Thursday, 13 September 2012

Not This Time.


She knows now that she doesn’t have anyone else to blame, but herself.
She used to wax lyrical about how she wants to be alone, to figure herself out, but is the first to jump back into role as soon as their scene is up.
She can’t help the way she holds out a hope that this time it’ll be different.
It never is.

She pushes the send button, knowing his response is likely to be the same as it always it – one of anger, with harsh and nasty words to prove his point. He swears when he gets angry, although she’s asked him not to. She’s warned him a hundred times not to use that kind of language – “I hate it!” - and if he does he’ll never hear from her again.
He still does it.
Shows how seriously he takes her threats. Shows how much she means them.

It’s a sort of social faux-suicide attempt, not meant with the intention of death, but purely as a means of testing how alive she is, he is, they are.
She presses send and she knows what is about to ensue. The same argument as before, it’s always the same.

He’s hurt her. He’s sorry. He’s trying. He’s trying his heart out. He’s tired of trying. He’s finished with it all, with her. He’s done.
She’s been hurt. She’s forgiven him. She just has trouble trusting. She’s trying. She’s trying her heart out. She just can’t trust him. She’s scared.
He’ll leave her. She’s done.

They are meant to be together. He knows it. She knows it. Why do they try so hard then to pull it all apart? That’s all they’ve ever done, be apart.
They’ve never actually been together.

Which begs the questions, why does she believe they’re meant to be?
She doesn’t know. It’s just a feeling. Perhaps that’s why she’s so frivolous with her words. Perhaps that why she pushes the send button, because she know it’ll never mean the end. Not for good, anyway.

Only this time, things are different. From the moment she pushes send, something is wrong. The veins beneath her skin ripple in the anticipated moment of when they each begin to speak their lines. His lines don’t come. There is anger, that’s for sure. But it isn’t the same. His words are more harsh than usual, but she refuses to cry… He can’t really mean them. He never does.
Except, this time…
This time, when he says he’s done, she finds she believes him.

She sits for a moment. Her head is in the thick of it. A white fog has moved in, stinging her eyes, and… What’s this? A tear? That can’t be.
She’s still trying to understand why it’s all so different this time, when suddenly out come the tears. She’s never cried this much before. Not for him. She does cry, but never with a gut-wrenching pain that stings her throat and leaves her sobbing. She finds herself inconsolable.
Because it’s never been the end before. Not with him.

And then it hits her. You can’t trust that someone will love you forever.
Not when you fly your dirty laundry so high up in the air.
And you can’t claim you were right, when you pushed and pushed and pushed him to leave you, claiming that it was because “you knew eventually he would”…
Because he wouldn’t have. Not if you’d let him stay. Not if you’d let him love you. He wouldn’t have.

And in that moment, she understands why it’s all so different.
It’s because he has gone.
And she is alone.

And he isn’t coming back. Not this time.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Let's Keep It Simple, Stupid.

I believe I've made a discovery. I don't believe that it's of significant importance to the future of the World, or will greatly alter life as we know it, but if anything, it might just ensure that a whole lot of individuals sleep better at night. Or perhaps, just ensure that I sleep better at night - and as an insomniac, that's a welcome thought!

I have discovered that there's a major discrepancy adding to the generations old "war" between the sexes - and perhaps, and this is a novel idea, it even may have played a role in launching the whole war in the first place. I can practically hear your gasps as you find yourself unable to stop reading - I've intrigued you, drawn you in, and left you wanting to know, just what is this "thing" that's caused years and years of angst between men and women? And why is it relevant to me?

Because it is. It's come to my attention that we human beings are decidedly shocking at saying what we mean, meaning what we say, and doing what we say we will. And it's THIS that has motivated years of miscommunication between the sexes. Yes, who knew? It's truly that simple. Allow me to demonstrate.

You're at a bar, and you're with friends. You have no alternative motives other than to share a decent evening with friends. You offer to buy the first round - clearly testimony to how good a mood you're in - and you saunter off to the bar. You people watch whilst you wait, amusing yourself at the rants and raves of drunken students around you. You smile and as you look forward towards to barman who seems not to notice the undeniably magnetic allure of your push-p bra, he catches your eye. He smiles at you, presumingly in response to the grin that you already had plastered to your face.

