Me-dulation : (Me Modulation) 

I’m reinventing myself.

That’s what I said to myself on the day after my birthday.

New Year, New Me. Time to make some  changes. I’m reinventing myself.

As if I have any idea who I am,  to attempt to create a new version of myself that is different from original me.

I think I am not the same person I used to be.

That the me of today is not the same me that I was a few years ago. That too much has changed for me to go by the same name.

Sometimes. I feel that I am a different person on different days to different people and this is all a game of illusion.  

That I am not two sides of the same coin, but instead two different coins stuck together by soluble glue parading as one. That just a splash of water will reveal my facade.

Even if it takes the work of nail polish remover to expose my insides, will I pass? 

I stand on the highest rooftop on the highest mountain and shout as loud as I can for everyone who cares to hear.

I AM ME! I AM ME!

but

Who is this Me I claim to be? Is there a way to define who I am for even myself to understand and agree?  Is there a word, a sentence, a page, a book, a movie, that covers the expanse of my life description? 

Would I recognize it if I saw it?

Sometimes, I agree that I will never be the same person I used to be. That I have breathed in the dust of a silver jubilee and it has wrecked my insides forever unclean. I am not the child of my mother. I am not my brother’s little sister. I am not your friend. I am not the writer I used to be.

I am not me. 

And I accept this.

This acceptance even, may change me. 

We’ll see.

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Just. Friends

Every time I see you, warmth crawls up from the pit of my stomach and transforms itself into a smile.
I stay, staring at you with that plastered on my face until you notice me.
Baby. My love. Hey. You. Hello. Hi.
It doesn’t matter what my lips say.
My heart is saying.. “Hello, soul mate. Please stay”.

I believe that for every person, God gives another.
Somewhere, out there.
There is someone made just for you.
And for me, that person is YOU.

You fit me.
Like a warm blanket on a cold night,
You are what I need.
Exactly when I need it.
Before I ask for it.

Don’t get me wrong,
I will not marry you.
Or even date you,
No.

Because what we have is more than marriage.
More than stolen kisses and tangled sheets.
More than under-the-table groping.
More than legs so intertwined that I do not know where my thighs end and yours begin.
More than ‘my ex, my next’

What we have is friendship.
The kind that will not, CAN NOT die.
What we have is 2 am conversations about relationships.
What we have is me laughing at you for being in love.
What we have is movie nights and sleepovers and inside jokes.

We are Just. friends.
The word ‘just’ assumes that what we have is a poor substitute for what could be.
Just. Friends.
Because ‘just’ also means ‘exactly’ or ‘right’.
Because this world. This universe. Out of all the parallel universes that could be. This one exists so that THIS could be.
Hello. Soul mate. Please. Stay.

Rowie. 21/03/2014 1:10am

For my daughter.

She is six and I have her seated on the floor between my legs as I try to tame her unruly curls into a braid suitable for school. She winces as I tug and I give her a book to read. To take her mind off the pain.

She is ten. Boys are mean and pull her hair. I am her best friend and her other best friend lives in Rio. They write long letters with pink gel pens and decorate them with a million stickers.

She is sitting on my bed trying on jewelry. At fourteen, boys are interesting and the books and movies have taught her everything she needs to know about life. I am still her best friend but I sense that it is changing.

She slams the door shut on her way out. She says she hates me and will never talk to me again. I sigh gently, she used to be my best friend. She has a boyfriend. He wears black all the time and holds her hand. I pray at night that it is all he holds. She is sixteen.

She is crying into my arms. I tell her heartbreak won’t kill her. That it will make her stronger. Teach her more about life. About herself. That it is good to cry. She Says she will never love again. I smile as I remember where my heart was at eighteen.

She has a fierce love for God. I am jealous of it sometimes and other times I am just so happy it hurts my cheeks. She reads all the time and she sends me funny voice notes at odd times of the day. She has a friend she wants me to meet. She tells me I will like him. I remind her that she promised me she will never love again. She laughs. She remembers. She is twenty-three.

She is the most beautiful woman in the world today. I am so proud. In the church, I whisper a prayer of thanks to God for the gift of my baby. She smiles at me as he walks her down the aisle. There are tears in her eyes. “I love you” is what I whisper to her when I hug her outside. She hugs me back tightly. I will miss her so much. Twenty-five is too young.

