During my hiatus from Twitter I was hoping for some peace, for people to stop asking me if I was ‘doing okay’ and to stop inserting themselves in what was salacious drama to them but structurally heartbreaking for me. But it was a lot like watching your own funeral. People I hated picked up the mantle and started advocating for me in a way I loathed, but I couldn’t say anything because I was dead, remember? People who I thought were my friends (or whatever approximation of ‘friend’ is possible if you met the person once at a crowded bar) turned against me as soon as it was clear I wouldn’t retaliate. A former co-worker referred to me as a ‘tire fire” of a human being, and another acquaintance called me stupid and childish. Another established (Caucasian! Male!) national journalist said my call for writers was both ‘edgy’ and a violation of human rights. (The Hague has yet to call.) Most didn’t have much to say at all, because when you die, a shocking few will be sad. Once, when I thought I had embarrassed myself in front of a group of girls I was trying to impress, my then boyfriend told me, ‘You’d be shocked by how little people think about you.’ I broke up with him immediately, obviously, because everyone needs to look at me all the time, but it didn’t make him wrong. No one cares more about your successes and your foibles than you.
These words are from the brilliant, funny and sarcastic Canadian writer Scaachi Koul (thanks, Canada!). In her book of essays, One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, Ms. Koul delivers ten chapters of her insights into casual (and not so casual) racism, body image problems, parental relationships and social media wars.
I was first introduced to Scaachi Koul after hearing her interview during the live show of a podcast I absolutely adore called Another Round (with Heben and Tracy!). Ms. Koul read an excerpt from her book and I was instantly hooked. I immediately picked up a copy from the library (yes, I go to the library, so should you) and spent a quiet couple of hours reading her work. What I read made me happy because so many of the things Ms. Koul went through growing up as an Other was so relatable to me: being privileged in ways you never understood but somehow still not totally equal; having a body that doesn’t fit the Westernized standard (and thankful for it); dating a man your parents would blow a gasket over. Ms. Koul and I may be different in many ways, but as women of color, we are the same. Reading her words was comforting (and damn funny) because she isn’t afraid to display her emotional and physical flaws. She puts them out there because we are all flawed (some way more than others). From her fight with body hair to almost being harassed off Twitter for good, Ms. Koul lays it all for everyone to see. And that, my dear readers, is definitely a good thing.
Scaachi Koul’s book is available everywhere (including your local library) so pick up a copy when you can. I highly recommend it.