Track 02: Pay Back The Money

Album: Last Days of Beautiful

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greetings, friends, family, fellow humans
welcome to the parliament of the people
the open-plan world, a sky with no fence all the way to Venus, the open-source transfer of common sense all around our ears and tongues and eyes and minds,
welcome to the give me a hug when I’m feeling bad place
the happy place
the place where it’s ok that if you owe your friend some money
you pay it back when you can, maybe after payday, sure, because here
we pay back the money

I come to you with good news tonight
because as much as our country is broken and divided and limping on last electric legs – we’re whole, we’re one piece from the Cape Flats through the tunnel all across the as yet unfracked Karoo with its starbedonnerde night skies, the waving fields of GM mielies in bloom – GM mielies that feed more of us for the waste of less land and the application of less pesticides than before, you better believe it, fistpump, GM mielies, fistpump – beyond that, beyond the Free State, Joburg’s kaleidoscope of money and mense, the bushveld’s warthog herds with their own little undiscovered curves of ivory all the way to Musina where it’s but a gate and a passport that deliver you over an imaginary line into yes – more of what we call home, more Africa, more unbroken country of our collective skulls, yes, the unbroken country of our collective skulls where we so happily pay back the money
we pay back the money

and because of this, we’re also as united as we’re divided because we share the same blood, air, ground, GM mielies, we lean on one another, we work for one another, we love one another, we rock out to the other’s music, we dress like the other, we mother the other until the other is not other but us, and you, me, jou ma, jou pa, an oke in Japan, another in Guatamala – we’re all Nigerians as far as the aliens are concerned, we’re all French-speaking as far as they know, they think we all like soccer, that we all listen to Kurt Darren! – because we’re just here on earth, together, on a soccer ball in space, a place we love and treasure, a place where we with big smiles on our faces, proudly, pay back the money

and because we have the ability to limp, it means we have the ability to walk, and to heal, and to run on fresh ankles and knees and ligaments, and acknowledge our failures and trump up our triumphs and fix things, and make things better, and switch off more lights because it’s not Eskom we’re helping, it’s not money we’re saving, it’s our children we’re helping, it’s common sense, it’s because many of us have too much stuff – ja, we have too many t-shirts and pairs of shoes and crap – and we can do with less, and when we do with less we end up doing more because with less you have to work harder and think harder and lean on friends and family and help and holler and hug and hope and you know what, we pay back the money, which we do, with smiles on our faces

yes, for all the broken and divided and limping natures of our country we are whole, and united, and running across freshly mown fields, for when there’s the realisation of fragility, of failure, of fucking up, then there’s also the realisation of hope, the knowledge that we can do great things without having to have a great leader at the head of our state because we don’t need that, we can’t bank on that, we actually have very little control over that because the leaders of nations are usually people in it for all the wrong reasons they’re there accidentally, or because they were headboy in school and now want to be headboy forever, or because they fought in a war and won, or because they have all the guns and tanks and bombs, or just because they think it’s a good job with good easy money because let’s face it a lot of it seems flippen easy, and also maybe because the politician thought he or she would look good in a suit or wearing pearls or in an aeroplane or it would be lekker to shop in Washington or London or Beijing and though it’s supposed to be about the people – me, you, jou ma, jou pa – it’s never really about the people except when the newspaper photographers are around, we know this, and we should actually not care, we should look after ourselves, and care for ourselves and love one another, and respect one another and fix our own things and fix our friendships and family life and neighbourhoods and towns and farming districts and drug problems and work, work, work, and love, love, love, and laugh, laugh, laugh and try to pay back our friends when we owe them a little bit of money even if it’s only after payday or when our little ship comes in, just a small ship is enough, but when it does come in, we should remember to pay back the money