The Salvation Army

Port Elizabeth, compared to Johannesburg, was a strange and unattractive place.

The memory of the beauty of growing up in a city by the sea, the sun, the beach, the surf, where you can smell and almost taste the sea salt in the air. In Port Elizabeth the blue sky remains like a blue light that travels like a bird, cleanses itself like a purification ritual or a summer shower, disappears like Hollywood idols and spies. He’s a friendly legend and is as relaxing as a glass of warm milk. In Johannesburg the air was like a sea mist that enveloped your body and soothed you in its fiercest heat and struck you cruelly with sickness in the dead of winter. In the early evening, when I was walking home from the minibus taxi at the corner of Simmonds Street and Bree and I walked towards the Salvation Army, those were the happiest moments I experienced. He was free, alone, self-sufficient and independent. For ten minutes I didn’t have to answer anyone.

As a child I felt free and overprotected. As an adult he lacked common sense but was serious and intelligent. There were times when he seemed positively small and insignificant. The beginning of my career (working in a television company) was an invasion, the end of it was a cure for all my incurable craziness and the deep feelings I had of being deeply unsympathetic and fearful and it made me realize what it is empty. my life was – that I should talk to my mother more often. My confidence was misinterpreted as arrogance. I had become the mean girl that I hated in high school.

The oppressive and unbearable summer heat in Johannesburg made me sick. In winter, this was replaced by a numbing cold that ran through my entire body. It was immovable.

In both cities, cultures are terrified, people speak in tongues: there are eleven official languages; everything is blue or black, as serious as a heart attack where the sky often transcends this experience, this black otherworldliness. The world exists backwards. Here women and children of color are not simply lost or a shell of a human being, tormented and abused by men, living in poverty without proper sanitation, clean water, or education (the many advantages first-class countries have). world), they are gone. His eyes are dead. They survive by any means necessary. They stay in a shelter for a short time, but because it is temporary, they leave and often return to their homes where there is domestic violence.

Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg are cities of sacrifice and survival. In both cities, the girls are radical and sublime, heavenly creatures who seem to age before their time. In Johannesburg they consume too much alcohol, drugs, party loud, lines of cocaine, smoke marijuana while girls in Port Elizabeth get puppy fat, eat pudding, eat more portions, snack more between meals, have babies and unhappy marriages. Smart girls most of the time don’t make the smart decisions. They have a title, but then they take on a false life, a false identity: they make the ultimate sacrifice in time by shedding themselves, their intellect, and their chutzpah in tiny doses, and with it any sense of fulfillment.

In Johannesburg, tough, successful faces masked the fragile hearts of pale outsiders, the hunted ‘old souls’ and the haunted. They were a minority in terms of thought; Shouts of unwavering triumphs ignited their minds caught up in Johannesburg’s seedy nightlife and seedy lifestyles. Everything that was inherently beautiful and decent within them died and became utterly corrupt. They are only the dead whose neuroses are safely disguised without investigation and who are undisturbed by present and past conscious and saved ghosts.

The streets of the city are seductively mapped by colors. Street vendors ply their trade out of popular retail stores. The malls are clean; its surfaces are sanitary, shiny and new. The window displays are brilliant and beautifully reveal the cool elegance of the store’s glowing, alien interior.

Sometimes there are street children who sleep in the street. They are sullen, asleep, dreaming and calm: the fear is gone. At night, despite the hunger, the fire, the episodes of spite, the deranged, the mentally ill or the emotionally unstable, they stay on the street because they have nowhere to go. When I feel that midnight has lasted all day, I think that they are even worse than me. As I walk past them at night to get to the Salvation Army where I am staying, I realize how painful it is to see the vulnerability of a human being. I’m glad they can’t see mine.

It’s addictive to believe that someone is in love with you for who you are even though inside you know it’s a big lie. Without invitation, he kisses my face. He is cool, dangerous. He says I look beautiful but I don’t believe him. I know he only says that because he wants to sleep with me. Natasha, my friend says that he only wants to sleep with me because I’m a virgin. I am inclined to believe it. I am very inexperienced, shy, insecure and depressed. I think he looks like an angel with his blonde hair and brown eyes. This is just a phase, I tell myself and I’ll get over it in time.

A very famous jazz musician and composer shot his wife and then killed himself in the building where I worked. I was editing some of my work and fell asleep. The hunted are always as serious as the urge to flee to commit suicide. Did you feel like you had no face in this cold and unknown world? Was I dream sick from his rage? Could he have saved Moses Molelekwa?

The color of my skin distracts me: am I white, am I black? I am colored. It seems as if all my dreams are incomplete on this very basis alone.

How does a mother forget her own child’s birthday? How does a mother forget her own child? I’m the pale outsider with the fragile heart and the butterflies in my stomach when she gets nervous. Am I not funny enough, happy enough, satisfied enough, is it my funny clothes or my hairstyle that needs to be reevaluated? Is it because maybe I’ve become a younger, more efficient version of her, updated and underrated?

I wait all night for the phone to ring. Her wishing me ‘Happy Birthday’ but this is a completely heartless exercise and once again my world is intact but changed: I will never grow up. My mother, a mermaid, will always outshine me.

I don’t feel like drinking. I don’t feel like dancing. So I sit at the bar. People buy me drinks and sometimes I get up to dance because people come up to me and also ask me or talk to me, I think because I’m sitting alone. But I’m going crazy because I feel so tired and sad and I wonder why everyone is so nice to me. All I want to do is go to sleep and get a well-deserved rest. He just didn’t want to be alone tonight. But you’re worse when you’re alone in a crowd of people having fun because it’s the weekend. They want to party and forget the stress they experienced that week. Nothing erases and fades the rough edges of your world and makes it disappear.

Africa, Africa, Africa let me fall to where you are.

There are wild roads in Africa. Overhead, the clouds move in mysterious ways. Here there is no electricity in the ceiling to light up the gifted children doing their homework. The power of my dreams feeds on hunger. It is no different from your motivation. Animals lick their young but deprived of that substitute; from touch, we die.

This is the end of the world: wild, dangerous, harmful and self-destructive. In its pure state of being Africa is wilder than the wind; she sighs in African fields of dreams and as in the survival of the most beautiful there is pain behind her smile. For a woman, a girl, an uneducated daughter, can’t love be the only escape we’ve ever known?

Africa kills me, nourishes me, makes me forgetful, capable of more beauties, you are like a mushroom explosion that inspires disorder, you are not invited, you destroy me, your red flowers bloom, you are a vampire, you stir up shadows like a Black Forest in the Night, the devil’s nightmare, Africa is as smart as the sun’s occupation and out of reach of oblivion.

Africa you saved a terrified and insecure child. I am the phoenix bird that finally rose from the ashes and found the exit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *