Small towns are not easy spaces to grow up in. They are inevitably spaces that must become part of your past if even in theory only.
I have been spending some time thinking about Kimberley and Kimberley coloured people over the past week.
Kimberley is not exactly small but it is definitely not big.
I was was walking through the local grocery store last Saturday and I came across a couple faces from my primary school days.
"Aaah that is so and so and wow does he look old," I thought not giving too much mind to my age creases.
So and so saw me but looked away in that manner that is so common to coloured people in Kimberley.
I did not go up and say "hi" either. That is not the done thing.
It is usual to just make like you do not know so and so.
If you really want to get to know so and so again you would have to be re-introduced while s/he pages through their mental block for your reference.
A strange small town Kimberley thing, yes.
To be sure, it is a cullard thang for the most part. Am I right Cliff?
Some of the brightest minds from William Pescod High have convened to ponder why coloured folk fake amnesia. ;0)
No consensus yet but I have a few thoughts.
It seems to me that it is about status and confinement. Folks here are tied to wanting to be thought of as different.
Part of being different is about escaping the mediocrity of a small town like Kimberley.
So when you see folks who have not really left dodge they act like they are not there.
Of course it does not explain why I play along.
I guess it is just easier to make like I am forgetful too.
Aaah coloured identity. It does not really exist but so many Kimberley coloureds act like it really does.
Fake on or get out of town for real.