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Footsteps In The Dark

I often thought my mother was fashionable, gorgeous. My mother places henna on her hair and massages potions and good dealions into her pores and skin, the wonderful lines close to her mouth and her eof course. She seems to be youthful for her age. She’s not just engaging; she’s beautiful. Then she recognizes curlers and rolls her hair in right up until she looks like an individual alien, a being from one more planet, outer sspeed. I identified solace in vacant spots with epublications, other areas, primarily interior and private like my magazine or performing on the step. I was a child actor. I changed the rage that get to and everyed fever pitch in my househaged with elegant terms; mouthing my way by way of monologues and Shakespeare that was my match.

Getting beautiful hair these working times is making someentire body who owns factories in which they produce high volumes of these chemical substances very abundant.

Very first they take a comb and make pathways being very mindful not to follow the item to your scalp otherwise it’s going to become itchy and irridesk. So you sit there as extended as you can feasible bear it until your whole head is covered with this pink things that scents of chemicals. If it commences to itch or melt away, you tell by yourself it will be benefit it when I stroll out here with easy, shiny, shiny hair that passs when you shake your head. It isn’t going to final long though. 3 months at the most and then you happen to be back again like all the other women who believe of their hair as their crowning glory.

The crowning glory that men thirst to operate their fingers through with no catching their fingers in tufts that cease to move or ruffle. The women at the salon know relating to hair. Typically moms never. So you have to be individual as a child, an aloof and distant teen, adolescent and developed up when your mother does your hair. She has the greatest intentions and entirely your passions at coronary heart but she pulls at your hair when the comb doesn’t undergo, so it truly is greater rather to experience the hrs you shell out at the salon. At the very least it’s tranquil there. The radio is comforting. You can get a gentle consume out of the vending equipment or one of the women will deliver one of the womans who sweeps up the hair that was lower off a buyer’s mane, or who washes and rinses the conditioner off the hair, to purchase you fish and chips which you can sit and eat whilst your hair becomes dry.

At residence my mother sits on a peaceful chair under the hair dryer for an hour or so ahead of she occurs like a butterfly under curls that she blow dries straight before repeating the whole approach once more of rolling her hair in her hair again before she goes to rest.

High-priced fragrance wafts into the air as she enters the room; part and parcel of my sister’s cast offs. My sister when she’s bored, she merchants maniacally for clothing, footwear, components and perfumes in boutiques. She’s cute, young, feminine, 20-some thing who has just discovered men; tall men, indignant men, men in corporate in designs and ties given to them for their startdays, Xmas or from their mothers, wives or kids. My sister is a glamour girl while I stay at home now to cook dinner and clean and be a companion to my father, nurse him through his spells of ill wellness and melancholy.

After I aspired to so much much more, to feeding the beasts of my creativity, seeking thrills conspiratorially with fellow college students at a college for movie and tv generation but I experienced put all of that driving me for a daily life span of honing phrases into gravid entities that would spell out for anybody that would listen that the entire world was their oyster. Just explained but I did not realise that a brutal and exhausting exercise lay ahead of me.

What I have learnt from the women in my life; my aunties with their bouncing bosoms and powerful bodies developed to conserve calories, soft bellies sticking out with comforting rolls like jelly, feminine cousins who provide life into the world, my sister and my mother, women who are peculiarrs, other loved ones members that we are estranged from is this, not to shrink back from this world, to experience it head on with all its peculiarities, its bogus innuendos, not to live a 50 percent-life but to be kinded and informed by the world around you, to blaze trails, experience carefully and even when we come inside of a width of a thread of what I fret the most is to always have faith, trust Passd and pray.

Individuals men ask my sister to go out and have espresso with them but she discovers their dialogue uninteresting. She’s shineing. She’s radiant. She’s even beginning to demonstrate off a tiny but she appears happy and I am finally happy that she’s and that it even sounds as if she’s found her area of interest in life, even if it is working in a financial institution and not in a not for earnings firm or with children that come from marginalised and diunhappyvantaged backgrounds.

