Monday, 8 July 2013

The Beginning (13)

I broke the week before. I suppose everyone has a breaking point. Once again it was oxygen, I could not breathe properly, my asthma was giving me hell, I had tried to hide it, but the high altitude, cold highveld air combined with the millions of Jacaranda trees in bloom in Pretoria meant it was a living hell for my lungs.

One morning I woke up and I could not breath, every day was a hell by now and I just knew I was not going to make it. I did not hesitate, I asked Wayne to lock me in my Kas which was a small metal stand up cupboard about 4 ft high and 2 feet wide, I just managed to fit in all squashed into a little ball. Wayno just looked at me and did it, no questions asked. He locked the door with a padlock from the outside and left me there. I have always had a fear of small dark spaces, but my fear of not breathing was bigger. At roll call Wayno told the corporal I had gone to the sick bay and that was it.

I sat motionless in the pitch dark in the smallest of spaces for about 6 hours before they came back and Wayno let me out.
It had been a hell session, the platoon was dirty, sweaty and everyone was smashed, I had escaped, no one said a word.

I needed that day, it saved me. I recovered from the asthma attacks and regained my strength, when my chance came, there was no standing down I took it with both hands.

It was strictly forbidden to take any photographs of any of our training, these were all smuggled out under pain of severe punishment, there are not many about, my kas is on the left in the photo, it was a pretty dam small metal box.

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