Transgender Rights


After a long day, I put on some John Oliver and let the episodes just play on loop.

An episode on transgender people came up, please watch.

Transgender Rights: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

As with many other gay men I got my start in a closet (I like to call it my Bohemian Glass Wardrobe). I wasn’t in the closet though, I was put there; I was pushed into a corner by everyone around me announcing what I ought to be. Tales for another day.

A quick look into my sex history

I started out sleeping with women/girls/female/womyn. Then I started sleeping with men/boys/males, then I slept with females again, then males, back to females, then I was all over the place. I seem to have settled with men, but we’ll see.

The bigoted homosexual

I used to be scared to sleep with ‘feminine’ men – I say scared now because I understand shame. My language was so much more brazen and bigoted then. Even when I was ‘out’. As time went on I knew better so I did better.

At the height of my sexual revolution, I congratulated myself for being able to sleep with many kinds of men. Then I met a transgender woman, her name was Surprise (I wish I was making this name up). She was sweet and kind, and she gave me her numbers.  I thought to myself, here’s another milestone, you can do it, I thought.

I didn’t end up hooking up with Surprise. I want to say I chickened out, but really I was filled with narrow-mindedness and ignorance. I was now like everyone else. I sounded like everyone else who damn near ruined my sexual identity and all of me actually. I said real dumbshit, which I don’t care to repeat, about Surprise and transgender people.

It was all extremely invasive and crass. With my words I demeaned transgender people, I stripped them to meat bags, and empty shells. This is essentially what we do everytime when we use pejoratives to sexualise people we know nothing about.

See, as a gay mam the zeitgeist would sooner kill a transgender women before they spit at me. I’ve come to learn a few things about what transgender folk go through. This is world is actually unsafe for them. It is that bad. Please be kind. If you can’t mind your own fucking business. These really are the only two option.

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I’m not a rat and this race is killing me


After years of working and education, I find myself feeling more and more that I am not wired for routine.
It’s actually more than that, I’m not wired for:

  • the city,
  • traffic,
  • a boss,
  • an 8 to 5 environment,
  • performance reviews,
  • a monthly salary,
  • individuals called colleagues that I have to interact with, WTF!
  • rules of conduct
  • dressing a certain way
  • absolutely not wired for applying for leave, I mean it’s my fucking life
  • competition to out do people to get ahead

I can actually go on for a while. You know, I’m not even wired for nice things. Yes I like nice things, but I’ve lived and seen people live full and apparent happy lives without nice things. I can do without.
I watched a movie a while back, I don’t remember the title, Helen Hunt was in it. She ran into an old friend; the catch up went something like this:

Friend: “You’re married now, what does your husband do?”

Hunt: “Oh he’s a philosopher.”

Friend: “That’s interesting, which school?”

Hunt: “No, he just stays home and thinks a lot.”
Maybe that’s what I’m wired for.

 
I won’t even get into motivation and ambition and all that mess. These things are for people in this rat race that I don’t belong in.

 
I’ll be debt free in a couple of months, God willingly. Going to move back to my mother’s house and think a lot for a year or until I find another way. Or not…we’ll see.

 
P.s. I’m not depressed, but it is really cold this morning and I work for a soulless organization.

Everyone is dying and it’s not stopping 


I’m at a friend’s father’s memorial service. Tomorrow I’m going to my grandpa’s brother’s funeral. It’s a lot of funerals. 

It’s been a long day. It’s freezing and I’m cold. I’m starving, the pangs keep getting worse. But so what? People are dying and it’s not stopping. 

There are kids at this memorial, kids with a conscious and those without. I look at them and they don’t look any different from anyone around me. It’s the spring in their step puts a smile on my face.

There’s a man talking. I listen sometimes. He seems passionate. He’s sharing anecdotes. Tales of the past. Shared memories. It’s all he has because that’s all that’s left.

