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!

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Call Girl Princess


So I’ve been studying! Bleh! It really sucks! I haven’t blogged in ages, and I needed to take a break to relax. I wrote a lil story. I’m actually going to try to finish this one in between my study breaks. Here’s part one of God knows how many parts.

She knew what she was and sometimes it would bother her, but on most days her life felt normal and beige, as unbearable as could be at times. When she’d reflect on her earlier years, she’d get hit by acute stings of depression. These days were like bitter cold winter days for which she’d always have a warm coat for. And when it got colder, she’d find new ways to keep warm. New ways to desensitise her heart. New ways to feel less. New ways to separate herself from herself.

Thembisa would convince herself that everyone is selling something and that she is no different. This offered her little comfort, but as the last thought before she passed out from binge drinking, it was something. The truth was however inescapable and no amount of alcohol or cocaine would change that, no matter how hard she tried. On a good night she was a prostitute and she didn’t mind. It was those nights when she was a whore and felt like even less that bothered her. She felt trapped and helpless. Like a victim of circumstance always rehashing how she found herself in this vile place. At her lowest moments she’d often thank God that her parents passed away when she was younger, she knew how much they loved her. The thought of her being a prostitute would kill them.

Things were however about to turned around for Thembisa. She was to become a professional. What had seemed as a way of survival was to turn into a career.

It was a night like any other. She was pulling tricks on the corner of Yvette and Troy. A car rolled up in front of Thembisa and she was solicited for her services. She thought nothing of it and jumped into the car when the door was opened for her. They exchanged greetings and the man introduced himself as Tshepo. This came as a welcomed surprise to Thembisa as she’s not used to anyone introducing themselves so openly without asking for a price list first. “Maybe he’s a newbie” she thought to herself, but it was odd, he was a little too confident for someone who’d never done this before. She was quick to respond, so not as to seem like she’s coy and can be taken advantage of. “I’m Daisy Tshepo, what can I do for you this evening?” Tshepo looked at Thembisa and smiled. His smile put Thembisa at ease, although she was still very alert as these men never turn out to be what they appear. Tshepo proposed that they go to a hotel. Thembisa was thrilled as this only happened once in a blue moon. Usually she used the Blue Shark Motel three blocks from her working corner.

On their drive to the hotel Tshepo was very quiet, which came as a surprise to Thembisa. In her experience men who chose to use a hotel wanted the girlfriend/mistress experience. She didn’t mind the silence though. She was enjoying the music Tshepo had playing on his radio. He was playing R’nB hits from the mid to late eighties. They brought back so many memories for Thembisa. As she stared out the window, she reminisced about how much her father loved playing the very same music as he’d do the garden at her old home in the township of Midupi. “I’m a long way from home” she thought to herself. She gathered herself and decided to engage Tshepo in conversation to avoid any romanticized feelings.

“So Tshepo, tell me what you do”, she said coolly, playing the role of Daisy. “I’m a businessman” he replied, in a rather curt fashion that threw Thembisa off. She didn’t know whether to believe him or not. He was placid enough to appear to be a businessman, but then again there was something sleazy about him that she couldn’t quite put her finger on. He was after all soliciting her for sex. That had to be it. She regretted initiating conversation, but she had already gotten the ball rolling and she wasn’t going to sit in an awkward silence which made her feel defeated. She knew she had to respond.

“Everyone is a businessman these days. I too consider myself a businesswoman” she retorted with a sneer. Tshepo took his eyes of the road and looked at her with an intrigued smile on his face. Thembisa knew she had him. She’d broken the proverbial ice. Tshepo let out a little chuckle. “I think you’re more of a saleswoman, than a businesswoman. Oh and look, we’re already here. Can’t wait to see what you’re selling”. They drove into the parking lot of a decent F1 hotel she had been to before. For the girls of Yvette and Troy an F1 hotel was as good as it got.

Thembisa’s fun was officially over. Tshepo’s comment got her feeling like the commodity and she knew it was time to go to work. They got out of the car and walked into the hotel. Tshepo had already checked in, so they headed straight for his room. On the way there Tshepo suddenly became very chatty much to Thembisa’s chagrin, but she had to keep up with him. She contributed enough so as not to seem cold and withdrawn, but also not too much because he didn’t want to encourage Tshepo. When they finally got to his room Thembisa was glad that it was almost over. She’d collect her money, bed him and find her way home.

At this time she’d realised that Tshepo was yet to ask her what her rates were. She placed her bag on the first chair she saw and said “So Tshepo, let’s get to business”.

To be continued
Off to study now! Fml!!!

