Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Breaking free the words from beneath the ice

Worked late. Then walked downhill to the dodgy but gorgeously notorious Kimberley Hotel.

R39 for dinner, incredible value especially at the ass end of a taxing month. Two glasses of house wine (ask no questions, hear no lies) for another 30, throw in a tenner tip, then a tipsy trip another downhill to the bus route.

Passed the Dias Taverna en route to the stop (it's a safer bet than down Buitenkant) while enthralled by the Dutch cheese of a voluptuous moon on a pleasant and still late summer's eve.

It was at the busy Dias almost two springs ago that I watched novelist Geoff Dyer scoff down sumptuous Portuguese food while I was serendipitously halfway through his Death in Varanasi: Open Book Festival 2014.

Despite its many faults, I adore my city, especially from on foot. 

Then standing back in the shadows beneath a wind-whipped tree and 'our hinterland is there' mural - no attention please, I'm British (joke) - before alighting the dead quiet people-are-exhausted-and-have-nothing-to-say 102. To a blustery Salt Circle; from Tuesday evenings Lower Main Road bustles with women, some girls. 

Their bodies are obviously theirs to do what they want with, respect, nevertheless I feel fatherly and protective. 

Especially of the ones kitted out in what looks like Sunday School best: sensible frocks, sensible pumps, the prerequisite skinny bare legs. 

Soon the winter rains will come and icy winds; even so the hunger will remain, as will the wolf at their door. 

Like tear plops I sprinkle my prayers and blessings, smiles too, across the tired old streets and paths of ancient Cape Town.

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