Hair is a very man or womanal thing for a lady. There is absolutely nothing humorous about that only that many men have to be well-informed about it. My sister and my mother taught me that.

I drink in ‘Humorous Woman’, ‘Yentl’, ‘Breakswift at Tiffany’s’, the gorgeous and fantastic Audrey Hepburn, ‘Absent with the wind’, ‘Medical professional Zhivago’, ‘The way we’ve been’, ‘Twilight’, ‘Guys prefer blondes’, ‘Some like it very hot’, ‘The night time of the Iguana’, ‘All about Eve’, ‘Now Voyager’, ‘All the fine young cannibals’, ‘Riot without a result in’, audioals, books grew to become into movies, the daily drama in our house, the family online video on a Saturday night. My head swirls in the coloration images; at times they’re black and wstrikee.

Marilyn Monroe grew on me in fragments; her chuckle, her acting potential, her roles, her love life and her body of work. Documentaries grew on me like bloodlines. Not the ones with the cuddly pets like the pandas but the ones on human beings, Ang San Suu Kyi, brutal assassinations and so I thought I was well on my way to being an investigative journalist working in Johannesburg, toughened up on the meat of war, genocide, criminal offense, city decay, Darfur and poverty that sliced my heart into a bleeding mass. Nevertheless that was not to become of me.

When I was younger I lusted soon after the limelight, the highlight and the lighting on the stage and television but as I grew older their lustre, that glow light absolutely away. I was remaining to translate blue skies, the night air, constellations, a blanket of stars, dim and disfigured images in my head from memory, bullies on the university playground that were philistines, self-recognition into working into all into factors at a snail’s pace that left me blind to what I was sacrificing; how self-acutely aware I nonetheless felt at what I was missing to be the perfect daughter, student, sister, learner, pupil, composer, poet.

I was given the principles of pleasure from infancy. All the toys I could play with, all the consideration I could garner with making stupid faces and putting happy smiles on my dad and mom’ faces, how I communicated when I was sad or happy, I was expanding up in calendar many years, grasped cloconfident when nannies who decided on me up, planted kisses on my cheeks, hair and head babied me, fed and seemed after me when my parents’ were at work left for greener previousures, to look after other people’s children. I never felt unnerved, unhappy, sad, alternated amongst moods of giddiness and come to emotion low or unliked as a child. No, that only came later on; like my limbs, they came with a life of their own.

I was superior for my age. My mother observed to that. My father was occupied, locked away in his study, struggling, combating with his promoter at the university with his Ph.D. in education. When I initial started school it was as if there was a fog on my brain. Nothing at all seemed to connect. I drew letters upside down. I could not do sums fast ample in my head like the other kids could. I couldn’t count. The trainer thought I was slow but I was bright at reading through. So I linked the sensible kids on the mat when it was reading time and they all looked at me as I sometimes examine my mother now; as if I was an alien, from outer space.

Now my sister helps make me laugh. She’s funny, super smart and good at her process and I adore and love her. It is no more time a forceful, gagging kind of love and of course she does my hair when she comes home from where she life now in Johannesburg. My mother doesn’t have the endurance any longer. I have thick, darkish, longish hair but I do not need to have to cut it. Limited hair does not suit me. My father utilised to love my hair when I was little. He named me his little ‘Angela Davis’.

‘How do I look?’ I always ask him after I come back from being labored over magically by Marina or Jacintha or Maxie, (that is Audrey Hepburn’s line that she suggests to George Peppard before she goes to Sing Sing, the jail on her own individual mission). He always compliments me. You’d not end to think how crucial hair is to a woman except if you have walked a mile in her shoes. It really is something to keep in mind in foreseeable future for a date, your girlfriend or your spouse or your daughter no issue how old she is.