More and less than


Everyone thought Carol Masilo was beautiful. She however paid herself the greatest compliments in the privacy of her own thoughts. Success breeds success was her mantra, and her supermodel good looks were evidence of it. She excelled in most to all of the things that she’d attempted. Life was great to her. She knew it, celebrated it and was only modest when confronted with a compliment. She valued herself primarily on a superficial level because it was easy. She was of the opinion that it’s best to see herself as the world saw her seeing as she was revered by so many, it worked out perfectly. Her mental state of grandiose was further exacerbated by how proud her parents were of her. It was better than public opinion, it was from home.

As superficial as she was, she was extremely conscious of it. It would bothered her at times when her “lesser” friends spoke of love, positivity and finding a soul mate. When there were self improvement conversations Carol would shut down and think “These things should come naturally to you people, there should be no need to talk about them as a means to find inspiration”.

She was however by no means a cold person. A part of her couldn’t help but show kindness to people. In fact, every act of kindness would haunt her with a little guilt. She’d second guess herself asking herself, “Am I being courteous because I’m a decent human being or am I do it to be liked?” Nevertheless she acted appropriately and it had to be worth something.

She often found that dating or rather having a boyfriend was something of a convenience. She’d often go on dates and entertain the advances of men she deemed to be of good pedigree. They were, or at least appeared to be, as superficial as she was. The thought of being with someone who’s like her sickened her at times. But the rhetoric and the shared interests were alluring, and an undeniably good way to further explore her relevance with male counterparts.

Carol was however in for a rude awakening. Her entire introspection was about to change.

To be continued, coz I’m tipsy and I can’t see beyond putting my protagonist in a terrible car accident.

My English is atrocious


I’ve been going through some of my old blog posts and wowza! My English is so bad. But is it something to be concerned about? When I started this blog and I needed advice, I turned to @LTqha and she said “write whatever the fuck you want aint no one is forced to read your shit”. I felt emancipated and my creativity got the wings it needed.

I am however concerned about my tipsy tenses, grammatical faux pas and high punctuation. These are things I pick up on much later (walks down memory lane and whatnot). I’m guessing that some of the readers of my blog pick up on them too. I don’t know how much it bothers readers when a writer’s English skills are worthy of an Umthatha born woonga addict. I just think it’s embarrassing to the writer more than anything else.

The cause? Speaking for myself, its text messages, Facebook status updates and Tweets etc. I maintain, and have said this before, that all kinds of reading affect the way we structure the language and diction we use on a daily basis. There’s so much bad English out there, and we cannot avoid it. What we don’t realise is how much it affects us. It is actually also on TV! And if most of the reading you do is on twitter…I have news for you. Social media is the breeding ground/cesspool of bad English. I’m pretty sure your English was much better in high school than it is now (born in the 80’s). I’m not saying unfollow people because of their bad English, what I’m saying is counter all the bad English with READING!

I’ve only read two books all year and I’m on my third. I don’t think this is enough especially for someone who wants to deliver “quality” on his blog. So I’m going to be reading books and we’ll see if my English gets any better.

Until then, I will subscribe to @LTqha’s mantra “aint no one is forced to read my shit”. Or maybe I should hire an editor lol.

P.S. It’s important to have decent writing skills. A friend of mine and I used to read some of the emails we got from directors at work and half of the time we were shocked at how badly written they were. It doesn’t take much…I promise.

I saw a light and it wasn’t love. Part Deux


I saw a light, part deux

As she sat on the couch parallel to her sliding door hoping that the nature outside will inspire her heart, Lesedi sighed as if to let out all the soot clouding her emotions. She snuggled in to get as comfortable as possible. Her eyes caught a picture of her and Themba on the side table, from their earlier days. A Brooke Logan’esque lone tear rolled down her cheek and settled on her gown. For some reason seeing the tear stain made her smiled, she didn’t know why. She quickly got over it and allowed her mind to wander.

 

Her mind raced to when all she had with Themba was a ding dong fling. She recalled the kind of person she was before Themba. In the beginning her heart wasn’t into it. Themba came at a time when Lesedi had just gotten into her element as a young working woman. A relationship was not a priority. She’d have her flings that we’re far between and infrequent. She didn’t mind them or the frequency. “I live light” was her twitter bio for a long time, and that’s what she did. She had her youth and her fun, her interests and her friends, her ambitions and her God. “A lover in my life would prove redundant and excessive”, was what she’d tell herself on nights when she indeed wanted to fill the other side of her bed. She’d spend the same nights thinking of what love had meant for her in the past. These nights would awaken a dormant demon that nearly took all of her. Her first love, Mashudu. She’d quickly banish his memories to the hell they belong to and soon just accept that love can’t be defined by a boy who she loved when she knew nothing about the world or herself.

 

Lesedi picked up the photo frame and realised that at the end one cannot help but think of the beginning. “A trip down memory lane” she thought. She felt pathetic for a moment and reminisced on her first encounters with Themba.

Themba was smooth but not in a sly way. It it came from a place from a good place, a tranquil place. He was a young man at peace with himself and everything around him.

She wasn’t a fan of having a “might as well approach to life” but he managed to make her feel comfortable enough to give him the benefit of the doubt. Something about him made her tick like the finest Swiss watch. She felt all these things seduce her senses and yet she still played hard to get. She chuckled at the number of hoops she made him jump through. Then she stopped for a while and realised that he wanted those hoops, he wanted to jump through them to make her happy. Themba was always making an effort to serve a purpose in my life. She soon let up and gave Themba what he desired her love. She’d loved for much less. This was worth it. Thinking in hindsight, she questioned how much of her love was she giving. She now felt that Themba deserved more.

 

Themba was fast on the ball once things were undoubtedly official with Lesedi. She was shown around and introduced everywhere as Themba’s girl. This started getting to her as she started feeling like she was being swallowed into someone else’s life. She’d bring it up with her friends and they’d all make her feel like the beautiful girl with a scratch on her Bentley. So she just let it go and soon started enjoying the fruits of a relationship. One of these fruits definitely had to be the sex they had.

Themba would make Lesedi feel like a Goddess and a whore all in one thrust. She’d never really thought of sex as the “be and end all” of a relationship before. Themba however pulled tricks out his hat on so many occasions. Lesedi would sometimes even feel the need to applaud him once he’d taken her to heaven and beyond. She even went out of character and bragged to her friends about it on a drunken night out. She was however never comfortable with cuddling, even when Themba would insist on it. She never understood his desire for this as she had none. On some nights she would try to cuddle with Themba, but on others she’d just turn over and rush to have a cigarette. On one night Themba confronted Lesedi on her lack of intimacy. This shocked her as she’d never been required to explain this part of herself. Lesedi didn’t force an explanation she didn’t have or wasn’t willing to give. She just told Themba that it’s something she just can’t do. Themba protested that he felt like it’s something she can do, just not with him. These words pierced through her heart. She had come to care about Themba. She didn’t want him to have feelings that questioned her sincerity. The feelings of guilt would soon fade away and their sex life became more and more clinical. Bleeding away all the passion and desire they’d ever had for each other.

The relationship didn’t change much as a result of this. The only difference was that she felt like they were more in love when they were around other people than they were when they were alone with each other. Their time spent alone felt like rehearsed scenes from a sombre Sam Mendes movie about a yuppie couple in suburbia.

 

Looking for a little distraction from herself, Lesedi reached for the remote control and switched on the TV. The last person to watch TV was Themba so it was no surprise that it was on Nat-Geo-Wid. The animal of interest was the lion. She watched a lioness with her cubs. This gave her a warm sort of feeling inside. “I want babies one day” she thought to herself. She was quick to reprimand herself, as this was the most inopportune time to even think of such.

 

Lesedi noticed the time on the information bar and realised how time just flew by. As if fate had cursed her, she heard the sound of the door opening and she immediately gasped. “What am I going to do?” she said under her breath with grimace. She quickly turned to the door like there was any hope that it could be someone else except her future ex.

 

Themba walked in with roses, a wrapped box and sparkling wine. Lesedi felt like the worst person in the world. It slipped her mind that today is their third anniversary. She stood up quickly and looked at Themba dead in the eye feeling lifeless.  Then fell to her knees, letting out a cry of sorrow and joy.

 

She saw a light and it wasn’t love. It was content and it was beautiful.

 

The end

I saw a light and it wasn’t love


I saw a light

A short story.

She always thought of herself as a very passionate person, but on this morning Lesedi woke up feeling as though her soul was a decaying corpse. She knew that something had to be done. Life could not carry on this way.

It was a November morning like any other. The sun shone into her bedroom with rays of light coming through the cracks between the curtains, swiftly hitting the foot of her bed. She looked at them with more appreciation than ever before as they echoed the perspective she needed. “This light” she thought to herself, “I need this light”.

Lesedi then felt the darkness in her life moving. She moved to greet it with a smile which she’d been lying about for a few months now. “Good morning my love” she said to her boyfriend of three years Themba. He greeted her back. She hesitated to kiss him, which didn’t matter because Themba always kissed Lesedi every morning when he got up. The kiss resulted in an unsentimental indifference she’d never felt before in her life. At that moment Lesedi knew that it had to end. She was going to break up with him.

She quickly looked at the foot of her bed again, to see the light that she had now decided was a symbolic of what she needed to do. She felt herself drifting back to the place she was in before Themba woke up. A place of perspective. A beautiful Aurora Borealis that she wants her life to be. The light reminded her of a much more jubilant Lesedi. A lighter Lesedi.

Themba Gumede was a good man and an even better boyfriend. He had his flaws, but he adored Lesedi and loved her like she was his only hope at happiness. Lesedi knew this and every time she experienced this love she’d die a little more inside. She was however grateful for Themba. He had helped her grow up as a person in so many ways. He’d been a witness to all her trials and tribulations, without ever skipping a beat. He was the kind of man who a lot of girls would kill for. Yes, he was great, but it felt like it was a convenient love. Most of the time she felt like a trophy and an Italian sports car, she had fallen prey to her vanity. But she’d reach a point where she felt hollow and empty like the very trophy and car.

She would often think of all the things her friend Palesa had been through with her alcoholic boyfriend Meshack. She’d thank God she’s not like Neo, who was a mile away from her wedding aisle but found out her boyfriend had multiple affairs. Her friends didn’t have much luck with love. She was the envy of all them. Little did they know that making love for her felt like being an expensive blow up doll at the best of times and a masturbatory tool at the worst of times. So she decided that she was not going to discuss leaving Themba with any of her friends. She knew exactly how it would go.

Neo had the best theory about how women left men a theory that would derail her. According to Neo women are nature’s forensic auditors, they scrutinize everything before leaving a man. They assess things over extended periods of time. Once they feel comfortable with the information gathered, they start leaving the relationship emotionally. Then only once they are sure of all things do they officially break up. Woman need to be sure before making any move. She backed this up through several scenarios. She was indeed toasted that night. The girls were all sold on this theory. Lesedi felt that she needed to fast forward everything and get all her empirical audit evidence today and leave today.

Themba got out of bed and took a shower. Lesedi lied in bed lifeless for a minute. She gathered her thoughts and all the strength she could muster to start her day. At least he didn’t try to have sex with me, she thought. She laughed at the idea of giving him one for the road as she put on her gown to go make breakfast. On her way to the kitchen she contemplated exactly how she was going to do it. She kept wishing it was a working day. The logistics of leaving Themba would work so much better if his day plans were set in stone. She however had no intentions of waiting for Monday. This had to happen today.

Just as she was about to crack the first egg, Themba walked in the kitchen. She immediately asked him if he had any plans for the day. The last time she need a yes in her life so badly was when she applied to Wits Business School. Luckily he had errands to run. “How long do you think you’re going to be” she asked sounding as calm as possible, as not to raise any suspicion. “I won’t be long honey, don’t worry” he responded. “Do you want something to eat before you go?” she asked. She realised that by trying to sound cool, she ended up sounding flippant. Themba felt like there was a right answer to this question. He got nervous, he didn’t understand why. Little did he know.

Themba decided to grab a bite to eat and he hugged her with the love and affection she’d grown accustomed to. She felt like such a delicate flower in Themba’s arms. For a split second she felt insane for wanting to leave the man who was clearly her Adonis. The hug ended, but the feeling of doubt stayed with her for a little while as Themba let go and walked out.

Lesedi prided herself in being the kind of young woman who always had a plan. She was what her best friends called organised chaos. Her impulsiveness came in ideas which had to be flawlessly executed. But this was different, this was about a man she did indeed fall in love with. She poured herself a glass of orange juice and moved to lounge for some serious reflection.

To be continued

 

A few good people


How we stayed friends

I am a good friend. I think anyone who is a friend is presumed to be a good. Good friends, even great ones are and can be very flawed people and no amount of love and respect for the other friend will change this.

I grew up as an only child. I realised this more when I got to varsity. In high school I pretty much kept to myself. I only socialised to survive what I believe were the most dishonest years of my life in terms of who I am. Things were different when I got to varsity. In knowing yourself you need to surround yourself with a few good people and have them be mirrors that reflect your true self while doing the same for them.

Anyways, when I got to varsity I realised that I do not understand my peers. I remember thinking that people have so many feelings. Feelings about everything and feelings towards each other. I only had to ever deal with my own feelings. But for the first time in my life I had to deal with other people’s feelings. This was a game of trial and error for me. It was a skill I had to learn. A skill most children with siblings are fortunate enough to learn at very young age.

I tried to make sense of things in my own way. I think a lot and when something does not make sense to me I do not entertain it. People and their feelings did not make sense. I had to, however, persevere I needed friends to bear witness to my life and my experiences.

The first thing that occurred to me is that we are not forced by any force to be in friendship with anyone. This led a few people to think that I’m very picky and wayward. There were certain people I just did not want to be around. The same people hadn’t particularly done anything to me, but I just wanted nothing to do with them. But I had mutual friends with them.  So that was my first lesson. For friends you have to be cool with other people you don’t care at all for.

Then my only child syndrome reared its ugly head. I became selfish with my friends. I had fallen in love with them. Now I had to share them with people I didn’t even want to acknowledge as part of the human race. You see! That’s how extreme it was. I felt like my friends were mine because of the work I had to put in to get to call them friends. I’d do crazy somersaults in my head when my friends would inadvertently complain about these other friends to me. I didn’t understand. I would often feel like their other friends don’t even deserve them. I explored the possibility that hey, maybe I’m also a friend just like them. Maybe my friends also complained about me to their other friends. I learnt to deal with this and decided that feelings cannot always be trusted; sometime I just need to put them away.

I got to understand my friends. I got to accept them for exactly who they were. I can’t emphasise that enough. I accepted my friends for exactly who and what they are. I was in love. I had kind of found out what it was like to have siblings.

As time went by I realised that cracks were starting to appear in the reflective mirror of friendship. I was not being seen for who and what I was. In some cases I too would find myself unsatisfied with the work (or lack thereof) my friends were putting into the friendship garden. So I went a little crazy. I stopped speaking to my best friend for 6 months! I was cursed by unsentimental indifference I actually didn’t care. Six months later my crazy subsided. I called my friend, peace was restored. What we both agreed on is that we didn’t stop being friends at any point. We just stopped talking. Thing is I got mad, he got mad and we were both mad. But it was temporary. Everything that led to us not talking was temporary. Our friendship was however not. I was humbled by the idea that a friendship is people choosing to forever learn each other, understand each other. It’s working through temporary nonsense when it comes up. It’s been 6years plus and we are still going strong. LOL, we’re actually not talking right now but whatever. I say whatever but I’m always a little agitated when I’m not speaking to my buddy.

Today

I recently lost a dear friend to mindless banter that I apologised for. I was forgiven but the damage was apparently irreparable, so I got dumped for life. I’m still in shock really. But that’s the problem right there. When do great friendships end? What do we consider enough of a reason to completely shut someone out of your life for all time? Is there ever a reason?

I once had a conversation with @Miss__TC about friendship. She said that some of her friends have become so paramount to her existence that there’s nothing that would separate them. She further went on to say that even if they slept with her husband, she’d have to fuck them up and probably go to therapy with them. But she will not lose her friends.

I feel like this about some of the friends in my life. Mind you there aren’t many. Very few actually. But when do we reach this point that @Miss__TC is referring to? What marks that point of absolute friendship that is as divine as any gift from God?

Friends will hurt you in ways that you cannot imagine. Sometimes they won’t even understand how much they have hurt you. You will do the same to them too. But it needs to be okay. These things need to be dealt with. If you cannot, then you don’t know your friend. It means you have no faith in the good nature of the person you have come to love.

Post Script

I have friends I speak to every 4 months or less. But each time it’s like we never skipped a beat! God bless you guys. You get that friendship doesn’t have to be like the White House garden. It can be tended when need be. If I feel its time, I’ll holla…if you feel its time holla. It works. Thank you for making friendship real, simple, easy, convenient and everything else that takes away unnecessary pressure. You guys know me well.

To my angels P&L. You are my family.

How I know I don’t know


Its like comfortably drowning,

Acid burns that warm my soul,

Chocking on fresh air,

Dangerous speeds that get me home,

A deafening silence,

Agitated stillness,

Aware of the unknown,

Unaware of the known,

Reckless about tomorrow,

Careful about now,

Its when you reach with hope, 

Its when you fall with a wish,

Its how I know, I don’t know…

Obi-WithSome

Tango


Abstract thoughts doing the tango in my mind. This tango is complex. This tango is not easy. This tango is twisted and this tango is confused.

I’ve seen the tango, I’ve never danced the tango. I only wish I could, maybe then I can be in tune with the dancer within.

Oh how I wish I could keep up. With two left feet, I’m cursed to stumble. Stepping on life’s toes. I’m constantly frustrated.
Frustrating myself, and the dancer within.

This dance is fast.
I am still.
I want to tango.
I need to dance.