Uber Tales (23)

Uber Existence

I open a new blank page. The road opens up. I open a beer. I roll into the Free State where the hills roll on forever or at least as far as I can see. It’s still a bit flat here, but I know where I’m going. I think, but I’m not there yet. I have to write, but I have nothing to say.

For now I can just see what I see. I sit in Clarens and this is what I see: Happy couples laughing; men straining at the leash to enter a bar and just sit there and stare, like me; women dragging them into the next arty or crafty shop; fat men driving fatter 4x4s; friends drinking; children playing; rich cars parking; a Ford Kuga! (I haven’t seen one of those for a while); tired couples; blue skies with cool fleecy clouds; more fat people; ugly people; a mother and daughter whose ankles are begging for genetic modification; a sexy girl alone with the bragging sons of self-made men; a woman who could’ve been attractive but for her slumpy posture; boeps, oh my goodness, boeps, enormous boeps on men and women alike; a war memorial on the village green; the village green; trees of green; mountains, majestic mountains; my waitress … no, I can’t see my waitress; a black man shaking an orange drink; motorcycles seeking to impress noisily; same with some cars quietly cruising by. I see a Saturday in Clarens and I smile.

On Danie’s farm I see a giant oak tree; palmiet waving white against the blue sky; more majestic mountains; a quilt of maize and sunflower fields; surreal sandstone outcrops like Mount Ararat on Danie’s farm. I’m happy. The turtledoves are still calling my friend Mathabo. I breathe in I breathe out. It feels as if it’s for the first time in years. The Laughing, Stealing, Singing, Dancing, Looting, Fucking No 1 may well be fucking up the country, but I’m happy here and now under this giant oak tree with the bees buzzing and a distant sheep bleating. Fat cows are grazing. I see a perfect autumn afternoon in the Free State.

It was a long battle I thought to be here, breathing. Breathing freely. A battle I thought with one hand tied behind my back, it felt. One does not beat poverty easily, trust me. Things are more expensive for those without money. That’s a fact. Now I have money enough to sit under this tree and breathe, but I still have nothing to say. This bothers me in a kind of existential crisis way.

On the stoep of Nuno’s I see Melville still hesitating between the sordid and the splendid as it always does. I stole the essence of that line from some Frenchman writing about Paris. He is called Michel Deon and the novel is Les Gens de la Nuit (The People of the Night). At first I thought I couldn’t remember the author or the book, then I remembered the title and Google did the rest.

Now, hands attached to people of all races race through the air, gesticulating ideas too complex for words alone. I sit alone with no words or ideas to express. My hands are still like my mind.

I see my friends Clive and Laura. They want me to join them, but I don’t like the company they keep. I can be a cunt in that way. Across the street at Hell’s Kitchen a pretty blonde smokes a cigarette. I need a muse, but she’s too skinny, not to mention too young. Hipsters in beards and black glasses stare who knows where from the Hell’s side. This country is going to hell in a hand basket, they say.

There must be a reason I didn’t buy my sister’s illegal handgun and shoot myself in the head. It is not without bitterness that I write this, but if I had it now, I would’ve shifted like Robbie Burns’ cow. Joburg is beautiful in autumn, I realise every day. I roll on.

4 Responses to “Uber Tales (23)”

  • karen says:

    you made me smile
    I live in Clarens

  • John Wayscooter says:

    Trite, twee and cringeworthy though this may sound, it has buoyed me on more than one occasion. Angels all have a past, and sinners all have a future.

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    Chuckv

    April 16th


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