I sometimes feel like if I had met Debussy he and I would have been best friends. I am listening to one of his pieces titled Arabesque no.1. I sometimes wish God gave me the gift of music or singing, it is a talent that is always readily accessible. When someone claims to be a singer they can easily sing on the spot to prove it but if you’re a writer you first have to go into your archives and prove your worth through publications or acknowledgements.
This year has been a storm and even though it has settled down, a gust every now and then reminds me that it is not all over. I am at peace. I understand that happiness cannot be found, it cannot be created, it is not locked away somewhere in someone or someplace; happiness is.
I did move out of Johannesburg at the end of January this year.
In the last few days of January, in the early morning when it was still dark I got a phone call from the hospice my grandmother was in and they informed that she had passed on. I felt at peace because the woman there at the hospice was no longer my grandmother and feel she deserved to go, she had done her part, lived life to the fullest and loved the best way she knew how. After her funeral I could not write. Actually as I sit typing this I wonder where time went and I wonder what I have done with that time. To clarify my paternal grandmother passed and I moved in with my maternal grandmother, actually she disturbed me right now to let me know that she is experiencing heartburn. I cannot recall what happened between January and May but I do recall making arrangements in June to travel with my friend and his play. We went to Cape Town for a few days and then to Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape for the National Arts Festival. It was my first time there and I really enjoyed myself. I cannot wait to go back next year. I wanted to document each day there but I was always too busy or tired because I was also helping with the play- I was a stage manager. It was my first stage managerial work and there were days when I felt I did well and there were days when I felt I was just losing it all but it worked out in the end. I gained some experience from the gig.
I remember my birthday well because on the night my cousin and friends went to Kitcheners. If you claim to live in Johannesburg city and do not know Kitcheners or Great Dane then you do not live in the city, you merely exist in it. Kitcheners and Great Dane are the night spots where the lost, middle-class black youth and other colours of the rainbow hang out. I actually prefer Melville or my bed to those two but on the seventeenth of July it was my birthday and it felt rather anti-climatic to go back home. Kitcheners was a ball of psychedelic energy, the DJ was playing some shit music but ironically enough people were filled on the dance floor dancing, probably high on the same thing as the DJ. The DJ booth was wrapped with fairy lights that made it seem like I was lost in a dark twisted Disney film. I can’t dance to good music and this DJ was playing shit music so I sat down and drank my rum. A handsome guy sat next to me and we started talking but there was nothing intriguing about him and so I kissed him just for the fun of it. We spent most of the night together but when the club closed we went our separate ways. One of my friends asked me if I was straight because I kissed him, I kissed him because I was bored not because I am straight- simple as that. I would not be amazed if I found out he was gay. It is Joburg after all, sexuality goes according to the time; in the day you are one thing and in the night another. That night I did miss my flat because I had to drive all the way home to Soweto and my grandmother was sleeping so my cousin and I slept in the car.
In August nothing much happened and now it is the last days of September. I spent most of last weekend with my baby sister at a water park; she is way more adventurous than me, she kept going on all the water slides repeatedly and I went on just to say I went on. An adrenaline rush is the last thing I need after the year I have had.
I have been going to the gym religiously; it fortifies both my body and soul. I recently acquired a personal trainer and I feel she is interesting and might add to the chapters of my life.
I feel I am coming into myself, meeting myself in the centre, stitching all remnants of myself together without disregarding the dark, painful and ugly pieces of myself. I feel like I have always been whole but I needed to be broken to realise this. I am fearless because death has touched me so many times without my permission and without any sensitivity to my condition and age. I have realised that money cannot buy happiness but it does make life more bearable and easier. If I fall, if tragedy strikes I know me. If love should come fiercely and strongly I will take it in like a wave breaking on me. I know it will hurt, it will sting but I will enjoy it leaving me by caressing my feet as it regresses from the shoreline preparing itself to come back and crash on me again. This is life lived.
My neighbours are preparing for a party. Their door is wide open and blasting 90s RnB music. I don’t know if I have mentioned it before but I do not particularly like RnB.