Girls become acutely aware of their hair at an early age. So men, compliment your women on her hairstyle. I guarantee you, it will be a welcome enhance to her ego in any language or region. It reminds me of movie stars captured for eternity on celluloid like a slide-show. Leaving you wishing the lens of the digicam was focussed on you alternatively of the beautiful actress fixed up with hair and makeup; converted into an angelic goddess.

I was on my honeymoon with my fresh partner before I learnt how really ill my father was. I as wellk scripts with me to physician.

Allow nowadays be the day you note this, my horoscope reads. Views are pure creation. They live in a strange self-regenerated, self-possessed world and are competitors for paradise. Why are not able to they effortlessly tell by themselves when they look at a man, a woman and a child that is my brother to the previous, that is my sister and that could be my child. The easy reality is that they can’t. War, war, war, men will argue. Exactly where will we be without war, without anarchy, without chaos or intervention or youth?

We are going to be godless without faith and intercourseless without philosophy. Pay a visit to work, bear your children, drop in love and even think. I failed to want my child to live in this world. I was too young to have a child. Possibly it would have been better if she had not been born at all. It is a horrible time to be young throughout war and it is a horrible way to die. A bullet straight through the head or the heart.

The thing is you don’t know what the final end result will be of your measures and you can never forecast or say that here is the way objects should be. You take life come what may possibly. What’s the art of accumulation, I questioned. I do not know and stop inquiring me? He answered. Why don’t you ask your students for their skilled impression and their mental remedies would be the very same? The deconstruction of the human race or the art of accumulation?

An old woman with drained eyes sits throughout from me on the teach when I go home that afternoon and I look away temporarily. I wonder how I will look when I am old. My skin wrinkled. Lines around my eyes, my mouth. Aged people smell of menthol, eucalyptus and Vick’s vapour rub.

All cosmetic need to die.

I’ve returned to my childhood home. I remember chasing my brother, Fred and my sister, Sylvia madly. It is where with my chin gently resting on my hunched knees I commenced to write poetry. It did not bring me any joy, or delight. It left me feeling surprisingly let down. Why am I sad all the time? I am tired of being so sad. There just isn’thing else I can feel anymore.

Song loaded our house. The laughter of a child, my brother’s ingenuous anecdotes, our parents love per other and for us. Quickly forward numerous years, my sister is communicateing in the kitchen area. My father is demise in the back room, which fills with solar in the late afternoon. It is a room filled with abundant wildlife and countless plains in pictures on the partitions. It is a distant area. My mother is the dutiful and committed wife as ever. He’s bathed every early morning at specifically ten o’ clock, fed, read to and spoken to by the clock. He can’t talk anymore. His mouth struggles to form words and to incorporate his buzz. He called himself a bedridden old idiot; a ghost. It makes me sad to see him like this. I read poetry to him. My father has loved poetry all his life. He was an English teacher.

We all have our own children now and have solved down with households. Sylvia’s brood is observed. They’ve appeared on television in adverts for toothpaste, crackers and product soda. There are 4 of them; 2 boys, Randall and Kendall and two girls, Audrey and Loreley. They’re ten, 8, 6 and 5 respectively.

Fred has a son called Vernon. ‘A monk.’ Remarked Sylvia unkindly, once but without any humour, heat or passion. He was not loud and rowdy like Randall and Kendall. Vernon will support his grandmother, keeping constantly by her side. He dries the dishes cautiously and little by little until it shines. His mother was like that as well. Quiet, distant and well mannered. Sylvia has only one word for it. ‘Standoffish.’ Fred was always the clown growing up but he is different now; changed given that the incident. He still has a youthful deimplyour.

We’re waiting around for my father to die. He has pancreatic most cancers. We watch over him. It is the beginning of wintertime. My mother has started to play him his preferred items of classical music. It has become a ritual every afternoon.

