At the corner of Burg and Long

A man in a blue and white baseball cap and jersey sits on a pile of drums, his legs stretched out and arms crossed. Every once in awhile, he pulls up the nearest djembe and starts drumming. The high delicious notes place a rhythm into the air around us. It’s a warm-ish winter day. The sky is bright blue and the sun touches everything with its brightness and heat.

A young transwoman flounces by with her friend, and she pauses to tell me her vape is better than my shisha. I tell her my shisha is better.
“Is it?”
“Mm hmm.”
She walks on. She comes by again from another direction.
“What flavour is it?”
“Watermelon mint.”
She walks on. She comes by again from the first direction.
“Can I disturb you?”
I look up from my laptop and give her a wry smile.
“My friend and I are hungry.”
“How can I help? Do you want me to buy you a meal?”
Her friend nods and points to a nearby shop.
“Yes. From there.”
“Or anywhere”
“Do you want some money?”
“Yes. Or anything.”
I pull out 50 rand from my wallet and hand it to her. She starts talking to someone inside the restaurant, her chest out and her fingers all attitude as she gestures so-what,
“We’re homeless!”
She takes the money and I tell her,
“You are fabulous.”
She smiles the largest of smiles, and flounces off in delight with her friend.

A man carries his child on a strap on across his broad shoulders. A woman walks one pace behind as she speaks furiously into the mobile phone held in front of her lips like a walkie talkie. Her backpack is strapped in front of her chest like a child.

The kurdish man who owns this restaurant sits on a table next to mine. His tired face is watching the cacophony of bodies walking by. Every 15 minutes, a large bell chimes into the sound of music streaming into the air and disturbs the triple row of pigeons perched on the roof of the butter yellow “Leadership House” building. Their flapping wings another temporary layer of percussion swerving in and out.

I should get back to my emails.