Jinn and Tonic

I haven’t had the best week.

It’s a strange way to phrase “This week was a klompie kak”, but  I am trying to be more articulate. After several failed business ventures and botched, mortifying interviews to gaining a few kilos from my very carb heavy vegetarian diet, I just haven’t been feeling very lekker. I still have befokte eyebrows though. Never forget.

But usually when my life is at a low point, I try to fix things with meditations and mantras and screaming at my spirit guides in a drunken mess.  I drink way more than I am proud of. But in a fun, cute way. Not like, an Ike Turner, Crackling way.

Last week, I was caught off guard at a parent teacher meeting at my kids’ school. Already taken aback by the aggressive manner in which the principal addressed the parents (and of course in the throes of a stress induced flashback to my own school days because of it), I was deep in conversation with my husband afterwards about the audacity of this woman to use such a strong tone on adults.
While venting, I felt my foot (which was mostly naked in my sloffie) sink into the sand, a little deeper than my OCD was comfortable with. But besides the attack on my physical senses, my Spidey senses started flashing, and again my stomach tightened. My spirit tingled, and it sincerely felt as if I had placed my foot directly into hell.
We were walking back to the car, and had to pass a particular bus stop (which has a homeless inhabitant whom I see in there, daily). I looked down, and noticed that I had accidentally placed my foot into a shrine, or a circle made up of stones and crystal – and other things I didn’t readily identify.
Of course, my first reaction was terror, but I quickly assessed what was happening and looked up at the woman who occupied the space, ready to apologise for fucking up her décor. Alas, when I looked up, I stared straight into her face. I smiled, ready to say sorry – but the look she gave me was wide eyed and stoic. It was so frazzling that I actually felt a small, yet audible scream leave my mouth.

Riyaahd, who was walking two steps ahead of me turned around and raised his eyebrow.  I grabbed his arm hopped out of Satan’s crevice and said quickly “Just walk, Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God”. I looked back for a second, and saw that a little further on in front of the stones, a sort of voodoo-ish, straw doll sat propped into the ground. I looked away again and hurriedly jumped into the car. I forced Riyaahd to anoint my foot and pray over me before we embarked on our journey home. I wanted to be saged right the fuck there.

Then, the next day, Sidney Jonah started getting really sick. To make a long story with other extenuating factors shorter, with less extenuating factors, on Monday around 1pm, the school called me to say that Sidney had thrown up, and it was advisable that I fetch him. Of course, this day I had a meeting and other important things to do, but I fetched both him and Syria and rushed them through to my mom’s place, before getting back to my bullshit. I didn’t think much about the lady or supernatural things for the rest of the day, and when my meetings were done I went back to fetch the kids so that I could make my way home to Mitchell’s Plain.

When I got to my mom’s place, Sidney had burrowed himself into my parent’s bed, almost directly underneath my daddy – deep in his armpit. He looked positively death-beddish. at this point I was too exhausted to argue, and I said he could sleep over and stay home the next day, and I took Rose (who was scream-crying about the unfairness of her Grade R life), fetched Scarlett at crèche and got home an hour later than planned.

After bathing everyone, feeding everyone and drinking a lekker doppie, I literally fell into my bed – verdalad. I woke up to the sound of Syria-Rose shouting “daddy!”. All the lights were off, and she wasn’t keen on sleeping without her brother. I get it. I looked at the time on Riyaahd’s watch, 3.33am. I nudged Riyaahd and said “Your laaitie is calling you”.

My wonderful husband stood up and said “mmmhmkamf” in his best dad voice and after several dragged steps down the passage, I heard the moment he sleepily collapsed onto her bed. Now fully awake (and annoyed that my fucking alarm would go off in an hour-ish anyway) I got up, clicked on the kettle and made a cup of coffee. I grabbed my phone off charge and Java in hand, made my way back to my room for some early hours me time. (I think most moms will understand how delicious early morning me time can be. Everyone is asleep and your duties haven’t started yet. It is the rare silence before the 5am storm that really does feel peaceful and personal.) Apparently not for me bitch. I set my things down on my nightstand, and still in the dark, straightened out my blanket and tucked my lower body neatly into bed. It was fucking delightful. The streetlamps sent just enough illumination through the chink in my curtains to outline the things I needed to grab.

I plugged in my earphones and watched random vids as I sipped my coffee. Around 4ish I put my phone under my pillow and sat back, still wide awake. I guess I fell asleep, because I woke up again completely refreshed. Riyaahd was sitting on the bed, and Syria was standing next to him, at my feet. This wasn’t necessarily strange, but I asked out loud “Why didn’t you guys wake me? My alarm sieka didn’t go off”… they just sat and stared a few seconds longer, when I realised that it was still dark, and I was mostly going by their silhouettes.
I lifted my head, slightly. And felt a pressure in my stomach as Riyaahd leaned onto me, and rested his elbow into my body. He usually leans over me in the morning and hugs and kisses me. I didn’t think anything of it.
“Are you guys getting dressed in the dark?” I still didn’t fully understand what was happening. Then, Syria walked up to me, on the bed and as she reached my chest, stepped over me onto my night stand, and disappeared into the wall.

At that moment, I realised that the man in front of me wasn’t Riyaahd. I sat up and I swear, the room was suddenly lighter, and the man was gone. Everything was back to normal. As if I had woken from a dream. Just, I was sitting upright, and I hadn’t been asleep.

And this was the incident that made me remember the Tarot Cards that Riyaahd had disposed of months before. In 2019 around August, an impromptu trip to canal walk almost caused a permanent rift between my husband and I. I purchased a set of the original Rider-Waithe brand, after endless study of things supernatural and binge watching YouTube videos about ghosts and ghouls and psychics.

Now, in my 30s I am way less self-conscious about the dreams I have and the things I see and I will tell whoever is willing to hear it about my premonitions and so on. Younger, teen Shana was more secretive. I only read the palms of a select few of my friends on the Muizenberg High Sports field during break time. So when I saw the tarot’s being sold like candy at the bookstore, I felt as if I owed it to young Shana to embrace a side that had in the early 2000s opened her up to ridicule, instead of the awe her little magical powers deserved.

A word of advice – Don’t speak to the dead.

1/10 – do not recommend.


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