Hearts and Scribbling By Philani Amadeus Nyoni Life is an odd piece of misadventure, whoever is behind it must have a twisted sense of humour. Karma, fate or God, whoever is in charge up there I must meet, the twists and turns, suspense and mystery are to die for. Funny thing, it’s these flips and turns in the script that make it worthwhile. Who would have imagined one day I would be writing? Broke up with my albino girlfriend a while ago. It was for the best, we had become incompatible. Prior to that we had been having regular loud one-sided ‘discussions’ about my drinking and smoking, then she would tear my clothes off, suck the liquor right out of my breath and blow me [away] like she was B. and I was Jay. We did intoxicating stuff whenever I had been drinking, never when I was sober. The shrink in me began to diagnose her, I think that is where things started to go wrong. You know when you make up an opinion about someone and everything they do from there is a confirmation of what you believe? Whether you are right or wrong is immaterial, every opinion, thought and talk becomes prejudiced like that. What did I think of her? A lot. Of course the problem could have begun when we started going out. Honestly, I just wanted to date outside the box for a while, a breath of fresh air from my usual women before I succumbed to the urge of pulling someone’s weave out. I couldn’t date a white girl, my last Caucasian adventure ended badly when she took me white water rafting…that’s another story altogether. The point is I wanted something different from the usual hanky-panky; date someone with a soul for a change. I recently discovered on her part she wanted a ‘regular guy’. Maybe if I understood what that really means I would feel less insulted but I suppose the point is we were both trying to run away from our problems the wrong way. At first it was cool, awesome in fact, I dug her style, she was not only a good cook but also had an ear for dope music, none of the commercial garbage you hear on radio. After that with the break up and all I seriously doubt I will be able to listen to Jimmy Dludlu without embarrassing myself one way or the other. They don’t make music like that anymore, and even if they did THEY don’t make too many girls who can appreciate it. So yah, like I was saying she said my lifestyle is ‘out of control’. It might have sounded like I broke up with her, what I meant is we broke up, it was her idea and I wasn’t too keen on protesting after she insulted everything I stand for. She also called me childish [now where have I heard that before?]. I wish you were there to see and hear it out, you wouldn’t blame me for snickering while she convinced me with probably the same words she used to convince herself that I was not the man for her. It sounded so rehearsed to perfection, like a closing argument in court. Besides childish she threw around hurtful words like suicidal, uncultured and ‘basically not serious with life’. She said I was so uncultured I couldn’t spell pyjamas. I thought I was a hippie until I heard her going on about the beauty of life and how precious it is blah blah. I didn’t say anything, just nodded my head, wished her well and went out to smoke while she packed her stuff. Then it hit me, the reason she kissed so passionately after I smoked, the reason she wrote all that damn depressing poetry, listened to good music and all that. She never really had a normal life. Can’t remember when she ever spoke of her growing up. I imagine she was teased a lot or treated like an alien, maybe even ignorantly mistaken for a white girl. It was then that I started to wonder what kind of a childhood she had, what the hell do you get up to if you can’t play in the sun? She reminded me of this one psycho guy I went to school with who we all thought was gay then turned out he was ‘too intelligent to get into a relationship’. I asked him once why he wrote poetry, he said something like ‘the world is too busy to listen to me as I speak, one day when I am dead and gone they will find my voice in the page’. It was sad and a tad bit dramatic sure, but I think I now know what he meant. Amelia [let’s call her that for obvious reasons] was born different from the rest of us. Inevitably almost every human encounter she had bordered on her condition, people asking the same retarded questions and trying not to be insensitive. I imagine having been called a freak in her hearing one time too many she got over the whole albino thing and moved on to whatever else there is in life: poetry, jazz, cooking, clay sculptures, playing guitar and the rest of the cool stuff she did. But the world never moved on. I think she still retained a certain bitterness, you know how we wounded creatures seem to wallow in our misery and keep to that one thing that makes us special until the rest of the world looks retarded? Yeah, I believe that was her problem, since she couldn’t forgive God for making her so fragile she took it out on people like me who ‘abuse’ their bodies. I know for sure she really wanted to experiment with drugs, hard booze and stuff like that but was not going to be a hypocrite by falling into the ways she shunned. Life sucks when you are uptight about everything. I imagine she cried a lot after the whole thing ended. Regular guys aren’t so fun after all I suppose. Still, I will miss her. Not many people get me the way she did. I was really fond of her, her laugh and all the little quirks, great character too besides all that other self-loathing that lay buried deep down. I think if I spent more time with her things might have worked out, but hey she found me with a life and I couldn’t just forsake it. Might have been the big wedge, I had a life outside of her and she was worried that I might be straying out there. I never cheated on her once I swear on my grave, I’m way over that lifestyle but she wouldn’t believe me, always worried that the ‘normal girls’ [her words not mine] would whisk me away. I couldn’t stress it enough that I knew no ‘normal’ girls in the places I spend my time in. She just didn’t understand. I suppose if I was in her shoes I would also be too sensitive and over-rational, then to the average Joe like me who is not a poet any attempt at being romantic translates as patronizing. Even though I might not have spent enough time with her she knows it well and cannot dispute that when I was there I was really there. I even read her poetry, though I never commented beyond ‘that’s good babes’, ‘who’s Holden?’, and ‘this is my new favourite babes’. I often got the feeling she was talking about me in poems about cats and that Holden character. She hasn’t really come to terms with herself, she just buried her ill feelings deep down inside only to be rediscovered when the wine warmed up in my absence, wondering what it would be like to have ‘a normal life’ like she would put it. Just like with my white [ex]girlfriend who is probably still in the Zambezi, despite all you can feel for each other it’s how you stand together and apart in the face of the most basic differences that makes or breaks the relationship. I guess I should have taken the time to know her, find her strength and carry her forth where it ends. She should have known that I was sincere, it didn’t feel like just ‘the other side of the tracks’, it was the difference to completion. Beyond her insecurities she was the most beautiful soul I have ever encountered. Would I give it another go? I don’t really know, we always promise to change if the other person comes back but the truth is no one really ever changes, you can’t keep it down because that’s the first thing you throw at them when they eventually leave. No regrets though, it was a beautiful time, I’ll miss her. Maybe one day when I win a fancy award for writing well I will thank her for teaching me how to write. The sad irony being that I only write when I miss her.