They kept adding wood to the fire, the strangers I was with, they were smoking cigarettes and weed, drinking and conversing as if old friends. I sat there awkward amongst them trying to follow the different conversations, I had a double shot of rum but I was sober as a judge maybe it was because of the large amounts of food I had earlier on at the small Ethiopian restaurant on Main street in Maboneng. Maboneng is a trendy up and coming area for middle class hippies. Some rich boys got together and decided to buy crumbling buildings in the old parts of Johannesburg, renovate them and make them a trendy place to live in and entertain. It worked, everything is a few hundred metres walk from each other, the restaurants, the art exhibitions, the cinema which showcases art movies and documentaries and the clubs are all centralised. Whites, blacks and Asians can be seen hanging around each other without awkwardness.
The initial plan when I got home from Sandton was to eat popcorn for dinner, watch a gay movie and go to sleep but as I was about to close the door of my flat the two gentlemen I met when I first moved in walked into my room and proposed we go out. I let them know I was low on funds and one of them, the one I had tea with last week, said he would pay- I just had to provide transport. Ah yes the perks of having a car.
First we had Ethiopian food which I must say is similar to South African food, it was delicious, well anything is delicious when one is hungry. We then toured the place and landed at Curiosity Backpackers, a place for Backpackers from all over the world including South Africans, here you can experience the city through tour guides via cycling through the city with an experienced city slicker, and also there is accommodation if you feel you want to sleep in the city. Considering it was nine at night we were not there for the tour guides- we were there for drinks, good music and good company. All three were provided for as it was an open mic session where almost the whole audience participated; when a participant finished rapping his part another would immediately get on the stage and start rhyming and flowing. The place was filled with mostly young black men, all well educated, even though some looked like hobos (I guess it’s a hippie thing) and all wanting their voices to be heard. I liked the atmosphere even though it seemed like I didn’t. I say this because people kept asking me if I was fine, the thing is I am over stimulated quite easily which is why I do not like noise or too much disarray in my life but that being said I do like being in social events; it’s just in such situations I’ll be looking at the details of everything: the bricks in the walls, the low pants of the guy next to me, the lighting, the way the music blasts, the laugh of a girl, the paving of the floor, the arrangement of furniture, while doing this I will also be analysing the person’s verse on stage, while simultaneously listening to the conversations of people around me- and this is why I stand still in a room of people jumping up and down to the beat of the music, this happens especially if I’m sober- it could be the reason why I can’t dance, doing all of what I do and dancing at the same time would be a feat for my brain. I considered drinking more but remembered I was driving and so sat down and enjoyed the scenery of young free black South Africans.
I am intrigued by people who can dance especially if they are voluptuous females. There was such a woman in sea the of men, I just kept watching her every time she got up to dance and towards to the end of the night, when everyone had migrated to a tiny fire besides the building, we got to talking. She had very smooth skin like chocolate mousse and her eyes were like that of a porcelain doll. I was very interested in her and I liked the way she looked at me, as if she was daring me to ask her more questions about herself and when she answered me she would look straight at me as if through to my core and then she would wait intently for the next question. I asked her what she was doing in the city, she said she was studying, I asked her what she was studying and she said she was in high school, and then I realised why her eyes were like that of a porcelain doll. I told her she was a baby and almost all feelings for her dissipated. I could see she was not happy with me calling her a baby and maybe that’s when a cold-front ensued. When the fire died down and the owner told us to leave I offered to take her home but some guys had already taken care of that; my two gentlemen and I went to McDonalds to comfort ourselves. It was a good night, a night of split decisions, my adrenaline was rushing.
I’m fighting to keep my eyes open, my clothes smell like smoke and I’m wondering what I’m going to eat when I wake up in a couple of hours because my fridge is empty. A few hours ago I thought I would have popcorn for dinner and sleep in early but this city always has surprises and I wonder what morning will hold for me.
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