In some ways, I feel like I am older than you. Like you need to be conserved. A quiet doe grazing in a meadow next to a busy highway at dusk. I’ve always felt the inherent urge to protect your delicate sensibilities.
I won’t know how it really feels to wear my heart outside of my chest until I bear a quiet fawn of my own.
The stories I have cataloged in my memory from my Grandmother have acquired a level of resource scarcity since she left. Each memory comes to me with a spark of fear that it may one day be forgotten. Each comes with an intensity that it must be immaculately preserved for the rest of my existence. That this is my ultimate duty and a part of her legacy.
Imagine being awakened every single morning of your life by church bells that have tolled the same melodies as if they were Scripture since long before your existence. One morning you don’t hear their chimes ringing through your window. You look out and see that they have stopped ringing completely because the church is no more. Without any warning, and unbeknownst to you, one day the church just ceases to exist.
Here’s something we can all agree on: It’s nice to see good things happen to good people.
And anybody who knows Justice knows what I’m talking about.
Justice Shamba is one of my favorite people that I encounter during my frequent outings in the town of Stellenbosch, where I live. Earlier this year, I used to see him nearly every morning after class at my favorite local yoga studio on Andringa Street. He worked next door, serving up Hazz coffee behind a neighboring retail shop window.
When I woke this morning, I heard you fighting across the street with Cleopatra in the vacant lot that you both regularly inhabit. A Wednesday morning turf war.
We started calling her Cleopatra when we moved in last year. Every night I would hear her from the vacant lot, screaming the most pearl-clutching Afrikaans profanities at phantom companions. I would count the number of times she would shriek “Jou ma se….####!” until I could finally fall asleep.