21 Jump Street.

A month to go and then it’s almost spring. Again. In the meantime winter is running it’s course. Killing Everything. Making it all feel dead. An end to the chapter; D@ has been given the boot. It’s not happening to me but it feels gut-wrenching. He’s decided to go back to Ermelo and live with his half-sister. To try to make it work up there or something. The decision makes absolutely no sense to me. This whole thing just feels nauseating. I’m not sure how much it comes across, how much this subject dominates conversation. The subject of him. All the bad decisions. This one just another bad decision in a long series of previous bad decisions.

I don’t know, Ermelo. Roughly translated as hell. Anywhere up there is. It’s coal rich country, attracts a lot of big machines. The machines destroy everything, make big holes. The coal they dig out gets burnt in power stations to make electricity. The waste products are a lot of ash, dirty air, dirty water. It all gets dumped into the environment – who cares? Everyone makes money. The government provides employment. Happy Happy.

D@ has had some luck getting casual jobs down here. Hasn’t really spent that much time being unemployed. At a push he could probably get two jobs if he wanted to. I don’t understand why if my sister has dumped him it means he must leave the city. Leave his job. Go live somewhere he will struggle to find work. Go live with a relative that must look after him. There are people here. A lot of people his age. He could make a lot of friends. Having friends might help.

Instead he ‘misses his family’. Wants ‘to be more involved in the lives of his niece and nephew’. I should probably explain they have a bit of a Jerry Springer thing going on out there. The family and relationships in it are a bit weird, it’s not all the warm and fuzzy you might expect on surface level. Not the same as a situation involving people that act normal, as though they had money. There is a lot of waiting around in a town like that. Feeling stuck. Getting bored. Waiting for something to happen. Just waiting. Getting up to mischief. Getting into trouble.

We did a lot of it ourselves as younger people. Maybe the prospect of what he is about to do terrifies me because I have been there. I have done that. Maybe it will be different for him. Maybe it will be different for him this time. I have a feeling this is not going to end well. This is not the end of that. It occurs to me there is probably some manipulation going on from our side that is pushing him that way. It’s not a nice thing. T1 bought him a plane ticket to go back there. And there’s a lot of if he sticks around he will continue to interfere with T@ talk.

I’m not sure that’s true.

I’m not sure that he’s such a bad guy that he deserves to be ostracized. I’m not sure the situation is so reprehensible that everyone should be so reluctant to help this guy get on his feet. Is he really so bad? Something I scratch my head about is what we all look like in light of how things work out for him. I mean, if he is such a loser and needs so much help and eventually manages to come right wouldn’t that be a good reflection on those around him? Not that it has to involve him being in a relationship with T@.

The other way to see it is if he turns out to be a complete mess isn’t that a reflection on us too? Wouldn’t we have played a part in that? And so there’s a little pang of guilt going on. I feel a little uneasy. Or is it paranoid that I’m feeling? I can’t help but wonder at what he will do next, and whether it might involve lashing out. When D@ came along and unkind words were being thrown around about him there was a moment I was reminded of one of the other boyfriends T@ had had at some previous point in time.

The name of this guy was R0. At around about that point I think T@ must have been finishing up at high-school, so this goes back quite a bit. It goes back to about twenty years ago. We had only been in Johannesburg for a year or two and were still finding our feet. The two of them had come to spend a weekend with us. We hadn’t met R0 before and from the word go it was obvious that this guy was trouble. One of the first things that happened was him having an altercation with Joe Public while we were out and about for ice-cream or something.

B and I had stepped into a shop to get stuff and when we came out the two of them told us he’d been confronted by someone about him spitting on their car. Apparently he hadn’t done that. We wrote it off to him getting some heat because of how he looked or what t-shirt he was wearing. It might have been a Slipknot t-shirt or something similar and he had a couple of piercings. Back in those days it was quite a big deal if you walked around looking like that.

But then at some point later when we were back home there was a large something smeared on the bathroom door that had originally spent time in someones nose. Something that belonged back in there. Or something that belonged in a flushed toilet. Anyway. We got around to having a bit of a pi$$-up with them at our flat at some point during the weekend. I can’t remember exactly how it played out. It’s all a bit of a blur now that so much time has passed, but there was a thing about him vomiting.

He didn’t do it in a very nice way.

Not that there are a large number of pleasant ways to do it but on a scale of unpleasantness where 1 is more or less acceptable; like it was done in a bush at the side of the road, and 10 is the least acceptable, well, this particular event might have ranked closer to that end. A lot closer. What got it ranked as not nice might have had to do with the sheer volume of it. Perhaps our bathroom was small. What came out of this guy more or less flooded the bathroom, with a mixture of beer, semi-digested fried chips and a vegetarian burger.

I wasn’t even sure it was possible for that amount of secondhand soup to come out of him – he wasn’t really all that large. And how the fnck had he missed the toilet bowl? The bathroom was pretty small, once you got in there you only really had the toilet to puke into or the bath. Somehow none of it got into the bath or the toilet, it all ended up on the floor. Cleaning up that mess took a considerable amount of effort. I think T@ did most of the cleaning, he didn’t do any at all.

A short while into the future and T@ had broken up with this guy. And then we got a knock on the door one day a few minutes after arriving home from work. I opened the door to three youngsters who looked like they had just stepped out of the set of 21 Jump Street; the television series not the movie. They identified themselves as the police and asked if they could come in and take a look around. Apparently the crime-stop hotline had received a call reporting the use of drugs on our property.

The blood that was in my head fled. I could feel it drain into some less accessible nether region of my body, somewhere the cops couldn’t find it without help from the medical establishment. It whispered to me as it left; just a measly soft apology and then it was just the cops and my bleached white face. I decided not letting them in would arouse suspicion so I said yes of course. They headed straight for the bedroom. They headed straight for a box in there that we kept our CD’s in and started taking the CD’s out, dismantling the cases and strewing the content around on the carpeted floor.

While T@ and her boyfriend had spent the weekend with us I had kept all our drug paraphernalia in that box, including a supply of weed. This was back when I still thought it was okay to smoke the stuff (I don’t think it’s okay anymore). As luck would have it I’d run out of stash and put all our music back in the box. Earlier that day though I had been in search of some more of the good stuff and procured two bank bags full of ‘Northern Lights’, or so the shady character I got it from reassured me. When we’d got home about thirty minutes ago I brought it inside in a plastic shopping packet and put it on the floor at the side of the bed.

When I got a chance I casually threw a pillow on the packet to better conceal the contents. The police weren’t having much luck finding what they were looking for that was meant to be hidden in the box of CD’s, they scratched around a bit here and there but gradually lost their enthusiasm and left. On the way out one of them apologized for the way the CD’s had been treated realizing that they were mostly imported. He also explained they usually search CD cases for blotter sheets of LSD because that was a good hiding place for it.

I knew that little prick T@ had brought round had called the cops on me in some kind of twisted expression of revenge. It wasn’t long after that we heard he’d been in a motorcycle accident and was in hospital with a broken this and a broken that. As far as I’m concerned he deserved it. But the question remains; could something similar to that happen again? Can we expect another knock on the door now that T@ has broken it off with someone else? And if we aren’t as lucky this time and I have a run in with the law about the mushroom thing, would the consequences be worth it? What would it feel like if just when everything seemed to be going well suddenly it all went pear-shaped?


2 thoughts on “21 Jump Street.

    1. Thanks David! Let’s just say it’s channeled shall we? Channeled from the ghost of Christmas past. I still need to get around to creating an index of names which might make it easier to keep track of who is who and which entries they feature in… ~pie~


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