Are we going to smoke something? she asks.
I lie diagonally across the couch, my feet resting comfortably on the chest of drawers with the sawn-off feet that serves as a table. A white vase from China stands on a cupboard in the corner of the room. There is also a Chinese letter cabinet and potshards dating from the cultural revolution, shadow puppets and Indian candleholders. The sittingroom is divided in two, each with its own seating, fireplace and paintings. On the
one side are works by Geers, Kentridge and Bailey, on the other side hang Warhol, Ono and Lennon. On the floor there are also sculptures from Bali and Thailand, a mask from Zaire in front of the fireplace. A Greek sculpture and globe stand on an old Marshall ship's chest lined with lead and rubber.
How much do you have there? I ask.
Almost a kilo, she answers casually.
What! I jump up from my comfortable position and almost knock her over in front of the fridge.
Relax, she says coolly.
She's right, there's about a kilo of cocaine in her fridge.
She stores it there to keep it fresh.
Where the hell do you get so much? I ask, shocked.
Direct from Columbia, via my Nigerian dealer, she answers nonchalantly.
I picked if up cheaply, only R150 000, she continues.
Jesus! I exclaim, outraged. You could've built ten RDP shoeboxes in the housing estates with the money.
Are you sure it's pure?
The dealer said one hundred percent pure shit, she assures me.
You mustn't just believe the bloody Nigerians. Come, I insist, let me taste.
She takes a packet from the bigger package, tears open the corner and places a pinch on my tongue.
The tongue-tip test, she laughs.
No, you haven't been ripped off, this is one hundred percent pure shit, I tell her.
Let's snort a few lines, she invites.
She takes a packet and walks ahead towards the bedroom.
I walk behind her and admire her body.
Not many women still look so good at 48.
The bedroom is on the top story of the house, which was designed especially for entertaining and visiting. The sliding glass windows have no curtains, but the house is private. A high wall was built all around the property, using blocks brought from Lesotho from a church that was demolished to make way for the Highlands water scheme. Against the wall, above the bed, hangs a gigantic
erotic painting by Greg Reichlin. She pushes open the glass door of the bedroom and leads me out onto the balcony.
We sit down at the square glass-top table with comfortable leather chairs with iron frames.
She bites open the corner of the packet and pours two little white anthills onto the table.
Your card, she asks, business-like.
Will American Express do? I ask.
See how many lines you can cut, she says.
I cut six lines from each little pile, take R200 notes from my wallet and roll a straw for each of us
Only thing the currency's good for, she laughs.
Ladies first, I say.
You're such a fucking gentleman, she says.
She unbuttons her blouse, takes it off, bends forward and snorts up the lines one by one.
She throws her head back and her breast stand up, silicone-stiff.
I take off all my clothes except my shoes and socks, and snort up the lines indulgently slowly, one by one.
My heart immediately starts beating faster and it feels as if I'm going to suffocate.
I get up from the chair and walk to the railing of the balcony.
I stretch my arms above my head and take a deep breath, filling my lungs.
It's been a long time since I felt so good.
She stands next to me and puts her hand between my legs.
I want you, she says. Take me now!
I push her hard against the railing and strip her jeans and underwear from her body.
She urges me on.
I pin her to the cold slate floor.
She rolls out from underneath me.
Through a swooning haze I see her long hair, the wrinkles around her mouth, her dilated pupils, her mouth wide open as if she is screaming, but I don't hear a sound.
She crouches with her feet on either side of my hips and forces me inside her.
I decide it's time for a second rush, and push her off me.
We walk through the open glass door back to the kitchen.
I open the fridge and take out two more packets.
When will uncle be back? I ask.
I have no idea. His trade mission is somewhere in India, China or Japan.
What are you going to do now? she wants to know.
Freebasing, I answer.
We need a more powerful kick. Hand me the baking soda.
I mix the two packets with baking soda, add a little water and boil the mixture in the kettle until it becomes rock hard.
We walk back to the balcony.
She in front, I behind.
She swings her hips with the coquettish smugness of a woman who knows that what she has will bewitch any man.
At the table I broke the rock into small pieces and we smoke it all.
When are you exhibiting again? I ask.
I don't know she says. I'm waiting for new inspiration.
It's been months since I was near a canvas and brush myself, I answer.
Defending the millionaire businessman in his fraud case takes up all my time.
I get up and walk to the railing again.
It feels as if the whole city belongs to me, as if I rule over the hundreds of thousands of little lights that explode, sparkling, into a million glittering stars.
She is in front of me again, she kneels between my legs, I feel her hair in my hands and move my hips instinctively.
I push her away from me and she stays lying on the cold slate floor.
A puddle of urine is forming underneath her and grows larger.
I stumble away and lean trembling against the edge of the glass door.
I squeeze my head between my hands and it feels as if I'm puking my lungs out.
I stagger to the railing again, look straight up and see the sky is pitch-black.
I was ready for the next rush.