I rarely leave the house without a full face of makeup on. Now, I rarely go on Zoom without a full face of makeup on. My skin has never been clear. But now it’s particularly bad. I’d forgotten what it was like to avoid mirrors, and my face in my little Zoom square.

Bipolar II

A recent, updated diagnosis. Telling people about it feels like an apology. Looking back, I’ve been undulating between mania and depression since before I can remember. I feel betrayed. No one ever tried to intervene. Through my teenage years, I was emaciated and anxious, but successful enough to avoid suspicion. Sometimes I would have to sleep all day, sometimes I wouldn’t even sleep three hours a night. Everyone congratulated me on my motivation and talent. I think they knew I was sick. I look back at photos of myself from that time and I want to reach through the screen and hold her.

Cape Town

Cape Town has been on fire for the past few days. I worry for her. Devil’s Peak is burning on both sides. The university—my former university—is on fire. Libraries and archives of precious African writings have been destroyed. I worry for her. I am dying to get back to her. Every day I dream of Cape Town. I worry for her. I want to be there for her, now more than ever.

Dylan, Dylan, Dylan.

I have a knack for finding Dylans. I find Dylans in abundance. I usually end up loving them.


A nine-sided figure used in a particular model of psychological analysis to represent the nine possible personality types. I am a Four.

Fiction, 226 Long Street, Cape Town City Center, 8000

My favorite club in Cape Town, from my misspent youth. I can’t believe I used to stand in such close proximity to crowds of other people. I got my first set of rejection letters from American colleges on the Fiction balcony while Toxic by Britney Spears was playing.


I went to an all-girls Methodist school. God didn’t.

Heaven, Hell

I want a tattoo that reads “Divine Comedy” – with one word on the back of each leg. I think that the words “Divine Comedy” are a pretty amusing take on my life.


I watch the South African Bachelorette pretty religiously. My favorite contestant (named Dylan, see Dylan, Dylan, Dylan) self-eliminated a few weeks ago. He said he was leaving because he was an idealist when it came to love. He spoke about wanting to be overwhelmed with electricity. I don’t know if I believe love is found or built. I don’t know if Dylan has got it right or if he’s going to end up alone.

Josh Bailey

My “What If” is transferring to Columbia from Hong Kong City University. The 15-hour time difference that made us call it quits the last time is getting a 12-hour weight reduction.