I have just came back from work and I found them blocking my door because they were taking photographs of their outfits in the corridor- one of the girls had really nice navy blue high heels that I wouldn’t mind walking in, she left her purse on the floor by my door and after taking numerous photographs she went back for it, she bent over in her navy blue heels and her shorts got even shorter; I don’t think she had underwear on, actually she definitely had no underwear on. I wish I was in a party mood like they are but instead I am sitting in my green plastic chair looking at a peculiar cloud suspended in the blue sky- it looks like an armchair and I so wish I could sit on it. I am eating a green apple as I type this blog/ journal post, that might not seem amazing to you but to me it is because more than a decade ago I swore off eating apples. I grew up eating apples, my grandmother packed them in my lunch every single school day, when I went to visit family members they would hand me a big red shiny apple and when I went out with my mother I would be fortunate enough to be a receiver of a caramelised apple- I hated caramel and hated apples even more because I just had too much of them- to me they were a poverty snack. My white friends in primary school had cheese, crackers, celery sticks and baby carrots and what did I have; brown bread with mashed boiled eggs and an apple. So when I went to high school I swore off apples and I met a friend who had also sworn off apples and that solidified our solidarity- our friendship was stronger because of the vilification of apples in our lives. So what happened why have I gone back to eating apples? This year I unconsciously decided to deal with my demons from the past twenty four years of my life, I have decided to confront all the bad and to deal with it instead of burying it in a pile of heartbreak, I feel these unsolved hurts maybe what is holding me back psychologically and also what prevents me from understanding myself more. I plan to recount all the bad things that have happened to me or around me and let them go, even thinking of getting a psychologist for this because shit I have a sordid convoluted history only they can decipher. I hope my psychologist will be older than forty, open minded and understand my background objectively. I would like to think that having a common ethnicity is important but I do not want to undermine the professionalism of a person because of the lack of it.
The cloud that looked like an armchair has changed form and now looks like a mushroom- amazing.
When I read my horoscope for this year it did not mention anything about love or finding the perfect girlfriend- which is really frustrating because I would like to be wifed like right now. Yeah I am a feminist but I have always dreamed of being a housewife, cooking, looking after the kids, dressing in the sexiest lingerie for my wife to find me in are all thoughts that run through my head while I am at work. That being said I do not believe in horoscopes that much- I only believe in them when they tell me of good news to come and when those good news do not manifest I get mad and swear off horoscopes until I’m destitute and I must return to them
I have just finished eating the green apple and noticed my 2014 calender is still up; a sign that mentally my mind is still in 2014. I must move on.
Twelve days left until I leave the city and I do not know how I feel. Right now when people are preparing to leave for parties, when the sounds of different taxi radios fill the red sky, the nauseating smell of cheap perfumes clashing with the smell of steaks being deep fried in cheap oil fill the corridors, and a group of women singing church songs which move my soul to the days when I saw the world through the veil of sweet innocence- I wonder why I’m moving but my mind is unchanged, I have to move for my own good. I question myself; Nobantu this, Nobantu that, Nobantu when, Nobantu who? I’m going insane. I need walls that will talk back. Right now I will put my radio on full blast and listen to golden classics of a gone era and deal with the pile of dirty dishes and the pile of dirty laundry.
It seems there is always a pulling happening in Johannesburg, be at the beginning of the day or at the end, a pulling of bags by family rushing out their flat to go to God-knows-where, a pulling of bags of a woman who has just arrived in the city looking up at the tall tall buildings with wonder, awe and fear, a pulling of an old shabby cart and on it a fruit shop packed up by a Mozambican man pushing it to God-knows-where those fruits are stored; I’ve often wondered but stopped myself because these thoughts come just when I’m about to ravenously eat a mango or two. Johannesburg pulls you in; it’s magical like that, not that pink or green fairy kind of magic but that purple and green ugly kind of magic. It’s not for the fainthearted, it’s not for the weak, the dependent, the naïve, the fearful, the hygienic, the socially correct kind because no matter how good your intentions you cannot correct Johannesburg- you found it as it is and you will leave it as it is- unless of course you’re a rich white man or the government.
I have exactly fourteen days left in the city. I always give myself a time frame for the things I want to achieve or experience, take for instance my mundane job when I started I vowed to myself that I would not work for more than a year and to date it has been a year, two month and two weeks. My CV is cleaned up and I am looking at finding other jobs, problem is the problem is not finding other jobs because other jobs will always be there, the problem is I do not want any other job than the job to write because in writing I interact with individuals like myself and my soul is rejuvenated and awakened when I am with like beings. I have been writing plays and short stories and submitting them to different forums- hopefully one of them will yield. In the meanwhile I am looking for jobs that will feed my creative soul.
