Discomfiture

The problem is not that the call goes unanswered.

The problem is that the answer sounds nothing like what these horse feathers have had me wanting to hear.

Cupid ran out of arrows and shot only one person instead of two, and now this אהבה נכזבת is my resident alien, twisted by that lost arrow here in the bullseye of its target. This discomfiture deluging through me belies the lineal comfort that we’ve shared, and in the TV show of my mind, commercial breaks save me from your unfixed ald… So I don’t know what you smell like and I don’t know how I got here.

My imagined interpretation sees my soul dance happy in the good space of this lie until I acknowledge the truth and suddenly I have to count patterns along the horizon’s city of glass. But the suspicion that this reason is proper is the only captive infatuation I have to hold, because it is just ēkataraphā pyāra after all… and who dares deny that this is true, but you? (And you, and you… and you?)

The unpretentious honesty that you allege to be uncomplicated is a quality my decades haven’t yet allowed me to master. ‘It takes a man to suffer ignorance and smile, be yourself no matter what they say.’ But this be yourself is expensive, because even through the brevity and defiant nerve, amor não correspondido will always be the blueprint for how we gladly feast on those who would subdue us.

So Cupid ran out of arrows, shot only one person instead of two and here in the bullseye is where this unerwiderte Liebe finds its pulse. Should I hunt for a stronger gene within me over willing you to find different ones in you, and end the imagined interpretation that sees my soul dance happy in the good space of this lie? Yes… because I don’t know what you smell like and I don’t know how I got here.

The problem with unrequited love – no matter what language you live it in – is not that the call goes unanswered. The problem is that the answer sounds nothing like what you’ve been wanting to hear.

ship airport

© Dylan Balkind

Dear Matthew

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I found two things today that reminded me just how painfully physical my heart is.

One was a valentine’s card you gave me… the other was a poem called When Love Arrives, by Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye.

Between the genuine insecurity of a flickering bewilderment, where dyspnea is the norm and sensibility is the casualty of a drunk compass, there was only one very raw reality to recognise no matter which way the light reflected it:

I miss you.

And then came the flood of embarrassment in both knowing I could have felt more when I had the opportunity to feel it, and the honesty in recognising why you lost respect for me.

But it was never a waste of time.

It was never not real.

And it was never not worth it.

Sarah and Phil say: “If love leaves … Turn off the music, listen to the quiet and whisper ‘thank you for stopping by’.”

 

So, Matthew, thank you for stopping by.

The lookout

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Closeted sensitivities are brought to bear by the honesty of our hearts. A rarity in the fast lane of life, which itself is a compassionate time-lock on most passions that need incubation before some sense can come from none of it.

sense
sɛns/
noun
a feeling that something is the case

When the lookout had nothing to report from the horizon, his impatience would coerce an imagined reality into being. The price paid was the arrival of watermark versions of the very incredible indelibles he’d hoped so hard for. Then one day, he sat, silent, listening before the untagged teacher and learned lessons about the very deity in distance. Not animal-physical nor that defined by the geography of maps, but the simplicity of space granted to refrain from the rein. It is here in this leeway that the foiling becomes the fruit.

sub·jec·tive
(s b-j k t v)
adj.
Particular to a given person; personal

But now the lookout had to wonder: What if our fruits from these foils are just a million-million animations upon beached pebbles that glisten like art along the galaxy’s shoreline for a God we are still hoping to meet? Each an imperfect endurance with its own pockets of untrained measures for both the anguish and the love that inspire our cerebrations to bequeath and bleed over the tundras of our lands? And whether brought to life in the written, the painted, the danced or the song, it was only in the simplicity of this space where the foiling could become the fruit.

perspective
pəˈspɛktɪv/
noun
a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view

This rousing rolled in with the mist that shroud the smitten, and as the sun rose behind the untagged teacher’s face, there had never been anything nicer to look at. It was not this time that needed prolonging but the inestimable concept of time itself … because there is only ever never enough of this.

irony
ˈʌɪrəni/
noun
the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite

Now, from unchanged horizons still, the lookout finally had something to report: That by our own vulnerabilities – and because of those we learn to see within each other – we will understand how in this together we really all are. And between one laud and another lament lives the closest thing to proof that, on any one bullion sits a million-million sides to a soul that remains unbudged and unbudging, save for when its own heart’s strings will yen for the tug.

un·planned
n-pl nd
adj.
Not intended, having no particular purpose or structure, not thought out or prepared in advance

In the silent simplicity of space, the lookout looked out and watched as the mist set light to the horizon, writing stories of closeted sensitivities that are brought to bear by the honesty of our hearts. As the sky flamed from orange to blue behind the untagged teacher’s face, there had never been anything nicer to look at, not even across the million-million incarnations that glisten like art along the galaxy’s shoreline for a God we are still hoping to meet.

This was passion’s incubation before some sense would come from none of it, and, with nothing to report, the lookout remained unbudged and unbudging … save for when his heart strings might yen for the tug.

 

© Dylan Balkind

Backwater

If you ever need some perspective on the infinite differences between us, watch Come Dine With Me, South Africa which throws four people from the mix of all of us with all of our differences, together. Think about it: There are the obvious ones like colour, language and religion that are then compounded with the less obvious ones like why I get excited about Meryl Streep and you about soccer. You then multiply these by 742.3, divide by the length of side c on the hypotenuse and when you really look at it, there aren’t a lot of people you have a lot in common with… unless you’re just common, because there is always that.

