I don’t remember my hero. The hero of Cedar street. He is quite forgotten in my tapestry of life. The stories squashed and hidden as so who knows if this forgotten memory, this forgotten hero, this forgotten man is real or imagined.
My hero of Cedar Street, is as black as spades. His English acquired through intelligence. His eight other languages through sheer brilliance. I remember him trying to teach me, whilst I sat on the lawn he weeded and he chatted to his friends across the fence but to no avail, I was not gifted like he.
His room was a Pandora’s box. A box room, attached to the outside of the house, in the backyard. The backyard had his room with a bright yellow tin door and next his toilet and shower, and then the laundry, our laundry, not his. His home was in the backyard with the golden Labrador.
I loved his room, his Pandora’s box of secrets, of small trinkets, of old photos. His bed was on bricks, it was high, I remember. I remember loving to sit on it because my feet never reached the floor. He was afraid, afraid of the Tokolosh and so the bed was raised on stilts. It was always neatly made, always neat and clean.
I don’t remember a chair. I remember sitting on his floor with a rough red carpet and he was sharing his dinner with me. The exoticness of his mealie meal (pap) and meat. A poor man’s meal or rather the servant’s meal.
I remember loving him like no other, my hero and so I choose not to remember. I choose not to remember…
I don’t remember when I was no longer allowed in his room. I remember feeling unwanted. Rejected by my hero and so it all changed.
I became the white supremist. He the subjugated black.