Johannesburg was also meant to last one year but unfortunately I’ll be leaving before that one year is up. I have enjoyed my time in this city (this city I was so terrified of when I was a child, I would rather my grandmother lock me in the house than take me with to this city) and today I walk it like it is my backyard.
Last year for the first time I used the outside green park gym and even though I am impressed by government’s initiative I wish the park was bigger, in a better location and more inviting to females and tourists. The problem is the park is right by the taxi rank and we all know that is not a place where females feel safe. My first time at the park the gate was slightly opened (not inviting) and there was a security guard standing by it, he was kind and answered all my annoying questions. Inside the park was clean, a woman was fast walking around the track, youths were playing around the equipment and on the other side a fenced indoor soccer field was being cleaned. I ran around the track for about twenty minutes and then did some body weight training, while I was doing this the guards sat around and watched- I didn’t mind- I then went to the monkey bars and played like a little child before heading back to my flat. I am leaving Johannesburg because my soul is tired and my body is drained; I’m only now feeling the impact of the sad and torturing events that happened last year; it is like they compounded to form an emotional anvil which sits on my mind and I am not strong enough to be alone at the moment. I am going back to my beginning and there I know I will find peace. I don’t know if my mother was lying when she told me that a piece of my umbilical cord was buried in the backyard of my grandmother’s house- anyway I have a strong yearning to go back there and afterwards I will see. I am always restless and needing a move.
Today while procrastinating by people watching from the seventh floor I saw a lot of hot lesbians- don’t ask me how I know they’re lesbian I just do- anyway my legs are sore from yesterday’s workout but I’ve had like six cups of coffee so I’m buzzing with energy and so I think to myself I should run down and talk to one of them but as soon as I move my legs I realise it will take me forever to get down there and they will have been gone- for the first time in my life I wished I was superman so that I could swoop down and sweep them off my feet. I think I’ll do my people watching from the bottom floor at the fast food restaurant next to the flat- I’ll try my best not to look ratchet.
I’ve been thinking about being with someone and I am still thinking about it. It happens often at night at times like this when it is dark outside and the sound of crickets accompany the low voices of males walking the dimly lit streets, it happens when I prepare to go sleep solo, naked without anyone to talk myself to sleep with, it happens when I get lazy to cook because I mean I am alone, it happens when I see family members getting married and pregnant, it happens when I hear my heartbeat in my ears and I wish there someone to ask if they hear it too, it happens when I set alarms that I know I will miss and I wish there was another human to wake me up when it goes off, it happens when I think of her, and her, it happens each time I think of who will be the executor of my will, who will make sure my body is given to science because they alone will have understood me more than anyone, that over my dead body will I have fake people fake crying over my coffin because I have seen it happen too many times in my life time and it revolted me, it happens when I hope she will reject this notion of mine because she will have known my soul best through my body and she will not have scientists prodding it for eternity. It happens when I think of heaven and hell, and how I do not care about the hereafter as much as when she will be back to hold me because heaven and hell are the times when she’s around and when she’s not around.
Yesterday a double rainbow appeared across the sky after the rains. The city looked magical as some buildings were showered with the tiny beads of colour. The sky was cloudy and golden, and my heart was so happy.
It is a new year and even though I didn’t enter it so well I hope it will be a good one, one of breakthroughs and progression. Last year was hard because I lost my father so early in the year and a few months ago my grandmother got sick and has been in the hospital ever since. My relationships were broken and I am not sure were or with whom the fault lies in this regard; all I know is that I plan to mend those that deserve mending. I hope to make new friends and hopefully date someone who will love me as much as I will love them because it is painful to love and not to be loved in return.
Right now the city has clear blue skies and is quieter than most times. I can hear the birds which is unusual because usually the sound of people selling stuff and cars banging their hooters fill the sky. I have to be at work within an hour and I am dreading it. I cannot wait until I can take leave but when I do take it I hope to go somewhere far from the city, that means I have to save money, money I do not have.
My mind switches from states of nervousness to calmness. There is a lot of shit on my mind and I know writing should help me filter it out and soothe me but today I am unsettled, restless and listless. God help me.
