Tuesday, December 31, 2013

01/01/2014 - 67

I've put off this post for as long as possible. Holidays have flown by, and I knew it needed to be done at some point, but I left it for the latest possible moment. Its New Years Day at the moment on my side of the world, 1:11AM to be exact, and the beginning of 2014. I'm hoping for a much better year this year, so let's kick it off with a fresh post.

2013 is the year that I lost my father. It has been just over 3 months, and quite honestly I don't quite know how I am dealing with it, or how I feel for that matter. I'm sad, obviously, but something just feels amiss. It scares me to think that I'm not feeling sad enough, like I should be a lot more depresses than I currently feel. I look at my sister and see how she is taking it. She seems to push through each day, fighting the urge to cry because she misses him so much. My mom has her moments too, but she seems to be keeping herself as busy as possible, and she obviously misses him lots too. My brother, well he is exactly like how my dad was, who knows exactly what he is feeling.

Then there is me.

I cried a lot on the evening he passed away, as well as the next day. I was surprisingly composed on the day of his funeral, feeling teary eyed, but not really letting it out. The rest of the weeks that followed have seen me just living in a void. I pushed through my assignments and exams, even though I had no push whatsoever to get them done. I passed, thank God for that. Varsity aside, I've just been living through each day as normally as possible. Yet, this is what scares me. I know I have not grieved, not even begun to do so. That's why I put off this entry for so long, because I knew it would be the opening I need to just let it all out. Yet here I am, and I'm just blank. I feel sad, but I don't really feel much else either. It really, really bothers me. I don't want this to be something that will come back to haunt me in the years to come.

The reason I am writing today specifically, not just because it's the start of a new year, is that it would also have been my dad's 67th birthday. 67 is nothing. I always took pride in telling my friends how healthy he was, walking a fair distance 6 days a week at the market, getting stock for the shop. He also ate relatively healthy, lots and lots of fruit and veg in-between all the random every day drunk. Then he gets hit with everything at once, with Cancer being the worst of the lot.

It was stage 4 lung cancer, something which doesn't really seem to have a cure. Yet we were hopeful, because we all knew that nothing is impossible. I can't even begin to describe how shit I feel about the times I confronted my dad about his smoking. You remember it don't you? I wrote about it too. The guilt, its overwhelming and it sits in me like a poison. My dad just couldn't seem to quit smoking, something which seems so absurd considering that he had lung cancer. Yet, maybe he knew his time was limited, maybe he just wanted to make his last few months just that little bit more bearable. Then there is me, letting it slide for a good few months until the day I exploded. During my life, I have had many an argument with my dad where I was obviously way out of line (with lots of shouting in the process). These arguments though pale in comparison to the shit I gave my dad. I've never shouted him so loudly in my life, never given him such a piece of my mind. If only I had known, if only I had known...

I just hope he knows that I really did it with the intention of trying to motivate him to quit, because I really wanted him to get much better.

The last week of his life was the worst. I watched my dad literally age 20-30 years (at least that's what it looked like). He looked fragile and aged, and he barely had the energy to walk and get around. He didn't even have the energy to smoke. Those last moments of his life feel like a lifetime ago, as well as a bad dream. My mom and I heard him collapse, something that wasn't particularly unusual in that last week. We ran to the bathroom to find him sitting on the floor by the door. I still smiled and comforted him, telling him that it was alright and we would help him up. I only saw him from behind though, and when I circled to face him, something wasn't right. I don't know what was going through his mind in those final moments, but I know he was with us. He looked at my mom and I, before he lay back and his eyes closed. The rest is a blur. I just know that between my mom and myself, we got hold of my brother and told him to come ASAP, as well as an ambulance to come and get my dad. My sister was out at gym or boxing and obviously wouldn't look at her phone until much later.

I remember being alone with my dad, trying to find a pulse. My mom was trying to make a call to the ambulance I think. I started telling my dad that I needed him to fight, that he still had so much to do. I do think he did die as soon as he lay back. The trip to the hospital was in vain. I would love to know what was his last thought as his life left him. All I know is that he looked at my mom and I. No amount of words can ever capture that evening. It's series of images blended together in my mind.

My dad will never watch me graduate. My dad will never watch me become an author. My dad will never watch me get married. My dad will never be a granddad to my kids. I know I wasn't the best son, but I know he always loved me no matter what. He was taken too soon, too soon. I never did anything to make my dad proud, and it breaks my heart that he won't be around to witness me fulfilling any of my deepest dreams. I love you dad. I'm so sorry for all I didn't do, and all I should have done. We miss you. This house feels so bizarre without you. It doesn't feel real at all, it feels like you'll be home any day now. I need to learn to start accepting your departure.

I did say something at his funeral, I'll just leave it here...
I can't really add much to what everybody has said before me, but I can say that one of my biggest dreams whilst growing up as a child was that I would get to spend more time with my dad. He was an incredibly hard worker, leaving for work early in the morning and arriving home much later in the evening. I wish the circumstances could have been different, but my dad did spend most of the last 9 months at home. Even through these difficult times, my dad loved treating me to lunch. It is hard to describe why these excursions were so valuable. It wasn't a matter of eating non homemade food, or anything fancy. It was his way of spoiling and making time to spend with me.