So when you pull the pin from your opinion-hand grenade and throw it into any sum of people – each with their own set of infinite differences – the explosion shouldn’t come as any surprise. I got a few scanty sparks from my latest skirmish, which is really just because most people don’t actually give a fuck. Lucky me, because if people paid any attention to most of what I said, they’d have Danvers reopened faster than you can say ‘doolally tap’.

Poe said: ‘I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched.’ I get it. Irresolute ambivalence is in such abundance these days and I personally can’t think of anything worse. Opinion is the fruit of the engaged, and with it comes the slopes formed by the opinions of others. How you navigate the slippery ones is based on the motley of your predilections, your mindset and your temperament. The result is as common as your fingerprint. That’s personality for you – our caliber to be compelling. If we were designed to think and love the same things, Hitler would have been happy to wile away the days braiding frau Eva’s hair and the rest, as they say, would not be history.

Intellectual intimacy is like any other coupling. There will be plenty just not that into you‘s on your way to finding some people that you have some things in common with. But getting there means being okay with the chaos in the conflict that often comes with refusing to live in your blind spot.

I refuse to live in my blind spot.

I have an opinion. You have an opinion. That’s personality for you.

We were designed to think, love and loathe different things. And in each passion and from every plight – within ourselves and in each other – comes the lottery of a moment to listen. And, with a bit of luck, maybe we even learn something.

Miracles happen as we trip.
But we’re never gonna survive,
unless we get a little crazy. 

© Dylan Balkind

Dear Diary: Mandela is dead and Lionel Bastos is (apparently) stupid

Children’s playgrounds are wondrous façades, filled with more subtext and surprise than an episode of Twin Peaks. What looks like a voluntarily good time hides undercurrents of malice, friend-stealing and cold-shouldering. No wonder we’re so naturally adept at social media.

This used to be my playground 

If you say something on Twitter that doesn’t sit perfectly with another’s own Weltanschauung, you’re a cretin. Some may even go as far as to say a troll. But are you? With its 232 million active users, Twitter is just digital graffiti; a ‘wall’ to express every thought upon as if the world had been dying to know it all along. But here’s the clincher: it’s public, so every tweet must be considered an invitation for dialogue. You may not intend it as so, but you tweeted it, so you must accept it as so.

Context 

Today was one that brought earnest heartbreak to 49 million people (and then some!). Last night, our venerated Captain, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – the closest thing to proof of God’s existence if ever there was – died. And you know what? It feels like the whole country is still holding its breath… The statements and condolence-commiserations on news and social media sites have been respectfully regal, even in their numbness… And numb we are. Still, I saw, heard, felt and read such untainted honesty in people’s reactions to this deeply moving moment in history, and honesty should never have to be questioned… except when it looks like this:

Lionel 5FM

What a pity that such gravity should invite such naïve perspective. Contrary to your affront Lionel, they didn’t fly a voice over artist out from Los Angeles just to piss you off. 5FM is a brand. The American voice over guy has been doing their links for years and, as a brand, he is part of its identity. So on a day of mourning and ironic solidarity, when we should be embracing the opportunity to come together one last time for the man who set it in motion for us to begin with, you chose to bleat about that. Did it add any value to the gentle conversations around Nelson Mandela’s death? No.

wtf is that? 

That is a troublemaker, because here’s the thing Dory: when you have thousands of followers, you hold the potential to set other unthinking people off on some remarkably pointless albeit flammable crusade (anyone remember the Woolworths won’t hire white staff debacle?).

So in the spirit of dialogue, I pointed out:

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On the same night that Madiba passed away, Paris had lit up the Eiffel tower in the South African flag’s colours, yet buildings here today were still flying the flag at full mast. That’s disrespect to me. How 5FM pre-promo’s upcoming content is not.

Sure, my incredulosity may seem unbalanced. My only excuse is this bottomless frustration I have with voluntarily stupid people. This is because they are a) stupid and / or b) voluntarily stupid. After some lamaze, I deduced that Lionel was just stupid thin on content, but when prompted with my theory, he declined to comment. And by declined to comment, I mean passive-aggressively continued to slag me off in a one-way convo with without directing any of it at me.

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Fierce.

Can't be bothered

Ergo… I too am giving unnecessary airtime to someone who openly thinks the same of me as I now do of him.

But wait … because here’s the real meaty stuff: People who like to use the word ‘cretin’? Depends on how old you are. I believe it was super popular back when people watched Twin Peaks, 5FM was still called Radio 5 and used, no doubt, a different voice over guy. Urban Dictionary defines ‘cretin’ as a brainless person who makes no sense, except of course to other cretins. A right pair our Lionel and I would be. Oh the fun we’d have meeting for a spot of dinner and world-problem-solving! I bet a chinwag with Lionel would include plenty “…no offence, but…” sentence starters, “…needless to say…” conjunctions and “…at the end of the day…” summations.

Lekker.

No offence Lionel, but I say do what all little girls do and get a diary for those poignant proclamations. With its little lock and key, no cretin shall upset your panty twist again.

And that’s the end of mine.

Nelson-Mandela

Hamba Kahle Tata Madiba.

© Dylan Balkind