I went to Portugal and Spain in one night. Monday was Youth day, a day to commemorate the day when in 1976 students collectively rose against the apartheid regime infiltrating the education system. I would say we have come a long way; I think the youth of this country understands what happened and that the events of that day changed the future for us but while drinking some vodka with a few male acquaintances in Joburg the subject of displacement came up. What I mean by that is that the bornfrees of this country have the privilege of receiving upper class education but live in the lower class, this creates conflict in the composition of identity for a young person. I would say all of us young people that were there, successful and hustling, are displaced in that we went to these high-end education institutions but when we go home or go visit our grandmothers we realise that not much has changed, the township is still the same, the houses are still small, the potholes are still there and even bigger, the dumpsite have not been cleared and the schools are breaking down. It will take a gigantic force to change the position of many lower black families, years upon years, rectification of what apartheid did to the black nation has yet to be achieved.
I actually had no plans for Youth Day, I had planned to read a book and watch reruns of my favourite series but a few acquaintances called me and asked if I had any plans. In Johannesburg you will be used and then you will learn to use others- I’ve learnt this is common in new friendships. The trick in being used and using other people is that you must balance the stakes at hand. I was broke, I am still broke, anyway people wanted to go out but they did not have means of a car, I did but I did not have petrol, so the unspoken agreement was that they would pour petrol, pay for my drinks and food. Firstly we went to Maboneng where before going into the venue I watched young men play street soccer and young dirty children skateboard down the street. When we got in we learnt that there was a braai and we waited for the meat. It was awkward because I only knew about one percent of the people there but they served me meat and pap, then we conversed while shoving handful of pap into our mouths and complaining about the small pieces of meat we got- it felt like family. Afterwards we had to go buy some alcohol. We walked to a tavern that scared me and so I did not go in but then we found another that was better and got what we wanted. After a few drinks we were suddenly on our way to Soweto Orlando by an area the inhabitants call Portugal, when we got there we found all the pubs and clubs packed, everyone, young and old, was in the spirit of celebrating Youth Day no matter how cold it was. We chose to go into a club that had burning coal in an old holey metal dustbin at the front, we surrounded the fire and danced slowly around it, trying to keep warm and have fun. There was a moment when I felt like Alice in Wonderland because just when I was getting used to the atmosphere the guys I was with wanted to go to another place called Spain, when we got to Spain we had food, good, hot, African food and I needed it because I had ingested way too much vodka. A few hours later we were back in Johannesburg ordering burgers at a McDonald’s. Monday night was a night adventure of note, flashbacks of it attack me spontaneously and I am shocked at what happened in some instances, I think without alcohol I would have been exhausted by all the travelling we were doing. I’m just glad I got to my apartment safely. I need a chauffeur. I need money. I need more money- everyone in the city does. Everyone is hustling, living by a shoe string but always smiling, always friendly while making sly deals.
I am exhausted and I don’t even know why maybe it is the repercussions of Monday night.
On Tuesday I woke up with a slight hangover, I procrastinated for while: I spoke to myself, walked around my room, played some old pop music and danced to it, and then I exercised and went to the doctor who gave me antibiotics for the uti I have and then I went to the dentist who cleaned my teeth which was actually a painful process even though she said it would not be. I think my dentist is same age as me and that scares me- I like my medical practitioners to be much older than me- if it weren’t for her beauty I would have flat out asked for the process to be stopped, but she had these huge eyes, big and dark like chocolate chip muffins, looking down at me asking me if I was fine with each tooth she cleaned. I’m not sure if my smile is brighter but my teeth are more sensitive, I think the plaque that was on them actually helped decrease the sensitivity.
I thought I would cry this morning, not because the sun’s heat was not hot enough or that it was noisy with high school girls and boys at work but because the loss of a child or what was going to be child hurts me to my core. Someone close to me had a miscarriage and on hearing the news I felt faint, I was reminded of my own womanhood and how maybe I do not want to take part in certain aspects of it like childbearing. It hurt so much and I don’t know why, I feel the world has enough people and babies are not a necessity for me personally, I like the person but I wouldn’t say I love them or maybe I do; it’s the agape kind of love, and that’s why I feel the pain or maybe it’s just a commonality between women or maybe it’s because we’ve all lost someone we loved. We’ve all lost someone we love, we all want someone to belong to us or for us to belong to someone but people don’t belong to people; I’ve learnt that the hard way.
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