I cannot even begin to find a way to describe him effectively, there are no real words that could truly capture the qualities he had. It may sound incredibly clich├ęd, but I consider myself beyond lucky to be blessed with the one and only Tony Figueira as my father. On the exterior, he may have come across as a hard man, but we all know that once a person got to know him, they realised just what an incredibly soft heart he had. He always put others first, always always always!

I am incredibly honoured to call myself one of his sons. It brings me so much joy to look around this room, seeing just how many people knew him, and how many people he had the opportunity to tell one of his classic jokes to. Nobody knew how to tell a joke like my dad did! His humour was core to his character, and he never missed the opportunity to make others smile and laugh.  God may know every joke in the book, but I'm pretty sure he still laughs when my dad tells one.

Daddy, It was a shock when you were admitted into hospital at the end of last year, but I consider the last 9 months to be a blessing from God, as we got to spend just that little bit of extra time with you. As difficult as it was, I now know we were just being prepared to say goodbye.

Dad, you will be so missed. No longer will I hear that backdoor slam in the evening, signalling your arrival home. No longer will I be able to see your smile, hear your laugh, or look into your eyes. All I know is that you left behind a legacy that will never be forgotten. You left me in the hands of an amazing mother and phenomenal siblings, and I am surrounded by such incredibly family and friends. I know that you will never be forgotten, only missed more than you could ever know.

On behalf of myself and the Figueira family, I would just like to extend my thanks to everybody who had a hand in getting everything ready for this difficult day, as well as a big think you to Father Tony. Also, thank you to every single one of you for your incredible support during this difficult time. The amount of times we got told "please call me if you need anything" was just amazing. My mom is a florist, so it's not unusual to have the house packed with so many flower arrangements, but the amount of flowers we have received has just been overwhelming, and we really appreciate it.  I know that we are truly blessed to have such amazing family and friends!

We would like to invite you to join us in the hall afterwards for some drinks and snacks. If it's one thing my dad loved, it was people. He loved being surrounded by family and friends, telling jokes and just interacting with those around him. I cannot think of a more fitting way to spend today then honouring what my dad loved. Remember, we are not here to mourn my dad's death. Instead, we are here to honour the life he had and the legacy he has left behind. As my brother mentioned, my dad's birthday falls on New Year each year. Yes, the beginning of each year may be sad as we reflect on the passing of a great gentleman, but let's remember to celebrate the life of Tony Figueira, remembering all the lessons he taught us, the example he was, and the smiles he always so generously donated.

There are various pitfalls from 2013, but this post is quite long as it. I'll keep it focussed on my dad though, as it would have been his birthday today. I do feel a little better, but more will follow in the days to come I'm sure. Happy New Years everybody, and Happy Birthday Dad. Love you and miss you! May 2014 be a much better year with more smiles and laughter, something you always brought to everyone's lives.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Rest In Peace Dad, You Legend.

I don't know what to say... my dad passed away last night.

I cannot even begin to find the words to start talking about it. I don't even know how to say what I am feeling, but I am sure that I will flesh it out over the next few days/months/years.

I was with my dad when he died. He looked at my mom and I before he went, that much I am sure of.

I cried last night, but I know it was not nearly enough to even begin to make me feel better. It will come, I know it will. It's barely begun to sink in.

My dad is gone. My dad is gone. My dad is gone. My dad is gone. My dad is gone.

Rest in peace dad, there are no words in existence that could ever truly do you justice. You are at peace now, and you will sorely missed, so so so so much!! <3 nbsp="" p="">

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Zyprexa, An Atypical Antipsychotic

I was exhausted around 10pm tonight, something which (if you know me) is an incredibly odd occurence. Even on those nights where I have to go to bed due to some early obligation in the morning, I will still end up going to bed at around midnight or 1am. I spent most of my weekend working on two English assignments, a poem and a novel. My brain is fried, which probably explains my extreme case of wanting to sleep.

Random context aside, WHAT THE ACTUAL F%$K?

I did plan on sleeping early, right up until the point where my mom called me frantically. My dad had slipped and was sitting on the bathroom floor. He did not have the energy to pull himself up. He had a bout of Chemo around 6 days ago, so it is to be expected that he will be drained. It is so strange though, because during his first cycle of chemo (a few weeks ago), you would never say that he had undergone it. He seemed perfectly normal, as normal as somebody with cancer can be. Yet this time, the effects seemed to be sharp. Each day he seemed to be exhausted, sleeping for ridiculous amounts of time.

Tonight has been a scary affair. As I've mentioned already, my dad could not even pick himself off the floor. I had to help him up. He struggled to walk, in the sense that he either had very little energy to do so, or he just didn't seem to have any correct control over his muscles. Even when he speaks, it seems like he struggled to formulate the words. My sister and I know that Chemo is draining, but this is something that just seemed extremely odd. My dad went from being the perfectly able, strong adult, to a feeble elderly man. It was shocking to say the least, it made me fully aware of my dads mortality (which funnily enough, is the topic I wrote about in one of my essays - John Keats sonnet, When I have fears that I may cease to be). Anyways, following my dads chemo earlier in the week, he was extremely nauseous. We enquired with the doctor, and he gave us some medicine to counteract these side effects of chemo. My sister and I could only pinpoint (or suspect) that my dads worsening condition could be attributed to the drug he had been given, because that is when his condition started to go to hell. Remember my blog on Thursday night? Yeah, that is the day he first started taking that drug.

