Moffie

Moffie by Andre Carl van der Merwe Read Free Book Online

Book: Moffie by Andre Carl van der Merwe Read Free Book Online
Authors: Andre Carl van der Merwe
present danger of Communism. A new form of agriculture is being developed—fertilising our brains and sowing the seeds of dread.
    Most parents will make their sons obey the ‘call-up’ instructions, even though they have never fought in any war themselves.
    In my matric year I receive my call-up papers. I become a number: 77529220.
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7
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    M y mother finds us a home in Welgemoed, a suburb of Cape Town about half an hour’s drive from the city centre. It is a new suburb skirted by a few remaining farms. The house is situated on a hill and reached by a steep road. Frankie and I count the grazing cows as my mother’s Austin Mini battles up the hill. Our father drives a company car—a Mercedes Benz 230. It has a speedometer that changes colour as the speed increases.
    There is a large lawn fronted by a low face-brick wall. The servant’s quarters are at the back, as well as a ringworm-infested sandpit full of cat pee.
    On Sundays my mother wears a conservative dress and mantilla and goes to the Catholic Church. My father, dressed in a black suit and carrying his hymn book and Bible under the arm, goes to the Dutch Reformed Church. We go with our mother.
    Now that we have a larger house we start receiving house guests, and my mother’s parents, Gran and Grandpa, are our first visitors. Our father’s parents, Oupa and Ouma, also come, but never at the same time as Gran and Grandpa. Gran and Grandpa are warm and friendly and full of fun. Oupa and Ouma are kind, keeping their distance and demanding respect-because-we’re-old. Ouma tells us about our Afrikaner heritage and how we took our country from the English, the damned English. With her we have to be restrained and well behaved.
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    In this antiseptic, secure order of Whites Only the seasons change and we grow older by another year. Of this time I only really remember Frankie. Everything is associated with him.
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8
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    T he hours roll on endlessly on the parade ground.
    That boy is cute, I wonder if he’s gay. Guess I’ll never know. The sun is so hot. I wonder if I’ll burn a frown that will make me look older. My polish is nearly finished. Has Mom changed? Has everything at home changed? I want to buy a panel van, turn it into a surfer-cabby. Would I be able to afford it on army pay? I’ll make a plan; re-design it. Yes, I like that, think it through really well; plan every detail. I’ll build it myself, and then fit a fridge, stove, gas and a wood-strip ceiling. I’ll plan a trip. Who will I take with me? Maybe that boy, where is he from? We’ll do a trip around the country. I must stand next to him in the lunch queue. We’ll sleep in the back, just the two of us . . . Don’t go there, can’t march with a boner. Shit, this is boring. This is so fucking boring. Can’t they march? Don’t they have any rhythm? Frankie’s face . . . Frankie, I miss you, I miss you, my brother. Hope PT is easy. Hate pole PT and buddy PT. I know this afternoon during PT I’ll pick him. He seems light, lean and sexy. Think of our first house in Welge­moed. I was so happy at first. Second house in Welgemoed, then Banhoek, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin. Don’t listen to that music, it’s evil, devil-music, it’s from Satan. Midnight Express, Rocky Horror, Jaws. ‘Platooooon, halt two-three . . . bang . . .’
    Will I still be able to draw after two years?
    â€˜Leeeeeft turn . . .’
    Will I be accepted into Art College? I miss Anne. Travel, travel. New York. We are lost. Think of the first house in Welgemoed. I do know what happiness is. I did . . . until that day—when everything changed.
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9
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    I turn five and Frankie will turn seven a little later in the year. It is five days after my birthday.
    My mother runs past me screaming, then Gran . . . then someone asks me a question and runs off. Gran carries Bronwyn from

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