Siphiwe Online
Posted on 05/11/2015 by S'phiwe on Pointless

Magogo – Part 2

You know when you’re so tired, at the end of that stressful day, that you can barely walk to your bed? And as soon as your head hits the pillow, your elderly neighbour knocks on your door in tears, saying she has a piercing pain in her lower torso and desperately needs to be driven to the hospital?
You might remember Magogo and her sister who once told me a story of how she once died while waiting to be seen by a doctor on a hospital stretcher and is friends with Bantu Holomisa, and pronounces Mmusi’s surname as Money-money?
Magogo also feared that she was gonna die. She was fidgety and when I told her to put on something warm, she went to her house and I followed her. Her sister was on the phone
“The ambulance doesn’t have to come anymore, Siphiwe is here!”
She was crying, handing Magogo all the cash she could get her hands on and repeatedly thanking me for helping her sister. Apparently, she’d tried to drive her sister to hospital herself but could barely get off the couch because she’s been so sick that she’s lost mobility. I just wanted to rush to hospital by then (and back to bed!) so I said it’s ok, showing the thumbs-up. Magogo finally got ready and by the time we left, her sister was sobbing, mirroring the thumbs-up I’d signalled to her earlier.
On the highway, Magogo’s breathing became heavy and deep, each breath sounding like the last. I prayed that the GPS route guidance was correct. At some point she asked if I trust it and I wanted to reassure her but fortunately, there was a filling station so I stopped to confirm the direction. We were on track. Magogo had a freaky facial expression, staring at the sun visor with her mouth open and I wasn’t hearing the breathing anymore. I sped away, following the route guidance.
“So the young lady was right.” I was happy to hear her speak. She meant the navigation voice. We got attended to by the admin staff immediately. Magogo was fighting everyone, saying she’s gonna die while waiting to be seen by the doctor. The one young clerk was particularly slow so I asked if we couldn’t see the doctor so long. She said “Ke foromo ya mafelelo bo Papa” (the translation is a story for another day. She basically sounded like she was telling her angry dad she’s almost done). Magogo was pale and her skin very dry. She kept trembling as if to shake the pain off her body. There were 3 patients before us at the doctor’s waiting area: two white couples and two black guys who were together. At one point, she blurted out: “let’s just leave! I’ll come back tomorrow…”
“We’re here now Magogo,” I said, remembering the commotion back home when we left. I wasn’t gonna abandon all that trouble we’d gone through to get here. But Magogo was just feeling bad that I’m there on her account. ”I’m not in a hurry, ” I continued. Everyone was listening to us and looked like they were trying to analyse what the story was with me and Magogo. I was wearing a woolen beanie, a pair of jeans and a shirt, and I think I looked like I could be Magogo’s gardener so I think they couldn’t make sense of the fact that I wasn’t taking Magogo’s orders to leave.
Magogo walked towards the balcony with a packet of cigarettes in her hand and I heard the guard saying smoking is not allowed there. She wandered off aimlessly and I got worried about her getting lost so I went looking for her a few minutes later. I also worried that her turn to be seen might pass before she’s back. A female guard said she saw Magogo walking into the bushes next to the walkway. As I fumbled about, I immediately recognized Magogo’s voice as she screamed. She was startled by my unexpected appearance. Before I could get to where she was screaming from, there were three guards, one of them flashed a searchlight into my face and the whole thing immediately looked really bad. I was the black guy caught with a screaming old white woman in the bush.
Fortunately, one of those guards was the lady who’d just directed me to that bush. As we walked back, Magogo kept apologizing as she could tell how unimpressed I was. In her guilt, she was even saying I should leave her there, she can get a cab back. And I considered it. But she was too frail and in pain. One hospital worker offered to push her on a stretcher and that freaked her out and she straightened out and walked enthusiastically as if to convince me that the stretcher is not necessary. Her sister’s stretcher experience must have traumatized her.
Back at the doctor’s waiting area, there was still the one couple in front of us that looked at me like I was a soldier arriving from war. Like, they were rooting for me. I welcomed that support. That must be how Senzo Meyiwa’s dad felt when he waved at the crowds last year. Magogo threw another curve ball when a young hospital worker walked past.
“Please create a doctor!” Nobody expected that. The couple in front of us whispered “SHE is the doctor everyone’s waiting for!” Now it looked like she was being racist because the doctor was a (young) black woman. The doctor looked at me and then at Magogo and the couple, as if she’s trying to establish whether Magogo was my racist boss. Magogo immediately apologized to everyone and sheepishly explained that the pain runs up her spine and into the brain, that’s why she’s so irritable and it’s worse because she didn’t get to smoke outside because she couldn’t find a lighter. Then she walked into a nearby small toilet. The couple was very concerned that she’s going to smoke in there and the smoke detectors would go off and we’d be chased away. My first instinct was to go get her but common sense prevailed. Thankfully, she didn’t smoke (or we didn’t smell it).
Doctor saw Magogo and when she walked out of the consulting room, she had befriended the doctor, promising to buy her a chocolate. We got home well after midnight and she was numb from an injection she got from the doctor, and I was numb from the desperation for sleep.
And that was another pointless rumbling that needed to get off my chest. If you read it, thank you.

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