So what is this drug you ask? I know Google isn't a doctor who has multiple qualifications, but hey, its a good starting point for learning more about the unknown. These are just some of the articles explaining what this drug is:

Read this, thisand this...

So again I ask you, WHAT THE ACTUAL F%$k?!?! Am I reading correctly?!?!

Please explain to me, random Internet user, why my dad who has cancer, is on an anti psychotic drug which is normally used for bipolar disorder or schizophrenia? Just read through the articles above. NONE of them have anything to say about the drugs relevence to anti-nausea (which is what we requested in the first place). Many of the side effects are what my dad has shown or is showing tonight. My sister was telling me how earlier today he was trying to explain how he couldn't feel anything. Numbness is one of the possible side effects.

We are going to the doctor tomorrow, he is meant to have a shorter bout of chemo. In this condition, I doubt that will happen. Thankfully, he finished his trial of that drug tongight, so hopefully the side effects will kindly piss off during the course of tomorrow. Man, its freaking worrying! Some of the drugs side effects are fatal! That doc better be prepared to explain himself tomorrow, because from my perspective, his prescription was a death just waiting to happen O_o


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Seat Belts, Side Effects and Strange Interpretations

It's odd the way the human mind works. I updated my iPhone to iOS 7 today, and in doing so I decided to do a cleanup and uninstall any apps I don't use. I have used the blogger app a whole once since downloading it, and even that was a petty little test post. I uninstalled it this morning, but it's been on my mind all day for who knows what reason. I'm having one of "those" night at the moment, but I'm too garsh darn tired to drag myself out of bed to type at my computer. Yet here I am, clicking away on my redownloaded blogger app. Sorry, I know that's random, but I thought it was worth sharing :)

I've been having an odd week to say the least. The other day it crossed my mind that I may actually be very nearly over Amber. Quite frankly, I'm tired about writing about my problems "caused" by her, and I'm sure you are equally exhausted just from reading my ramblings that go on and on and on.

But honestly, it crossed my mind, and it's a scary thought. Even my sister asked me the other day, "how are things with you and Amber?", and I just shrugged my shoulders, saying I think that I'm thinking about her less.

That's the reason it scares me though, because I know I will think I'm moving on with my life, but some stupid memory or issue will pop up in my silly brain. It did! Last night once more in a dream. Amber is in Cape Town with varsity friends, presenting her work at the Loeries this weekend. So in my dream last night, I was saying goodbye to her at the airport. What annoyed the hell out of me (in my dream) is that she walked to the departure terminal without saying goodbye. I was like HEY WAIT WOMAN, I MUST SAY GOODBYE! So I ran up to her and said goodbye. She sort of shrugged, gave me an awkward hug, then walked through the gate towards her plane, without so much as a hint of looking back.

It seems utterly silly and possibly meaningless, but I was sad this morning. Being an English student, there are a million ways to interpret the meaning behind the dream itself. Is it just a dramatic metaphor which illustrates my fear of seeing Amber leave my life? Or is her being disinterested in saying goodbye a reflection of her lack of interest in this friendship? 

My dad is really suffering from the recent bout of Chemo. During his first cycle a while back, he was on trial medication. It was pretty magical stuff, because he didn't seem to have any side effects which normally follow chemo. 

He has been feeling nauseous, to the point where he doesn't eat at all. His memory is shocking to say the least. He can remember normal things, like his birthday, ID number and so on, but he forgets a variety of other things. Today he went to the shop to help close up. He got lost on the way home, like big time. The other day he got lost on the way to my uncles house. Needless to say, he won't be driving anymore anytime soon, but hell it's worrying all of us. Apparently memory loss is a normal side effect, but seeing my dad act as helpless as a child is heartbreaking to say the least. 

We had to go fetch him. He was with my mom, but long story short; she was in a  separate car to him, and she couldn't get him to follow her. When we got there, I told my dad to move to the passenger side, I would drive him home. He couldn't even remove his seatbelt. He sat there fumbling for a little while before he asked me to help him (I hadn't noticed, I was talking to my mom). Thank God he never crashed into anybody. How can he remember how to operate a car but not a  seatbelt? Heartbreaking I tell you...

The worst is, I think he is very aware of the problems he is having. It is probably freaking him out more than it is freaking us out. It's normal supposedly to have such hectic side effects. I just really hope he can pull through it.

Reason I am blogging in the first place, is because I really am feeling a little down tonight. I am generally pretty strong, I have been trying my best for my mom and sisters sake, but hey I'm human too. I need my own timeout now and then, and this is it.

I defaulted to wanting to talk to Amber about what's on my heart (not about her, about my dad and family life), but she is in Cape Town, and her replies were scarce. I know she can't be blamed for that, she was probably out and about exploring, so I should feel lucky to receive a reply in the first place! I just miss having a good friend to pour out to. For some reason, I really didn't feel like talking to Gareth. This is probably a result of my dream last night. I had Amber on my mind, so I wanted to talk to her.

At least I have you, random Internet audience and dear little blog. You have been a source of comfort in more ways than you could know. I am sane and normal because I offload here, and if I didn't? I would be a different person, a complete mess. So thank you, for reading and being here for me.