She calls me at 3 am. I am going to be a grandmother. I feel so old. She is excited. She can’t stop giggling. I put the phone on the table and go back to bed. Through the veil of sleep I can hear them at the other end of the phone. Making plans.

I pray for her every night. I pray that she is strong. I ask God to keep her safe. To help her be more than I could ever be. I talk to her all the time. She is no longer my baby.

I pray for her all the time.
She will always be my baby.

She gives me a card on her fiftieth birthday. In it there is an old photograph: I am sitting on a chair on the front porch. She is on the floor between my legs. There is a book lying open in front of her. She is half-turned looking up at me. I have a comb in my right hand. I am looking down at her.

We are laughing.

Every Time I see You

I thought it was all over.

I mean time is supposed to heal all wounds isn’t it?

how much time? months? years?

cos it’s been what, 7 months and the wound is still there.

Gaping

a large hole that just seems to get bigger and bigger every time i see you.

but i can deal with the wound. It’s become a part of me. 

It’s almost welcome because it reminds me that i am alive. That i have a heart. 

 

It’s the shortness of breath i can’t deal with. 

The one i get every time i see you

every time i catch a glimpse of you from across a room,

or when i see your head bent over your laptop.

That clenching of my stomach that makes me stop and hold myself back.

Stop myself from coming to you and stroking the back of your neck

Stop myself from smiling at you, 

because your smile makes it hurt more.

and i can’t bear to see you smile back at me

when i know

i know it’s just a smile.

It has no hidden meanings

It holds no promises.

Just a smile.

 

Smiles on their own are meaningless.

Annoying actually 

because they are a reminder that people lie.

That people are people and cannot be trusted. 

That someone you think you know,

someone you think knows you,

was just smiling

on their way out the door. 

 

And here i am, 

ranting about smiles

when there is still a gaping hole

and a clenching of my stomach

every time i see you

falling in love…

They told me in full detail what this would feel like.
They described it to me and i told them
“No, this will never happen to me. I’m not that vulnerable”
But they didn’t prepare me for this.
Nothing could have prepared me for this. No exam, no quiz, no test.

This thing they described to me
They called it “falling in love”
and i told them
“I won’t fall in love, i’ll walk into it with my eyes wide open so i can be prepared for anything”
I laughed at my friends who had this disease.
How silly they acted.

And now, i can only laugh at myself.
I know it all now,
i feel it all,
It’s like falling so far for so long..
drifting through the clouds and then suddenly hitting the hard earth.
and everything stays intact.
everything but your heart.
That alone breaks into a million tiny, un-glueable pieces.
and it’s held together by this one person
if he let’s go, it’ll all fall apart.

so you keep him close.
you stay with him,
and he makes you happy,
so gloriously happy.
And you pray each night that he won’t let go
that he won’t get bored
or get distracted
because if he does,
if he opens his hand
and let’s your heart fall
you just might die..

A Different Silence.

This is not the silence of yesterday.

Of little girls with shared dreams.

Of weaving forget-me-nots.

 

This is not the silence of an evening stroll.

Of lying in the grass, counting stars.

Of cuddling.

 

I know the silence of comfort.

Of friendship that needs no words.

Of sharing a smile.

Or finding shadows in his eyes.

 

This is a silence of  pain.

Of anger and hurt.

Of shivering with rage.

of holding back tears.

 

This is a silence of fear.

Of hiding under beds.

Of running.

Of holding your breath,

And stilling your heart.

 

This is a different silence.

 

Our Voice.

When do we speak out?

We walk about with our bodies weighed down

Weighed down by both the little we have said and the lot we have not said.

We hold it all in; afraid to question.

Afraid to be wrong.

Afraid to be different.

 

When do we speak out?

Do we wait till the people are dead?

Till our men have gone to war?

Do we wait until we no longer have anyone to talk to?

Till we are only left with the spirits of the people that once were?

 

When do we speak out?

When we’re older?

When we’re wiser?

When we’ve seen more, done more, felt more?

When we’re more matured?

 

When do we speak out?

When our lips have forgotten how to curl up in a smile?

When our eyes no longer brighten?

When our bodies no longer shake with laughter?

When we have lost the will?

 

When do we speak out?

Never.

someday.

one day.

Now.

 

Rowie.