Hallo, my name is Jerome…

I really just can’t sit still. There is a lot of shouting at me in school because of this, but I just can’t.  By now I have learned to roll my eyes if people get annoyed, because then I do not have to see how they get red in the face.

My teacher says I come to school knit one slip three. I think it has got to do with the book in which she ticks  the names of those who are in class and the ones that are staying away. My teacher cannot understand that I oversleep many times. Sometimes when my father is drunk, he throws our clothes outside and turns the garden hose open on it. How can I then go to school with wet clothes?

It happened once that a kind uncle and auntie took me and my sister to a hotel. “ Five Star”, said the grown-ups. The auntie worked at the Kid’s Club and decided to take us out for the weekend. Zonnie also jumped into the car and the three of us were on our way. The hotel was very big. The bathrooms were bigger than the small place where we stayed.  We went to eat in the big restaurant. I’m not sure what I ate, but it was delicious. The best of all was the chocolate milkshake. The next day we went to the Waterfront, where the auntie bought all of us some shoes and clothes. We did a lot of other things, but I cannot remember all of it.

The clothes and toys I got that day, were all stolen (or perhaps my mom sold it) and now my clothes are like they always were – torn and untidy. My shoes as well. I don’t know how it gets like that, but that is how it is.  But I thought of a clever plan: I put on an ontie under my pants that is torn by my bum and put on socks with my broken shoes. The tops do not look too bad with holes in it, and at least auntie Lorna sews on the buttons of my school shirts. Just the other day I got a very nice new shirt that somebody made. Auntie Lewena could not stop laughing  at the white shirt with the blue pocket and she said she wondered what the colour of the shirt would be at five o’clock that afternoon. She sometimes says funny things, because the shirt will still be white.

I love to play with the small cars with the other kids at auntie Lewena’s house on Tuesday afternoons, because at least then I don’t have to sit still. The bulldozer is my favourite, and by now I’ve destroyed most of the grass at her home. There is only sand left, which I load onto the small trucks and then dump outside the gate. The other laaities and I like to slip around the corner. We are not allowed to do that, but then we scare the girlies where they are playing with their dolls. They scream very loudly, which makes us laugh when we run away.

A lot of ugly things happen there. The other day I told auntie Lisa that the kids were doing funny things to each other. She asked me what I meant, but I could not really put it in words. I think the grown ups also do it in our yard. The things that happened between the kids, left everyone red in the face, but I just rolled my eyes.

Sometimes my mother works, and other times she is already drunk early in the morning. She goes drinking in the yard of the Heyns’s house. It looks to me like all the people are always drunk in that yard—but at least I know where to find my mom. A while ago she disappeared for a few days. It made me very sad, and I was hanging around in Badsberg Close. At the Kid’s Club the teachers sat with me and talked to me. They gave me sandwiches and fruit. I also go to auntie Audrey’s SmartBrain classes, but I just can’t get the A, B and C in my head. The other kids laugh at me because of this and auntie Audrey says it’s because I don’t sit still. What she cannot understand, is that I really cannot sit still.

I eat a lot of those five bob chips that we buy at the Nagies. Auntie Lisa says it makes you stupid and red inside.  She also mentioned something about hyperactive and AD- something-something .

I will have to try and stop eating those five bob chippies. Then I will also be able to learn the A,B,C and write my name.