I got pickpocketed today. It was of course the last thing I needed. I went into Sophiatown thinking that I could get really good deals on food. See I was having friends over and I’m really skint so I thought the Shoprite might be a good idea. I never go there, I even needed the sat nav to get me there. Even forgot my phone on the dashboard for a minute then went back to get it, feeling like a clutz. This is how I know I had it with me when I went into the Shoprite. I started at a fruit and veg round the corner to compare prices, but I was there for less than a minute. Then I went into the big supermarket. Place was crawling with security – that should have been my first sign. But I was in another world.

It must have happened by the carrots yes! I was looking at the diced carrots which were so cheap R5, when a woman, she can’t have been too much older than me came to me and asked me to help her with the carrots. Something about “Oh! Are you looking at those too?! I can never pick! Please help me pick!” and then within seconds she was fine again with the same carrots she already had in her hands and disappeared. I think there was a man there with her and they were on either side of me. The man seemed older, light brownish jacket and I think she was wearing something maroon-ish. I was so friendly to them, just was my usual self. Saying I was also too lazy to chop and they were so cheap! They vanished and I went on looking at various prices of things and weighing things up in my head, what I could and couldn’t afford. Filling my trolley tentatively and hoping my math was right.

It was only when I approached the till that I realized my phone had gone. I didn’t panic or anything. It’s not the object itself that’s gutting, it’s what it represents. As always my first instinct is the universe must have wanted it to be gone from me if it is gone from me. But then, imagine the implications of that. So many things have been lost of late. Not just material things. The material things are the least of it. A lot more has been lost and the loss seems to have become perpetual. Whether or not one can weather more loss is one thing. But how much more one has to lose is another thing entirely.

My gamble is – hope. Can’t say there’s much more than that and I reckon those are good enough odds. I never used to get it but now I do. When someone has lost so much that it seems they don’t have more to lose – there’s always hope. Some people choose a God or a game, I can’t say I know what I’m picking. Let’s call is everything for now. Since I ain’t got nothing anyway and nothing I do matters to no one – I reckon I might as well put all my money on just having hope that everything is gonna work out just fine. What’s the worst that could happen.

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