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!

I can’t stand the rain against my window


When I stayed in Cape Town, I used to always fall into and out of depression in winter. Depression probably isn’t the right word. I’d just withdraw from society and be a little moody.
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As the years went by and as I forged deeper friendships, two of my close friends noticed that they hardly saw me when it rained for extended periods of time.
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See in the Mother City winter rain can get ridiculous! You even start doubting the existence of the sun. I’d keep my curtains closed and my lights on. Couldn’t bare the thought of what was going on outside.

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I’ve left Cape Town for three years now and I forgot about my condition until just recently. It’s been raining practically everyday for the past four days. In this time I’ve been having terrible bouts of insomnia. I’m in such a good place in my life right now. It was tearing me apart that I couldn’t sleep. I even obsessed over someone I love/like. Convinced myself of some solemn romantic affliction. Tortured by love and what not.
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It’s just the rain. It has the ability to grow or create an emptiness inside of me. Rendering me helpless to my own untamed thoughts. Oddly enough, I always have a great appreciation for the scenic beauty rain can leave behind.

I cannot wait for it to stop raining.

Also, pretty sure it’s messing with my internet!

An afternoon with Cynthia


When I was still in college I had a flat mate who changed before my very eyes, in a short period of time.

She was a very sweet and timid girl. She always kept to herself and was careful never to bother anyone. Every time something shocking would happen, she’d have this classic and endearing “deer caught in headlights” expression on her face. Everyone adored her and her life was close to perfect, until she fell in love.

His name was Collins. Not the most charming fella, but he was okay you know? He broke a girl’s heart.  But this story isn’t about him. It’s about the girl. This is about my old flat mate, Cynthia.

 

An afternoon with Cynthia

So there I was, chilling in my room on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I was putting the finishing touches on my Gender Studies assignment. In walks Cynthia with an offer to take me out for ice-cream. I was quick to put on my flip-flops and off we were. We walked to ice cream parlour then she insisted we take a stroll to the park, which I didn’t mind. When we got there, she seemed restless and uneasy. I figured she wanted to talk to me about something important. ‘Maybe she wants me out of the flat’ I thought (I was such a slob back then). Little did I know that I was a part of a covert mission to stalk someone.

We were having an unmemorable conversation about Janet Jackson’s fading music career. I had funny things to say, so did she I guess. Suddenly she changed the topic, and looked at the opened field.

“Obi do you know that girl over there”, as she signalled to a group of “free spirits” who were relaxing under a tree. I looked and I knew one girl in the group. Stella, an acquaintance I was on friendly terms with.

“Um…I know the one girl, Stella. Party animal that one, she’s probably recovering from a hangover”, I joked. I then looked to Cynthia to acknowledge my joke. No such luck! Cynthia gave me a stern look instead. Which confused the shit out of me and made things a bit tense too.

“Yes, they told me you know her” she said, in a solemn tone. At this point a million things started running through my mind. I looked at her, with as much evidence of astonishment that I could possibly muster in one facial expression.

‘Did she here something about me and Stella? What did Stella do? Oh God, has she gone lezzy for Stella? Mmmmh, if I knew we were doing this, I would’ve gotten three more scoops of this delicious ice-cream.’

She soon stopped the bullet train running through my mind, “Obi, she’s been sleeping with Collins”.

You know I thought I was a good friend/flat mate, but all I could say to her was “Oh”. ‘Oh’ was really all that I could offer her, because I had million questions to ask her dammit! Why the hell was I doing in the park, eating ice-cream and stalking an alleged mistress? Why am I getting dragged into this shit? Why didn’t she tell me about this when she first suspected it?

Needless to say, my meek ‘Oh’ didn’t deter her. She wanted me to divulge every single thing that I knew about Stella. Which wasn’t much, but she was so dynamic in her efforts to get intel, I even felt compelled to embellish a few things. Which I didn’t, I would’ve under ‘normal’ circumstances (being the eccentric I am), but the whole thing of stalking in the summer time was crazy enough.

We got into the whole thing, and I was pretty convinced from everything she told me, that Stella was indeed sleeping with Collins. It had all the clichés of the tales of a cheating boyfriend. Denial, we’re just friends, people are lying, I love you, she’s crazy, etc.

Which again begged the question, “Cynthia, why are we here? Why am I here?”, so I asked her.

“I want you to introduce me to her”, I nearly choked on my last scoop of ice-cream.

