Joy comes in the morn­ing

Mail & Guardian - - News -

I ar­rived in Gra­ham­stown for the Na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val to a tiny bach­e­lor pad fit­ted with a kitch­enette, fridge and one bed that I would be shar­ing with two friends for 10 days.

Even though we didn’t sleep much with all the par­ty­ing, watch­ing shows and host­ing a sur­pris­ing num­ber of din­ner par­ties, things got a lit­tle bit tricky when it was time to sleep. Ev­ery night we got into the queen­sized bed; we would gather into one an­other, with our legs in­ter­twined and our arms around each other to keep warm. It wasn’t cute, though, it was that breath­ing down your neck and suf­fo­cat­ing — be­cause my nose is too close to the smell of smoke trapped in our hair — type of setup.

The girls had to do what we had to do to keep warm, so we fell asleep re­gard­less. But some­how we al­ways woke up in the mid­dle of the night be­cause ap­par­ently I sleep like trash. Ru­mour has it I hog blan­kets, kick and take up more space than I need to when I’m asleep.

They’d wake up in the mid­dle of the night scream­ing: “Vuyo! We have no blan­kets man!”

I would cuss them out and go right back to bed frus­trated that they were gang­ing up on me be­cause I was the youngest. But ev­ery morn­ing when we woke up, the blan­ket wars would be over. We woke up, read Psalm 91 to­gether, made break­fast and drank pink gin and ton­ics to start our day. All was for­given when the sun came up.

It was so re­fresh­ing be­ing in a dif­fer­ent town, shar­ing a small space with peo­ple who love me and I love so much. I don’t think they re­alised how the smoth­er­ing and blan­ket wrestling grew our friend­ship.

Zaza Hlalethwa

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