*Kabomo speaking to Kabomo at 03:17 in the morning. This is not an act of ego. This is an act of self love. Shut up… I am trying to save myself here. I stand in front of a mirror as the sun peaks above the skyscrapers and utter these words to myself. Then I quickly scribble them down on the flipside of a semi-used paper napkin. Then I rush to post it on my bedroom wall. I continue to read the words out loud to myself over and over again. This, after an excruciating three-hour long cry fest, days after one of my favorite people in the world died, running to the arms of her maker without even giving me a heads up. And missing Lelethu is dining on double edged knives.
I am in a moment. I see now how she had jam-packed hundreds of years’ worth of living into a blinking 24 years. How she intrepidly leaped into her revelation. And as I am wondering what made her realise so numerous of the promises she had made to herself? The answer flashes, clear as air: she had worked on herself so much that she had no choice but to love who she was becoming. You would think I would have noticed this considering how she always took care of herself – dressed like a Vogue cover, read anything that would keep her smarts mounting, did yoga, drank water, wrote a letter, walked the continent, smiled a river, climbed a wall, shared a secret, held a shaking hand, fed her son, made a wish, followed a star. If she wanted something, she got up, folded the sleeves of her designer shirt, sent a text to her sister, and sped to her desire. This is how people who love their hearts live.
I want to love my heart like that. There I am in the salad hours of a grey Sunday morning, high on reminiscence, and aggravated that my arms are not adequately stretched to reach into it and alter how sometimes things go down. Thinking about her makes me grasp how I should do a better job at loving myself. How I need to screen the words that spurt out of my mouth when I speak about myself. Eradicate the fish scales off my eyes and take heed that misery is shitty company. Those records need to be changed because no DJ could be paid nearly enough to play at this pity party. Even though I am depressed, avoided like a plague and possess an unquenchable craving for anything with a hint of filth, I can still change things around. The fact that my reactions and my liver have become numb to the Jack Daniels is a sure intimation that things can’t remain the way they are. I need a new route that will lead me back to myself.
Rock rolled, beyond her grave, Leza holds my hand, smiles and points me to where the promise is at. First, like an addiction group will attest, half the battle is in acceptance. Yup, I am that that the whispers are so keen to fill up the silences with. The stench does come from my room. I have broken rules. I have broken hearts. I have stolen things, ‘The bitch with the funny glasses. Don’t be fooled by the nerd look, that’s how that arrogant fuck gets you. Don’t fall for his shit.’
My hands are as greasy as they say, and they do slip easily into the cookie jar. And I have accepted that my struggle to forgive myself is embedded in the comforts of my self-loathing.
But sorry sir, the bus does not journey further than this stop. You might have to continue on foot, because from here on, I fly. From this moment on, I will no longer grin at being defined by everybody’s words, which only sees me through lens of those who are justified, or not, to crave for my demise, on all realms. Even if they should, I am done with that. I am more than my flaws. My story is far more coloured with love, growth, promise and testimonies of nuff cats whose lives have been changed by my acting on doors opened by God to be a blessing to others. So, I am leaving this dark room. You can stay here if you want, but I am out. From today, my words will be my first source of affirmation.
Writer: Kabomo Vilakazi
*This was published in 2010 for celebrate Life Magazine