Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Running away from home



Heads Or Tails


I grew up in the city. Some people call the area I grew up in a township, I saw it more as suburban - it is about 20min drive from one of the main cities in South Africa - Durban.

My first true farm experience was round about the age of 12/13. My best friend's had moved to Ixopo. I spent just over week during the winter school holidays with her.

What I liked best was walking to the streams and river banks to sit and write poetry.

When we did go into the small town where her mother owned a clothing shop we would spend most of the day flirting with the older guys that worked in the complex.

It was the first I drank coffee that was not caffeine free. That for me just made the whole stay more romantic/artistic - I would daydream about sitting at Paris cafe's drinking coffee, writing and listening to poetry.

A year later when things at home got really rough. My parents were arguing a lot. During one argument my Dad threw money at Mother. They both left it in the garden. I went and picked it up. I saw this as my opportunity to get their attention and go on an adventure. After getting some directions, pretending I was looking for information for my next holiday - I was set to run away from home.

For those who know South Africa they will understand the dangerous position I put myself in. By the time I realised I was I did it felt like it was too late. And I prayed all the way to Ixopo.

I went down to the Durban market. To the taxi rank that was generally only used by black people and some coloureds. I got lost and I did not speak Zulu. I found an old lady who finally gave me directions. I found the the taxi/combi (15-18 seater vehicle) and now I had to wait till it filled up. A guy came to speak to me - he told me that he loved me and that we should marry - I burst into tears and lied - I said I had just lost someone in the family and that could not talk to him. I think he could not handle the tears because he left me and the another lady advised me to rather sit in the front of the taxi/combi . Which turned out to be another nightmare - I had to collect the money for the driver and make sure it was right. Thank goodness there was no problem.

When I arrived in Ixopo I went straight to Aunty Enunice's shop (my best friends mother). She called my mom immediately. I had left a note at home. Mom took off work , read the note and decided not to give it to my father, she then went to school and explained what had happened.
I spent three days on the Farm before safe transport could be found to take me home.

When I got home my dad had left for Johannesburg leaving a message that if he stayed home for my arrival he was not sure what he would have done to me. I know my mom would never have left him hit. Despite his violent temper she managed somehow to stop him from taking it out on us and miraculously he never hit her either. It would normally be the furniture, the dishes and sometimes our dog that would carry the brunt.

A week later we got a call from a lady who turned out to be his girlfriend and was under the impression that he was divorced. She wanted to talk to me and let me know how much my father loved me. That turned out to be turning point for mom who then started divorce proceedings.

That is what came to my mind when i read the prompt - Down On The Farm.
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