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.
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.
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.