Life's pleasures are like a cold dollop of vanilla custard on your tongue on that scorching hot day that hurriedly slides down your dessicated throat and cools your yearning soul... I should know; I've experienced most of them...*
Upon opening the door to emptiness for the fifth time this morning I realised it was indeed April Fools and the universe hated me. Three little boys fled the scene after hitting the intercom a hundred million bajillionty times while two hid behind our stick-thin mailbox. Such stealth. Almost admirable. Those crafty little buggers. Why I oughta… *mumbles obscenities*
Even my phone was in on it. Telling me it was the 2nd when it read “31/01/2013’ yesterday. Oh, my phone… ‘tis clearly spooked.
I received a strange call in the wee hours of the morning. Why I answer phone calls that early is beyond me. I’m never in my right mind.
“Good morning, ma’am.” a hoarse voice said. Ma’am? Pfft! My eyes rolled back. Why do these Nigerian men keep calling me?
“We got hold of a few sketches of yours from your Visual Art’s teacher, Ms Schuam, a while back. We were wondering if we could feature some of your works in one of our art shows… if you don’t mind.” Of course I didn’t mind! But who was this man and how… WHERE did he get my number? Yes, I’d sent my former art teacher pictures of my new artworks but I’d never felt the need to include my new details since I’d lost my phone. Still wiping the sleep out of my eyes I entertained the man’s odd request. It sounded dodgy but in my defense I had never been up that early in my life.
“With whom, may I ask, am I speaking to?” I asked in my best no-I-did-not-just-wake-up accent. Yes, I’m one of THOSE people. “What time is it?”
“My name’s Rodney. We, at Standard Bank, would like to put some of your pieces in the Standard Bank Young Talents gallery. Surely you’ve heard of it?”
“Sure.” I lied. I mean, I was familiar with the Young Artists Awards, maybe this was a new project. This could be my big break! I thought. Ever since that art trip opened my young my bright eyes to the world of fine art back in high school I never went back. An exclusive art show was all I ever dreamed about. Young hopes. Don’t trip, you’ve had them, too. Right then and there I was dreaming about what I was gonna say, wear, do; the faces I’d meet and the places I’d go. I hadn’t showcased my work in ages. Right then and there I was completely buzzed! I couldn’t believe they had chosen me out of the millions of talented people I’d come across at the time art was my one and only true love. I then grew a touch fearful. This was real. A chill slithered down my spine. Look, it was 6 am. To me and a good quarter of the world, those are ungodly hours. Allow me to be gullible.
I propped myself up, straightened out and listened intently.
“Great!” Rodney sounded surprised. And then from of his lips shot out an all too familiar guffaw. NATHI! That jive-turkey! He didn’t! The buzz died faster than the blonde bimbo in horror movies. I can’t believe he remembers all that stuff I told him in my crazy high school years. The man actually listens. Ha! Friends. You gotta love ‘em.
Well played, dude… Well played.
And then there was eating oreos filled with toothpaste and owing my gynae two grand for a consultation. All daddy’s fault *sigh* The latter had me sweating bullets from sheer panic. I’m a student. If I had that money, it was sitting next to my pet unicorn. But that’s a story for another day…
I’ve been diagnosed with this condition. And it’s so severe that sinners can’t make contact without contracting some type of conviction.
Shhhh… listen. I know I’m not trippin’ but ever since I repented it’s like I became schizophrenic. I started hearing this voice… this this… voice, and I know it’s sounds crazy, and it told me to commit suicide. So I die daily, it’s not easy.
I don’t even know how long this thermometer has been resting underneath my tongue to measure my jungle fever but man, I swear… this bright white light within loves to unclothe and penetrate the darkest atmospheres and only God knew the task He would a sinus (assign us) had pressure.
But actually it was his raw passion that activated my allergies til eventually I sneezed praise and God blessed me.
