I awake to the gentle prodding of the Hoff and his sleepy “Mands, there’s coffee.” I pretend not to hear him and drift off again.
5 minutes or so later I force myself awake and grope around for the coffee, slug it down, and then go back to sleep. I know I have to get up soon, but the thought of it makes me more tired. Another day.
No sleepy heads pitter-pattering into my room at six and clambering into bed with me. No cries of “Mommy mommy, I want chocolate milk!” or “Wake up mommy. WAKE UP!!!” Just me and the Hoff and another damn day.
I drag myself out of bed, and stumble into the shower. Then frantically rush around to try and leave the house clothed and respectable by 7:30 at least. I drum my fingers on the steering wheel, past the posh private school in our area, past the swanky out of town hotel, past the squatter camp where children that look like toddlers are walking to school by themselves. Women in the field across the road are tying bundles of dry grass together, and taxi’s come speeding past me in the yellow dust, kwaito music blaring and arms waving out of the windows as they pass on the wrong side of the road.
I arrive at work, and sit in my parked car for a minute or two. Or just until the song has finished. I gather my belongings and go into work. Put on a smile, cheerfully greet my colleagues, and settle down in front of my PC. I sit and watch quietly as the e-mails trickle in. As I read them I feel overwhelmed with all the feelings of the past few weeks. I don’t respond well to kindness. I go to pieces. And that’s what happens when I open my mailbox, and all I get is kindness. And love. And Compassion. From all of you.
Thank you. So very much.