You are not Friends

I don’t mean that you are not my friends. What I mean is that you don’t know what it’s like to be friends. 

I’m talking every single one of you bastards who are so insanely individualistic and yet so superficially in support of “friendship”. You assholes who think you know what friendship entails, but really don’t.

I can sum up a friend in one simple sentence: someone who will often stick you for a cup of coffee. Someone who would like to see you often.

That is the essence of a friend.

How do I express my anger without sounding petty, which I probably am? For the first few months I was staying at that forsaken place, alone, without doing ANYTHING. You KNEW that. Yet you just didn’t give a shit, did you? It’s not like anyone of you thought: “Hey! We’re off to watch this rugby game! Why don’t we invite him? I mean he’s a cool friend who I would want to see”. Nah I simply didn’t even enter your thoughts.

That’s why I moved back to where my real friends are. Screw you all.

And sometimes you say you miss me. Do you really? Aren’t you just lying to yourself? You and your 100+ friends? You probably “miss” all of them too. A few weeks ago I read a picture with text on a rather cliche Spanish Facebook page. It said: “Dices ‘te extraño’, pero no vienes a verme’. That is, “You say you miss me, but you don’t come to see me”. When I was still staying at that place I suggested that we and whoever else should go to the art museum, or the zoo, or anywhere you want. After all, we are students! We are free! But you just never took the time. You and the other one are the only people I ever saw over there. Now I moved back and whenever you mention that we should still do this, I can’t help but shake my head.

Or you, who are SO obsessed with that damn videogame. You came over and I wanted to share with you a game I recently purchased (I rarely purchase games nowadays) and you simply didn’t care. And you should know by now that I rarely play anything. You were just so obsessed with that damn… demo (he didn’t have the game, just a demo of it). And a few weeks later when I told you I’m busy you asked me if it was because I was playing that game you played. Like what the fuck, man? Are you so daft and self-focused? And you just couldn’t understand how I could not be playing that game of yours. And today when you send me that Steam invite to play DOTA with you. Seriously? I told you I don’t have it, that I don’t want to play it, that I prefer League of Legends, that it is too expensive, yet you send the invite? I don’t expect you to remember everything I told you, but come on.

And you, you have the best heart of anybody I know, yet even you have that student individualist mentality. I told you months ago that I moved out and that I’m driving in each day for class. Why the hell then do you think I can watch a movie at night? Or that we can go to “my place”. I hate that place. Or we would agree that we would see each other at that time, but when I messaged you to ask where you are, you said you are on your way home? What the fuck? Or you would keep asking me: “Are we going to go watch that movie next week?”. And I would say yes. Then my other friends would ask me to go watch that same movie with them but because of my promise to you I  would decline them… only to hear that the weekend you watched that movie on you own anyway!

This also reminds me of you, The Girl, who was such a pain a few years back. We were friends, yet after class you would simply vanish without looking back. Unless I took the trouble to catch up with you we would never speak. So I got confused. Perhaps you just don’t want to – we all have our tastes. You once said that it is just “university life” NOT to greet your friends. Yet the next time in class, just to see what you’d do, I would take you on your advice by simply walking out without greeting or looking back, but then after a few minutes you would message me asking me where I am? So you do expect me to wait? I used to think that this was simply you. But now I realise it is all of you.

Or perhaps I’m the one that’s mad.

Nah. I’m staying with my two cool friends over here. Yes they have their issues. Yes I’ve complained about them numerous times on this blog as well. But at least they know what it is like to be a friend. None of you do.

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Die Minimum wat Sy Moet Wees

Is this the world you want?
You’re making it
Everyday you’re alive

The World You Want – Switchfoot

Ek dink baie aan haar. Ek imagine dat sy so en so is, maar ek weet dat sy obviously nie gaan wees wat ek verwag nie. That being said, daars net een ding wat sy absoluut moet hê:

Geduld, liefde en respek… nie vir my nie, maar vir my musiek. As ek haar vra om ‘n oomblik te vat en na hierdie vier minute lang liedjie te luister moet sy rustig daarna wil luister.

