The time is 4.36 AM.
My scalp is dry. I keep telling myself to oil it, instead i choose to eat, i choose a yellow book to hide behind, i choose a head scarf in my mothers closet to hide all the ways i’m hating myself. I convince myself some of the love my mother has for left in it will nourish my hair and in return my being.
The time is 5:56 AM
I am still awake, alive, heart bumping, blood flowing. but. everything is numb. I used to be comfortable sleeping in this body, now it feels borrowed so i walk around naked trying to reclaim it.
I tried to tell the world that i have a hard time waking up. That the thought of getting out of bed and pretending to be okay was taking shark bites out of my soul. The world said i should be grateful i could wake up, that God gave me a another day to live. I feel like God has placed me in a prison. I feel trapped but i still see the sky and my mothers face (so i must be okay) . I spend the rest of the day feeling guilty for wanting to die and still wanting to die.
On the good days, My mother and I go on drives around Klein Windhoek, she sings along to the radio and i watch the clean streets and palm trees become a blur. The sky is almost always blue here, we eat Kapana and she lets me take the last piece. That’s how she reminds me she loves me.
When the day is done, she retires to her room. i hear the loud laughter escape from underneath her bedroom door. It tickles me and i laugh before a thick bitter lump gathers in my throat. I realize i am exhausted. I am still tired, i spent the next 3 hours trying to sleep before i give up trying to quiet my mind.
I sink myself into a tub filled with hot water. I begin to cry, i tell myself it is the burning of skin and not the mourning of me. Once the water is cold i shed my skin and press reset.
I think i can take care of myself. I finally oil my hair. Roll out the red yoga mat and stretch out all the knots in my back. I fold my mothers headscarf and put it away. Smile at the sad eyes in the mirror. This is how i remind myself that i love me.