Saturday, October 25, 2014

Slowly, softly catch the monkey

The loneliness seemed to seep in deeper and deeper the more I ambled (almost without purpose) up Long Street and as it in turn seeped into Kloof street. 

Late Saturday afternoon. 

My almost-without-purpose purpose was Melissa's far up Kloof street with its big sky floor-to-celing shop window in-your-face view on to the in this case majestic The Mountain and its immediate slopes. It's here that I crawl into so that I may have some perpsective on the swind-swept and crazy city bowl below, where I live and have sex.

Long street was bathed in honey-sky sunshine that cheered me, as did the awareness of the many cheek-by-jowl architectural styles telling me amazing stories from other times and languages and places and people.

The southeaster had terrorised, ripped and shredded the city since Thursday; but I heard the kindly Melissas' cashier telling two German tourists that Sunday was going to be a perfect day, that they should book tickets on the cablecar so perfect was it going to be.

The street was in shade then at 15 minutes to 6, as was large parts of The Mountain's steely and then grey-granite slopes.

The shop was quiet and calm and peaceful inside, instantly soothing, and the three people inside were all quietly, deeply absorbed in the things that they are each doing alone: the music was good, just right, and the view - yes, I have every reason to harp upon it - extraordinary.

As much I need to be alone, I'm fighting it... I desperately need perspective and centredness in my Creator as this old chapter closes, the new chapter is opened and the first words written. However, rather than stare into my own abyss (which I'm so damn good at normally doing) I co-dependently crave humans and skin-on-skin to fill the loneliness of the void. But desist I must.

An elderly couple stopped against the wind walk up the hill on the other side of the road. They're holding hands. And walking fast. The music, now instrumental and voiceless has upped the tempo and  appears to be in stride with them. A woman with a whingy-whiny voice behind me, at the small round table accompanied by a large but softspoken man that is undoubtedly not hers, gay probably, also lonely, is self-centredly on her mobile to Warren about a movie on Sunday afternoon at 4, so-much-so that I'm doing all that I can to resist throttling her.

Plugging sore holes with people, all birds with some or other level of 'broken wing' syndrome. Just like me.

I wonder about my choices available to me this Saturday night. I fear I might take the same old route I've always walked at similiar junctures.

I am going to thottle her.

Again, today and in our not-speaking, I'm aware that Lee is, despite appearances, is most stable and reliabe and loyal. Despite even knowing that in my core I am incapable of changing myself, nor making things different.

I write to save my life.

I finished Hemingway's The Garden of Eden earlier in the day, which took a most unexpected turn from about half-way. It's also clear from his writing that he was an alcoholic, but while I feared it in the words I also found it delicious and understood it perfectly. And the writing! The end, though, I did not like.

The wind is now howling down the street; I can softly hear it moaning.

[This is a first and rough draft; there's no way I could push send now. I don't have the heart.]

I must go now. 

(I remember hoping that I would plant corn that night and not weeds; even as I hoped I knew the chances were that I wouldn't.)


Monday, October 20, 2014

Amphibian greens and blues / Golden blondes and hues

Mind spirals spirals round and around, circles in the sand and circles in the forest, as I find myself walking down my own garden path: my eyes are tired and tender from too much (sun)light; I'm a winter person and am anxious at the upcoming assault of my senses: too much heat and too much light for months to come (summer's two months, still, from its peak, not to even mention the 1000-ton heat that oppresses from January, that presses my leaves and soon-to-be-dead flowers.

I long for coolness, white feet and blonde hairs, untouched by the sun: to stroke and maybe ruffle soft and golden arm hair, to tweak and squeeze an ear lobe, fine-fine hairs, to pinch the webs between solitary fingers on calloused-cut hands and the amphibian webs between toes on mouthfuls of erotic feet.

I long for the coolness of the pond, beneath the fern fronds and under the rocks, resting amongst peaceful nature's quick-witted tadpoles and angel fish.

skin-on-skin. and peace. and rest. i'm longing for right now.

I'm weary and wary.
The lee of an arm to rest in, for now, at least, or longer.
I'm weary and wary. 

May I rest / may I relinquish control / for a short while at least / ?

Erotic, too.

(But it's not all about me.)


Apathy neutralises the senses
as survival deploys its brutal forces one gets cut
off from others and becomes more and more
familiar with the complete inward-turning of death 

– stanza from “On My Behalf” in poet Antjie Krog’s 'Skinned' anthology

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Beautiful-day-foam on my coffee

First coffee of my Sunday.

Was on my way to work reading and adoring Hemingway's posthumously published The Garden of Eden for his "simple declarative sentences", his "wind and sand-scoured bones".