Min dinge maak my siel so seer as wanneer ek vir iemand ‘n liedjie met so veel diepte wil speel, net vir daai persoon om nie op te let nie.

 

Burdening Myself

From The Devils by Fyodor Dostoyevsky:

‘I can’t understand it!’ Stavrogin said angrily. ‘Why does everybody expect something from me that is not expected from anybody else? Why should I put up with things no one else puts up with? Why should I agree to burdens no one else can bear?’

‘I thought you were looking for a burden yourself.’

‘Me looking for a burden?’

‘Yes.’

‘You – you realized that?’

‘Yes.’

‘Is it so noticeable?’

‘Yes.’

I’m an Ignorer King

I feel bad writing this rant immediately after my post on Christ.

You know what pisses me off? Two three four things: people being severely impatient, people who just assume things, people who don’t know when they ask too much, and not having emotional space. At this very moment of writing my friend is sending me “hi” on Steam – constantly. It would be an understatement to say he has written it 30 times already, and now as I type this I see the Steam popups of these messages coming through.

What the hell do you expect? If I’m not going to answer after your third post, why do you think I’ll answer after the 30th post?

A week ago another friend did the same thing on Whatsapp: probably sending a message 15 times. Come on. The day before yesterday the Steam friend did it while I was on the way to university, listening to my music through Bluetooth constantly being interrupted by these whatsapp messages. Why? Just why? If I’m not answering, I am either away from the phone or ignoring you. If I’m away, what does it help to send multiple messages? If I’m ignoring you, why would I answer you after a specified number of messages? Dude, just stop. All you’re doing is irritating me, and yet you expect me to remain cool when I answer you?alpes.JPG

The second thing that ties in with this is the lack of emotional space. Some people simply don’t give you any room to have a different mood. If you get upset, they get upset because you’re upset. If you have a bad day, they will take it personally and then use it against you until you apologise. But if they are in a bad mood you just have to let it be. This is of tremendous importance: you must be allowed to show your mood. I’m not talking about taking it out on somebody – that is always unexcusable. I’m talking about those times you are tired and you don’t want to speak, and then because you seem a bit irrtated, without you being mean, people hold it against you. This is really selfish: they just HAVE to make it about themselves. You just HAVE to be in a good mood; shame on you if you’re not. Think about this for a second – this puts you in a kind of emotional prison, or at least into some kind of emotional fakeness, which is unhealthy. Take the above case of the messages: if I am simply rude and say “stop doing this” they’ll take it personally as though I have no right to protest against what they’re doing. So I just don’t do it and I just suffer the pain.

A while back on my birthday I had a similar experience: I have this one friend whom I’ve mentioned on this blog who likes to manipulate people to some extent. He would say things like “If you have time”, “If you really want to”, “So that’s how it is”, “Sorry I bothered you”. Those people who want you to be sorry for them, who like trying to guilt trip you. A few days before my birthday he asked if he could visit that Friday. I had to study for my semester test on Monday, so I asked if we could catch up on Monday evening. He couldn’t, so he replied with “Sorry I bothered you”. He did that twice in the discussion. Then I lost it and told him that I will not suffer my third year semester test and that I tried to see him the week before – in short I clearly (with no ill words) told him what I thought. He didn’t reply.  It just can’t be that THEY are the one with the problem, you know. On my birthday he asked “Can I come tomorrow?”. I said, “I wish we could, but I have to work the whole day tomorrow at a shop”. Then that damn reply of him: “Oh, when do you have time for me?“. On my damn birthday he wanted to guilt trip me. So I ignored him for the rest of the day. So he wondered why I’m “different” these days. It just can’t be that HE made a mistake, you know, it HAS to be me.

