NARRATIVE: The Resolution – Part III

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Alfa-Romeo (Type 901) Alfasud Quadrifoglio Verde by ItalDesign Giugiaro S.p.A.

It was before the dawn, and she had found a way to leave her bed – expertly extricating herself from the powerful embrace of the limbs of her husband. She then silently proceeded outside to her rust-prone Alfa-Romeo Alfasud Quadrifoglio Verde – parked amidst the dew that made its rust situation worse. As she stepped inside her car, she took a moment to make a little prayer; hoping that her Catholic upbringing would be enough to resuscitate her vehicle to life. She turned the ignition key while saying amen, and she was met with an exhaust note that she feared would wake the individuals she had left inside the house – people she needed to be away from for one day, just so she could think.

04. © The Road - Donga Tshabalala - ENLISTED by Donga Tshabalala

As she turned onto the road leading into the city, she was met with a captivating sight. It was now dawn, and the sun was beginning to make its appearance behind the trees – creating a kaleidoscope of light that gave her enough hope to believe that her car would live to see another day. She loved the sense of stability she experienced as her car progressed through corners. She loved how the car felt like it was wrapped around her – almost like a tailored dress. She liked how adorable her car looked, and she always made a point of comparing its aesthetics to the faces of her children, just so she could annoy her husband – a man who thought comparing human beings to machines was uncouth. Unlike her sister, who she had made a concerted effort not to think about, she did not have much in the way of material possessions. However, she did have a loving family, and that was all that mattered to her – or so she thought.

05. © The Road - Donga Tshabalala - ENLISTED by Donga Tshabalala

She was now in the city, and she felt a little knot being tied in her stomach – she knew she was now hungry. She parked her car across the road from a café called CUP OF COFFEE CAFÉ, only to realize that there was something familiar about the Alfa-Romeo that was parked in front of its entrance – something that left her feeling unsettled. She could recognize those polished alloy wheels from anywhere – it was her sister! It seemed nature was telling her a very important message about avoiding people – they just succeed in appearing wherever you go. She then turned around and walked into a little deli called FAST DELIGHTS – hoping that her Alfa-Romeo Alfasud would not be recognized by her sister, the woman who owned that Alfa-Romeo GT parked across the road. Despite her attempts not to attract the attention of her not-so-distant sibling, a little voice in the back of her head told her to sit next to the windowpane of the storefront – creating a vantage point from which she could observe the actions of the Alfa-Romeo GT that her sister had loved so dearly.

It was a few minutes before noon, and her breakfast order had arrived. She took a stab at the egg on her plate, placing a piece of it above the section of bacon that had already been pierced by her fork. As the utensil began its gentle flight to her lips – the small piece of bacon and egg landing safely in her mouth – she noticed that her sister was seated next to the window of the café. It was at this moment that the introspection that had led her to sneak out of her house had begun. She needed to question why the thought of her sister had led to her being as hostile as she was. As she swallowed that small piece of food, she came to terms with the fact that her hostility was driven by envy. The circumstances of their upbringings were identical, and yet her sister lived a life that excelled her own by years. The fact still remained that her sister exploited every opportunity at her disposal – seizing them as if each one was her last. She used to think that this behavior was motivated by greed. However, she had come to realize that the yearning her sister had for excellence was much greater than her own. She needed to confront these internalized thoughts by speaking to her older sibling, but first, she needed to finish her breakfast.

It was now the afternoon, and she had begun her saunter to the café – formulating the words she anticipated her sister hearing. As she crossed the road, she saw her sister step outside the café and proceed to her Alfa-Romeo with all the elegance of the actors they used to watch in films. As she drove away, she rushed over to her Alfasud, saying a little prayer as the turned the ignition key again – followed by an abrupt amen. She approached the traffic lights that her sister had managed to disappear from, and she realized that chasing a car more powerful than her own was probably not the wisest of ideas. It was in that moment that she had found an answer to why she needed the day to herself – she needed to come to terms with the internalized insecurities that she had lived with. She had done that, and her humble Alfasud had served a meaningful purpose. Now, she needed to return home.

02ALFA~1

It was evening, and her car was running low on petrol. She needed to find a petrol station nearby, but suddenly, her Alfasud came to a thumping halt. She immediately reached for her phone to contact her husband, only for her sister to sneak into her mind again. Calling her sister, she took a moment to listen to her phone ring, only for it to go to voicemail. Moments after, she saw the headlamps of one vehicle with polished alloy wheels making contact with the rear fender of another car, coupled to the screeching sounds of tires and shattering glass … “Stop daydreaming and pay attention,” my lecturer said.

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