_ghost in me

Romance is about the movie.

That soundtrack.

Those butterfly-inducing memories.

The real-time heart-alive.

Passion bubbled through drifting thought, spilling over through tingles and twangs that flowed up my spine and into the nape of my neck before covering my skull and sifting into my brain…

A kiss.

When the rules defy, the electricity is large.

live a

© Dylan Balkind


It doesn’t matter how long ago it happened or when it stopped, being affected by people who thought it was okay to push you into lockers, throw your school bag down three stories, call you things that you didn’t even know yourself were true… Well, that stuff sticks. It hangs around like sulphuric air because… well… that’s just how psychology works.

There are countless stories of people who haven’t won against the dark. It’s big and it can be debilitating. Being brave is something people close to you tell you to do with a back slap or a rushed hug but, if they haven’t had to pass a bully on a cold corridor and felt the fear of fright chill down their spine, then it’s not really something they’re ever going to understand.

Sometimes you wish you could do some disappearing because sometimes the shadow wins. But you are not alone…

“You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug…”

© Dylan Balkind

The new kid in class

Being the new kid often feels like arriving at a Strawberry Shortcake convention in your Marilyn Manson outfit. The eyes that stare say so much without having to say anything at all. Between fear, curiosity, annoyance or ambivalence, they’re normally as nervous and shocked as you feel. Change isn’t adapted to well by many people because people and their comfort zones have shacked up together for so long that the line between the norm and a comfort zone stopped coming in due to lack of interest.

They say that all great change begins at the dinner table. But I haven’t received an invite to dinner… So now what?

It’s up to you. And who you do it with is more important than how you do it. It all comes down to people; to those whom you keep in your life and how they add to or detract from your journey. Think of all the people you meet as being collaborative artists for the tapestry that is your life. There are all sorts of colours and textures that the years (and the people in them) should add. So if you are averse to saying cheers and only want to go where everybody knows your name, just think about how empty your tapestry is going to be. And when it comes to being a well-rounded individual, minimalism is not the way forward.


Starting something new is about following your heart so that you can keep stretching, learning and forming new shapes rather than the cookie-cutter shapes you’ve been filling for years. I know a wonderful person who once told me she was looking for a new ride to work every morning. I know this wasn’t literal nor was it simply about geography, but when everything about your daily work starts to feel like a traffic jam, well then yes… it’s time to jump.

If in your life, this is more about what you do every day and less about the choir group you want to leave because they slap you every time you ask them to consider doing a Mariah Carey number (you deserve it), think about the following and be prepared!

Do research on your colleagues: knowing how often your neighbour will scour the interweb for midget porn is crucial to how you time your conversations with them. Stumbling into this unnecessarily may shorten the lifespan of your relationship and be a little awkward all round.

Dress for the group you want to join: I find fishnet stockings and a sequined choker always a good ice breaker. If this fails you, please contact your nearest HR professional for moral support.

Avoid canteen stress on the first day: Get to the microwave ten minutes before the group breaks for lunch and heat up your haddock. This is a popularity guarantee – promise.

Join something: This one’s new to me but I am signed up for the indoor soccer league and am sure I’ll be office champ in no time!

Smile: This should be a genuine smile. If at all this looks suspicious and you get asked why, just say you’re watching midget porn.

Change isn’t as big a deal as you may think – there’s always going to be something that makes you feel like the new kid. Walking into an-already full room of swanky people at a cocktail party, joining an aerobics class (unless you’re this generations Jorge Hernan); having that chat with your boss when you think it’s time he paid you more, or approaching that guy you’ve known for a while but with something very different that you need to tell him… No one can tell you when the time is right. The right time is when the big hand is on your heart and the little hand is on your hope.

Give it a bash. Be the new kid. Life is short.


© Dylan Balkind

35 Candles

35 is the number of ways that three things can be selected from a set of seven unique things. 35mm film is the basic film gauge most commonly used for both analog photography and motion pictures. 35 is also the licence plate code for Turkey and 3 and 5 are both odd prime numbers. So, today – my birthday – I have a lot in common with some very mathematical and strategic things.

This fills my heart with large amounts of glee as I myself am somewhat of a doyenne of mathematics. I dropped that ridiculous subject at the end of Standard 7 (Grade 9) and would personally like to give William Seward Burroughs a big smooch and a hug for inventing the calculator! He can stay.

