"Like, dude, you seriously don't know who Bob Dylan is? Give me the f*****g album sleeve so I can read his story, man!"

I snatch the sleeve from Clifford. The room is thick with the rancid smell of sweat, unwashed takkies, dagga, incense, alcohol, vomit, sex, impatient hormones and political anxiety. I flop onto a bean bag and begin reading notes, but the music grabs me by the throat: "How many roads must a man walk down Before you call him a man? How many seas must a white dove sail Before she sleeps in the sand? Yes, and how many times must the cannon balls fly Before they're forever banned? The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind The answer is blowin' in the wind ..." Almost unable to breathe, I close my eyes. This Bob Dylan fellow is telling my story, teasing the scabs so my wounds are exposed once again - throbbing with pain. I look around: can these people hear what the man is saying? Or is this, to them, just a song, something to get high on? This is 1986, and I'm at a commune on Moore Road, Durban, where I have moved in with a couple of white friends, classmates I met at Technikon Natal...

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