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Leaning on the Edge of Death

Have you ever wanted to die? I don’t mean the occasional figurative expression when you’re trying to exaggerate how embarrassed you were when your crush saw you looking like a “no” while s/he looked like a “hell fucken yeah”. I’m talking about drowning so deeply in misery that you don’t even see the need to cross paths with tomorrow. When you’re so defeated that you long for the day the darkness decides to finally drown you and strategically take your life away from you. When you try to keep a straight head and keep everything together but the darkness that is your life, your future, your dreams, your EVERYTHING is too much for you to contain and death becomes the ultimate need. If you’ve never needed to die; I am not sure whether you’re lucky or blessed.

There was a time where I NEEDED to just numb everything. Yeah just die. Death sounded like a better option. If not death then let the darkness swallow me. Take me far far away; where no one spoke my language or knew me so that I can maybe see the solitude in a different spectrum. A chance to at least try and decode the very life I seemed to clearly live wrong. Everyone’s life seemed to workout BUT mine. At least Facebook, Instagram and all these other social media things where imperfections don’t exist told me each and everyone of you were living your best life. And here I was; I couldn’t take care of myself financially and now mentally. I am mentally confused, unsure and don’t know when this journey will last but  it seems like something beyond forever. I’ve hit an emotional wall. I am broke and heading speedily to broken. The world is spinning in a slow motion everyone is going about their life and there is no superhero coming to rescue me. Its just me in this dizzy commotion. I wanted to ask for help but at the same time, I didn’t need help. I needed something more. Something I could not explain. Something more meaningful. More peaceful. I needed, I don’t know, perhaps harmony and obviously I wanted things to be alright and stop crumbling down all in one go and embarrassing the hell out of me. But all misfortunes happened there, then and never stopped; a series of disappointments.

The worst part was how my soul shredded into irreconcilable pieces every time a negative remark about me was made. Perhaps it was the lack of emotional intelligence or I was after all a human being and I too had feelings. Or was I just giving people way too much credit on my life? I don’t know. I remember this one time when I was called a failure because I was apparently not trying hard enough. Being called a failure by one of your very own made me cried a few times. I cried because the mere thought of them thinking I wasn’t trying hard enough while I was doing EVERY single damn thing I could shrunk me back into the pit of darkness. I had drained all sorts and sources of energy I had to try and align what was in my dreams with my reality. As you can tell, it hadn’t worked out. And I was also now more than ever convinced that it’ll never workout. Not in this lifetime at least. I had wanted to be badassery. Run. Break glass ceilings, feel the pain and actually not give a damn but continue striving. Be Great! So great that the reflection in the mirror smiled wide and told me each time we crossed paths how great I am. I wasn’t running. I didn’t break any glass ceilings but I was sure as hell feeling the pain. The odds were just against me. So against me I had to die. There was nothing left to see or want.

Oddly enough, the odds are still against me. I’ve concluded that the odds don’t like certain people much and I form part of that ‘certain people’; I’m learning to come to terms with it without a single strand of bitterness. Since I have unfortunately not died, I still haven’t stopped running and gunning for better, more calculated, structured dreams than those that almost killed me. Sometimes I feel like I am still chasing time; and those of us who’ve tried know what a futile race it can be. Sometimes I just want to breakaway from this thing I’m living and go live the financially, mentally and problems free life I wish I was meant for. I have good days. Great days. Bad days and of course depression days. They are the worst days.

I’m alive for one basic reasoning; it turns out blinking is much easier than killing yourself. Lets be honest here, it takes a certain amount of courage to take away your own life. It can’t be a walk in the park (walks in the park can be deadly nowadays but catch my drift for a minute).It requires a lot. A breaking point I clearly haven’t experienced yet (in hopes to never). A breaking point which I’ve summed up as the longest alley of darkness intertwined with loneliness that any living human being can take so it takes you instead. Squashes you up into tiny pieces of nothingness that you only see yourself as a problem that’s not important enough to form part of the equation. So you save everyone else the maths of figuring you out because you actually can’t figure your own self out and you exit the mess. It is A WHOLE DAMN LOT this life thing and I to am actually exhausted but I have chosen to suck it up for as long as I can. And its going to be a very long time!

