17 October 2014 Friday

It’s Friday and I did not know. I only realised through my Twitter feed that it is actually Friday. I’ve spent the day over thinking my life as I always do. Right now I can hear house music playing from the many clubs surrounding my place. I can hear girls singing along terribly and loudly to those songs. Taxis are speeding by and some men, who just got off work, whistle for them to stop. Johannesburg is beautiful at three times of the day: in the morning when the sun rises as its rays reflect on some of the glass and metallic buildings, in the day when little children are playing at the park and their innocent screams of joy can be heard amongst the horns of taxis and at night, like right now, abandoned office buildings with their lights still on, the few cars passing by, the one homeless man singing to himself, the stillness of the ghostly park and above all this a moon that shines it’s white light as it would over another setting; a desert perhaps or mountain range, except this is Joburg but it is beautiful nonetheless.
I am sipping a cup of lukewarm rooibos of tea. Today marks the twentieth day of me without an alcoholic drink. I am neither proud of myself nor dying for a drink. I miss wine a lot but I need to be sober for all the shit that is happening in my life. I need to be sober so that when I drink it will be a celebration for overcoming all these obstacles that pop out of nowhere. It hasn’t all been bad I was in England for two weeks in July and in September for the first time a piece of my writing was performed on stage in front of some hundred people. A few of those hundred people came up to me and told me they liked my work- it was motivating. I can only hope that the whole piece will be up on stage one day.
A hobo who is singing out loudly right now made me lose my train of thought. Anyway I got on a taxi today to go see my grandmother in hospital. It was the worst decision I made. I didn’t want to use my car because it was rush hour traffic and also I’m not always in the mood for driving. So I walk up to the taxi rankj, ask around and then I got lost but eventually I found the taxi and there were only two females in it. I knew then that I wouldn’t make it to the hospital within visiting hours and it was too late to walk back to my place and get my car. So I decide to sit next to this girl who looked like she might be a dyke. I say look like because in the townships a lot of straight girls dress like Tomboys and that can be confusing, especially if they have a short hair cut or s-curl. An s-curl is a popular hairstyle in Soweto and other black urban areas, the hairstyle is commonly seen on males but females (because they like things) do it too. The hairstyle entails cutting your hair short and then applying relaxer (hair straightening cream) to it and then combing it until the hair is wavy. The relaxer is then washed out and gel is applied to the hair to fix it in a state of waviness. The waviness resembles a continuous stream of the letter s, hence the name s-curl. I would have talked to this girl who had the s-curl but there two factors that made me decide not to. Firstly I was angry at myself for being stupid regarding the transport decision I had made and secondly she was in school uniform. I would never date a girl in high school, maybe we could be distant friends but nothing closer because I believe high school girls are at a fragile stage of their lives and having gone through the stage myself I know how gullible and easy it can be to control their psyche. I never want to be that person who preys on the young. So I just sat there next to here in silence stealing glances at her until we both got off at the hospital which was an awkward moment because it felt like I was following her. I hastily crossed the street and when I looked back she was gone.
I felt bad because I wanted to see my grandmother but I knew the nurses would not let me in. So I crossed the road again and signalled for a taxi back to my place. What a waste of money and time. I have to manage my time better. It is really a big problem of mine. My grandmother is a reminder of where times goes- only forward and our health goes backward. So I need to savour my youth, do the things that must be done while trying to enjoying life all at the same time. I need more self-discipline and more self-control especially since I’m trying to attain a much leaner physique, I’m trying to write more, I’m trying to read more, I’m trying to make a home for myself, I’m trying to be the best sister and granddaughter and I’m trying to get a degree all at the same time. It is daunting but it is life and I know there are people in much worse predicaments and so I should be thankful.
Tomorrow is a Saturday and I start with the morning shift and then I have to go see my grandmother; in all of this I’ll try to be happy.

