Day 7: 1 December (morning)

Today is my seventh day on the streets; one full week. Time has really flown! You know, i would often find it humorous how the kids seemed to have no concept of “how long” they have been on the streets. I would ask a new kid (who had maybe been there for a month or two) how long he had lived on the streets and he would say two years or something like that. I always found it interesting how they would seemingly lose track of time and space. But i can really see how easily that can happen! I mean, as i said, time has flown and these seven days have gone by fast but at the very same time, so much happens in one day that it feels like it was way more than just a week!

I had another interesting observation, or should i say “experience”, yesterday. It has always been sad and interesting to me to see the “hold” that Cape Town has on the kids. I mean, it is multifaceted and involves all sorts of complex factors (belonging, drug use, freedom, etc.) but it always seemed as though Cape Town itself was the thing holding them, but at the same time bringing them some sort of strange comfort. Some kids would want to visit their families and the farther we drove away from Cape Town the more obviously anxious they became. At their house they might look uncomfortable or nervous. Then on the return trip, the closer we got to Cape Town the more at ease they would become. As i said, this is for many complex reasons, but yesterday i felt a small degree of that.

My friend Faizel was supposed to come visit me yesterday morning at 11:00 and he did in fact come but had sad news that a relative had passed away. Being Muslim, they have to bury the deceased within 24 hours, so Faizel said i could just ride with him to the grave site and sit i the car and use his camera phone to record a video blog while he is at the grave. Anyways, long story short, i went with him. We were gone for about two hours and i found that all i could think about was what was happening in Cape Town. I was thinking about the different people that i hang out with on a daily basis and i was wondering what they were up to and what i was missing out on. It was really weird! However as strange as it was, it gave me a deeper insight into what the kids feel when they leave town. Definitely not in full, seeing that i am not using drugs (etc.) and that plays a huge role. But i also think that my “drug” is this “mission” that i am now on for these 16 days, and whilst away from Cape Town, even if only for two hours, all i could think about was getting back to Cape Town, back to my “mission”.

Last night was the turning on of the Christmas lights on Adderley Street (which is the “front porch” of our sleeping place). It was strange seeing so many people walking in and out of the place where we sleep. I found myself trying to “engage” in a festive event that i would normally enjoy, but was actually just tired and wanted the people to leave my “house” so i could sleep. I eventually did just go to sleep and i slept sound!! I know this blog was here, there and everywhere, but i just wanted to get some of these random thoughts out. I will report back more later.

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One Response to Day 7: 1 December (morning)

  1. Bill says:

    Good stuff. Really appreciated your insights.

    While only in The Mother City one time and most of my time was actually in Muizenberg, I “felt” like I was walking around the Waterfront et al with you as I read your words. You are making the “kids” come alive on your blog. Did you ever read Cannery Row or Tortilla Flat? Probably not, an American writer ;o)

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