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Once Upon A Lie…

I sat down with an angel whose life experience spans from savage as a demon, devious as a devil to a well of wisdom. From a distance, she sways her being in sexiness and walks like she lawfully owns the land her feet step on. Mesmerising like a true goddess. Her presence is both amazing and overwhelming.

Have you ever been lied to…. As I open my mouth to respond, she continues as though this is a rhetorical question… So often that even the truth starts sounding unfamiliar? That lies bring you more than just comfort? They start becoming you, you in them intertwined; the truth becomes scary. You feel the need to lie even when there is not enough to hide? No? Good for you, some of us have been around; up, down, in, out, hurt, depressed wished upon death longed to live, smiled, laughed somewhat loved but not fully witnessed honesty.

Once upon a lie lived the truth. Once upon a life lived a human. Before you fool anyone else, you fool you. Now this is the realisation, before it was just a far-fetched thought that resembled everything I no longer cared to remember.

I was almost certain she once touched base with earth. This beauty of vividly placing wisdom so magically in ones tongue has to have been schooled by the great ones who witnessed life before we.

When my mom, in the middle of a highly opinionated conversation about men who can’t accept women with children, intentionally squeezed in the fact that the man I had known for then the 25 years of what I accepted as my life was not my father; life stopped and earth spun a little faster. I quickly forgot my thoughts and only the heart fulfilled its duty. My eyes were seeing things I can not in this case remember. Wow! So its true every family has a secret. Now it makes sense, people always asked why I don’t look like my siblings.

I had a lot of unanswered questions. My head was playing endless unresolvable quiz games. I did not know what to want, which question to ask first. It was like a fly was annoyingly going around my head and my hands were too short to distract its motion. At the same time I was in a strange way relieved; I did not have the genes of a man my mother mistakenly chose as a husband. That was great news because according to me, his genealogy needed to end. The world needed not of his kind in its future.

Joking about him probably not being my father – because most of the time he completely ticks even the boxes the future men trashers are still yet to invent, was suddenly a reality and bloody hell I did not expect it to be this shocking but equally numbing. I was unsure about my mother; I couldn’t believe her secret. I AM THE SECRET. Worse part I am instructed to continue keeping this a secret and never bother diving into conversation about my real father. I just have to draw my own conclusions and take joy in that for that’s all I am getting.

From where I was sitting my mother seemed FINALLY relieved. Her eyes had the obviously-this-is-not-a-big-deal look and her shoulders looked less burdened. As I sat on a chair that suddenly felt like it was hardening my butt, thinking empty thoughts, I couldn’t believe the facts of my life. I suddenly felt the need to be silent for as long as the silence can take the silent.

But…

This is life and how I came to is in my case not a big deal. However I have lots of unanswered questions. The people have had the most loveless marriage in the history of marriages. They hardly talk, be it over the phone or anywhere else. They are like cooking oil and the scalp; yes that’s a bad simile but you get my point. They can tolerate each other but the consequences are dire. Now I get it though, my mother puts up with a loveless marriage knowing very well that she deserves better so she continues living her seemingly perfect life and concealing one thing that is obviously-not-a-big-deal so she stands on pedestals she has no business standing in.

She has chosen to live a life of regret, constant anger, hiding behind the church yet knowing exactly what she is worth. Being fully aware of who she is and what she can do.

When she was done speaking I looked at my own life, questioned my existence, looked through the eyes of my head – my own lies. I realised that a smile could be a sham. We walk in pride to only spend minutes upon minutes in toilet seats wondering, crying, wishing things were better and promising ourselves we are going to work harder better, smarter to continue concealing, so that it is never revealed. At the same time, do we really know who we are or do we only take what we’re being told and run with it? What is our truth and how do we weigh its worth? If our truth had to suddenly be rendered untrue, will we have enough will power to reconstruct a new life from there? I too had unanswered questions. I wondered about the many things we’re told we are: lost generation for one. Are we lost because we did not get enough truth? And who was/is meant to bring this truth to us. Anyway what is truth? After so many lies that we’ve been told, how much of unlearning and relearning will be enough? I do not know, life seems to be a LOT. There seem to be less truths and more lies and our facial expressions never run out of memes when truths come out and the heart unfortunately seems to always be caught off guard. 

We really carry so much burden, bestowing on ourselves the weight that comes with lies is unnecessary and rather stupid. Once upon a lie lived a truth and we must ALWAYS choose the virtue of honesty.

