the book project: daybreak…

What is it about day and night? Are they simply just states of time that work separately/together perfectly? Like parts dawnof me? One light, one dark depending where you are.One moon, one sun worshipped by ancient goddesses. Now they are deity.

Dancing seems natural as the sun takes a break.While the beat carries on from within.Wondering why the sun is sleeping.The handover between dawn and daybreak much like an ordered procession.

Almost religious.The sun giving way to the approaching night.Playing hide and seek. Day and night. Night and day. Except no one seems to play to win or to be found.

There was something that I had missed. I realised that I was trying to recapture a time I could hardly describe because I had been just a child then. Snatches of conversation on the phone. Living separately in the same house. The signs were there. I couldn’t have known. Not knowing made me feel guilty. As if there was something I could have done about it. My mother was never happy here. The disconnection between Papa and my mother wasn’t simply two personalities that couldn’t be reconciled. It was simply my mother buying time. Waiting for the moment to make a safe exit. While my father, silently apologised.

Being at home isn’t as nostalgic as I had imagined it would be. The memories I had of growing up in this house were not the same. Not what I had imagined all this time I had been away from here. These dusty, narrow streets we were once my playground. I ran up and down these gangways, chasing my childhood friends with our brute dogs beside us. Why had this place been enough? Looking back, I realise we had nothing.

Even so I find myself missing those days, surrounded by all these bodies in our three-roomed house. Guessing what Papa had bought from work for me. Pampered.  That  feeling. I missed feeling so secure.

Papa sitting in his armchair with his Cape Argus on his lap, cup of tea beside him and the evening news droning in the background. My mother hovering in the kitchen. My brothers walking in and out. In the front door. Doors slammed. Backyard. Back out the front door again. I would lie on my parents’ bed, reading most days.

Our neighbours on either side were just as noisy. The chorus of living around me was always enough to silence my threatening solitude. I relished being alone. Except as a young girl, I didn’t have a name for it.