Many years ago I wrote a piece about Daniel, an attendant who worked at the petrol station close to the house we lived in at the time. Today I want to share a similar story, also about a petrol attendant – her name is Dalene. She works at the station I pass daily whether on my way to work, or on my way home. I refuel there most often because I earn loyalty points with the bank if I do.
Her job is not a difficult one, but in a sense it is hard. As the seasons change, the mornings are chillier, darkness sets in earlier, and for a great deal of her shift, she is on her feet. That’s how we got talking one day – she was limping.
One thing I have struggled with during the lockdown is reading. I’m not sure why, because reading has always been a great form of escape for me. It’s as if my brain refuses to leave the place it’s at now to go to places of fantasy, murder, and intrigue. It’s frustrating to say the least.
Maybe it’s because I’m feeling like John Coffey in The Green Mile, which coincidentally is one of my favourite books.
There is a lot of awful stuff going on. Not just in South Africa, but globally. It makes me sad, even though I know there is nothing I can do about it. As far as possible I try to live in my little bubble, oblivious to what’s going on around me, but the muck still filters through.
In an attempt to draft a ‘getting to know me better’ post for you, my awesome readers, I put a post on FB which read, ‘if you could ask me any question, what would it be?’ The response wasn’t all that great, so I searched ‘how well do you know me’ images online and found one with thirty questions:
Do you have an addiction?
If I had to admit an addiction, it would be ice-cream. It is one of the few things I can’t resist – even when the weather is colder than the ice-cream is.
Who is/are your best friend(s)?
I have many besties – all for different reasons. It wouldn’t be fair to single out only one or two.
When is your birthday?
Soon – September 22nd.
What is your current mood?
I’m still a bit cheesed off because of Stage 4 loadshedding, but I’m feeling remarkably chipper otherwise.
I will never tire of the roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote.
What is/are your favourite movie(s)?
The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Dirty Dancing, Fatal Attraction, A Few Good Men, An Officer & a Gentleman, Dead Poet’s Society, Shanghai Noon, The Holiday, Two Weeks’ Notice, and Notting Hill.
What is your favourite colour?
What is/are your favourite food(s)?
Homemade: The Toppie’s curry or The Bean’s cottage pie. If I splash out at a restaurant, I prefer a medium-rare steak, sushi, or seafood.
Which of your girlfriends do you trust?
All of them – we wouldn’t have a friendship without trust?
Which of your guy friends do you trust?
See the answer above.
What is/are your favourite TV Show(s)?
Lately I’ve been watching Nurses and Pure Genius and loving them. A few of my all-time favourites though are: Bones, Dr Who, NCIS (all of them), and Suits.
Do you have any insecurities?
Show me someone who doesn’t, and I’ll show you a liar.
What is the last lame joke you heard?
On AlgoaFM Breakfast yesterday, Charlie T told this one:
A woman goes shopping and when she gets back to her car, she sees she locked her keys inside. A man stops, asking if he can help She explains what happens and the man removes his pants, wiping them across the lock on the door and it springs up. She asks how he did it and he replies, ‘these are my khaki pants.´
Who is the last person you hugged?
What is/are your favourite hobby(ies)?
Blogging and more recently, cooking.
Who is the last person you texted?
My colleague, Nikita.
What is a random fact about you?
Before I got my braces, I could fit my fist in my mouth.
What is your current relationship status?
I’m so single that if I was a dollar a stripper’s g-string would spit me out.
Do you have any children?
Of my womb, no; of my heart, many.
Who/What do you miss?
Charlie, Suki, Carmen, and my mind most days.
What is something you hate?
Being woken up when I’m not fully rested. Seriously. Just. Don’t!
What is something you love?
Spending time with my parents and with my friends.
What is something you want?
To travel abroad again.
Who is the last person you called?
If you must know, it was Teresa – and that was on Tuesday night.
Where are you from?
What do you look for in a significant other?
Honesty, integrity, loyalty, trustworthiness, and compassion.
Do you have a morning routine?
Yes. Most mornings it is to try to get to the office on time after working from home for almost five months.
Now, I am meant to be sleeping, but despite taking a full sleeping tablet (I usually only do half during the week) and my other medication, I’m still awake. Charming!
My legs feel like lead. Steve pushed me to leg press another 10 Kg more than last week. That I could still handle, but hip lifts… Good Lawdy, them things are in a league of their own! My thighs are going to probably be stiffer than a corpse tomorrow.
