keeping a conversation flowing with a glue sniffer is a challenge
but I give it a go
what else am I going to do on a Sunday at 9am in Beaufort West

we’ve been miss-communicating for ten minutes
no dialogue
more of a bostik soliloquy
powered by attention span death

one second he is smiling and sweating
convinced that I am a ray of light
the next second his sweat swims with tears on his top lip
as he cries over his story
whether this be the usual trick
who knows
but you cannot reason with someone so glued up
they think that the statue beside you has stolen your nose

so I watch him
and tune out the audio
I study his face and his body
the texture of his face is not unlike a worn out piece of sandpaper
and every so often he puts his fists up and scans the perimeter
for Chinese people

I wouldn’t want to get in a fist fight with him
for if my fists connected with his face
blow after blow
I would be chipping my hands down to blunt objects
thus would not be able to selectively push a button
and there are many buttons that need to be pushed

his attack would be
to open his jaws and snap off my nose
I curse the colonial statue
for misrepresenting me

the thought passes as I re-scan the finer details of his face
I start thinking about my woodwork teacher when I was twelve years old
then I think about the other kids in the class
I wonder what they are doing today

probably not standing next to a statue
taking in the verbosity of a chemical
but most likely doing something equally existential
and essential
like
getting a promotion
or becoming a VIP
or upgrading the cellphone
or going to church
or watching the cooking channel

I pull out my phone to look through my contact list
I get stuck on ‘C’
a girl named Carlijn
we slept together in the Seapoint parking-lot about two weeks ago
woke up to the sound of runners pitter-patter on sidewalk
I look at the photo’s she is sending me from Amsterdam
photo’s of her eyes
and of her hands
then I click on other sent photos from other females
my face is glued to the screen
as I race through the memories
focusing on the physical

both gluey and I are under a spell of distraction

picture the two of us
a metre or so apart
face to face
one, shirtless, tripping his nuts off rambling rehashed stories
the other holding a cellphone fifteen centimetres from his face
with his tongue out

we can be defined by our distractions
be it chemical
or technological

like a magician that has you spellbound
suspending your disbelief long enough that you become malleable
to whatever the powers that be
need

there are certain professions that spend millions
to get you into that state
and make you spend
your time
and life
on meaninglessness

we lose our kinship through the distractions
affecting our attitudes toward ourselves and others

the key is to engage with other humans
involved in meaningless things that seem supremely meaningless to you
for five minutes
perhaps
you will come to learn how and why their distractions have chosen them

at least then we can come to understand each other a little bit better
through our distractions

it has taken me three days to write all of this
I have been distracted by my phone
looking at girls bums on instagram
thinking about a photo I missed two days ago
rubbing one out in the Engen toilet
watching Jim Morrison interviews on Youtube

this is who I am
my attention span is fucked
technology is my greatest distraction
but also a tool I need for creative satisfaction

back to us two in Beaufort West
so
I put my phone away
pull out my camera
take a few photos of gluey
and then he sits
and his words are considered
I film this manifesto
clear and precise
like he has found an opening
to his true self
for fifteen seconds
and then he falls apart as the glue fogs up his brain

I bow down to the distraction
well played
you almost had me believe
that
I could understand
another human.