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Losing my religion - Clinton V. du Plessis

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Afrikaans version!

Saturday night in the old warehouse.

It suddenly all seems so familiar to me.
The hands above the heads, the strange jerking bodies, epileptic, the dancing figures, each busy with his own thing. It's just more rowdy, more energetic and the music is damn loud. I remember where I've seen it before; Sunday mornings on Bop-TV, only the music was more sober, but the people also danced with their hands above their heads, some muttered incoherently and fell down on the floor.
In front of the stage was the DJ, he was wearing a white suit, a microphone was in his right hand and an open Bible in his left.

His name was Jimmy Swaggart.

The place crawls with bodies, bare torsos, pink, green, red dyed hair, heads shaved bald, boys with ray-bans, girls with short dresses, tight pants, tight tops, each cocooned in a world of pulsating drum music.
I worm through the floor of dancers to take up position in a little corner against the far wall.
I look along the wall and see the entrance to the toilets.
That's where I want to be, I decide, and force a path through to the door.
I see him, the dealer's head is normally shaved bald. White dove? he asks.
I nod.
Three, I show with my left hand.
$45, he says and holds out his right hand.
I take the tablets from his hand and push the money into his top pocket as I pass.
I walk into the toilet.
A girl is sitting on the toilet bowl, the lid down, she's sucking a lollipop.
Her body moves in time to the music.
I stand in front of her and swallow the tablets.
She opens her eyes and smiles, but looks past me.
There's a hazy calm on her face.
I touch her shoulder and gesture that I want to use the toilet.
She stands up willingly and holds the lid while I urinate.
Let's go chill out, says the girl.

We walk out of the toilet and she opens another door.
The floor is covered with bodies and the place smells of sweat.
We walk to the back corner and lie down on the floor as well.
The lights here are dimmer, the music also not so clearly audible.
The little hairs on my arm slowly stand up, I can hear the blood pumping in my veins, I feel dreamy and remember the pictures I saw in the Children's Bible when I was little, a wide blue heaven, waving fields of green grass, sheep grazing peacefully, a shepherd with a staff, I can smell the grass, feel the cool wind on my arms, I stand naked on a rock by the sea, the waves break foaming below me, a bright rainbow comes out of the sea, I've never seen the colours so bright, the rainbow becomes a bridge to the sun, I step off the cliff and walk on the rainbow into the sun, the rays break out golden-yellow in all directions, I feel a tingling under my skin.

We get up and move towards the drums.
The lights flicker on and off and we start dancing through the clouds of smoke.
We dance, we become one big rejoicing congregation, the DJ stands on a stage, we look up to him in turn, in his right hand he has a white dove, in his left hand he holds a microphone. He's sucking a giant dummy.

His name is Jimmy Swaggart.


Clinton V. du Plessis, PO Box 547, Cradock, 5880, Republic of South Africa.
E-mail: gatsak@eastcapenet.co.za
Fax: (+27) 48 8811164

English translation out of Afrikaans done by Charl Hattingh.

Another story by Du Plessis at this site.

Read more about the writer and writing in Afrikaans on the website of Du Plessis.

Notice © 1999 IP and the author

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