“Um, are you sure? Why? Does she know you? What do you want to say to her? Shouldn’t you be speaking to Collins? I mean this is about you two. You’re in a relationship with him, not her.” I replied in a bit of a panic, trying to change her mind.

All her faculties were surprisingly in order as she picked up on my discomfort and vehement protest of this confrontation.  Cynthia put my mind to ease. She explained that she’d been coming to this spot in the park for a very long time before she even knew about Stella. That she only found about Stella once she started sleeping with Collins. She even made farce at how she knew how crazy the whole thing seemed to me. She called it prima facie feeble duplicity (law students). She confessed that if she told me before hand, I might have disagreed, and that she didn’t have the nerve to walk up to Stella alone.

I was convinced, yet I was still sceptical. My curiosity took over and I wanted to see the story unfold. So I walked over to the shaded tree and hollered Stella’s name. Stella was infamous for her zest, she was quick to respond.

“Obi! How you doin’ doll? Come over here and gimme a hug”, I conceded to her hospitable charms and hugged her with my tail between my legs. I felt a bit dirty. But this feeling was quickly watered down by how she reeked of weed.

“So Stella, can I have a quick word with you buddy”, I smirked sheepishly. I motioned her towards Cynthia’s direction. I then realised that she might know of Cynthia, which didn’t matter to me anymore. As we took the short walk towards Cynthia, I told Stella that my friend wanted to meet her.

“Oh, that’s Collins’ girlfriend isn’t it? Is she the friend who wants to meet me? I’m shagging him. Oh fuck Obi, what is this bitch shit trap you’re drawing me into?” she laughed! Then I couldn’t help but smile at her bizarre behaviour. ‘I should hang out with this girl’ I thought.

“Stella, this is Cynthia, Cynthia, Stella”, I was very curt and eager to end this.

Without skipping a beat Cynthia went straight into it.

“Hey Stella. I’m so sorry if you feel ambushed, but I don’t know what the protocol for doing this kind of thing is. I’ve been thinking about this confrontation for a few days now and I thought it was best to do it in person. “

Stella, tried to interject. But Cynthia was determined to finish. She sounded like an automaton, programmed to confront the other woman with as much tact as possible. She continued as if she she’d never stopped.

“A few days ago, Collins ex-girlfriend contacted me. She told me that she’s HIV positive and that she’s not sure where she got it from. Apparently she told Collins and he’s been ignoring her since then. So she got desperate and contacted me. I’ve been trying to get a hold of Collins too, but he’s phone has been off since I told him that his ex called me.”

Tears started rolling down Cynthia’s cheeks, and just like that it felt like the end of summer. I took off my sunglasses and held Cynthia’s hand. Stella stood still like a marble statue. Her face looked gaunt like something inside of her had decomposed instantly. I didn’t know how to comfort her, hell, I didn’t know how to comfort Cynthia.

As if she had a potato stuck in her throat, Cynthia resumed with her monologue that now sounded like an ode to the end of a young life. The most human and most real thing I’ve ever heard spoken.

“I’ve been going to Collins’ place to try to speak to him, find him, to get some sort of explanation. I’ve since found out that he’s run back to his hometown of Orange Groove. I got tested for HIV yesterday and I’m negative. I suggest you do the same.”

At this point tears were rolling down Stella’s face too. This provided me with some sort of relief. At least now Stella was showing some feeling. And she wasn’t being the belligerent sassy girl. She was processing everything and taking it all in. Stella then gestured to hug Cynthia.

Cynthia stepped back. Wiped her tears and then there was fury in her voice.

“You don’t get to sleep with my boyfriend and then have me comfort you. Your God does not love you that much. You have a reputation Stella. For me to do this, I had to think of you as a human being and not a contemptible whore.”

I don’t know if it was the weed, or if this is who Stella really was. But she didn’t respond at all to Cynthia’s scorn. She wiped her tears, told me to take care and walked away back to her friends under the tree.

I immediately held Cynthia in my arms. She was shaking; all I could do was stand there in the middle of the park and hold her as she wept. When she regained composure, we walked home and stopped at Mirror Tables, for a late lunch. We ended up having a liquid lunch and we had a conversation about the whole thing drunk and loud. We both cried and said all that could’ve possibly been said. We had a few comfortable silences, which would end up in more tears and hugs. Occasionally we sang along to a few songs that were played on the radio.

We literally crawled home and both passed out on her bed.

