I used to be a mottephobic.  The mere presence of even a smallish moth in the same room as me would put me on edge: I’d begin behaving like the next victim in a horror movie, the one who knows the pyscho-killer is just outside the bathroom door and all that stands between her and eternity is a flimsy lock.  I’m no longer the lurgie-phobe I once was. I’ve developed a new fear – a fear that I’m no longer truly living.  Perhaps this comes from being an adrenaline junkie that has just reached forty, but looking at the road ahead, I see nothing but bum-wiping and sandwich making in the near-future.

I’m don’t count myself among the believers, the millions of new ageists that thought the world would end come 21-12-12, but I admit I felt a little disappointed. Part of me was looking forward to the apocalypse. I live in Observatory, on the south hem of Cape Town’s city bowl. My friends tell me Obs is not suburbia, and perhaps it’s not, in the same way Cape Town isn’t really a city. But I’ve come to realize that suburbia is a state of mind, one that you can unintentionally be dragged into if you’re not careful. If you’re married with a kid and a dog and a mortgage and not much spare cash. If, most of the time, the only places you can escape to are the flatscreen TV and the bookshelf, and sometimes the bookshelf just reminds you that you’ve not yet reached your potential. That, so far, as things add up, you’re a failure.

Sometimes, I look at my two-bedroom semi-detached, my white-appliances, the lattice-wall pool in the backyard, and I think: fuck, is this really my life? Is this the end of adventure and the beginning of suburbia?


    1. tiah
    2. 8 years ago
    3. Reply

    Obs and such are not suburbs as in the reality of what the 'burbs are like in such places as California and Chicago. We were almost stuck in the Chicago 'burbs by virtue of being married. (No kids, by the way. I was 25. But apparently if you are married it changes things since the woman 18months older than I was deemed 'too young' to live here by the company.) These places are nothing like Obs. You cannot walk to get a pint of milk. Or fetch your post. Or – anywhere. A car becomes a necessity, and trying to walk would get you killed as there is no pavement / sidewalk that extends far enough to any where. The homes are all cater to the same income bracket – which is decidedly different from a small town.

    However, I think childrearing does create this state of doldrums no matter where you are. It does get better. You are almost there.

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