I think about this every day. I dissect it. I question it. I pray about it. I’ll admit, it hurt. That was the intention and the outcome of the intention was ‘on the money’. I imagine her satisfaction at my pain. Strike to her! Some will say to her, “That’s not true’. She will say, as she does “Ah don give a damn-shit” in that funny Serbian accent that, until now, I thought was charming. Nothing about it is charming any more.
Lies hurt. They hurt especially because one has no way of refuting the lie except by creating an ugly and tacky “no I didn’t”, “yes you did” scenario where the judge and jury are the press and public who know neither of us; have never met either of us. She shouldn’t talk about me. She should tell her own story. I’ll bet she could get money for her story. It’s so much more interesting and dramatic than mine. Mine is sad and prosaic. ‘Tselane once had a lot, now has a little’. But mine will sell better in the papers because people don’t know her. They know me, a little. They think they know me a lot.
I thought the best thing to do is ignore it. Don’t talk to journalists. Especially don’t talk to the journalist who was willing to publish the lies. That journo doesn’t know either of us. He hasn’t met either of us. Yet, because a woman he’s never heard of and knows nothing about calls him on the phone and spouts lies, he is more than happy to print the lies. What fact check? Why examine the source? I’m not mentioning her name. It’d serve me nothing to embarrass her. I don’t understand the journo, though. Maybe in colluding to destroy my life and my name; maybe by kicking me when I’m down he is assured awards. I don’t’ know. But I’m not interested in telling the world my troubles. I’m interested in quietly overcoming.
Now you must be wondering what the lies were. One lie angered me because it was obviously meant to set the ruling party, en mass, against me. The lie was that I had secret meetings (plural) with EFF members in her boardroom. She doesn’t have a boardroom. Imagine the whole ANC against little me. I don’t know who would believe EFF members have time to secretly meet me. For what purpose? But it was said and people have a propensity to believe anything because it was said.
I have a friend. Well, he’s not a friend. He’s an acquaintance who I like. He’s from Limpopo. I met him in Polokwane. He’s an ANC member, like me. He’s also a friend of Mr Malema. They grew up together. I asked him once if I could meet Mr Malema who I’ve been fascinated by for years. At the same time as wanting to meet him I confess to being scared of him and I had to ask myself why would Mr Malema want to meet me? I have nothing to add to his journey. I don’t know what we would even talk about. He’s a politician. I am so very much not. It’s one of those desires that are not really a desire. Anyway, Mr Malema, as expected, didn’t have time. He was beyond busy. Elections were on the horizon. I don’t actually think my friend from Limpopo asked. I’ll probably never meet Mr Malema. I don’t know any confessed EFF members. I’m an observer of politics, not a participant in politics.
She said I was rowdy, always having parties and constant friends visiting. I haven’t read the article, but friends I’ve not heard from in a long while called to tell me snippets. Me rowdy? That one almost makes me laugh. I spend too much time on my own, I often think. Life is sometimes lonely. But I lose myself, and my loneliness in books and in music and TV and Facebook. Sometimes, increasingly these days, I lose myself in prayer. I took her to my prayer group a couple of times.
I’m over nightclubs. I rarely go to parties. I like to have lunch and a good conversation with friends, or a friend. That’s my entertainment. I like going to movies on my own. I like to not be noticed. I’m alone a lot. I’m not rowdy. I’m not a corpse, but I’m a quiet living person. I’ve lived my wild days. They were great days, but they ended many years ago. I’m much too old for that now. My disposition these days is not so cheery as to be raucous. I’m trying to regain life. I’m trying to be as I once was. I believe she called me a lounge lizard. I’ve never heard her use that expression. Was she coached? I’m not a lounge lizard. I work at my recovery. Though, some days to motivate myself is an effort. Some days my spirit is so weighted down that it feels like I’ll never recover.
