somebody loves my soul.

Enikan fe mi, enikan fe mi. Enikan feran okan mi
Jesu ore mi, Jesu Oludande
Enikan feran mi.

’Rolake Odetoyinbo is the project director of Nigeria’s Positive Action for Treatment Access. Her column appears monthly on

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