Monday, June 21, 2004
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I've got a sudden craving for oxtail stew. Can't explain it. It hits me every now and again.
There are two places I can recommend for it. The Questionmark in Melville, and Pizza Pronto in Sandton. A runner up is Scala in Melville, which makes a superb oxtail soup.
Tonight, I don't feel like being in Melville. Both Scala and Questionmark are too smokey for me, and I've got a cold, and I'm just a tiny bit grumpy.
And I've kinda been boycotting Pizza Pronto for the last year or so cos of a pricing surprise I got once. It's the venue for the backgammon club's summer matches, and it's just way too expensive when the regulars like us have to pay full price on a Monday night. But that's my quibble, and the food is absolutely worth every cent, so do go there. And tell Rob I sentcha. I forgive him.
So here I am in Sophia's, which I suspect DOESN'T do oxtail. But the pasta is out of this world, and my favourite dish lives here... a broccoli and cheese sauce over pumpkin filled pasta. Oh man. Deliciousness.
"Hullo!" says the chef.
I don't recall his name, and I'm not feeling too chatty tonight, so I stick to the basics. "Hello!" I greet back. Then, "You don't by any chance have any oxtail stew on the menu tonight, do you?"
"I'm buying oxtail tomorrow," he says. "If you come on Wednesday, we'll have it ready for you."
"How long will it stay on the menu?"
"A few days," he says. "And I've sourced the perfect oxtail. I grew up on a farm in Cyprus," he says. "So I know when to buy. Winter is perfect. The animals all eat well, they're nice and fat, and the meat is realllllly tender. Oxtail you shouldn't really buy in the summer. It's very tough then."
"You'll see me soon for oxtail then," I say, and order the gorgonzola gnocchi. Cos their gnocchi is light and fluffy.
I've been in hermit mode for a little while, but here's a basic update.
First things first... I'm proud to be named in FAIR LADY magazine as one of "Ten Contemporary South African Poets Worth Reading". The article is by Gus Silber. Check out page 66 of the July 2004 edition. Yay!!!! Fame at last!
I finished my gig at Memar, the Ethiopian educational tv project I was producing for. Ended my stint there on the 11th of June. But not before going into a nice bit of heavy debt by purchasing a high-end digital video camera from Peter Prukl, one of my producer colleagues. He was selling. And I need a camera. I wanna start making little movies. A perfect match. It's a Sony VX1000, the first prosumer 3-chip camera. It's a little old, but it suits my needs, and I can make my money back on it by producing one or two corporate videos. Bingo.
Last Wednesday, Jacqui and I had our farewell picnic at Emmerentia Lake. She apologised for the hectic email she sent me, and we had a really tender, respectful discussion about why she has decided that we can't be an item.
I've spent the last three months, since the breakup, thinking that maybe with time she'll realise that I AM the dude for her. And I've not believed that her reasons were right. After three months though, during which she's delved deeply into herself, she honestly believes that I'm not right for her, and I am now able to hear that.
So, tough as it is, I've been able to say goodbye, and allow myself to move on. She says she's also been holding on, and that she's needed a specific "let-go" date, something she can write in her diary as the day we said goodbye.
I wish her peace and love and joy, and I hope she meets someone who she CAN be with. She's beautiful, and she deserves the best.
One of the things we talked about really blew my mind.
The thing that's been hardest for me about the breakup is that I met someone who I felt "at home" with. This is the first time in my life I've experienced that feeling. "At home."
Difficult to explain. But basically, I'm a dude who kinda hoisted myself up by my own bootstraps. Seriously disturbed family life, and I dissociated from my parents when I was around five years old. From that moment on, I "brought myself up". The inverted commas are there to signify that the process was flawed. When someone "brings themselves up", they're essentially taking over responsibility for their parenting. I became my own mother and father, and, consequently, don't have any benchmarks in my life for unconditional love.
So, when Jacqui came along, I felt that. For the first time in my life, here was someone who loved me completely. Still does. But, for whatever reasons, can't be my lover.
My confusion and pain has been centred around this question... "If Jacqui can't be with me, does this mean she was lying to herself and therefore to me about her love for me? Is the entire relationship invalidated because of her need to end it?"
"Roy," says Jacqui, sitting on the long strip of black cloth I brought for the picnic. She's wrapped in my fluffy blanket from my bed, one we've made love on many times. I'm wrapped in the smaller fluffy blanket, one that we haven't made love on. "I wasn't lying to you. I DO love you. And I DID love you, throughout. Think of it as a temporary thing. This didn't last forever. But it doesn't mean it wasn't real." She pauses. "Now you HAVE that benchmark. You have a reference point for what it feels like to know complete love."
Which is remarkable. Because that is precisely what I have. I'm gutwrenched to have lost her, though. And I still do hope that one day she'll have sorted her stuff out, and will find herself drawn to me. And I hope I'll be single when that happens. Cos this is a woman I would love to be with forever.
In the meantime, I hope she has sex with some useless lovers, ones who REALLY have no idea what they're doing in the sack. I'd LOVE her to feel the difference between me and some others. But ultimately, I want her to find someone who CAN satisfy her in every way possible.
And you know what? I want a woman like that for myself.
I'm still dating Bianca, but it's early days, and both she and I have come out of intense relationships, so we're both uncertain. Maybe we're just waystations for each other.
Ah well. One day at a time.
Now... if you know of any suitable babes for me, lemme know, okay? Non-smoker, non-drinker, non-drug-user. Single. Available. Committed to self-growth. Gorgeous. Sexy. Sexual. Someone who loves communicating. In therapy. Zany. Embracing of the unusual. Kid-free. Someone who lives about five minutes drive from me. Emotionally available. Arty. Independent. No particular age.