The third problem is people who just assume things. Sometimes in a discussion I come across as cold and calculating. I have a tendency to always question what people say, not because I disbelieve them, but simply because I want to know their reasoning. In short, I like to play Devil’s Advocate. But people really take this the wrong way, though I am partly responsible. One person would talk about this and that, and I would ask “why?”. So he just assumes that I think therefore that “this and that” is wrong. I did not say that! I want the reasoning. Lately it is really hard for me to discuss things with people because they simply don’t argue correctly. If I try to make a point, they would go off on some irrelevant tangent. If I provide a counter example, they would take my argument to the extreme. In a discussion with my dad on “tolerance” I said that it is intolerant to force tolerance on people, which means the idea undermines itself. So he assumed I’m arguing for some anarchist system where no speech is limited. I did not say that!

Or, not in arguments, but in other cases, someone would ask me if I’m in the mood for pizza. I would say “No”. Then they would conclude that therefore I don’t like pizza! I did not say that! Or what really bugs me about the one side of my family, is that they would conclude a habit based on a single event. Now, as we learnt in maths, you can only predict a series of numbers if you have at least three numbers. You cannot take “3” and immediately conclude that the next number is “9”. You cannot do that even if you have two numbers (1, 4). You can only do that if you have three numbers (1, 4, 9). The point of this is that they would see me make a cup of tea at one o’clock, and therefore conclude that I always make tee at one o’clock. No! You can’t just assume that. Or in another vein, I would usually socialise during the day and then relax in front of the pc at night. So when I talk to my friends online at night, they always find me either in front of the pc or working on an assignment. So they just assume that therefore I’m in front of the pc the whole day and that thus I need to “get out more”. Man this irritates me.

The last thing that bothers me has bothered me for as long as I could remember: when you help somebody and that person is mean while you are helping them. I recall when still in primary school my older sister would ask me to help move something in her closet. I would do so, and then she’ll start being mean to me if I make a mistake. So eventually when she acted that way I just left her to herself. Recently this manifested in me doing my friend a favour. During the week he wanted to go to a shop nearby to look at laptops. He doesn’t have a car so he rides to work on his bicycle. So I drove ALL THE WAY to his work, and there I struggled to find where exactly he works. So after riding around the block and accidentally going into a residential area I came close to his work and stopped on the opposite side of the road in a bit of a clearing. But on whatsapp he kept insisting that I come inside. I didn’t want to. Then he came out with his bicycle and kept telling me to cross over to the opposite side. WHY? It is clear, he can come to ME. Why should I struggle with my car to go there? It is a lot safer for him to cross with his bicycle than for me to cross with my car. There is more than enough safe space where I am to load the bicycle (there was a bit of a gravel area next to the road where I stood). After some argument I went to the other side. Then he kept insisting that now I have to drive up a bit onto the sideway to get out of the way of the cars. WHY? Just load the damn thing, there is enough space. In fact, there was DAMN MORE THAN ENOUGH SPACE WHERE I WAS ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE!!! Bullshit like this drives me through the roof. It took everything in me to remain calm enough. I am helping YOU. YOU have no right to insist on ANYTHING. I’m not unreasonable, you can ask and usually I’ll do what you ask, but the moment you DEMAND that I help you in YOUR way I just want to leave you to yourself. The arrogance of it all!

Christian Euphemisms

This problem has been bugging me for years now. It is widespread, shameful and dangerous. What is the problem? Christian euphemisms.

If you’re a Christian, I challenge you with this question: “When’s the last time you mentioned the NAME ‘Jesus’ to someone?”.

Think about it.

Or did you use “religion” or “faith”? Why those euphemisms? Why are you ashamed of his name?

Consider this: in a normal discussion on people’s salvation, we should be talking in a way like this: “I pity these people who have not experienced Christ’s grace in their lives, who are not saved and who don’t have Jesus as a friend”.

Yet instead of that we have something like this: “These people are so lost. They follow the wrong faith. If only they knew what religion is right”. Or perhaps it is a tad bit better, but more awkward: “I pity these people, who, you know, don’t know HIM [euphemism], you know, God”.

What the hell, man? I know we all do this, but we should stop. This is shameful.