Indeed, I Do NOT Walk Alone

I have been away for far too long, so long I forgot my password in the process. I was going through things I did not know I was going through when I was going through them and as such, it was confusing, dragging, draining and I just needed the phase to end. Fortunately for me it’s a beginning of completely newer phase. The life I had longed for in the darker hour is collectively becoming my actual life. It’s beautiful and unbelievable in equal measures.

It feels like I was away from everything, even this very world I live in and technically its true. Things seem to have changed in some cases; the streets that used to be hailed as dusty now have stinking shallow water puddles sitting on them that come from nowhere but are never go anywhere either. At the same time, things have stayed the same; a white lady walking into a bus selectively scans everyone inside the bus and almost without fail chooses a seat next to her white counterpart even if the seat next to that lovely lady of colour would have been a much better option.

Nevertheless, we continue breathing and pay little attention to pettiness because our generations deserve better options and the reasons we are here is to create those options in question without giving too much focus to unnecessary distractions.

During my time of absence, I could not do even the things I know I enjoy, writing for instance. Although I was alive, life had escaped me; I was suffocating but breathing. Some days were worse than others; I wondered, cried, slept less, did not eat enough, wondered, and cried some more. The more I tried to make it seem like I was okay, the more I knew I was not okay. Worse the feeling became.

I am back, with stories obviously because though I did not know it then, the eyes were still vigilant, mind open and the pen ready to do its magic with the paper. I am healed and happy. Thankful for the process whatever it’s called. One thing I am grateful for is knowing I do not walk alone; I have my whole clan (including you) looking out for me; the angels, both living and those who have lived providing and protecting me. That alone is a feeling I fail to properly express since it does to me things I cannot explain. It gives me overwhelming strength to continue representing them and those who will take over from me and continue the lineage.

This life thing is beautiful. We do not always see its beauty however its beauty is not taken away by our inability to see it. It soldiers on. I guess that is what we can learn from life; continue being the light even if our brightness is not always appreciated. So, let the stories continue…

A Rape is an Unforgettable Tragedy

This blog has been untendered for a while, and I’m wholly to blame for that. I’d be very surprised if there is anyone sparing a moment to read this post. In my absence, both great and disappointing things have happened. But we have a whole future ahead of ourselves to discuss all of those shenanigans.

I’m here now because I’m both confused and hurt in equal measures if not more confused. In the many things that have happened it was brought before me that I’m a littering black monkey who should be grateful to Jan Van Riebeek, his offsprings and all the colonisation that came along with his ship. And whilst at it I need papers to prove that Africa is the land of my forefathers (read: my land).

What got me to sit down and pen this is the fact that I value honesty. Hence I believe that everything should be questioned; every doctor’s lab rat should be tested, every frog dissected until the truth is left before us to accept or deny and Amber the activist Armour. Her story is not a one plus one, from where I’m sitting, it doesn’t add up.

Above all that, I have no stand to say much just that there are things I don’t take kindly to and lying about rape is one of those things. Because not only does it insult the victims, gives perpetrators the platform to dwell and rejoice, it degrades the society. It leaves us as the society with room to allow foul play on our watch because we’re in doubt.

So Amber their activist, a rape is a tragedy its not some cocktail party story you make up as you go along. It is not a marketing campaign. It is the most unforgettable, realist encounter that could ever be witnessed. You do not forget it, you could tell it a million times and it will remain as it is.

You do not forget a sexual violation because it keeps you up at night. You keep wondering why it happened to you. It makes you hate the weird ‘new body’. After the violation the only thing you think of is death because you just want to shut and forget the non-stop images of the encounter playing in your head. Sometimes you wonder why you stopped fighting; why you allowed the perpetrator to have their way on your body, why your energy drained out when you needed it the most. Sometimes the damage is so dire that you wake up the next day with stinking, messed up pyjamas. At times you keep plotting revenge avenues that end up in tears because you know it will never give back what you’ve lost.

I have no idea what happened to Amber. I can ask questions that can unintentionally be rendered rhetorical. I do not know what is going on in her head but let me say this; being raped is emotionally draining, its something that you live with every day, its a pain that you have to overcome every single moment. It is shaming because it takes away everything you thought you were – and you have to start all over again. Being raped is not a joke. It is something you never forget, no matter what.

I’m sorry this happened while she was in our beloved country, in our city of Cape Town; the beautiful mother of supremacy. May the gods of our beloved land guide you.