04 October 2014 Saturday

Ten minutes of this Saturday left before Sunday comes. I have been procrastinating for about twelve hours now. A lot is on my mind; the year is coming to an end and I wonder what I have achieved and also I have grown in that I believe I am ready for a steady relationship. I’ve had relationships before but they were very brief and some very very brief like a night, if there is such a thing as a relationship that lasts only a night.
My morning started off by going to work at six where I just waited for the next six to eight hours to end. The highlight of the day is that my hot Xhosa manager told me that I have a nice body and after she gave me that comment I could not concentrate on anything else.
Yesterday I took part in the Wits Pride march a celebration for the LGBTQI community, it was fun but it was also bittersweet because I was in a bit of a tension between myself and a person close to me. I think I’m still tense even now but slowly I’m getting over it. Letting it go. I just realised things don’t always go the way you want them to, no matter how much sense it makes to you the other person may find your proposal ridiculous.
I haven’t written in a long long time and I can see that I have lost my natural flow of storytelling. I must rectify this and go back to writing four or five times a week. I mean my ultimate goal is to make a living of writing and travelling the world. I need practise, somewhere along the way I have lost the ball. Work, exercising, studying, family problems and friendship problems I believe may attribute to this lack of writing.
I feel like a blocked drain, some gunk needs to come out and I don’t know how. Should I vent, cry, exercise or just have patience that all these waste emotions will go away by themselves? Also I have been listening to Whitney Houston the whole day and her beautiful voice always make me emotional. I should be going to sleep now because I have to be up early in the morning. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have written something better than what I have written right now on this page. My head is foggy and my heart is sore.
Also I have exams to write in about thirty days and my stress levels are through the roof because I am very very behind with my studying. I’ll just struggle through because I really want this degree it will advance my career while I wait for my writing career to take flight.
Everything, every single thing is frustrating me right now but maybe I need sleep. I have been up for a very long time- worse without wine or dark chocolate.

14 September 2014 Sunday

The Drakensberg is beautiful. I woke up this morning with a serious hangover, made myself some tea and then walked up to the top of the hill to enjoy the view. Here you can hear the sounds of tiny birds’ wings flapping. The sky is clear and the mountain range stands proud against it, I can see a little town down the valley and a white bakkie racing through the dirt streets. It is peaceful and I wish this is what I woke up to every day.
A friend of a friend invited me to a weekend of fun in the Drakensberg- I had never been and so I obliged, also I like to steal moments of being spontaneous and I am glad I am here. How we got here was an adventure. I got picked up yesterday in her car which had three other friends and we drove from Johanneburg thinking our trip would take maximum of three hours. We typed in the address of the lodge in our advanced technological devices and listened carefully to the automated voice of a female tell us where to go; turns out she did not know exactly where we were going, she directed us to a lodge in a small dusty town centre and to add to that frustration the car broke down- it would not go. Our efforts to help the car start up again and go made it clear to the locals that we were not from there and that we were most probably lost- this agitated me but somehow the car started again and we decided to go buy food and liquor. We hurriedly got out of the small dusty town, typed in the address again and joy elevated when we were confident that the automated voice would not get us lost again. Our joy was short lived; the car broke down again but this time in a more precarious location; on a busy road with close to no space to park the car on the side. After examining the car we realised that it was overheating and so we had to wait for it to cool down. After a few minutes we started the car again but now it would not go into gear but we forced our way to the lodge which was about fifteen minutes away. Five kilometres were left when the car broke down again and we knew this was last time, we called the owner of the lodge to come help us and he came in the bakkie to tow us up to the destination. In the back of the bakkie I rolled around as the driver drove up the rocky road very fast but I was excited because the mountain range was just so magnificent.
After thanking our lucky stars that we had made it we went into the lodge which had a rustic style, I felt like I could be in my grandmother’s house and I loved it. There is warmth that I cannot explain; it is a feeling of having arrived at home. Just as we were settling down I saw a man in blue overalls walking with six horses, turns out we had a horse riding session. Now I’ve never been on a horse and I was both scared and excited. I was given a sixty second lesson on how to ride the horse, like how to control it and how to sit and afterwards I was riding. It was exhilarating- I think I could be addicted. I think I want horse. Riding on a horse across the Drakensberg at sunset is a memory I hope never to forget. My horse was obedient at first but then it decided to go all Black Beauty on me- it started galloping at a speed at which I could not control and then I fell off it, it was a gentle fall, luckily the dry savaanah grass cushioned my fall. I asked the man in the blue overalls if I could exchange horses and we did. I now finally understand the saying that if you fall off a horse you get back up on it.
There is a fire on the mountain, the dancing flames travel across the plain like a slithery snake against the black backdrop. It is now night. I have eaten too much curry and rice. We had supper on the table on the porch facing the mountains and we watched the fire whilst enjoying crisp white wine. It is our last night here at Drakensberg and the night is sombre and calm. Beautiful variants of moths fly above our heads and the night air is clear and warm- a sense of longing is brewing and I wonder how it will feel to get back to the city. Today we went zip lining in the forest, I was scared most of the time and only loosened up after a few rides. Only birds take freely to being above the forest and river at a height of more than sixty five metres and better yet birds are buoyant- I’m not. I’m tired now and I’m drinking tea before I go to sleep. It has been a good weekend and I wish for many more like this. My tummy is now more than four times its size but isn’t that what life is about- overindulgence.

