I was standing, slumped against the wall, waiting for my sister to pick me up – reading yet another of Coelho's works and was rather engrossed when he approached me. I recoiled instinctively as he came closer... a combination of partial-PTSD from last week and the anticipation of a reprimand of some sort, for something or the other. It’s his uniform, very autocratic and authoritarian and intimidating.
“You like reading”... he said.
I stood for a moment, deciphering whether this was a statement or a question.
“Ye-ss”... I said slowly and undecidedly, curling my fist and preparing to punch him in his fucking head if he tried anything.
“I see you here, everyday. You’re always reading”, he continued.
I relaxed, smiled, and said that indeed, it was something I enjoyed very much.
“Maybe you have heard of this book... it’s called...”, he rolled up his eyes looking at the ceiling, trying to recall the name.
“It’s called ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill. I read the first four pages and it did something to my soul. It stayed in my head. It wasn’t my book, so I couldn’t read it. I was wondering if you have it, so I can read it”, he said.
There was something so earnest in his eyes and in his voice as he said this.
“Do you work here everyday?”, I asked.
“Yeah I’m here every day, around the station”, he replied as my sister pulled up beside me.
“Okay, I’ll get it for you”, I said, before getting in.
And so I am. Car Guards in SA are people who look after your parked car while you’re shopping or running an errand of some sort. They usually earn very little money, and life as a security guard at the Gautrain at Johannesburg’s Park Station is both thankless and perilous.
So, I’m looking for this book and I’m willing to pay for it. If anyone has heard of it or has a copy that you’re willing to sell, please let me know. I’d really like to get this book to him as soon as possible.