Foreigner in My Own Land

Its been two months away from my home town and I’ve had fear induced sleepless nights ever since I heard dogs bucking, saw strangers in my yard and things walking on my roof at the most satanic hours of the night. It could have just been ‘abamama’ but my mind won’t stop replaying the whole ordeal. I won’t deny it, I am damn unsettled and the three consecutive gun shots just across my house which I later found out were aimed at a taxi owner for a brewing taxi violence massacre have chased away my sleep ten inches farther.

My journey in this new placed I moved to with love makes me feel unsafe half the time. I have deliberately restrained all forms of small talk everywhere besides at work and that little place I now call home. I am just not ready for the weird stares and worse still having to surrender to the are you Zulu question. So I’ve kept to myself in all forms. It has been good and unsettling in equal measures.

This is my country and I’ve always had to keep looking over my shoulder because that one person walking behind me unnoticed could mean the end of me. Almost like the one sunny mid morning when I was off to my daily grind I never bothered to look over my shoulder, my bag was taken from me; I was left stranded and bare for stares and questioning. Replying in a ‘foreign’ accent made my situation worse. For the first time since my inception, I felt lost, confused and naked. The first thing that came to mind was how warm and welcoming my home town would be. I can’t overlook it, some parts of my own country can really be the most uncomfortable places to find myself in; they make me feel like a foreigner in my own country.

I can’t speak for people but I will write about what I’ve witnessed. I have seen my African compatriots flock in and out of South Africa. Many come here bare, no home, relatives or money. They come as a real sad black story to try and find their dignity, peace and life. Many spend their journey in South Africa doing endless piece jobs. A handful embarks on crime and a recognisable number engage in licit businesses. In the process, many find life, love and eventually dignity. However recently like the ‘burning man’ in 2008, many have found their way to a short lived life ‒ unintended eternity.

I have not experienced hatred so great that it will make me kill a person just because they are not from the same country as me. I am not quite certain what my fellow South Africans are trying to achieve or what message they’re intending to get across either way the execution of whatever that we’re trying to say is an embarrassment and a painful thing to witness.

I can’t imagine the amount of terror the so called foreigners are going through in their own continent. I have felt fear in my own country and it makes one feel like they will never witness another summer with their sanity still intact.

Xenophobia is unacceptable, it goes against especially what our South African heroes advocate. Ubuntu broken, humanity degraded, life threatened. This is a different South Africa, a cold place to live in; too deadly to call a home and too terrifying to walk in. Our legacy is dented. I’m sorry that my fellow Africans have no warmth in their own continent. They are betrayed by their own people. They are foreigners in their mother land. If there was ever a time I felt confused, misplaced and like a foreigner in my home country that time is now.

I’m not yet Certain About Your Version of the Truth, I NEVER Said You’re Old and Stupid and That’s My Truth

Its always a shock, talk of the town gossip when that ‘cute’, petite, bald little innocent, lovable girl is caught up in a rumour or a misunderstanding. So it came as a surprise gone wrong when out of what I thought was an innocent group interaction with colleagues I became a victim of a rumour that became the truth to another’s head. 

 

A part of me was torn and crushed into a million pieces. I’m a woman, I’ve been made to believe I’m inadequate before and for the mere fact that another woman felt this way and the person in question was me made my colourful small world very dark and ugly. I couldn’t believe that the little girl who was a mockery because of her dark skin, the girl who was always imitated for the laughing pleasure of everyone else grew up to find people she knows nothing about ‘old and stupid’. It felt like I was in a twisted, devil orchestrated version of my biography. 

 

When my senior brought these news unto my attention I was appalled, tears secretly wanted to escape my eyes, my heart was beating slightly weird and I wasn’t sure whether I was angry or disappointed because I knew nothing of these allegations.

 

As I walked out of what is meant to look like a boardroom my fierceness was having none of this crap and wanted to have it sorted out there and then because even though I’m almost a thousand percent certain that I don’t suffer from memory loss, I don’t for the life in me recall saying anyone is old and stupid. Never mind that stupid is a word that’s not in my vocabulary because I have only known to me difficulty in pronouncing it.

 

The other very chilled half of me wanted to let sleeping dogs lie because even if I did say she’s old and stupid, why would my opinion of her matter?