Picture 152

Despite some mathematical flounders, I still have enough to celebrate from 12 775 days of presence on this floating enigma called earth. Not all, but mostly good. At an average of 50 000 thoughts per day (obviously I’ve had much, much more), my mathematical genius tells me that 638 750 000 lifetime-thoughts is something to be in awe of. Imagine documenting each one?! What will happen on Santa Barbara tonight? Why do we have to put petrol in our cars? Where the fark did Julius Malema come from and why is he so annoying?

Thoughts are a reflection of what’s important to you at any given time. When I was 9 and was late for my performance as the Little Drummer Boy in our school recital, my mother contorted herself to slap my obnoxiousness into next week because I wouldn’t shut up about how late we were and how important the Little Drummer Boy actually is to the play about a Little Drummer Boy. In the grand scheme of things, what was I thinking? But as a 9 year old boy? Pretty on point really…

Ergo, what are any of us thinking, when we’re not thinking?

We didn’t take out a young pedestrian or an octogenarian en route. What we did was get to the school and into the changing rooms with no time to spare, suit me up and get me onto that little stage to deliver my life-changing, method-acting beating of a drum. So if an emergency like ours can be met with accomplishment and real-life ability to cope, then who was shit-stick local government and housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi to put Thomas Ferreira into a coma back in 2011, because of a blue light emergency idiot-storm that pushed in front of everybody else on the highway?

What were they thinking?

They have birthdays. They love people. They know people who love them. Who knows, they may even have been the little drummer boy (or girl) in a school play when they were younger?! I’m no mathematician, but I’m still glad that over 12 775 days, I’ve never lost the plot (too badly) to do things for intended utter selfishness that disenchants and hurts others permanently. So when Humphrey, Jeffrey Dahmer, Julius Malema, Moses Sithole, Reinhard Heydrich, Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe, Ivan the Terrible, Idi Amin, Ted Bundy, Eugene Terr’Blanche – the list is long – when any of these homo sapiens had birthdays and thought back on their lives and the thoughts and actions they’ve had, did/do they remember it as fondly? Probably. But that’s because they’re all selfish idiots with no conscience about their actions or their bearing on anyone else but themselves.

I can be selfish. I can be generous. I can be inconsiderate and I can also give of myself too much. I am a good person with a big heart and I have a more moral fibre and accolades that make my one in seven billion’s life, something that says, does and makes a difference. There are lots of people like me who are proud to be here.

Are you?

Let’s get together!

It’s my birthday and I’ll cry (happiness) if I want to.

© Dylan Balkind

Thatcher and the man candle

I recently discovered the marketing genius of man candles. I’m thrilled that there is finally a provision for an entire gender that has always wanted to buy them but didn’t want to look ridiculous with luscious lavender or calming chamomile in their shopping trolley. I personally love being ridiculous so I’ve never had a problem with buying any kind of candles. But the amount of times a man in cowboy boots, greasy overalls or idling in his bakkie in the parking lot has asked me for advice on where to get such items – well I can’t even tell you.

Absurd stories fill our headlines daily. I guess that in this era of information-overload and bullshit-saturation, it’s a welcome rebound from the death toll, fraud, corruption, education and politician-fiascos we have to roll our eyes at daily.


Margaret Thatcher died today. I was too young to grasp very much about her reign but – from what I do know and have seen since – I think our country could do with a politician who has enough cerebral capacity to know what he/she is talking about while exacting zero tolerance on the bandwagon brigade of blue lights, parties, jets, houses (“compounds”) and more wives than you can (literally) shake your stick at. Margaret Thatcher was consistent and true to her word, and if that incited an uprising, well at least people felt compelled to react. We have sadly reached the global status quo of ambivalent shoulder-shrugging. We too readily throw our hands up with a mumbled ah well… but we’ll demand to see the manager of Woolies when there’s a spelling error on the makeshift notice at the pie section. We are odd indeed…

Here’s another ridiculous headline from today: “Couple hold teen prostitute hostage for 2 days.” This happened in the Cape where they held her hostage for a sex orgy that lasted, well… for two days. The list of what is wrong with the world when a teenager has to resort to prostitution is a very long one, never mind the pond-scum that creates a demand for such a service.

From one teen to another, Justin Bieber has a new haircut. This left me unable to sit still because I religiously model my hairstyle on Justin Bieber’s and was just thinking I could do with a change. Ergo… This breaking news was higher on the list than a new HIV three-in-one pill with fewer side effects for the people taking it and a therapy that would cut monthly costs per patient from R150 to as little as R89 per month. We are a peculiar audience, aren’t we?


