Even if you know me well, you don’t know this…

Polony. If there’s anything that makes me remember where I’ve come from in life, it’s that big fat pink roll of enterprise polony.

Even if you think you know me well, you don’t know that when I was growing up, life was a struggle. Curled upI was always scared. I was always waiting for something bad to happen. I used to curl up in a ball sitting on the back wall in the garden and rock. Just rock. It was comforting.

Unlike my life of luxury now, we never had cans of coke in the fridge. We didn’t have bags of chips in the cupboard. Underfloor heating was unheard of. I didn’t even know that toilet paper came in two ply.

We once lived behind the parking lot of the Checkers in Primrose on the East Rand. But we had polony.

Fried in margarine. Thinly sliced with cheese. Or just cut up into big blocks. Happiness.

Growing up, our daily chore was to clean the house every day after school. Once that was done, we’d have to make supper so that my mom would be able to pop in quickly, eat and head back to work a double shift to earn extra money. In my mind, this was the norm. It bothered me more that as a child of divorce I was stuck cleaning than the fact that my mom was absent. But we had polony so life was good. We were doing okay, right?

My mom remarried and moved away. Whenever we visit her, there’s polony in her fridge. Comfort.

Inside I’m still that scared, insecure girl. I still wait for bad things to happen. Beneath my happy smile is a frown of disappointment when so many people let me down. What exhausts me most is trying so damn hard. I keep trying…

To this day, I still eat polony.

(Disclaimer: I realize my blog post for the @Writersbootcmp is late but I wasn’t sure if I’ll be able to keep it up. This topic intrigued me. And I was craving polony.)