We say that as kids we knew nothing about apartheid. But an attitude was passed down that even at the age of fifteen was confusing in that it evoked feelings of power and feelings of shame. The blacks were subhuman (only later becoming human when I saw them en masse. When I saw them bleed), they were other. Sub. Shack dwellers. I struggled to understand because they seemed human. Kind even, not like my kind. They led the horses at the hotels, The Oaks, Dragon’s peak, they cleaned the fire places. They cooked. Esme our maid was that. She inspired fear in me, was the one who had, I’ve been told changed my nappies, fed us, made us do our homework and yet she was below us. She was dismissed for theft. Later my father said that she was dismissed because he just didn’t like the look of her. We received a new maid, a “girl”, she was probably around twenty. And I taunted her.
What they fuck must she have thought? But I simply did not regard her as anything other than clockwork. We were told that she was just to cook and clean and did not have the authority Esme had had, we were told to distrust her. I thought she was quite pretty. I thought of all the westerns I had read, stories of John Smith and Pocahontas, “The Searchers”, and I was the wise benevolent white man. She would marvel at my attentions. She had to, she worked for us. I had these thoughts, I acted on them, so I could not have been ignorant of Apartheid. Maybe I didn’t understand the scope and range, but I understood that no matter what I did, if she said anything she would be dismissed, and Blacks needed jobs, right? So.
It must have lasted 2 weeks. My father had this trench coat, his dad’s from world war two. It was a heavy item and I would only wear it out to clubs in mid winter, it was a very “Alternative” accoutrement, I had a thing for embroidered badges, saved up for them, put them on my shorts. Anyway. I would go swimming down by the pool and instead of a towel I would take the trench coat. I would swim naked, masturbate furiously in the pool and then put on only the trench coat, it had a natural way of closing itself, and I had to contrive with the back cross strap to keep it ever so slightly open, so that my young erect cock would stick out. And I dripping wet, erect would go into the kitchen and make a sandwich. What I expected to achieve I cannot tell you. What was thrilling was her lack of recourse. Her total immutability, she could not afford to lose this job. I took to just coming home from school and not even bothering with the swimming. Strip, put on the trench coat, in weather that made you sweat if you thought about it, and pass through the kitchen. I don’t remember that women’s name and neither does anyone in my family, she up and left after quite a few weeks of this sexual harassment, this debasement, this fascism. Before she did that, she came across me walking down the stairs from my sisters TV room place and looking straight at my penis said something like “Why do you keep bothering me with that thing”, This was the first thing she had ever said to me. I never tried it again. But she quit anyway, she had become pregnant and although the baby was months off, my father had been instructed to get that young woman as far away from here as possible and make her sign something so she won’t come back.
It would be easy to say we voted PFP and that my parents were opposed to the whole system. To say that I knew nothing about it, that I was just a kid, but whether I was willing or not, I too lived off of the spoils of this war. My parents were never so wealthy again after Mandela came out.