Looking for something with more heart? Matt Silver-Vallance took Pixar’s Up to heart and filled enough balloons with helium to fly from Robben Island to Cape Town. Why would he do such a thing? To raise R10million for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

What a champ! I bet he’s not even slightly perturbed by the candles he buys or what Justin Bieber’s hair looks like. I’ve never actually seen him shopping for candles, but if we can’t get Maggie back, maybe Silver-Vallance is keen for a bout of politics?


© Dylan Balkind

The Gays will ruin everything

Gay people are a malicious lot. Underneath our genial candour and hidden behind our ABBA collections, we are intent on causing dissension and decay everywhere we go.

It’s not hard to see why the lovely folk in the Mid-West USA, Russia or that worldly lot in North Korea all named Kim, have such outraged opinions about what the gays are responsible for. The Catholic Church themselves have spoken notably of a link between homosexuality and child rape. This must be true because everything the Catholic Church has ever said or done is transparent and of the highest moral accord. If I could be anything in this world, I’d be a Cardinal. Free gold lamé and I’m in.

But frocks and fashion aside, us limp-wristed lovers of Neil Patrick Harris and fine furniture are also responsible for specific dates in history when the world was changed forever. The list is incredible! There was 9/11 which I can’t deny because I personally taught Osama Bin Laden how to shimmy shake to Come On Everybody Won’t You Do That Conga, so I know his hips don’t lie and that when he was caught by the US in 2011, his rainbow flag was flying high and proud.

There was also Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina, which involved some of the finest blowing our planet has ever seen. No ways the gays can deny that one! There was the tragedy that was Oscar Pistorius’ Valentines Day, the Economic Downturn in Post World War 1 Germany, Adam Lanza’s killing spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Marikana Mining Mass Murder and of course – AIDS.

I don’t know about you, but this seems like a long list of allegations and that’s not even the half of it. Bryan Fischer said that gays are responsible for the formation of the Nazi party and therefore must have been behind the Holocaust too. I for one think that there would have been a lot more use of colour in those God-awful Nazi uniforms and nicer lines to the shape of their trousers had we been behind it all. But, fair enough, if this is true then we must accept the blame like men. Maybe we could learn a lot from Bin Laden and his merry troops? They are the first to issue videos claiming responsibility for their actions of mass destruction. Just imagine the videos we could make. Show tune themed sing-alongs complete with step-by-step instructions on the step-by-step dance routines. Ah! Mazeballs!

We must be careful of slippage though! Dr. Patrick Wooden says that gay men need diapers because sperm is only intended to end up where it can fertilise an egg, and that because gay men are so insistent on putting their sperm in places where there are no eggs, we are therefore also going to be held responsible for the extinction of the human race.

Dealing with the guilt of all of our homosexual evils makes me think that the extinction of mankind may not be such a bad thing altogether. But… before we all die in our nappies, I think it’s important to note that it’s not all bad. Despite the long list of global irregularities that our jazz hands have manipulated, we should probably stop flapping and look on the bright side. At least we had absolutely nothing to do with the creation of the Twilight Saga, Lindsay Lohan, Todd Akin, Lance Armstrong, Apartheid, Kanye West, Carnival City, Julius Malema, Donald Trump’s hair, The Bachelor series or Gareth Cliff. That’s A LOT to be grateful for right there.


I’m going to go count my blessings – and my sequins.

© Dylan Balkind

Every soul’s one religion


The triangle of the Foundation, Intelligence and Wisdom lives deep inside us.

It is not animal nor is it mineral – but it is the glittering compass of life.

One day, after many chum-pal back pats, calls, walls and flown-off-handles, the chorus of exhaustion was multiplied in the skies again to where enough was just enough. The Cipralex / detox / retox / Xanor treadmill was exhausting and no longer a welcomed cilice.

Close lines were blurred and yet again you went from zero to manipulation and emotional abuse in a nanosecond. Your back peddling spoke loudly of your ludicrous laments, petulant and petty in that psychological warfare – yet always immature, unprofessional and embarrassing still.

The triangle of Yesod, Binah and Chokmah lives deep inside us.

It is not animal nor is it mineral – but it is the glittering compass of life.

The silence was ridiculous and retarded. But – like a suited-up superhero – I’ve climbed from where you lead the chorus with the echo of the farewell-call that I made because that Cipralex / detox / retox / Xanor treadmill was chiselling and I no longer wish to welcome that cilice.

Every soul on the planet is unified by one religion – to dream.

Don’t let anyone ever take that away from you.


© Dylan Balkind

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