‘Uninteresting, boring. Is the old man loud night breathing?’ Randall says. Audrey claps her palms over her ears. When my father rests in the afternoon, the music is rejected.

‘That is a mean thing to say Randall. Why did you say that?’ Sylvia admonishes and schillys, kissing him on the reddish-brown curls of his head. He dropped his school jersey at the end of expression and Sylvia obtaining herself with nothing to do went to the shops to find a craze. So far she has gathered an arm and the front. She is defiantly practical.

The mantelpiece was covered with images, covering every possible family accumulating and birthday. Randall’s was the most distinguished.

‘Where are my two loud boisterous boys?’

My mother has never inspired revenge in any of her children and for that I am sure is one good quality of my mother’s that we are all thankful for. I remember a tale my mother advised us as we were growing up. Sylvia is telling it to her children.

‘That’s a dumb story.’ proclaims Randall. ‘That’s a dumb, glum, by gum, numb, dumb, dumb, dumb story.’ He screeched.

‘Shush.’ Sylvia reproached him.

‘Shush.’ Explained Randall.

‘You possessing broody yet?’ my sister asks with expectation. I am properly happy by itself, I retort and once on a time I might have said, ‘We are.’

‘You happen to be not.’ She says with an air of aggrieved popularity and entitlement.

‘Are you happy with your life?’ I ask her to which she always replies, ‘I am, I am perfectly happy. Here’s what I have always desired.’

He has attractn his last breath. His body lies still. I feel the beginnings of the onslaught of grief.

‘Open up the curtains.’ My mother orders and I obey. She does not begin to mourn his passing. Sylvia – the moment daughter, the daughter who felt that she was always being handed over in the family circle – starts to weep. Her body shudders with sobs. Her grief is nboth personal nor private. She is grief-troubled and when she rises she scarcely says a word but is enfolded by her husband’s arms and she retreats to her childhood bed room.

Her grief is heartfelt. It is shared by all of us otherwise. I draw the curtains open up.

‘Muddy waters. There is a snail. The snail’s more quickly than Maude is. Maude’s slower than a snail.’ Randall and Kendall begin to laugh. Kendall puts his hands on his side and bursts out guffawing. Maude pulls her tongue out at him.

‘Grandfather is dying.’

‘Demise, dying, died, lifeless.’

‘It’s serious.’

We take the children to the park. Randall and Kendall run ahead. Audrey and Maude stay with us.

‘I feel sad, mummy.’

‘Appear and look at this, Maude.’ Audrey called to her. Maude let go of Sylvia’s hand and ran to where Audrey was status.

They began to strike poses in front of a tall oak as if they were versions. Kendall imitated them rudely.

There are no photographs of my mother when she was a girl. I have never asked her about this because I am sure she will evade the doubt and subtly keep away from it. I know her only as a mother. The person I have known since birth. To my knowledge she has spoken very little of her parents. I have never known them. They died before I was born.

My father was always singing when we were younger. At church, he would sing hymns with a deep, rich voice. At home, he would, when requested at family gatherings and birthdays he would belt out Elvis. My mother’s nickname for him was ‘my Elvis.’ He sounded like him.

He was transformed when he sang into the singer in Vegas with perfectly coifed hair, glistening with pomanufactured, the suit cut just so with perfect creases and sharp corners at the ankles. You would say that I lost faith in my perception in development and my perception of direction when I saw them dancing jointly, laughing and smiling. Later on, they did an Arthur Murray course together.

I am the prodigal daughter, my mother has remarked on more than one occasion with us all in attendance. I wonder what the importance is, or if there is any, of me working on a trilogy. It is only my interest. My late husband’s hobby was his cafe. He was always a sensational cook and came up with the most brilliant ideas. We had only been married for a year when a robbery happened at his restaurant and he seeking to be the hero and safeguard a expecting woman who was a patron there got shot and hurt fatally in the process.

