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Please Visit curlynikki.com
In Libya, a man became a slave today, a strong farm hand for $400. We will never be able to deny that we knew. It could be my brother Eric. It isn’t. A Privilege. Slaves are being sold in Libya. They are black. In 1526, the first transatlantic slave voyage to Brazil was completed successfully. After that, the trade ports were open. I cannot imagine there were any news about this development. Maybe there were, who knows? Today, thanks to technology, we all know that slaves are being sold in Libya and we know just about how much a live human body costs. If you didn’t know, google it. Now. You couldn’t Google things in 1530. You can now.
We may not do anything about it. That is OK. A prerogative. We may not even acknowledge that we know. But we know. And we know that we know.
I have been trying to teach my mother to use Skype. She is not teachable. She refuses to save the sequence of events that lead to a video call, even though some days, she could bite a bee to see my face. But, irony of ironies, my mother performs all her banking activities in her mobile telephone. Being very private about her finances, who isn’t?! She does not need help with mobile banking, medical insurance payments or a myriad other activities a woman, almost seventy years old, can perform on the phone to move money around the world. An open digital economy.
In 1985, one of my friends was born in London. Her grandmother in Kenya did not meet her until seven years later, when they came back to Kenya to visit. Some photos had been sent by snail post during the years. A number of telephone calls were made over the continents in an attempt to create a bond between child and grandmother. Bonds are a strange thing, they are created in the subconscious. My sister in Nairobi had a child last year. Within an hour after the birth, I had pictures of mother and baby in my own telephone. In my hands. In my home. Kisses, hugs, faces, laughter and my siblings’ voices telling me about the new baby. Trying to convince me that the new baby, a girl, had smiled immediately after birth.
Technology won’t sell a human body, just as the gun won’t shoot a running boy. Technology won’t free the slave, just as a scream doesn’t sooth pain. We still have to do the dirty work of mending the world. But, technology is sending us images of slaves being sold. And my mother can move money around in her telephone. A slave will give birth to a child tonight. From cradle to death or to castration? Someone who deserves, who feels entitled, will earn some cash. The future is secured.
Yesterday and today, I am home sick. Coughing my eyes out, blowing my tonsils out through the nose and damaging my vocal cords with all the throat clearing and swallowing of the phlegm. My singing career is shelved. Half of Stockholm is home sick with some virus or other. Bacteria maybe?
I am no good at being sick. Today, the 2nd day of my illness, I went to the doctor. Google. Fortunately, it is not throat or chest cancer as I feared. Or any other mortal malady for that matter.
I chose the most lenient of diagnoses: A regular cold with an itchy throat.
I am not a beauty to reckon with, but this brings another level of un-beautiful to my days. Runny & stuffy nose looks disgusting in the morning, whitish or yellowish/greenish googoo dried up. Sinus Pressure means I can’t breath when I wake up, so I open my mouth like a fish and make sounds that could send any love away. Even this great love. It’s that sound from behind the nose. Ghighighighiiighi. Please add the mucousy/liquid sound to this and spit. As soon as I make that sound, I throw up. The mucus I swallowed through the night, the phlegm stored behind the eyes and the lemon & ginger water with honey that I have been gurgling down as home remedy.
Itchy eyes and skin means itchy scalp, eyes, face, underarm, dry itchy nose, back pain from lying down too long in the sofa. Sneezing can end any which way, missiles unintentionally flying from the throat to the window where the bird shit from the summer is stuck from the outside. I haven’t got to cleaning yet. Or it can end with me exhausted, in utter tiredness in the sofa with my hurting back, un-showered itchy bits, Afro in all directions, eyes running with tears of self pity, red with lack of sleep due to the coughing and swollen from the scratching.
It is hell.
What do I do to fix things?
I fix the kitchen. The corner cupboard arrived on Saturday, empty. Who spends their days devising ways to drive me nuts? I can fill it up with crap, but maybe I need to buy the crap? I walked out the door without showering, took a hat to my head, thank heavens for winter! I went shopping to ease my pain and catch some sunshine. Its a farce!
Winter is Back.
The sun sets at 16:45 & the darkness begins at 16:50. The sun rises (It is there somewhere behind the darkness I suppose) at 8:45 & the rain never stops. The night is at Minus-degrees Celsius.
So I bought a Phillips Light therapy apparatus.
This is not a commercial. I am not paid to sell anything. Well, except I pay myself handsomely to sell myself. I am good at data handling. I am good at communication. I am a kick-ass team lead. I suck at the painstaking crap/empty-talk so I need to learn that. I am worse than doctors when I am sick. I impulse buy crap to comfort myself. I keep the receipts so I can return the crap when I am better. Shopkeepers that know me, hate me. Thank God for online markets, they don’t know me. Or do they?
