I now live for a very while, like that Bob Dylan man, in a house, one that faces a circle on the road where many car tyres treading tar, scorch and scar, the way this way and that way.

Yes, I live here somewhat like Doc Holiday in Tombstone, with the immense sense of tragedy, irony, an absurd sense of humour, yes, thanks Doc.

So now, a few feebly nights with numb darkness and a moon ago, I heard this cry soaring from the street outside. I woke up and stumbled to the window. This I saw ye honest gods and people.

Right there in the centre of the circle, a human being stood in shaded shine and darkness. He was thin. He had his arms pressed against his shaking body to keep the last of body heat, in the hell of a vicious winter night, to his registered name. He was pressing his arms against his body, and he was shouting, screaming, crying for someone. The name of the absent being was Troy. He screamed his terror to get Troy’s attention. But Troy was elsewhere.

So this thin figure just disappeared. His voice went dead. He was gone.

And Troy did not come for him. We, neither.

And on another night, I heard this scream in the dead of night. “I know you saw me. I know you saw me”.

Yes, she was there earlier on in the day. Sitting on the sidewalk across from my bitter dwelling. With her head on her arms. Yes, I saw her. And she saw that I saw her. But I did not walk over. For more than one reason. I have experience manipulation before. And I have seen a young girl gradually degenerate on the streets of our affluent suburb. ‘Dankie Oom, Oom moet ‘n mooi dag hê’. Bietjie kos, en wat dan?

And a man must be careful not to be seen as a subtle predator. Yes, we did try. Me and the Reverend that I called to assist. She faded away when she realized that she will have to move where there would be no drugs to calm the devils of her pained mind.

So dear angelic people out there, my heart is a sad mess. The suffering of people strangled from middle class living, living in petrified alleys, are just more than honest gods, and me, can swallow.

A very sad mess.

Wim van der Walt