We Need Intimate Lives: To Be Loved and Resurrected Amongst Only Those Who Deserve Us.
I remember the café — the smell of coffee, of baked things, and the love you came to offer me. Being a woman will always make me desperate for your love.
I was taught that in an uncertain world, I should claim and keep a man as insurance, as a safety net against spinsterhood, poverty and the pain of solitude.
Then you laughed. I heard your laughter as a scream, but you tried to convince me that it was joyful. Your laughter was a stranger who had not yet earned your intimacy. Had you known how to cry, you would not have laughed. Surprised at my pity for your heartbreaking cry of a laugh, you tried to convince me that you did not feel, at least not those weak and negative emotions.
In your last effort to convince me that you were not weak, you summoned a display of authority that felt like the anger of one who has been oppressed by hurt for a long time. In that authority, you prided yourself on the many ways you could get harsh, angry and manly. I could not hate you, therefore I chose to pity you. You preferred hate, pity made you feel week.
There is in every woman a part that is desperate for a companion. I am no exception. But I have died twice to rid myself of the desperate woman who believed that a man is a price that should be secured at any risk. I have resurrected myself to the learning of how to be alone. I have introduced myself to my aloneness and made it an intimate friend.
I loved my loneliness with the patience of a love that will last an eternity, and my loneliness has loved me back. This is how you become your own god, words whispered in solitude urged me that to become a god you have to be willing to crucify yourself, to bleed from every pore.
In my aloneness, I created myself as a god worthy enough to be worshiped by me, so intimate she only needed to be resurrected in sacred places amongst close friends. I became intimate with all parts — all the unloved parts, the vilified parts, the attention-seeking parts, the shadow parts, the sexually deviant parts, and all the wrong parts — that make up this human called me.
Because I have loved me, the undivided me, I grow impatient and easily bored by things that do not deserve me.
You love me, but only some parts of me. You like the shallow things — small talk and other things like culture — that demand of a woman to protect the integrity of the man with her virtue. You ask me to smile and be nice, to never wear my skirt above the knee, to be calm and collected and very wise at taking shit with a happy smile.
You love me, but only in the way you were taught to by people who did not love themselves. I was raised by a woman whose laughter sounded like tears, but I killed myself many times to rid myself of women like my mother. Women who believed that they needed to be women their husbands deserved, but never learnt that they too could reject and refuse anything unworthy and undeserving of them.
I became my own messiah. But you want to be saved even without the conscious knowledge of your plea. You keep laughing, breaking my heart and calling for help with your painful laughter. I will not give you the salvation I paid for with my life for free.
You offer me a god they created for you in their own image — confused masculinity that never learnt to belong to itself. I imagine your god to be like you, unable to cry and to fall apart so he becomes cruel instead and asks men to protect his righteous rule by wars, rape and carnage.
I see him laugh as I roast in hell for being irresponsible, for not protecting the man against himself by offering my body as a sacrifice to bond the man in righteous marriage. Your god, his laugh I imagine is also a heartbreaking cry.
You want my memories and my love too, but I want my soul to be resurrected only amongst those who have survived what Madeline Thien calls my room of Zá zì — the things that don’t fit, the things we never say aloud and so they end up in diaries and notebooks, in private places. I want my bits and pieces, my vulgar life, to exist in wide open spaces.
I do not know how to exist in secret, in private places, in unread diaries so that I can create a home for another in my skin. Your laughter is homeless, you are afraid of the vastness of your house of Zá zì, and yet you want to love a woman of the river with dark depths and moving waters. Many have drowned here. And I grow old, bored and impatient of things that do not deserve me.
Khutsafalo Kasale is a service yogini, a writer, an activist, an African patriot from Botswana, and a lover of all things Art and Culture. As a service yogini, she dedicates her time teaching Yoga to those who desperately need it but cannot afford it, at orphanages, psychiatric hospitals and community centers. She dreams of writing a manual for the dead some day. You can connect with Khutsafalo via her website.