See when I was healthy in sin I thought I was super man. Even though I knew God could read between the lines in my paper thin mind, the extent of this thing had me paralyzed. See, when you stop feeling yourself pretty soon you’ll see you stop masturbating with life.That’s how I stopped doing me. I began to do God’s will. Even though it took away my ability to walk. I said, I began to do God’s will. Even though it took away my ability to walk in darkness occasionally I’m sure my soul was relieved of carrying the weight of me.
See God has allowed me to navigate through this life with a blue handicap sign on my rear view for 2 reasons:
1. Cause every time I look back I acknowledge my weakness.
2. Because it was hung up, I believe I was given the privilege of parking closer to the entrance of His kingdom.
It wasn’t until now that I was ever able to understand the value of being fed through a tube til I realized that I only consumed the essential nutrients for survival without the additives. It might not be what I prefer but it’s exactly what I need. His words have become my meat so I eat til His presence becomes obese and I can no longer see da feet (defeat). I must remind you, they told me that the day I would get saved would be the day that pigs fly and then I thought “swine flew (flu)” so it’s whatever…
You know, God reigns even in the midst of the storm so it makes sense why I’m always under the weather. And I’m not getting better cause after chilling with the coolest creator it’s like I developed pneumonia. He’s so omniscient, He knew this world would be crazy so he made it bi-polar.
That’s why my love for him declares war against sin - I mean, literally. My cardiac is armed and strapped, you think terrorists are bad… you’ve never seen a heart attack. But when I learned that obedience to scriptures was sin’s answer, I stopped being ashamed of my skin cancer; cause why wouldn’t my flesh be destroyed with so much exposure to the Son (sun)? And I’m not done. This Osteoporosis got my spine curved so I bow in reverence of Christ’s holy name on earth.
He taught me to also carry my cross just so I could fathom joint pain. See, if I must give glory, I do so in my infirmities. You see, my very existence is bed ridden on the grace of God. Without him how could I breathe? He’s my living oxygen machine. These IV’s, I mean, these prayers have connected me to the source. And it’s funny how much more important eternity has become while I’m living on life support.
The significance of me living is that I incurred a terminal sickness is that it guarantees me consistent visits and extensive attention from the physician. I guess that’s no wonder why I’m dying to be the sickest. “For whosoever shall save his life shall lose, whosoever shall lose his life for the sake of Christ will find it.” Therefore, if the word caused this ill, I don’t wanna find a vaccination.
If I could I would reproduce with every oxygen atom making this disease air-borne just to infect the nations. And yes, he was bruised for our iniquities, and by his stripes we were healed which only means He was whipped so we wouldn’t be sick from. But he died… so that we wouldn’t be sick of the lust that nurses our infidelity and the pride that doctors our false identity. Sick of every transgression prescribed by hell which helps us to recover ourselves with the veil until we feel well in iniquity and no, I’m not promoting physical illness. But if our reasonable service is to live as a sacrifice then I’ll rather live as if I’m before death. Before death. Than regret where I spend my after life. After life.
And if you’re ever tested and the results come back positive that you’re a Christian, then answer this question honestly… what exactly are your symptoms?
By Ezekiel Azonwu
Remember those lingering embraces;
One more dear than the last
But sadly not enough to cause the clouds overhead to bide?
Do you remember disdainful kisses;
So bold, so broiling
So hard to swallow
Yet they could not cause glaciers to thaw?
It was me, you, and the moonlight
In a loveless world, our legs and lies intertwined
Whispering vows we could not wait to break
They have seen all this before
We were stubborn kites in a pale blue sky that heeded the incoming wind
And nothing else
Lonely sails that feared drowning in the outgoing tides
If we dared dip too low
They left us in our tender embraces
Refusing to shut our eyes until there was nothing to see
But two faint mellow smiles.
