This is torture, this is pain

It feels like I’m gonna go insane

I’m having a bad day, and those are lines that I’ve taken completely out of context, because they express exactly what I feel. Yes, I feel tortured, because there is stuff that I’m itching to say … but I can’t say it! 🙁

I’m a writer and a communicator, so it’s really frustrating when it’s impossible put something down. It’s bad when I can’t find the words to express myself, but it’s worse when I have the words, but I’m not allowed to use them. I call it growing up.

For most people, blogging was initially an anonymous thing. It never was for me, because that’s how I make my living. I get paid for what I write, so it’s totally counterproductive to do it with an alias. I do ghostwrite sometimes, but that’s different, because it’s not really my stuff I’m using or my story I’m telling. Ghostwriting is more like being a pen to a writer without hands. You’re simply transcribing their genius.

Anyway, I’ve been blogging for a while now – almost five years! I’ve seen lots of other bloggers close up shop. Sometimes they say the fad simply ended. For others, they ran out of time. But for most people, what killed their blogs is familiarity. They got to know the subjects of their stories, so they just couldn’t tell them anymore.

I’ve never had that problem because – well – I’m a blunt little b***h. I generally say what I think, even in moments when I shouldn’t. But as Biko said a few weeks ago, you can never know anyone well enough to be blunt with them. Unless you’re their mother. Smart boy that one.

Anyway, it’s been an interesting few weeks or me. I did the unthinkable and went for a party. Several parties actually. For some reason, I have this sudden positive outlook from God knows where, and it made me think it’s a good idea to socialize.

I can’t seem to stop smiling, and frankly, it’s starting to worry me. It could be reverse PMS, but I think there might be something in the rain. Anyway, I found myself feeling unusually warm and outgoing, so when I received the party invites, I said yes and showed up. It was totally impromptu, so I was barely dressed up. I just went as I was. Three times. Luckily I’m not in the habit of walking in the nude, so yay.

They were really … interesting parties. I have a thousand stories I could tell from every one of them. But noooo. The people at the party read my blog. Some bright spark decided to announce that I’m 3CB, and that didn’t really go down well.

You would think the picture gives it away, no?

[Please note that I know these people personally, and they know that I write. A lot of them are family and friends. They just didn’t know that 3CB was – you know – me. And since they don’t comment, I had no idea they read. Oopsie!]

Now, it’s easy to look at that girl who was flirting like she was on sale, and to giggle and make jokes about that outfit. It’s a bit harder to describe the way she walked up to me and dissected a blog post in detail. So now I can’t write about the colour of her … cutex.

Or that boy who was sitting in the corner feeling like God’s gift to … well … everyone, and how I had to bite my tongue to stop from laughing as he tried to chat me up. Until he found out who I was and became an instant genius, talking about the hidden message in my poetry.

[Please Note Number Two – that these scenarios are fictionalized, because, you know, I can’t tell you what really, truly happened, so I’m cooking up examples instead. Really, I am.]

The reason I refuse to be honest is I met these people. I talked to them. We had conversations. We remembered our childhood. So suddenly, they’re not just random coat hangers to pin onto a story. I can’t write my opinions when I know I’ll hurt their feelings.

That’s sad, because I think of all the people that I wrote about before. I wonder if they read about themselves and cried. It was different then, because I didn’t know them. I met them once or twice, or sat next to them in a matatu. Back then, I was just talking about some random girl with a really bad mohawk. But after spending two hours talking to said girl, it gets a little hard to trash her hair. Given my new frame of mind, I wonder if I’ll ever blog again.

On the bright side, I’ve been thinking about doing more of fiction, and this is the perfect time to do it. I just have to find a way to make these people into stories that are basically lies. I used to do it pretty well in high school, so it’s time to dust off the old storyboard and multicoloured notebooks. It won’t be easy, but it’s bound to be fun. I hope. We’ll see.

