https://youtu.be/YcTUn4AM-zY

South African Railway

It is not fair to say that the posts I write are often grim. I try to minimise the word count, which lets readers know a side that portrays me as a depressing character, but nothing could be further from the truth.

From the age of babyhood until my first job at 17, I wetted my bed. I worked hard to exert the persona I wanted to portray, and heaven forbid anyone caught insight into what lay beneath the joviality.

I love to be friendly, but it's hard to crack a smile if the face is on the floor. Living with a secretive life seldom gives us much to laugh about, but I've always tried to find humour in myself; an episode happened one morning at the ungodly hour of 2 am. The Diesel Locomotive driver, and I, slept over on a round train trip from JHB and Klerksdorp.

As I slowly woke from a deep sleep, lying on the left side, I wondered why my hip felt so cold. A quick investigation uncovered that shorts and sheets are not cold; they are mysteriously wet, 'Wet? I think, 'Wet? Shit, wet, I've pissed the bloody bed'.

I am out of bed like a jumping frog and not too pleased. The light goes on, and sure enough, there it is, that tell-tale patch we were all familiar with in childhood. My brain cannot reasonably commute, 'Is this pee… really?' only the dreaded sniff test would tell… 'Yup, it sure is pee!'

"Shit shit shit," I'm shouting, as though there is someone else in the room with me. "Quick, quick, off the bed… It's about to seep through onto the new mattress." I grab hold of the bottom sheet with both hands. I barely have time to think as I whip those sheets off, like a magician doing one of those table cover tricks, the one where he whips the cover off, and the pottery stays put. Unfortunately, staying put is not the bedding demise as it launches through the air, summer-saulting like rubbish thrown from a truck.

It was not until this morning, at 5 am, I realised the sad significance of my adult bed-wetting. The time I periodically wet the bed was from the age of a baby to the present. The trauma that day was at its worst. There I was, wetting the bed all over again. I pee in a bed that does not belong to my family or me. The room was a restroom belonging to the SAR and Harbors (SAR&H) in Klerksdorp.

I told nobody of the incident but was worried that the Railway Management would find out what I did and fire me! I had to devise a plan so that it never happened again. To chop off his head won’t do, but…

From that day on, I always carried a piece of string (Hanging Rope) with me to hang my little guy when going to sleep. And that's the reason his head perched to one side, and I stopped pee-ing in my bed!

The Reason- I think?

I came to life, a sleeping baby boy
But became anxious about my mother
I felt mother's mood change
Crying about my Detective father's absence
And habit to drink on payday

Every drink my dad took
Accumulated in my bladder
Which I sprayed on my bed

Like a real fireman

It was discomforting to my mother.
Who had to do the washing
Manually of my bedding every day

Grandma did not take kindly of this peeing
And fought the crying kid with verbal abuse
Ordering a yellow hospital tarpaulin
To overlay the toddler bed

Leaving a scar on his soul
A young man wetting his bed

‘Yup, dit is beslis piepie!

https://youtu.be/34PYPYWmCS4

SUID AFRIKAANSE SPOORWEE

Dit is nie regverdig om te sê dat die plasings wat ek skryf, dikwels grimmig is nie. Ek probeer om die aantal woorde tot ‘n minimum te beperk, waardeur lesers ‘n kant van my kan ken, wat my as ‘n neerdrukkende karakter uitbeeld, maar niks kan verder van die waarheid wees nie.

Van die ouderdom van ‘n baba knaapie tot my eerste werk op 17, het ek my bed natgemaak. Ek het hard gewerk om die persona uit te oefen wat ek wou uitbeeld, en die hemel het dit verbied dat iemand insig kry in wat onder die vriendelikheid skuil.

