Wednesday, April 28, 2004

The Fullstop Cafe, Parkhurst

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Service: * * * *
Food: * * * *
Ambience: * * *
Babe Count: * * * *

I've hinted generously and abundantly in my smss to Mariaan that I'm hoping to get her naked tonight.

She arrives for our date looking radiant and ready to get undressed. But I could just be projecting.

"Jeez, Roy," she says. "This is so weird. I mean, I don't really know what to say. It's just weird."

"Me wanting to get you naked?"

"No, the whole Coffee-Shop Schmuck thing. I don't really know what to say."

"Cos it might make it onto the site?"


"Relax, I'm not going to put anything incriminating onto the site. I'm quite sensitive that way."

"No, that's okay," she says. "I trust you."

There's been some sort of odd mistaken identity thing between me and the waiter. When I arrived, I was playing with my Nokia 6600. The waiter said something along the lines of my having my entire life on the thing, and how I used it for everything. I was wondering how he could possibly come to that conclusion when he said, "I mean, I even see your phone coming up on our website statistics."

"Hmmm," I said, "which website would that be?"

He cuffed me gently on the arm, and smiled broadly, a kinda, 'how-on-earth-could-you-FORGET!!!-which-website' kinda smile.

"Come on Sandy," he said. "Our website."

"Uh..." I said, "Bad news... I'm Roy, not Sandy. But now I've got to know about this website."

"Oh no!" he said. "I'm so embarrassed. Oh no!!!!"

And he disappeared.

So I tell Mariaan about it. Our speculation is that this MUST be gay underground. I'm fairly camp, and very much in touch with my feminine side, and many gay guys mistake me for gay.

So when Ian arrives to take her white wine order, he calls me Sandy again, but this time in jest, to show that he's not ALL THAT embarrassed.

He brings the wine, and I say, "Oh no! No quick escape this time. Reveal all!"

So he digs around in his little waiter-sack, and slides a full-colour business card onto the table. No information on it, except for a funky graphic, and a web address.

"But what IS it?" says Mariaan.

"It's a party we're organizing. At CarFax. Can't give you any details," he says. "But we'll be putting snippets onto the site to tease people. Hope we'll see you there!"

Mariaan orders the haloumi salad. I go for the California chicken. I've been a regular at one or other of the FullStops for a good ten or so years. I don't even recall when the first one opened in Melville, but I was there for its first night of operation. And ate there almost nightly for around four years when I lived in Brixton. And for some odd reason, I simply don't recall the California Chicken. Which I deeply regret. Cos it's seriously lovely food.

Chicken breast, with mozzarella cheese, bacon, and avocado. Hmmmm. Yummmmmmy.

And Mariaan appears to have ordered the starvation version of supper. I'm guessing that she's like many women... obsessed about her weight. And she's probably read some or other John Gray type of book that suggests that it's un-ladylike of a woman to order a decent meal, since it might give the man ideas that she's greedy or out of control or something.

"You can tell a lot," I say, "about how someone is in bed by the way they eat."

She's picking at her food, as if she's a touch scared of it. Maybe she thinks it's going to rise up and bite her?

"Are you serious???" she says.

"Well, think about people you know," I say.

"Wow. Never too old to learn something new," she says. "It explains A LOTTTTTTTT about my ex-husband. A LOT."

"How did he eat?"

"Very very anally," she says.

In that case, she's in for a treat if she ever gets naked with me. I'm a very carnal eater of food. I love the stuff. I enjoy rolling it around my mouth. I'm also the slowest eater I know. And I love tasting every mouthful. I chew a lot, and really get to the flavour.

One thing that puzzles me about myself, and ISN'T reflective of me in bed is my aversion to sticky food. I simply cannot abide getting sticky stuff on my hands or face. I have very mild obsessive compulsive traits, so I think this would be one of them.

In bed, I LOVE juices. All of them. But at the table, even sugar water is too sticky for me to get on my skin.

We talk about her breasts. They really are enormous. "I just wish men would be able to see past the breasts," she says. "They're really just breasts, nothing special. Just part of me. And men don't seem to get that there's actually a person inside here."

A common complaint women have.

"We don't have to get naked, and we don't have to make love," I tell Mariaan. "Why don't we just go home to my place and cuddle a bit? And if you like, I won't even touch your breasts."

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

The Spur, Balfour Park

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Service: *
Food: *1/2
Ambience: * *
Babe Count: * *


Because of last night's chat with Kate, the woman who'll be managing the Spur when the new owners take over, I've persuaded Steve, my editor at Memar, the Ethiopian educational tv project, to come have lunch with me here.

Our waitress duly took our drinks order, and then disappeared for twenty minutes. So we flagged someone down and asked if we could order.

"Well, I'm the manager," says J.J. "Of COURSE you can order through me!"

Steve and I are both eating the same meal today. "Special request," I say to J.J. "Two things. Both burgers must be ULTRA well done. NO pink bits. NO blood. So well done that your chef is embarrassed to put them on the rolls. Is that cool?"

"No problem," says J.J.

I've learned in my life never to trust anyone saying, 'No problem.' The alarm bells should be ringing. But hey. He's the manager. What could he possibly get wrong?

"Number two," I say, "please can you ask them to toast the insides of the rolls?"

He repeats the order back to us. "Two pepper burgers, both ultra well done, no blood, rolls toasted on the inside. No problem."

He disappears. Five minutes later the drinks arrive. I've foolishly ordered the fruit cocktail. Rule number one, Roy. DON'T ORDER FRUIT JUICE IN A SPUR! It's got a preservative in it that I'm allergic to. Wonderful. So I get a coughing fit four sips down and have to abandon the stuff.

Twenty minutes later, the waitress brings our food. Steve and I are by this time sawing at our fake-leather Spur placemats we're so hungry. We're even contemplating eating Morrie and Edna and Beulah and Clyde at the table next door. They're VERY loud geriatrics. Octogenarians, by the look of things. Morrie has a stroller. We know their names because they have to look at the person they're speaking to and bellow that name first to get their attention.

"Hold on," I say to the waitress, who has basically dumped the food on our placemats and is starting to flee. "I just want to check this." It's basically luck of the draw that I happen to cut into the well-done burger of the two. I slice open my pattie, and it's perfectly well done. "But hang on," I say, pointing my knife at the roll. "They were supposed to toast the insides of the roll. They haven't done that."

Steve's examining my pattie, and he's satisfied that if they're gotten it right with mine, his will be fine too. BIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGGG mistake, it turns out.

The waitress offers to toast the rolls. "Nah," I say. "I'm really hungry, and now we're late for work."

We eat.

Steve's eating with long teeth. At some point, I catch sight of his pattie. Bloody hell. I'm almost completely through with mine, but he's only about a third of the way through. Oh man. This is disgusting.

Even to a rare-meat-eater, Steve's pattie would have been too rare. Escaping past the pepper sauce is a tiny trickle of blood, and a little bit of icy water.

"Steve," I say. "Don't look now."

He looks. Folds his knife and fork together. Calls a waiter.

"Please find my waitress."

She arrives ten minutes later. And I'm NOT exaggerating about these times!

"I'm sending this burger back," he says. "It's completely raw. And I asked for it to be well done. Take it off the bill. I'm not paying for it."

"No," says the waitress, "don't worry, I'll ask them to put it on the grill."

"No," says Steve. "I'm not eating another bite. I don't WANT the burger. I want you to take it off the bill. I refuse to pay for this."

"Okay," says the waitress, and she takes our plates away.

"Please bring the bill," I say.

It's now five minutes to two o'clock. We've been here for around an hour and a bit, and work is beckoning. Steve and I have to turn out 14 half-hour chemistry episodes every week, and the pressure is enormous. Long lunches are definitely not the norm.

The bill arrives at ten-past two. The waitress flees before we open it. I open it. Full charge. Two burgers and two drinks.

I flag a waiter. "Please call the manager," I say. "We need him here right now please."

Our waitress arrives from nowhere and whisks the bill away from us. Goes to the cash register, where J.J., the so-called manager, whips out a calculator. We see him do a calculation. He smiles in our direction, and the bill comes back. It's now twenty-past two.

He's given Steve a discount off the price of his hamburger. Instead of R28, Steve only has to pay R14.29. J.J. must have figured that Steve ate slightly more than half of the burger.

"Steve," I say. "This is outrageous. I'm refusing to pay ANYTHING on this bill. They've now just crossed the line."

We get up and go to the cash register. But now J.J.'s not there anymore. "Call the manager," I say to someone there. He goes to the back. J.J. arrives exactly ten minutes later, just as Steve and I are leaving.

"J.J.," I say. "Are you actually the manager here?"

"One of them," he says.

"Well, J.J., you've now kept us waiting on this query for more than twenty minutes, and you've charged Steve half-price for a raw burger. I placed the order with you personally. Do you recall?"

"What's the problem?" he says, smirking. "You ate half the burger, so you pay for half the burger."

"No, not at all," I say. "You messed us around with the most appalling service I've encountered in a restaurant, and we're not paying ANYTHING of this bill."

"What? You're paying nothing? After I've given you a half off the price of one burger out of the goodness of my HEART? I'll tell you what... you pay nothing, and don't bother coming back here ever again, okay???" An aggressive rugby-player stance.

"Who's the owner?" I say, notebook out, pen open, the black blood flowing onto the page.

"Ashley," he says.

"Phone number," I say.

"083 283 5418," he says.

Just then Morrie and Edna and Beulah and Clyde arrive, the stroller clanging against the floor. "EDNA!" says Morrie. "THERE'S J.J.!!! EDNA!!!"


J.J. puts his hand on Edna's shoulder. She presses a fifty buck note into his other hand.


Monday, April 26, 2004

Mugg & Bean, Cresta

Monday, April 26, 2004

Service: * * *1/2
Food: * * *1/2
Ambience: * * *
Babe Count: * * * *

I've been watching this blonde two tables away for the last twenty minutes or so. She's having an earnest conversation with an older woman. She fumbles around in her handbag, and pulls out a pen. Scouts around the table, and starts writing stuff down on something.

