She sits down on the sofa, exhausted, and turns on the TV. Much against her character, Goitsemang has grown to like reality crime shows, especially ones about serial killers. So she’s happy to see one is starting. She doesn’t dig too deep as to why she enjoys learning about killers. Maybe it’s a break from her day job. She recently got tenure at the university. She teaches two courses on the history of Southern Africa this year: Women and the Liberation Movement, and History through Oral Traditions. The last one is a new course and it takes a lot of her time. She’s also working on three academic papers for upcoming conferences and trying to finish a book on the rain queens of the Lovedu people. So all day her brain works flat out, so in the evenings she finds she craves a bit of senseless serial killing.
Tonight’s episode is about a married man, a truck driver, who’d been moving about at night in his truck killing women. He’d been doing it for years. No one suspected him; his wife was the most shocked of all when she found out. Goitsemang can understand that completely. She knows people and what she knows most is that people can never be known. Your truck-driving husband, sweet as anything, could just as easily be a serial killer as a cross-dresser. Secrets and deceptions are the greater part of most people.
A knock at her door. She checks her watch, annoyed. Who would come to her house uninvited at 8:30 in the evening? She has a suspicion. It’s likely a continued conversation from earlier in the day she thought was finished. She switches off the serial killer show and answers the door.
“I’m really not in the mood for this tonight,” she says. The look of him alone makes her feel bone-weary tired.
The man standing on the doorstep is tall. He wears jeans, red Converse sneakers, and a T-shirt with an American baseball team advertised on it, but his hair is sprinkled with grey. He’s trying hard to stay young, too hard.
“I won’t take much time,” he says.
Goitsemang steps back and lets him pass into the sitting room. She closes the door and follows him. They speak standing in the middle of the room. Goitsemang knows to sit will prolong everything and she’d wanted an early night.