Day 28: If

If I had said no more often
Grew up in one place
Never went to boarding school
Took isiXhosa instead

If I had carried on with piano,
Kept playing the guitar
Taken Art as a subject
Went to Wits instead of UCT
Became a Medical Scientist and ignored my artistic side

Never moved to East London
Never left when I was there
Never went back to that gig that night
Never wrote that letter to the Herald Editor

If I was “normal”
Aiming only to survive the system
And not change it.
Had tunnel vision
Cruised through life
Never curious
Never wondering.

If I never read
Spent all that time alone…

Would I still be who I am now?

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Day 26: Song

1.
My boyfriend once told me that I would make a good A&R person. Because of my ear for music. To which I replied: “I didn’t know they still had A&R people.”

2.
I just wanna write great songs.
3.
If I had a high(er) self-esteem, I would have become a musician. Perhaps a broke one. Or I would get frustrated with the industry and change careers. Who knows anymore?

Day 25: Remember (Christmas)

Remember how around this time last year you moaned about having to make your own vegetarian dishes? And how you woke up early to prepare, taking turns with your Mom in using the oven? And how stressed you were ’cause you kept everybody waiting. And you hoped the food would turn out ok and it did?

Remember this day. Your vegan lentil loaf was a hit.

Allow yourself time to evolve. And allow those around you to do the same.

Day 22: Things People Say

Shame
You’ll be fine
I wish I was as bold
So what is it you do?
Where do you buy your clothes?
Oh, but you’re so strong
I can’t place you
Wow, you’re pretty
Who are you friends with? I always see you alone
If I knew where you lived, I would follow you home and rape you
Love your outfit
At least you’re not vegan
Your hard work will pay off
You look like you should be in…
What do you write?
You’re different
I would NEVER do that
What music are you into?
And your parents are ok with the way you dress?
Smile sweetheart, you look angry
Have you ever lived in Europe?
Why do you still buy CDs?
I don’t know who told you it was a good idea to shave your hair, but…
Are you really black?
THAT’S your ex?
I like you

Day 21: Everybody

Everybody should know:
Their purpose in life. If not, then they should define it
That we are not all equal.
And we should stop pretending we are.

We should know to file taxes
And earn multiple incomes
To see the system for what it really is
And try to survive it
Or change it. (And fully accept which ever choice)

That sometimes the cover version (or the remix) is better than the original.
And that’s ok

That the many shades of blackness are all valid and complete

Life can take you down the very path you swore you’d never walk
And you become the very person you once judged.

That you cannot expect decorum from anger.
Much like grief, there is no formula.
No right or wrong. It just is.

That all your friends can be your best friends
And they can have other best friends that aren’t you
And that’s somehow ok.
Somehow it works

Everybody should be enough
As they are
With whatever they have.

Day 20: Supermarket

I hate grocery shopping.

Ok, I don’t hate grocery shopping. I just find all shopping tedious to be honest. But I can tolerate grocery shopping for the most part. My routine is always the same. Drive the trolley with my right hand, phone in the left hand scrolling through the list. Mind overactive; dreaming and calculating. I stare at all the food. Things I’ll never buy. Things I can’t afford. I imagine myself as a professional chef (thank you Food Channel and BBC Lifestyle). I create dishes in my head. Cooking is a creative process. That’s why I hate it. Someone walks past me. I reluctantly come down from my high. I remember why I’m here. I feel a little sad. Then grab some avocados.

As I said to a friend of mine sometime ago: “I can’t wait until I can go shopping without counting pennies.”

Day 19: Walk Away

“I can’t believe you think this is a good idea.” She leaned back into her chair and folded her arms. “Like…you’re seriously considering this.”
A silence lay between them, despite the sound of cars driving past and random conversations from nearby tables.
“Yes, I think there’s something there. I think it’s im-”
“But it isn’t your story TO TELL! I don’t understand why you would even call me here to…to hijack my story basically. And pass it off as your own just so you can sound fresh and relevant to the scene.”
“You’re taking this the wrong way.”
“How am I supposed to take it?!”
“Look. I’m not hijacking your story. I just think it needs to be shared. And since you won’t do it…”
“Are you kidding me?! WON’T DO IT?!”
“Keep your voice down.”
“NO!”
More silence. Then finally she said: “You know what? I need a fucking drink. You need to buy me a fucking drink ’cause you are stressing me the fuck out right now.”
He got up to buy her a drink. She watched him walk away then clicked her tongue in anger. “Fucking poets.”