Saturday, November 15, 2014

Dial 999

A cold spell with tendrils reaching all the way from Antarctica is lashing Cape Town and much to my surprsie I've had to wear a jacket for most of the day. 

After midday I met Douwe for lunch and bubbly at Cafe Paradiso in Kloof Street, which was a blast from the past: I'd worked there as a desperate and hungry, literally, waiter at night while I worked - for free (times were tough, I needed  portfolio of work) - for the Weekend Argus newspaper during the day. This was 1995. The first year of our democracy. The year I returned to SA from London and moved for ten months to Cape Town because of a short-lived love affair with a Jewish Irishman studying illustration in Dublin. I worked though the 1995 rugby world cup that SA won, on home ground, while observing the hullabaloo from a vague distance while confronting my crossroad of insecurity and passion.

It was a hideous time of poverty and, at first, intense loneliness for me. As I freelanced as a writer while scratching my itching flea bites from sleeping on the floor as a desperate digs-mate, first in Mowbray, then in Kings Road Seapoint. And surviving by scraping leftovers from customers' plates into plastic bags that I would take home and devour because I could hardly afford food. My treat was one Amstel lager a week that I nursed until the green glass and beer was piss warm.

This afternoon after lunch I was pleasantly surprised by the the mauve jacaranda blooms on a street in the Republic of Tamboerskloof as we wound downhill to the deep pleasure of an early evening Italian art movie in an uncomfortable-but-who-cares bucket seat at the Labia.

Right now the heady blend of Chilean cabernet sauvignon and my medication seep into my consciousness, to make it un-, while lines / emotions / undotted I-s and uncrossed T-s blur as I gratefully slip away into another world in the deeply nourishing suburban silence of a comfortable apartment in Tamboerskloof. 

This - my 999th blog post at Beautiful Mind - is likely to be riddled with errors, but hey this is a notebook and I'll correct those in the morning.

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