I’m Traumatised

A few years ago in my last year of school something happened which has traumatised me ever since. I had a cat. A very beautiful, playful, extremely energetic kitty cat. One midday I was sitting inside playing a video game. I remember hearing a car hooting outside, but I didn’t think much of it. But then my mom received a phone call saying she was run over in front of our house. It seems our cat crossed the road, saw a car, wanted to turn back, and was hit by this second car. I still curse that driver who did this to her. I remember her lying there – dead. Or was she dead? Her eyes had blood coming out of it, and her tongue hang out of her mouth. I really hoped she was dead, rather than paralyzed and slowly dying.

If my previous cat was my best friend, then this dear one, Millie (Russian for “cute”) was my daughter. Because I lost my previous cat, Leo, I appreciated every day with Millie. Honestly, each morning I thanked God for her. But what struck me was her being killed in the day. Not during the night, but in the day: right there for my eyes to behold her dead body lying there. The following day after school my best friend and I buried her. I still remember seeing the blood in the street for a few days afterwards. Luckily the rain washed it away.

Later the same year my mother wanted a new cat. I didn’t, for obvious reasons. But over time I’ve grown extremely attached to this one as well. Her name is Espi (shortened for Esperanza, which means Hope).

But I’m traumatised.

Every. Single. Time. for the last three years now, whenever I hear a car hooting outside, I am afraid Espi is run over. I cannot rest until I see her alive.

Today, just around twilight, a car stood outside for a long time. Damn those damn people always stopping outside our house for no reason! Damn them all! Everytime I see a car outside I look for Espi to see if she’s alright. This time I couldn’t find her. My mother was jogging, so I looked at her phone to see if she has a miss call – perhaps Espi is run over and somebody called her. A missed call from an unsaved number! Where’s Espi? I went out the front, came back inside and searched the house, went out the back, and still I couldn’t find her.

But when I came out the front I saw her little eyes looking at me. So I just picked her up and hugged her fat little tummy while she struggled to get loose.

Mense met Fiemies Ruin Als

Een van die dinge in die lewe wat my irriteer is oppervlakkigheid. Nie in ‘n normale sin nie (dit pla  my ook), maar as dit kom by klein dinge.

Wil jy regtig eerder gaan bad as om ‘n maansverduistering te sien? Wil jy regtig rondfok in die kombuis as om hierdie goeie storie te volg? So what as ons laat eet, enjoy hierdie. So what as jy laat gaan bad, hierdie is beeldskoon.

Ek het netnou ‘n storie gelees van ‘n Amerikaner wat op ‘n first date gegaan het met ‘n meisie. Hulle het Guardians of the Galaxy 2 gefliek. En wat doen sy? Sy tik op haar selfoon die heeltyd. Arme ou, hier wil hy sy gunsteling fliek deel met ‘n meisie… en al wat sy doen is om nie om te gee nie – dit moet hom die meeste pla – en deur hom te pla met die foon se liggie.
Toe gaan hy en dagvaar haar vir dit.

Ek meen come on, die fliek verveel jou dalk, maar terwille van hom maak asof jy dit like. Jou gevoelens vir daai ou is mos sterker as jou haat vir ‘n fliek?

Anyway, dis al wat wou sê. Sacrifice jouself ‘n bietjie vir iemand anders en jy sal sien dat jy daai persoon net meer en meer lief sal hê as wat jy selfsugtig is en hom onderbring met jou irritasie.

Dit tel vir jou eie geluk ook as dit kom by net jouself: jy speel dalk DOTA en jy “moet” aanspeel tot die einde, anders gee hulle jou ‘n penalty. My antwoord is… “so what?”. Ek WIL nie NOU aan speel nie. Gee my die penalty, ek mind nie.

Of soos gisteraand was daar een stupid steam game wat ek wou aflaai. Maar eers vanaf 12 uur die aand het ek night data. Ek kan opbly vir nog ‘n uur en dit dan aflaai, maar ek wil nie. So screw dit. Ek gaan nou slaap, de hel met die game.