 

Anyway I wanted to be a grown up about this and ask her about it. Wrong move, only then I didn’t know about it. As I was taking a seat on the table she was sitting on, she stood up and left before I could even say a single word. And I automatically became convoluted. I felt both like a bully and a school teacher dealing with a teenager in her prime of adolescent. Except I was faced with a very older woman than me, married with family etc.

 

I was left there thinking, maybe I should have called her stupid because even though I didn’t know it then, I assume that’s how stupid people would act in such a really silly incident. 

 

If she wanted to clarify things with me, she would have came to me and told me what I allegedly said and how it made her feel. Yes people deal with things differently but I honestly thought mature people with families handle such matters with intelligence and delicacy. Now I’m kinda not sure what her intention is because we will be working in the same team every single day of her life or until I resign and give her the freedom I feel she’s needing right now. 

 

I know that even though I’m being accused of something I never said, she’s validated it in her head and carries it with her since she’s made in clear that talking to me would be a loss of something valuable to her. Now all I’m left with here is questions over questions and a slight sadness or is it disappointment? When do people realise that other people’s opinion about them is not a new version of their own truth about themselves?

 

Until I find a way out of this situation and answers to my unanswered questions I will be faced with an inch of discomfiture everytime I have to pump into her and her clique.

20-fit-in; Have You Ever Thought About the Mall?

Not in an OMG I’m going shopping on someone else’s expense and I will take absolute advantage of the 75% sale at ‘forever21’ without of course forgetting the exorbitant cologne with a scent so magical it can win Leonardo an Oscar I’ve been meaning to buy since its inception kind of way.

But in a rather, wait a minute… Who keeps this place clean after I’ve gone home and stopped reminiscing about the movie date night (with the ‘crush’ who proved eligible for parents introduction) that gave me natural rosy cheeks and made me clumsy I was tripping all over the place?

I wasn’t going to ask you this question, I mean I had no business diving deep into how a mall operates because all I want is for it to open 24/7 so that when boredom, sorrow and or money has overwhelmed me and I’ve exhausted all the tourist attractions I can walk into a mall like Chuck Norris walking in a crime scene at any given time of day and window shop without giving a single cent of worry about time.

I had just finished my 1pm-9pm shift, best and worst shift of my life. Walking like I’m the majority shareholder in Bill Gates bank balance. I was glad, happy songs were shuffling themselves in my tongue. She was the mall cleaner that I met in the ladies. A petite, short and squeaked voiced lady with one of those faces that make it difficult to judge ones age. She was overjoyed about something because her willingness for small talk was more than just one of those things extroverts do. As I was tolerating some small talk business I had zero interest in.
Something I’ve been to much of an arrogant little twig to even think about struck me.

Her roster is ten times worse than mine, God touch whichever soul behind its engineering. And her duties include cleaning the lavatories of one of the biggest malls I’ve ever seen in my life. She works from 10pm till 6am (yes security guards do a 6pm-6am but we’re not there) cleaning every single corner of one of the biggest malls in the southern hemisphere, not forgetting the incredibly massive parking lots. Gawd I was appalled, not just by my sheer ignorance but the amount of work involved too.

As I was walking away from her with a slightly dented prowess and happy songs not quite shuffling themselves anymore, I realised that she’s human and has family that she wants to spend time with and a bed she misses bonding with because she is too busy cleaning a place that twigs like me dream of it opened 24/7 even though we know the dreadfulness of cleaning just a house with three rooms when you have people walking up and down and toddlers going in and out.

I thought to myself, so maybe just maybe public places that operate on human bodies should close at a humanly considerate time because let’s face it, who wants to be clocking in at the exact time of singing a lullaby to their little one? Or worse still, who wants to never spend time with their family because when they’re at work, you’re catching up on sleep and when they’re sleeping your slaving your little bum off?

I’m not saying go out of your comfort to feel sorry for the cleaners because it is their job and its what they get paid for (you’re an asshole if this is actually your thought). All I’m saying is let’s practise humanity and FLUSS the damn toilet when we’re done doing our business and let’s together STOP dropping dirt everywhere but the bin. Let’s give cleaners (house keepers, baby sitters and security guards) one less thing to worry about. They too have human flesh and need constant breaks from life (which they don’t get) like all human beings. And one last thing, stop flocking to a mall everytime you don’t know what to do with yourself. It saves money, unnecessary anger and feelings of inadequacy. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.