Me-1 Left Nostril -1

I remember reading the biography Emma, about a young woman who is blind and her relationship she has with her dog…It was a little too ambitious for my 9 year old mind and I think the real meaning of the story was lost on me. I remember two very distinct things about the book. 1. The lady on the books cover was wearing the most appalling glasses; even a hipster wouldn’t touch them and 2. The descriptions of her regaining her sight.

Having recently regained my sense of smell after a long drawn out fight against my left nostril I fell much like the lady in Emma. One of the first things she saw was grass and she didn’t know what it was or what the colour green was. Now I guess you can say that comparing my blocked nose to a blind person being able to see after an operation is somewhat dramatic, but I can imagine that I felt a miniscule part of what she felt.

Now I’m not clued up on the way people breathe. Do most people breathe out of their noses or their mouths or is it a mixture? Either way I have happily been breathing out of my nose for about 22 years and I was very seriously put off when my blasted left nostril lead a revolt against me leaving me breathing  out of my mouth for this past week.

Make no mistake breathing out of your mouth is no easy task and leaves ones lips seriously chapped. In an effort to cure myself of my seriously cracked lips and as a ‘f you’ to my left nostril I popped into Dischem to find myself some intense lip moisturiser.  After looking at the range of what must have been at least 40 different types of lip balm I settled on a tube of soft lips, French vanilla flavour…or its scent was French vanilla seeing as you don’t actually eat the lipice.

Regardless I cracked opened the lid of the lipice and the scent reached my nose sending me back 6 years to high school where it was all the rage to carry about ten different types of lip gloss and lipice with you in your blazer pocket.

I remember a entire school of girls would parade around smelling like artificial fruit flavours or in my case French Vanilla, why we did this I’m not entirely sure, I guess it was just one of those fads no one can really explain, much like the hipster bowl cuts seen scattered along Corlett Drive and supporting Julius Malema. It’s rather fashionable but most people try avoid eye contact with you and really can’t understand why the hell you are doing it.

The point is having been deprived of my sense of smell for a full week I realised just how important smell is to me. Smells, good or bad, always send me reeling back to particular events or people.

Hugo boss will always remind me of my ‘real’ boyfriend, he always wore a watch that smelled constantly of it. It’s still my favourite cologne for men and holds a certain power over me. I’m like a shark that’s caught the scent of blood in the water when I smell it…so watch out!

The smell of sewers will always remind me of the majority of cities in Asia, but even a rancid smell like the smell that infects your nostrils on any street corner in Bangkok still warms my heart and reminds me of days spent exploring the city clutching a bottle of homemade orange juice fighting the waves of sewer smell educed nausea that would overcome my entire body.

Tipo Tinto the most fantastic Mozambican rum, even a passing wiff of it takes me back to days spent on the beach and nights spent bent over the stoep throwing up whole pieces of pasta after what I would call a very successful hundreds club.

And  you thought you had won; didn’t you left nostril?

Advertisements

To the girl with the bad haircut and the sweet moves

You are an idiot

 

Hipster girls have somehow convinced themselves that looking like a man is cool trendy and somewhat ironic. I’m sure if I was to ask some of them why exactly they were dressed like brooding teenage boys from the 80’s answers would include:

“I’m the Virginia Woolf of my time you see; I’m deconstructing how the world generally sees men. I’m becoming the man, that’s the ultimate form of feminism…yeah totally rad!”

Or

“One of the members of Bikini. Sports. Poncho. Has this haircut and I thought it would be like totes the best eva if I copied them. I mean gender is so transient anyways.”

Now girls I hate to break it to you, you look like idiots, what’s worse is you paid a fair amount of money to look like an idiot. If you are not a member of the backstreet boys you should not be allowed to cut a step into your hair. Are any of you in the Backstreet Boys? Anyone? No I didn’t think so. If I can over any advice take a real look in the mirror, what do you see? Honestly! What I see and I’m going to say what I presume 90.9% of the world sees is a gender confused girl with a silly bowl cut with a rather large cameltoe and shaved eyebrows.