Was on my way to work to write out the Great Procrastination that cannot be procrastinated about for a second longer; which was when I decided to procrastinate for many seconds more by not getting off at my stop.

Instead I hopped off at the Station (such an old fashioned term IF one thinks about it) before a brief-brisk sun-blanched walk to great coffee and a sumptuous value-for-money breakfast; priceless though was that I was left alone.

So what's up with the pic? I'm waxing all lyrical about my #route102 Lawly MyCitibus stop: It's on Roodebloem street, Woodstock and drives and smoothly churns my creativity. So much so that words drip - and sometimes pour - from my jangling finger tips and mental nerve-ends..

I'm reminded of a slim volume I purchased years ago at a Waterstones in London, and still have,  of 'Poems on the Underground'.

Last night the wind hustled and rattled me with the litter down Greatmore street. Tonight, right now,  it's tearing at the building and shredding dark.

I'm safe, but my mind's in another part of town.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

(no title)

A pigeon pecks haphazardly at the tar at the base of the long and old silver-painted electricity pole, exactly outside Nerona pizzeria on Scott street. This as summer slinks into the city, ramps up the tempo, lengthens the days, forces everyone into shorts and last year's funky street wear. A lot of the skin that I see is white-white.

I peck around at the base of my life, jaw clenched, tired to the very sockets of my eyeballs, drinking a little too much, and a little too obsessively, while ending, beginning and then ending, again, relationships while fatally procrastinating with critical work I should have sunk my teeth into months ago. (Let's see if I can start it today and wrap it by Friday evening.)

A youngster with shiny eyes, a skateboard and long sack cloth-coloured dreads slinks past catching my hungry eyes.

The lines around my eyes are deep and more than ever, and more than ever I avoid my face in mirrors and the screens of my mobile, tablet.

I teach again tonight, I still need to prep; I'm sinking in admin at this the arse-end of the year. I have nothing left to teach, to give, I'm a husk of myself.

I get drunk and offensive, like last night, and piss two relationships off - one fatally, so much so that I'm even blocked. At least my stomach was full on food and wine and beer. What almost worries me is that I do not care; because I don't have anything left to give of myself. 

I'm longing for a reprieve: yet the only one will be me keeping up to speed with what I need to do. Procrastination is ALL about fear; it's the fear of not being good enough.

The unexpected afternoon glass of chardonnay numbs me just enough to keep going.

[I took the pic close to dusk in Noordhoek just short of two weeks ago; it's completely unrelated to this afternoon, except unconsciously.]

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Saturday-to-Saturday life-long relationship (I'll love you 'til Niagara falls)

The beginning of October Wednesday-to-Friday retreat had been coming for months: Noordhoek on the Cape Peninsula. I'd been excited, initially, but as the bottleneck of life had become more clogged and pressured, as I knew it would, I'd begun to dread it, foolishly. It became another pressure point on the acupuncture of my life: quickly as possible to stick the needle in and relieve the pressure, then reactively to move on to the next point (as opposed to proactively resolving the source of my dis-ease).

The first thing I did was compromise the retreat time.

Nevertheless it was a fantasy come true: to be sitting with a long-haired beach boy with a big heart at a fave Kommetjie pub and restaurant renowned for its chill vibes, barefoot and sun-bleached folk all occupying a different time zone and attitude to Cape Town, despite that a mere 40-or-so kilometres separated the lighthouse-lit fishing/surfing village from the city.

Nature, ocean, the holiday-blue sky and ozone-laden seaspary straight off the vast and empty ocean, all that there was to separate the storm-thrashed peninsula from Antartica.

He had got there just before dusk, again in the car with the foreign yellow & black number plates.

That perfect melding of outer- and inner-beauty expressed in the eyes and the smile, the softspoken-ness.

They didn't make love on the beach. Instead, at first, they merely lay there body-on-body, breath-in-breath-melded-into-one-inhaled-and-exhaled-and-inhaled-again on the soft bone-white sand beneath a Southern Hemisphere black velvet void-of-eternity carelessly and gaspingly sprinkled with at least a billion carat. In a breeze just bearably cool, not far from the lapping and phospherent salt-water. 

Then in the dark-on-light he haphazardly scuttled around like a crazy-wth-happiness long-legged crab in the icy-Atlantic water. Endlessly whispering my name he scoopeds up shells, scallops and ocean-ground-to-smoothe and aeons-old pebbles. These he poured into my flimsy jacket pockets without weighing my down. 

Little did I know that he'd later describe us as falling stars, although he would mean it (in the past tense of course) romantically, despite it being his response to my goodnight-and-goodluck email a-few-days-but-many-years-later.

Tanned hands on hairy legs and bony knees / a now almost-empty bottle of red wine clunking with anticipation against the steel undercarriage beneath my passenger seat / he'd excitedly lifted the Wolftrap from his sister's wine collection, in Muizenburg.