I'm not certain what she's writing on, but it seems as though it's a paper napkin.

Now I'm here cos I've taken half a day off work cos of yesterday's food poisoning still being in my system, and I've got four Ethiopian educational scripts to get through by tomorrow morning, regardless of what poisons line my stomach. So I've got my notebooks and a pad of writing paper. Tons to spare.

Now the blonde has walked past my table earlier, so I've scoped out her figure. And she's a good looking babe. Nice curves. Very interesting face. Very smiley. With extremely long hair. Below the bottom of her buttocks.

So I reckon it'll be nice and gentlemanly to scoot over to her table and offer her some paper.

Which I do. I simply tear off a couple of sheets, walk over, hand her the pages, and say, "You look like you could use a few of these." I smile. She smiles. Says thanks very enthusiastically. And I go back to checking my scripts. The good deed has been done. And I didn't even slip her my Coffee-Shop Schmuck business card.

And she wasn't writing on a napkin. It was the back of an old slip. Crammed to the brim with tiny tiny handwriting.

My potato gratinee bake arrives, and I start plowing through it. I'm really not very hungry, and the food poisoning really feels like it's ready for a resurgence any minute now. But I do need sustenance, and there's nothing at all in my house except for some soup I cooked two winters ago and froze in Tupperware. I haven't dared look inside the Tupperware. Contrary to popular belief, frozen food DOES go off. It just takes longer to do so. In fact, two winters should just about do the trick.

So while I eat what would ordinarily be a delicious gratinee, I leave the scripts for later and observe the snivelling humanity sitting at the next table.

It's one of those families people flinch to see.

The man. Beak nose. Hair in a crest over one eyebrow. When he was young, he must have been a neat stiff-arm dancer. Unbearable vomit coloured jacket, the colour made up of a sort of blue-ish wool, cross-woven with a light-gray-brown wool. Ugh!!! People spend thousands of rands on this stuff.

The woman. No chin. None. Whatsoever. Just a bottom lip joined by a long sloping piece of pink skin tucked into a black collar with tiny white polka dots. Very wide collar. Visible above a pinky-red cashmere cardigan. A sprinkle of gold drizzled around her necklessness.

Two daughters. The young one around six. Wearing a pink pajama top with flowers embroidered on it. Still young and innocent.

The other around eight or nine. As soon as I see her, I start mouthing a word silently in her direction. "Escape!" I say. "Escape!!!" But it's too late. She's already trapped. This little madam has a blue and white striped polo-neck top in varying shades of blue, with glitter wool. She's wearing knee-high boots over skin-tight black slacks. Her nails have been shaped, and they've got clear pearl varnish on. And she's wearing dark pink lipstick. Not slap dash. Expertly applied.

She stares at me. "Escape!" I say again, exaggerating my mouth shape. She frowns, looks past me, turns away and doesn't look back. Will never look back.

I finish half my meal, and resume script checking. I'm almost through the fourth one when the smiley blonde with the extreme hair comes to my table. It would be reallllllly nice right now to have her hair spread out over my pillow. Or cascading down past her breasts, to stroke my cheek.

She says, "I just want to say thank you so much for your act of kindness earlier. You took the trouble to notice my need. Not many people would do a thing like that. Thank you so very much."

She gives me a dazzling smile. And I WANT to give her my card. But that'll dash the purity of the moment. So I just smile back and say, "Thank you!"

She smiles again, turns, and her hair catches me in its wake, and I watch her walk away from me.

Later, the manageress, Kate, comes and chats to me. I've paid with my Master Card, and Mugg & Bean has a special on at the moment where you get a free coffee voucher every time you use the card. So she's come to give me mine.

I wheedle some info out of her. I find that she's on her last few days at Mugg & Bean, and that the Spur in Balfour Park has just been bought by new owners, and that she's about to move over there and manage that place.

"Sheesh," I tell her. "That's going to be a challenge. I work across the road from it, and there are only three places in Balfour Park to eat at... the Mugg & Bean, which is TERRRRRRIBLE!, the chicken place next door, and the Spur, which is worse than the Mugg & Bean.

"I know," she says. "But the new owners are going to make a huge difference."

"Maybe I'll try it out tomorrow," I say.

"Let me know. I'm sure things can improve there," she says.

We yack a bit more, and it's time for me to go home and sleep off the rest of this food poisoning. I check my jersey for long blonde hairs, but nothing's caught. I'll just have to imagine.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Chantal's house, Rivonia

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Service: * * * *
Food: N/A
Ambience: * * *
Babe Count: * * *1/2

I'm at Chantal's place in Rivonia. Damon and Wendy have joined us for lunch, but I've been lying on Chantal's bed most of the time, sleeping. And when I haven't been sleeping, I've been leaning over her toilet vomiting up warm, rotten soy-milk mixed with musli.

That was breakfast earlier.

Chantal and I met to do a visioning workshop together, which involves spreading dozens of magazines on the floor, cutting pictures out that answer a question, and then making a collage on huge sheets of paper. She's the woman who runs trance dances every month, and I've done about ten or twelve of these. I get in free nowadays, cos I lend her my radio lapel microphone.

This particular kind of trance dance is a bit of a shamanic thing. It's NOT a bunch of rave bunnies getting high and loving each other up on drugs. This is strictly a mystical experience. We all wear blindfolds, and dance to this incredible music while questing for solutions to our own particular issues.

I most often use the trance dance as an opportunity to do a shamanic vision quest.

Today's magazine collage session has gone very well, apart from me skipping the first of the two sessions. This is a tool I use in my creativity workshops, and Chantal's been in a space where she needs some answers from her subconscious, and I've been in a space where I want to actualise my next relationship.

I've made a picture of my ideal lover. And then I've dialogued with her, using my non-dominant hand. So she's told me some things about herself and what she expects from me. I don't want to make the same mistake I made with Jacqui.

I suspect that what happened with Jacqui is that I decided I wanted a relationship, and then Jacqui came upon the scene, and I recognised her as someone I wanted to be with, and I made the DECISION that she was the woman for me. Aside from the fact that we're mightily compatible, and our sex life was exceptionally wonderful, I think I overlooked the period in which two lovers explore whether or not they're meant for each other. I just took it as given on my side, and expected her to recognise that on her side.

Maybe I am her ideal lover. Maybe not. The timing was wrong. And I hope she does indeed meet her ideal lover. And I hope I meet mine.

Right now, lying on Chantal's bed, suppressing the gag reflex, I'm really quite peeved. Mariaan -- the blonde with the pneumatic breasts -- and I were supposed to go and see a movie tonight. And I realllllllly wanted to get her naked. I've even bought a foldable easel so I can draw her anywhere, anytime. I've had to phone and cancel our date.

Chantal reckons this vomiting is the universe trying to tell me something. "Roy, do you KNOW this girl? How can you just want to SHAG someone you don't KNOW? I can't shag just ANYONE! I think you should listen to the universe."

"It COULD be the universe," I say to Chantal. But I think it's the soy milk.

And anyway... Mariaan and I will be seeing each other on Wednesday night. I'll have my easel ready.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Nino's, Melville

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Service: * *1/2
Food: N/A
Ambience: * * *
Babe Count: * * * 1/2

Damon's just left. He's off to have supper with Wendy. So I'm stuck with Akbal.

"Here," he says, looking a heck of a lot like Jay Naidoo when he was a student activist, "look at this one. A real collector's piece. Not more than thirty of these in the world! You know how much? Guess. Take a guess how much."

We're on the sixty-seventh movie poster. This one's for a movie called EPIC ASTEROIDS. It's Japanese, and the photos on the poster are really cruddy kung-fu style pics, but with sci-fi costumes. Sheesh.

"Nah, not for me," I say. "Next one, please."

"It's very collectable," he says. "EPIC ASTEROIDS. Only R400. But make me an offer."

"Akbal," I say, "I'm really only interested in the R50 posters, so you might as well skip the expensive ones."

"Okay," he says, and he bites his lip a little in disbelief. I'm passing up EPIC ASTEROIDS. Chance of a lifetime.

Akbal comes to Melville twice a week, and goes around the restaurants flogging these old posters. He gets them by buying up the stock of old movie companies.

The only reason I'm looking at them is cos he might have some outrageous horror-movie titles. And since Damon and I are writing a horror together, it'll be nostalgically correct for later on in our careers to have crappy b-movie horror posters.

He turns to the next one. Carefully unfolds it. "Early 70's porn," he says. "R800."

A hand gesture from me. The bitten lip from him. A pause before he opens the next one, as if to say, 'Are you ABSOLUTELY sure you want me to move onto the next gem??? This is a CLASSIC!!!' He opens the next one.

I'm passing time, really, so it doesn't matter how long it takes him to get through his pile. As long as he's through by the time Mandy arrives. She's smsed me to see if I want to do coffee. Of course I do!

"Please, Akbal," I say, "if it's more expensive than R50, please don't even show it to me. Truly. If it crosses the impulse-buy pain threshold, I'm not interested."

"But this one!" he says, and he can't go on. I fear tears, and am about to ask the waitress for a wad of serviettes. But he composes himself. "Look," he says, "this one's starring Red Buttons."

"How much?"

"This copy is R1800."

My hand gesture.

He holds up a hand. "But," he says, "I've got a damaged copy in my car. R50."

I look at it. It's for a movie called WHO KILLED MARY WHATS'ERNAME? The slugline reads, 'Somebody just murdered your friendly neighborhood hooker.' Hmmm. It's not horror, really. But it does sound like a slasher. And the movie Damon and I are writing could be called a slasher.

Mandy arrives.

"Akbal, Mandy. Mandy, Akbal." They shake hands. Mandy sits.

"I'll take the damaged one," I say.

