Another Tale Of Two Citiesby Montle Moorosi / Images by Paul Ward / 05.10.2011
When I was young my favourite story in the Bible was the story of the Prodigal Son. I loved how he told his dad fuck you and went out and saw the world, how he drank all the wine in Rome and fucked all the whores in Persia and then came back home to his pappy and they still threw him a come back party. I was going back home and I felt like the prodigal son, ready for a catharsis jammed inside a spit roast and a bottle of sparkling wine.
“What happens at a sneaker festival?” Nolan asks me in between sips of his Castle, his back slouched, eyes hazy and all over the Bob Rocks Interior, just generally having a good old dull time.
“I don’t know… I guess the shoes give speeches about youth culture, who the fuck knows.” I’m drinking a Windhoek and lighting a cigarette with the last bit of a cigarette I just smoked.
“Talks on who has the most sole?”
“God knows, but I guess I’m going, Anthea really wants to go. I don’t.”
“How much is a ticket for that shit?”
“I think it’s R150.”
“To look at shoes we can’t afford?”
“Wank fest dude.”
Siobhan, my black 2009 Chevrolet Spark raced down Mandela bridge and took an abrupt turn into Marshall street, we’re late for STR CRD and Bhubesii wants me to DJ for him, we’ve worked on some songs together in the past, I also think he might have stolen part of my mic stand. I drive past a lot of dark ass niggers pushing trolleys full of scrap metal and all kinds of shit poor people lug around, armless dolls, soiled blankets, empty quart bottles, LA Gear takkies. Stop at a red robot. A white Toyota Cressida stops next to me and the guy in the passenger seat stares at me until the light turns green. The whole time I’m thinking, “shit, I could be in Cape Town right now eating breakfast specials and watching Jean Rene get his dick sucked by a homeless chick.”
We drive past the place where I kicked my ex-girlfriend out the car and she ended up getting punched by a drunken stranger who wanted to fuck her. She deserved it. She fucked some other guy the same night so big up all drunken curb crawling dudes out there holding me down. The shoddy pioneer 6×9 speakers are blasting Schlachthofbronx featuring Spoek Mathambo and Big Space, because nothing soothes the human mind better than some self-indulgence inside a small shitty Chinese made American car. But wanking is still a lot better.
We park the car near the spot where I punched Siobhan’s back window the night I kicked my ex-girlfriend out the car and drove back for her and dropped her off at Main Street life where she fucked some broke dude who works for Nike. Wank fest.
Get to the door; I’m not on the list as I was told. Send a black text message to Bhubesii. No reply. Get to the lady at the media desk. She looks through Roger’s 85 page guest list 3 times.
“You’re not here.”
I stand aside and assume the position. Pull out my phone and send an imaginary message to a very important imaginary person. She calls me over again in a few seconds.
“Write your name and surname here.” She hands me a VIP tag. A note to all plebs, anyone can get inside.
Whoa! Its like Bill Cosby had sex with Michael Jordan and Drake came out of Bill’s ass speaking Zulu and New York slang through a vocoder. I rush to the stage. Bhubesii isn’t here yet. We get on stage. It’s whatevs, I wanna watch a hobo suck a golf ball through a straw but I guess I’m forced to look at every single girl dressed like a Jamaican prostitute from the nineties with thick braids, luminous high waisted cut off shorts, platform shoes and absolutely no idea who Super Cat is.
“What the fuck is Afro-Futurism?”
“It’s when you wear a loin cloth with Nikes and a Casio G-Shock.”
In Cape Town everyone is a DJ. But in Johannesburg everyone is a rapper. 9 out of 10 guys in Joburg say they have a mixtape coming out, they all want some beats for free, they have 500 pairs of R1000 sneakers, but no car. And they all want to bum a cigarette. Almost everyone wore brand new sneakers, got a freshly cut high top fade dyed blonde at the top but they all forgot to stop at the Shell garage to buy cigarettes.
I felt like I was watching animals in a zoo, until I realized they were looking at me and my girlfriend, in our ratty old Vans, with such disdain that they must have felt like European tourists watching a white woman breast feeding a chimpanzee in public. It’s normal in Cape Town dawg.
I see my ex-girlfriend in the crowd, and I remember that wine doesn’t get better with time if it’s corked with a turd and left in the sun.
“Cape Town guys can’t make it in Johannesburg, the hustle is too hard for them and they like chilling and doing nothing at the beach.” Someone tells me.
Fuck yeah I thought to myself, you can keep your Tuscan architecture.
Throughout the whole night Roger Young keeps boasting about how much he’s earning working for the event and the number of hotel rooms he has to himself.
“Can you hook me and Anthea up with a room?” I ask him.
“Of course brah!” He didn’t get me a room, I wasn’t surprised.
I buy some 2Bop clothes, their stall reminds me of a Texies in Athlone at month end but with young white kids and their parents, film directors with their hot girlfriends, sweaty middleclass looking black skaters with red eyes and black girls with Mufasa crown weaves, instead of lazy snoek stricken coloureds wearing wrap around Oakleys. Jimmy Manyi would be proud!
I look at shoes. I stare at them, waiting for them like everyone else. Yet they don’t respond at all. I even try speak to them. “You want me to fuck you in the ass?” I say to a pair of Adidas. They say nothing back. I see some people I pissed off at Afrika Burns and I have a small, nice chat with Paul Ward and I realize I have joined a whole new strange stratosphere of social class that I can’t name, let alone understand.
“What the fuck is Theophilus London?”
“It’s a type of dictionary.”
I eat a beef and chicken burrito with Justin McGee and drink Russian Bear vodka out of a rapper’s handbag. I get so bored I even watch and enjoy a b-boy battle, Cape Town vs Johannesburg, of course Cape Town wins because coloured children are taught to spin on their heads as soon as they’re old enough to drink wine. Eric Macheru is obsessed with the term “yellow bones” he says it 4 times when he’s on stage.
God I’m bored. I start to think about cops force feeding me weed, being followed by security guards in the Gardens Center, car guards trying to suck my dick, 6 black guys in Roger Young’s house drinking quarts singing along to West Coast.
“I wish you were my boyfriend.”
Cathartic moments are terribly overrated, especially if they involve sneakers, ex-girlfriends and hobos. But I guess nobody knew the Prodigal Son was coming “home” and I guess I’ll just have to be happy with catharsis, which is really just a fancy word for being let down. Again.
*All images © Paul Ward.