The next few weeks were hell. I’d hear her crying every night, and when she wasn’t crying she was drinking. Sometimes I’d tend to her, but on other nights I pretended not to even hear her. She was not prepared to draw anyone else into this. I suppose then I was expected to carry her through this whole ordeal. But all was prepared to do was that I could possibly do, listen. I listened to her anger, confusion, regret, pain and hope. All the while I was speaking to my mother for some grown up guidance.

She got tested again for HIV and again she was negative. We were both jubilant. But it had become obvious that something had changed about Cynthia. There was nothing neither sweet nor timid about her anymore. She was now firm and a little more selfish.

Somehow she found the strength to graduate and instead of getting work as a legal intern, she decided to go teach English abroad. Her next test was scheduled for just after graduation. But I had moved back to Southville. It’s been three years, and I still don’t know if she took the final test or not. I didn’t care to ask or bring it up. I didn’t think it mattered then and I still don’t think it matters now. What nearly consumed her, saved her in a way. We email each other every now and then and she is the poster child for carpe diem. I couldn’t be more proud.

 

Collins was never heard of again.

I actually heard about Stella a week ago. She married a Muslim Doctor.

As for me…well, I’m just the guy telling the story. It’s not about me, lol.

Weight Loss Dollar Bills


Tired from a long day…but I’mma blog anyways. My thoughts will be scattered and all over the place, my brain is tired. Also this is a serious topic, I’m in a serious mood.

 

My BMI was/is apparently messed up according to The BMI Police @QueenWel. So I decided to go back to being “healthy” by exercising.

Weight loss is a mission. I’m going to say that right now. I have mad respect for people who’ve shed a sizeable amount of weight.

As this was my first attempt at consciously trying to lose weight, I learnt a lot. The experience was somewhat of a rude awakening.

I jogged religiously and I kept a healthy frame in my youth. So my plan was to jog and the weight would just fall off. Getting back into jogging wasn’t too hard. At my peek I was jogging 9kms every second day and 4km sprints in between. It took long to start seeing results, ultimately some did show. I wasn’t happy though, considering how much I was running. Over say two months, I lost 3kgs (a solid three kgs). Problem was, exercising justified eating like a pig.

I spoke to a friend, who’s friend lost 7kg over lent from only quitting meat (chicken too, for black folk who don’t recognise chicken as meat) and alcohol. Nearly died when I heard this. I’ve been running like a nutter and here’s this other person losing so much so quickly from cutting meat and alcohol. I obviously wanted some of this. So I gave it a shot.

I wanted a diet that worked for me. So I looked at all the things I can do without. I picked cutting down on carbs (I get awful headaches when I don’t get carbs in me), dairy, alcohol and less meat (not trying to quit eating meat ever). This diet was such a revelation. After just over a week from running and eating less…I could see my body looking a little better. Got a little lazy, ran less and the weight was still falling off. Three weeks later. I was sold! This was how I was going to get my BMI right. Don’t even want to say how much weight I lost, don’t want to brag.

Side-bar. This is how a humble brag can go wrong, if you can even call it that. My friend, who I shall not be name, (you know who you are) once “innocently” tweeted: ‘I lost 10kgs in under 7 months. This is so worrying, I’ve lost my appetite’. A month later on facebook, friend said: ‘Playing sports. Great stuff. No weight gain this winter’. Smh!

Anyways, I caught a terrible cold and once I got better, I wanted to ENJOY life. My bad habits got the better of me and I fell of the weight loss gravy train (is this irony, pun vibes…I can’t tell). Went back to drinking and eating starch packed dinners with meat on meat. Then going to sleep 30mins later. The weight came back like it was just waiting to pounce on me. I was crushed. My “get’em” jeans were jaaaast about to fit perfectly. Sigh

So here I am. I want to get back on track. Wanted to treat myself to a snack before I go mixing with The Sand Man. Choice of snack? Potato chips. Calories, 550. Recommended daily intake for men my age 2500. I’m now deciding if I should eat them. To help me decide I went to google (I know don’t know when I became this person). I found this:
“In weight loss studies carried out by health scientists, women that ate 1000 calories less than their daily requirement lost around 2 pounds (0.907 kilos) per week. This is considered a healthy and sustainable level of weight loss. The same rule applies to men.”

You know…at the beginning of this post I wasn’t going to eat these chips. But now I think I should…only because I feel whack-like-crack for counting calories. So I’m going to pull the ol’ diet cliché…I’ll start tomorrow. Let me just treat myself.

P.S.
I’m also going to eat chocolate. #Tomorrow #iSwear