Another upside is that there are people I can write about, people that read this blog. I can say that I met a couple of girls this week, and they’re both pretty cool. That’s a big thing for me because girls scare me. I’m not sure why. I blame it on testosterone. I keep saying I have more of it than I should, but nobody believes me! Either way, cheers to Aisha and QQ for restoring my faith in womankind. Y’all rock.

Addendum 1

As I was about to hit publish, my net got disconnected. But I talked to the nice people at Zuku and they put it back on for me. You’d be surprised how far you can get by being calm and speaking softly. Plus, they got a new voice on the Customer Care line that sounds less like a robot and more like the guy next door. Hot!

Addendum 2

Social media is interesting. Actually, scratch that. People are interesting. I like to think I only have one side, and that you get to see that side at three o’clock in the morning. Some people beg to differ. But point is … some people are different online.

You see someone on Twitter or MKZ, or even on chat. Then you meet them in person and they’re totally different. Some get even more confusing by being altered every time you meet. That might be a special case though. It might be about making first impressions and being not-quite-sober. It could even be a matter of sugar highs and coffee.

I used to wonder about that, and I used to judge it. I used to think it must be really, really hard being two different people. But then again, that’s what spies are all about, right? We have double, triple, and even quadruple agents in CID, so I guess they exist in real life too.

Anyway, I read a blog post a few minutes ago. The first sentence irritated me, because it seemed to be talking right at me, and it wasn’t saying anything nice. The next few paragraphs annoyed me, because the writer seemed shallow and … well … annoying. Then the final half was totally different. In some ways, it contradicted the rest of the story, and for a while, I was really confused. It was like someone completely different wrote it.

Or maybe the writer is just two people in one. In some ways, I guess we all are, and no, it’s not always about schitzophrenia. That’s why we don’t want our bosses, in-laws, or mothers on Facebook. Though – just for the record – the day my princess unfriends me or ups her privacy settings, I’ll probably go straight to Hacking School.

Addendum 3

There was a Bata competition via Twitter titled #MamaKnowsBest. I don’t deny the power of mums, but I think it’s only in their children’s eyes. I’ve been a mother for almost ten years [well okay, 8-and-a-half] and I still feel I don’t know nada.

She knows that I love her and would do anything for her. She also knows I sometimes hide chocolate and ice cream – and it’s not to protect her teeth. She knows that when there’s junk food in the house, we split it down the middle, and when her half is gone, she may not have mine. I’ll sacrifice my life and my womb, but hands off my pizza child!

She knows that I yell when I have PMS, and that I apologize after. She knows I’ll answer anything she asks, but that I won’t give her my passwords. Yes, she asked.

‘Mum, it’s not fair. You know my Facebook password but I don’t know yours!’


She knows that I adore her and will always take her side, but if she hit some kid outside and she had no reason for it, she’ll get a spanking and a hug, usually in that order. And the jury is still out on which of us throws larger tantrums.

But truth is, most days, I feel totally out of my depth. I do the best I can, but my choices are mostly fluke. #MamaKnowsBest is just a woman spewing anything that comes to mind when asked, or sometimes, mimicking her own mum.

It's not me and princess, but aren't they pretty? Also, no, princess is not her real name.

That said, today was hard for me, and my mummy called me. While she didn’t fix things, she made me feel all better for a while. Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and first thing in the morning, and princess and I had a fight. She stormed off and went to watch cartoons, and when the presenter started reading out Mother’s Day messages, my princess changed the channel. Today, she gave me a hug and said, “You’re a good mummy.” Why? Yoghurt and cake, 50-50. So maybe in her own way, she thinks I know best too 🙂

Addendum 4

This post clearly took really long to ‘print’. I got some bad news from a prospective client that has me really down. I suppose it’s good in some ways, because the project has been pending for two months, and it’s nice to no longer be hanging. But it’s still pretty depressing, especially since the project came with a Mac. Oh well, back to the drawing board. Like the song says…

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end

I know who I want to take me home

Take me home

Closing time Subsonic

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