One Muffin Left

Those damn CRC white devils again!

But I had to get those muffins. I had to! I knew I had to get them soon as I started considering lesser taxing alternatives for my craving and coffee – like Romany Creams from the service station three minutes away. You see, I’m a serial victim of my laziness, something my mother always warned me about – ‘ga gona kgomo ya boroko’. My father too – ‘o tla ja masepa a thaka tsa gago.’ (And ke a jele goed for a year-and-a-half). I always went for the low hanging fruit; and true to form it’s always the tholaborethe ee babang kha teng. Like with lovers – I always lie and say I don’t have a type. But I do: “disciplined intellectual beauty” as Immo Tech outlines. And I have a right to this, since I can bring as much that to the table. But for my laziness. Or maybe like Kundera’s Mirek I suffer from a “weakness, that deprivation” of deeming myself “unworthy of anyone better than a Zdena.” A Zdena, in my case, would be anyone who doesn’t meet that Immo Tech rubric. I learnt through heartbreak that gwababa is dangerous. O tla feletsa o sunne masutlha! As such, I dared not give into gwababa once more, I wanted muffins. And muffins I would get! Come hell or high water. Or Bible thumping (never reading) devils.

So I finally convinced my body that we could get to the Engen garage in Brandwag no problem – some three or so kilometres away from my staff quarters. And besides, I stroked its arm gently, if we get tired we can always call a cab. It relented. But the tricky fuck I am, I “forgot” my phone on the charger. Cab se voet! You think money grows on trees ka bona. And it aint like there are women just waiting to drive a nigger. Haai! Chivalry is dead. Women these days; dikopa! I mean if a nigger is chilling in his shack, coffee brewing, mesmerised by its aroma, and suddenly he craves muffins – you would think (as any straight-thinking person would) that a girl will just drop by and say ‘hey, lemme take you for those muffins’. Mara kae? Kga!

So on foot we trekked. My body and I. Generally a useless gullible bag of healthy bones and sweet odour, but now and then redeems itself. Being cognisant of our fated-when as blacks, we took all necessary precautions to not fall victim of gratuitous violence, we took the safest path available. That is the roads littered with noble daughters of the streets. Because where there are prostitutes there are cops. Reducing crime. Prostitutes are keeping our streets safe. That is generally my use for them; and I compensate them for it too. When they ask “Rasta mphe two-rand,” I give them – there was one, ‘Lineo’, who was almost my friend, she walked with me once trying to avoid a rapey cop. And owing to my super-hero fantasies I revelled in being the Rape Walker. And ever since then she never missed a chance to shout “Rasturr” whenever she saw me. They’re an important part of the ecology of the city.

Now enter these arrogant do-gooder fucks! Tjhessis!

I knew something was amiss when I turned the corner and did not see my people. I panicked even. In the far corner I saw a group of people. My eyes are not any more useful than the rest of my body but they did manage to discern that the people in that group were bulkier than the tiny frames that usually run these streets at night. They seemed to just be loitering. As I got closer I could draw up a clearer picture, a paler one. More disgusting than the black bodies that are up for sale day (male) and night (female) on these streets. I walked up to them with great pace – I might have even been angry, but they flashed that testicle chewing smile that disabled me. So I only got to ask them a banal, moot question. “Excuse me,” (look at me being nice when I’m supposed to be raving mad *smh*) “Which church are you from.” They answered. We left. I romanticised that encounter by thinking ‘at least this time I went to them, not the other way around’. See, I might be black but I have some agency. But I knew I had been castrated.

Now, I have no beef with prostitution per se. But I do have a problem with these women left with no option but to be on the streets. In as much as I have a problem with the men forced on the same street during the day. Prostitution is just a service just like any other – no different to a barber. You have your friend who can cut your hair for free, but there is also a professional whose labour and skill you have to pay for. Same with sex – it can be a billable service. But living in a capitalist patriarchal society, I know that (all) women’s bodies have already been codified as sex commodities. They have all been marked as available to the highest bidder. Which makes prostitution (as with all labour) unethical. That being said, I do not believe anyone has any right to deny women their freedom of forced choice to whore out their bodies to the bidder that will have them – be it mofeti-ka-tsela, moreki, mohlonolofatsi or mogatse. Even less so, the beneficiaries and perpetrators of this system that forces such choices down our throats.

