Text: Landiwe Shembe
Photograh: Thobile Nhlapo
If I were to write about anything – any sort of overwhelming emotion – the only feeling that would come to mind is that of extreme loneliness and destitution. It’s the only thing that has managed to be all-consuming and present in my life for as long as I can form a memory.
It’s not due to lack of happiness in my life – or the external circumstances that are found within it – it has more to do with a “dark passenger” that I carry with me. Always. I always think of it as something that has watched over me, however that may sound. It’s always been a shield and something I can rely on to keep me sane. It’s something that will never leave me, nor is it something I want to get rid of. It is the only evidence that I am capable. Capable of feeling raw and deep emotion. It’s comforting.
The loneliness is not brought on nothing but validated by life. Self-made, yet all-consuming. There’s something inside of me that wants to be written, is begging to be written, but just can’t manifest itself into words It’s like she wants to speak but she has no mouth. The place where her mouth should be, is just a smooth surface. But there’s so much pain in her. Her eyes wearing an expression of gnawing desperation. The words she screams to herself, wishing that someone can hear her, feel her. Begging to be released.
It’s like battling a tide and trying to win, and believing you can. That the sheer force of will can overcome the natural pull of the gravity and the density of the energy that has already been cast in your direction.
I feel like it’s all a game really. The universe gives you two choices and presents them as your only two options, and the real challenge – and the only way to win – is to constantly fight for power over the other.
There is always an “other”. An-other, another.
We’re only fooling ourselves in believing that we only have one or two choices in life.
I suppose in a sense, there are limits to ones’ physical capabilities in reaching for this other.
Sometimes she manifests herself, but never clearly. The only consistency being where I see her. The setting is always the same. Black, white, grey, brown and blue all existing together. Chaotic tranquillity. It’s this endless captivity. It takes my breath away and leaves me speechless, chocked and begging for more. Needing it to fill me up and serve me better than air ever could. She is all consuming. Her.
Winter in Stockholm
Is it foolish to believe that my existence is independent of you?
Has my love for you blinded me, altered my point of view?
[The thought of you fills me up. I picture your eyes, the colour of sun-kissed pebbles at the bottom of a shallow pond. A murky green with the touch of blue. Your lips, thick and pink. Bursting, throbbing with life begging to be caressed by my own.]
I think of whose arms get to hold you at night. Whose fingertips graciously trace every freckle on your being. The very coat that harbours your soul and radiates your warmth. Who is loving you? Is it what you deserve? Do they, can they, are they loving you more than I? I have the earth’s love to give to you. The energy running through the air, seeps into the grounds and runs, runs towards me, through me, in me, for me. That love is yours. Is all yours. It is what the earth has given me that I want nothing more than to share with you. To have your warmth melt into and mould with mine. To have your fingertips trace along every surface of my skin. To have your soul write its name unto my own. I want nothing more than to feel your ivory claw into my skin and your breath dances its way into my ear as you call my name, as you whisper notes of joy unto me. Creating explosive poetry. As our naked bodies embrace and our inner souls greet each other in a dance of seduction, drawing us in, and in. Pulling us deeper into each other. Beautiful, explosive poetry. Will I ever see you again? Will I ever know the feeling of pressing my lips against your neck and feeling the quickening of your pulse as blood rushes through you, speaking the words your mouth cannot muster. Calling to me, screaming my name. Will I ever smell your skin? Feel your soft locks intertwine between the spaces of my fingers. You never leave me in my dreams. I always find you. Is it that our souls are communicating on a spiritual plain? Do they miss each other so much that they cannot stand to be apart, even in a dimension where time means nothing? Or are my dreams the only way I’ll ever get to be with you again? Is this compensation from the universe for our separation? All I want to know from you is whether all of this is all in my head or if you feel it too? Are you my one or am I making you my one for fear of finding it in someone else? Why won’t you be honest with me. Tell me how you feel. Be honest and raw and open with me. Open your door so that I can show you that I am already inside. That you and I are one, we were made as one and shall leave this world as one. We were made from the same star. I need you back. I want you back. It is not only for me. We need to be complete again. Reunited as one. Something is missing. Something doesn’t feel right. I don’t know what it is. Do I not love you? No, that’s not it. Do I not need you? No. That can’t be it. Where are you? Why are you not here with me? Am I not ready for you yet? Could be. I really don’t want this all to be in my head. I will hold on forever, but I’d like to know that it’s not just me. The love of the century. The love of eternity. Reincarnated. Recycled. For all of existence. This is love. Hunger maybe. All I know is that my soul craves yours and nothing else can sate me. But trust me I’ve tried. It always works temporarily, keeps my body warm at times. But it never works and I’m not sure I need it.
I walk the streets alone and I picture you beside me. Buildings stand tall and the cold lives inside me. Fill the sidewalk with memories of times long passed. The agonising regret of questions never asked. Am I alone in feeling this way? How will I know if maybe you wanted to stay? I don’t believe that you don’t love me but I guess I’m just naïve. Say you love me. Whisper it to my soul. Let the words reverberate inside my skull – seducing my soul – opening its spurs and weaving its way into yours. The slivers, finding each other yet again.