Tarryn, my hairdresser (aka The Fairy because she was the most beautiful pregnant fairy ever) was at the salon on Tuesday when I went to Elena for my nails. She asked me quite bluntly, Where’s your ass. I told her it’s there, but because all my clothes are getting a little baggy, it doesn’t look like it. Truth be told, I don’t really have a well-rounded derriere, because my butt cheeks are on my chest. I’m very aware of (as Charlie put it) my great rack or as my Capetonian friend, Allan refers to them, The Girls.
Anyway, my bustline wasn’t originally what I planned on writing about when I started this post. Love was. Or rather the sacrifices one makes for those we love. When faced with a situation where you would have to either cause- or suffer heartbreak to save the one you love, would you really do it? And I’m talking about relationships between two adults here, not a parent for their child because that’s on an entirely different plain.
On the subject of plain, why is plain yoghurt apparently healthier than its flavoured counterparts? Is it because it’s free of colourants? Or is it just because it doesn’t taste pleasant? Like Chaimberlain’s cough medicine – tastes like battery acid, but my Grandmother swore by it. That, and cod liver oil. Blegh!
Personally, I believe almost any ailment can be fixed with warm salt water. Sore throat? Gargle. Sinus? Inhale. Constipated? Drink a glass of warm salt water and you’ll be shitting through the eye of a needle in no time. Guaranteed!
Okay, so this post went from tits to shit in just a few paragraphs, but at least my eyes are starting to feel heavy. Here’s hoping for some REM because if I don’t get any soon, I will not only have lost my mind, I may very well be Losing my Religion too.
I’m in a philosophical mood, a little melancholy too. Chalk it down to conversations I’ve been having-, or the books I’ve been reading of late, being a little tired again, the chill of winter, or simply because my brain needs something to think about.
I saw Harriet on Friday after work. We spoke about a few things and somehow Paul came up. I haven’t spoken about him in a very long time, literally years. It was bittersweet to reminisce about the memories I had made with him. I still listen to Leonard Cohen’s music, Hallelujah in particular, and a memory will escape from my eyes down my cheek. I know we would never have ended up together, but as I spoke, I wondered what he’d be doing now if Death hadn’t come to take him.
I went to the farm on Saturday to spend some time with Shayla-Rae, her husband (who is jokingly referred to as my skelmpie – which loosely translated implies that we’re having an affair), my precious Godchild, Lily-Rose, and SR’s mum. SR’s dad exchanged this world for Another four years ago, yet when here mum talks about him, it’s clear that her heart aches still for him. They were together for forty-seven years. That’s longer than I’ve been alive!
SR’s grandmother, Granny Wood, who turns 100 in October this year (yes, she will be a centenarian!) also remembers her late husband with fond tears and smiles. She regales tales of their time together with crystal clarity, despite her mind being addled by dementia that is setting in.
Now, in SR’s mum and Gran’s case, they married young (as was custom) so I’m not sure if they’d had the opportunities to meet more than the one or two men they did before they settled down into marriage if they would have said they experienced love more than once. For them it was a case of One Great Love, their Forever Love.
I’ve not dated many blokes either (my track record with the opposite sex has been nothing short of disastrous!), but I’ve loved more than once, and I mean greatly loved. The sad thing though is that as boundless as I can love, it never seems to be enough.
I know that just because it’s what I feel, doesn’t make it true, but it’s on my mind and I’m getting it out because topping (overthinking) about my worth to others (which is a huge thing for me) is not going to do me any good in this state of mind.
In the meantime, I’ll console myself that not even death’s sting can conquer forever love.
Oh, and just a side note, my brain is getting food tonight… Elena and I are going for sushi!
Who knows what this Misfit’s fed brain will come up with next?
I love waking up to emails that say xxx liked your blog, or yyy is now following your blog. There is a sense of accomplishment in it. If you want to follow my blog, please do. Or dont. But please share my posts, if you think they’re worthy.
This morning I woke up to find out that a blogger called Tony Self of is now following my blog. That brings the total number of strangers reading the Reflections of this Misfit to 107. Yay! *Awkward happy dance that resembles a frog in a blender*
In just a few of his posts that I read, I was laughing like I haven’t in a long time, because on some levels I can totally identify with the conversations his Conscious and Subconscious have. If you’re looking for some good old-fashioned best medicine, pop over to his blog, The Self-Talk Show
You’ve got each other’s numbers, you live in the same sleepy-hollow little town, yet you never see each other… Sounds familiar to many of you, I’m sure.