Sulke mentaliteit maak jou vry van allerhande valse verpligtings. Jy WIL dit speel. Jy HOEF nie. Die oomblik wat dit jou irriteer, gaan uit! Maak jouself vry van hierdie stupid digitale ding voor jou. Of iemand wie ek ken wat hou van hardloop, wat sal moun oor hoe sy die volgende oggend vroeg moet opstaan. Ek het geen simpatie vir dit nie. Jy HOEF nie op te staan nie. Jy WIL. Los dit as jy wil.

In kort: een ding: prioriteite. Sit die ou van wie jy hou bo jou haat vir Marvel flieks. Sit ‘n maansverduistering bo jou roetine. Skuif ‘n bietjie jou planne uit, maak tyd. En vir jou eie issues: maak duidelik wat nodig is en wat nie nodig is nie. Dit wat nie nodig is nie moenie ‘n hou vas op jou hê nie!

By The Babe Unborn by Chesterton Explained

If trees were tall and grasses short,
As in some crazy tale,
If here and there a sea were blue
Beyond the breaking pale,

If a fixed fire hung in the air
To warm me one day through,
If deep green hair grew on great hills,
I know what I should do.

In dark I lie: dreaming that there
Are great eyes cold or kind,
And twisted streets and silent doors,
And living men behind.

Let storm-clouds come: better an hour,
And leave to weep and fight,
Than all the ages I have ruled
The empires of the night.

I think that if they gave me leave
Within that world to stand,
I would be good through all the day
I spent in fairyland.

They should not hear a word from me
Of selfishness or scorn,
If only I could find the door,
If only I were born.

G. K. Chesterton

This is the most beautiful poem I know. And once you understand Chesterton’s philosophy, it becomes so much more beautiful.

If trees were tall and grasses short,
As in some crazy tale,
If here and there a sea were blue
Beyond the breaking pale,

If a fixed fire hung in the air
To warm me one day through,
If deep green hair grew on great hills,
I know what I should do.

Chesterton had a “fairy philosophy”. It sounds very mystical, but it is actually very logical. He thought – and it makes a lot of sense when you think about it – that a fairy land presents the way things might to be. In this fairy world the ocean may be red, the skies pink, trees short and grass as long as mountains. You might have flying whales and wingless eagles. In a similar vein, in our modern world, science fiction would also be a good analogy. In a good sci-fi film you might find a planet with three blue suns! And two moons! The people of this alien planet might be living in purely crystal palaces, and only live off acid rather than water. I remember reading a series of books called the Sage of Seven Suns. In it the author had aliens living within gas giants, and other aliens within stars! How peculiar it must have been for them to find aliens living on the surface of a rock.

A reflection on fairy land (or Dune if you wish) makes one realise that in a very real sense, we are living in a fairy land. Our oceans are blue! Isn’t that amazing? It could just as easily have been orange. Trees are tall! Wow! I thought they are always short! In my world there are a lot of flying pigs, but in your world you have a rhinoceros. Ask yourself, doesn’t a rhino look rather… out of this world? It really looks like it shouldn’t exist, should it? We live off bread and not wood, our money consists of gold rather than spice.

When I first encountered this idea of Chesterton, that we are living in a fairy land, I considered it to be merely some romantic idea of a long dead journalist. But the more I think about it, the more I realise how true this is. This truly is a fairy land. I mean this in a very real sense.

Yes this fairy land is broken, just as Sleeping Beauty was poisoned, the giant killed, the pigs eaten and Goldilocks homeless. Most fairy tales have a condition: “He shall be a beast until he finds true love”, “You, a disrespected daughter serving your coldhearted stepmother, may dance the night away with a prince… as long as you are home by twelve”. It is this somewhat odd or peculiar condition which makes fairy land brittle. Something so beautiful but so breakable. For Rapunzel (in the Disney movie), her hair can heal as long as it is not cut. In our world we can live forever as long as we don’t taste the apple.