He keeps showing us posters for the next twenty minutes, and my stomach starts asking for supper. Eventually, I take two extremely damaged posters for R50 each, and he throws in a third even more damaged poster for free. When he leaves, I ask Mandy if she'd like it.

"I quite like that one," she says.

Damon and I have just had a minor adventure. We wanted to see the five o'clock show of STARSKY AND HUTCH, but we couldn't really decide where to see it. Eastgate and Cresta would have queues around the block. Sandton was too far. Rosebank Zone would be filled with trainer bras.

"Hey, hold on!" said Damon on the phone. "What about The Carlton Centre?"

"Hey," I say, "that used to be a flagship movie house." I was actually thinking of the Kine Entertainment Complex across the road, but it's been a long long time since I've seen a movie in Johannesburg central.

After a bit of discussion, we decide to see it there. We'll be urban warriors reclaiming the city centre. We'll be white boys showing that we're not afraid of inner city thuggery.

We get to the cinema, and I pull out my Vitality Card. This entitles me to see movies for a mere R11. I don't even know what mortals like Damon pay for the things. Somewhere around R30, I reckon. But the guy at the ticket booth looks at me as though I'm a crazed whitey. "Eish, broer," he says, "tickets here are R10. But if you WANT to spend R11, gimme your card."

"I'll save a buck," I say, and we all grin insanely.

Buy popcorn. Go into the cinema. And it's in top-notch shape. Ster Kinekor must be spending bucks upgrading inner city cinemas. Very impressive. The sound isn't as good as it could be, but it's a beautiful experience.

The adventure part comes when I slip out to the loo midway through the movie.

There's this shady looking rasta man lurking outside the door when I arrive at full trot, bladder full to pre-bursting. I go into the loo, and he follows me. 'Ah damn,' I'm thinking. 'Shoulda given my wallet to Damon. And my palmtop. And my cellphone.' But hey, I've got my Swiss Army knife. So this guy must just try. AND I do tai chi.

He steps up to the urinals, unzips, and lets rip. I do too. And for a moment we're busy having a pissing contest. I'm using my stream to write, 'Jacqui, I still love you,' on the porcelain. He's just gushing. I glance down at the urinal next to mine.

In it, covered in yellow wee, a frilly, lacey pair of white panties.

And that's my movie adventure in The Carlton Centre. I'll definitely be going to see more movies there.

Mandy says, "I'm quite hungry. Where shall we go for supper?"

"Let's walk around Melville and take pot luck," I say.

"Great," she says. "But supper's on me tonight. How about Mezza Luna?"

"Excellent," I say, and pick up my two posters. She picks up hers, and we head into the Melville night.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Park Hyatt, Rosebank

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Service: * * * *
Food: N/A
Ambience: * * * *
Babe Count: * * * * 1/2

Mariaan is Afrikaans. Coincidentally, I spent last night listening to Koos Kombuis's BEYOND NIEMANDSLAND on repeat, so I've been singing in Afrikaans in the shower. Which gives me a bit of an edge when it comes to communing with her. My Afrikaans is pretty fluent, seeing as I spent several years with Antoinette, learning the language via pillow infusion. Nothing like making love in your lover's mother tongue.There's a pile of scripts on the front seat of my car. They HAVE to be gotten through by around noon tomorrow. Which means my morning is going to be frenetic and laborious and tedious.

I was going to go through them tonight, in a coffee shop, in a manner both leisurely and languid, and fitting for the artistic temperament.

But hey. Better things happen in life. Which is why they eight chemistry scripts are still on my passenger seat itching to be stroked by my red corrections pen. And that's where they'll stay till tomorrow morning.

Because right now I'm in the Park Hyatt Hotel coffee shop drinking tea with a curvy blonde émigré from Cape Town. She's ordered a glass of dry white wine.

Beauty, our waitress, arrives and produces a glass the size of Dolly Parton's old bra. It's big enough to hold at least three-quarters of a bottle of wine. Wow. Daunting.

But Mariaan is up to it. Must be her Cape genes.

I've just seen a movie... THE SHAPE OF THINGS, written and directed by Neil LaBute. And it's a beaut. 8 out of 10 on the Roy-o-Meter. Bitter, cynical, arty, self-conscious, witty-witty-witty.

But before the movie, I had to buy a ticket. And while I was standing in the queue, I heard some people wondering whether or not to see INTERMISSION. So I but in and say, "See it! It's an Irish cross between LOCK, STOCK & FOUR SMOKING BARRELS and TRAINSPOTTING. It's a thriller, a comedy, and a love story all rolled into one."

A blonde babe with pneumatic breasts and deliciously curved hips says, "And can you recommend COLD MOUNTAIN?"

"I haven't seen it," I say, "but I've heard it's quite a downer."

Somebody else pipes up, "But Jude Law's in it. And Nicole Kidman. It's brilliant. Brillllllliant!"

And so movies were watched.

When I came out of mine, there was a message from Eran. So I give him a call and walk around Rosebank while I'm chatting to him. I finish the conversation outside the Kitsch & Cool shop near the Park Hyatt, and there's the pneumatic blonde finishing a call of her own.

"Excuse me," she says, "how was THE SHAPE OF THINGS?"

I'm looking at the shape of her things, and I'm thinking how I'd love to take her back to my place, get her nude, and draw her. I say, "Ah, it was great fun. Very dark. But lovely. What did you end up choosing?"

"COLD MOUNTAIN. And it was VERY much a downer. At the end, I just sat there in the cinema. I couldn't move." She has big, bold, delicious-looking lips, and they're moving.

"Lets go to the Park Hyatt and have coffee and pretend to be rich foreigners," I say.

Which is how we get to be sitting on one of the couches.

Some things I certainly know about myself. I'm extremely probing, very easy to talk to, and pretty direct.

Soon we're talking about Mariaan's dreams. Her biggest passion in life is travelling, seeing the world, experiencing other people's cultures. She's got some plans that she's letting germinate. And one of these fine days she's going to be making a living doing what she loves.

"So imagine we're somewhere exotic," I say. "Where are we?"

"Brazil!!!" she says.

"Okay. We're in Brazil. Who am I?"

"Ooooooooo," she says, flapping her hand. Her eyes start to shine, and she smiles. He jacket collar is framing her right breast absolutely perfectly. "You're... you're a Brazilian hunk that I've met, and we're having a drink. It's Carnival. It's definitely Brazil during Carnival."

"Hmmm," I say. "So I'm this Brazilian hunk. And what are we doing after we have our drinks?"

Her eyes narrow slightly, and she peers at me. Am I detecting a twinge of lust? Or am I projecting my own desires onto the situation?

She's 35. She was married for ten years, and broke up with her hubbie one year and three months ago. She hasn't had awfully many sexual experiences with anyone since the divorce, but she's not closed to the idea of meeting a good man.

She takes a long sip of wine from the goblet.

"Hmmm," I say, "so I'm this Brazilian god, and you're this beautiful blonde, and we're having a drink during Carnival. I think maybe we go down to the beach and make love?"

She nods slowly.

"Do you mind if I draw you?" I say.

She flinches, crosses her arms, blushes madly. "No, you can't!" she says.

"Are you sure?" I say. "You don't look certain."

"No, it's okay," she says. "You can draw me. It's just that nobody's ever asked me that question!"

I open my leather satchel and extract my sketchbook, my ink bottle, and my gynaecological exploration device, the Maped Ruling Pen.

"Right here?" she says.

"You don't have to sit still," I say.

Three French-speaking black businesspeople in suits have been sitting on the sofa opposite us for the last hour, and they've said about eight words to each other all night.

Mariaan says, "Wow. They're VERY interested in what you're doing."

I say, "They're maybe wondering if I'm some sort of famous artist trying to get you into bed with me."

After a few sketches, I show her the results. I can't tell whether or not she likes them.

"There are two things I want," I say to her, after much deliberation and churning of the gut. This will be the first time I've said either of these things in a first meeting. I say, "One... I want you to pose naked for me."

"Oooo!" she says. "Not immediately!"

"Two," I say, "I want to make love with you."

"I think the ladies love you, Roy. Do the ladies love you? You have such a way. You've worked your way into my heart. Wow. I've never been asked such things before."

"I haven't asked such things before," I say. "Not on a first meeting."

She thinks about it.

She says, "Right now I'm coming down with flu, so, no, not tonight. But another time maybe. As for posing, I'll think about it. Maybe."

She has my Coffee-Shop Schmuck business card. Maybe she'll use it. Maybe she won't.

I say, "Please don't feel pressure from either of my requests. I just want you to know what I want. If I don't say it, you can't know it."

"You've worked your way into my heart," she says.

"That was quick," I say.

"You know it, Roy. You've got a way with the ladies."

Monday, April 19, 2004

Wiesenhof, Killarney

Monday, April 19, 2004

Service: * * *
Food: * * * 1/2
Ambience: * *
Babe Count: * * * *

It's backgammon time. Tonight I'm playing Doc Peter Wisniewski, one of the stronger players. I haven't been doing too badly this season. Out of twenty-four players, I'm standing at the solid mid-point. I'm exactly the twelfth strongest player in the club. Glass half full, yeah?

I order the chicken schnitzel with cheese sauce and rice. "Danny," I say to the waiter, "does this dish involve mushrooms? Please answer correctly. Just say no."

"I'll make sure they don't put any mushrooms in it," he says.

"Are you sure, cos I've had this dish before, and they had mushrooms in the stir fry."

"I'll make absolutely sure."

"Good answer, oh Dannnnnnny Booooooy," I sing.

"Why is it that EVERYBODY sings 'Oh Danny Boy' when they first hear my name?"

Doc Pete tells me that it's very important to do a daily cleansing of the prostate, utilising manual massage.

I say, "Whaddaya mean? Are you supposed to use an electric toothbrush???"

"Nah. A finger will do the trick. I told my wife that it's recommended by my urologist. She said I have to get a doctor's note from him."

