I’m a dead man

2013-10-28 13:44

Sunday morning. Durban’s doing a Cape Town impersonation. It’s hammering with rain. It’s colder than a welldigger’s ass. In October. Maybe the Doomsday muppets are right after all.

The bed’s warm though. I also don’t have a hangover. No vile aftertaste from last night’s greed. Ho headache. No mystery injuries. No chilli, grease and cola craving.

Fair enough. Then I realise I’m the only one in the bed. My better half’s half’s vacant. Untouched. Courtesy of Harper’s stupidity. Again.

Friday night starts well. I’ve raked my week’s quota of muck. Time to let off steam. There’s also a bit of celebrating to do.

One of Durban’s coolest timers, Madala Kunene, is on at KZNSA. They have these bangin’ Friday evening gigs. They’re the brainchild of photographer Peter Mackenzie. Another top man. I miss most of the gigs. I’m usually too busy poking my nose in where it don’t belong. Spoiling people’s weekends before they get started.

Bafo’s operating with Mabi Thobejane. Mabi’s an even harder-core timer than Bafo is. Insane in his own way. A percussion genius. The first time I saw Mabi playing was with Sakhile. The gig was at the Moon Hotel in Clairwood. Mabi was burning. Mabi rocked his AK47 and hand grenade thing. The punters went ballistic.

Friday’s gig’s a rare moment. I’d never seen Mabi and Bafo together before. Work killed off an invite to hang at their rehearsals. There was no way I was gonna miss this one. I’d even got the Ghenginator to shut up about Number One’s “Africans in Africa” tendencies long enough to tag along. And Thor. The Hammer Man brings a hip flask along. It’s raining.

I’m also two years nicotine free. From two packs a day to nada. Three decades of slavery kicked in the head. I’ve become a bit of a smoke Nazi though. Light up in my car or my flat and you’re out. Blow it in my face and I’m liable to headbutt you.

The timers murder it. Bafo’s this hard as nails and soft as silk musical storyteller. Mabi’s a shaman, a starwalker with a twinkle in his eye. The chemistry between them overpowers the poor acoustics.

By the time we hit Unity for a post-gig leveller we’re reeling. Ghengie and I start really drinking. Half litre Honeybadgers punctuated by Jägermeisters. A few whiskeys.

We trundle down the hill to the Winston. Haggis and Bong are playing. We miss the gig. We’re waist deep in drunken, tripping kiddies. Most are younger than my two – Small James and Big James.

I eventually make it home. The birds are at it. I hit the bed. A couple hours before the ANC list conference. I’ll be OK. I think.

As I’m falling asleep I realise I’ve blown it. I haven’t checked in with my better half. Again. She’s a cool woman. But like all the strong-minded women I fall for, she’ll tolerate little of my shit. I’m a dead man.

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