Ek hou daarvan om vriendelik te wees, maar dit is moeilik om ‘n glimlag op jou gesig te kry as jou mond op die vloer lê. Om met ‘n geheim te lewe, gee ons selde iets om oor te lag, maar ek het altyd probeer om humor in myself te vind; So ‘n episode het met my twee uur die oggend plaasgevind. Ek en die Diesel Lokomotief Drywer het op ‘n treinreis tussen JHB en Klerksdorp oorgeslaap.

Terwyl ek stadig uit ‘n diep slaap wakker word en op my linkersy lê, wonder ek hoekom my heup so koud voel. My vinnige ondersoek het aan die lig gebring dat my kortbroek en lakens nie koud is nie; hulle is geheimsinnig nat, ‘Nat? Ek dink, ‘Nat? … Shit, nat, ek het in die bleddie bed ge-piepie!’.

Ek het uit die bed uitgespring soos ‘n padda en was omgekrap. Die lig gaan aan, en virseker, daar is die verhaaltjie wat ons almal uit ons kinderjare onthou. My brein was redelik onsamehangend, ‘Is dit piepie … regtig?’ net die gevreesde snuiftoets sou sê … ‘Yup, dit is beslis piepie!’

“Shit shit shit,” skree ek, asof daar iemand anders saam met my in die kamer is. “Vinnig, vinnig, spring ek van die bed af … Die piepie is op die punt om deur te sypel na die nuwe matras.” Ek gryp die onderste laken met albei hande vas. Ek het skaars tyd om te dink terwyl ek die lakens aftrek, soos ‘n towenaar met die tafel bedekkings doen, die een waar hy die bedeking aftrek en die pottebakkery op die tafel bly staan. Ongelukkig is dit nie wat beddegoed doen terwyl dit deur die lug trek nie, maar sommer soos rommel wat uit ‘n vragmotor gegooi word, trek!

Eers die oggend, om vyfuur, besef ek die hartseer betekenis van my bednatmaak episode. Die tyd wat ek gereeld die bed natgemaak het, was van die ouderdom van ‘n baba tot die hede. Die trauma daardie dag was op sy ergste. Daar was ek en het ek sowaar weer die bed natgemaak. Ek piepie in ‘n bed wat nie aan my of my familie behoort nie. Die kamer was ‘n ruskamer wat behoort het aan die S A Spoorweë and Hawens (SAR & H) in Klerksdorp.

Ek het niemand van die voorval vertel nie, maar was bekommerd dat die Spoorweg Bestuur sou uitvind wat ek gedoen het, en my afdank! Ek moes ‘n plan beraam sodat ek dit nooit weer sou laat gebeur nie. Om sy kop aftekap sou nie werk nie, maar…

Van daardie dag af het ek altyd ‘n tou (Hangtou) saamgedra om my seuntjie op te hang as ek gaan slaap. En dit is die rede waarom sy kop altyd eenkant toe staan, en ek het opgehou het om in my bed te piepie!

Die moontlike rede, ek dink?

Ek het in die lewe gekom as ‘n slapende baba seuntjie
Maar het angstig geword oor my ma
Ek kon voel hoe haar gemoedstoestand verander
En sy huil oor my Speurder pa, se afwesigheid
En sy gewoonte om op betaaldag te drink

Elke drankie wat my pa gesluk het
Het versamel in my blaas
Wat ek op my bed afgespuit het

Soos ‘n regte Branweerman

Dit was ongemaklik vir my ma
Wat my bedegoed
Elke dag met die hand moes was

Ouma het nie plesierig met die pissery omgegaan nie
En die huilende kind met mondelinge mishandeling beveg
Geel hospitaal bedseil is bestel
Om oor die kleuterbed te lê

Dit het ‘n litteken op sy siel gelaat
En ‘n jong man wat sy bed natmaak!

Experience in Explosives, Fertilizers, Heavy Chemicals and Author. Love People, High Tech, Space and Afrikaans/English Translator.

Experience in Explosives, Fertilizers, Heavy Chemicals and Author. Love People, High Tech, Space and Afrikaans/English Translator.