It’s 6:30 pm. Homework has been done, child has been bathed and supper has been dished. Outside the area is still abuzz. Children playing in the streets – still dressed in tattered school uniforms, dogs barking and the shuffle of people, tired, walking home from work. This, the ambient noise of life in my community.
A blanket of sudden silence as my plate filled with rice, potatoes and braised chicken drops from my hands. I watch it as gravity slowly pulls it closer to the tiled kitchen floor. CRASH! I am pulled out of my hypnotised state of shock and fear as I rush to the bedroom, numb to the cut of glass across my foot. Grabbing my son, shielding him with my body – I lay low.
My own heartbeat deafening my ears while my son’s hammering heartbeat continues to thump against my arms. Holding him tight, my senses slowly returns as the ambient noise of community life gives way to the sounds of a people at war!
Somewhere outside the “safety” of my brick wall glass are shattered, children are screaming as the sounds of running feet and gangster speak take over the community’s streets.
I dare not look out my window. I dare not be a witness. My life extends far beyond my own as I feel the wetness of my child’s tears and fear-filled shivers while he clings onto my arms as we lay down low in a puddle of his urine.
Bullets are flying. People are dying.
“Dis nag vir jou jou mase auntie se kind se &%$F wie’s nou die ou jou *&%$”
Feet scurrying. These voices and words forced into my ears, entrenched in my fears . . .
Doors are opening, people are moving, dogs are barking – life resumes, the ambient noise of community life returns.
It is 6:35 pm.
“NIE, my kind! HERE HELP MY! Daai #$%^&&^ het my mind geskiet! NIE! HERE! NIE NIEEEE . . . !”
These words they break me, yet I am immune – my emotions are no longer in tune. I lift my head, slowly I move the curtain, and take a peek through the window. A crowd is forming around a lifeless body. An innocent child has died.
“Mm mom – ccc come bb back” the stutter of my child. Shocked. Afraid. His childhood ripped away, even though HE is alive, he is not the same child . . .
It is 10:05 pm, still no one has arrived on the scene of the crime. Still I am forced to remain laying in a pool of pee – my son will not allow me to move. This, our life. We live in fear of the gangland culture that has become the norm of everyday life . . .
I can only hope and pray that the bullets and crashing glass does not become the accepted ambient noise of life in my community where guns and drugs seems to rule, while every day citizens like me, WANT to report and take back our communities. BUT self-preservation and fear continues to win – while our President laughs at this nation – his personal circus. His entertainment.
Yes, our communities have become the life sized chessboard, an ideal place to create a minefield of trauma, rip away the values and morals by blanketing it in fear . . .
“Dis Nag Vir Jou”, is this week’s title of a tandem blog, 3 bloggers 1 title. All published on the same day at the same time. Read my fellow tandem blogger’s interpretation by following the below links. Comments and interpretations of this post is encouraged!