Now if you don't know what's involved in massaging the prostate, lets just say that it involves KY Jelly, preferably heated to body temperature. And a rather intimate massage partner who has clipped his or her nails. And it's probably a good idea if you've gone to the loo some time before. And a good scrub with an old facecloth is also probably not a bad precaution.

The sex books recommend that if women want to please their men, they should consider slipping a finger in and massaging his prostate while he's busy doing the wild fandango. I've submitted to this treatment, and I must say that it doesn't work for me. Kinda feels like her finger has travelled up my gut into my throat. Quite unpleasant. But hey. Maybe it takes practice?

We get down to some serious backgammon. Peter's written a kiddie's poem which he's hoping to turn into a book. We talk about his writing career while we play. "I've just submitted something to the New Yorker," he says, throwing a crippling double six.

We're pretty even until I accept a mad, bad, terrible cube, which hits the horrid "8", the feared spider. If I lose this game, he'll overtake me, and go into a convincing lead. We play to 21 points in these matches.

Peter goes into a convincing lead when I lose the spider.

The food arrives. No mushrooms. Very appetising. I'm happy with it. Tasty. Wholesome. Better than my mom could have made it, I suspect.

Not that I'd ever tell my mom anything like that.

I spoke to my mom last night. She's now in Port Edward, across the river from the Transkei, officially in Natal, where the law is taken pretty seriously. She's staying in the spare bedroom of one of my brother's buddies, and they're looking for a spot for her to call her own.

"Mommy," I said to her on the phone, "have you managed to find a counsellor yet?"

"Ag," she says. "What for? I'm talking to lots of people. What will a counsellor help?"

"Oh, Mommy, I used to be a crisis counsellor. There's nothing wrong with speaking to a professional. They can help you. Most police stations can put you in touch with a free counselling service. Try it, Mommy. Please?"

"Ag, I'll see," she says.

The babe count in Wiesenhof is actually quite high, seeing as Maliska and Renee and Sophia are here. They're all very pretty, and they're all glowing. The only reason I don't give them five stars is to stop them from getting big heads. And they're all in relationships, so a lower babe count score than reality would demand is actually an insurance policy for me. No jealous lovers coming to hunt me down.

But they're the ONLY babes in the joint. There's not another centimetre of babeflesh in sight. Maybe it's the backgammon? Maybe we scare the babes away?

Thwack. Peter flings his dice into the board. Crash. Beats me 21-15.

"You played well," he says.

And I realise that he's just massaged my backgammon prostate without lube.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Sakura Sushi, Melville

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Service: * * *
Food: * * *
Ambience: *
Babe Count: * * * *

Phone: +27 11 726 6099

Stacey is very petite, with corkscrew black hair, and light brown, almost-green eyes. Scarily thin, but I can't wait to take up her offer of posing for me. I've gotta see what she looks like naked. (I'm assuming that when she offered to pose for me, she meant naked. One can but hope.) This picture looks nothing like her. But she reckons it looks identical to her mother.When I went to movies with Eran and Jade last week, one of the babes who joined the group was Stacey, a frisky little actress with very tiny breasts.

We all saw TAKING LIVES, a diabolically clumsy wannabe-thriller that gets a solid 2 out of 10 on the Roy-o-meter. Predictable. A tepid manipulator of emotion. I do admit to one scream moment, in which I shouted, "Aaaaaa! Fuck!!!" and jumped onto the seat. But that was it.

I asked Eran for Stacey's number, but didn't have a chance to use it. That's cos she used my Coffee-Shop Schmuck business card first. So today was a date. We had lunch at Europa in Parkhurst. I had my predictable chicken salad. Stacey had a salad with fried haloumi. Looked amazing, aside from the mushrooms.

My editor at Memar, the Ethiopian educational tv project I'm working on arrives at 2pm to work on his CV with me. So Stacey heads off to the blue skies of Melville, leaving Steve and me to play with my laptop in Europa. "I'm heading out to the Heart Centre later to see Chris Tokalon play sax," she saiys. "Join me?"


So Steve and I get down to the business of getting him a top-notch CV, pay the bill, and I head off to see Chris play. I've done his sound journey workshop before, and it was superb. I have his cd, DANCING IN DA LIGHT. Lush and lovely.

I reach the Heart Centre in time for the last song. Stacey is sitting on a blanket on the lawn, as are a hundred hippy folk, including Jennifer Ferguson, one of South Africa's most under-rated musical treasures. She's sitting on her own blanket with some buddies. "Hey Jennifer," I say, and go and greet her. "Roy Blumenthal," I say, holding her hand.

"I know," she says. But I don't expect her to remember my name, so it's always safer to pre-empt any embarrassment by saying it first regardless. I first met her through her sister Melinda in about 1990, when I was active as a performer in Yeoville's Black Sun. In around 1993 or 94 I started a busking project in Joubert Park under the auspices of the Johannesburg Art Gallery and COSAW, the Congress of South African Writers. Jennifer was gracious enough to consent to playing as a busker in the park for my project. What a generous and loving woman. Her song "Dickie Baby" makes me cry every time.

I sit with Stacey, and Chris plays an encore. Yay! He's a very lekker chap. Good man. Good music. Highest integrity.

It's getting chilly, and the sun has just set in a puff of orange. When Chris finishes, he invites us all to stay for the fire later.

Stacey and I schmooze a bit. Cathy van Rensburg's here. Henning Pieterse is here. Ray Perkel's here. Then we go and sit at the fire for about ten minutes.

"I'm STARVING!" I say.

"Me too," says Stacey.

Which is why we're now sitting in Melville's Sakura Sushi, helping ourselves to maki rolls from the conveyor belt. Tobie Cronje and William Pretorius walk in. "Hullo William," I say. "Roy Blumenthal."

"Yes, I know," he says. "How are you?"

"I promise I'll send you Aria as soon as we have a copy," I tell him. "Hullo Tobie."

"Excellent," he says, and he and Tobie take a seat on the opposite side.

"He's a brilliant movie critic," I tell Stacey.

"And Tobie's such a humble man," she says. "Such a lovely actor. He's in a play that Karen's in." Karen is her housemate, someone I know from SABC days. She plays Maggie in Isidingo. "Karen says howzit, by the way."

"Cool!" I say. "Please offer her a squeeze from me."

Jamie Jupiter joins us. He's a musician. Stacey says, "What do you think of Barrie Ronge as a film critic?"

"Hehehehe," I say. "I used to be his sound controller for about two years on his radio show at 702. He's a good middle-of-the-road critic, I think. Knows his audience. I think if he were more cutting, he'd lose them."

Jamie agrees.

"But," I say, "he went through a phase of praising any film that had a gay character in it, no matter how good the film was."

"Hmmmmm," says Stacey, raising an eyebrow. She has an extremely mobile face. Uses it in comedy routines when she does standup. "Are you homophobic, Roy?"

"No, not at all. Two of my best friends are gay. And I've considered whether or not I may be. But I just don't find the hardness of a male body a turnon. I just can't picture a dick prodding against me and into me to be erotic. I like women's bodies."

Jamie's nodding.

"But," I say, "gay men give way better blowjobs."

"How do you KNOW that?" says Jamie.

I smile mysteriously. Then admit that I'm talking nonsense.

"Well," says Stacey, "it makes sense. Similar to why women give better muff dives. They know their bodies better."

"Not necessarily true," I say. "I've had two girlfriends who turned out to be gay, and they both said I was moderately up there on the giving head scale."

"I've got a horrid blowjob story," says Jamie. "Some friends of mine went out for supper in Cape Town. One thing led to another, and they went down to the beach. And she gave him a blow job. Problem is that she didn't wash her mouth properly after the meal. It was loaded with chili, and she transferred it to his dick. He says he's never had such pain!"

A moment's silence out of respect for the poor guy's member.

And I'm hoping that Stacey might wanna try out her chili technique with me.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Bourbon Street Cafe, Rosebank Mall

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Service: N/A
Food: N/A
Ambience: *
Babe Count: * * * *

Ever  had eyes and dimples work their turn-on magic on you? Meet Myrto.Myrto and I are sitting in a very closed Bourbon Street Cafe at the top of the escalators in Rosebank Mall. Everything's closed, and this is the only place that still has comfie chairs for late night types to sit in.

The reason I'm in a space where I'm able to sit and flirt with a gorgeous babe is that I sent Jacqui the email I needed to send on Monday night. I smsed her to say I'd sent it. It basically asked her whether or not to wait for her, whether or not she had any thoughts on whether or not we had any potential of a future together. This morning I received her reply. A very loving, very straight, very unflinching, "No." So now I'm a free man again, even though I don't want to be.

What's more, I've told my therapist about this curious phenomenon I've encountered in myself. I seem to have three modes. Celibate. Shagadelic. Relationship. She said, "Roy, maybe try and integrate shagadelic and relationship. Allow yourself to just be. Don't make any decisions about the women you date. If you want to shag, shag. If you want to have a relationship, have one. But don't pre-judge. Just allow what comes to come."

So I'm trying to do that. Instead of just going all out to shag someone, I'm also allowing myself to just enjoy the idea that I might be able to date without conquest. Without even the need to call the encounter a date. Maybe I'm just allowed to enjoy myself. And the woman I'm with.

Seconds ago Myrto and I were in TriBeCa downstairs, opposite Cinema Nouveau, sitting in the smoking section with a bunch of South African filmmakers, most of whom work at DV8 in some or other capacity. We were sitting in the smoking section, cos our mutual buddy, Ben Horowitz, the chap who introduced us, is a chain smoker, as are most of the filmmakers we've been sitting with. In just half an hour of sitting with them, my clothes need a double dose of dry-cleaning!

Myrto is Greek. Studied filmmaking at UWC, one of the most prestigious film schools in the world. She's made two short films, and wants to direct. "Right now, I'm doing the script supervising thing," she says. This is a woman with a plan, and she's following it, and success is definitely on its way.

