RETURN HOME PAIN

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A time-travel adventure to a past that, although often misremembered, stirs up very particular and personal feelings in the adventurer.

By CIARAN R. MAIDWELL

For me, it’s a smell. Woody notes of plum, cedar, hazelnut and blonde leather inhaled by chance at a club. Suddenly it’s 2011 and I’m sitting inside my car at the Veldskoen drive-in in Randburg. It’s the second last operational drive-in in the country. Next year, it will close.

Unfortunately, its final show will be Men in Black III. We pull up to the colossal screen – still blank – And tune in to 100 FM. I’m well in to my teens, he’s older. Inside the fluorescent snack shop, I buy a Coke and a bar of chocolate and he buys water. Back at the car, he suggests we sit further back in the back seat, “because it’s more comfortable”. We sit, legs spread wide so that our knees are touching – but only just.

I open the chocolate and offer him a piece…

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