I don’t like funerals. I’ve been to many, and I don’t like them. No one really knows how to be. Everyone wears the same face. The face of loss. It’s bare. It’s solemn and every one is dying and it’s not stopping. 

The love of your life


A distinction

 

I’m 29 now. I remember the first time(s) I fell in love. Between 20 and 22, with two different people. Before these loves, I was completely oblivious to what it was.

I’m now in a loving relationship. It’s going stronger by the day and I’m happy.

The other day my friends asked me if he’s the love of my life. I said no, without much hesitation. He’s the great love of my life, I said.

Those four words, LOVE OF MY LIFE, describe to me what happened between 20 and 22 with those two individuals. The experiences with them were very different. In one situation it was unrequited love, it was acknowledged but not necessarily returned. In the second instant it was everything, I was given mind, body and soul.

 

This is how I experienced the loves of my life whether things were good or bad:

  • The sound of a door opening, I hoped it was them.
  • A beep on my phone, I hoped it was them.
  • When I turned a corner, I hoped they were on the other side.
  • Elevator doors opening, I hoped it was them inside.
  • In public spaces, it was them I hoped to see.
  • Footsteps.
  • My name hollered.

See this was everywhere. It wasn’t a thing of logic. My body had physical reactions to what I was feeling, a lot of adrenaline. I spent three years anticipating. Every single time it wasn’t them, my heart would sink in disappointment. Knowing this disappointment wasn’t enough; the anticipation would come back, as strong, over and over again. So many moments of breathlessness.

This is what my life was. Excitement, anticipation, disappointment. It was heroin.  I swear there were times when I thought I was going to throw up.

 

These feelings quelled over time, as most things do. I however wanted to replicate this. This is what I knew as love. I was still addicted to that rush.

It never happened. For years it never happened. I thought I’d reached my love quota. I’d peaked too early.

I then found the great love of my life. A knowing came over me. I always knew. He was the one around the corner, I always knew it was him calling/texting, I knew his footsteps – it was always him. This is, again, how it always is, whether things are good or bad.

 

I’d rather this. From heroin to kale.

 

 

​Time to go


This is for my friend who forgot to follow the music.
So quick to shell’a you, so very very quick. They come at you with their guts and desires. You take them on, for whatever reason you do.

They come to know you. You give to them, and maybe they too give to you. You’re dancing like you never have.
Time passes, things dwindle. The flames quell, as they often do. The lights go on, and home whispers to you both. 
The buck now falls with you. Now you must nurse them out of what they started. Oh they’ll tell themselves a tale of two hearts:
“I’m still in love, but it needs to end, I just don’t want to cause hurt”
Filling your space with gassy lies of favour and pity, apparently for you. 
It’s strange for a while, it doesn’t feel like anything, how can it? You inhale the gasses, you lose your mind. You scramble for your stuff.
Then a time comes. They don’t have it, you must. That bravado that started this is no more. True grit is now with you. 
It’s time to go.

My Dog’s Gone Missing


Good days were becoming a rarity in my life. Not for any other reason but my own decisions; well sometimes you’re just swinging from deadline to deadline. Even then one can make decisions, smart decisions. I decided to be happy and it actually worked. Happiness, apparently, was a thought away.

I managed to exercise everyday this week. I ate right. I was even productive at work.

Today was particularly grand.
1. Woke up at 1am to catch up on work.
2. Smoked one cigarette in total.
3. Flirted with nice boys and gals.
4. I cheated on my diet with only two biscuits, and there were a lot of snacks going around.

I drove home beaming. Five minutes after my arrival mama gives me a ring. My first instinct was to not take her call. This was for no particular reason. Perhaps I wanted to preserve my good mood. I let go of that selfish thought and picked up her call.

“I just got back from work. I can’t find Daisy anywhere”.

Those words didn’t make sense. They still don’t make sense. She’s never left the yard alone before ever and she’s turning five this December. Why would she suddenly stray?

“Oh my God. Someone stole my Daisy.”