Falling over each other through the vegetation, between the parking lot and my double bed, he also tapped to the brim the deep and old fashioned bath designed for a time long before water became scarce and climate change a critical issue. 

Also snuck in was a slender plastic bottle of aromatherapeutic bubble bath that he then plunged in whole beneath the gushing, steaming streams to flail and careen not unlike a corpse gone over the Niagara falls.

He wanted to spend the night, as did I, but I didnt feel right - flying in the face of the people who'd sponsored my retreat, to write.

All that I didn't do was write.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Saturday was a long-week (but awesome)

The Sunday before last - the one after the Saturday-night before last - I sat beneath a sturdy and handsome palm tree at a bad-service and angry Kloof Street restaurant called Vovo Telo. 

I sat there, at a table, across from a heavy and dark 2,5 years, which I constantly tried to placate and whose void I desperately attempted to fill with my awfully-cheerful banter, paddling ever-faster-and-faster in the way that I do (it comes from being the eldest child of three in a family wracked by non-stop fighting between destructive parents hellbent on NOT divorcing for-the-sake-of-the-children - why THE FUCK not, I've asked myself for the rest of my life?).

But, this time, an exception, I had a broad smile on my internal dial, not for a minute thinking that my life was - already - unalterably changed, also that - arrogantly - I thought I was in control. 

[Haha, the joke was not only me, but also on me!] Although my talents are few, one of them remains my self-deprecating ability to piss myself, at myself.

An infant in beauty-and-screeching is being dummied-shut behind me; my heart melts for the miniscule creature; I find myself heaping blessings and love upon her soul (may her life journey be a blessed one).

Yup, I'm at another coffee shop (sadly) writing about other coffee shops; my existence is one that  exists between coffees and coffee venues. [It's a beautiful day, more reminscent of autumn than spring.]

Right now I'll do anything to distract myself, even ordering a smoked chicken and mozarella on a low-GI molasses-colour roll (my metabolism is fuck-fast) while simultaneously whattsapp-ing, Grindr-ing and leaving off my-meeting-in-6-minutes to the last minute plus one.

Flummoxed. [Have I spelled that correctly?]

I wrote him (not 2,5-years) a goodbye-letter yesterday morning after much heart suffering: Dear Catalyst thank you, but bon voyage.
We (not 2.5-years) would meet again that (Sunday) night, after THE Saturday night, to switch on the lights on the side of the building - just off Nelson Mandela boulevard, not far from my work, where he got me down in the street.

He took a bad photo of the lights in-between the lights-and-sparks of two souls trying desperately to be one, inside a spacious car with yellow and black  Zimbabwean registration plates.

And now I push send (I'll have to come back to fix the mistakes).

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The once-off Saturday-to-Saturday series

It's oh-so easy in retrospect, isn't it.

He said, when I met him, not long before we unmet, that I should follow the light, and shed that which had become heavy.

It was only a week: Saturday to Saturday. Yup, that's a lifetime-long; like seeing the world and all-of-nature reflected in a dew drop. Distilled living / pure life.

He was a catalyst. Just this week past. My world is a changed one now.

The week before my life was to change was a bleak and cold one, washed of colour, like what The 2,5 Years had become. 

Hang on, using the word 'become' implies I was a victim, that life had happened to me. Nope, that wasn't the case; I take reponsibility. Fuill responsibility. I had allowed life -  and that which once had been my lifeblood of passion-and-escape from the last chapter (the catalyst before this catalyst), my life and heart - to become washed out and bleak because I had, through complacency and elements of fear, forgoeten that LOVE is in fact a verb.

Hang on, take a step back.

There's the other argument (of course): that once a person's role in your life - i.e. the part where both of your  journeys run parallel, where you walk next to each other for a while - is over, unless you're so-called 'soul mates' of course (but what do i know?). That's when your paths through the forest split apart like a ripe paw paw and you rocket off in your separate ways. (And should you, normally out of clinging and fear and stagnancy, refuse to seperate, that's when it gets really ugly and the '2 x self-destruction-and-decay' begins.

The trick is to know when its over, and to have the balls to act on your intuition.

I had, on numerous occasions, thought the end was in sight. As often as that thought had raised its head, I buried and buried it again in the comfortable, loamy compost I'd surrounded myself with in my comfy potting pot. I'm happy now, and comfortable I had thought, smiling to myself as I fatted myself up to expand myself and root-bound myself.

There is nothing more that the Universe / God hates than complacency and stagnation (not to mention smugness and self-satisfaction).

(I'd very comfotably forgotten my mid-2012 affirmation - my heart is wide open to life.)