Chanté and I have known each other since fourth grade I think – her memory on this is slightly better than mine. I went to her 21st birthday party, and her wedding, but when she told her husband she was having coffee with me, he had no idea who I was. I don’t blame him – despite being quite extroverted around people who really know me, I am a wallflower where crowds are involved. She told him all he needs to know is that when she and her family moved here, I was the first person she sat next to at school.
Shortly after tying the knot, she and her hubby went overseas and while we were connected in Facebook-Land, we lost touch in the real world. When they moved back a few years ago, I saw her for coffee twice, but we didn’t really reconnect. Whether it was timing, or that we were at different phases in our lives, I’m not sure, but something was a little (for lack of a better word) “off”.
I’ll admit, she’s been way better at touching base than I have, sending me the odd motivational/inspirational message, that always seems to come through at the perfect time. On Monday though, I felt the need to see her, if nothing more than just to say a proper thank you in person.
So, we got together at a local franchise restaurant last night, originally intent on a quick coffee. We got talking and the conversation flowed, as if no time had passed – whatever had been “off” before was definitely “on” now!
Two lattés, and hours later, we’d covered a myriad of topics, including how women in general seldom take time for themselves because they’re tending to someone else’s needs – whether parents, husband or kids – before their own. With that in mind, when we eventually left to go home, we undertook to do a coffee-catch-up at least once a month.
I’m glad we got together – it was good, and it was needed.
A long-standing friendship rekindled is a true gem; and by that token, if you’re reading this, Chanté – you’re a diamond, and of course…
Nikita and I drove to work amidst the sound of chants & sirens, the smell of smoke and what might have been shots being fired. You see, yesterday a group of angry residents of one of the local informal settlements decided to protest about the apparent lack of service delivery in the area. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if you squat, you can’t expect to have services delivered because there is no damn infrastructure in place for said services to be delivered.
Look, it’s not that I am totally unfeeling towards the people – I too have things I am not happy about, but they are small in comparison to the conditions these people must live in daily. I live in a fairly safe area, far removed from the blue lights, rubber bullets and tear gas, but I am not unaware, nor do I not comprehend that their issues need addressing. I do feel though that if common sense is a flower that grows in your garden (which it clearly doesn’t with everyone), you would either wait for your state-funded-residence, as so many before you have, and you’d join the ranks of the rest of society that pays (regardless of the amount) for their services.
I am angry though. Angry that they feel it is okay to damage public property with their tyre burning escapades and torching private dwellings.
Photos from Citizen.co.za and eNCA
Yes, you read right – these criminals razed other peoples’ homes to the ground because they’re not happy about the state of affairs at their own. I wish I could find these cruel idiots and shake some sense into them, asking them how YOU would feel if someone did this to you, or someone you cared about?! Where is the logic? Just this morning we heard from a colleague that had to travel through the hot-zone that a minibus carrying innocent school children had a brick tossed through its window. Sure, there is a visible police presence, but I think the laws of this country allow the criminals to rape, pillage and plunder while the police have to stand with their hands tied, trying to appear fierce and forceful. I would even wager that down the line the community may take matters into their own hands because they are also starting to get gatvol.
During the drive, Nikita and I were talking mainly about the fact that we have a compassionate employer, one that empathises with the situation many of the staff find themselves in because of the barbaric acts taking place close to them. I have a few friends, also employed by local business people and am totally disgusted how they are told “You will come to work or face disciplinary action” or “Fine, stay at home, but just remember, no work, no pay”. Have these people no compassion whatsoever? Would a better approach to the situation not be “Yes, I know the situation is volatile, but let’s assess it in a few hours, maybe you can come in then?”
Their employees, people I know are often hardworking and sometimes exploited because they are desperate for the pittances they receive as remuneration are now in need, yet understanding from their employers is not forthcoming; these poor souls are not even heard out. I find myself wondering how such business owners sleep at night. Is their revenue for the day more important than the life of one of their employees? In many instances, it appears so.
Again, yes, I get that this protest action is screwing with our already junk-status-economy but being a royal doos to your employees who actually want to be at work but can’t because they fear for their lives tells me you don’t have much wealth in the brain-, or compassion bank. You should take a leaf out of Richard Branson’s book: