Tuesday, October 11, 2016

It's Only My Body You're Breaking

I feel your fist smash into my face and it doesn't hurt. Not really.

I feel the telephone receiver you break on my head. And it doesn't hurt. Not really.

I feel the broom on my foot again. I can't walk now. But still, it doesn't hurt. No, it doesn't.

And the belt on my skin, tearing me open. But it doesn't hurt. Not really.

It's only my body you're breaking. And my body is not me.

You don't love me but it doesn't matter. I don't love me either.

And it's only my body you're breaking. Maybe some of this will heal. And maybe some of it won't.

It doesn't matter. I don't care. Don't let it worry you. Don't carry it into tomorrow.

It's only my body you've broken. And my body matters about as much as I do.

So leave it for now.

Leave it forever.

It doesn't matter.

Not really.

A Storm Raging Through My Frozen Heart Tonight

It all seems so unreal now. The way we started. The way we ended. It was all make believe. I pretended you were perfect though I knew you were not.

I was hiding from my own pain and I didn't want to face being alone. She left and she took with her the colours of the sky, the rainbow in my eye, my heart's ease, my heart's delight.

She left and I stepped out of my cocoon and found the world cold and blaring and full of jagged little edges that surprised me, that cut me, that hurt.

I shouldn't have stepped out of my cocoon but how could I help it when she was the body that surrounded me, enveloped me, protected me from the world. In her arms, I was always safe. In her eyes, I was a real person, not a shadow.

I mattered.

And then I didn't. Her eyes grew cold. Her arms didn't encircle so much as push me away.

I tried to grab hold but further and further I went. There was no stopping this downward spiral. I was desperate. I tried everything. But the more I did, the further she seemed.

And one day she turned to me, sadness in her eyes, regret.

And I knew it was over.

We waited in the spaces between breaths. No one wanted to say it first. Words can be so final. We leave them unspoken hoping we'll never have to speak them. Hoping things will change. Hoping we'll wake up tomorrow and everything will be all right.

But in that space between breaths, I felt something tearing. I heard someone weeping. Maybe it was me. I felt myself falling, scrambling for a handhold on the sheer rock face but there was none.

And so I fell. I fell. I kept falling.

Help me, I screamed. Somebody save me, I screamed.

There was only silence. When the only one who loves you ceases to love you, there is only silence. And it is deafening.

I wanted to wrap my arms around her. I wanted to weep on her skin. But I knew she was freezing. I knew she would look through me, with that look in her eyes. I felt her contempt sear my skin, I felt my heart ice over.

It was the only way to arrest the free fall. It was the only way not to smash on the rocks. It was the only way to survive.

Sometimes I wish I had just allowed myself to keep falling. However long it took; a year or two or maybe 10. I could have dealt with it. One hour at a time, breathed through the pain, allowed it to wash over, allowed myself to cry, though not in public, allowed myself to completely unravel.

And then, when I was done falling apart, I could sort through the debris, the detritus of me, and slowly, excruciatingly, put myself together again.

Pain would be better than this nothing I feel now. Pain would be better than frozen.

April may be the cruelest month but I'm not going to thaw anytime soon.

Friday, September 02, 2016


It was a long time before they found my body. I stood there, waiting. Not that I felt compelled to stay but I was curious. How long would it take? I remembered that woman they only found a few years later. What was it? Three? And I wondered at the time, how someone could disappear from the face of this earth like that, in an apartment, no less, and no one know.

But then, here I was waiting...for someone to find me and bury me. Or at least cremate me.

I left my body to roam. I went in search of people I knew, or thought I knew. I couldn't really remember. It all seemed so long since anyone was really close to me.

Close to me.

Can a spirit weep?

Can it feel sadness?

Can it feel regret?

Because that was all that boiled up in me at this moment.

Regret. Searching for something I had lost.

Searching but not finding.

The faces of the people I thought I knew, receding.

I didn't know where to look for them. And it was a long time since they had cared about me. Or I had cared about them. A long time since we had cared about each other.

This disposable life. Where every relationship eventually becomes teflon.

I remember watching movies and when two people who cared about each other hugged (not lovers; lovers didn't hug, they kissed) I always teared up because I thought, ah, that feeling, I want that feeling, why is it I can't have that feeling?

The faces receded further. A faint memory.


Who was I again?

Where was my body?

I forgot.

I can't find it.

Who was I looking for? Urgency in my centre. Sadness. Regret. And loss.

A growing sense of loss.

Who was I again?

Had I always been wandering these streets searching for something?


I can't remember.

I can't remember.

I'm lost.

I'll just keep wandering.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Should have, could have, would have

What I should be doing is writing a speech. What I am doing instead is surfing the net, feeling blatantly uninspired. Writing speeches is only bearable when you have some Anne Sexton on hand to read. A dip into Sexton, some inspiration, some loosening of this brainlock and then I write. Nonsense at first, braindump, and then I arrange the nonsense and sometimes it actually makes sense. And if it doesn't, that's what second drafts are for.

How do you keep doing what you are supposed to do, when you pretty much don't feel like doing anything at all? When your eyelids are drooping and you're thinking, ah, a nap at the desk would be nice.

This morning I had an interview in a bungalow near a kindergarten and I left my name cards there. The person I interviewed called me as I was on the way to BSC for an official lunch and I had no time to turn back. So, there I am, lost without my cards. But not really.

I just found out that I am going to interview someone whose books I really love.

Unexpected things do happen to wake you up!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I Want You To Burn

I am sipping a glass of Prosecco and staring at the screen through my new glasses. It's late but I can't go home yet. Thinking of all the animals hungry and wishing I could. Oh well. Comes with the territory. And I hope they're not really starving. Kicked Ebony out today because the devil has gotten into him and he was behaving like a mad cat.

Last night I locked him in the bathroom after he broke a glass. Today, obviously still enraged, he started zipping around madly and torturing Sheba. I gathered him up by his hind legs and tossed him out of the house. When I was leaving for work, I didn't see him. Obviously he has taken to the hills. Oh well, he'll come back when he is hungry. If no one else decides to adopt him first. He's obviously decided that he has had enough of this house. 

I would say "ungrateful" but really, is he? Cats are cats. They have their own code. 

It's late and I was thinking maybe I can come in late tomorrow. But then I remembered; early assignment. (that's a heavy sigh you cannot hear)

Elaine found her dog. It's been a month and poor Moksha is emaciated and injured and a bone is exposed in her paw - her foot must have been caught in a trap. I don't know what the full story is and how she eventually came to Elaine but poor doggie. It looks like it was not a moment too soon. She has been warded for three days. After which she should be, if not as good as new, at least, as good as can be expected. It will be a slow healing process for all of them.

I'm listening to Tina Arena's "Burn". I think I'll do my "morning pages" now. 

Monday, August 15, 2016


I'm writing this from the office. Have just finished transcribing a loooong interview that I thought I transcribed at home, but somehow, it sort of got lost in the transfer. I decided not to scream soundlessly into my computer screen but just get on with it. To tell you the truth, I don't really have time to scream. I have missed the deadline set for me so now I'm scrambling to catch up.

It is a familiar territory full of blood and entrails and the sound of children weeping and dogs howling and cats mewing piteously.

Also I'm waiting for a phone call which I should have made a couple of weeks ago because I want to feature this particular do-gooder...and I needed to talk to the boss but the boss was overseas and the person I interviewed just ended up talking about politics and spirituality and bullying and and and...well, nothing I could use.

Naturally, my mind has taken a break and drifted off somewhere during this time. Of course it would. It always does this when I have a shitload of stories to deliver, stories that are expected to mean something...be something.

I'm even afraid to read the notes.

I'm afraid of being overwhelmed by all those words, words, words, words, words - hours upon hours of interviews neatly transcribed, laid-out, ready for me to figure out some sort of structure, arrange the words into proper sentences...make it work, for God's sakes.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Setting boundaries

There seems to be a theme over my last few blogposts. This incessant feeling of exhaustion. I need to do an audit to see how much of that is from actual work and how much of it is emotion - living up or at least, attempting to live up to other people's expectations, not wanting to offend people, not wanting to be thought a bad friend.