Earlier, down in TriBeCa, I said, "Uh, I'm sure people ask you this a lot, but are you wearing contact lenses?"

She smiles, and her dimples reach their little fingers into my trousers. "No, all mine," she says.

I say, "Well, then I know people say this a lot, but I'll say it anyway... you have absolutely beautiful eyes."

"It's good to hear it," she says. I'm not even sure I can describe the colour. A kind of turquoise, green, bluish, deep colour. Amazing eyes.

Ben Horowitz, one of the best Assistant Directors in the business. But now he's ready to make feature movies. His own feature movies. Other people's. This dude's hot. Use him on your next film.The reason a whole bunch of filmmakers have been convening at Cinema Nouveau is that DV8 and Ster Kinekor invited a bunch of us to the premiere of a "low" budget Irish movie, INTERMISSION. Several times during the movie, spontaneous applause broke out, and most of us clapped at the end too. A remarkably loveable set of characters in the film, doing some bad things, and affirming the power of true love. Tugged at my heartstrings, made me laugh, and gave me some thrills on the action front too. A film I'd love to have made.

Ben and I were sitting four rows from the front when he recognised Myrto somewhere else in the cinema.

"Join us, Myrto," Ben calls.

She's there alone. Promising. Succulent body. These unbelievable eyes. Layered black hair in a tiered bob. Yummy. Ben moves to his right, leaving a gap in the middle for her.

I've drawn one of my ink portraits of her. But everyone at the TriBeCa table agreed that it might be her in twenty years time.

Up at the deserted Bourbon Street, we're in intense discussion about making films. "Why aren't you directing shorts in your spare time?" I ask.

"I've done my shorts," she says.

"But speak to Ben. The hotel story we were chatting about in the cinema before the film started is amazing. Maybe he'll let you direct it."

"Good idea," she says.

She's got my Coffee-Shop Schmuck card, and has commented on my Che Guevara-ness.

"So where do you live?" I ask. "Must be Bedfordview if you're truly Greek."

"Not at all," she says. "Houghton. But I did go to that famous school in Bedfordview."

"Saheti?" I say.

Myrto nods, the dimples massaging my beltline.

A few of my childhood friends went to highschool there. Paul Christelis for one. And a more recent buddy from a couple of years ago. "Do you know Harry Sideropoulos?"

"Harry's my best buddy!" she says. "I love him to bits!"

"Pleeeeeease use my card," I say. "And I'm definitely going to grill Harry about you." I'll do no such thing. Instead, I'll beg him to put in a good word for me. Which I do as soon as I've seen Myrto to her car. I sms Harry, thanking him for his message of support re my mom's rape, and telling him I've met the remarkable Myrto, and asking him to help out a buddy. Maybe she'll phone. But she's going to be in Cape Town for a few months, so maybe I'll just have to be patient.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Europa, Rosebank Mall

Monday, April 12, 2004

Service: * *
Food: * *
Ambience: * *
Babe Count: * * * *

I've been wandering around Rosebank Mall wondering if I should catch a movie. I'm on the phone to Ex-girlfriend when Eran and Jade emerge. We gesticulate, and through sign language agree to have coffee at Europa.

I get off the phone to Ex-girlfriend. We've been reviewing the four things I suggested she needs to do to get through this current crisis.

One -- get a baseball bat and phone book, and, instead of taking out her primal anger on her husband, smash the phone book to bits with the bat. This is one of the most satisfying ragge-management tools I know. When you hit the book, it THWACKS almightily, and bits and pieces of paper spray all over the place. Amazing stuff. Next time you're angry, try it. I used a cricket bat when I was into it.

Two -- do one thing every day that builds her life. This is to stop her from focussing on the negative. She's in a space right now where she's saying that Bernard is ONLY negative, that there' NOTHING positive about him.

Three -- work with her therapist over the next three weeks to find out what her payoff is in being with this guy. She's chosen a situation that is bringing out extremes in her, and there must be payoffs. When we were walking around Emmarentia Lake yesterday, I was saying to her, 'You're getting something out of this transaction, this co-creation. Find out what you're getting out of it, and then CHOOSE to get the SAME end result, but using positive means, not these negative ones.'

Four -- filter everything through this phrase... 'What is the loving thing to do?' I've got it written on my toilet wall, and my shower wall. It reminds me of two things... Firstly, that I am a loving person, and that I can choose to offer love at any time I like, that my presence in the world CAN involve lovingness, even when I'm in pain. Secondly, it reminds me that no matter how the other person is behaving, or how I'm interpreting the behaviour of the other person, that person may actually be operating from love too, and I may simply not be receiving that. It's a reality check. Sometimes people do horrible and inappropriate things when they are really simply trying to communicate a NEED for love, or a fear of abandonment. Or a million things. Asking, 'What is the loving thing to do?' is the most amazing antidote to other peoples' negative energy.

We ring off, and I go into Europa. Eran says, "We're going to see THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. Want to join us?"

"Absolutely not," I say. I order the cheesecake and a pot of tea. Eran orders tea only. Jade orders cheesecake and tea. She pushes the babe count up to five, minus one for lack of Jacqui.

I've been wandering around Rosebank with the express aim of finding a coffee-shop to sit down in and compose an email to Jacqui. It's just coincidence that I happen to have bumped into one of my best friends in the whole world. And his delectable girlfriend.

The email I'm going to write to Jacqui is about asking her whether or not I should wait for her. My choices at the moment are:

One -- remain celibate AND ignorant of Jacqui's intentions. Date no-one. Wait for Jacqui, and save myself for the day she knows whether or not she wants to be with me.

Two -- shag a zillion women, and get my self esteem back out of my socks and into my testicles where it belongs. Don't tell Jacqui.

Three -- accept that Jacqui and I are a thing of the past, and start dating with the intention of 'having a relationship'. Notice any cynicism?

Four -- let Jacqui know what I'm feeling, and get some ground rules in place to allow any possibility between me and her to at least have a glimmer of hope. I'm aware of not wanting to do anything irrevocable when it comes to Jacqui. I'm convinced that she's the one for me, and I DO NOT WANT TO MESS THIS UP.

Jade says, "So, are you going to go and see your mom?"

"No," I say. "I've decided not to go. My brother's there, and I'm okay with that."

"I'm curious about your not going," she says. "I've got a similar feeling about my own mother."

"Well," I say, "my mom's spent a lot of energy and time manipulating other people, and I don't know if there's ever been a straight interaction between me and her. On the phone, and via letters and posting her books and tuck parcels, I retain control over the interactions. I'm in a very fragile space right now, and I don't want to give up my control and go into her manipulation zone."

Eran says, "But you're not a young child anymore, Roy. You go there as an adult, with insight, and much better defences."

"If I weren't in this breakup with Jacqui, I might agree with you," I say. "But I know myself, and I know my mom. And I choose not to engage in her stuff. This really is a universe call. It's asking me to wake up to who she is, and to recognise that she is responsible for herself, and I'm not responsible for her. I know it sounds hard, but I choose to be selfish in this. I come first. And I'm more effective -- both for her AND for myself -- by being here and intact, not there and hooked into her stuff."

Jade's nodding.

Aryan Kaganof saunters up. He's wearing a brown leather camera jacket. Vaguely military. He's looking thinner, fitter. He's also newly single. "Hey," he says, "you joining us for a crucifixion?" He sits down.

"No chance," I say. "You know the forty lashes? Apparently you see every single one of them. In real time. Twenty minutes of Jesus being lashed. Who needs it?"

"Only FORTY lashes?!!" he says. "I want my money back! I thought it was a hundred and forty!!!" He says, "I read your Coffee-Shop Schmuck site. Jeez Roy. Sorry to hear about this shit you're going through."

"Here," I say, offering him my cheesecake. "Have a bite of shaving foam."

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Ex-girlfriend's house, Brixton

Service: * *
Food: * * *
Ambience: * *
Babe Count: * * *

My nameless ex-girlfriend and I are busy eating our takeaway Nando's meal. She's removed the tablecloth from her gran's antique dining room table, since she doesn't want us ingesting glass. I've spent about ten minutes trying to sweep up debris from the kitchen floor using a grass broom.

The table is broken. It's from the force of the lamp coming down on the edge of it on Saturday evening when she chucked her husband out of her house. She needs a week away from him to let her rage subside and get perspective.

We've just started eating when the electric gate opens, and he drives in. He's come to collect a shirt and some toiletries. We've never met, and this isn't the best time for it. But hey. Here he is.

Ex-girlfriend says, "Bernard, Roy. Roy, Bernard."

We shake hands. He's damn good looking for an American. Shaggy, curly hair. Looks a bit like Iain Banks, the Scottish writer. About my height. Stocky too. I wonder if Ex-girlfriend fell for him cos he's a bit like me?

I say, "Nice to meet you. Pity about the timing though. Very crap circumstances."

"Yeah," he says. "I've heard a lot about you."

"Yeah," I say.

"Want a drink?" he asks, pouring himself a Scotch.

"No, thanks," I say. "I'm cool with the Tab."

"Well," he says, not without irony, "welcome to my house."

"Our house," says Ex-girlfriend.

He sits down. Everyone's silent.

He gets up. Goes and does something in the bathroom. Ex-girlfriend starts telling me about her sister. It's like she's denying his existence.

He comes back. Sits down. Swirls ice in the Scotch glass.

"Want some rice?" I say.

"Nah, I've eaten," he says. "Going to a party just now. Wanna come?"

"No thanks," I say. "Working a full day tomorrow."

Ex-girlfriend continues the story about her sister.

"I have to interrupt you," I say. "Bernard, I need to say some stuff to you..."

He swirls the ice.

I take the plunge. "Bernard, I know this is really uncomfortable for all of us. But I have to tell you this. I love this woman. We spent several years together, and I want the best for her. And what you did is unacceptable." I'm shaking at this point. We're both sitting down. My body is coiled, and my reflexes are ready to take over. My daily tai chi training is about a million miles away. "This is what I need to say... don't hurt her."