27 July 2014 Sunday

It is quiet now. It is not quiet like you could hear a pin drop kind of quiet but it is quiet enough for the city. A few hours ago the sounds of drums vibrating through the tall city buildings had me thinking thousands of Zulu men were going to come barging through the streets- sadly this did not happen. A half an hour ago my neighbour was listening to some opera, I don’t know what was being said but I felt suddenly like an anvil plunging to the depths of a dark sea- this feeling could also be attributed to the fact that I just finished Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms.
The month of July was heavy with action and inaction. I had the opportunity to go to London for a workshop with the Royal Court theatre. I was at first shocked by how many white people I saw in the train, in the bus and walking on the streets- I don’t know what I expected it is in England after all- anyway after getting over the shock I really enjoyed myself. I did not want to leave, I feel in my heart I will return; I don’t know when and I don’t know how but I know I will be going back there. Also it was summer there so I escaped the middle of winter- I’m very glad about that.
Today was very cold, I could not stand it. I had on my hoodie and boots but the chilly wind whipping my face made me really mad or maybe I was mad that I was working on a Sunday. I only love my job when it is payday and on all the other days I really feel like hanging myself, as I’ve mentioned before my job is not hard it’s just not stimulating enough. Jobs like tiller, or bus driver, or miner, or street sweeper- any kind that falls under the blue collar should have a time limit, like you work three to five years and afterwards you must find something else. I feel that while working people should be studying or gaining skills to get a promotion or a different kind of job; this way the brain does not remain stagnant in its growth, the soul too does not tire of life.
What I enjoyed about London was that I felt freer, the streets are safer and the transport system is well integrated. I walked to the supermarket at eleven at night without any fear. I felt like there was no policing of individuals so I could wear whatever I wanted to without the fear that someone will shout at me from across the streets discriminating slurs like “fag” or “bitch”. There is no sheep mentality in London- that is everyone does their own thing and is content with being in their own world and at the same time they do not feel threatened by others’ differences. I was on the tube which is an underground train and there were this girls dressed like strippers, I honestly thought they were strippers because they were so scantily clad but I got off on the same station as them and I was walking behind and I overheard their conversations- turns out there are just typical females in their twenties simply enjoying life. The freedom to be what one wants to be in London is mainly what keeps drawing me back to it; that and it’s theatre culture. There are so many theatres there and all different kinds of productions. I saw quite a few shows some of which I liked and most which I did not like and having that experience made me want to write more.
Landing back home on the twentieth was a bitter joy but the sky was clear, crystal blue and the sun was mild. I came back on a Sunday, the only day on which the city tries to slow down. I slept on the Gautrain and then had to carry my heavy bags to my flat and by the time I got to the flat on the seventh floor where I stay, I was heavily sweating. I put down my bags and stood by the window and let the sombreness of the city fall over me. My flat overlooks a park and in the park they are colourful swings, a small soccer field and a basketball court where more soccer than basketball is played. Little children were playing soccer enthusiastically while some homeless people cheered them on and other hobos were sleeping with their dry mouths agape. A taxi sped by and pedestrians were scurrying to the other side of the street. Sunrays were filtering themselves through gaps of the tall buildings and a weak breeze floated by. I knew that no matter how much I liked London, I will always love Johannesburg. Johannesburg and its dirty streets, the people selling sports brands on the streets, the women braiding hair on the street corner harassing me to do my hair, the man selling cosmetics right outside Clicks, the speeding taxis, the sprinting pedestrians, the joyful screams of children at the park, the screams of a woman who was just mugged, the screams of men fighting over money, the screams of jubilant high school girls talking about God-knows what, the shrill cries of a baby on a back of woman with a heavy suitcase on her head, the baby who’s playground is the pavement, the prostitutes who don’t wear underwear and sit with their legs open, the beautiful buildings, the ugly abandoned buildings, the white buildings, the colourful buildings, the skateboarders, the young hobos who speak English very well, the Pakistanis selling towels and blankets, the mini concert held on the street corner by a struggling gospel artist, the dodgy tall dark men hitting on you, the women who turn with you and smile- all of it is Johannesburg and all of it is beautiful. There is life; there is forcefulness towards life, towards living life no matter how bleak it is. I am here and I will make it. I might make fifty cents today but I’ll come back tomorrow with the hope that I will make more, but I will not leave this city, no, I will keep coming back, rising with the sun and working long after its set. This is my city and I am in love.

