Hullo World! Are you out there? It’s me! I’m a blogger. I’m sitting here amongst the unputtaway laundry waiting for the kettle to boil.
It’s Wednesday. 04:14am. 8th April 2020. I know that ‘cos my laptop had those details there.
Ok. I’m back now. Upstairs in my study, with the dancing lights on the horizon keeping me company. Ooh I love how they flicker and dance like that. Bright, like lumo orange flickering at me interspersed with the odd static, steady white in between. Looks like the white ones guard the dancing ones. Reminds me of a book I’m reading. Will tell you just now.
Got my cup of hot tea with a squeeze of lemon now next to me. It’s beautifully hot. I nearly flipping scorched my lips now just taking a little sip cos my throat’s a little sore so I thought hot water and lemon would be good. I hate drinking hot water with lemon. Never do it but I’ve read that if you feel like your throat is itchy or scratchy, then just drink hot water with lemon and any germs (or the v -word) will get washed down into your stomach. If there are any there. That’s what I read. I read a looootttt of stuff about the virus. But mostly I just skim over stuff like that now. And to tell you the truth, I actually cheated a little cos I waved a little used tea bag at the cup before I squeezed in the lemon. Like Mum does.
I don’t know what woke me up again at this crazy hour but how beautiful was that moon last night? I can’t see it now, it’s disappeared but it was just magnificent! A pink super moon apparently for us in Cape Town. Think Joburg too, I don’t know. About 338 000 kms away or something I read from a friend’s FB post last night. Extraordinary. I wish I could show you a good visual of what it looked like for us down here but I’m not a good photographer and couldn’t get a great shot. But I tell you. We really appreciated that moon! I saw tonnns of pictures of the moon from people all around South Africa all sharing them for us to see. It was a kind of message of solidarity in a way, sharing the same pic I suppose.
(Ah, my tea’s already gone cold now ‘cos here I was typing away and not drinking the bloody stuff. Not so great tasting anyway. I hope it’s done the trick.)
I don’t know why I woke up…. (Oh gosh look! I’ve just written that above. Nevermind, I’ll leave it in now ‘cos then you can see how I think. Before I write and delete sometimes. Bloody dogs starting to bark again)
I’ll tell you what my first thought was on waking just now. It was this: where have all the street people gone? I mean all the people who normally stand on our street corners selling stuff. You know? The Funny Money and Big Issue guys that sell their pamphlets and magazines. The ones with the little green bibs that say, I’m an entrepreneur. Themba at the big Kirstenbosch intersection and Jacob there at Bishopscourt robots. Where the hell are they in all this? Themba said he didn’t have money for his daughters school shoes and I helped him with a little extra the last time I saw him but who’s helping him now? Where is he? How is he earning his money now?
I actually don’t understand how the government works sometimes. Maybe you can help me here but those homeless people who were on the street in the city center? You know? They’ve got tents now! I mean how great is that! And they’re getting three meals a day now. Because of the V-word? The C-V word? Well, why didn’t the city provide tents for them before or do they have to wait for the v -word to get support? I imagine it’s an attempt to keep them separate from one another perhaps so that it doesn’t spread amongst them. Well, well done for doing that! I commend you City of Cape Town. And our President Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mzhize, I salute you! What a task you have ahead. I really don’t know how you sleep but you have my absolute respect and support! I wouldn’t want your job for the all the bloody tea in China!! (Oh heavens. Let’s not mention China) And to you Alan Winde too. Thank you for leading us with your Cape Town Together initiatives. These CAN partnerships are a brilliant way to cross the social divide. I just hope that there are enough of us privileged people that come forward to volunteer to stem the tide. There is so much work to do. So many needs to fulfil.
I think that’s what woke me up actually. I thought of Jacob’s face when I used to stop at the Bishopscourt robot on my way to school. He was always so excited to see me and on some days I wasn’t really that excited to see him because I just didn’t feel like digging in my wallet and couldn’t stomach the guilt when I couldn’t help either. And my bag was at my kid’s feet and they would get irritated with me ‘cos I would ask one of them to please pass me my bag and they would have their earphones in their ears or have some books on their lap that they were reading through last minute notes for a test or something and they’d have to bash the bag on their legs and squeeze it in between the gear stick and then I’d say, ‘ag just pass my wallet then quickly!’, and they would get annoyed and I would scramble around to get my wallet and take out a reasonable sum (what’s that? and what’s the reasonable man?) and hand it through the window and say, ‘have a good day Jacob, I’ll see you tomorrow!’. Ah the rush of it all. I don’t miss those school runs. It’s the one thing I REALLY don’t miss.
I love working at home. I have a beautiful home and am extremely blessed and privileged and lucky. Blah, blah blah. There’s quite a few of us like this and some are this way partly because of the pigment melanin our skin (now there’s an interesting topic to research… I mean the evolution of skin colour and migration etc.. hey? ) and background (ah, I don’t’ really want to go into our history, it’s so ugly and complicated) and others because of other factors. Some have worked harder than others and some have been luckier than others. To be honest? I am one of the privileged lucky ones, born with a light skin. Not in Khayelitsha. And the only reason I am able to help now is because I can. And the only reason I can sit up at this crazy hour to write is cos that’s what I do now. I write a lot. But it doesn’t really bring in much money. If at all! Writers won’t really tell you the truth about that. But I have a husband so that helps! And…, well… he’s always been ‘better’ at earning and I look after four kids and all and try to do some lawyering work…long story, read my books! Haha!) Where was I….?
Oh yes, the reason I’m writing up here now in my study is that because he is working from home since the v-word started circling us like a great white shark, he needs to use this study for most of the day. We kind of have an arrangement about that. He’s here from 9 – 5 because he needs to sit at a proper desk and it’s the best place to work with WIFI and all and I work around the house wherever. He’s the main breadwinner in our family. And he’s done it all alone. No help from any handout or inheritance or winning the lotto or anything like that. I’m the sidekick mainly.
Ah I’m getting a little tired now actually. It’s now 5:21. But I’m glad I came up here now and put all my thoughts into this blog. I feel better now. I didn’t feel like there was any point lying in my bed and then I felt a little tear escape from my right eye (it always starts in that eye first, no clue why) and I didn’t want to get sad again. One of my daughters came to me yesterday after reading my blog (it’s soo weird when your family read your words, but they don’t always so it’s ok) and said, ‘ah, mum, were you really crying the other day?’ and I said yes I was but I didn’t really want to admit that I was sad. Mums must be strong for their kids. Actually, there’s a fantastic new book that’s just come out from South African authors on what it’s like in isolation here. Then you can read about other SA writers and how they’re dealing with lockdown. I’ll add a pic of it for you to see.
But I think I’ll end now with a thought for whoever’s reading this out there. It’s something from a book I’m reading at the moment. Edith Eger. The Choice. A holocaust survivor story. But before I tell you the quote, I want to just tell you something weird about it. The other day on a writer’s group, the message said, turn to page 48 and read the first sentence. And that was this:
‘All your ecstasy in life is going to come from the inside. ‘
I went cold when I read that line.
Til tomorrow again if I feel like it!