Your Memories Should Be My Memories

Adam to Hannah: I need you to tell me if it’s real. I made a movie about what we went through, okay? And I need you to tell me if I got it right. That my memories are your memories. I want to know we felt the same things.

This is a quote from a scene in the sixth episode of season six of Girls. It’s when Adam corners Hannah in the street, in the hopes of finally persuading her to watch the movie he’s created that’s based on their messy and glorious love affair.

For the longest time, Hannah had (rightfully) refused to read the script, avoiding Adam, and not understanding his obsession with getting her to watch the movie.

It made sense to me for Hannah to not want to go beyond the imposed limitations of a breakup to give this closure that Adam so dearly ached for.

She was still nursing the heartache of their broken relationship and needing him to just leave her alone to navigate moving on without him.

But, he explains that his obsession stems from the fact that the movie is about their relationship, he wants to know if they both experienced it the same.

This moment for me in the whole series is my most favorite, and one of the best times that Adam is vulnerable and sincere. It makes me fully understand why this is a necessary step towards finality for both of them.

The relationship had been a significant part of both their lives, and Adam is admiting that he’s struggling to fully let go of what once was, without knowing if how he tells their story aligns with how Hannah would.

He seeks complete affirmation and validation of what he believes they were to each other, it’s become important to know that they were what he remembers and what he remembers is what she remembers.

With the movie, Adam is basically asking if all that he has been giving Hannah with every effort and every intimate moment is exactly what she received.

It’s an honest way of wanting to honor the transition from what once was, having the other half of the relationship declare out loud that yes it was as he’s narrated, that she was there with him, that it’s not just his version but it’s hers as well.

Their love, even with all its complexities and intricacies has always and only belonged to just the two of them. Adam needs to know that she takes ownership and easily identifies with it.

Hannah doesn’t have to hold onto this souvenir he’s created but what I am saying though is that I understand Adam and a big part of me empathizes with him. We’ve all been at closure’s door, seeking it and needing it. I think it a sensible ask.


Have you ever needed closure? Did you get it? Why was it so important to you? How did you move on without it?


Sixteen middle-aged women (one of them a mother of a friend) have been imprisoned without bail for peacefully protesting against poor service delivery.

Let’s please raise awareness as the families of these women are feeling helpless, unsure on how to best help the women who have been detained.

You can read more on this here

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How To Be Strangers Again

You stop yourself from talking about him to strangers you meet on the bus.

You must remember not to recount stories about someone who left you in a hopeless place.

You do not reach for his arm when he stands besides you on the lift.

Instead, you nod to his walk-in greeting and fiddle with your phone.

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Inheritance Of Things Absent Fathers Leave Behind

My mother talks about my father, the way most ex lovers do.

In her words about him, there is always a remnant of a love still aching for juvenile closure.

Forever in wait of an apology, for being left alone to raise the rude interruption of her youth.

Her memories of him reek of childish nostalgia, holding onto memories that should’ve long been discarded.

And even though it’s never confessed out loud, there is a part of her that wonders what could’ve been, had I not been.

At the root of all that my mother has lost, there is me, blooming instead of their love.

The mention of his name still brings a warmth to her face. I don’t tell her; that he does not deserve it, that she must learn to let go of people who never wanted to stay.

Not only does my father live in my mother but he continues to survive in me too.

The last time I saw him, he smiled, a familiar reflection I’ve seen too many times in my mirror.

Those who’ve met us both, accuse that my eyes wrinkle at the sides, imitating his. This mouth and this nose, all scraps of his rejection.

I still carry with me all these things my father left behind.

And unlike him, I can’t abandon any of them.

Inside my head there is a library of the countless books I’ve read. Books that became great companions, distracting me from his abandonment and her detachment.

I am like this because I have a reckless father who doesn’t know how to stay gone. Who likes leaving bits and pieces of himself lying around unclaimed.

My mother tells me that as a young man, he devoured books and newspapers and dictionaries.

He even went on to become a teacher of literature to feed his appetite for all things linguistic.

I was clay in the wrong Potter’s hands, too much of me being formed from an image of a broken man, carving my insides and outsides out of rejection.