Thereafter a night ensues in which you are thoroughly charming, mixed with just the right combination of flirtatious and friendly, if you do say so yourself. I mean, if you were hitting on you, you'd be smitten! And this friendly chap whose managed to find you in the crowds three times thus far seems to be just that. He walks you to your car, you dawdle, taking your time to find the car keys, drawing out the moments right before he leans in and kisses you - a moment you both know is inevitable. And as luck would have it, the kiss is excellent. A delightfully electric cherry on the top of the chocolate Sundae that is your Saturday night. After swapping numbers, you drive home, quite content with the way things have turned out.

Until three weeks later, when you've yet to have meet up again with this surprising Saturday smooch. Sure, you've texted once or twice, but the extent of this hasn't extended past the appearance of his name on your cell phone screen. And that's when I began to wonder. I mean, I'm not retarded. I grasp the concept of one night kisses with men who I'll never see again - I'm not proud of it, but don't pretend it hasn't happened to you at least once. Point is, there should be signs and signals that this is the case. If I'm nothing but a fun flirtation for a few hours, then so be it. But then don't ask for my number, don't text me the minute we've said goodbye, and don't then continue to text me weekly (or worse, nightly) for the next few weeks without any mention of ever meeting up again!!

It's from this, and other little case studies, that I've resolved the dissolution between the sexes. I know, sheer genius. Point is, I think we'd all be a lot better off with a fresh dose of brutal honesty. Perhaps human kind needs to take to sign language to an entirely new level - making use of hand signals, for example, that will flag what it is we're looking for, what it is we're open to, and whether we're even attracted to one another. And in the mean time, keep it simple, stupid. Don't ask for my number unless you plan to use it as a means by which to actually SEE me again. Don't tell me "we should meet up again" without any mention of whether it'll be this century or not. And to push the point using a phrase that a dear friend recently taught me, stop teacup-pigging me.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

How To Sell Yourself Short.

Meet him one night, at a bar, at a friend's house, through your sister. Hit it off. Find the stories of the adventures he's been on riveting, and find yourself excited at the prospect of a new-found friendship. Think nothing more of it than an opportunity to go on a new adventure or two yourself, and resolve to say "yes" to every opportunity this new-found friend brings.

Go surfing. Climb mountains. Drink too much too often. And always, always have excellent war stories from the night before, as the two of you reminisce amidst fits of laughter over what he said/she said, he did/she did scenarios. Call each other nicknames that have no real meaning, and playfully wrestle when a disagreement over whose ordering the take out arises. Bake weed cookies, and stay up all night watching horror films. Share a bed, but never think that anything might happen because you're "just friends".

Go out drinking, another night out, to any one of the usual places. Order the usual first round before the night dissolves into the usual myriad of shooters and bad decisions. Notice there's something different, but don't figure out what it is. Until...

Share a kiss on the dance floor. Let the sound of the music fade away in the background. Don't think any romantic thoughts, it won't click straight away that he was someone you could fall for. Instead, find yourself trying to gage his kissing skills, and wondering if your breath smells. Pull out, just to make sure you're kissing who you think you're kissing, and then just throw caution to the wind, and continue. He's not that bad a kisser anyway...

Uh. Oh.

Find yourself driving two days later, running errands which don't really require the command of your full attention. As you drive, find your thoughts drifting to that night you first kissed. Smile. Stop smiling. Find it odd that you smiled in the first place. Shake your head and write it off to nothing more than the appreciation of a good friend, but find yourself wondering if it'll happen again...

Let it happen again. And again. Now when he sleeps over, find your bodies pulled together so that you lie side-by-side spooning, a magnetic force between you that means you're never more than 10 centimetres apart. Kiss for hours, slowly building up the anticipation each time, until neither of you can take it anymore. Have sex. Briefly hear a tiny voice in your head asking you what the hell you think you're doing, before the touch of his tongue to your neck pulls you back into the moment and over the edge of reason. Lie together afterwards, awkward yet comfortable. Hold hands as you do so. Fall asleep spooning.

Wake up and replay the night before in your mind. Crack open your eyelids to find him sleeping still beside you. Let your hands wonder over his body, bringing him to consciousness and arousal simultaneously. Have sex again. Lazily this time. With as much passion as the night before, without the will or need to rush. Grab a shower afterwards and come out to a cup of coffee and a kiss awaiting you. Say goodbye, and part ways.

