Every day I’m confined to a tiny room with a another man with a family to feed and an old television set that someone wanted to get rid off when their shiny new flatscreen took up residence in the living room. Out with the old and in with the new. Isn’t that how it always goes? The young men straight out of school get chosen over us old geezers for the good jobs.
I watch the people come and go. They have it so easy, I think to myself. Living in comfy apartments in this posh neighbourhood. They have people to tend to their gardens and clean their homes. They have people like me who watch those who come and go, only let in guests that have been granted permission to enter. They can sleep in peace at night because of people like me.
I battle to pay my R2000 rent for the cramped two bedroom cottage my family is forced to live in. My wife and two kids never complain. They have accepted that this is the way is.
I watch a young man and woman in their VW Polo as they come in through the gates with a bag from KFC and wonder how long it has been since my family was able to have take out for dinner. We do try to treat the kids to a soft serve once in a while. The joy evident in their little eyes is worth being short on my taxi fare and having to walk further to catch the taxi at the next stop.
At 6am my shift will end and I stick around to wash cars for the residents so that I can get the week’s groceries. I’ll get home around lunch time and play with my kids before taking an afternoon nap. When I awake, it’s time for dinner. I get the kids ready for bed while my wife washes the dishes. She comes in just as I am finishing the bedtime story my dad once used to tell me. I tuck my little one in and give him a kiss goodnight. I feel the exhaustion start to creep in as kiss my eldest on the forehead and say under my breath “Some day my son…” He looks at me and smiles “One day soon, Dad”.
Written in response to this Weekly Challenge.