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193 OLD MAN, DREAMS, WRITING. Tendai Rinos Mwanaka We had had some words with the old man, in the afternoons. He stays in Felicia Street, number 9, and I stay in Douglas road, number 9, so our places are opposite each other, opposing each other like polar points, dissonance, like synchrony It's an upper middle class suburb; Birchleigh North, in Kempton Park, Johannesburg This old man I am writing about, in my dreams, is a prickle old thing, complaining at the slightest raise of any volume. He sits on his veranda that overlooks our backyard, where we are supposed to play, but we can't make noise. Its midday, and he has tea, a big cup, clay cup and a plate of biscuits, I think, store bought ones…and he is happy. A beam of sunlight hits the top of his bald head, like a penlight flicking on. I am writing; I stare at what I have written about him. Did I show you, so far, that I don't like him? I am not saying I don't like him. I am writing that I don't like him. Are they the same? Let me check the page. I stare at the page , at most precisely, the space an inch to the left of my ball point pen, an Eversharp pen- looking for a word, a phrase, a thought, that is trying to jump out of the sentences, that is trying to make you have sympathy on this old man Some things don't just change…I have been using an Eversharp pen for over thirty years, since my grade school, and there was a Bic pen. Bic died, did it, and Eversharp stayed Eversharp and I am still using an Eversharp pen. And if I am ever sharp I can prod spatial pleasure from the texture, textiness of this text, whilst the intellect 194 in you is confounded. I gaze as if these words might feel my gaze, like a slight breeze, and behave well. I want this writing to be the rope I will follow from this dark forest slip of dreams, in these severe and relentless thunderstones, to the Ellesey suburb, so that I might feed with all the others there. I want the old man to behave, as well. But would you tell someone that old to do that Not him. Unless if you want to write it, his answers, a column of ten…soldiers arranged for an invasion, the battle of Normandy for you …. you! …. you! …. you! ….. you! …. you! …. you! …. you! …. you! …. you! …. you! …. you, and he will continue calling you, …. you. You would almost think, it's now your name, as he goes inside to the phone, to call the police. I stayed with my brother at this place, so he was having a party for his little kid who had turned 1, and he had invited his friends over. I didn't know how others were doing but I, personally, I was getting tanked. It was George, his vulgar friend who matched this old man. Replying every of his …. you with an equally fucked up …. you of his own. The whole party crowd joined in, calling the old man, …. you, …. you, old faggot …. you, everything became …. you, the party was …. you, Douglas road became …. you, Birchleigh north …. you, I never really liked the place. It was too white. We were the only black 195 family in that street. And fucking enclosed with electrified barricades, and only one gate out of it. If you wanted to go to two streets down us, which was outside the barricades, you would have to go up 8 streets to the exit point, and then take Straydom road, down 11 streets to Pangolin drive, which is just two streets from Douglas road The place was an island, curved out for the protection of one race. The neighbours, who were white, also entered in, calling us …. you The police came and called everyone at the party, …. you. This situation was feeding backwards and forwards, running ahead of myself, and then rolling off this pen. Like the barking of dogs, I have just gone out of our gate, and suddenly; it is dogs, dogs, dogs, as I go up to the gates. Black hair, of mine, spiking up like stalactites It's the noise of dogs barking, wanting to eat me. It's the Whiteman's dogs that are the vessels of the white man's dislike of...


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Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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