If you say we’ll meet at 6PM, I’m there at 6PM. I have no concept of the passing of time, though. This is weird, because if I can’t tell how long five minutes is, how the hell do I get it right to be punctual? One of life’s little mysteries that I’m not going to examine too hard, in case I jinx it.

I’ve always been punctual.

Let me start right at the beginning, to explain: the beginning of me on this earthly plain (or is it plane?) Whatever, let me stick to the point, time is passing.

As the story goes (I can’t absolutely verify it, even though I was there), I was due on the second of February. That morning my mother went into labour and trundled off to the local hospital in the dusty Free State town with gold beneath it and mielie fields around it, and read her historical novel until I showed up, just after the ward staff delivered lunch. 1pm on my due date.

My father ate her lunch while she had me, it being before the hands-on-daddy days.

See? I told you I was punctual.

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