"Lemme get this straight," he says. "You come into my house uninvited and tell me what to do???" He's still swirling his ice. And the glass is a heavy one. Beside me is the lamp Ex-girlfriend smashed against the table. It's nice and heavy. Wooden. Turned on a lathe. Heavy enough to break the table.

"Actually, Bernard, it's not 'your' house. It belongs to both of you. And I'm not uninvited. I'm here because she asked me to be here to support her. I care about her, and I care about the fact that she's six months pregnant and her husband was fucking some woman on Friday night."

His foot has gone rigid against the front bar of his chair. His swirling has gone slower, and the little muscle on his temple is twitching.

I say, "Bernard," and I feel my eyes grow dark, a bit of psychosis held at bay somewhere by years and years of self-discipline, but on tap should I need it. My dad taught me some stuff about fighting. He was a bit of a gangster in his day. His weapon of choice was a smashed up snooker cue. "Bernard," I say again, and I lean forward slightly, getting my blocking hand in place, breathing hard and deep to get the synapses open, the tai chi starting to kick in, "I hope you're not thinking what I think you're thinking. Don't do it, Bernard."

"Don't do what, Roy? Make your point."

I point at his hand, the one that's very very slowly swirling ice. "Bernard," I say, "you don't know me. You don't know anything about me, and I seriously recommend that you back down. Don't fuck with me, Bernard."

"Roy, I identify with everything you've said. But I resent your coming into my house and saying 'Don't fuck with me.' I resent it."

Ex-girlfriend stands up and inserts her pregnant belly between the two of us. "Stop it, both of you," she says.

We both seem to consider this.

"What's your point, Roy?" says Bernard, the ice-swirling a tiny bit faster now.

"I don't know what my point it," I say. "I can tell you how I'm feeling. I'm angry. I'm sad. I'm shaky. I'm feeling very protective towards my ex-girlfriend. I care about her, and I want the best for her. I'm feeling like we've just had a dick-size comparison contest, and that it's really irrelevant. I don't know what my point is. I think what I'm trying to express is that I'd like you to treat her with care and love."

He nods. The ice swirling speeds up noticeably now. "I hear you," he says. Then, "I'm impressed at your being able to speak out and stand your ground on this. But I really resent your coming in here and saying, 'Don't fuck with me.' It's aggressive, and I don't appreciate it. Everything else you've said is valid, and I'm listening."

"Okay," I say. "My 'Don't fuck with me' comment was out of line. I apologise for that. Sorry. I was coming across as aggressive. And I meant to come across as aggressive. But it's inappropriate. And I apologise."

"Accepted," he says, and extends his hand.

We shake.

"Sure you don't wanna come to the party?" he asks.

"Nah," I say. "I've got a bunch of scripts to check tomorrow morning. And I'm really tired all of a sudden."

"Come with me," he says to Ex-girlfriend.

"No, thanks Bernard. I need some time to myself."

"Okay," he says. We talk a bit about Prague for a while, and then he has to go. He drives off.

I spend another five or so minutes with my ex, and call it a night. Tons of work in the morning. And I'm feeling ragged. My love for Jacqui is smashing me right between the eyes, and I'm wishing she could have been here to be proud of me. Heck, I'm proud of me for this, what, restraint?

My ex says to me, "Roy, thank you. One of the things I most admire about you is that you're unafraid to say the things that need saying. Nobody has said these things to Bernard. Nobody's said these things to me. Thanks."

We hug, and I drive home in the cold autumn air, my roof down, my heater on full blast.

Nando's, Melville

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Service: * *
Food: * * *
Ambience: * *
Babe Count: * * *

Phone: +27 11 726 6406

I'm with my ex-girlfriend, who shall remain nameless for reasons of her privacy. We've just been walking around Emmarentia Lake, and she's been telling me about her husband's infidelity on Friday night.

I feel a bit shell-shocked. She's six months pregnant and looking radiant. One of those pregnant women who is sexy. She's somehow not fallen into the category of expectant mom who gets lumpy and gross. Instead, her breasts have swollen to about four times their normal size. And boy, do I remember them from way back when.

I've spent half the day rewriting a short film screenplay I co-wrote some years back with Jeremy Handler. It's called HOLD.

Oscar Strauss, a buddy of mine from back at Hunt Lascaris, is now a director. He's been making a superb name for himself in directing commercials, and now he wants to start making fiction. He read a short story of mine in a collection called POST TRAUMATIC and called me up out of the blue a month or so ago.

"Roy," he said, "I've just read 'A Mother, Her Daughter, and a Lover', and I love your writing. I thought you were only a poet," he said.

"No, short stories too. And a novel," I said.

"Well, I want to know if you've got any screenplays lying around."

I told him about HOLD and POLISH and FAMILY, all of them under ten minutes. He asked me to send them. And liked HOLD the most. But with notes. He asked me to remove the love-story from the piece, and make it just pure action. "The love story is really adding complications that get in the way of the sheer romp," he said.

So today I removed the love story. I haven't mentioned this to Jeremy yet, cos he's actually a director, and it's always been in his mind that he'll direct HOLD if it ever gets made. But hey, if Oscar Strauss likes the rewrite (which, incidentally, is draft seventeen!!!), I'll show this new version to Jeremy. The only way it CAN get made is if he agrees to it, since he's the co-writer with me.

What's amazing to me is that this new version is so much slicker than the other drafts we battled over. The original draft (draft three) is what got us into the finals of the British Channel Four 'Short & Curlies' international short film competition. We had a one-week workshop in the Magaliesberg during which we met with script doctors and producers and various industry experts. And not one of them suggested simplifying the story.

So I've done that, and I'm almost happy with the result, but I'm keen for Oscar to give me more notes, to see if it's on track as the film he'd like to make. Still some stuff to iron out, but I think the structure's sound. I've emailed it to him.

Back to the lake. As my nameless ex and I walked around the lake, she told me what happened. (Names have been changed.)

"I went to pick him up, and I must have been a bit early. So I went upstairs to his office. The front door was open, and I could hear the sounds of their fucking. At first I wasn't sure, but as I went inside, I saw all these clothes on the floor.

"I stormed in, and it was dark, but I grabbed him by the hair and yanked him off. I became strong, I can tell you. And there she was, this fat, dumpy, slutty looking woman, completely naked. I don't know how I did it, but I turned the lights on as I threw Bernard off her. She was wearing way too much makeup. I couldn't believe he was fucking a tart like her. A total slut.

"So I started hitting her."

I see a little cut on her hand. "Did you hurt your hand on her?" I ask.

"This? No. This is lipstick. I can't get it off. I punched her a few times. And I picked her up and threw her out the door. She flew. I'm so sorry I didn't throw her down the stairs. I was screaming at her, 'This is MY husband, you whore!!!' Another thing I regret is that I didn't throw her clothes out the window. She should have gone out into the street naked, the bitch.

"As for Bernard, I basically ripped into his office. I broke everything I could. He just stayed on the couch, cowering. Then I found her lipstick, and I scrawled on the walls, 'Bernard's Whore Woz Here!' All of the walls. Then I went over to Bernard, who was vomiting at this point. I don't know if it was because he was drunk or because I caught him. And I smeared lipstick all over him. Then I smeared it all over my own face, and I screamed at him, 'Now do I look like her?! Now am I attractive to you? Now do you wanna fuck me?' And then I left."

Sheesh. I wish I were making this stuff up.

The lady at the counter calls a till-slip number. "One eight seven," she says.

"Is that the pita and the wrap?" I ask.

"It's one eight seven," she says.

"What's in it?" I ask.

"A pita and a wrap."

I look around the restaurant. We're the only customers. "Well then it must be ours," I say.

"Must be," she says, and my ex-girlfriend and I get into my car and head to her new house to eat supper together for the first time in many many years.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Doppio Zero, Greenside

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Service: * * * 1/2
Food: * * * *
Ambience: * * * *
Babe Count: * * *

Phone: +27 11 646 8740

It's 7 o'clock, and I'm half an hour early for Kyle and Jonty, so I'm sitting in the corner at a tiny table, getting some reading done. I'm on the final pages of THE CORRECTIONS by Jonathan Franzen. Excellent novel delving into the lives of the members of a dysfunctional family. Striking chords with me, seeing as I come from a dysfunctional family.

I've already ordered, since I'm going to be meeting Eran and his buddies for an 8 o'clock movie. I'm eating the Tai Chicken Salad, which is heavenly. Accompanied by strawberry juice. Damn nice. Damn nice indeed.

I'm a quarter of the way through the salad when Jonty and Kyle arrive. The girl who's meant to be joining us is on the phone to Jonty. She's going to be late. A single Jewish girl.

Could they be trying to set me up? Could they. Hmmm. Gotta ask them to ask her if she shags on the first date. It's all academic anyway, cos I'm not going to meet her, since It's pushing towards 8, and I'm going to be leaving any minute.

Jonty is a spiritual healer, and Kyle's told him about my mom and about my breakup. Jonty and I know each other from SABC days. He's one of the main voice artists for SABC1, and I wasn't allowed to use him on SABC3 promos, cos they had an exclusivity deal with him.

He says, "Kyle, I know you're vegetarian, but you've got to try the dish Roy's having. I'm sure there's something they can put in there instead of the chicken."

Kyle peers into my bowl. It's got chicken, avocado, various salady things, cashew nuts, and a sweet chili sauce with a tiny amount of satisfying bite. I say, "You know what would be perfect in here instead of chicken? Fried haloumi cheese."

"That's it!" says Jonty, and Kyle nods.

I turn to Kyle and start to winge about Memar. "I worked till just before midnight last night," I tell him. Kyle is one of the editors at Memar, the Ethiopian education project I'm producing on. He does all the corrections on the chemistry and biology programs. "Basically cos I took Monday off, and wasn't functioning too well on Tuesday. Also, the viewing bay is always busy with Arne sorting out preproduction on the old batch corrections."

