Wednesday, November 4, 2009

5.3 Oil and Water


I will bring this up not because I want to flood you with self indulgent detail, these things come into force later. I promise to leave out the irrelevant, I promise not to tell you any stories.

We used to have these little get togethers at my parents house. It was a big double story house in the suburbs, with a lower half exposed storage basement thing just near the pool, out of view, under the main house, opposite side to my parents room, shielded by the servants quarters. Yes, before my father sold it all for liquor, we were rich. There was a big liquor cabinet, old French oak, well stocked. I used to pour my parents drinks before Hill Street Blues started (and in every ad break) so I knew where the key was. Side Note, by the time we got to A-Team my mother had cut back to Cola Tonic and Lemonade and my father doubled to whiskey doubles. So My friends would come over and my parents woulde that, get drinks.

By this stage, I was courting the popular. ID3 had changed name to Jack Ruby. One of the models was this coloured boy, Brian Dove. I kept inviting him to these things, he lived too far away he said. I hadn’t put together that he could not come into a white area at night.

One night, we are drinking, at school, in the dark room, we have discovered glue, someone comes up with the bright idea to go to our store room, see if we have any. Fucked out of our little heads. We collapse the shelves, my father too drunk to come out then, but from there on, whenever I have people over, he positions himself on the verandah, bottle in hand, looking for trouble.

My seventeenth birthday. I invite all the popular people over. It’s a day time thing around the pool. At the back, come down the drive, around the back steps, don’t bother about knocking. Brian can come, it being day. Before sunset, figuring other people not coming we decide to go to Melanie and Marks place and then to a movie. We leave my father on the verandah.

Brian arrives just before sunset. He pulls up with his brother, not sure of the house, which one, that is. They sit in the car and look at it, do not in the semi darkness of the veranda see my father. Brian follows my instructions. He goes down the drive way, avoids the front entrance, sees the side gate, tries it, we have bolted it, not locked, he gets it open, saunters toward the pool.

My father on the veranda sees a car pull up with two coloured youngsters. They survey the house. One of them gets out and slinks down the driveway, plainly avoiding the front of the house, going furtively around the side of the house. He calls to my mother, sends her round the back, calls the police, goes round to the side gate.

All I know is what is reported to me after. I am at Mark Collins flat, we have had a little to drink, the movie is later, we are descending into procrastination. Hours after Sunset we are about to go to the City. As we leave my father arrives with friends of his, worried for my life, carrying cricket bats. Some black bastards have tried to rob the house, and they knew my name, how did I know these people. These people. My mother is in hospital, it seems brian has slapped or punched her. Even in the court case that was to drag out, I never found out the full truth.

A year later, working in the Cape Town branch of Jack Ruby, while at film school, working with Brian Dove, we would have to take days off at the same time to fly back to Durban to attend the court case.

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