Sylvia has found an old music box filled with letters from old boyfriends. We are alone in the house, aside from my father who is resting. My mother has absent purchasing. Nowadays Fred has volunteered to take the children to a circus to reduce them all of the boredom of sitting down around the house.

‘Appear at this one. It’s hilarious.’

There were ten letters filled with bursts of endearing, everlasting proclamations of love. After Sylvia left the room to play Debussy, I found myself re-reading them and hunting for clues at what my sister’s individuality had been like then. We had never been shut or each other’s best friend. In an argument once she said over the mobile phone that if she had met me on the highway she would bypass me with hardly a second look. I was 11 and she was 14.

There was a book as well with a vermilion cover. I opened it and on the front page created in daring letters were the words, ‘This is the book of negative behavior, of waking desires and infinite traces of unhappiness.’ I acknowledged the handwriting as my own.

Operating presents me both the fortitude to go. Area produces self-mastery as well as energy in my life. I enjoy being on the side-lines, hardly cheering just diplomatically overseeing my script. I talk to the group, drink coffee. Seeing the actors gushing over their roles or supplying guidelines on how to increase their display screen time. But what you do is not work, my mother has said time and time again. You journey so much. If I had as much cash as you do, I would give it all away. It’s a sin. You’ve got been to all the sin metropolitan areas in the world. You’ve been to Los Angles. Johannesburg. Las Vegas. Fresh York. I don’t know why you wanted to study there in the first place. Then she talks about Africa and then education and then faculties.

‘Espresso?’ Maggie asked her best man on the set.

He stored out his cup to her and she filled it to the brim. It spilled a bit and she stuck the drops deftly with a saucer. The actor who is taking part in her husband glances at her and it is then that she realizes that her costume is too revealing. His hair is dark and soaked at the nape of his neck.

‘What would you like to do for your birthday?’ he requires a guttural gulp of coffee. He looks through the newspapers on the table, selects one and then takes a area out to glance through it.

‘What about that movie, your friend was telling us about?’

‘What friend?’

‘Indra, was not that his name?’

‘I don’t know. I can’t remember.’

‘You’re not listening are you?’

‘Hmm? Did you read this? Do you want me to read it out loud? It says here, ‘Sometime humanity will surpass engineering… You’re not listening?’

‘I am.’ Came her voice from the kitchen.

Against someplace my voice yells out ‘cut’.

‘I wished to be loved and when I was, I never appreciated it. I took it for granted every single day.’

I was hearing my sister on the telephone.

‘Often I think he must get so tired of it. The vices, the money, the women, the sex. God, that was all there when I was still working in the marketplace. When you are young all that you want is a job and when you grow up all that you want to be is a mother and a homemaker.’

When you go away, I told him, I am going to bounce off the roof. He laughed. Michael never took me severely and I never intended it, not even when I was standing at his grave. ‘Anne, people are sturdy. It’s been part of human character since the beginning of time.’ He was always happy-go-fortuitous. Individuals were always drawn to him, specially women. My sister said at the time, ‘He can see it a mile away. You are the determined, clingy kind. Needy and men like that are always captivated to these traits. It’s going to not mean that he will never stray but it does mean that if you are long-struggling and are ready to look the other way he will always come back to you like JFK and Jackie O.

My sister never minced words or held anything back sometimes. My brother and I nicknamed her ‘Snake’.

‘What comes after the perfect love and happiness? The infants. What then? Where do you meet up with Polish counts of the marrying kind, we used to ask each other, remember?’ I blinked.

‘Every single day throughout the world divorce stats are increasing. Individuals emerge from damaged houses with a stigma connected to the associations they forge in their later lives. People don’t select to be married, their marriages choose them.’

I nod, I murmur.

‘Divorce is a egocentric need for adults. What are the children paid out for by dropping their family, love and care in a steady atmosphere where they are nurtured and loved? The parents own happiness is placed before the child. Then they wonder why their children usually are not happy. It’s a relentless cycle that I want to protect my children from. We do love each other but love can never compensate for almost everything.’

