I loved a boy once, loved him so deeply I had no choice but to let him go. I slept with him the very first night I met him, we held each other as if we could melt into each other and create worlds in the spaces we do not occupy. I loved him with the intensity of a hurricane and showed him worlds that I created and destroyed at will. He still lives on my skin. I remember the first time he gazed at me in my nakedness, the awe in his eyes; he had never looked upon the face of god. I observed him falling into my life the way one would fall into a dream. He saw me as the many lives he dreamt of living but had no courage to summon. Even then I knew that I would have to let him go. I am experienced in creating worlds that I have no intentions to sustain. He would never believe it if I told him that I loved him only in the way I love myself.
He sang me a song of women, women everywhere, women in the city you will see but never meet. He sang me a song of women, women everywhere, good women who were beloved, who were messiahs to their beloveds. I dared him to find me in that song of women everywhere.
I loved him the way I love myself; I love myself with the intention of losing myself.
I met my boy again; aged beyond belief by the simple pain of simple people and the burden of every-man’s life. He looked at me with eyes full of expectation, wanting both to be murdered and rescued, asking me to be his lover and his god. He asked me about the she-wolf, the woman who once loved him so fiercely, openly and honestly that it hurt him too much to love her back. I told him that; “it was a different country and she was a different woman.”
I murdered the woman he loved to create other women who would inhabit my many lives. I am a conjuror. At night I hold a council with my women and we create and destroy ourselves at will. Destroy ourselves in the song of women, destroy ourselves in your traditions filled with the intent to kill personal freedoms, destroy ourselves in the story where our sensuality is for the enjoyment of others. We kill the righteous women and leave behind the witches and hedonists. Sometimes we destroy the whores and live behind fearful women, at such times we are violent, un-centered and full of malicious intent. These women, I love them with the intensity of a wild fire and I mourn them the way a mother would mourn her child.
When he looked at me; changed, youthful and full of life he trembled and cried at the life he could have lived, the men he could have become. He asked so innocently not knowing whether he wanted to exorcise me or get lost in my many selves; But why does one single woman need to become so many impure spirits, impure thoughts and a slew of unrighteous women. “The world is boring,” I told him; “it is full of acquaintances and casual conversations masquerading as friendship and love.” I want it deep always. “Ke bua ka pelo,” I converse in my own heart to be healed, to destroy, to be entertained and to learn how to be lonely too. I give myself deep always and “I demand it always, without air in-between breaths.”
When he was suffocating under my love, he pleaded with God; I heard him deep in his prayers, in the darkness of his soul asking that we kill the wild woman because she was breathing all his air. They, the other lovers, whose stories are also written on my skin came to me, the same way he did, offering Eros wanting to take my breath away. They all possessed one personality, I found them to be boring and lacking, I loved them all with the intention to lose them all. They threaten me with loneliness, they ask me not to want too much, they tell me that wanting too much, this insatiable appetite for love is exactly what my problem is.
He also said that I wanted too much, certainly more than anyone was willing to offer, I wanted in depth conversation, even the mundane he said was so heavy and vast on my tongue. I unlike other women he said needed too much to live and took up a lot of space in his life and yet I harbored a dangerous intent to be lost. He accused me of being Legion, a demon woman manifesting and thirsting after many lives, unwilling to leave behind a legacy of unlived lives. “Hell,” I said, ” is a place where all our unlived lives rise up to demand our attention,” I shall live all my lives, I shall drink life to the lees, I shall seek my salvation, I will release all my women into the world as disciples, as demons, as lovers, as me. The night you tried to cure me, to claim one woman out of the many to own, I screamed all that night because I mourn my many selves the way a mother mourns her child.
Standing here with you now, I hope you realize that I was always going to love you intensely with the intent to let you go. You never knew how to love Legion, many spirits of impurity inside a single woman. You never learnt how to love naked, showing boldly your vulnerability, unafraid that love can consume you, that would have been impolite and you my dear were never impolite. We learnt how to love from people who did not even know how to love themselves; they taught us a casual way to ignore each other and they called it being civil. They taught us how to be lonely in love and how not to show our mental disorders; how to hide our multiple personalities and our brokenness. We felt safe in the lie and we dared to call it love. I hate casual conversation and small talk masquerading itself as love. I did not know how to talk about everything and nothing; composed regurgitating socially accepted words and celebrating others for the things that although they are dying to say, will never say. Love made us lonely too.
I have multiple personalities and I live in fear that a lover might try to cure me. I want only a lover who is unafraid of inappropriateness, vulgarity and whoredom. Who will know how to mourn the women he loves when I murder them to create other women who will also demand his love. I loved a boy once but only with the intention to lose him because I could not handle the burden of ordinary people and the lives of every men. “I want it deep always, without air in-between breaths.”
Reference made to Lebo Mashile’s Pizza and Red Wine and the Poem Sing a song of people by unknown author.
Uhuru, Love and Light,