Mama was bordering on hysteria, as any mother would do. I tried to calm her down, it didn’t work much. She was on a mission to find Daisy. A mission I was too far away to support. It was also dark and cold. I wanted my mama to at least be home safe and warm.

“I can’t go to sleep. I’m going to find my Dog.”

At this point I walked into my bedroom and started crying and bargaining with God. She’s the sweetest thing my Daisy. Loves everything and everyone. She’ll exhaust you with her energy and sulk the whole day if you reject her. 

I’m so glad that I was completely exhausted. I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at all.

It’s been five hours since then. It wasn’t a horrible dream. Daisy is still missing. Is happiness still a thought away? Yes, it is. This truth has revealed itself to me. Right now though, Daisy is the only thing I’m thinking of.

Please come home soon Daisy!

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Dating Rambo, Whatsapp and Being Ignored


This is an empathy blog post, I’ve heard this story many many times. I was having a conversation with Quest. She was telling me about a guy who’s just acting up for no reason, especially since no one asked him to act down in the first place.

 

If you’re a 20 something year old doing his/her own thing, this has probably happened to you before. I used to do this, but it got done to me, so I think it’s inhuman to do this to another mother’s child (yes, we must think of how people have mothers, and how they’d just bleed if they knew their children were being treated so badly). So I don’t do it anymore. Here’s the deal.

 

And so it starts. One of your friends has the best idea in the world. It usually starts like this: “I know this great guy’. You’re not particularly busy, so it’s chilled, you go along with it. It starts with whatsapp and if you’re lucky, or not, it’s followed by a date. The whatsapp conversations are nothing ground breaking, but you can survive them. You figure that you’re interesting and have things to tell someone, either then twitter and your friends. So you decide, fine, I’ll tell this here niglet things. Then you get comfortable, because somehow that’s just how it happens. Inside of you grows a comfortable excitement, still nothing to write home about, but you do happen to smile about it whenever.

 

A few days later, you go on a date. It’s a good laugh, it could easily be a scene from a B rate romcom. But you’re smart, so your expectations are again left unchanged. Then, this person wants to be dating Rambo at the end of the date. “This was great! I’m so glad that I finally met you. Wow! You’re so amazing! You’re like the best date I’ve been on in eons. We should totally do this again”. For a moment, your ego is on spinning rims. You tell a few friends, your voice goes up a few octaves. But again, you’re smart. You calm down. You get home and check whatsapp…no messages from Rambo…

 

You send a standard message, polite, breezy, chilled, informal and just generally oozing of etiquette, to comment on the date. Mind you, not because you’re ‘trying something’, because that’s what people do after a date. You go to sleep. And wake to “Yeah sure, it was great! Have a good day.”

 

You think to yourself: “Um…what is this now?”. But now there’s a script! So you follow it, “Will do you too.”

 

A day later, dating Rambo is quiet, and you have interesting things to say. You know it’s pretty much over, and he’s just not that into you, but he’s a human being right? So you say hello, and ramble on about something. There he goes, tweeting up a storm and 3 hours he replies. By now the fat lady has sung all the numbers in Mama Mia, she’s done! It’s over. Nothing is ever going to happen between you and dating Rambo. And you’re cool with it. BUT HE IS A HUMAN BEING. So than it starts.

 

You say hello, when whatsapp says he’s online. Literally, 2 seconds later, he’s “last seen”. “Is he putting his phone down because I said hello? What the hell is this bull now?”. 10 minutes later he’s back, not to reply to your hello mind you. So you think “Oh hell no! TF kinda goldfish memory does this one think I have? Does he think I forgot that I said hello to me?” Why is he doing this? You hold back all the crazy that’s brewing, until it all just goes away.

 

10 days later…you’re completely over it. But you have to holla at Obi…because you’re not too sure what happened. Obi’s response. “I have no fucking clue!!!”.

