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May 25, 2017

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THE MEXICAN HORSE THIEF I – ANGOLA

Chronicles V – Racist Crime

March 29, 2017

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I ask Gordon what the hell is the story about him being shot!? He was cut off when telling me on the phone, while I was in Mozambique. He and Dianne were on her small holding in Glen Austin, it is just around the corner from where Chondre and I stayed. They were getting ready to go to and art show when the dog, huge Rottweiler, growled at the window. Gordon hit the interior lights, which is a good move, but then moved to look out the window; a 9mm slug came through the window, hit a steel bookcase, went through a book and hit him in his stomach. Two things made him lucky, one he has more padding than I, and second, the steel bookcase broke the full metal jacket, the book slowed it down. He did not rush off to hospital, not wise to rush to the car with gunman/men running around outside and he tells me he did not have the time to waste at a bloody hospital! Dianne dug out the shrapnel and cleaned up the wound. These are fucking artists for God’ sake! Got to love Africa. I found out that this is a new trend in the area; a couple of people have been shot in this fashion. This is a purely racial crime, the attackers are always black and victims white, they shoot and run, no robbery is even intended. Sometimes I hate my fucking country.  

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Chronicles V – Lies

March 28, 2017

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While we are chatting I find out Vaughn has told a few fibs about the circumstances in Mozambique. He is telling people he had a job lined up for me in Nelspruit, the truth is that when he an Jay went to Nelspruit to do a deal for that business, they went on a huge piss up instead and the whole deal fell through. They lost a huge contract. I suppose it is more convenient to lay the blame on the other drunkard, me. I laugh at what Gordon tells me, I am not even angry at the lies. People, my sister and other relatives must believe what they will. My friends like Gordon and Will, know that when I go on a mission and fuck things up I tell them the truth, even when it is bad, especially when it is bad. This is one fuck up I was not involved in. Period. Must say that my Strange Classrooms taught me to deal with shit like this very well, years ago I would have gone ballistic. 

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Chronicles V – Of Artists and Doctors

March 27, 2017

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I get back to Will’s house and go through the three security barriers, thinking how my place in Maputo did not even have a lock on the door. I spend the rest of the day reading and eating sandwiches, to my surprise Will now has not only a TV but a DVD player as well. When I use to visit him in his other place he had neither; swore he never would get a TV. He was out for the evening as well, so I just enjoyed my solitude. The next morning I get to clean the kitchen, my civilian male friends are not too good about keeping their kitchens clean! I have made arrangements to meet my life long friend, Gordon that afternoon. He still had his gallery situated in Melville at this stage. I shave and find my best clothes; my shirt is one I got from the stores at The Ark. I still have not found reading glasses and find out the Crazy Store in Melville is closed down. Shit, one can get a pair of glasses at the Crazy Store for R30.00, where as the exact make costs R99.00 at Clicks. The walk to 7th Ave takes me 45 minutes; it was in this street that I first met Maria, the Spaniard. I need smokes and find a café, there is a very pretty dark haired woman behind the counter, I chat to her for a bit, she is from Morocco, dark brown hair and eyes, and just the way I like them. Her husband looks mean, so I amble along, at the gallery I see once again I am in Johannesburg, perimeter security. A young woman opens the gate, Nicole; she says Gordon is waiting for me. Wonders never cease! Gordon is notoriously late, for everything.

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Chronicles V – Jo’burg & Crime

March 26, 2017

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I had been walking for about an hour, it is a hot day but nothing like Maputo, but the altitude was making my breathing difficult, from sea level to 1753m above is a huge jump. I was looking for a shop to get some supplies, my reading glasses had not survived the Mozambique adventure and Will has a house full of books, but no coffee. Turning a corner I spotted a small superette, as I was walking a whole bunch of police vehicles started screaming in. Some marked vehicle and some unmarked. By the time I got to the shop it was full of policemen, some with very senior rank. I moved past them into the shop, needed that cold drink and coffee, trying my best to look innocent, which I was, I was! I did not even have a gun on my person, just a blade or two. I went about my business, listening to the talk on the police radios and between the cops. I had apparently missed an armed robbery by a couple of minutes. Hell, these criminals feel nothing for the cops.

