on sundays worlds tend to collide

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erlebt, ehrlich wahr / johannesburg

 

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On Sundays worlds tend to collide. It is typically on the heyday of Christian show/off and happy drinking that subcultures meet in contested contact zones. Fitted into the unfamiliar version of a Nigerian service I find myself staring – eyes half closed due to late nites and early mornings – at my sobbing neighbour. She resembles the old and admired Nina Simone in her brilliant yet chubby state: Alcohol and jazz and the disappointing company of even more disappointing men embodied in a somehow rough face. Puffy eyes all cried out, and to our right the choir girls are jiving their lungs out to press the message of Christ coming over today into body and mind. The inevitably stupid question if I could perhaps do something slips my compassionate lips, and a forgiving and terribly tired look from her accompanied by the uttered resume of her last days having been an extreme and unbearable load of stress and pressure make me sink into the absent comfort of the omnipresent white plastic chair*, shily seeking distraction in the little straightforwardly ideological booklet “Rhapsody Of Realities” handed out to every visitor of the holy happening.

All singing, all speaking in tongues – or at least in languages that are off reach for me – all joyfull community surround sobbing Nina and me, and the only prayer I have ready is for time to pass quickly. Which it finally does, after having added to the triumph over linguistic systems and their overcoming (is speaking in tongues the new Esperanto, I keep wondering? Is it globally irrational?) by recalling and uttering my childhood verses in German (Hab ich Unrecht heut’ getan…Ich erinnere, dass ich immer ueber die Zeile “Deine Gnad’ und Christi Blut…” stolperte zur Bettzeit, raetselnd, was dieses ominoese “Christiblut” nun sei und ob es auch unter meiner Haut floesse.) My personal free jazz of easy rhymes, wishes and fears is joined by the intense hope that nobody in my contemporary neighbourhood studied German literature at school or used to in Stuttgart.

Only the slight shift of an hour later I find myself on a friend’s bed checking the uploaded pictures from a world reactivated just now – a summer having passed on the screen in front of us, with its conga line of parties, braais, trips, affairs and challenges. And we sit and discuss contemporary modes of breaking up with the ones you used to love, the ohsoeasy virtual elimination of desires lines once so strong and visible by the mere act of changing the relationship status on social networking romping spaces, while dawn is about to creep into the streets of Kensington and one friend’s shere lust for biltong, this South African passion, drives us into one of the ever-increasing shopping havens surrounding the pretty hoe city of our choice like fortresses. After she had her fill we bid each other goodbye with the taste of a wild at heart friendship on our lips –

and yet another byway leads me to the dinner table of a Nigerian fashiondesigner-turned-priest who also performs as a landlord. She indulges into questioning me roughly over pounded yam – why was i into sex before marriage? What would be the whole point about it? What kind of version of spilt luck did I intend to gain from my perfomance? And, now less harsh, rather mothering me from across the table, we talk about values, family, fashion, food, academy and lovers. The gents, those who actually brought me to this table, have left us some of the priestess’ streams of conciousness ago for a good set of chilled hanging in the clerical lounge, musically embedded in a Gospel-DVD. As all the yam is eateen and the words are exchanged we join them for some more monologues acclaimed to be spiritual. We nod and listen, and later we will burst out laughing in complicity, sitting in the car after a long day that never seemed to end.

Finally we all stand on the carpet, and a last outlook on her nightprayer is uttered by the priest’s full lips: Both conception and marriage is her transcendental input for my fate that escapes into the nite above us – both wishes making two of the visiting group shudder without admitting it. Even faster we hug and kiss and wish the misunderstandings away (part-time) and step out onto the glistening gravel surrounding the tastefully designed living estate of the fashionable churchwoman.

Closing the door behind us she quickly whispers that her humble contribution to “depopulating the world from sinners” will be steady and continue with, yes, me, and then the sharp sound of the lock snapping in marks an in- and an outside, a border that has been transgressable and in constant collision just a minute ago.

The Author

kulturalista

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