There were times this year when I should have said an emphatic 'no' basically because I was too tired or I had other work to do, important work to do. Instead I agreed, albeit reluctantly, and then felt exhausted and then fell terribly sick. There is a pattern here...it is not selfish to not meet expectations. I have to define for myself what selfish is or isn't.

If meeting your expectations means that I languish ill in bed for the next few days or work through the fever and the sneezing and the incessant coughing...then really, I shouldn't be meeting your expectations. And if you choose to take offence about that, then really, we shouldn't be friends, should we?

And cutting you out of my life would seem like a lightening, a removal of toxicity.

Switching off my phone this weekend was one of the best things I ever did.

Saying no to going to the BRC was another.

Later for you.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Reclaiming My Life

I keep talking about claiming, or rather reclaiming my life, but most days I don't do a very good job of it. A friend, a deeply intuitive friend, told me that nearly all my actions are driven by guilt. She said guilt was my primary emotion.

I rejected it at first. Of course I felt a little guilt; who didn't? But surely it was not the primary motivating factor of my life.

I notice lately that I have become irritable. Actually, not just lately. It has been a long time now. I resent ordinary things; like being asked to join people for dinner. My immediate reaction is? What, you think I have nothing better to do?

Actually, I don't really have anything better to do.

But I want to go home, hang out with the pets, read my books, write some letters.

I want time to myself.

But instead of carving out that time for myself, I usually just go along with plans I never intended to make. Spontaneous plans that arise all of a sudden. Even if I'm tired. Even if I don't want to. Even if there is someplace else I'd rather be.

Guilt stops me from getting out of chat groups on whatsapp. Instead, I mute these groups or switch off my mobile data for the weekend.

I have thought of turning off my phone for the weekend because innocent invitations can drive me crazy.

I finally acknowledge, something is not right here. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

I missed something today because I have decided that I want my Sundays to myself, doing whatever the hell I feel like doing. Even if it is nothing. I do not want my Sundays circumscribed by prescribed activities.

(Here a gentle voice butts in to tell me that I was never circumscribed, that I chose to go on my own volition and that I'm free to leave ditto, no questions asked. Any guilt I choose to feel, I choose to feel on my own).

I want to reclaim my life.

I just don't know how.

My Nubian Princess Who is Actually A Male Cat

Ebony and Sheba spend the night outside. I go out twice in my jammies to try and cajole them back. No cigar. They are content to cavort in the field next to my house or hide under cars. This is despite the fact that neither has had their dinner. There it is laid out in splendid profusion, barely touched.

Oh well. I give up and crawl onto my newly cleaned bed (Rose is coming on Saturdays instead of Sundays from now on), try to read a few pages of "13 things that mentally strong people don't do", and fall fast fast asleep. Oh, the bliss of it.

In the morning there is an incessant mewing at my door. Sheba must have jumped in through the window wide open at my study table. Although there is food laid out for him (the untouched food from the night before) he wants to crawl into bed and suck on my earlobe (it's a cat that was abandoned by his mother too early thing; they find a spot on your body to nurse). I am too tired to swat him off but eventually I have to wake up. 

Ebony is outside. He has come in (despite Stella) and is waiting by the door. I let him in as well. 

He noses around his bowl, maybe has a few mouthfuls and then goes off to sleep. Sheba, on the other hand, who is asleep in the bathroom and realises that I am up to suspicious activity (bathing is classified as suspicious because once you bathe, you go out) came out sleepily and proceeded to make a nuisance of himself. He had to jump on my lap. He had to displace the book (Flaubert: A Life) I was reading. He had to weave himself around my feet and mew loudly at Esther when she came in with the ramen she was lunching on.

He saw me settle down with the computer and decided that it was a false alarm and has gone off to sleep again. Ebony has not stirred except to display different bits of his belly to the sun. He is sleeping on the cage in the air well.

Last night I had dinner with Chubs and his family. It was nice. Francis is a big boy now, talking. He likes monster trucks (there, birthday present and potentially Christmas present sorted).

On Friday, out of the blue, a colleague treated me to a really expensive facial. Not only that, I escaped the sales spiel at the end. She had to endure it but as she is comfortable saying no over and over, it didn't really bother her. And then we went for dinner and it was good all around.

I would write more but I want to go off to Tropicana City Mall and write some letters and watch a movie.