Chat to him now and again over the next week. Find yourself blinking twice whenever he uses the word "dude" in a message to you. Think nothing of it. Wait to see him again. Do so, at a bar with friends. Try not to feel confused when nothing is different. Note the lack of something... Something special when he talks to, or looks at, you. Be just another face in the crowd around the table. Push your feelings deep down inside.

Bide your time. Every now and then, find him back at your place after a night out and one too many drinks. Have sex again. Ignore the voice in your head begging to know what's going on. Resolve not to be that girl. Swear you'll just go with the flow. Don't acknowledge the silent horror of your skipped heart beat when he jokes about being "friends with benefits". Fail to see any benefits, beyond the half-an-hour to an hour you share in your bed, during which you can fool yourself that he sees you as someone beautiful; as someone worth loving; as someone full stop.

Never get the answers to the questions that race through your heart and mind. Let go of the exciting potential promised by the first kiss. Resign yourself to the notion that you are "just friends". But never let the flame go out; that flame that dares to unhinge the cool, calm and collected image you've worked so hard to construct... That flame that urges you to wonder if he'll ever like you, ever love you, never leave you. That flame that burns you every single time you dare to let it glow a little brighter.
That burning, fiery flame.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

An Open Letter To My 16-and-a-half-year-old Self.



Dear 16½ year-old me,

What does one begin to say to themselves? I suppose, only the most simple and honest things. I write this at the age of 24, and you’ll be glad to know that you’re happy and healthy. Your family is as supportive and loving as they always were (even when your deepest, darkest, and most rebellious stories are revealed at your 21st) and your friends are all incredible people.
I’d say it’s momentous that I write to you at such an age, when you feel so invincible. It gets tough. But no matter how tough it gets, it’s never anything you cannot handle, and it’s certainly always worth it.
When you turn 17, you will have your heart broken for the first time by the boy you’re seeing. It won’t hurt for long, but it will hurt enough that for your whole matric year, you will swear off boys, and love. This is good for you – you learn more about who you are, and what you want. Although, it does ensure you also miss out on a boy who will on-again-off-again with you, right up until today. Even as I write this, I cannot fully assure you that we’re over him, but I can assure you that his love is vital to us. So embrace it.
When you turn 18, you will be raped. Not by a stranger, but an acquaintance. You will block the truth of the matter out for almost four years, until desperation and madness drive you to finally tell your parents. You will be diagnosed with depression immediately after this, and take anti-depressants for 6 months, until you decide that you just don’t want to anymore. On that day, I am so proud of you. You decide your happiness is in your own hands, and you begin a journey to discover it – without the aid of medication of any kind. I am still on this journey, but let me tell you, 2012 is turning out to be a phenomenal year, and a well-deserved reward for your bravery in 2011.
When you are 19, Hermy – our beloved sausage dog puppy – will pass away. It will hurt more than you could ever have imagined. You’ll wander the hallway of our parents’ home, and miss the pitter-patter of his little paws behind you. Our “shadow”, as mum always called him, will be gone – and for a long time you will not be able to speak or think of him, without an ache in your heart and a tear in your eye.
Sandy, our twin brother’s dog, will help to heal you, though. He will miss his brother, too, and the two of you will be able to console one another, giving you both another two years of licks and love. When he eventually passes, too, you will need to be strong. It will hurt. You will not get another dog for many, many years after. And you will feel alone.
However, you will channel this pain into something very, very good. After much discussion with your parents – and one or two heated arguments – you will be allowed to foster abandoned puppies through Kitty and Puppy Haven. You will fall in love with the little lumps of love, who come into your life, and leave it again – and you will cry every time you take them back to the Haven to hopefully be adopted. But you will remember that you have made a difference, even if it’s to only one animal – and it’s this memory that will cause you to continue this somewhat self-destructive community service.
 You may not be able to understand it now, but at 24 you have so much yet still to do. You always thought you’d have met the man you were to marry by now, but I’m rather thankful you were wrong on that one. I refuse to settle for anything less than magic, and I assure you that we’ll find it. One day.
 We have yet to travel the world, and our savings for the Round the World ticket is in dire straits. But we’re driven and passionate, and you can trust that our ten-year plan to climb Mount Everest will happen.
I could not wish to change anything about what has happened in the years between us. I want you to be the person that you are, the happy and fun-loving teenager I have so many photographs and memories of… You have hard times ahead of you, so cherish the years before they begin.
And one more thing… At no point are you ever alone with you pain and hardship, and it’s important you remember that.
I think it’s important I remember that, too.

