I have no luck, it’s just not fair, I think the uni­verse hates me

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE - Xhanti Payi

I’M BE­COM­ING in­creas­ingly con­vinced that only bad things hap­pen to me, or to put it dif­fer­ently, good things never hap­pen to me. The world or “uni­verse” is con­stantly con­spir­ing against me.

Take, for ex­am­ple, the rea­son I still can’t swim – and no, it’s not be­cause I’m black. At my for­mer high school, there was al­ways talk­ing of build­ing a swim­ming pool, which never ma­te­ri­alised.

And sud­denly, when I had passed and gone to uni­ver­sity, it hap­pened, and now the school has a beau­ti­ful Olympic-size pool. I was at that school for five years!

Take an­other ex­am­ple: when I’m in traf­fic, I’m al­ways in the lane that moves slower. And when I change lanes to join the fast-mov­ing lane, it starts mov­ing slowly, and the one I just left moves faster. It hap­pens all the time and without ex­cep­tion. It can’t pos­si­bly be that my cross­ing lanes has sud­denly slowed down an en­tire lane; that would be il­log­i­cal.

Then there’s work. In the fi­nan­cial sec­tor, there used to be huge bonuses, lav­ish staff par­ties and ex­pan­sive com­pany ben­e­fits. Now that I work in the in­dus­try, the uni­verse con­cocts this so-called “eco­nomic cri­sis”, just to deny me the good ben­e­fits which other peo­ple have en­joyed for so many years. So now there are no more staff or Christ­mas par­ties, al­most no com­pany perks, and cer­tainly no bonuses.

If you are still not con­vinced about what I mean, let me give you yet an­other ex­am­ple. In the dawn of our truly won­der­ful democ­racy, the gov­ern­ment de­cided to es­tab­lish mea­sures to trans­form the econ­omy, and to cre­ate an eco­nom­i­cally equal so­ci­ety. So mea­sures such as Em­ploy­ment Eq­uity and Black Eco­nomic Empowerment (BEE) were es­tab­lished. Un­der th­ese poli­cies, peo­ple be­came ridicu­lously rich, or moved up the cor­po­rate lad­der very fast.

Now the gov­ern­ment is think­ing of re­con­fig­ur­ing BEE poli­cies, and there are even pro­pos­als to scrap it. Yes, be­cause I’m now ad­e­quately qual­i­fied and skilled and can rightly ben­e­fit, we need to re­think it. Yet again, I don’t get the good stuff. So once again, I’ve ar­rived late at the party and missed the “gravy train”.

The uni­verse has also short­changed me with the weather. Cape Town is world-renowned for its fan­tas­tic climes. So great is the weather here, celebri­ties buy homes here and peo­ple aban­don their home coun­tries to move to Cape Town. It is vir­tu­ally un­heard of that Cape Town would have such sig­nif­i­cant and per­sis­tent rain in the mid­dle of spring.

All win­ter long, while peo­ple were stuff­ing them­selves with stews and pud­dings, I was labour­ing at the gym, cre­at­ing a body for every­one to envy. I imag­ined that at the first sign of spring, I’d be ly­ing on the beach in my board shorts, de­signer sun glasses and hold­ing up an in­tensely in­tel­li­gent novel. Ad­mit­tedly, I wouldn’t be swim­ming since the uni­verse re­fused me that priv­i­lege, but I’d show off my chis­elled body. But no, the uni­verse has de­cided yet again that I am not to be happy, and came up with “cli­mate change”, ap­par­ently caused by “global warm­ing”. Imag­ine hav­ing so much bad luck that en­tire weather pat­terns are chang­ing just be­cause of you.

Per­haps it’s time for a tra­di­tional cer­e­mony. It’s time to heed my grand­mother’s call to slaugh­ter for the an­ces­tors so that they may be­stow upon me good for­tune. Granny al­ways in­sisted, and in my in­fi­nite wis­dom, I re­jected her calls. If Man­dela slaugh­ters for his an­ces­tors – and look at his for­tune – who am I not to?

Slaugh­ter­ing any­thing on the bal­cony of my city apart­ment is go­ing to prove quite the chal­lenge, but I shall sol­dier on. I just need a sec­ond hand, and for Mrs Ja­cobs to mind her own busi­ness.

If it works, who knows, maybe I could get the an­ces­tors to deal with my ill for­tune in nosy neigh­bours.

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