203km into my road trip from Joburg to, indirectly, Cape Town.
I don't want to be distracted: not by people and the electric-sexual-nomadness of these crazy places that are so like border posts.
Transience and faces-from-other-places-that-I-don't-know has an inherent eroticness for me that I can explain, later.
Fuel. Coffee. Eat. Think.
I've had to be disciplined to sit down and write. I have two million excuses not to, the too-cold air conditioning is one of them.
I bathed deeply in preparation for this road trip. I always do. The anticipation of who knows what. Like, for example, I know that I want to be in Mossel Bay tomorrow morning sometime. But it's 1000km away. I will have to sleep; deliciously I wonder where.
In the bath I looked at my feet. I shaved my legs; every week I do that (it's a habit from my 'cycling' days).
I have packed light; this is a writer and photographer's trip, and the destination is irrelevant even though I have one.
I have a bag containing some clothes, some toiletries, a book, a gardening magazine and the last, but fat, Mail & Guardian for 2011. And, for old time's sake, an empty, brand new spiral bound A4 notebook with a charcoal cover. It's for my morning pages.
I also left my pc behind, and have only my cell phone, my iPad and my lean bag of camera equipment. Oh ja, and my fast-beating heart.
Leaving behind a dark, wet and moody Joburg, the sunny, bright and friendly Free State embraced me: mealies, grain silos, flat earth, sunflowers.
Large Afrikaans men sunburnt in their shorts, socks, paunches, mustaches, bald pates, ugly sunglasses and Mercedes Benz's.
I feel at home here. I was spent two years of my youth in the army here: Tempe, Bloemfontein.
I've read Denys Reitz's 'Commando', and anticipate volume two of his gripping Anglo Boer War trilogy. His true story. It's above the fireplace in my bedroom at home.
I also had an intense personal relationship (yes, my word choice gives it away) rooted in Senekal, a Free State village-town off the beaten track.
I love the flatness and the light, it's an unusual bright-pure-light that smacks of the surreal.
I've also read Zakes Mda's novel based on the Apartheid racial-barrier-blurring events that, unbelievably, took place in Excelsior, which I visited and explored during its drought in 2004. Fascination.
But now I must pay my bill, empty my bladder and head towards historical, practical Colesburg, across the Cape border. Then, where to sleep?
400km to that decision, and a fork in the road. Literally.