Of chocolate cake and copious amounts of liquor

I a woman of many talents but none of my numerous gifts are as impressive as the wonders I conjure up in an apron

Today I baked a cake. A pretty scrumptious looking one if i do say so myself. And my handy work tasted even better. People say it’s bad manners to toot my own horn-i disagree. Vehemently. I a woman of many talents but none of my numerous gifts are as impressive as the wonders I conjure up in an apron and earphones blaring Ryan Lesley-he’s my cooking mate and we shall have many children he just does not know it yet. I’m a bit scared to let him know in case scare him off..I hear baby-talk does that to the male species.

As always, I digress..and as I was saying, I am a BEAST in the kitchen. And if my ghetto lingo (remember them?) does not articulate to you just how amazing I am when standing in front of a stove let me break it down to you; you know the stirring in your loins you feel when you see a beautifully sculpted human being and said human being is striding past and away in slow motion much like they do on the beaches of Baywatch? Now imagine that feeling in your mouth and imagine that being achieved without the assistance of aforementioned human being (let’s face it, it wasn’t gonna happen anyway-that’s what my dark chocolate cake will do to you. Well that’s what it does for me and my family members – although they wouldn’t describe it as being orgasmic because that might be a bit awkward coming from mother dearest…but I see it in their facial expressions. They are as happy as they’ll ever be with a spoonful of cake in their mouths.

A friend of mine is baffled by how I can be a law student, love to party and guzzle wine like I do and yet still find time to cook hearty meals (she’s always at my house eating said meals). She calls me “the last of the Mohicans”, which I quite like because it makes me feel like a rhino that might be going extinct and the world is trying to save me except I don’t have to run from poachers.I don’t like running much. I lie. I don’t like running at all but a girl has to do what she has to what with all this food consumption. She (my eating friend) likes to insinuate that I will be a great wife because I cook voluntarily and with love except, she doesn’t think the Ryan thing and the ever present bottle standing almost ceremoniously at the end of the counter (Ryan sometimes takes breaks and the red keeps me company) will fly with husband. She feels that advertising my vice will reduce my points. My argument is if he”s full and happy, he wont notice.

At the end of the day I know I am no super model and if this lawyer business doesn’t work out (which it will because I’m good at that too but that’s a story for another day) at least my family will not go to bed hungry or upset because dinner went terribly wrong. Few things make me happier that a room full of the people I love and know dirty secrets about with bellies stuffed with my creations, smiles on their faces and a glass of red in my hand.

Peace, love and niggeritis

The Empress

My Father’s Laughter

My father is the epitome of a rainbow. He chases the storm clouds away.

A few moments ago my father invaded my sanctuary-also known as my bedroom. He always does this late at night when he’s bored. His usual punching bag (my brother) has left home for the big city where he does computer things all day. So here I am, at his mercy. The great thing about being a girl with my father around is that he knocks before he enters. He’s one of those queasy men who wont say “tampon” and gives me money every time I say I have cramps.

So he knocks and I say I’m not dressed and I expect him to say “oki doki” and move on along the passage to knock on my niece’s door. He does not do this. Instead he hovers outside and after a few seconds he asks if I’m decent. I am not. So I quickly pull on a sleep shirt and pretend to be deeply engrossed in something (Vampire Diaries). He comes in and proceeds to my dresser where he picks up a lavender-scented talc powder bottle and all but empties it onto his belly. Oh, my father is round, and has exhibitionist tendencies – he walks around topless at home rubbing his belly and occasionally beats on it “like a calabash” (he actually says this). Of course I’m mortified by this (the talc business not the calabash thing-I’m used to that) and I watch in horror as he spreads the white stuff across his tummy and the residue falls silently to the ground. I have a dark green carpet. And I vacuumed it just this morning.

My dear father sees the look on my face and is tickled almost to the point of tears. Clearly the shock and horror I have shown are amusing and he then calls out to Linda to come over and see..(Linda is my niece. Linda is eighteen.) Linda runs in excitement and is disappointed when she realises what he’s laughing at. This is when she notices the talc on his tummy. Then that on the floor. She looks at me and points silently at the hoover and I nod. Slowly.

Daddy is not phased by our lack of enthusiasm and proceeds to go bother my mother with tales of powder and the perplexed girls he left in my room. As I type this out I am thinking of ways to bribe our helper into cleaning up this mess in the morning (she isn’t allowed to clean my room because African moms) And my father is still laughing.

His child like moments remind me that even when I’m old and sore from life and I have children who would rather sit in their rooms and pretend to be busy (Vampire Diaries), that I must still be happy. I want to find joy in silly things like talc powder (although I will shoot anyone who attempts to do this to me ever again) and laugh even when the world is not laughing..

Love and peace. and laughter

The Empress

Something Old…

Update, He’s no longer my “What-If”

AN open letter to my “What If”

As my vac drew to a close I realised that another chapter of my life was also nearing its end. As I reflected on the events of the past month I felt a slight disappointment at the way I handled a lot of things. No, scratch that, more than a slight disappointment – more like a tragic sense of failure. Failure by people in my life to do and say what I needed, and failure by me to voice my opinions and show my true feelings concerning matters that cut very deep. Many times in our lives we are faced with situations that require us to look into ourselves and in a split second, make a life altering decision and a lot of us falter under such pressure and make the wrong or less correct choice.

When I think about the chances I had to stand up for someone I love dearly and I kept quiet, I hang my head in shame and frustration because I know they would have done it for me. So I typed out an e-mail to one of the parties and told them exactly what I thought and an argument ensued but I had a guilt-free conscience and I felt like I had made a difference in the world of someone I cared about by planting doubt in another’s head and such doubt meant the benefit of that doubt would result and perhaps heal a few wounds.

So now that you know where this is coming from…

Dear What If

When I first fell for you I was not sure where it would lead. A lot of the circumstances pointed in the direction of epic failure yet here we are now, still in each others lives. Still poking fun at the other’s misfortunes and laughing at others. Hating when it’s necessary and reassuring each other when reassurance is needed. In my head this would be as easy as the stuff you see in movies, but we all know life has an uncanny way of throwing you curveball after curveball when you have laid out your best plans. When it comes to love and life, the concept of pain and disappointment being ever present are acknowledged. The understanding and not shedding tears when we reach speed bumps in our journeys is however, elusive.

I always imagined how this would play out and in my daydreams, I would walk away with a smile on my face and a promise in my hand that one day this would be concrete. In reality I’m walking away happy but not as happy as I could be. So I have decided to let this chapter of my life end mid air. I don’t want to write its ending because its not over. I believe in the fact that when something is meant to happen, it will happen eventually. If not, tough shit (excuse my French). You walk away with life lessons and memories. I will finish this chapter when the ending arrives. I’m not closing the door on this part of my life and one day, you’ll walk through this open door and be who you were always meant to be t me – whoever that may be. Perhaps you won’t be who I want you to be but your presence will be much appreciated.

Maybe I’ll forever wonder what if (insert fantasy situation here) or maybe I won’t. Until then I’ll live my life comparing every potential to you and feeling nostalgic when someone does or says something that reminds me of you. I promise to never ever keep my mouth shut about my thoughts again and perchance, when the epilogue of this chapter of my life gets here I will have mastered the art of not holding back and I will have mustered the strength to tell all this to your face and not post my emotions of Facebook…sigh…how I long for such a time.

peace, love and a heater on this cold night

The Empress

The Life and Times of a Black Middle Class Kid

I am black and proud.

Today a friend called me a “fake black person”. I immediately threw my toys and demanded they explain themselves. She proceeded to interrogate me with questions such as “what kind of neighbourhood did you grow up in?” and “have you ever held a gun?”. My answers to her questions were honest and I thought they gave me some street cred. (unfortunately (for me) the only gun I have ever held contained rubber bullets and was fired during a phys-ed class).

I grew up in a middle class suburb complete with private schools around the corner, a convenient shopping centre frequented by soccer moms and a durawall so high I used to imagine we were the only house on the street sometimes. Did I mention that my accuser is a young coloured lady who grew up in the rough, predominantly coloured populated neighbourhood of Hanover Park located in Cape Town?

The discussion arose from her aversion to a mutual friend and my constant use of the phrase “I’m black so check yourself”. The presumption that the colour of my skin somehow makes me the kind of person one does not mess with was thwarted thoroughly. My friend noted, rather astutely I might add, that in this day and age, being black does not automatically confer the status of an “untouchable”. The stereotype attached to my complexion includes the assumption that I have the potential to be a dangerous individual. She went on to point out that I grew up in a sheltered environment which provided me with a little more than the average child has. Whilst I was learning how to make pom-poms out of shiny paper, she was ducking bullets in her grandmother’s house.

Growing up in an area where gang violence is the norm and young children can tell the difference between cocaine and sherbet just by looking at the two is actually normal for some. I have yet to encounter a packet of cocaine let alone encounter it alongside one of sherbet. I have never heard a live gunshot and I have yet to witness my uncle get thrown into the back of a police truck for attempting to rape me. I have never visited a relative in prison and I highly doubt I shall ever be incarcerated.

These are realities that hundreds of non-black children experience before they turn twenty two. nowadays, more and more black children are blessed with the opportunity to attend good schools and learn how to spell correctly, how to handle themselves at dinner parties and when not to pick their noses-things that I took for granted because I did not know any different.

While I empathise with my friend, I cannot help but feel as though the masses who experienced a life very different to mine expect me to apologise for it. Yes, my spoken English is excellent and no, I do not sleep with an AK 47 (the only gun name I know) stashed underneath my pillow  just in case. Do these facts therefore make me less black?

I speak my mother tongue fluently and I write it with ease. I can sing my clan name with no errors whilst making a mean pot of isitshwala with immaculately manicured nails. Does this in any way reduce my level of blackness? Can it then be argued that the more close calls one has the more “black” they are?

Although my buddy was unable to answer some of my questions she did manage to convince me to stop running around making statements such as the one that started this debate, she did manage to make me sit up and realise that I had bought into a stereotype posited by “the house of they” (the people that say everything but can never be identified). I am black, but not a gangster. I am black and proud. I am also black and very afraid of being left alone in Park Station. But I am still a very black person who jumps up when my father plays Lovemore Majaivana and does a mean two-step.

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