Return to the poem again and you see the child dreaming of earth as a very real fairyland. A place of wonder. A baby’s eyes are always full of wonder! Everything is to him a new creation. Just as we would be stunned at seeing another moon tomorrow night, this baby is stunned that there exists a moon!

In dark I lie: dreaming that there
Are great eyes cold or kind,
And twisted streets and silent doors,
And living men behind.

Let storm-clouds come: better an hour,
And leave to weep and fight,
Than all the ages I have ruled
The empires of the night.

This baby is not some naive optimist. He is aware of fairy land being ruled by the evil stepmother. He is a realist. He knows of the evil in the world among all the beauty. He is aware of goblins and orcs, and Sauron, living next door to Elfland and the Shire.

Yet still he will take this broken creation over the darkness within which he lives, within the darkness of his non-existence. He would much rather suffer though some periods of pain, than not having had known fairyland at all.

I think that if they gave me leave
Within that world to stand,
I would be good through all the day
I spent in fairyland.

They should not hear a word from me
Of selfishness or scorn,
If only I could find the door,
If only I were born.

If only they will allow him to enter fairyland he would be good through every moment of it. If only they will allow him to see it. He would never be mean, or ungrateful. If only he is born.

The message is one of beautiful, clear minded hope being expressed by the most innocent of all beings: a child, among a world of blind, cold and ungrateful people.

P. S. This short piece by Chesterton on “worshiping” babies is both insightful in further appreciating the poem, and beautiful in its own right.

I Turned My Back on You All

You know, last year was great. Last year I knew that year was great. This year is good, but not so much, you know?

But anyway. For a few months at the beginning of this year I stayed by myself at this residence a decent walk away from campus. I shared the kitchen with someone else, but all in all we kept to ourselves. I had a car, but I had to park it far away. This is crucial because it means I am stuck at night.

Do you know how many times I would go to stay there with the idea of “Maybe you and I will do this Monday, maybe this other friend and I will go watch a movie on Tuesday”. And it almost never happens, does it? Even when we plan it, it never happens.

Where the hell is the spontaneous inclusion of me in your life? And I’m talking about more than one person here. It’s not a case, it seems, for you, when you plan on going to some museum or rugby match to think “Hey, how about I invite him (me)? “He is after all a friend.” No. Screw me. I would sit and see facebook posts of this one game you went to watch, hear about how you all went to this club, about this exhibition you went to, etc. To hell with me.

You know what I miss, so, so much about school? All the guys were actually friends. With this I mean it was a case of “Obviously we invite everyone”. Of “when you and I happen to walk attend the same classes, then obviously we wait for each other”. Of “Whenever one of us in the group leaves to go home, then obviously we say goodbye”. Not this bullshit of leaving people out (not even taking a second to think about them), and of just running away as if friendship is some myth.

But it seems university life, and the particular type of people who happen to be students are incredibly individualistic. And forgetful. They rarely if ever take other people into account. They lack that true inclusive spontaneity.

Well screw you.

I’m staying here with my true friends.

Ek het weer van jou gedroom

Jy weet, gewoonlik as ek van jou droom skryf ek daaroor in Spaans. Hoekom? Seker maar omdat dit ‘n meer passievolle taal is. Ek weet nie.

Maar anyway, in elke droom lyk jy anders. Soms is jy ‘n brunette, soms is jy blond, soms lang hare, soms kort. Die keer was jy weer ‘n brunette met bruin oë. Jyt baie gelyk soos iemand wat ek ken. Miskien het ek gedroom van haar en nie van jou nie. Dit kan wees. Ek dink amper iemand het ons gejaag. Ek kan nie meer onthou nie. Maar op ‘n stadium het ek jou gesoen. Dis die eerste keer wat ek jou in my droom soen.

Maar dit was so ongelooflik diep. Ek het myself heeltemal vir ‘n oomblik verloor. Asof ek vir een oomblik in my lewe nie bestaan het nie. Maak dit sin? Ek glo nie. Dit maak nie eers sin vir my nie.

Maar anyway, dis net ‘n droom.