Christmas Eve in the city is nothing special. The roads are emptier and it is quieter which is scary when you are used to waking up to the morning horns of taxis and the late night screams of a woman being robbed. I guess if you’re living in the city the lights of Christmas trees are nothing special, the city is always magical at night, if you cross the Mandela Bridge every night you would think it was Christmas every night. What I like most about the city when driving back from work is seeing the First National Bank billboard with the words “How can we help you” I think these words are rather ironic coming from a bank which knows that all people want from this place of gold is money and maybe a little fame.
My stepmother insisted that I go shopping with her and my baby sister. I do not know if I have not mentioned her before in my previous blogs but yeah I have a stepmother- both my biological parents are passed. Anyway we went to Clearwater mall and it was crazy filled. My baby sister was not in a good mood and I do not know why, I mean she’s only ten but I feel she does not feel that good about herself because of her size. I was big when I was her age my nickname was fatty and I sometimes had problems with the nickname and I sometimes didn’t. She did not want to buy any clothes because she felt that they would not fit her and that broke my heart; how can she think with all the jeans in the shop that there wouldn’t be one to fit her; the absurdity of it all. I believe I have to be closer to her now more than ever as she is about to get in the adolescent phase. I need her to understand that she is beautiful and that she must love herself and treat herself like she is her own treasure. This way she will excel in all that she does because she believes in herself and also she will not place her self-worth in another human being. I want her to be independent and I want her to not be amazed when a man or woman tells her she’s beautiful because she will already know that and expect it. I just want her to be strong. I know how hard it is to love yourself especially when you’re female and the whole world has expectations of you. I know how it is to feel trapped in a body that you feel you do not identify with but from experience I can say that hating yourself will not change. Love yourself immensely and make the change that is needed. My baby sister must not realise this in her twenties she must know it now. Anyway after shopping with her I had to go to work.
Work was a bore as always and to make matters worse my manager was not around so I could not wander around. I had to sit in the ticket booth and serve customers; none of whom were in the cherry merry Christmas mood and I do not blame them. Once you become an adult bills become your life. I long for my childhood days- I really do.
There’s someone I think I might be falling for; it is both good and it is bad because I should not be falling for her because well because she has a child and I think a boyfriend but the signals she’s been giving me cannot be read wrong, they are clear. And now I’m sitting in my underwear wondering if she thinks of me, if she thinks of me in the way that I think of her. If she sitting with her laptop on the desk, underdressed and burning when she thinks of me. I can never know because she is in another province now visiting her family for Christmas and also I am not telepathic.
I know it will rain tomorrow like it did today; it always rains on Christmas day and New Years day; I don’t mind- I like it very much when it rains, I like to step into the puddles, I like the smell and the feeling of the raindrops when they hit my skin- this is why I do not own an umbrella, why I have never owned an umbrella and why I never will.
I don’t know why it is that the happiest children are found in Soweto. I’ve been to the west and the east of South Africa but there are no happier children than that found in Soweto. I can’t help but fall into their happiness, I can’t help but skip with them when the skip that rope, I can’t help but run with them on the dusty pavements unafraid of reckless taxi drives, I can’t help but want to throw my head back and laugh and laugh as if the sun will not go down. Oh what beautiful children- how radiant they are, how at peace they are.
I went to see my grandmother today after being with Xoli in the Sandton. We ordered two healthy pizzas and just caught up on our lives which is funny because I had seen her about four days ago. I just love her. She kept telling me about her love life and it was interesting except when it came to me I had nothing to say. Actually I had a lot to say it’s just I don’t think she is ready to engage with me about my sexuality. She has to know that I am not straight; I mean I have dropped so many hints and even told her that I could date women. It hurts; it really does that when it comes to topics about relationships I feel like a void when I in fact have so much to tell. In time in time we’ll come to a consensus of talking about my relationships, I don’t mind waiting for her to get comfortable.
My grandmother was okay as always she had complaints and grievances about our lives, especially my brother’s. I just wish he would grow up and be responsible- the life he is living right now is stressful especially more so now that he has a girlfriend and two children- if he dies what will happen to them? I shudder to think. I hope wherever he is he is safe and breathing. I cannot go through another death this year- it would break me and definitely my whole family.
