There is a strange comfort in the weirdness of dreams. The kind that gives one courage, at dawn, to host impromptu concerts under showerheads and, in front of mirrors, boast of one’s chest, belly, smile, mole or parts better kept a secret.
It is an exciting nakedness, this weirdness of dreams… and boy do we love it!
After stressful and arduous days of hard work and legacy creating, we lay on beds that welcome our heaviness without judgement and we are transported to sometime else, someplace else. This dream business! It is a brand of craziness where our loquacious subconscious makes all the decisions for us – where we travel to and with whom – and we oblige. Oh but we love these journeys that sometimes have us wandering through forests behind sandcastles we built in the air with childhood friends, the retired pope and our twitter crushes, after gate-crashing some White House event with a note written on hand-made lavender scented paper “DEAR AMERICAN PRISIDENT, WHEN WILL THE BOMBINGS STOP? SINCERELY, AFRICAN CHILDREN”.
Dreams, in their confused way of unfolding in darkest hours, are an amazing get away from gritty reality when we have had it – and no backrubs or foot massages come – at the end of each day.
In some of my dreams of sleep I man living in Qoboqobo – a village in Centane, where things break – and Oscar Pistorius is my neighbour. He belongs to the Qhinebe clan but he is referred to as Tat’uMbanjwa. I assume he is a relative to the Mbanjwa clan. It is 1979 and as has been becoming the norm, regret (mistaken as responsibility) compels me to marry a woman a few moons after we notice her belly sticking out farther than her chest. On those silent midnights when we should have been dreaming, there had been heavy breathing, and sweat and lips nears collar bone, and eyelashes fluttering on cheeks.
Tat’uMbanjwa is one of her uncles. He sits in during the negotiations.
In a nightmare within this dream, she wants to name our son Prosperous. Prosperity is a strange concept to us. How can we name children after things we know nothing of as though we are sending them off to wander in unknown places wondering about the meaning of life as hidden in a name? No. This is no unknown son of unknowing father. We will name him Zweli. Zwelimkhandile Njoloza. Should he need a name for school, Ridiculous sounds sophisticated enough. Zwelimkhandile Ridiculous Njoloza. But this is a bridge we haven’t even approached yet.
He takes after me, this my son. His light complexion, charming smile, lisping tongue and captivating laughter.
Suddenly, I am at my Beverly Hills home, Celebrating my 50th birthday with close friends (whom I hardly even recognise). We chit chat, about nothing in particular, over caviar and oysters (which I don’t even eat) and conversations range from shallow to pompous, but never deep or conscious. There are women I don’t particularly know around me, dressed in short skirts and dresses I secretly wish were longer. I have them here because I love the sound of the birds and the neighbourhood Feral Parrots didn’t appropriate my invitation, instead they flew right past me in their pretty wings to some other party, and the laughter of strange women is the next best thing.
A split second later I’m back in grade 12, furious that my matric dance date chose to wear a yellow pull over. Now I actually have the words to make known my disapproval but words – any – now have become impossible to utter because I am distracted by my attraction to his smile and eyes.
I wonder what Zweli will wear to his matric dance, or to those dances he will be, according to the opinions of younger women, too cute to miss. I wonder what political party he will vote for, what religion he will choose, what woman he will allow into his heart and what side he will defend in a feud between trees and greedy humans.
I have the Qoboqobo kraal in my Beverly Hills backyard. One of my cows, Bhantrokhwe, broke loose and has interrupted a video shoot. Horror!!
It starts raining heavily.
I am awoken by my bladder which whisks me away from being drenched by the rain of my dreams. It is February 2013 and I am not a man. I make haste down my knees and give thanks to the maker for the gift of life and of womanhood. After a few more morning rituals I go online to ‘pick up’ today’s paper. As always, headlines are a thing over which to drop jaws – graduates being taxed for, well, being graduates; emerging political parties; rape stats; domestic violence and the silenced voices around it; the cremation of lovers who died at the hands of their beloved, which reminds me, I still haven’t replied to a text from my own lover… but now there are no words. My head feels heavy. Suddenly the ridiculous unrealities of last night’s dreams make more sense. I drag myself back to sleep. This time, I dream about fairies. Bliss!