This piece of fiction, penned by acclaimed writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, was originally published on The New Yorker. A friend of mine read it and passed me the link with a scoffing “The main character, that Okenwa person, as a kid – he was so gay.” So, I read it. But I quite disagreed with my friend. In my opinion, the choices Okenwa made as a child may or may not have been driven by an unrecognized homosexuality.
But hey, if you haven’t already read it, here it is. Read and let us know your thoughts.
Twice a month, like a dutiful son, I visited my parents in Enugu, in their small over-furnished flat that grew dark in the afternoon. Retirement had changed them, shrunk them. They were in their late eighties, both small and mahogany-skinned, with a tendency to stoop. They seemed to look more and more alike, as though all the years together had made their features blend and bleed into one another. They even smelled alike—a menthol scent, from the green vial of Vicks VapoRub they passed to each other, carefully rubbing a little in their nostrils and on aching joints. When I arrived, I would find them either sitting out on the veranda overlooking the road or sunk into the living-room sofa, watching Animal Planet. They had a new, simple sense of wonder. They marveled at the wiliness of wolves, laughed at the cleverness of apes, and asked each other, “Ifukwa? Did you see that?” Continue reading