Oliver, my sister’s husband is dominant, intense and moody. I try and stay out of his way as much as I can. I am not feminine enough for him.

Russell and Loreley are both sitting on his lap and he is telling them how he and my sister met and fell in love. They both sit on a knee and look up at him. They made love this morning. I could hear them through the bedroom doorway.

‘If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then everywhere you go for the rest of your life, it continues to be with you. For Paris is a transportable feast.’ Ah, the wise Hemingway.

It is not yet half past 7 in the morning. Oliver is making coffee and he demands to know if I wants some. I say yes even though I do rarely drink coffee. I sit at the kitchen table and watch him make the coffee.

‘God, I dislike that music. Classical, why not anything else?’ he confessed to me one afternoon. Randall was an aeroplane. He was making a crash touchdown. I was striving to preserve Sylvia’s dropped stitches.

Maude came into the room carrying a well-thumbed book and internet pages stapled along with paper clips. There was a page missing, so Oliver had to make up that part of the story.

Maude said, ‘Go through to me.’ He picked her up and they lay side by side on the sofa. Maude was tucked into the criminal of his arm.

Vernon is my favourite. He is seeing me from the doorway, with his tired, sad brown eyes. He leans from the body. He has a free page in his hand. His dark brown hair is long at the nape of his neck. He was putting on a pair of black denims and a Mickey Mouse T-blouse.

‘Come here.’ He comes. ‘What is that?’ I ask.

‘Oh, I’ve written something. It’s not important.’ He says. I want to take it from him.

‘What have you written?’

‘Do you want me to read it to you?’

I nod.

What do children do to are worthy of this? Perhaps it is nothing at all; simply this; consequence. He lost his mother and my brother lost his wife. Old things become replaced by new. There is nothing short-term about it.

It is too cold to swim. It’s raining and the wind is up. Oliver and Sylvia have run into city to see a film. Fred and I are playing rummy. He shuffles the playing cards and offers them. Vernon is busy.

‘Confessions, I see.’ says my mother.

A few mins before Fred had been standing in the study looking up at the racks of bookshelves against the wall.

‘Hi there, Fred.’ I kiss his cheek.


‘How is Vernon?’

‘You know Vivian has left me.’

‘I didn’t.’

‘Then there is nothing more left to say is there?’

‘He must be missing her.’

‘Every child misses an absent parent but she was absent when she was existing in a way also. She disregarded him. She deserted his demands for her own. She was gutless. She was a gutless wonder.’

The accident had come as a complete shock to all of us. Vivian’s car had been hit from behind by a driver who rode away after the car spun into an embankment and then hit a tree. She was pronounced dead on introduction at the medical center. Vernon came to stay with his grandparents for a while. Fred went away.

Fred could always be cold, secretive and indifferent when he wanted to be. I didn’t want to choose sides. Vivian had never been helpful toward me. We had always been civil. She was aloof, protected when it came to relationships with Fred. Her husband’s family and beautiful. She was very glamourous; her nails always polished red, talons. Her mouth a crooked, red, glittering line. Her clothes pricey labels. When she left my brother I breathed a deep sigh of aid. I felt she did not, could not have the sensitivity to find out him or her son who was so much like his father. An introvert.

To an artist years mean nothing. You do not measure time with a clock or a watch; months or days go by and in solitude you either create or you go slowly mad from the loneliness.

I deemed myself as an artist. I regarded my family sometimes as fakes. They were always seeking more recent identities and the children aped the grownups. But my mother encouraged me. She recognised my likely. She was the only one in the midst of heated arguments between me and my sister, primitive abnormality in the household, saturated happiness amongst the children and even my siblings and dysfunctional family relationships. I found her to be honest and as original and uncompromising as my eternal words on the paper of my childhood diaries and the screenplays I wrote now as an adult.

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