Like his other children, I’ve gone on to become a benefactor of a genetic skin disorder that has been passed onto us from him, an inheritance from his father.

When I was in high school, it first showed itself as an itchy rash but over time, it has developed into discoloured and rough skin on my legs and feet.

I hate him most when I’m holding back from scratching myself raw or making appointments with optometrists and ophthalmologists because of these weak eyes he’s given me.

I have a vague memory of him telling me once, that his mother left him as a baby. I never thought much about it then but now I understand, I am made of people who leave their own behind.

You would think knowing rejection so intimately, he would make better decisions, choosing not to become the same thing that had caused him so much grief and pain. But history insisted on having the last word, repeating itself once more.

It’s been impossible for me to miss something I don’t know. But I have always wondered. And made up stories about who he was. And wrote him letters that he never received because I didn’t even know where to send them.

Being a daughter of an absent father for me has been the absence of everything I wanted, and the abundance of things I didn’t ask for. Living with the legacy of things he didn’t mean to leave behind.

And when my mother got me an interim replacement who biology insisted I will never belong to, the fundamental and distinctive qualities of someone else insisted that I am my own father’s daughter.

That reality has forced me to embrace this curly hair that refuses to grow longer than his, also this skin that burns easily in the sun, additionally his stubby height, and what would my life be without this embedded music taste that makes me feel most alive.

I console myself by deciding that there are worse things an absent father can leave behind. 


A big thank you to Slee Mthethwa for sponsoring this blog post ❤

The Nine Lives Of This Body That Houses Me

As I write this, I am nursing septic burns that have covered the right side of my body.

To say I am in constant and severe pain is an understatement.

The night I burnt myself with a 25 litre bucket full of boiling water, I wondered in between my screeches of horror, if the emotional trauma of the self inflicted wounds would be something I ever recover from. I’m still not sure.

It’s been four days since my accident.
The pain first introduced itself as something I’d compare to feeling like being on fire.

With medication and dressings, it lessened to what can compete to what you feel when you burn yourself with an iron. Now the blisters are oozing fluids and my skin is peeling off.

I have always had a high tolerance for pain but this pain seems determined to swallow me whole. I cry when I walk. I groan when I lie down.

***

Late last year, I suffered an injury on my right foot. I’d fallen while walking to the shop. My foot had swelled up like a baloon and my xray results had insisted it wasn’t broken, even though I couldn’t walk.

I walked with a limp for months until it went away, eventually taking the pain with it.

***

On my birth date at the beginning of the year, I sat on a plastic chair in a community clinic, convinced it was my day to die.

When it was my turn to see the nurses, they diagnosed my symptoms as lysteriosis. With two injections, one on each buttcheek and medication in hopes to cure me, I was sent home.

I recovered quickly, lucky to be alive at a time when the sickness had claimed so many lives.

***

About a week ago, I’d reached breaking point, my business partner and I were racing against time determined to meet funding deadlines for the annual festival we co-host in rural Eastern Cape.

I could feel myself slipping into the worst depressive episode, I had to put a halt to all my efforts of curating and organizing and applying. My shaky mental health forcing me to make self-care my only priority.

I didn’t have the luxury of time to accomodate such a mental breakdown.

***

At this moment, my body houses rough swollen skin, the scars of my burn and all this insistent pain.

As someone who’s suffered/continues to suffer so many ailments, I can’t help but wonder what the breaking point of this body will be.

On its normal days, it is plagued with faulty wiring of its brain chemistry, accompanied by chronic anxiety. And on its bad days, it is met with unecessary accidents.

This body seems determined to outlive a lot, overcoming as it goes along. I’m definitely holding a grudge against everything it has been through but also in awe of its strength.

Once more I am alive and I am healing.

Navigating Love After Heartbreak

Sinawo Bukani 3

Me: Takes a million selfies.
Him: Watches me from a distance while fiddling with his phone.
Me: Pretends taking pictures is the funnest thing in the world.
Him: Walks towards me awkwardly and joins in.

We’ve been on three dates and this is the most physical contact we’ve ever had. His chest is pressing lightly against my back and he’s firmly holding my right arm.

The decision to wait was mutual.

We wanted our firsts to be intentional, we loved the concept of aching for each other before attempting any intimacy.

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