It seems strange to be writing an obituary for a set of inanimate objects, but it’s the only way I can make sense of this. I need to catalogue the loss, even if insurance doesn’t need to know. Even if the only response is catharsis.
While we sit in the requiem mass for my wife’s grandfather, someone manages to open my car, parked in front of a gallery in Rosebank. While we listen to her uncle tell us about his father’s life, that someone has already found my bag in my car, and is half way across town with it. While we make small-talk and eat in the way that we only do at funerals, they have dumped my cards outside the Morningside clinic in Sandton.
The contents of isikhwama sami:
A leather wallet (a gift from isithandwa sami, concealing a pound coin from the turn of the last century, given to me as a talisman by someone encountered while traveling), an owl-shaped painted metal fob for my keys (also a gift from Khethiwe), my ID book (together with a certified copy of it), my temporary driver’s license (and its expired antecedent), 40 Euros, a beautiful silver fountain pen (from the very same awesome person), a Swiss Army knife (a gift from my parents), a gold crucifix (from my godmother on my confirmation), my iPad (with all of its carefully tuned rhythms and memories), stones that I had collected on three continents (from 11 countries in total), and assorted notes and paraphernalia from my life.
Not to mention the bag itself, a soft and spacious wonderful thing, and also coincidentally a gift from umakoti wami. All the gifts she has given me since I’ve known her, just about, were taken in a single theft, while we sat in her grandfather’s funeral.
Goodbye. I hope that you serve some purpose in your second life.