​LOS MY STERI STUMPIE

Waitse mara hoboes are abusive! So there I am, on the day of the Asisabathes, getting out of bed before 2pm, splashing my face with water, brushing my teeth and wearing clothes. On a freaken Sunday! 

You won’t overstand how much slayage all of this is unless you know how much I value my Sabbath lassitude.
On any given Sunday, I resurrect from temporary death at about seven am – at which point I muster the strength to go take a leak and crank up the volume on Classic FM, then go back to bed. My phone then gets attention; I rummage through the notifications to find me some victims to blue tick. That done, I fall in and out of sleep looking therein for funny things to say on Facebook. Around 10 I will drag my useless bag of bones to the living room again and switch to Kaya FM for the Art of Sunday. I might even manage to open a few windows and brew coffee. Then, as you might guess, it’s back to bed. A little less sleeping, a bit more kak praat, and on good days I manage to rescue a few unlucky sods from the blue tick prison.
The next milestone is at 2pm. I have an alarm set up for this. I get out of bed, switch to Motsweding FM for the omnibus of Seboloke, and plunk my headache plagued body on the couch. It’s reading and writing until the ungodly hours of Monday morning. No shitting. No eating. No nothing. Except for water and coffee – I have about a litre of each. This is as much heaven as I can find in this godforsaken world!
So why abandon it for the banality of slaying? I needed groceries. That is the reason I broke the Fourth Commandment. So as a reward I decided to buy myself a bubble-gum Steri Stumpie – my favourite thing in the whole wide world! But ka ke sa rate go e latswa bobe, I only have it on rare occasions. Thing is Steri Stumpie is one of those things landlessness denied one growing up. My father trekked some ten kilometres on foot every other day to the nearest dairy farm from our township to buy five litres of milk on the cheap to parch the land thirsty throats of a family of six-plus. So why would he spend any more of the non-existent money to buy blue coloured milk for me just coz “everybody has a favourite”? It was such an absurd request that I never made it.
Now that I’m adulating and can always rummage through my pockets for a few rands to buy me a pint, Steri Stumpie has become my Black Label – my champion drink I have after each triumph. I still don’t have land; but at least (y’know mos us and our politics of daaram) I can afford petty indulgences.
So there I was, triumphant walking the streets of Mangaung with Bokani Dyer colonising my ear, sipping intermittently on my bubble-gum flavoured milk, wondering how much happier I will be when I triumph over the land question. Maybe – I devise an answer for that stupid “what you go do with the land” provocation – I will dig a hole and fill it to the brim with the blue liquid. And, and, drink the bloody thing from a Rhino horn! That will show them; the imbeciles!
This did not last long; “ao mogolo,” a familiar deferent phrase sneaks in past Bokani and my dreams of Azania. An eyesore comes into view right on cue – face contorted in a grimace that plays a delicate balance of assuring me that I am not about to be mugged (again) and also impressing upon me his desperation, leaning aimlessly against the wall with a flattened carton of Mageu clasped in both hands. I live in the hobo capital of town; I am quite adept to this game. I spread my arms and mum “haka tshwara nix” in the usual pitiful tone meant to show that I care but can’t help at the moment. Except that it’s a lie. It’s always a lie but now the lie is concretised by the blue bottle in my extended left hand. The bloody treacherous hand is extended in the direction of the said hobo; that (albeit misconstrued) grand gesture of love yanks the otherwise lethargic boy from his stupor towards me in enthusiastic grunts of appreciation. It is at this time I realise the mess I have created, so I pull back my hand and offer another lie to placate his hungry hope; “ke tla o bona ha ke jika.” He cries in desperation; “ao mogolo?”
I pick up my pace and walk away. No more insincere gestures left in me. My heart racing at the thought of what I almost lost. This is the second most violent thing I have inflicted on a hobo after the time I tripped one over with a hard kick to the shin so that he could collect his share of mob-justice moerings after he and his mates mugged me. My mother would be so ashamed of me; I siked a hungry boy – albeit unwittingly so. But as I walk away angry at my fucky self I take another sip of the flavoured milk and it all makes sense. I want to go back to the boy and explain “anything else bra I’d have given you; but not my Steri Stumpie.” But alas I only have my guilt to contend with – and these useless words aren’t doing much to assuage it. I need a god!

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