This is what I meant to bring to light to these landthieves – with all the rage I could muster. But I only managed to ask them where do they wash their dirty hands off the blood of black people. Nicely le teng. My body was kind enough to carry me away from my shame. I had failed dismally to exercise the greatest power of them all – the power to pose the question. “If you want to save them, instead of disrupting their livelihoods, #BringBackOurLand you fucks!” ~ I didn’t say that. They were so white. So pure. So innocent. Smiling. They even offered to help me. With what I dunno. “Which church are you from,” is all I could mutter in the face of such provocation.

The woke kids are onto something; black men aint shit! “Make me numb Nelson”, I don’t want to feel this rage that just never boils over to anything. Fuck I am not even a fuckboy. I don’t turn to the bottle. Kgosietsile said this is where all failed revolutionaries end up – ‘tween warm thighs and/or the bottle. Dostoyevsky did say everyone must have somewhere to turn to. Maybe, (I smile – my feet pick up the pace. Away from the corner of castration they take me. Away!), maybe that I have no escape means that I am still a revolutionary. Or maybe (my heart sinks, feet still in pace. Away! Away!), maybe I was never one; hence I suffer no vertigo, no litost.

But fuck that! Positive thinking. I am a revolutionary. I am not Mdu. I can’t be. Dostoyevsky a re Mdu’s lies prevent him from loving – and I can’t live without loving, giving “way to passions and course pleasures” or sinking to the bestiality of my vices.

Ndiyakholwa kuyw’ ihambo yam, ndizoy’mela nangamax’ anzima.

My credentials speak for me. This is my third encounter with these unsettlers. And on the other two occasions, I had clarified them. Goed nie bietjie!

 

The first time I was with Neo, we were walking at great pace from the theatre. High on intellectual banter octane. So when we saw these people usurping our sisters’ corner, their land, their real estate (location! location! location!), we got angry. The proper patriarchs we are, we took it upon ourselves to ‘protect’ ‘our women’. We didn’t even care to ask the one lady a few meters away carrying on with her business besides this white inconvenience if she needed any advocacy from us; we assumed it. What do women know about fighting whiteness anyway? After the thirty to forty-five minute lecture, I reasoned away my knight-in-shining-armour fuckery by telling Neo that at least we took away time from these devils that they would’ve otherwise used to disturb the women’s business (probably done on behalf of some man – be it pimp or husband or son). Kanye kana what do the ancient Nigerians say? Every man can defend his fuckyness?

In the second encounter too I was not as cowardly as with this latest one. I was with my BAF (Break Away Faction – known to lesser mortals as “the ex”), whom the know-it-all toenails of Satan mistook for a whore and me her John (well…mhmm…but a re tlogele ditshele). That time too – albeit somewhat restrained by vodka and the pressure not to embarrass ‘the missus’ by launching a full-frontal attack on religion (something she subscribed to) – I let them have it.

So all in all I have a good record against these arrogant ignorant irritants. Tonight was just a bad day in the office. I still have no need for the bottle or warm thighs! *phew*

 

Buoyed by this warped reasoning I reached Woolworths in no time. Its doors wide open on the stroke of midnight. Oh God how I love open things at night! I went in and was welcomed by various bouquets of flowers. I have been meaning to get myself one. But I don’t have a vase. And R240 is a lot of money. I can’t justify that spend when I am not willing to spend R40 to give my rapidly numbing feet respite. This line of reasoning also prevents me from buying a tiramisu cake and the Mail & Guardian newspaper – my feet are not any less important than my taste buds or toilet reading.