The infamous Brixton Murder and Robbery station was a few blocks north of here. Talk about pissing in someone’s backyard. As the highest ranking policeman was talking to the somewhat shell shocked shop owner, a constable came and reported that they had the thieves in custody and the firearm that was thrown out of the fleeing vehicles window. Oh, yeah, I was back in Johannesburg alright. I was forced to remember this and proceeded to remove my wallet from my back pocket and shove it down the front of my pants. Shit, in Maputo I use to go drinking till all hours of the night and never felt like I was about to be mugged. Actually a few combat zones I have been in have been less dangerous than Johannesburg, even in the daylight. I would never, never walk around Brixton at night. Why am I here? I have a small support base here, and if there is work to be found it will also be around Gauteng.  

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Chronicles V – Brixton

March 25, 2017

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Monday, Mike at work, I am in a thoughtful mood and the day is one continuous series of storms outside. The DSTV is out and I sit at the dinning room table, next to the window, drinking coffee, and thinking of vodka. We are to meet Will at a street café called Xai-Xai after the town in Mozambique; it is opposite the place where I met the Spaniard, Maria for the first time. Hell, my life was good back then; I decide that it will be so once again.  Will arrived looking much worn out, he has a stressful job and long hours, he greets us and immediately leaves. Mike is perplexed, but this is typical of Will. He thought of something or someone outside the café and will go there, he will come back.  He does, he has a packet of smokes for me, and he does not smoke himself. Mike gave me a bit of cash and said goodbye, I did not know that would be the last time I saw him, right up till now, I have not seen him or being able to contact him. This is perplexing, as we left on good terms and with the agreement to keep in contact. I go with Will to his house; I have not seen it before. It is in Brixton the suburb just above Melville, I get a room and a bed; we catch up on all the news and eventually get to bed. I am happy to be in a safe place.

I get up earl and with a cup of coffee start working on a plan of where to go from here. Will said I may use his landline so I phone Karen, my sister. She has been in panic mode. What with me disappearing and Vaughn’s interpretation of the events it is no wonder. She had heard from Vaughn last just after I dropped the computer at his house, since then no one had heard from or about me, about a month or so .Karen says things are going well, but I know my sister, that does not mean anything. I get told their business is doing well and they have a nice place to stay. I cannot afford to worry about that right now; I have enough of my own shit to sort out. I decide to go for a walk. I stroll past the University of Johannesburg and end up at Westdene dam. The dam became rather infamous many years back, a bus full of school children went off the bridge and many were drowned. That was in the old South Africa, in the new South Africa a story like this would have to take its place in a line of a whole lot of other horror stories…. 

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Chronicles V – Conditional Friendship

March 24, 2017

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Mike has a Siberian Husky, Luka, and he was not well so we dropped him off at the vet, strange to see so many white people at once. Saturday was filled with eating and watching TV. We picked up Luka and went to the Pick ‘n Pay. It was nice to see pretty white girls again. On Sunday I plucked up the courage to call Dougie. Told him I am sober and need a place to stay for a while. He told me new tenants had just moved in. He has about ten cottages on the farm in Blue Hills. I said I do not need a cottage just a place to sleep. His curt reply was “I have no room for you!” and hung up. Oh, well, scratch another “friend”. He just crossed the line, just like my father; also a Dougie did while I was in the Ark. Once I do that, I will watch whoever it is that is on the other side of my line bleed to death and not lift a finger. I am not really a nice person. I decide not to bother with any of my AA friends, the ones that spent so much time at my house in Bucleueh, the ones that came camping with me, the ones I helped stay sober, if one feels that way, all the people in Midrand listen to Dougie, so all will feel that way. So be it. 

I have one man that I do not want to call, my friend Will. He does not deserve my shit to land on his doorstep. I think he will help, but… I decide to think of another way. I do for the whole of Sunday. By Sunday evening I have no other plan, I call Will, and he immediately says I can stay in his spare room. Mike will give me a lift and we can meet him in Melville after work tomorrow.