What else did the paper say she said? Oh, I chased her guests away. Every morning I’d say a bright “Good Morning” to everyone. I’d steel myself to be cheery. I’d say a bright good morning to her. She’d grunt. And then I would escape so that I could avoid the “Do you know who this is?” from her which always received the same response from the guest. “No”. “Like the Airport,” she would say. I’d cringe. I told her to stop doing that. She said she was proud of me. Eventually she did stop. Eventually! Also, I cringed because I would rather she out me when I return to my zenith. Not like this. Not like a distorted version of the Warner Bros movie The Little Princess, relegated to the servants quarters behind the kitchen. This is not how I want to represent. Far from chasing her guests away, I was politely distant from them. I had little appetite for small talk. I kept mostly to the little servants room behind the kitchen.
My circumstance was shameful to me. I’d come from being a golden soul to this. And I would go from here, to where? I’d wonder. Does it get worse? My every effort to get out of this situation was met with failure or disappointment. I was grateful for the roof, but this was further than I could ever have imagined I’d fall. How did I come to this?
She said a lot of things. I don’t remember. It’s difficutlt to remember lies, and much of what I was told is dismissed by my mind. I think if she were asked to repeat it all she’d have to pull out a crib sheet. She says she has an insulting email that I wrote to her. I didn’t write it. She says she has a copy. I’d love to see it. My laptop was in her house for over a week. I had no access to it. Was this letter written in that time? I don’t have a password on my laptop. There are no secrets that I keep there, so it would have been easy for someone else to write it. Is she that calculating? I just don’t understand how she has a copy of an insulting email that I certainly did not write, from my laptop unless she wrote it. Does the letter sound like me? But she wants damage me; to lie about me and she’s found someone to listen to, then print her every lie.
I was once well to do. Things went well for me. I did well. Then one day, seemingly like magic, my life spiralled into a stressful, miserable free fall. It spiralled into a circumstance out of which it has been difficult to crawl. It has been so bad. I’ve felt cursed . I’ve been depressed and defeated to the point of wanting to just end it all, sometimes. But, I’m a believer in God and I’ve always believed, and continued to believe, even when I made sure I had the means to top myself, that God would show me the way to rescue myself. I know, without knowing how, that I’ll be all right. Strangely, having the means was comforting. I no longer feel the need to have the means. I flushed them away which felt like a little victory for my battered soul. I wonder if I ever would have used my means to my end. I don’t think so. I was just so lost and alone, and so, so scared. Being Tambo is not a defence against going through difficult times, or feeling alone against the world. But being Tambo is fighting against the odds and the circumstances. It’s finding the courage to go on.
I made good money once. It bought me those lovely clothes that she accuses me of buying now. Thank goodness I bought them then. I obviously can’t afford to buy them now. I’ll make good money again. I had a beautiful home once. I’ll have a beautiful home again. Many people have lost and won a few times in their lives. I’m not exceptional. Should my name make me exempt from the highs and lows of life’s cycles? I wish it would. Should it make it easy for people, in a moment of anger, to malign me in the press with no regard for truth or fairness? Should their lies become my story? No, they shouldn’t. They are making up a story and attributing it to me. I have a true story. My story is not over. This is a chapter. I still have many chapters to live.
So, whatever they choose to print. Whatever they choose to believe, my head is not bowed. I am hurt. I’ll get over it. I’m no longer afraid. Although, I hope they will, now, leave me alone. I still hold my head up. I carry on towards new successes.
The spiritual teachers say life brought me here to teach me something greater than not to trust people and how to be angry, and what it is to be fearful, or hurt, or in lack. The purpose of this period of my life, if there is a purpose is still to be revealed. It’s painful. It’s not over. But it is getting better. I see a light and I’m almost sure it’s not an oncoming train.
So, what do I do? I cry my tears in private, then dry them, go out into the world with a smile for everyone. I strive to put a twinkle in my eye, and I soldier on. Perhaps life is teaching me about strength; about fighting not against people, but against the odds. I somehow know I will get over my bad time. I’ll make right with everyone. I used to think of myself as Golden. The shimmer on my gold now feels tarnished, and old.
I bless her into God’s hands every day. I am wounded, but I truly bear her no malice. Her malice towards me hails from the fact that she is hurting a lot, and she’s wounded, and she’s fearful. That’s her story to tell, if she chooses.
Don’t celebrate my demise yet. I am down, but I’m not out. I have no grave on which to invite anyone to dance. “And Still I Rise.” Isn’t that what the poet said?
I’ll get through this. I will still rise like a phoenix from these ashes.