Out of the corner of my eye, I notice Jonty going into healer mode. I see his hands calling energy from the universe, and then he places them against his heart, his eyes partly closed. I stop chatting to Kyle and simply allow the energy in. After about three minutes, Jonty cleanses his aura. "Thank you," I say. He smiles, nods, and we carry on chatting.

What I'm not talking about is a call I got earlier in the day from an ex-girlfriend of mine. She's now married, and six months pregnant. I'm not mentioning her name, cos it's just too ugly what's happening with her, and I think her stuff's private. What happened is that she went to her husband's office to give him a lift home on Friday night and caught him fucking some arbitrary woman whose name he claims not to know. So now she's trying to figure out whether or not to leave him. Sigh. Can't we get our damned relationships right???

But it's time to see a movie, and I ask Laine, our waiter for the bill and a doggy bag, since I'm only halfway through my meal. I'll probably end up giving it to a security guard in Rosebank before the movie, seeing as I've still got about three doggy bags untouched in my fridge. With the best will in the world, it's such a chore to remember to take them to work as lunch.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Seattle Coffee Company, Hyde Park

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Service: N/A
Food: * * * *
Ambience: * * * * *
Babe Count: * * * *

In terms of my ideal world, Seattle Coffee Company in Hyde Park is second only to Seattle Coffee Company in Sandton Square. That's because both of them are situated in book shops in the babe capitals of Johannesburg.

And to quote the nephew of Antoinette (an ex-girlfriend of mine) when he visited my flat for the first time when he was four: "Wow Roy!!! You live in a library!!!!!" And it's true. I spend more of my salary on books than on anything else. So being in a coffee shop in a bookshop is just overwhelming bliss.

The reason Sandton Square edges out Hyde Park is twofold... (1) Sandton Square Exclusive Books has by far the better movie-book and business book sections. (2) The Seattle Coffee Co in Sandton Square is slap bang in the centre of the bookshop, flanked by two incredible sections. In Hyde Park, it's on the outskirts of the shop.

As for the babeage, what more could a bloke ask for? Literate hotties schlepping books to their tables, their breasts pressed against the spines as they bend over to lay their tomes down on the cool marble.

So I'm sipping a grande harmless mocha with no sugar, and I'm more than halfway through a gigantic muffin.

There are two books I'm looking at. One is on how to make art prints. It covers all the techniques. And I'm busy trying to get my linoprinting perfected. It's just that I can't actually get the inking of the plate right. Granted, I'm using water-based inks instead of oil-based ones, and they dry out too quickly, and they don't give great coverage and blah blah blah, but heck... I really want to excel at this linoprinting business. I have a multi-colour linocut that I've promised Jacqui first choice from once I've done an edition.

The other book is by Alan Ayckbourn, the playwright and theatre director. I'm looking at it cos it's called THE CRAFTY ART OF PLAYMAKING, and it distills his 40 years in the British theatre into a nifty handbook of advice for people who want their words to be acted by people. I figure theatre and film are first cousins, if not Siamese twins, and I'm sure my filmcraft can benefit from exposure to a theatre master. I know I'm going to end up buying this book.

What I'm really doing is procrastinating. There are two things I need to do. Firstly, I have to check the graphics on four different scripts for Memar, the Ethiopian educational television project I'm a producer on. Secondly, I have to write my mom a letter.

I've just finished my Tuesday afternoon therapy session with Zahava.

In it, I've expressed bewilderment at why my sorrow and crying and pain is all centred on the breakup with Jacqui, instead of on my mom's rape. I'm baffled as to why I'm cool, calm, collected when I talk about my mom's ordeal to Zahava, but as soon as I just mention the first syllable of Jacqui's name I cry three tissues into pulp.

I've told her about Jacqui's visit to me last night. It was amazing. A massive gift from Jacqui. She smsed me in the afternoon yesterday to ask if it would be okay if she came round to offer me a hug. I sent her a message back asking if I could think about it. What was going on in my mind is that I have to preserve the possibility of a future relationship, and that if I said yes to her coming round, I'd be transgressing the boundaries I'd agreed to with her, and that I'd be ruining all my chances to be with her. So I phone Zahava last night and asked her opinion. "I think Jacqui's offering you her love in a time of extreme duress for you, Roy. I think it's allright for you to say yes." And so when Jacqui came to my place, I had some perspective. And it was the most amazing thing to be held by her. Thank you Jacqui.

Zahava waits, and allows me to say, "Actually, I'm aware of being very angry with my mom. Primally angry. I think this rape has been sent by the universe for me to access that." See, I've spent a lot of time in therapy talking about my dad. How he was almost certainly a paranoid schizophrenic, how he beat my mom when I was a child, how he tried to kill me once when I was 14. All that stuff.

I've touched on the fact that my mom was an alcoholic from the very day I was born. I've glanced over some of the very hectic insults she threw at me when she was drunk. But in some way, I've allowed her to seem like a saint in comparison to my father.

Right now, the anger is flowing.

And then I realise that I haven't actually phoned my mom all day. So I phone. Her line is dead.

I phone my brother's phone. It rings. He answers.

He's driven all the way from Port Alfred to Port St John's in a VW Microbus with only one brake working. The front left one. It's now stuck halfway up the driveway on my mom's hill, cos it's raining there, and the hill is made of clay. He got there yesterday, in time to fetch my mom from the hospital, where she was getting her anti-retroviral course, to kill the HIV/AIDS that may have entered her system.

"How's Mommy, Lance?" I ask.

"Ag, she's okay," he says. "She's handling."

"Is she taking her anti-retrovirals?"

"Ya," he says. "But they're making her feel realllllly sick. She's been vomiting. And she's got bronchitis. Here. Speak to her."

"Howzit, Mommy," I say. I'm clenching my jaw, and putting on half a crisis-counsellor-calm voice (I'm a trained crisis counsellor), and half a cheery-I'm-your-caring-loving-son voice.

"I'm fine, my baby. Thanks for phoning. What's that noise? Where are you? Cresta?"

"No, Hyde Park," I say. And I'm thinking, I don't have to justify the fact that I'm sitting in a coffee shop living my life, you bitch!

"Oh," she says.

"Are you taking the anti-retrovirals?" I say.

"Yes, definitely," she says. "You have no idea how relieved I was when I got them yesterday! But hell they're making me sick."

"Mommy, it's really important that you take them on a full stomach," I say. "They're very dangerous on an empty stomach." I heard on the news this morning that a bunch of people in the Cape had died taking their anti-retrovirals on an empty tummy. But I don't mention this.

"Oh," she says. "The sister didn't know."

"How's your ear, Mommy?"

In my account of her rape, I didn't mention that the bastard also burst her eardrum somehow. Must have been when he clubbed her. He probably slapped her across the ear with his opposite hand.

"No, it'll be fine," she says. "The doctor who examined me is very young. A young black woman. She can't be older than twenty-six. A youngster. She said it'll heal."

"Mommy, that's your ear. I think maybe you should get a second opinion."

"Well, I have to go to Dr Bacher tomorrow." He's the district surgeon. "He's a cripple, you know. Something wrong with his leg. Looks like polio."

"You must take care of yourself, Mommy. Have they found the guy?"

"No. But we're going into town tomorrow, and I'm going to speak to the chief. He granted me the land I'm staying on, so he'll sort this out. Lance is taking me through to Port Alfred tomorrow. We're going to go and look at places for me to stay."

"That's cool, Mommy."

"But you know, it'll have to be rooms in peoples' houses. Small places, you know. Cos of the money situation, you know? Very small places. And what am I going to do about the dogs?"

And if I weren't in a public place right this instant, I'd press the mute button on the phone, and I'd bellow, and scream, and throw things around, and smash tables, and destroy walls, and let out 36 years worth of rage.

But I'm terribly controlled right now. Worryingly so.

"Oh," I say. "Has Lance fixed the brakes yet?"

"No, he's going to go round to Tobie's place and do it there. Willie's going to help him bleed them or something."

"Okay, Mommy," I say. My jaw is hurting from clamping my teeth so hard. "I'm going to say goodnight now."

"Oh, sorry!" she says. "We've been chatting for so long on your cellphone. It must be costing you a fortune."

"Okay, Mommy. Goodnight now."

"Goodnight, my boy."

I put the phone down.

I consider calling Zahava. She's not going to be available for my regular appointment next week, cos of the holidays. So I'm only seeing her on Thursday. I want to ask her if it's appropriate for me to be feeling this huge well of rage, and I want to know if it's appropriate that I'm holding it in so effectively.

I stay with my finger on the dial button, and work it out. In the end, I stand down, move my finger away. It's all appropriate. Whatever I'm feeling is authentic, and that's how it is.

So here's the letter I'll probably not send to my mom:

Dear Mommy...

You've been an alcoholic all my life. You've been a victim since I first knew you. And you've been an expert manipulator. I don't think I can remember you ever asking for something without some kind of twist to it.

Here's what I think, Mommy. I think this rape was sent to you as a wake-up call, as a little nudge for you to straighten out how you're operating in the world. It's your chance to come clean and start living honestly, and without manipulating other people.

I'm feeling hard and cold and callous, and I hate feeling these things. The Roy I know myself to be is a warm, generous, loving man, with an infinite well of love to offer. I also know that my flipside is to be hard and brutal and intolerant of people I find to be thick. But on the whole, the positive me is the one I know and love.

So when I feel these iron-smooth feelings by speaking to you on the phone after your rape because of your well-placed and unassailable barbs, I don't like you. I don't like you because you bring out the parts of me that I don't like. And I don't like you because those parts of me are very likely the defences I learnt when I was a baby in order to protect myself from you and Daddy.

I wish you weren't raped. But I wish you would learn from what the universe is offering you.