At age 24, I want you to know that we intend to live forever. And so far, so good.

All my love,
24 year-old you

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

My Aunt Named Rose.

I had an aunt named Rose.

She was lively and determined. She hated people who were fake, in fact, anything that was fake. She, like me, had no filter, and if she'd ever thought twice before she spoke, she would never have said anything at all. She was brutally honest, and if she thought it or felt it, she said it. I'm sure you'll agree that this kind of honesty doesn't always go down well. As human beings, we ask for the truth but are often angered when we get what it is we asked for. However, this never daunted Rose. In fact it's her words that I remember most.

My aunt Rose loved fiercely. She loved her friends, and her family with a fire that burnt strong and true. I remember she once told me, with a mischievous little smile, that if I married for love, I'd be materially poor. If I married for money, I'd be emotionally poor. And if I married a man with a foot fetish, I'd have the best in footwear that money could buy. The final bit was a fact she'd learnt from first hand experience, and a memory which always left us in a fit of giggles. But I know Rose married for love, and spent thirty years of married life filled with happiness as a result of it. And I know that I, too, could never marry for anything other than love - because Rose got it, and made me see, that if you found love - the real long lasting stuff - there's a lot of other things you can do without.

My aunt Rose wasn't happy all of the time. She had a life that wavered tempestuously and often found ways of kicking her when she was down. But I don't have a single memory of her in which that sparkle in her eye didn't grow to become a grin on her face, as she cooked up some new form of mischief with which to astound people. Whilst her body, as all our bodies, changed with age, her heart remained as youthful as ever. My aunt Rose never found herself out of place with young people, because the one thing she was always up for was fun!

I had an aunt named Rose, who passed away yesterday. I prayed for those she'd left behind, and I prayed for her - but some part of me knew she'd already found her way up to the angels in Heaven. She'd been reunited with her own mother, and her daughter, and was already causing havoc with the celestial beings around her. In my heart I knew she had begun to look down on each of us with the wisdom and love she'd always shared with me during each of our meetings. And I knew she'd always find a way to ensure her presence was still felt - in the final rays of the sun as it sets, and the ever-rolling waves of the ocean against the shore. 

I had an aunt named Rose, who I am blessed and proud to say I knew.
I will carry her heart in mine. I will renew my zest for life, and resolve to live as lovingly and honestly as Rose did, never growing too old for a little fun and a good giggle. 
I will never forget the words that she gave me on every occasion that we shared.
And I will never forget Rose, and her mischievous smile, and the twinkle in her youthful eyes...

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

6 Things I'm (Still) Not Ready For.

1. Frequent trips to the Post Office.

If you ever wake up and spend the first five minutes of your coming-to-consciousness trying to figure out when you can slip in a quick trip to the Post Office - then you have grown up. There's no hope for you, it's done. And I'm just not ready for it, quite yet. I know, I know, I'm turning 24 in ten days, but I still can't see how a trip to the Post Office will become a necessity - although I'm sure banks, insurance companies, and government billing offices feel differently. I'd rather spend the time browsing the bookshelves of a second-hand bookstore, baking muffins, or feeding the ducks at Zoo Lake. I do what I want.

2. Letting go of the belief that I'm still a Party Animal.

My mum frequently voices her concern as to how early I launched into the World of night-clubs and all-nighters - but even more concerning to her, is how long I've managed to keep it up! I mean, I'm going on a good ten years here! And I'm STILL not done! She believes any self-respecting adult (yuck) gets over these urges, but call it FOMO or a quarter-life-crisis, whatever the reason, 48-hour long trance parties have never seemed more appealing!

3. Marriage. Or being alone forever. Actually, both.

Now, I know I'm weird. I know, this. Read my blog and you'll know this, too. But I can't quite explain what it is I'm looking for when it comes to relationships as a whole. I mean, no one likes to feel lonely. There's a huge difference between feeling lonely and being alone, and I'm fine being alone. However, when I start to feel lonely, then I freak out and convince myself that my best years are behind me and I will never find someone whose willing to take on a relationship with a 'special case' like me. But then I hear my parents talking about how they'll never have any trouble "getting rid of me" (a.k.a. marrying me off) and I start to hyper-ventilate with commitment-phobe related anxiousness. It's a conundrum, which has led me to the rather apathetic (and cop-out) notion of "what will be, will be."

