There’s nothing like the smell or view of shit to remind us that humans are animals. After my concert last year, i was left with enough cheap toilet paper to bury me several times over. It took 10 months for my arse to finish it all. What a contrast to now when i took my first, reluctant crap in days…and i plipped rather than plopped. So much for junk food being junk food cause my body must’ve decided it was needed and hung onto as much as it could. Just as well as i’m busy on my last toilet roll.
Brunch: 3 potatoes (microwaved and then fried).
Day 10: Monday, November 21
I watched the drama 5 Dollars A Day last night. A son wants nothing to do with his con artist dad after he unfairly took the blame for dad’s crime which resulted in a prison sentence. Now out, his dad calls him to say that he’s dying and wants them to go on a road trip together.
My personal feelings made more of this mediochre movie so that i appreciated it and gave my dad a call afterwards. You see, my dad and i have never had a holiday. My dad’s a workaholic and, when i had the time, there wasn’t spare cash (but at least i’ve seen South Africa and odd countries like Uganda, through business, over the years).
We don’t have a typical father/son relationship but i’ve always attempted to as i recognize that his failings (towards me) do not remove the fact that he’s a good man whose done right by many in his life. He’s assisted me too – i wouldn’t be alive right now if he hadn’t. But it disturbs me as he’d rather do that than visit. I’ve even tested him over the years, giving up contacting him for periods of time to see if he’d contact – once, after i waited a year, his only response was that he’d been busy.
He has a right to be emotionally disconnected. I dealt with that long time ago. I’m an adult and my own responsibility now. He gave me food as a kid and put me through school. I remember the occasional secret braai (had to hide most of them from my crazy mother) with fondness. There were bad times too, mostly regarding my mother (because he never stepped in), but those aren’t important anymore.
What bugs me is me. If we don’t have a real relationship and i accept help, that’s abuse. Or, i justify, “abuse” the day i give up trying. The goal was to one day persuade him to do a roadtrip across the country with me. For the past 2 years, i got it into my head that if he came to Knysna, he’d see a life beyond work and, for the first time, want to live a little. Maybe even want to retire here. After all, Knysna is enchanting. I’ve asked him almost weekly and sent photos of wonders such as the Knysna Estuary, Coney Glenn, Brenton-On-Lake, Woodmill Lane, birds and more. But i’ve been unable to even get him to visit.
I believe in holding everything to it’s true value so i’m on the verge of giving up. More so, after he popped some money into my account today.
Account was in the red and i needed a cable so most of it got sucked into oblivion but i did buy a chocolate present as a thank you to the printers for getting the order for Plett Rage done ahead of time, bought 5 gem squash, 3 potatoes, an onion, crisps, tea, sugar and a loaf of mealie bread (of which i gave half to my neighbours upstairs). Yes, shopping meant that i walked into town for the first time in 8 days. I even drank two quarts of beer at King’s Sports Bar on the way back (i was the only customer). I’ve learnt to live the little moments. They’re too few – if i don’t, they may pass and never return.
Dinner: 2 potatoes, Fritos & Mealie Bread.
Day 11: Tuesday, November 22
Overwhelmingly frustrated. Tipping point was my computer hard drive’s space vanishing rapidly so that i feared system would collapse. Hours on the net, searching for a solution, chewed at the little data package remaining. It opened a floodgate into the tough year i’ve had.
I took a breather by walking for 2 hours. I reckoned that exercise and taking photos of beautiful thingsÂ would be the best medicine. I was wrong and right.
My first encounter was with a service delivery protest in the Main Road. Residents of White Location were marching to the mayor to hand over demands for toilets and housing. Poverty and inept government are my hates so it only enforced my unhappiness. After taking photos (which i posted at The KEEP), i headed to Thesen’s Island and looked at it from as many views as i could from the public area. This world has toilets.
I so need decent walking shoes. I’ve been saying that for years. I was in pain when i got back. And photography hadn’t managed to distract me sufficiently. On the brighter side, i later solved the computer problem. On the negative side, i discovered that i never got a job i’d hoped for (to provide a big band to a wedding).Â Fuck – still no money coming in. Even if i can borrow rent, next month may be even tougher than this one.
Time, exhaustively, seems to be running out.
Brunch: 1 gem squash and 1 potatoe.
Dinner: 2 small apples.
Day 12: Wednesday, November 23
I woke early as i have each day. At 6am, i was rinsing out my washing. This is not as simple as it seems. I’ve been soaking my dirty clothes in the small, kitchen sink for 26 months. Getting soap out of clothing, by hand, is far harder than the luxury of a washing machine. Last week, the repeat motion of wringing out towels removed the skin from inside my thumb.
I have resigned myself to these chores enforced by no money. Sometimes, it’s as if i’ve embraced them. I don’t leave chores for later as i’ve learned that whatever gets put off is more of a problem later (psychological yet true – just imagine how you feel when approaching dirty dishes after having let them grow into a mountain). So i “handle” in the moment.
What i can’t handle, more than anything else, is bad or apathetic people which is the main reason for my current disillusion. So i decided to get my day into a good start gear by visiting my across-the-road neighbours, Neville and Rita. As said previously, they’re wonderful and genuine people. Besides, i’ve decided to return to hermit state so i wanted to say “goodbye”. It was good seeing them and the 4 slices of toast and strong coffee was a decided bonus.
Back home, i wrote a blog (besides this one) and sorted some files on my computer. A sudden chill set in which translated into the current rain. I decided to have an early dinner of gem squash. I reckoned that eating the seeds, which i’d never done before, would give me extra vitamins. They were slightly bitter and got stuck in my teeth but no doubt contributed to my feeling full right now.
Only apples and 2 gems left. It’s been a food holiday the past 3 days. No ways i lost weight. Bread, potatoes and gems added to my physique. And my tummy is still bloated.Â But time to buckle down and go through the whole process of less again. Reading my tea “leaves”, i see… … i see… lots of black tea i my future – he he:)
10mb away from no internet. At least i scheduled my newsletter ahead of time.
Brunch: 4 slices of toast with atchar.
Dinner:Â 2 gem squash.