 

But I did learn a few weeks ago that there are studies that suggest that being ignored sends signals to your brain, that closely resemble physical pain. So people just want to hurt you sometimes. That’s the only logical explanation I have for why dating Rambo exists.

Her father’s sins


I miss telling stories about the people I’ve known in my few years on this planet, or rather my few years in university. My varsity experiences were made better by the diverse people I got to meet.

A girl I know was going through a lot. For someone many considered blessed, she was going through things a girl should never go through. Her strength was in her cold heart. A heart that grew cold long before she’d had any say in the kind of woman she wanted to be. It was these things that brought us close. In a lot of ways we shared a common sadness.

It was the beginning of the school term. Everyone was excited to be back after a long holiday. That first week of term is a lot about friends catching up on all the events that happened over the holidays. I usually have the least exciting anecdotes, so I find a simple joy in listening to everyone else’s tales. Little did I know that I was in for a somewhat of a scandal when I visited Kagiso’s room for a quick catch up.

A few months before the holidays, Kagiso found out that her mother’s cancer had returned. While we were excited about going home, she just wanted to be home for her mother. We’d IM over the holidays about her mother’s illness. Although she was weak at times, she was responding very well to treatment and the prognosis was good.

I knocked on her door with so much glee. She opened the door and gave me a big warm hug. We held on for a few seconds longer than usual. This setting a tone for what was about to come.

We started with a bit of small talk. The usual-you’ve lost weight, your skin’s looking good-frivolous things that don’t matter. I could tell that she was anxious to tell me something. I figured it was about her mom’s illness. So I asked how she left things.

Without mincing her words, she jumped right into it.

This is Kagiso’s story

When I was younger my father had an affair. My mother is the kind of mother who believes in protecting her children’s innocence so she’d always cover for him. Yes he was a businessman and he travelled a lot. But there were many nights where my home was without a husband. Not because he wasn’t there in presence, rather he wasn’t there in a way that I could swear on a bible that he was a loving and caring husband to my mother. Although he adored his children. I never questioned that for one bit.

It is for this reason that I resented my mother as a little girl. I felt like she was the one driving him away. I was a child then, it only made sense. I’d often think ‘Why doesn’t mommy kiss daddy hello. He’s been gone for so long. She’s so mean to daddy’.

One night, I walked in on her talking to him on the phone. She was in tears, weeping, begging him to come home. Saying how much she missed him and how much she loved him more than she (the other woman) did. This was a rude awakening for me. Unnoticed, I walked back to my room. I felt heavy and empty at the same time, almost lethargic. After what felt like a great deal of effort, I made it to my room. I couldn’t sleep.

I felt like an awful child. All those times I’d bombard her with questions ‘Mommy, where’s daddy, when’s he coming back. Mommy I want daddy’. Those memories played over and over in my head. I felt real guilty for the first time in my life. I learnt how to hate for the first time in my life. I felt remorse, compassion and empathy. I cried myself to sleep. I aged twenty years on that night.

I said nothing about this to anyone. I kept this to myself. I decided to be everything I can possibly be to my mother.

Fast forward ten years later. I go home for the varsity holidays. My mother was doing better than I could’ve ever hoped for, considering what I’d seen the last time she was ill. Everything seemed normal on the home front. It was home and glad to be back.

A week into the holiday, I get a phone call from Kirsten. Her parents had bought her a new car. She wanted us all to drive down to KZN. I obviously didn’t want to go, but I told my mother about it and she insisted that I go have fun with my friends. I was skeptical. But I went anyways.

We left for St Lucia on a Friday morning. We got there in the afternoon and jumped right into action. Did the things that juvenile girls do on a juvenile weekend away. On the Saturday morning everyone was hung over. But I drink like my father so I could function. I seized the opportunity to drive Kirsten’s new car and I drove to the local grocer for supplies. I wasn’t prepared for what was waiting for me.

I see this man, pushing a trolley a man who resembled my father. A man who was my father. He was with two boys, twins, not much older than my youngest sister.