26 June 2014 Thursday

Two days ago I watched to high school girls dance on the side of the road with so much glee one could have been mistaken for thinking it was a Friday. This whole week has been tepid; I feel like a fallen branch flowing with the stream to an unknown destination. This feeling can be greatly attributed to the lack of funds in my bank account- I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it, money can never be enough. Right now I’m craving all sorts of meat, meat is my joy and even though thoughts of trying vegetarianism creep into my mind I have the feeling I’ll never stop being primarily a carnivore.
At work yesterday I felt like screaming because I just did not want to be where I was but there I was manning the station, walking up and down, greeting customers and avoiding my colleagues. Around three o’clock I stood by the gates and just listened to myself, then I caught a glimpse of her in the corner of my eye and I knew I could not be mistaken, it was her the girl I’ve been meaning to get her numbers from, the poet, the artistic misanthrope like myself. She looked even better than I remembered, her eyes were big and dark like melted dark chocolate, her eyebrows bushy not a single hair plucked and her skin was olive and smooth. I couldn’t stop smiling. We fell into a long conversation with no hiccups; it was like we had just seen each other the previous day. I longed for her to stay the whole duration of my work hours but she had to go and my colleagues had huddled around us like bees and I could hear them whispering. I knew they wanted to know the nature of our relationship, I could see the yearning in their eyes but they did not know where to start with me and I did not explain myself. I felt there was no reason to. When the bus came and she got on, a little bit of joy seeped out of me and I thought of other things I should have said to her- maybe next time. Next time I’ll definitely go to her. She told me she had broken up with her girlfriend and was looking for someone and then she looked at me, was she there for the sole purpose of finding me? I don’t know.
This weekend I’m going to see my family, like the whole extended family, we try to meet whenever we can because we need to catch and remember how all actually look like. I can’t wait, it’s always fun when I am with them- I’ve been alone for way too long.

21 June 2014 Saturday

I nearly got mugged a few minutes ago. This dark short guy asked me for my phone and I told him I don’t have one. I was walking from a friend’s place, she lives in Braamfontein and I live well here in the inner city, almost a kilometre separates us, I don’t know I am not good with measurements, anyway I’m almost at the door of my flat when this guy just asks for my phone, just like that, it felt like a movie. He just suddenly appeared at my side and said his friend (who was a tall guy walking unnoticed ahead of me) had a gun and that he would shoot me with it. I looked at him I guess with surrender in my eyes to the situation and bluffed my way out of it; I made a whiny voice and told him I was not in possession of my phone. He said he would like to search me and I told him that even if he did he would not find a phone- I do have a phone it was in my bag, which looks like a school backpack and so I guess because of this design I got away with the lie. He said okay and he and his friend crossed the street. I am shaken. I am out of food which is why I went to my friend’s place in the first place, I have popcorn and a some hot chocolate left, I’m going to eat and drink the two while watching gay shows to soothe my shaken composure. Fuck these pretty city lights; nothing is pretty here.