This light was an impulse buy. It will make me better. Heal my eyes and my aching back. Make my nose clean in the mornings and handle my flying phlegm after a sneeze. It will stand in our corner cupboard in the kitchen.
I will let you know how that pans out.
While at it, I also bought a computer bag, a nice one because the old one I have isn’t nice – daaaa – designed for a Mac 13. It will fit for my Dell 13. I bought a 12 packet of AA batteries, on sale because a thief had stolen 3 batteries from the packet. That thief wasn’t me. So I bought 9 AA batteries. I don’t know what I need them for. But don’t doubt it, I need them.
I learnt something new today.
Caroline speaks about an Interiority Complex, as opposed to Superiority or Inferiority Complex. Both of which come from a place of insecurity.
I hope my after life will be that way. All my tardy skeletons forgotten in some old gutter where dogs find shelter. Little to find on the internet except wild speculation and assumptions.
My fascination with Veronica is total. Was she for real? I want to be her. Tomorrow. I want my real love to say no to me so I can become a courtesan, a good one. I want my real love to marry someone else so I can have the satisfaction of having him in my bed while his wife waits, dries up & becomes bitter. I want to read books and…oh what the hell!
I found a good article by Andrea Zuvich. I am in love with this woman and I am definitely ordering her poems!
“When we too are armed and trained,
we can convince men that we have hands, feet, and a heart like yours;
and although we may be delicate and soft,
some men who are delicate are also strong;
and others, coarse and harsh, are cowards.
Women have not yet realized this, for if they should decide to do so,
they would be able to fight you until death;
and to prove that I speak the truth, amongst so many women,
I will be the first to act, setting an example for them to follow.” (Lettere Familari 1).
“ I will show you my heart open in my breast,
Once you no longer hide yours from me,
And my delight will be to please you;
And if you think I am so dear to Phoebus
For composing poems, in the works of love
You’ll find me dearer still to Venus…
Know well, cruel man, the world will hear of it,
And, along with my sweet and bitter revenge,
Will carry the news of it to every place on earth.” (Terze Rime 2).
She is pathetic, Manon is. Love me, she says and then she loves fine things more than she loves herself. Or is she a woman of her time? No capital of her own, beautiful, caught between all the men who can offer her one luxury or the other? For something she has – sensuality. She has spirit too. What a voice!
The choices are impossible. To choose love or comfort? To be surrounded by beautiful things or to live in a small apartment with a student? Ack! that we cannot have both. She sings & seduces Des Grieux, again:
“Doesn’t this seem a feast
of gold and colour? It’s all for you!”
I recognize myself in Manon. What, with my love for jewellery and discreet leather products. Discreet to hide the price, of course. My wanderlust that costs a fortune and my fetish for soft whispering fabrics. To explain just how bad the fetish is: the other day, I was on the commuter train, and this gentleman stood right in front of me. He had an autumn coat that looked so exclusive, fabric-wise, I stretched my sweaty, twitching right hand and touched the coat. Lightly. To feel the fabric. He turned around and looked at me with a smile; I smiled back like a gold digger who is suddenly thrown into a gold bank. He must have thought I was reaching out to him. I wasn’t. He wasn’t there. The coat was. I am the same way with colleagues and friends. My first thought when I see their beautiful clothes is “I want to touch that! I want to touch that… I want to touch that…”
This can become an issue if I don’t see someone
shrink like person.
If my love said I should leave everything and come away with him, for love, I would probably be found in a fetal position hiding my lovelies under my skirts. Love or no love.
Back to Manon Lescaut. I cried & laughed through ACT 2 & ACT 3/4. All of it. How great is that? That has never happened to me before. Usually it is a small tear here and a small laugh there. Sometimes I close my eyes & listen to the fantastic music. This did not happen at the #StockholmRoyalOperaHouse. My eyes were open & my emotions were in the open through it all.
I am very glad for the years that have passes since Abbé Prévost wrote this wonderful, desperate, tragic story. Grateful that I belong to the generation which can earn a living, buy my own jewellery & live with a man without having to marry him. Or, what the heck! No one is plotting to take me to the cloister just because they can’t be bothered to marry me off! Ah, well, sending me to a Catholic Girl’s High School doesn’t count…or does it?
Did you know that Abbé Prévost worked on different editions of the book for over 20 years? A work of love, like the Mona Lisa. 1st edition published in 1731, final edition; toned down and all, published in 1753. Puccini‘ s adaption of #Manon Lescaut came over 100 years later, in 1893. It is passion in music for a story of a passionate death.