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Chronicles V – Conditional Friendship

March 23, 2017

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The next day was a Friday, and I had rested enough, it was time to sort this thing I call my life out. I had very few options at this stage and would have to ask my friends of past days to help me out. I am not very good at that. The first one I was going to call was Dougie, my mentor in the AA days. He once told me as long as I did not drink (alcohol) and he was alive I would have a roof over my head. I had made an impression on a few of the AA people way back then. Ok, conditional friendship, I know it well and do not practice it myself, but he was one of my few options, and I was not drinking.  I procrastinated making the call, in my heart I knew what the answer would be. I thought about calling Evonne, but it would be the same, conditional friendship, I had been a bad boy and drinking recently…. Funny that none of these people were ever around when I was on one of my missions, I tend to go on them alone and not drag people I like into my hellhole with me, yet they all condemn me out of hand.

These thoughts are fucking depressing and make me feel like a drink, Mike has a fully stocked bar in his house. I went and had leftover stew and coffee. Not having watched much TV in the past few months or even had a radio to listen to I watched TV. I knew about the Crime Channel from when Karen was house sitting and the animal shows are good. I overdosed on coffee and TV. Mike had filled me in a bit on the news, shit, we had a new President and America had a black one. I later found out the American President is not a black man at all, he is a colored! If I had to walk down to the Cape Flats and tell a person with similar breeding to this Obama chap, they would stab me to death. Our coloureds of mixed race hate the blacks more that most white Afrikaans guys. Hell, African American my arse. So I must be an African Scot? What a lot of crap. No radio or TV is a good thing I think. Friday passed. 

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Chronicles V – Civilization

March 22, 2017

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My kit was all filthy so put it into a washing machine, oh the luxury! Mike is a really bad house keeper and the kitchen was not a pretty site, I think some of the pots on the counter next to the stove had been there as long as I had been in Mozambique! Eish! There was at least three weeks worth of dirty dishes spread in, on and around the zinc. His mother had gone to Charmaine in Cape Town but had left enough cleaning materials to clean a hundred houses. I collected all the dishes and put them in the middle of the equally filthy floor. Scrubbed the zinc with strong cleaner then got the least dirty dishes and began to wash, slowly the pile on the floor got smaller and smaller. I then scrubbed the floor with a hard brush; no new fangled squeegee type mop would have survived this floor. I finally finished and was hungry, so decided to do something that I find relaxing, cook. His mom had left enough food to feed a hundred men for a hundred days, well, men that eat as much as I do, that is.  I had found coffee and long life milk earlier so was pretty well sorted. I had one packet of smokes from Mozambique too. And half a Pao, so got some bacon and eggs, cooked that up, it went down well. I then prepared a stew for that evening, leaving it cooking slowly on the now spotless stove. 

I had a look at the lounge. No way was I going to tackle that mess after all the work in the kitchen. I tried the DSTV but it was not working, I did not want to fiddle so read my book until Mike got back at about 8pm. We ate supper and caught up on what had happened over the past few years, watched a bit of TV and hit the sack. We did not discuss it but as it was mentioned that his mother would be back from Cape Town in a few more weeks I had to find some place to stay before then.

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Chronicles V Dog Tired

March 20, 2017

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 I walked passed the Kempton Hotel, I remember it well from long ago, it was always a bad place, just those days it was a white bar, it was now a black bar. As is usual in South Africa, in a black area the whores were mainly white. When I worked in a posh club in Johannesburg they tended to be black. One of the women approached me and I just said, “Sorry, no money.” That got rid of her quickly. I walked on to the end of the town; there is a well lit petrol station there, and a call box. I had walked at a steady pace with out stopping for two and a half hours. Covering a long distance; not sure how far, but not bad for an old man. Called Mike again, he had given up looking for me and gone to bed; he knew where this place was and said he would collect me shortly. This he did, I was dog tired and although I was thinking about a bath, a hot bath for a change, I just fell asleep. I had been sleeping on top of my sleeping bag on a concrete floor for a long time, so a bed was good. One would think I would have slept well, this was not so, I tossed and turned and was up at daybreak. I read a bit and then Mike left for work

. Lovely, lovely, lovely, no long drop today! Flush, flush, flush. I ran a hot bath, first one in a while, it was also the first time I was completely alone for many, many months. In the Ark I could never find solitude and neither could I at Vaughn’s place or even completely at the house in Mozambique. I had my bath and then had a look at the damage sleeping on a concrete floor for so long had done. All my bony bits, elbows, hips and knees had red patches on them. I found some body lotion and smeared that on.

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