Gawd it's late! It's now 1:26am. I think I can finally sleep, now that this is all off my chest. Be proud of me, I typed all of the above on my phone ;) later peeps!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Smoking 101

Last night saw my mom, sister and myself confronting my dad again. Yesterday was out of hand, and we pieced together that he had smoked 4 cigarettes through the course of the day. CIGARETTES? He was meant to be moving off of them, via cigars. Yet he went back to cigarettes. So I made him a promise last night. If you know me, you know that I only make a promise that I know I will keep. I told him that for every smoke I know he has, I will be smoking one myself (my sister said she would too).

He told us he was done, he would kick the habit. No doubt, we were skeptical, but hey he said he was done. SURPRISE! Today he went to buy a cigar from the garage. I specified in my promise that cigar or cigarette, whether he has one puff or twenty, for every one he lights, I will be smoking a cigarette myself. He went outside to light it up, to which my mom obviously disagreed. He swore at her, something along the lines of "fuck you" and "voetsak". Now, if you know my dad, you might be wondering WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK? That guy is not my dad, we don't know where the soft hearted, selfless guy has gone. Instead we have something along the lines of a drug addict.

Earlier, after finding out that he had bought the smoke, I stormed out the house and I went to buy my own small box of cigarettes. After hearing what he said to my mom, I grabbed them. Ripping off the packaging and grabbing a cigarette, this was the last straw for me. I put it in my mouth and had the lighter ready, to which he had the exact reaction I wanted. "Don't do this to me". I told him that I had never smoked a cigarette in my life, I told him that he spent years telling me not to smoke, because it was a shit habit. How could he persist and carry on, after everything we have told him? I lit the stupid cigarette, and I smoked it. My sister did too, after months of not smoking. Keep in mind that my sister quit 12 years of smoking OVERNIGHT after my dad was diagnosed.

It was surreal, something that is hard to describe. I was the one sitting at the bar counter, smoke in hand, lecturing my dad while he sat on the couch, telling him how he must pick himself up and fight for his life. It was just bizarre to witness the roles being reversed, my sister and myself playing mom and dad with the naughty child being my dad. I enforced my promise, saying that the next time he wants to light up, he must remember that we are going to as well.

I feel like utter shit now. I could never understand all those years when I was small, and my dad said it hurt him when he had to repremand me and such. How can it hurt him when he is the one doing the yelling and being the adult? I know now. The sight of my dad being defeated, his son and daughter trying to put him back on the right path... it's ripping my heart from the inside out. I want my dad back, I want him to get better!

You might be thinking that we are making a hell of a big deal over this smoking thing. Yes, we are, but its one of many, MANY things that are wrong with my dad at the moment. He doesn't do anything but "exist" at home day after day. He doesn't watch TV, walk, read, anything at all. I firmly believe that he only resorts to smoking because it is habit, and he has nothing better to do. The truth is, he has lots to keep him busy, but he chooses not to.

My sister has booked a session with a councilor tomorrow. I hope she can get into his head, because we sure as hell hit a brick wall each and every time we try to.

P.S - I never inhaled the cigarette, I just puffed on it. That alone has given me a headache (something I seldom get) and made my mouth taste absolutely disgusting. My hands smell like smoke too, and I freaking hate that smell. It could never become a habit based on that alone, the smell and aftertaste make me wanna die >_< heres hoping the message went though, because I sure as hell don't wanna touch that shit again!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Road Gets Tough

This has been one hell of a week. My dad has stage 4 lung cancer, the most advanced. Apparently the doctors knew about this all along, but it was news to my whole family. We took the results of his latest scans to another doctor to get a second opinion. The pain in his shoulder? That is supposedly nerve damage caused by the cancer the self. If that is the case, it is irreversable, and nothing can take the pain away. My dad needs to learn to live with that pain in his shoulder. It makes him a completely different person, and I know if that pain wasn't there he would return to being himself.

He has lung cancer, yet he has refused to give up smoking. He smokes behind our backs like a rebelious teenager! I've spent the last few months watching my mom and sister moan at him, telling him to quit. I sat back, thinking that he needs to make up his mind whether he wants to quit or not. I mean, I would get pissed off too if I was trying to kick some habit and everybody was in my face about it. So I sat back for many months, knowing that surely, surely he would give it up at some point. He hasn't, and it's really getting to me. He is acting like a drug addict.

I've spent this whole week being beyond tired, physically and emotionally, and I couldn't quite understand why, until I remembered that I lost it on Monday night. My dad is the gentlest person, yet he is also the most stubborn. This whole condition has changed his whole personality, and I can't quite help but wonder where my dad has disappeared off to. On Monday night something snapped. My sister picked on something, as did my mom. The arguing started getting louder, with my dad denying that he is a smoker. Months and months of ignoring his bullshit attitude came spilling out, and I let him have it. I've never, never spoken and yelled to my dad like that before, but it was stuff he needed to hear. I hope I never have to do it again.