I'm trying to find the learning. I'm doing really hard work just going to goddamn work in the morning so I can deposit money into Lance's account to fix those brakes. To top up your cellphone yesterday. So please don't infer that I'm doing nothing.

All of my friends are saying, "Go to Port St John's, Roy, you've got to go, you've got to be with your mom."

And I'm saying, "Yeah, I'm investigating whether or not there are any charter flights there." But in my head I'm saying, I doubt I'll go. I don't want to mess with my fragile space right now. I hate the place she lives. I hate the manipulation. I'm not going.

So, Mommy, I wish you love. But I really don't want to expose myself to the mastery you have over subtle cruelty. My buttons are way too exposed right now. And while this may seem trivial to you, I'm dealing with something huge for me. I'm dealing with the loss of the love of my life. And it's wrenching and vast. As wrenching and vast for me as the rape is for you.

The rape is yours to deal with. I can support you in my way. Not in your way.

So, Mommy. I'm angry with you.

I'm sure the anger will pass. I need to process it, and express it, and let it shift the parts of me that have always been to scared and hidden to express it. I have work to do on myself.

I love you

It's a letter I'm unlikely to send, since it really has nothing to do with her. It's my stuff. And though she's contributed throughout my life, it's my interpretation that's stayed with me. My job is to reinterpret. To allow myself freedom.

Because the universe has offered me two opportunities to really look into my world. My mom's rape. And my breakup with Jacqui. My world has been shaken.

Now leave me alone to finish my mocha and my chocolate chip and orange muffin.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

My Flat, Cresta

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Service: N/A
Food: N/A
Ambience: *
Babe Count: N/A

Tessa Blumenthal, a fairly recent photo, from just before she and my dad left Halfway House to retire in the Transkei. My mom's dream has been to live in a rondawel on the top of a hill near the coast. She's been living her dream. But it seems that some people don't want that. I'm sure Willie's connections are going to find this guy, and then his dream will be over.I managed to speak to my mom around 3:30am, but was too tired to update the site. So now it's around lunchtime on Sunday, and I've just been on the phone to Jacqui. She's being incredibly supportive.

My mom told me everything that happened. I'll report it pretty much as I heard it.

My mom says:

Because of my premonition dream and this guy trying to break in on Sunday, I've been keeping my eyes open. At about 10 or 11 o'clock I had all my lamps and candles on, and I was in the kitchen, and I heard the dogs bark. I knew immediately that it was him.

I blew out all the lights, and grabbed a cast iron skillet, and he came in. But he barged right past the dogs. It looked like he was carrying a gun.

I tried to hit him on the head with the skillet, but he raised his arm. Next thing I knew, he'd shot me. There was this loud bang, like a bullet, and I was down on the ground. Turns out he'd hit me with a knob-kierie, on my left temple. Lots of blood. It's still bleeding now, even though I've got a dressing on it.

So anyway, he only spoke Xhosa. Refused to speak English. Told me to get to the bedroom. So I managed to get off the floor and go towards the bedroom. Hell. The back door is all blocked, so I couldn't get out that way. Only the front door.

But because of the premonition, I've had a can of Doom spray handy, and I knew exactly where it was. It was next to the couch. So instead of going to the bed, I went to the couch.

While he was unzipping, I put my hand down, and felt for the can. Now all I'd have to do is wait for the right moment.

This photo was taken a day or two after I was born in 1968. My mom was a beautiful 21 then. My dad was 41. A bit of an age gap.But he lay down on top of me and really hurt my rib. I think it might be broken. And he pressed all of his weight on me. So I had to bring my hand up and try and lever it under him just so I could breathe.

It was horrible, but I was calm. I knew exactly what to do. I was just waiting for the right moment. But he worked at me for about an hour and a half. Just this horrible grinding. I think what saved me is that he didn't have a full erection. It must have been the drink. He was very drunk. I could smell the local beer on him. And I know where they sell that beer. We'll find him.

I kept telling him, in Xhosa, "I'm an old woman, I've got cancer. Why are you doing this?"

And he kept telling me, in Xhosa, "Shut your mouth! I'll kill you! I'll kill you!"

I was so worried about my bladder. Because of the hysterectomy, my bladder has fallen, and I was so scared that he'd rupture it. But it seems okay. They examined me in the clinic, and it seem all right. Luckily he didn't have a proper erection.

While he was grinding away, I kept my head. Luckily it's full moon, so I could see some details. But I also felt his head while he was trying to kiss me. Sis. That alcohol. But the rest of him was clean. He must have showered before he came here.

He's got a very strange dreadlock style. Not common around here. Normally they have a full head of dreadlocks here in the Transkei. But this one had only a single row of locks, starting around ear level, and they were about eight inches long. Very distinctive. And what I did was to smear as much of my blood over his face and hair and clothes. I wanted him to be easy to pick out in his village.

The blood was from my temple. Luckily nothing was going wrong down there. Just the temple. I was very scared of all the blood. But I thought I'd use it. That's why I smeared it all over him.

But it was getting very difficult to breathe, and my rib was really hurting. Oh yeah... somewhere in the middle of all of this, I put my foot down on the floor and tried to feel for the gun. I still didn't know it was a knob-kierie. So I wanted to know what he had. So I felt it with my foot, and I realised it was just a stick, so I swept it under the couch with my foot.

Shit... it hit something, and some stuff fell off a shelf, and he jumped a bit and threatened me again. I told him it was the dogs, and he calmed down, and carried on grinding away.

Anyway, eventually he got up, and I knew this was my chance. You must remember, I was still on my back, and he was standing in exactly the right position. He was zipping up, and he demanded money. I'd emptied my purse out and hidden my money away about an hour before this happened. I wish I'd been carrying the Doom before. When he came in, I should have had the Doom with me.

So I knew I had my gap. He was asking for money, so I put my hand on the can, and he leaned forward, and I let him have it, in the eyes. And because of my position, I kicked him in the balls. I got him about seven good ones! I can tell you, I felt soft tissue between his legs. I got him. And the Doom too!

I started screaming, cos Wilhellie lives about twenty, thirty metres away on Willie's property. Willie's got connections here, I can tell you. We'll find this guy. We'll find him. Oh yeah... I felt his chin... he's young. I could tell he's never shaved. Smooth. Young.

So he ran away, and it was only a minute or so before Wilhellie arrived. And he took me to Willie's place. We've just come back from the police station and the clinic now. I'm staying at Willie's place. They told me not to shower or anything, but I had to. Sis. I couldn't stand not to. But he didn't ejaculate, I don't think. And anyway, tomorrow morning I have to go to the district surgeon, and they take a swab from deep inside.

I wasn't scared, and I'm very proud of the way I handled it. I really gave it to him with that Doom and kicking him in the balls.

So that's what happened to my mom. Jeez.

Jacqui mentioned anti-retrovirals, to combat the possibility of my mom getting HIV/AIDS from this guy. So I sent my mom an sms early this morning to tell her to insist. And I have the cellphone number of the executive producer of Special Assignment on my phone. One call, and there'll be a nice television crew down there on the next plane to do a story on how inept the government is in dealing with rape cases. Well. That's the threat, anyway. I suppose it's such a common story that maybe they won't. But I do know Chris. And who knows?

Saturday, April 03, 2004

My Flat, Cresta

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Service: N/A
Food: N/A
Ambience: *
Babe Count: N/A

It's technically Sunday, seeing as it's around 2 in the morning. But for me, it remains Saturday until I've gone to sleep and woken up the next day.

I've just finished brushing my teeth, and my cellphone does its message announce thing. Immediately, my heart leaps. Something's wrong! I hope nothing's happened to Jacqui!!!

I fumble with the button. It's a message from Lance, my brother. He's in Port Alfred, and it's 2am, and something must be badly wrong.

He says:

Hi. Please call me URGENTLY. Mommy was raped today (Saturday). No, this is NOT an April Fool's joke. Lance.

Oh man. What can I tell you? Helplessness. Rage. Despair. Futility. Pain. Loss.

I phone Lance. "Mommy spoke to me on Monday," I say. "She said there'd been an intruder."

Lance says, "I spoke to Willie. He's helping her. They're at the copshop now. She reckons it's the same guy."

My mom lives in a hut on the top of a hill in Port St John's in what used to be the Transkei. There's no electricity there, and she has to charge her cellphone on the car battery.

When I spoke to her on Monday, it was in response to a "Call Me" message from her. She wanted me to know that the dream she'd had on Saturday night (which she'd told me about on Sunday night while I was sitting at the Mugg & Bean in Cresta) wasn't a warning to me, but rather to her.

In the dream, she said there was great danger to me. She said there were people, and they were attacking me, and she was very scared. She said that I must be very careful, and she just wanted to warn me.

So on Monday, when I spoke to her, it was hectic to hear that later on Sunday night, in the driving Transkei rain, a man had attempted to enter her hut, and only the fact that she has huge dogs kept the guy from getting to her. She said he appeared to be drunk, and that it happened about 11 o'clock that night. She told me she was safe, and that I mustn't worry.

So fuck. I should've worried.

Lance says, "If it's that guy, he'd better hope I don't find him. He'd better hope." I'm thinking the same thing. I've seen Lance punch a closed door off it's hinges. And I'm hoping that he DOES find this guy. I'm a liberal type of dude, and I don't believe in the death penalty. But you know what? Someone rapes my mother, I'll kill him myself. Jesus.

So I send Jacqui an sms. Aside from my therapist, she's the only person I need to be with right now. But her phone's off. She'll probably call me early in the morning to find out what's happened. Oh man. Oh man.

And I send my mom an sms, saying that I'm lighting a candle for her, and that I'm sending light and love. She's 57 years old. And she's not in good physical shape. Lance reckons that her cancer of the uterus has returned, and that she hasn't got long to live. And now some dude's raped her. Ah man. This is too much.

I'll let you know what's happening.

Right now I'm trembling too much to type anymore.