By Jedah Marivate
Quite so often when a baby ad pops up I try to imagine what kinda mother I’d be. The strict officer whose kids, quite literally, piss their pants out of fear in her presence? The lost soul who’s bored out of her mind and often wishing she were some place else, with a hot hunk of a man by her side, maybe? Or maybe the fun mom whom every kid wants, spontaneous and always full of life…
Then I had the strangest dream, once again (which is strangely still vivid). About motherhood this time. It was, well, surprisingly not as horrific as I’d thought a dream about popping out kids with melon-sized heads from ‘the tunnel of life’ would be. I woke up panting and screaming “Oh Lord, why?!” nonetheless.
Anyway, I named him Azariah. And he was the most adorable thing I’d ever laid eyes on. Tiny hands, tiny feet, the brightest eyes that’d make any mother’s heart skip a beat. He puked on strangers every now and then; did mama proud. Ah, he was beautiful. But when he was not being cute, it was 3am and he was shortening my life span with every bloodcurdling yelp. Cries that made you forget how old you were, feel so alone and sob while he sucked the life out of your teat, until you realized you were the adult there and manned up a little for the umteenth time.
Then Azariah grew up and became less of a pest, as you’d imagine. He made mama mud pies and sang his nursery rhymes. Oh, the way he’d belt out his notes. They’d undoubtedly give Andrea Bocelli a run for his money. My little prodigy. One day as Azariah was meandering around the playground looking for a playmate, some child told him he couldn’t play with them. It broke mama’s heart. I was a natural disaster waiting to happen, and I was gonna happen all over the mean kid’s face until I realized I can’t protect my kid from all of life’s injustices, no matter how hard I try.
And then Azariah got sick. So sick he was bedridden for weeks. And I’d sit there, his frail fading hand in mine, praying he lived to see another day, demanding the doctor’s checked again, helped my baby until I realized I cannot protect my kid from every bruise or scrape. Hopeless…
Then Azariah became a teen and he faced one of the toughest trials in life - High school. Things changed. He smiled less. We hung out less. He fought the urge to drink, to be just like his awesome friends. Time and time again I told him to look forward, not around him, to be diligent in his studies, to take his time growing up. And he listened. With that came me realizing I cannot protect my child from all the world’s dangers. You can scold, you can warn, you can guide but there ain’t no way you can guarantee safety. Azariah died, as innocent and young as he was, in a car crash. A happening that shook me awake and had me sitting up in my bed, tears streaming down my face as I remembered my late cousin.
Motherhood wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It takes balls, and strength you might not always have. There’s just too much to handle, too much riding on it. I’m quite thankful I have a mother who has motherhood down to a science. Mastering the balance between listening to me, valuing my opinions and getting me to listen to her too. Trying her hardest to protect me yet letting me witness my struggles and become the delightful young lady I am while being the ‘fun mom’, the ‘strict officer’, the ‘perfectionist’ and the ‘lost soul’ all at once. Such a tough job, I salute her. Really. That being said, I think I shall wait another 10 years.
You see, my child
Sometimes you’ll wish you lacked the capacity to love
For, at first, it will always be those who don’t deserve it
or even notice it that get it
Why those who don’t know what to do
with what they’ve got always seem to to get it…
We’ll never know
See this deep murky puddle of unrequited love?
That’s where souls that fall but aren’t caught land.
Be careful. Everything is not as it seems.
You will love. And when you love it will be love.
Or at least, then, it’ll be the closest you’ve come.
That ‘love’ is an austere disease,
A disease from which you will never recover.
And for a while you’ll lack the desire and will to live
Then find another lover
You’ll let them stroke your heart
Ask them to give it back.
Love, or no love at all, will leave you numb.
Love. It’s only as kind as you let it be.
Love. It burns bright and explodes in flames
And seers a hole in your heart so deep
No doctor will know how to mend
Love. You’ll do it again. And again. And again,
No matter how much it hurts.
You’ll do it again, my child.
In the end you’ll count the scars - lessons learned,
And thank God you survived, thank God you know how to love.
By Jedah Marivate