by Aryan Kaganof
We're introduced to each other at the Color Bar. They dropped the "u" in "colour" to be different. Or it's the American way of spelling. Either way it pisses me off. The name of the bar is meant to be an ironic reflection on how times have changed. Only times haven't changed and there are no darkies or coloureds here. So the irony backfires kind of, except now I'm wondering whether they intended any irony in the first place. Then we're introduced to each other. We both happen to know someone who happens to know someone and before you know it we're on speaking terms. She's one of those rof chicks that made good, got an education, became a lefty, landed up writing speeches for members of parliament. Her teeth are small and her lips are tiny but this doll can kiss hey! We duck out of the bar and round the back to where the fountain is. I'm fiddling and fondling, she calls me "my prince." When it's over we go back to the bar to our whiskys and she tells me about her life.
"We lived in Brixton. This oke was shooting pinks at Damelin. They were taking steroids and smoking buttons. Burry already had a glass eye at 21. He blew someone away at a robot. When they tried to break in to my porzie I called him on the cell. He happened to be up the road on a coke binge with five army generals. They rocked up wired and ready to kill. Within minutes they were slashing maniacs. There was an elegance to their slashing. Those poor would-be robbers didn't know what the fuck happened to them. Lights out ek se."
I like the way she talks and drinks at the same time. She talks quickly and she drinks even quicker. Her eyes are glowing manic attack, like she tripped hard on Californian Sunshines and never came down. Suddenly she grabs my hand and squeezes it very hard.
"You not gonna go all soft on me boet now are you?"
"Not me sister."
We order more whiskys that arrive very slowly. At these prices you'd expect some service as well. The long dry wait gives us a chance to peer into the abysmal hubbub around us. Most of these kids never have to wear their outfits twice. This bar caters to rich white poepals from up North who drive down here to pay R30 entry fee. It makes them feel important and rich. That's the funny thing—they are rich but that's never good enough—they only feel rich when they're spending. Shit holes like the Color Bar exploit the basic psychological inadequacy of being born into bread and not having to bake it oneself. There's lots of that kind in Joburg. Tonight they're all sitting around us. We must seem like extras from the wrong movie to them. We're both of us wearing last decade's raiments. We're comfortable. She offers me a puff of a mean looking doobie that she got from her pops.
"So your dad smokes dagga?"
"Ja, but only since he was 40. He always says 'Give me the good stuff hey' to his dealer. It's funny, he thinks because he's paying top dollar that he's getting the good shit."
Much like the clowns that populate this over-priced bar methinks. Joburg is a huge confidence trick. Everyone's friendly because they want your tom. It's tom city. At least in Cape Town nobody's smart enough to pretend that they like you. You know where you stand. Here everyone's your tjommmie. While you're paying.
She asks me to dance. She's short and I like that, it makes me feel tall. We hold on to each other very tightly and we dance the cha cha cha very slowly, neither of us wants this intimacy to end. She edges me towards the back of the poorly spelled "color" bar and soon it's time to return to the fountain. I'm not sure if I can get it up but this chick's thin little lips work themselves into a frenzy. It's like taking Viagra. While she's down there I'm thinking about hedonism and how it's relayed. Ooh now I'm close to delivering this load. I'm not quite sure how she does it but she keeps asking questions, in between gobbling the business.
"Are you into cable?"
"I'm outside of everything. But I accepted it."
"It's very important that."
She goes back to the munchies. Full throttle. Then I'm popping. That stuff tears its way out of me inna freight train stylee, forcing my head back and eyes open and I stare right into the face of my old mistress the moon who is furiously jealous and full. Back on earth the rof chick looks up when the milking is finished. Smiles with those small regular teeth glinting in lunacy's passionate glare, mutters mysteriously "And you were beyond you."
Then it's all over between us. What more could we do? Or say?
When she waved goodbye I asked her her name.
Copyright©2004 Aryan Kaganof