You often hear people talking about near death experiences, how your whole life flashes before your eyes. The same thing happened to me. Everything I’d buried and masked through the years greeted me in that moment with insolence and spite. I was suspended in time. Everything in front of me was moving so slowly. My subconscious was taking in every single visual element of the cruelty before me. My eyes were fixated on those boys, and yet it was like I was feeling more than seeing. My cold heart was breaking. I could almost hear it over the sounds of cash tills, beeping scanners and trolley wheels.

I just stood there and watched as it became clearer that those boys were his. It was in the way they looked, there was an undeniable resemblence. The way he looked at them was another like a stamp that would forever seal what I felt for my father, nothing.

I watched them walk away as a tear rolled down my cheek. I just then realised that I’m my mother’s daughter. Every time my father walked away, she’d helplessly watch with a broken heart. Nothing can prepare you for anything like that. There was no comfort for me. I felt a loneliness I hope to never feel again. All the company in the world left the store with my father and those boys.

This middle-aged lady briefly saved me from my initiation into hell by coming up to me and asking if I was okay. I don’t know how much longer I would’ve just stood there if she didn’t come. She had such kind eyes, I suppose in that moment Charles Manson himself would pass for someone with kind eyes too. I opened my mouth to speak, but I somehow found myself deep in her bosom, weeping. I didn’t care, I couldn’t care. I’d just lost my father. I needed to mourn him. I was inconsolable. She was rubbing my back and stroking my hair. It was like a granule of sugar in my bathtub of lemon zest, and I couldn’t be more grateful. She kept saying something in Zulu, but I couldn’t hear her over my sobbing.

Slightly embarrassed, I eventually stopped. I thanked the lady, left her clueless and rushed out of the store.

The sun was blinding, but it was different. It felt different. It wasn’t as warm as it was before. I became clear to me that things had changed again in my life. Once again I had aged.

I got into the car. It then dawned on me that I still had things to buy. But I just didn’t want to. I also remembered that I was with four other people, who I so desperately didn’t want to be around anymore. ‘Ah fuck, those fucking perky bitches’, I though to myself. That’s when my good friend Obi called, it’s like he knew something was a miss. He asked me how everything was. I knew I couldn’t handle another episode, so I played it down and told him how much I hate those fucking perky bitches. His advice ‘drink them away’. Just like that, I decided that’s how I’m going to survive the rest of my weekend. It was the only way.

With my head slung low, ashamed for such an extroverted display of emotions, I walked back in the store. Grabbed everything we needed. Then I rushed to the bottle store and bought enough gin and tonic to sedate me until I got back home.

As I was driving, a part of me kept hoping I’d get involved in a freak accident. I just needed a little distraction, some else to suffer through, anything but this. But I had to think about my mother. This triggered another emotional reaction. I hadn’t at all considered her. ‘Did she know? Oh my God, this is why she has cancer again. That bastard is making my mother sick’. My mind was like a network of trains with multiple collisions. I had murderous thoughts. I was fuming! ‘He gave her cancer, he gave her cancer twice’. Over and over again in my mind.

Before I knew it I was outside Kristen’s holiday home. I sat in the car for a bit. Had a croissant and washed it down with a massive gulp of gin. Braced myself to face everyone.

The girls were barely awake. This was a grace I was truly grateful for. I was to get sauced before I could have a conversation with anyone. I fixed myself a good shot of GNT went outside and lit a cigarette.

And so the weekend continued. Juvenile! Most of it was a blur, as per my intentions.

It was Monday morning and time to go back home. It suddenly hit me that I wanted one of them to see that something wasn’t right with me. I wasn’t going to say anything obviously, but not at any moment did one of them come up to me and ask if everything was okay. These are girls I’ve known for over ten years. Couldn’t they tell that I was going through hell? I found this quite disturbing.