Having said that, I would like to thank the girl in the black Renault driving on Tuesday afternoon along Oxford Road. Your ridiculous hair and dance moves truly brightened up my day.  With the rancid sound of The Frown bellowing out your window with hand movements that would put Joe Cocker and David Bowie to shame; all while typing on your not so ironic iPhone undoubtedly uploading a picture of the poor hobo begging at your window onto Instagram with the caption: “OOO hobo chic, I bet you he shops at Deer Hunter!”.

Anyways your hair looks like shit but you did make me smile for at least an hour afterwards, so thank you.

 

You realise that you have a choice right?

I have a friend who hates his job. I asked him why he carries on doing it and he can’t answer me as too why he continues to…well continue.

Dear Reader, one of the most talented South African bands ever to grace my ears wrote a song called ‘Way of the World’; the lyrics went something like this:

Driving to work, it takes you two hours
You’re stuck in the traffic with hundreds and thousands
Of people who drag themselves out of bed at 4 AM every day
And you don’t know how it got to this point
Where you feel so guilty for not working harder
But you’re working weekends, and your mates
They hardly ever see your face

As much as we like to deny it its seems true of the majority of us,  we sit through the daily grind never quite being terribly unhappy but never really being happy, yet we all seem content to float through every day in a haze.

It’s that feeling you get in the early hours of the morning when you know you are going to have to wake up very soon yet you are still half asleep. These few minutes when even the sun hasn’t quite woken up yet is the most important time in the day. They may seem inconsequential but those minutes are the minutes where you decide to continue or to stop and choose a path that you truly want to follow.

We take this time for granted, not realising you have the opportunity to make a decision, a life changing decision every morning, yet the moment passes all of us by and you peel your eye lids open, stretch and roll out of bed, blinded by the morning light that sends you stumbling around looking for something to throw on before chugging down some orange juice and corn flakes hoping it will you will ‘get it all this morning’.

I struggle to understand why people put themselves through this.

Not to be naive, I understand that there are many South Africans who simply don’t have a choice in what they do, however hard they try, the  deadly mixture of a past government who didn’t care about the majority of the population and a present government who simply pretends to care…which is worse I don’t know.

I happen to be what seems to be one of the lucky few that actually loves my job, I get to write all day surrounded by about 30 of the most talented and intelligent women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Yet it is still a struggle to pull myself out of bed…after all however much I love it it’s still a job. I’m sure there are days when Jimi Hendrix didn’t want to get on stage, days when  Obama would rather just roll over and go back to sleep, days when Donald Trump would rather not put on his toupee and buy yet another piece of real estate.  Yet it must surely be a love of what they do or did that pulls their weary bodies out of bed.

So if majority of the world is not particularly happy with their jobs or lives for that matter why don’t they decide to do something that they love, the decision seems simple enough. I guess we just have to realise we have the decision to make.

My dearest left nostril, pray tell me what is your problem?

I am embarrassed to admit it but for some reason I cannot remember what the name is of my Biology teacher in matric was called. I think it was something along the line of Bourensa…Borensee? Something with a B that’s for certain. I’m somewhat shocked by my terrible memory as she was one of my favourite teachers.

I remember Miss Tucker who tore apart my Science Expo project, Miss Tanner Ellis who taught me for the first half of my first year in high school and always had perfect hair, and Miss Moreira …I’m sure the spelling is wrong on that one who used to let me cut my classmates hair in class, but for the life of me I cannot remember Mrs B’s actually name.

What I do remember about Mrs B is that she taught me about the human body, including a small section dedicated to studying the nose. I’ve been thinking about Mrs B a lot lately as I’m sure she would have the answer to my question:  why my one nostril continues to run while the other is dry as a nun’s gusset?

Left nostril I know you have always been slightly larger than my right ‘runt’ of a nostril but why do u insist on providing me with an endless supply of snot?