My other grandmother is in hospital- I think the stress of my father’s death got too much and also she is old and dementia has set in. I just want her to hold on until next year just to see another year- again I cannot go through another death- I simply cannot.
In my heart I feel like my play might not get picked up and to tell the truth that has truly devastated me or will devastate me. I have not yet got final word but I did get an email about the next workshop in July which made me think that maybe my work did not get picked. I think I now have to propose it to other theatres that may be interested. God-willingly I will find one that will be interested. I can only hope; I have no other choice. I can only keep dreaming; I have no other choice. I can only keep working on my craft; I have no other choice. I can never slip. I must never doubt myself and my worth as a writer. I’ll try each month to take a getaway trip to some nice lodge and write. Just to disengage. God be with me. God be with me this month and for next year. God be with me always.
The storm came out of nowhere. I wonder what I looked like running and screaming across the wet street like an idiot. When I woke up this morning the sun was shining and the skies did not have even a single cloud in sight. I woke up early, exercised and then proceeded to work on my short story. It was a good session I wrote a lot and it seems to be going somewhere. I have exams that will start in November and I am way behind with the study material and I thought I would have time today but the writing session took longer than I thought. Right now the sky is dark and rumbling, and I am in my gown and wishing I had a hot cup of hot chocolate. I am out of almost everything except peanut butter and lentils. Isn’t it funny that when one is broke one wishes they had all the junk they could eat, why is that? My head is all over the place. After coming from work today I got into bed and tried to study and exhausted as I am I did get productive for about an hour- it is better than nothing. I then stared at my hands and started wondering who’s they were. Yes I’m getting demented I think it is all the stress that my mind and body has to deal with it.
I called my grandmother while I was at work; she can speak now and has been discharged. She now stays with my great aunt. With everything that has happened this year I have realised that coming out is not such a big issue, I mean they are bigger things to life, like actually living it rather than spending time trying to define it. I love both my grandmothers and I wonder if I will ever come out to them; I don’t want to break their hearts but also I don’t want to end their lives by shocking them about my lifestyle or more specifically my sexuality because to tell the truth right now my lifestyle is not dictated by my sexuality, it is dictated by money or rather lack of it and my mood swings.
There’s a young female I spoke to yesterday. I always see her at the bus station. She has this cool hair cut and the hair itself resembles the colour of red velvet cake. She has smooth skin and cute little pink lips and this delicious round bum, just so intact. I learnt that she’s studying to be an architect and then from then on we flowed into a conversation that unfortunately was cut because I was at work and her mother was there to pick her up. I don’t know what her sexuality is nor do I care. I just like talking to her and staring at her and just being my awkward self around her. She has this thing about her, an aura only a dyke possesses but I might be mistaken. I might be daydreaming- it’s fun. It’s fun to be single because you can do all these crazy things and blame it on the thirst, when you’re single you’re brave because you’ve got nothing to lose. That being said singleness does have its cons like right now when lightning is striking and streaking across the sky like veins on a bodybuilder’s arms. I like the silence I am met with when I come back to my place but sometimes I wish there was someone to greet when I open the door and then once I’m inside and they start blabbering, I tell them to shut up. It’s funny right, to want to have someone who’s voice you’d like to hear and then tell them to shut up because you can or because you need to hear the silence to appreciate their voice and presence even more. I know it sounds insane but that’s just me, that’s just how I am. I pity the person who falls in love with me because I can be emotionally demanding and emotionally unavailable both at the same time but when I love I love hard, it is hard for me to let go even if the other person has let go of me.
I’m thinking of Oscar Pistorious and what he is up to in his cell. I get the feeling he thought he would never go to jail for his offence of murdering his girlfriend. I pity him what his lawyer said was right; the man has to live with the killing on his conscious until he dies and that is a punishment that will never end.
My head is reeling because I’m thinking too much and also I’m starving and also there are police sirens echoing from all sides of the city. It is phuza Thursday after all maybe there is some rowdiness. I feel so old because I rarely go out and it’s almost a month now without a drop of alcohol. I think I’ll go back to drinking at the end of November because then my exams will have ended and I will be a little less stressed.
Right now I’m going to eat the little bit of muesli and yoghurt I have left. I’m going to watch some of my favourite sitcoms on my laptop and then fall asleep to them with the hope that tomorrow doesn’t end with a storm.