4. Getting a 'real' job.

You know, I've always been really quite fine with the notion of a pay check. Receiving money once a month, which see's you live out your days for the following month, splitting up the cash between bills, bars and any other pursuits that might need a little cash thrown in their direction. However, I don't know how I feel about the working bit that leads to the reception of this pay check. Don't get me wrong, I've never be adverse to hard work. I'm extremely diligent, and I am a perfectionist who will dedicate time, effort and care to everything. However, the idea of launching myself into a job for an extended period of time is somewhat daunting. Adults work, everyday, five days a week, from 8 'til 5. And all I keep thinking is when will I find the time to play??

5. Sensodyn tooth paste.

Need I even explain this one? Is your mind not, too, filled with images of old folk brushing what's left of the four or five teeth in their swollen, offishly-pink gums in an effort to not suffer from the "extreme" temperatures of their predominantly liquified food?! Yikes.

6. To be apart of the Next Generation.

On the occasion of the death of my Grandmother, nearly two years ago, I remember thinking "that's it." She was the last of my grandparents to pass away, and that meant my parents, aunts and uncles were the next generation up for that looming era of "old age" - however near or far it may be. Well, I've realised I'm not ready. I'm not prepared for my parents to go - not in any way close. And I know it sounds stupid, but I'm not prepared to have had 18-years less with them than my 18-years older brother.   I remember watching my father write out the eulogy he was to say for his father's death, and feeling this overwhelming sense of dispair at the thought that I, too, will have this experience in my future. I'm not ready to open myself up to the thought that my parents just might not live forever.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Things I Thought You Should Know

I'm not crazy. 
I know I might come across that way, and trust me, I don't mean to. I'll explain. My friends have always laughed about the fact that my mind never stops, and often the end result is that I'll come out with very bizarre statements that frequently have very little to do with anything we've been discussing. At all. But in my head, I made the transitions, the connections that lead me to that point. And just because I didn't say all of it out loud, doesn't mean it doesn't make sense... To me, anyway. Point is, I may have done that with 'us'... Made the transitions and connections in my head and heart, that lead me to the point where I knew I liked you. So whilst I said it out loud, you were still several steps behind me, wondering how on Earth I'd ended up where I did. So, believe me when I say I'm not crazy. I just like you.

I will miss you. 
I know it's a really small statement to make, but people don't say it enough - especially when it is exactly what they're feeling. I think of everything we've shared, and how I went and messed it all up - because let's be honest, I did a bit - and I have only one clear emotion (I refuse to ever regret anything) and that is that I will miss you. Time will heal us both. We will move on. In a few months, perhaps a year, I'll find someone who'll make me laugh and I'll start to like him, instead. But I can guarantee this - I will miss you. I may not feel it every moment of every day, but there'll be moments in each day - lots at first, and less with time. Perhaps a song will come on, or I'll come across a line in a book that reminds me of you. Perhaps I'll play that game we always used to play where we'd open a book and read the first line our eyes fell on as the answer to the questions of the world... Point is, I will miss you.

I didn't mean to make a mess of everything. 
It'd be alright, I think, if it had been the first time this time. But it wasn't. And the more you seemed to point out where I was falling short, the shorter I seemed to fall. I genuinely don't know if it's just me who learns by making mistakes, but I seem to have made almost every mistake imaginable. And then I just make more. The first time, I got scared and ran away. And I thought you'd never forgive me for it. Then you got scared and ran away, and I thought I'd never forgive you. Then we forgave each other and seemed to launch into a whole new exciting and potential-filled phase... Until you ran away. Again. This time, however, I have to forgive you. Because you only ran, when I chased you.

I believed you. 
I have this stupid habit where I believe people - I've researched cures for it, but there don't seem to be any that don't involve being a 99-year-old spinster with 17 cats whose fluent in cynicism. Not a great look for me. So, I believed you when you told me how important I was to you. And when you said we'd be friends for life in the very least, and that you did have feelings for me, it just wasn't the right time... Well, I believed it all. I drank it up. I was onboard - hook, line and sinker! Even now, I'm not entirely certain that I don't still believe you... I know. I'm a bit of a sucker for punishment.

I'm sorry.
Just that... I'm sorry.