Like Vincent Vega

I draw my hands up to face. Wiggling my fingertips. Wrinkled, pale, soggy, Jacuzzi infused fingertips. Freaky. I clench my hands into fists. Close my eyes. Unfurl. Still… freaky. And old. Imagine being old. An old woman with pale, soggy, wrinkled fingertips. Nope. Not today. My hands dart back into the water, stifling further thought in a cauldron of bubbles and chlorine, and turn my head just in time to catch a glimpse of Marie Fredriksson clutching her chest in love-panged agony as “Fading Like a Flower” transitions into “It Must Have Been Love”.

‘Damn. MTV is breaking hearts today.’

Interrupted from her own thoughts, my best friend breaks her gaze from the screen.

‘Marie and Pierre are soulmates.’

‘But they’re not even together.’

‘Well, they should be?’



Simultaneous eye-rolling.

‘What are you wearing tonight?’

Fixing my hair into a shaggy bun as I attempt to save it from the fate of my fingers, I ponder the night ahead.

‘My Docs.’

‘Duh… what else?’

‘I dunno. I think that black skirt. No, maybe my black cargos. No. The skirt. You?’

‘The usual. Eyeliner.’

‘Are you wearing your boots?’


‘With fishnets?’

‘Oh my gosh. If they get stuck in your stockings like last time, do not expect me to help.’

‘Don’t be a bitch. Like you were much help last time anyway. I think you made it worse. And laughed at me.’

‘It was funny though.’

‘It wasn’t.’

‘It really was.’

More eye-rolling.

‘I’m hungry!’

‘Me too. Bacon-tomato pasta?’

‘Always. We need to get out anyway and clean up. Andrew’s coming back from holiday tomorrow and my mom’s coming later to make sure the house is perfect.’

The bubbles fizz as Cherise starts to get out of the Jacuzzi. It’s time. Because tonight, we are going to our favourite place on the planet.

The Doors nightclub sat uncomfortably on Van Riebeek Avenue in Edenvale amidst a non-descript splattering of suburban outlets: Romans Pizza, Milky Lane, Nando’s, Dyno By Quint, random charity stores, pawn shops and a Dutch-style pastry shop with a Windmill storefront called de Bakery. The perfect complement to a Metallica guitar riff. Mostly, the space was transient, vague even. The Doors, however, was as un-vague as you get—a black smudge on the pastel of suburbia. And that’s why we loved it.

It was dirty and grungy on the outside and dirtier and grungier on the inside—also dark and sticky and stinky, drenched in beer and sweat and metal. A giant portrait of Jim Morrison was stencilled on the wall in the main dance area, swooning over the wild gesticulations of decrepit metalheads and wannabes. You’d flick your head back from an epic chorus of Korn’s Here to Stay, trying to whip your hair out of your eyes and scrape it from your clammy cheeks so you could see what the fuck was going on, and Jim was watching. Always watching. You’d spot his smirk between clumps and tangles, no matter what angle your head was titled.

The rest of the club territory was marked by a cacophony of badly painted metal insignia and UV images, disturbing if you were drunk and worse if you weren’t.

Our general modus operandi when it came to The Doors was any obstacle that got in the way of us getting there, a) before 10pm (so it was free) and b) before the first DJ set with all our favourite songs, needed to be eradicated, obliterated, exterminated—whether it was dog, car, boot, person or knee-length PVC boots. We were like a couple of hit men. But not the Vincent Vega type. More like the Joker, make-up included. Make-up especially. Luckily neither of us owned a weapon (especially Cherise) because if you messed with our schedule, you’d have died.

I mean it.


So when the dogs escaped, well…

‘Just make sure the dogs don’t get out.’

‘Okay, how exactly am I supposed to do that?’

‘You take your car out first, park outside, and then come back in to watch the dogs while I reverse out.’

Watertight plan. Somehow, it failed.



‘What the hell!? The fucking dogs.’


‘We’re gonna have to pay at Doors.’

‘Not like we’ll actually get there because MY MOM IS GOING TO KILL US! We have to get them. Where did they go?’

‘I dunno. You go up there and I’ll go this way.’

‘Up where?’

‘Man, over THERE.’

I turned my body with the best of intention to start running. I even took a step. But Cherise. She was running. Trying to, at least. In her PVC boots that had heels to the top of the beanstalk. In a rage. Like some sort of black horror stork with fangs and fury. Not only was I transfixed but struck with capability-supressing hysteria that annihilated my contribution to the ‘great dog herd.’

The tears in my eyes—I couldn’t see where I was going. I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe.

‘Andrea! What the fuck are you doing?’

‘I… I can’t… it’s too funny.’

‘Help me.’

 ‘I’m trying. I’m not… I can’t.’

‘Do you not understand? We are going to be dead and late, and dead. AND IT’S NEW YEAR’S!’

‘Okay, I’m coming… sort of.’

‘I’m going to kill you.’

More tears.

Suffice to say, I am alive. Not murdered. Nor the dogs. (Although I was definitely in more trouble.) We found them in the end. (And when I say “we”, I mean not me.) Got to the club. Did our thing. And never ever let our hands soak in a Jacuzzi for that long again.


Author & Storyteller: Andrea Zanin

Andrea is a writer, wife, mother and dreamer; also the author of this website. She moved to London in 2006 to earn £s, travel, see bands and buy 24-up Dr Martens—which she did, and then ended up staying. Andrea lives in North London with her husband (also a Saffa) and five children. She loves this grand old city but misses her home and wishes her children could say “lekker” (like a South African) and knew what a “khoki” is.

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