I told him that he is a smoker, hiding away, thinking we don't know what he is doing. I told him that I want him to stop his bullshit, and to stop his smoking. I told him that if he doesn't stop, I will have one for everyone that he himself has. I told him that he has a problem. I told him that he has cancer, and he needs to wrap his head around that and start facing it head on. I told him to stop acting like he has given up, because I miss my dad, the strong hard working guy who persevered no matter what the circumstances. I told him that I want my dad to be alive to watch me graduate. I told him that I want him to be alive to read my books one day. I told him that I want him to be alive to see his grandkids. I told him a million things, which I can't remember most of, and I can't detail here word for word. When I was done, I was shaking, I had let everything out. I have spent this whole week feeling drained beyond my understanding, but I now understand that it was that evening that sucked everything out of me. He hasn't listened, because he still smokes behind our backs.

Dreams? Don't even get me started on the dreams I have been having. They are beyond bizarre, but oddly vivid. Every night has had appearances by family and friends, in completely odd scenarios. I haven't spoken to Amber for probably the longest period of time since I have known her. As a result, she now always makes a cameo appearance in every dream, in one way or another. The random girl at the bar. The strange girl at the show. The odd girl at my house. Stupid brain. Stupid, silly, annoying brain. Its just odd because she isn't even the focus of my dream, but she always appears somewhere! Its ridiculous, you have no idea.

Dreams aside, I think if this keeps up, I might actually be on my way to moving on with my life. I have family issues to deal with before anything else.

This song has been in my head the whole week. It just seems fitting, the lines, "Sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough". Come on dad, you can fight this!

Why the hell am I still up? I have an early lecture tomorrow >_<

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Midnight Condition

Seriously, its something that I will never understand.

During the day I will be the laziest fool you will ever meet. When work needs to be done, I will manage, but I always put it off until the last second. Riddle me this, its 1am now, and I am ready to do a million things. I was tired a second ago, but inspiration always strikes me at moments like these. If I didn't have to be up so damn early tomorrow (later today), I may well have gotten some epic work done.

As a side note, I graduate in June/July next year. That first book I've been meaning to write? Yeah... June/July - December is the time I will be doing it. Full time focus. I will finish a damn story. If anything comes of it, I will finish a damn trilogy. Thought you ought to know :)

All It Takes Is A Single Dream

Every time. Every. Damn. Time.

I've been stressed over the last few weeks, what with work, varsity and my family situation. I'm ashamed to admit that I feel horribly alone. Not in terms of friends or family (although maybe a little in that department too), but with regards to love. I crave intimacy, I miss it horribly. I feel like I no longer have anybody to share my most personal secrets or opinions with, other than you. The problem is, you are on the Internet, and people would put two and two together if you were ever found (by people who don't already know of your exisitence of course).

It always starts with a dream. ALWAYS. ALWAYS! The last few weeks have gone by in a blur, with little interaction with Amber. I thought things were starting to change when last week sometime, I had a dream of a faceless female. We were just spending time together, talking and laughing about whatever the hell was going on in the dream. Could my brain finally be moving on? Of course not. I'm a twisted. creepy human, still craving the attention of the one I have spent my last few years chasing after. Last night I dreamt I was with Amber, out and about on a date or something of the sort. This morning I feel depressed, on the verge of years for God knows what. Actually, I do know what. I miss her, as usual. I want to spend time with her, as usual. But she has moved on with her life, and I'm just stuck here wondering when I will be able to move on with mine.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Blackout (Wretch 32 ft Shakka)

So my dad got pneumonia two weeks ago, hardly the best thing to have in his current state and all. It seems like it has cleared out at least!

We got told today that the cancer has spread from his lung to the bone in his shoulder (UPDATE: I have no idea what I was smoking when I wrote this. There is nothing wrong with the bone! Its lung cancer, and its affected the nerves in his shoulder.) His shoulder has been hurting him for months now... its a bit ridiculous that they only figured out the problem now. I don't know if I'm a big fan of doctors lately. Today we waited two and a half hours just to be referred to another doctor, then being charged R420 by the doctor who did the referring >_< REALLY??!?? Also, I stood up to my dad the other day after he asked me to stop at a shop so he could buy a smoke. I told him I refuse to stop, and to my surprise he agreed with me and told me to keep driving. Here, have a feel good song that I have really been loving lately. -

Lastly, http://8tracks.com/ is a freaking awesome site! Stream playlists forever and ever, its been a great way to unwind.

Sorry for the disjointed post, I'm sure you'll forgive me :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The GG

The Great Gasby, a timeless classic that has been read by vast amounts of people. I watched the latest film interpretation of it tonight, starring Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio. An Amber post was inevitable I'm afraid, so here it is.

We have barely spoken over the last few months. She had an exhibition recently, which she has been prepping for pretty much the whole year. Throw in some crazy college work and you have one really busy woman. So I know why things have been so quiet, but I'm still a little bit disheartened by just how quiet things have been. I haven't told her yet that my dad has cancer, but I make a point of not going out to tell people because I don't want to seem like I'm seeking attention or anything like that. Its a family battle, and I only tell those who actually seem to care how my dad has doing. Needless to say, Amber has not so much has spoken to me much, let alone enquired about my dads health and such. Regardless, she knows my dad and I thought that she should know. I wasn't about to message straight up though, saying what his status and all that is.

