“London, where the streets are paved with gold.”
“English kids are lazy…South Africans pick up jobs in a heartbeat”
The siren song wisps, wafts, eddies. Young ears listen. Gold, gold, gold. ANC corruption. Load shedding. Golden London, golden streets. Make your fortunes.
Ticket. Fly. New life. Adventure.
“Come in South African boy.” Smiles. “Have a job. Have a house.” Boss man voice. Helpful voice. Kind voice.
“Thank you Sir”
Then. A new voice. A strong voice. Bank voice. Faceless voice.
“New job? New house? No furniture ? Have a card. Have our money. Have much money.”
“South African boy. We are so busy at work. We will do your review next month. Maybe. Maybe month five”
Plastic voices from wallet, clicking voices “Buy, buy, you must buy. Spend, spend, you must spend. More. We have much.”
“Not enough furniture? Well done. You have borrowed so much. Good boy. Have another card. Have more money.”
“South African boy. We aren’t busy at work. We don’t need you any more.”
“But…I need this job”
“Sorry South African boy. Goodbye”
“Buy, buy. We still have so much. Don’t fret so, my master. We will buy for you.”
No job. Small job. No job. Temp job. Factory job. Quarry job. Part-time job.
“Click-click. We still love you master”
“No job? No house? No Furniture? Poor boy. Have some money. No. It’s fine. Pay when you’re ready.”
“Thank you.” Relief. Broke no more.
“Still no job? Really? What is wrong with you? We want our money.” The faceless demands. “This is not our fault. Bad boy. Greedy boy. Give us our money.”
“I don’t have it. I have no job.”
The voices compound. They shriek. They scream. “Our money. Our money. Credit crunch. Recession. Not our fault, you stupid boy. Give us our money. We need bonuses. We have jobs. We need performance bonuses. Pay me my bonus.”
More small job. Sell car. Pay the faceless. More temp job. Old clothes. Pay the faceless. More quarry job. No food. Pay the faceless. Pay the bonus. Pay the faceless.
No fun. No life. Anti-depressants. No friends. Eat no food. Eat only pills.
Pay the faceless. Paid the faceless. I have paid the faceless.
“Good boy. Have more mon……”
“I don’t want your money. I don’t need your money. I have a job. I am not a good boy. I am not a bad boy. I am not a greedy boy. I have my feet now. I am a man. I am a phoenix. I spurn your money. I spurn your plastic cards and their clickety-clack voices. I spurn you. No more will I travel your Highway to Hell.