My boy Oscar called me from Village Hell the other day to talk. We go back to Standard Six (eighth grade) when he left Village Hell to attend high school in Kimberley.
In those days Village Hell did not have a high school for coloured and Indian kids so their parents sent them to live in Kimberley with relatives or in boarding houses.
Oscar joined his relatives in the house on the left of number 11. We immediately got on like a house on fire and he was perhaps one of the funniest people I knew in high school. And he still is funny.
He would bring a tape recorder to class with split earphones and we sat next to each other in the back (of course) and listened to tapes while this and that teacher talked about the crap that was supposed to learn us something.
On days when my dad was away I would steal one of his American sports cars and we would duck class all day and hang out on the outskirts of town. Eventually we got so brave we'd just drive around town in white school shirts and grey trousers (school uniform) and then hang out in the car on the school grounds waiting for this or that girl to emerge.
It was the time right before the mass school boycotts started. A tense political time and we rode the wave of chaos and thumbed our noses at authority (and now you know why I can't keep a job ;0)
In that time it was all about making out with girls (cherries in old skool slang). Getting the prettiest one to wear your jacket or ring and join you at the Lyric movie theater on a Saturday afternoon and sit in the lover's box swopping spit and copping a feel.
Those were the markers of a baller back then.
Oscar and I thought we had it going on then and we schemed we were hip. My dad finally just gave in and let me drive his cars anywhere I wanted and at anytime too. (He did warn me about getting girls pregnant every Friday after Jumua prayers 'cause that was the only time we would be in the same space for a minute.)
In those days one of the biggest signs of being cool was if you had a huge hickey (love bite they called it) on your neck and turned your collar up in Elvis style to draw attention to the large red/purple evidence that you were scoring.
And everyone knew the girl too. She would hang around you in-between breaks (intervals) and accompany you to town early Saturday morning to walk in an arcade where cool people hung around to meet and greet and pay props.
Oscar and I were front and central. Ballers and shot callers in our own minds.
In those days condom knowledge was also an important sign of a playa with game (true or not). In between discussing condoms (with or without ridges, etc) the mythical "Spanish Fly" love potion was touted and boys circulated the same contrived story about a girl who got so horny at the drive-in cinema after her boyfriend slipped her the potion that she mounted the gear lever.
I never got to see what "Spanish Fly" was but I did ask around before taking whoever to the drive-in ;0)
The Spanish Fly myth floated around elsewhere too. I know that Tom Cruise had a teenage movie built around getting the potion in Tijuana. I watched that movie in my teens too and vowed to make it there and I did. Many times.
But alas. Spanish yes. But definitely no fly.
To this day I prefer a manual gear shift (my phallic symbol of choice) over automatic (don't even mention multitronic - I don't roll that way ;) but sadly there are no drive-in cinemas anymore where I live. ;0)
Somewhere around Standard 8 (tenth grade) it became very important to sort the virgin boys from those who were studding (supposedly). As incredulous as it sounds there was an honor about what would be shared. Kiss and tell, yeah. F*ck and tell, absolutely not.
To sort the girls who did from the girls who did not we employed scientific observation to discern her wildness factor.
"You can tell by the way she walks." "She is spreading dik (brick house thick) and that means she is definitely pomping (having sex)." All very scientific evidences alongside a great knowledge of panty lines and bra straps were used to narrow the predictive results.
Very few if any were in fact doing it. Our hormones demanded that we did though and so we talked about doing it for most of our awake hours.
It was during the school boycotts of the early 80s that the nasty was thrown down for real and the reason why some of my boys have kids who are in their late 20s and even close to 30 today.
"Did you hear Kurt died last week?" Oscar asked. "Oh my boet he was our age ne. I remember him smoking in primary through high school and he was always with the same cherry too," I replied.
"Yeah he married that cherry. They got grown lighties together. He was sick and died probably of cancer I think," he added.
"Huh? Just the other day we were in school," I said. "Yeah my outie we on the way down now. There are a whole lot of us who are not around anymore. That Indian ou that was killed last year in his shop. Ou Pik who also died of cancer too. Ou Terence who died on a motorbike. The list is long Ridi," Oscar added.
When did we go from wanting to score and talking smack to girls in high school corridors to dying? I never saw any of these muthaz get married but I did see Kurt walk past me in a hospital in Bloemfontein where my father was being treated for prostrate cancer.
I did not greet him. He looked yellow and old and his stomach was bloated. I could tell he was sick. He did not recognize me and I did not want to remind him. I just let the moment go.
Three years later and he is gone. Life's final milestone.
"And you have never even taken a vrou yet my outie. Maybe it is better. It is not like there is not time but yessus who wants to even try to settle now ne?' Oscar said speaking mostly to himself (he and the mother of his kids are not together).
'Dunno boet I would be worried that if I found the right one she may be a friend of your daughters," I said laughing.
"You smaak (like) the young cherries ne. Nothing wrong with that boet. But it is a crap story this relationship thing. Too many f*cking hassles and mind games and kak like that."
"Ja boet it was so much easier when the myth of getting laid was more enticing than being laid on," I said.
"What happened to that Cuban ousie of yours? Do you still keep in touch? And the model? Is she still modelling?," he asked.
I laughed and he asked why. "Its been a moerse long time chief. The Cuban's been smoked at least three or more times and the model has been changed every few years," I said with a sarcastic laugh.
"Ya boet and now we heading to the graf (grave) ne? We f*cking old already Ridi."
"No chief you can't be thinking like that. They got new condoms out now. We should go check out a few and see if a shipment of Spanish Fly ever made it to South Africa," I said.
"What will we do with condoms ou Ridi?"
"The same thing we did back in the day. Show them to our bras until they eventually just get lost in the universe. You know, just brag for the f*ck of it."
"Ja that was a funny time. We lied a lot. And never got laid. Today you f*ck you die. In the old days you just got a rash and that was it. Ja but boet I am gonna gee you a bell next week ne. You waaing to Kimberley ek se? Is the tannie all right? Say I send regards ne."
'Will do Oscar. I'm glad we talking again boet. We go back many years and we walked this kak road together ne," I said.
"Ridi before you go I want to ask you sumthen I have wondered about since we were sixteen. Tell me the truth bra because it is important for score keeping."
"Ok boet ask away. I will answer and put your mind at peace after all these years."
"You started to pomp chicks only once you went to the states ne? Not here or did you?"
"Naaa chief not even there. It was a droog (dry) time for 26 years but I hope that I will start before I turn 50 because I have a whole stash of rubbers at home from high school hidden in a box under my bed. They should be good to use ne?" I replied.
"Ahhhhh f*ck off boet. I will bell you next week ek se. You always like to chune sh*t and lie just like in the old days."
"Shap Oscar chase some cherries for me too ne," I said. "I will try my broer, praat later ma se kind," he said and hung up.
Geez why am I suddenly starting to feel so anxious about finding some Spanish Fly and chasing what's left of the 'cherries' ... dammit !?!