There’s only one tray of muffins left. I grab it lest these usurpers of land invading the store barefooted do. My feet could do with the coolness of these tiles actually – but I decide against taking off my shoes. Anyway the aisles are too narrow, I can’t exactly sit on the floor and read the newspaper for free. Why aren’t there any libraries open at night? I really feel like reading up about something I don’t know. Maybe anthropology.

My feet feel like they’re swelling up inside my shoes; all these unavailable options I’m considering seem to be making my body snobby. The last tray of muffins are chocolate muffins. No lemon poppy-seed. I walked all the way here to not get lemon poppy-seed muffins. I’m glad for the ginger biscuits though. I look around a bit, even in the toiletries, to check what else I will not be getting. My feet send though an order; but a cab is also one of the many things I will not be getting. I have already denied myself so much on its account. If I don’t respect my own decisions who will? Besides if we take a cab how will I exact my revenge on those crackers? I can’t backtrack now.

 

I must trek back now. Hopefully those Be Good’s will still be there. Then I will surely give them a piece of my mind. Raw black rage. Got the speech all mapped out and shit. So I commission my body to do the work of shame; walk (a man who walks is shameful, carless women don’t tire saying…👀…go figure!). It does not have much of say. That is until we get to Westend – it slows down and lets me know that it knew about my little secret all along (whaa?); leaving the phone behind so that we would have no option for a cab. But here are cabs lined up next to the club, it pleads, surely we can take up one. I am always open to be convinced, so I hear it out. It continues with its passionate plea. I also hear something else. Or rather I eavesdrop on a conversation of a diva and her friend. I know that she’s a diva because that’s what the story I hear is about.

“Yoh friend I just had the most amazing orgasm ever,” that’s what piques my interest, the horny pervert I am. And also how I got to know that the other girl was her friend, see? I don’t just assume relations between people without evidence.

“Tlo ka tsona mati,” the other girl eggs her on. Again proving my suspicion that they are friends.

“So this guy stands next to me at the bar as I was trying to get drinks, and I have been struggling to get the barman’s attention. But he manages to. Men! But anyway after he orders he asks me what would I like. I brush him off and order my own drinks. Then he says “you can have whatever you like.” Sings it actually. Quietly in my ear. I mean boundaries! But he’s got the sweetest singing voice. I dunno what comes over me but I say “you.” We’ve already paid for the drinks that are still being prepared. He just walks away. Then turns back and asks me what am I waiting for. I roll my eyes but he stretches out his hand almost irritated, his eyes smiling. Girl I just lose it and he leads me out of the club. We go to his place. He tells me he saw me perform, actually gives me a raving review as he undresses. His voice is so so calm. He’s completely naked and flaccid. I can’t take my eyes off his thing. You never really get to see flaccid ones as often. He just goes on to describe my performance in great detail. Comes closer and starts undressing me. I’m totally naked. Wet and sad. Sad coz I thought performing was the best feeling ever, but this guy makes me realise that seeing me perform is way better. I’m just standing there perplexed. He sits flat on the floor. Then scoots on under me. Like he’s eye level with my dingese. Then starts kissing it all over. He tilts his head back and starts tonguing me. I grind on his nose. But I figure his neck must be getting tired. I mean you can see the veins popping out and all. So I pull away and kneel to kiss him. I taste so good on him! I get up and he gets up with me. Leads me to the bedroom, all the while continuing his appraisal. He tells me I’d be great with just a talented pianist doing the blues. I push him to the bed, he’s still flaccid. I don’t care. My tongue will resurrect him. I am about to teabag him when he says “sing for me.” I lay my head on his chest, his heart is racing, I listen to it to find a melody. I start singing. He starts humming along. In pauses. A deep throatily baritone. Soon we are in sync. I’m in another world completely. On stage. With a bass player. Just the two of us. No audience. He plays and I sing. Completely independent of each other. But in sync. Then suddenly there’s an audience of one. Me. I see myself perform. I am so happy. I sing my heart out. On stage. And I scream my lungs out. In the audience. I don’t see the bassist anymore. But there’s a subtle baseline that is a canvass to my melodic painting. As I reach the crescendo on stage I cannot hold myself in the audience and just let rip my ecstasy. Suddenly the private performance has filled up the dome. The stage is a full orchestra. But it’s all me. On stage and in the multitudes in audience. On stage I am in all black. Every bit of me. In the audience I am wearing all sorts of things. All the things I own, wish to own and have never imagined. Same as with the hairstyles. The crowd is screaming, tears all over our faces, up on our feet, clapping wildly. On stage we sigh as we bow. My head is down. And heavy. Eyes closed as the screams fade away into the far distance. I slowly open my eyes and a familiar scent hits me. Its sex. I find his face contorted and beads of sweat providing it a disturbing sheen. He is quite ugly. His chest is bruised and on the verge of bleeding, my nails are to blame. My palms are rested on either side of his chest. His still firm upright bass still buzzing inside me. I want it out but I’m too spent to lift myself off. So I just give my shivering hands a break and drop dead on him. At least this way I don’t have to look at his ugly face. He continues to slowly stroke, massage my insides basically, still humming. I dozed off.”

