A few months ago I beat my breast and went on about how I couldn’t vote for the DA in the upcoming municipal elections because the party didn’t respect the rights of the rural poor. Last week a car sped through a broken traffic light outside my flat, smashing into another car and a group of pedestrians.
This week I am ready to toss aside any notion of principles when I cast my vote in a few months, at the school up the road that deputises as a voting station, the school that is now undergoing trauma counselling for the death of one of its pupils and the maiming of several others.
What a mess of a day we’ve had. I thought that last night’s by-election results were worthy of discussion but that’s just the nerd in me looking to talk about numbers. Today has been about the dragging of the DA, first because of Dianne Kohler Barnard’s poor reading comprehension and then because the party’s favorite hereditary ruler, King Dalindyebo, was sentenced to 12 years in jail for kidnapping, assault, arson, and defeating the ends of justice.
This xenophobia thing, we have been having it. We are reading and writing about how awful this stain is, this blot on our national flag, the weevil in our moral fibre. We are better than this, we wail. We denounce this violence in our name. Continue reading
It’s World Cup Final day: Afghanistan against East Africa. I’m sitting at the stadium with Steve Hofmeyr and Kevin Pietersen, in Hansie Cronje’s private box. It’s been a busy week for all of us: Kevin found out that Hansie is his real father, I found out that I’m not crazy, and Steve found that there is life after Brenda.
Kevin is wearing an oversized pair of sunglasses to hide the black eye he got from Steve, who feels terrible about the whole fracas. Steve was just trying to protect me, but Kevin has been subdued around him.
I’ve only got one eye on the cricket, because I’m really waiting to hear if Hansie has been successful in getting me home. This could be my last day in this crazy place or the first day of my long and tedious life in this dump of a parallel universe
First I wanted to punch Kevin Pietersen, then I wanted to comfort him, and finally I wanted to run away from him, because he’s gone mad. Or I’ve gone mad, or maybe we both have. He’s the captain of South Africa (but not the South Africa I thought I knew) but he still managed to mess up the World Cup semi-final.
If it were me playing (which it should be, but I’m trying to fix that) then I would have gone through to the finals. I mean, I will go through to the finals as soon as I find a way back to a world that makes sense.
That is not my immediate problem. Standing in the doorway of Kevin’s rank hotel room is his long-lost father, who is also my manager (and Steve Hofmeyr’s). He’s somehow behind Kevin’s captaincy. And I’m really surprised to see him alive.
I’ve been sleeping like a baby on this private jet. Which is to say, I’ve been waking up every hour or so and crying into the 500 thread count pillowcases. I’m AB, trapped in this crappy world where Steve Hofmeyr is the big brother I never had and Kevin Pietersen is still kak.
I wake up as the plane lands. Steve is standing over me, arms crossed. Whatever he’s waiting to spit out looks like it’s tasting sour in his mouth
At thirty-two thousand feet above sea level, cruising in a private jet with Steve Hofmeyr, it’s your humble narrator, AB. We’re on our way to Australia, to speak to Kevin Pietersen.
In case you are reading this chapter first and you are ignorant of the context, Kevin Pietersen is a complete dickhead. Also, he is captaining the South African cricket team tomorrow when they play Afghanistan in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals. You might think that this is normal (that Pietersen is captaining the team, not that he’s a dickhead). Trust me, it’s not.
AB here. I’m trying to talk myself down from bouncing off the walls before they put me in a room made of rubber. I’ve been alcohol-free for two hours now, which is my longest stretch of sobriety in a week. I’m really not enjoying it.
Steve Hofmeyr has cleaned me up and kept me from self-harm, but the kind of things he’s telling me are as heavy as encyclopaedias. I’m trying to swallow them, but they keep sticking in my throat
I’m still AB although I’m not sure of anything else. I’m trapped in a world where I’m known for my cover versions, not my cover drives. I just want to go back to my unassuming life as a cricket god. I don’t know how to get home.
Steve Hofmeyr is making me coffee while I slough off my dirt and shame in his Jacuzzi. He’s promised me both breakfast and some answers. I hope I have the stomach for them.
It’s me, AB. I’m not crazy. I’m living in an alternate reality, trying to get my old life back, but I’m not crazy. Tomorrow I meet the man who took everything from me. I really don’t know what I’ll do when I see him.
Before I do that I need to crawl the hell out of Steve Hofmeyr’s trailer and inhale a bottle of aspirin.