10 October 2015 Friday

The time has just past midnight so actually it is a Saturday morning. There’s a sound of helicopter roaming the skies probably looking for a stolen car. A lot of them find their way to my hood; I even know one of the hijackers. He lives a few houses away from my grandmother’s house; I grew up with him, he was friends with my older brother and now he is a gangster who does not harm you if he knows you and I guess that is how my car and I are safe.

Anyway last week Friday I went to see a queer movie title While You Weren’t Looking, it’s quite a long title and one I did not find connected with the film. There are many plot lines to it. Firstly there’s an affluent lesbian couple going through a crisis in their marriage (of course the butch one has to be the one who cheats), secondly there’s their adopted daughter who finds herself falling for a lesbian (Shado) whom she mistook to be a man and even though she learns of her true gender she still pursues the relationship and lastly there’s an upper middle class black man hiding the secret of his gay past from his wife and teenage son. All these stories take place in Cape Town and all characters are linked to each other through some peripheral human links which focus on queerness of each individual.
The characters much like South Africa are diverse and their back stories are rich. My attention was focused on Ayanda (who is the adopted daughter) and Shado’s relationship. I believe their story alone could have been the sole driver of the whole movie. I wanted progression from all characters but mostly from them two. Ayanda grew up in a liberated house composing of two mothers who give her everything she wants and on her eighteenth birthday she decides she want to research her roots, coincidentally on her birthday night she kisses Shado whom she thought was a man and this meeting leads to her going to the townships of Cape Town where Shado resides. I don’t understand why she going to the townships is seen as going back to one’s roots. Anyway with Shado’s grandmother and cousin gone they have the house to themselves and they proceed to have some hot lesbian sex. After their romp, whilst sticky and wet, Shado warns Ayanda not to fall in love with her; I don’t know why maybe it’s that hardcore exterior that masculine presenting lesbians like to present.
In the early morning while in each other’s warm embrace Ayanda and Shado are violently woken up by some gangsters who are linked to Ayanda’s cousin; on realising that the two were having hot lesbian sex the previous night one of the gangsters decides to rape Shado but luckily his mate stops him because they just want the money and so they take all of Ayanda’s possessions because they actually have value unlike Shado’s. Ayanda is clearly traumatised by this event and puts on some of Shado’s clothes, she and Shado decide that they will never see each other again.
I believe this story is pivotal to young queer people, to be strong and fervent in their lives despite the barriers that exist; Ayanda and Shado’s story offers no hope.
It has the typical stifling and oppressive tone so popular in Cape Town, you stay in your lane and I’ll stay in mine. I believe Ayanda and Shado’s story could have been told a là Blue is the Warmest Colour because their barriers are barriers that take time to break down, barriers that are only hard to break down because of classism and society’s perspective on queer people. Yes Shado cannot offer Ayanda any security be it financial or physical or even emotional but love is not that simple and the two obviously have a connection, a chemistry unparalleled to Ayanda’s former boyfriend.
It would have been interesting to see Ayanda and Shado grow closer or apart in their relationship over the years be it three, five, seven or even ten years. To see them navigate the barriers in their lives, to see them move on from the trauma that happened in the morning, to see the reactions of Ayanda’s mothers to their daughter suddenly becoming one of them, to see if Ayanda would wafer once realising that actually being lesbian has dire consequences if one is within a certain class, that lesbianism is not a social experiment and Shado’s growth is important too.
I think maybe I might be asking for too much. I believe in fairies and God and heaven but reality is hell and the reality is truthfully that’s how stories of same-sex love end up in South Africa. It is too much to bear and those who do are brave and love, for them, love is enough.
The cinema where I watched the movie was in Soweto and there was an impressive number of queer ladies and a few men- I believe this is progress for a South African movie focusing on a taboo subject. I believe to retain these small numbers, to keep them engaged so that they may fish out more numbers of viewers to local content, a little more positivity in the narrative of black characters could be allowed. Black people are more than their poor backgrounds and even the ones who’ve jumped up the economic strata must not be portrayed as solely money hungry individuals whose sole purpose is to ensure they do not slip back into poverty. Black characters choices do not rest solely on economic factors because they do get married, they do have multiple children, they lead homosexual lives and they all strive for a better life even if the circumstances do not allow.
I am not suggesting a total glazing over of the stark issues at hand of the queer black populous, I’m just saying give a little light to Shado.


23 October 2014 Thursday

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.

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.

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.

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.

15 June 2014 Sunday

15 June 2014 Sunday

On Sundays the city sleeps in. I can actually see where the pavement ends and begins without a sea of people on its edges. I thought I would go out for breakfast but remembered that I was broke and so went to Woolworths to buy some yoghurt for the muesli I have. I wanted to get coffee too because I am all out but it was too expensive and so now I have to drink chicory instead of Jacobs- I never thought I would miss a product named after a man so much.

Today throbbed like a sore thumb, the sun shone but like a shy girl and the wind could not decide which way it wanted to go and so it blew in all directions. Before going to work I tried to tidy my room and removed my underwear that covered the books I got from the library- I don’t know how they got there. I like books, I like to get them from the library because it makes me wonder what kind person was reading the exact same book that I’m reading, it makes me wonder if they liked it or hated it, it makes me wonder of their sex and their lives, if they smelled the book like I do, if the pages were yellow when they were reading it, if there were alone when they were reading it or if they were trying to avoid someone by reading it or if they were reading the book for the sole reason to get closer to someone, how many lives touched the books that I touched and how many were touched by its contents; also it’s a very cheap way to read lots of books. The library in the city always has skateboarders by its stairs- I don’t know what the allure is but they are always there, skating up and down before the stairs that lead to knowledge- I wonder if they have been inside before. I highly doubt it because once you enter a library you always want to go back inside, the love of books is strange; if true love does exist, it is personified in my love for books- I always go back to them, they are many ways in which I escape from life but reading beats drinking, eating, masturbation, sex and socialising. Words are my aphrodisiac.
Today happened but not much happened, I didn’t see a lot of human beings, I was at work counting down the hours to when I could leave, and when I thought I could not get more irritated with the day the trees came alive with the singing of birds so loud I could not hear anything else, darkness had settled itself in like those birds in their nests but oh it was so beautiful, a chorus so harmonious it pulled me out of the murky depths of self pity and then my manager told me I could leave an hour early. Thank you birds.