Sunday, 5 April 2009

They say #2: The Corridor

I find myself meandering through these passages again. Cold, murkily lit, the air drenched with the piercing smell of suffering and urine fused into a stomach-roiling cocktail of disinfectant and melancholy.

I’ve been here before. More than I would have preferred. I’ve seen my happiest days in these very passages, but some of the worst as well. But after the last time I vowed never to come back. The pain I faced then was unassailable. I used to laugh when I was younger. I used to sing. I always had a song in my heart. But life has now taken it away. I sit crying night after night, thinking how I’m going to survive another day with all these problems. Thinking back to all the things I’ve been through. Not knowing how I pulled through.

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3 years earlier

It’s been 3 years now that my father has left us. My mother, Trudy, used to cry day in and day out. Not knowing how her loving husband, Robbie, could just run away with another woman like this. She’s older than my mom, but this jezebel offers the joys of frivolous sex without the worries of a wife, children and a household to look after. It’s like he’s trying to be young again. Mummy doesn’t cry anymore. She replaced the tears with cigarettes. Her habitual vice has now mutated into a smog guzzling monstrosity that withers away our already exhausted budget and her already waning health, but she is oblivious to all this, and carries on wasting away her life. Samuel tries to help us out. He tries real hard. He’s the only member of our family that actually became something. He lives far away with his wife in Scandanavia, and is a physiotherapist for some or other sports team. I don’t know which one coz I’m not really a sporty kinda girl, I prefer reading a good romance book with a Rooibos tea to sweaty sports thugs.
But Samuel’s wife watches his finances and what he does like a hawk. She’s a nice person, but looks down on us, because of the lives we live. Mummy is a nicotine-chimney, Cape Calypso-guzzling loafer that sells herself to the sleaziest of men for an extra dime to put food on the table, a shadow of her former very successful self, my younger brother, Brently, totally lost the plot when his father left, and is now ensnared in a plethora of drug activity and messes with the wrong crew for the wrong reasons, trying to find a father figure in a gang leader, or comfort in gintus, or respite from the pain with drugs. Samuel used to be Rebecca this and Rebecca that, and she’s the best, and all that kak, until I ruined my own life with a total loser promising me the world and comforted me after my father’s death. I fell pregnant, and fell for the lies of these manipulative bullies who were much older than me thrice in two years, three different guys, but had one child aborted because there wasn’t a normal gap of 9 months in-between the second and third child. I found comfort in sex with these cretins, hoping I would find love and security from a man, something I didn’t get from my father, but all they were after was my vagina, which was now, well and truly overused. My dreams of becoming just like Samuel, successful, wise and prosperous, took a knock with my first born, and just totally vanished after the third pregnancy, along with Samuel’s trust and endorsement.

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I hold my mother’s hands with all these things rumbling through my head ferociously like a pair of shoes in a washing machine. She can no longer breathe properly. The emphysema and cancer has ravaged her entire respiratory system and has made her weak. Her addictions have caught up with her, but I’m thinking, that maybe this is for the best, this infliction, this hurt, can’t be more painful than the life she reduced herself to live. I pray. For the family, but mostly for her. I ask the Lord to forgive her sins, she is a good person underneath all this filth. She no longer has friends, shunned away by her family, but I tell her God is always there no matter what happens, God will always care. She looks at me, death etched into her face, suffering carved onto her lips, but in her eyes, I saw hope, in those yellow, bloodshot, cancerous eyes, I saw hope, then she closed them, and didn’t open them again. She had passed. But somehow I knew she was going to better place.

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Although my life is troublesome and jinxed, I cling onto the glimmer of hope that happiness and success can only be appreciated once you have suffered heartache and disappointment. God will not take us through these journeys, if he didn’t think we were strong enough.

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After her mother’s death, Rebecca used the money she received from the insurance payout to send Brently to rehab and to get his life back on track again. After a year of rehab he joined a soccer team, and is now playing regularly and
is off the drugs. Rebecca went back to college and studied while working to look after her kids and after 3 years got a degree in Marketing and now has a job and a loving husband and has turned her life around, all but cancelling out her dark and arid former life, but the memory of her mother, the inspiration not to repeat her footsteps and to be a better person.

This photo was taken at 14:51 on the 15th of November 2008. They say a picture speaks a thousand words, this on spoke 1145 words.

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