Living at the Chateau

Living in the Chateau

While in the palace, I’ve met some interesting characters, some of whom have provided great entertainment, others great psychological study material, and others I never wish to see again. Some have come and gone, whilst others have stayed the course and prospered after a fashion.

What amazes me is that some of the men prefer the street than have a roof over their heads, three meals a day, a shower, and washing facilities. I forgot the TV. Everyone watched the TV all day and night, generally with the volume turned up to 11. Meals are served at the dining room table; they don’t even have to go to the kitchen to get them.

Dennis* is an excellent example of a man who has enormous potential, yet unfortunately, he is an alcoholic. He’s about 37 and an interesting man to talk to (when he’s sober). He’s articulate and has a good grasp of the current state of affairs nationally and internationally. He’s very politized, and votes for the ANC come what may. (The ANC is the ruling party known for its corruption, looting, mismanagement and jobs for friends).

He’s unintelligible when drunk every payday until the money runs out. He wanders into the TV room, mumbling to himself and asking people questions that are impossible to interpret, which soon irritates everyone, and he gets kicked out and sent to his room to sleep it off. The following day, he would be as good as gold and ready to help wherever he could.

Dennis is also famous for saying to us one payday that he’d be back the following morning. He appeared again three weeks later, absolutely reeking, and I mean reeking. He could clear a room in seconds – seriously. I have never smelt such a disgusting smell in my life. He was thrown a towel and soap and told to take a long shower and wash his clothes, which could stand up on their own. An hour later, he was allowed into the TV room and told to tell us what he’d been up to. Drunk people don’t mind other people being drunk; it’s the adventures and the women they want to hear about.

While Dennis had been away, we’d been apprehensive about him. In his drunk state, he could have been robbed, hurt badly or even murdered. (It’s that kind of neighbourhood). Management went to search parties, and the clients called on all their friends to keep a lookout for him. A missing person’s report was filed with the police.

Dennis was now in deep trouble. Management had their revenge, and he spent the next month without pay washing dishes in the morning and evening and cleaning the house’s floors; he looked somewhat tired.

He’s seriously considering doing it all again.

*Name has been changed.