Bridges

I stay here because I can see bridges that others can’t. I stay because I have the freedom to cross these bridges and bring information from one side to another. I stay because I’ve watched the seasons change from summer to winter, and because the smoky haze that hovers over the world day and night comes from fires in the townships where people are trying to stay warm. I stay because there are people here that I’ve grown to love. I stay because there’s a lot of work to do. I stay because there are elephants nearby, and because sometimes people say “thank you for being here” and because there aren’t enough white people who know how to navigate public transportation.

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Mangos. Dog Food. Long Life Milk.

Somewhere on Twist Street a homeless person could be wearing my socks. A drug dealer could, at this very moment, be cluelessly attempting to dial local numbers on my United States cell phone. My laptop could be part of an emerging business in Diepkloof, my underwear lying on the floor of an illicit lover's rundown flat. For the moment, I was one with the city.

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The 8am Attack

They are street cleaners, hairdressers, domestic workers. They drink beer at 10 in the morning in dimly lit venues as throngs of people flow by. They sell cigarettes, matches, chili peppers, cabbage, turnips, chargrilled beef flavored potato chips, baby bonnets, towels, sunglasses, cell phone chargers. They buy bananas, sodas, blankets, pants, unidentifiable animal parts, live chickens, hair extensions, and stuff themselves with their carefully budgeted purchases onto dangerously decaying minivans to get home.

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