freelance features writer johannesburg
I'm on Tinder. I've been passively swiping since, maybe, Feb. Just for something to do in the hours when idlozi of self-sabotage is flexing strong within me. I mean, why be writing Awhen I can just lie in bed and scroll after work. What output is better than swiping left while listening to my sister's stories/gasping at Uzalo or whatever I'm doing in the evening? Productivity is not my moral obligation.

One of the first things Sabelosami asked me -- in between thirsting for beautiful boys and cringing at yet another boy in jeans torn at the knees -- was whether I was going to meet anyone. I pulled an M for Mandla at him for acting like such a rookie. I mean, this is me, meeting was far from being the point. But then I sent him a voice message saying, of course, I'm lonely and of course, I wouldn't mind making a ~connection~ no matter my scepticism about the platform.

I haven't had many matches. The act of swiping itself is satisfying to me. This is not about the antics people -- okay, let's be real, men, heterosexuality is a scam -- pull on their profiles. I might write about that as well later. It's mostly about my exceptional deflection skills.

When my mother got sick, went away to her parent, came back and went away to the hospital, I could be found in the same spot in the evening. When I had stopped fearing seeing her happy in my dreams and the guilt that I wasn't caring for her had taken over; when I wasn't in the mood to stress about adults who had never made he choice to have any of us now having to take care of us, I made time for another activity. 

There was a dining table chair (I don't know where it came from) that was at a weird angle from the TV but close to the plugs. That's where I sat most evenings while pretending to watch TV with everyone (my mother's two brothers, one of their girlfriends, my sister and my two cousins - one a toddler, the other a tween.) I hadn't yet gotten into mxit (that happened the following year) but I spent most of my times scrolling through a website called mocospace, which I'd found the previous year on one of my bad days when I couldn't face going to school so I'd stayed in bed and fapped and then googled "chatrooms." My use of that site as a distraction gained traction when my mother got ill. Why be studying for my matric things when I could just scroll and, maybe, feel like I could forget?

So Tinder, swiping, deflection. All was going fine. I kept having to unmatch because all (about five from 15 total matches???) the men wanted to chat on WhatsApp and is this not the year of our Lord 2017? Did I miss the rules that say move to a second chat client??? Early on, after accidentally "super-liking" someone, I decided to send a cutesy msg to a match saying "hahalolhaha that was a regular like, not a super one" because sometimes I swipe in the wrong direction. That's all the action y wit has gotten on the platform.

Fast forward to some time in April and I was reminded that I am a human person and lonely and whatever. So this goy had a good profile:
1. Actual words
2. Recent, nicely lit, regular pictures

3. An aura ( lol I know)

I swiped right. Right with the intention that if it's a match and the dreaded meeting thing came up, I'd probably (like 75%) go. He had his Instagram profile linked and I decided to look it up casually.

Me after swiping:

I followed him on Instagram with my private account (where I mostly post screenshots and bad selfies) and a glance told me the aura really is there and good for him! As far as I know, I haven't been on the app in nearly two weeks, we still haven't matched. I don't think I especially want us to anymore. And that's a me thing. Loneliness passes, which is why I use these scrolling activities as rafts. 

With this particular person, from what I can see, I don't suddenly think the aura is no longer there. And I still watch his stories when I'm scrolling IG. Is this weird??? 99% people I follow on the internet are strangers.

Other times I've tried to write about being a person and having feelings: The Nina approachLoneliness vs SolitudeDeleting my digital footprintOn the low (TW okmalumkoolkat), Talking to a guy I (still) like as this version of myself etc.

I started a new job last week and it wasn't the best mental health week. I wasn't checking WhatsApp and lost everyone's messages when I migrated to my new phone. Friday left me reaffirmed and back on track. Another week is starting and I'm hoping it's better, that I feel sturdier.

I hope you have a better week.