 

Personally I think she’s lying. Probably disappeared with the group’s drinks budget to go get a fix. Hence her ridiculous tale – ditiro tsa dithetefatsi fela tse! Orchestra orgasm se voet! But this little fib distracted my body enough to walk past the taxis without any more complaints. Naïve little thing. Of course now spotting a hard-on. Surely is going to be hard convincing those pseudo-Christian Calvinists of my convictions on prostitution with an erection.

The eye at the back of my head – a prized possession of anyone who’s ever been subjected to the violence that is the township – informs me that there are people behind me. Men. Black men. I know the woke ones with their Olympics of suffering don’t like it when we say we understand that they’re afraid of black men because we too are afraid of black men. Apparently we black men are all the same. Violence on a black cis-het male body by another black cis-het male body goes unaudited. It is not an event worthy of a hashtag. I am a black man. I am on my own. Against the four black men behind me. Whom I inflict violence on their person by casting them as criminals with no evidence whatsoever. There is a safe distance between us – but that’s what I thought the last time black men pulled me down by my hair and brandished their makeshift knives in my blind face (my glasses having long abandoned me in my fall. Sellouts!). So I commission my body to carry me quicker to my prostitutes, or the white bullet-repelling bodies disturbing their trade. I did not change the gears smoothly. My left knee gives in. I can barely keep the pace I started with before the failed acceleration.

I have a soccer injury on that knee from high school. I tsamayad a friend with a tennis ball, tripped on his outstretched leg, spun in the air, and landed on the knee on the concrete floor. I didn’t have medical aid so nothing was ever done in its honour. I was not even allowed to cry. I had to live with the “harde dawg.” Black cis-het male tears – booooring! It acts up from time to time. The other time I was at the physicist attempting to commit fraud in an effort to endear myself to my BAF (futile, futile exercise!), being a healthy idiot who has regular check-ups I really had no reason for my visit there, and I couldn’t come out directly as to what exactly is it I wanted, so I told him about the knee. He put it under the scanner and found nothing. That convinced me that it was a phantom injury. A phantom injury that now threatened my escape from the knife. I struggled to keep my pace.

But it turned out that it was indeed a safe distance between me and the men who unsettled me, sans the balaclavas. I reached the safe bosom of the prostitutes with a block still separating us beastly trashy black men. The white missionaries were gone. Darn! I guess they had clocked enough hours to earn their brownie points to heaven. All that preparation for nothing. My speech gone to waste. All that walking for nothing. I could’ve taken a cab and avoided all this impotent drama. I risked knife and knee for forty-fucken-rands!? For four muffins I can’t even eat. Fuck. Bayadika abelungu shwem!

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