If this is a cry for help, I’m listening, I promise I’m listening. Are you trying to be different? So different in fact that you lead me to blow my nose incessantly leaving tender red spots on each side of my nose? Why do you have to torture right nostril like this? Surely she didn’t do anything and if she did I’m not sure this is the correct punishment.

You do realise the consequences of your actions do you not? The sides of my nose will be red and sore for at least a week after you are done playing this sill game you insist on.  Not only are you causing me pain but your incessant sniffing and my continuous spluttering are really starting to piss of the people in my office. Every time I approach anyone I see how they look at you, looking into your germ infested depths, they know the horrors you hold waiting for the perfect time to sneeze and coat them with your contagion.

To my dearest right nostril you are clearly being a real bitch, I suggest you apologise before this all goes any further than it already has.

To my dearest left nostril this is my plea to you to stop. So stop, all demands made will be met.

What Valentine’s Day and slave labour have in common

 

So let’s skip back a few thousand years to February 14 where a young Catholic Priest was martyred for goodness knows what…all I can be sure of is that there must have been lots of blood and guts, perhaps even some cheering from a few Roman soldiers. Skip forward to 2012 and what is about to happen this coming Tuesday is much worse: the annual celebration of Valentine’s Day.

I remember shaking in my scuffed Toughies in my first year of high school as the tacky plastic roses were handed out, some girls getting up to ten roses.

“TEN ROSES! You are thirteen and you got ten roses!” I thought the envy taking a hold of me.

“I bet you let ten different boys touch your boobs,” I thought trying to justify the unfairness of my situation while looking down at my flat chest, making a mental note to stuff my bra with some tissues the next time a went out.

“Plus I mean all that wasted plastic that you won’t recycle! You are the sole cause for global warming!”

I remember my ears pricked up as I heard my name being called across the classroom: “Anna-Belle…Anna-Belle!”

“A rose for me? One tacky plastic bright red rose for me? Surely one rose wouldn’t affect global warming that much?” I recall being so excited about my one stupid rose and parading it around all day by attaching it to my school bag so the petals poked out for everyone to see. I recently found out that the boy who sent me the rose came out to his parents a few years back…of course I got my first valentine from a gay man.

Anyways Valentine’s Day in school was just a popularity contest, who got the most roses was usually relative to the amount of hand jobs the particular girl had given…or was going to give at the St John’s Valentines social.

Valentine’s Day now days is just a flurry of vulgar white teddy bears followed by awkward sex later on that night between two people pretending to love each other just for the day, excluding of course those couples that actually do love each other.  But even you couples that do actually care for one another have a little originality, please.

No woman is going to be impressed by a shitty teddy bear …diamonds will however be accepted.

No man is going to be impressed by silky boxers with hearts on…and to be honest no grown man should be wearing silky boxers.

It’s all been done before; have a little originality and show the person you love all the time not just on the days you feel obliged to.

To be honest if you celebrate  Valentine’s Day you are celebrating slave labour…where do you think that card screeching a recording of ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ came from.

I say lets go back to the original Valentine’s Day celebrations, I choose blood and guts over shitty clichés any day.

Are you a dreamer?

 

Things have been tough lately for dreamers. They say dreaming’s dead, that no one does it anymore. It’s not dead, it’s just been forgotten. Removed from our language. No one teaches it so no one knows it exists. The dreamer is banished to obscurity. Well I’m trying to change all that, and I hope you are too. By dreaming every day. Dreaming with our hands and dreaming with our minds. Our planet is facing the greatest problems it’s ever faced. Ever. So whatever you do, don’t be bored. This is absolutely the most exciting time we could have possibly hoped to be alive. And things are just starting.

 

What do they know that I don’t?

Tibetan Buddhists have described our lives as a kind of karmic drama, it is natural to question the value of understanding the symbols of our personal play, in other words, if the symbolic patterns arising in our lives are rooted in karmic seeds planted in the distant past, then isn’t the effort to understand them a bit like pouring over yesterdays newspapers, or watching reruns of old television shows which tell us nothing about our condition here and now?