I tried to start a conversation a few weeks ago, something along the lines of how shes doing and so on. I honestly had the intention of just talking about her exhibition to get a talk going. Yet when asked how she was she said she was stressed and didn't want to talk about her exhibition. I pushed a little, at least finding out the date, how she feels about it etc. Then she really said she doesn't want to talk about it, to which I asked what topic would suit her. She apologised, said she was tired and was going to bed. So yeah I tried, but to no avail. I did consider trying again in the following weeks, but I just felt like I was being an inconvenience in her life, so decided against it.

Her exhibition night came, and I finally got to see its awesomeness (which it genuienly was). I really don't have much money to spend lately, so I felt super depressed that I couldn't support her by getting a piece or two. I really would have bought two specific pieces if I had the money because I loved them. It was good to see just how her hard work paid off, and everybody seemed to love all the material she had produced. That aside, that was the first time I had seen her in months. We barely spoke to each other. From my side, I just didn't know what to say. I feel like an utter stranger, spectating this new Amber with her friends like I'm an outsider. At one point we were kind of forced to interact. She found my feet under the table and pressed down on them with hers. I don't know if I was supposed to respond or anything, but I kept my legs dead still. Thinking on it now, I wish I had maybe responded just a little. Still, unexpected from her and I have no idea how I should have interpreted that. Also, she hugged me properly when saying hello and goodbye. Its still a touchy subject for me, because if I don't get a proper hug like a normal human being, I'd rather just not hug at all. It was a little suprising admittedly.

Following the exhibition, she is on holiday now. The only reason I have not asked to go out or anything is because quite frankly, I'm tired of being shut down. So I left the ball in her court, hoping she would make the plans to see me when she is free. The thing is, I would cancel anything to see her, and make the time to do it if needed. I know I am second in line for whatever her life requires, I am the ex boyfriend after all. Its just the way I feel though, and I wish I could change it. Anyways, I did tell her she must let me know when she wanted to do coffee or movies or something. She finally asked to go to a movie and coffee, and tt really made me happy, thinking I would finally get some alone time to just chat to her and just talk.

Of course, there is always a goddam spanner. Gareth got back from scaling Kiliminjaro on the same day, and Amber kindly informed me that she had invited him to come with to movies. I really shouldn't have anything against that, but so much for the social time, whenever they are together I become a third wheel. Throw in a bunch of others, and I fade into non existence. Much like her exhibition, we barely spoke to each other. I suppose I should just accept that she doesn't want to be close to me anymore, and move on with my life. I mean, you would think that after knowing each other for six to seven years, we would be at least decent friends (even after the relationship which ended yeeeeears ago). Unfortunately, I think I am delusional and I should stop expecting her to see me as some part of her life. Even if I have tried my best to be there for her, support her, etc through the ups and downs (some of which may of course been caused by me in the first place), I guess I can't expect her to acknowledge me forever.

The reason I bought The Great Gatsby into this, is because I sometimes think that I hold some of the dreams Gatsby had. That elusive green light, the promise of the perfect American South African dream. He goes out of his way, builds himself up and builds a life around him for Daisy. If you know the story, read on. If you plan on reading or watching it, skip this paragraph to avoid plot spoilers. In short, Gatsby dies chasing his dream and trying to please Daisy. She forgets about him and moves on with her "perfect" life. Sure he might be delusional, ignoring Nick when he is told, "you can't recreate history." Yet he does try to recreate that history, leading to his sad demise.

I honestly see myself in that way to a certain extent. I have genuinely made sacrifices to make Amber happy, to try please her as much as possible (and even now trying to stay out of her way so I don't make her sad or inconvenience her), yet it seems like it has all been for null. I barely exist, and she is going to move on with her life with some Tom Buchanan. I don't know if we would ever be able to recreate the love we had, or even if she could ever feel the same for me as I do for her. That green light of mine may only just be a dream, something unattainable. Years and years of this crap, and here I am still talking about it. I must be a sucker for hope, because I guess I will always hope that one day she may see the light.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Since You've Stuck Around

ERMAGERD! Two consecutive posts!

Well heres something unusual. We all know that I like to think that dreams really carry some sort of significance, and that if we could remember every tiny detail, we could possibly connect each scene in our dreams to something past, present or future. I seldom have nightmares, in fact I don't know when is the last time I had one. By nightmare I mean one of those dreams that has you stressing and waking up in a cold sweat. I haven't had one of those in years.

Last night I had a strange dream. My exams are over and done with, but I did stress quite a bit for my two communication exams. The results are out anytime now, and I dreamt that I failed one of my modules. It was a lot to study for that exam (although I did leave it a little late as usual) and after the exam I sat and calculated the marks I was pretty certain I had obtained. I think I was pretty sure of about 50% of the paper, the pass I needed. In my dream I got a silly 49% overall, 1% short of a pass. I was utterly disgusted.

Imagine my shock and utter joy that morning when I logged on to check if any marks had been released, and I see that I got a freaking 99% mark. This is for a written exam, something that I'm just like O_O about. I'm not posting this here to brag, but merely to illustrate that I am somehow capable of doing some impressive stuff if I put my mind to it. You may or may not know this, but I have next to no self confidence in some of my abilities, and this mark means more to me than people can understand. Not the numerical value, but the fact that I am capable, and I can do this.

Hell, I'm an english major, and I'm sure you've noticed that my writing is riddled with some horrible gramamr and typos. I doubt myself, wondering if I will ever be able to produce anything of value. English at varsity level isn't necassarily difficult, but its really difficult to get a really good mark. I got 71% overall for my one module, and that probably made me feel better than my 99% mark did.