18 June 2014 Wednesday

I went to Portugal and Spain in one night. Monday was Youth day, a day to commemorate the day when in 1976 students collectively rose against the apartheid regime infiltrating the education system. I would say we have come a long way; I think the youth of this country understands what happened and that the events of that day changed the future for us but while drinking some vodka with a few male acquaintances in Joburg the subject of displacement came up. What I mean by that is that the bornfrees of this country have the privilege of receiving upper class education but live in the lower class, this creates conflict in the composition of identity for a young person. I would say all of us young people that were there, successful and hustling, are displaced in that we went to these high-end education institutions but when we go home or go visit our grandmothers we realise that not much has changed, the township is still the same, the houses are still small, the potholes are still there and even bigger, the dumpsite have not been cleared and the schools are breaking down. It will take a gigantic force to change the position of many lower black families, years upon years, rectification of what apartheid did to the black nation has yet to be achieved.
I actually had no plans for Youth Day, I had planned to read a book and watch reruns of my favourite series but a few acquaintances called me and asked if I had any plans. In Johannesburg you will be used and then you will learn to use others- I’ve learnt this is common in new friendships. The trick in being used and using other people is that you must balance the stakes at hand. I was broke, I am still broke, anyway people wanted to go out but they did not have means of a car, I did but I did not have petrol, so the unspoken agreement was that they would pour petrol, pay for my drinks and food. Firstly we went to Maboneng where before going into the venue I watched young men play street soccer and young dirty children skateboard down the street. When we got in we learnt that there was a braai and we waited for the meat. It was awkward because I only knew about one percent of the people there but they served me meat and pap, then we conversed while shoving handful of pap into our mouths and complaining about the small pieces of meat we got- it felt like family. Afterwards we had to go buy some alcohol. We walked to a tavern that scared me and so I did not go in but then we found another that was better and got what we wanted. After a few drinks we were suddenly on our way to Soweto Orlando by an area the inhabitants call Portugal, when we got there we found all the pubs and clubs packed, everyone, young and old, was in the spirit of celebrating Youth Day no matter how cold it was. We chose to go into a club that had burning coal in an old holey metal dustbin at the front, we surrounded the fire and danced slowly around it, trying to keep warm and have fun. There was a moment when I felt like Alice in Wonderland because just when I was getting used to the atmosphere the guys I was with wanted to go to another place called Spain, when we got to Spain we had food, good, hot, African food and I needed it because I had ingested way too much vodka. A few hours later we were back in Johannesburg ordering burgers at a McDonald’s. Monday night was a night adventure of note, flashbacks of it attack me spontaneously and I am shocked at what happened in some instances, I think without alcohol I would have been exhausted by all the travelling we were doing. I’m just glad I got to my apartment safely. I need a chauffeur. I need money. I need more money- everyone in the city does. Everyone is hustling, living by a shoe string but always smiling, always friendly while making sly deals.
I am exhausted and I don’t even know why maybe it is the repercussions of Monday night.
On Tuesday I woke up with a slight hangover, I procrastinated for while: I spoke to myself, walked around my room, played some old pop music and danced to it, and then I exercised and went to the doctor who gave me antibiotics for the uti I have and then I went to the dentist who cleaned my teeth which was actually a painful process even though she said it would not be. I think my dentist is same age as me and that scares me- I like my medical practitioners to be much older than me- if it weren’t for her beauty I would have flat out asked for the process to be stopped, but she had these huge eyes, big and dark like chocolate chip muffins, looking down at me asking me if I was fine with each tooth she cleaned. I’m not sure if my smile is brighter but my teeth are more sensitive, I think the plaque that was on them actually helped decrease the sensitivity.
I thought I would cry this morning, not because the sun’s heat was not hot enough or that it was noisy with high school girls and boys at work but because the loss of a child or what was going to be child hurts me to my core. Someone close to me had a miscarriage and on hearing the news I felt faint, I was reminded of my own womanhood and how maybe I do not want to take part in certain aspects of it like childbearing. It hurt so much and I don’t know why, I feel the world has enough people and babies are not a necessity for me personally, I like the person but I wouldn’t say I love them or maybe I do; it’s the agape kind of love, and that’s why I feel the pain or maybe it’s just a commonality between women or maybe it’s because we’ve all lost someone we loved.  We’ve all lost someone we love, we all want someone to belong to us or for us to belong to someone but people don’t belong to people; I’ve learnt that the hard way.