As we were driving home. I contemplated the kind of person I was. Questioning if I was perhaps acting normally to my friends. Was this who I was? Maybe I was going through hell long before I saw my father in that store. I was already there. I mean, hell is hell right? How much hotter can it really get?

The girls dropped me off first. We had a quick chat reminiscing about ‘the good times’.

Before I walked in the house, I took a deep breath, as if to channel some divine being into me. And just like that. I decided to be that little again.

With my new discovery unnoticed, I walked into the house. I said nothing about this to anyone. And again I vowed to be everything I can possibly be to my mother and now my sisters too.

As for my father. I don’t have one.

Dare I not hear the right song, it could drive me crazy!


I was listen to music today. For the first time in a long time (relatively). I was LISTENING to music, not just playing a few songs. I dont really play music when I have a lot to unpack (whatever this means).

I find that music clutters my thoughts when I need to think clearly. It delays my thought process. Gives me so much comfort, offers me no solutions, only feelings, too many feelings. Makes me wander into places of nothingness, where I desperately search for something. 

Music is messy, it’s chaos, it’s cathartic, poignant, it’s silly, it’s staccato and untidy, its so many things! Too many things. It’s best enjoyed in a neat space.

I can’t handle music all the time. I can’t take on it all the time. Maybe I’m weak. Maybe I’m a coward. But people always go on about how powerful music is. Perhaps I have a profound respect for great power.

Anyways, in my very neat space, I’m listening to Nightmares On Wax, Beirut, Bjork and Les Nubians. Dabbling in some Maxwell, Whitney Houston and Bobby Womack. The latter group is for control, to understand mortals. The former, is for me, to understand my process.

Desperately writing, bleeding words


A friend of a friend (or maybe just my friend) aspires to be an ‘it girl’ in the South African literary industry. She’s very capable and I know she can totally do it. She hasn’t yet, so I wonder…how hard is to actually write.

 

I’ve been writing on and profoundly off since I was 11 or 12. I don’t think I’m a writer, in fact I refuse to ever call myself that. I just need an outlet for my discomfort and turbulence. When I do go through my writing phases, it comes with no real reason. I’ve felt unfathomable pain, and it’s done nothing for me creatively. No matter how hard I try. But empath for a friend in a sulky mood can inspire me plenty.

 

And when I feel good about it, I peak and just keep writing. But something always changes. A happening that makes me doubt my process. I hate my own words or I feel like I don’t have enough words. Like all my words are of a different specie and putting them together is an abomination. Then I hate myself for the abomination I’ve created. Then I put it out there and hope that someone else will like it or acknowledge it, or something or anything.

 

Out of desperation to make MY monster matter, I release it into the world. When no one acknowledges my vile work, I feel lonely and dirty. Like I just had secret sex with a homeless man and his diseased cat. It’s a shameful feeling. It’s worse when someone likes it. The feeling of someone liking your creation that you loathe is awful. One day I will find metaphors and other grammatic devices to describe this feeling more colorfully  until then awful will do. I try to redeem myself by writing something else. But I can’t, I’m paralyzed by fear, self doubt, self-loathing, panic and and and. After all this I go through a little depression and I stop writing. It would be so much better if I could write just for me. But what’s the point of any of it if it can’t be shared. Now back to my friend. I’m not sure if she can relate to the above at all. She says she’s lazy and and and. I don’t think she is. Although I don’t know her that well, I can break her down from the little pieces she’s shown me. For those pieces look a little too familiar.

 

 

Here’s an interview with Bjork.

It’s about why she is creative. She says something about her creativity coming from chaos and discipline. In my friend I see so much discipline and minimal chaos. When there is chaos it’s so well contained and controlled. In me ZERO discipline, all chaos. This is for you Pearllula. I really wish you’d smoke a crack pipe so you can just get on with it. I say this because Alexander Pope once wrote: “True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, as those who move easiest have learned to dance.” So be easy, dance on crack! Jokes. Good luck!

 

Last time I try blogging deep things from my cellphone! So embarrassing!