I still have stories to tell and stories to write. I am 25, a quarter century, and my life has yet to take off. I will do it, I know I will. If all goes according to plan and I have passed all my outstanding modules, then I will have officially finished second year. One more year to go, as I embark on my third year of study. I'm capable, and that dream of an English and Communication Degree is within my grasp :) It will feel so good to be finished, so good to have it. My stories will be told, whether I have a silly piece of paper or not. I think its more for me though, to show myself that I am capable.

Thomas Was Alone: A True Gem The World Should Experience


Telkom has been absolutely shocking lately. I have literally spent the last hour trying to log into my blog so I can spit out a post. Why am I so insistent? I have this awesome track that I have been listening to for said hour, and I must share it with you, whoever or wherever you are.

Thomas Was Alone is an indie game that I received from one of my friends. Briefly (my own defintion), an indie game is basically a game that isn't backed by a fat budget or huge gaming companies. It is a game made by a very small, independent studio, sometimes one or two people alone. Thomas Was Alone as far as I know, was a flash game made by Mike Bithell. I don't know his success story, but I know that said flash game was turned into a fully fledged gem, and a game that has affected me in ways I cannot comprehend.

The premise is simple, you initially control a little red block called Thomas, and you have to travel through each stage to get to a portal on the other side. Heres the thing though, Thomas may be a block, but he has more personality than most people I know in real life. How does a block have personality? Thomas and his quest are narrated quite beautifully, and the narrator does a fantastic job of telling us just how Thomas is feeling and what he is thinking about.

Move along a few levels and you bump into a few different blocks of different shapes and sizes, possessing their own unique personalities and such. Each block also has their own unique set of skills. Claire for example, is the blue square who has super powers! Or at least so she thinks, she merely has the ability to float on water, but that is a super power to her nonetheless. You can only control one block at a time, but you help each other along to reach the portal at the end of the level.

These blocks say didly squat, but you hear what each are feeling thanks to the narrator. You will not believe just how attached you will become to these characters. It is a short game admitedly, taking me only three hours to clock. I finished 85% of this game in one sitting, from about 23:30 till 02:00. I couldn't stop, and I just wanted to make sure that everybody made it to safety. Proof that a game doesn't need big budget or fancy schmancy visuals to impart or invoke emotions such as this one did in me.

What really drives the emotion though is the truly fantastic soundstrack. All composed by David Housden (amazing work dude), it makes the game what it is, sealing it as an epic adventure and making the player smile like an idiot throughout the duration (I could swear I've used this line before somewhere, but hey if the boot fits). One track in particular has been stuck in my head for the last few days. I can forget about it, but merely glancing a thought on it has it back in my eardrums, calming me and making me smile. I youtubed it and to my delight I found a thirty minute extended version. You might think, "THIRTY MINUTES OF THE SAME TUNE?" Yeah I was also like wow... but I have listened to it nearly a dozen times. I just play it and leave it looping in the background. It inspires me and makes me feel like I can do anything. Those damn chimes or whatever they are reverbrate in my heart when I go to sleep and they welcome me when I wake up. I'm quite attached to it, and I don't expect you will feel the same when you hear it. Maybe it reminds me just how much I loved Thomas and his pals, and their quest to fight the system and instil some change :)
Here it is for your listening pleasure:
Don't sit and stare at your screen while listening to it. Crank up that volume and go find a book to read or some work to do. Just let it play and soak your eardrums in the beauty of it all. If you have the time (and even if you don't), if you are a gamer (and even if you are not), I'd highly recommend this game. It is only $10 on Steam, it will only take three hours of your life, and it will make your day that much brighter. There is hope for narrative and good story telling. I hope I can contribute and keep this dream alive!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Chronicles of a Fallen Love

No no ... don't worry this post is not about me for a change!

I wrote my first of five exams today which will conclude my second year of my degree in English and Communication. On the way home from the exam, this tune graced my radio shortly before I pulled into my driveway.

Needless to say, the feeling of finishing one of my more difficult exams (the feeling of accomplishment and joy) mixed with this song which I have heard once or twice, lead me to enjoying it like ten times more than normal, and I really really do love it! I hope you do too :) I'm quite interested to see what else the Bloody Beetroots have to offer!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sweet Nothing


Exams are starting in less than two weeks, and I haven't started stressing just yet. That time will come and I will cram like there is no tomorrow. I always work better under some pressure for some reason.

I've been doing more thinking than normal lately. This I suspect, may be attributed to the fact that I have started reading again. Why did I ever stop? It makes me ponder, and I don't think I do nearly enough of that. I seem to just pass through life passively, barely stopping to contemplate matters of interest or significance. Not that I am now, but I seem to be paying more attention than normal. I sometimes wonder if I am normal. I have a shocking memory, and I forget stuff way to easily. I'm trying to really make an effort here for a change. Some work is slowly dribbling in, and It involved writing which makes me happy :)

Speaking of which, I've started thinking about my books again. A story that has been on my mind for years now, and it seems to be constantly evolving/changing. I've been stuck trying to figure out just how to write it. I have the Game of Thrones series to thank for this. It led me to getting the books, and quite frankly, the multi character story telling perspective is just downright awesome! It makes sense, and I think thats the type of story telling style I may just use.

