The beginning of October Wednesday-to-Friday retreat had been coming for months: Noordhoek on the Cape Peninsula. I'd been excited, initially, but as the bottleneck of life had become more clogged and pressured, as I knew it would, I'd begun to dread it, foolishly. It became another pressure point on the acupuncture of my life: quickly as possible to stick the needle in and relieve the pressure, then reactively to move on to the next point (as opposed to proactively resolving the source of my dis-ease).
The first thing I did was compromise the retreat time.
Nevertheless it was a fantasy come true: to be sitting with a long-haired beach boy with a big heart at a fave Kommetjie pub and restaurant renowned for its chill vibes, barefoot and sun-bleached folk all occupying a different time zone and attitude to Cape Town, despite that a mere 40-or-so kilometres separated the lighthouse-lit fishing/surfing village from the city.
Nature, ocean, the holiday-blue sky and ozone-laden seaspary straight off the vast and empty ocean, all that there was to separate the storm-thrashed peninsula from Antartica.
He had got there just before dusk, again in the car with the foreign yellow & black number plates.
That perfect melding of outer- and inner-beauty expressed in the eyes and the smile, the softspoken-ness.
They didn't make love on the beach. Instead, at first, they merely lay there body-on-body, breath-in-breath-melded-into-one-inhaled-and-exhaled-and-inhaled-again on the soft bone-white sand beneath a Southern Hemisphere black velvet void-of-eternity carelessly and gaspingly sprinkled with at least a billion carat. In a breeze just bearably cool, not far from the lapping and phospherent salt-water.
Then in the dark-on-light he haphazardly scuttled around like a crazy-wth-happiness long-legged crab in the icy-Atlantic water. Endlessly whispering my name he scoopeds up shells, scallops and ocean-ground-to-smoothe and aeons-old pebbles. These he poured into my flimsy jacket pockets without weighing my down.
Little did I know that he'd later describe us as falling stars, although he would mean it (in the past tense of course) romantically, despite it being his response to my goodnight-and-goodluck email a-few-days-but-many-years-later.
Tanned hands on hairy legs and bony knees / a now almost-empty bottle of red wine clunking with anticipation against the steel undercarriage beneath my passenger seat / he'd excitedly lifted the Wolftrap from his sister's wine collection, in Muizenburg.
Falling over each other through the vegetation, between the parking lot and my double bed, he also tapped to the brim the deep and old fashioned bath designed for a time long before water became scarce and climate change a critical issue.
Also snuck in was a slender plastic bottle of aromatherapeutic bubble bath that he then plunged in whole beneath the gushing, steaming streams to flail and careen not unlike a corpse gone over the Niagara falls.
He wanted to spend the night, as did I, but I didnt feel right - flying in the face of the people who'd sponsored my retreat, to write.
All that I didn't do was write.