My dreams? They still occur on the odd evening, and it seems that I will not get rid of them anytime soon. My heart still beats the same old beat, and it hasn't altered its tune. The consistent beat thats existed for the past few years now... it seems to slow down every now and then, but it always picks up exactly where I left off if I let my guard down.

My dad has lung cancer. Not too sure how serious it is (whether it requires chemo or an operation) but some upcoming tests will tell. He won't quit smoking, and has resorted to smoking behind our backs like a rebellious teenager. Its frustrating to say the least. The stubborn gene shines strong, and I can see where I get it from. An anger boils inside of me every time he argues with my mom and sister about his silly habit. The day will come when I resort to lighting up and blackmailing him. I stop when he does. His dad died at the age of 68. My dad is 66 now, and the thought of him dying around the same age freaks the hell out of me. He has always been strong, always. Why does he choose now to be weak, when he needs to be stronger and fight his addiction?

Being pulled over today and receiving a fine for not stopping to a halt at stop street resulted in my sister (who was with me) commenting, "I can't believe how you keep so calm and patient. I would be moaning at the cop!" I told her I am too patient, and I have bucket loads of it. I don't know where I get it from. I always thought it was a good thing, and I still do to a certain extent. Is it really though? Is it good to try and please the world? The world is a selfish place. Very few people seem to have the sentiment of putting others before themselves.

I have the most amazing sister in the world, I can't begin to describe how much she means to me, yet I don't have the words to put down here, or even the words to say to her face.

I miss my brother. His wedding was over a year ago already, and it still feels odd not having him at home. The bond we have is something I am so grateful for.

My mother is struggling with stress. All I can do is absolutely nothing about it. I have all the patience in the world, yet it seems to snap with her. I need to try harder, much much harder, because she does everything for me.

My father needs to be the dad I know him to be, he needs to fight and be strong. I just hope he knows that we are here for him, and we will fight with him.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Scumbag Scrambled Brains

Sheesh its only been months since I've done anything here. I know I say that like every damn time I post, but if you're like me and you see that your last post was months ago, you'd be equally shocked. So if for some reason you have been reading my entire blog in one sitting, I apologise profusely for any likely repetition.

I'm trying not to break too much from tradition here, plus I don't have anything else to talk about really. I'm here to talk about the age old thorn in my heart, Amber. Its been months since we last really spent time with each other. In fact, coincidentally and everything, it will be four months tomorrow since we properly hung out (according to my last blog post and excluding like the one or two times we went to see movies).

So my plan is shit. Its not working. If you remember, my plan was to just sort of have her fade into a minor role in my life, and for me to not try be as big a part of her life as I always try to be. Using this logic of not participating in her life and vice versa, I was hoping that perhaps I would have a real stab at getting over her and moving on with my life. If at this point you are pulling your hair out saying "OMG REALLY?! HE IS STILL GOING ON ABOUT HER," I will understand completely. As I have said multiple times, I don't understand it myself, and its equally frustrating for me. So yes, clearly I am STILL NOT OVER HER.

How do I know this? Because I find it harder and harder each day to avoid making some sort of proper contact with her. I want to send her a message just asking how she is, how is life, how is she, etc etc etc. The other day my friend Gareth organised a spontaneous breakfast. I was keen to go, but then I found out she was going. A part of me was filled with dread, knowing that any contact with her would probably be painful for me in the long run. The other part was filled with joy because I knew I would get to see her and talk to her.

So we did the breakfast, and I found it hard to look and not look at her (if that makes any sense). I wanted to stare, yet I wanted to avoid staring. I wanted to talk to her, but we barely uttered two sentences to each other. Even though the breakfast was awesome, I drove home feeling disappointed with myself, and a little with her too. I tried making plans to go to movies with her a good few weeks ago which she turned down because she was incredibly busy. Its just hard now knowing that she is on holiday and hasn't really suggested any interest in returning the offer I had posed.

The real reason I wrote this post was because I had another dream last night. I was with her, and we were laughing and acting how we used to be in the good old days. I got to see her and talk to her, hold her and kiss her, something my brain just decided to spring on my unawares. Goddamit brain, can't you at least hear my desires, focus, and help me to move on with my life? Instead you are making it incredibly difficult, immensely hard! This stupid dream has me missing her, a lot.

She is still hanging out with the same friends I have mentioned before. Does she even still think about me? If she does, does it even compare remotely to how much I think about her? Does she even have any inkling of a feeling for me like she used to? Or is she trying to do what I am, and just simply suppress her feelings and move on with her life? Somehow, I doubt it.

I often wonder if I should private this blog, because she now knows about it. She talks to her friends about everything. One of my biggest fears is that she shares this with them. That thought kills me, and I really hope she doesn't. I doubt she would though, because she probably forgot this exists, much how she has forgotten that I exist.

From time to time I will go back and read my last few entries. I feel kind of disgusted and pathetic. Is it possible for me to talk about her in this way, without coming across as a creep or stalker or something far worse? I doubt it. I can't help the way I feel though... I have tried something new, it didn't work. I am close to cracking. I have no idea what I am going to do.

About Me

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South Africa
BA English and Communication graduate. I like to write stuff!