Skipping Reels Of Rhyme
John kept on working for McDonald at the re-roofing firm. It was hard work,
but it had its perks. The money was not too bad, and the work was enjoyable. And
there was always the splendid view from his high vantage point where he
McDonald was a hard boss, expecting peak production, as well as expert
workmanship, from his crews. Yet, despite his hard-line when it came to work,
and his taciturn demeanor, he was a fair boss, who treated and paid his workers
fairly. He had been in the construction part of the business himself for most of
his life, and had only recently retired to the office to run his business from
McDonald had a red haired wife to whom he had been married his entire adult
life. They had two daughters who had small children of their own. They were in
their early thirties. The one was married, the other divorced. They both stayed
in Glenmore, on separate properties. The daughter who was divorced was called
Cindy, and resembled a supermodel in looks and physical build. She was
frequently making passes at young John when the two were in each other's
John found the prospect tempting, but knew better than to get involved with
the boss's daughter. Whenever she would flirt with him, he would just casually
look her over, and then move off somewhere else, where it was safer.
He traveled up and down the South Coast with his work, and mostly frequented
the larger towns such as Port Edward, Margate and Scotburgh. Sometimes he would
go into the Transkei for a country job, and in this way he saw much of that
beautiful province. One had to be careful when driving there because the road
was bad, but also, the minibus drivers were often reckless, and one had to keep
an eye out for stray goats and cattle on the road.
Still, the Transkei trips were always the best, and here he could manage to
replenish his supply of grass cheaply, and in great quantity. He sat one day on
the roof of a large house in Port St. Johns, which belonged to a rich local
resident, and smoked a joint. The house was on the road next to the cliff face,
just out of town. From up here he had a splendid view of the ocean beyond the
drop of the cliff.
It was deep blue and vast in expanse. The waves were large and wild here and
crashed with fury and intent upon the rocks below. That is one of the reasons
why this was called 'the wild coast'. There was no greater joy than being this
high up and looking down upon one of the most spectacular miracles of nature.
And being stoned, he could appreciate the beauty and splendor all the more. It
was the peak of existence.
That is why he kept at this job. There was no substitute for the illusion of
freedom, which it offered. He stayed in his rondawel on McDonalds property in
Munster, and kept on working for him, they were both happy with the
He stayed in the rondawel and listened to music on his small radio/cd player.
He would relax after work with a joint, and listen to whatever music he happened
to be in the mood for at that time. Then he would go and sit outside under his
favorite tree, and savor the last rays of golden sunlight as it washed over the
green waters of the river.
The river flowed by silently, and in the background, not far away, the mighty
surf roared on the beach. The roar and crash of the ocean was an ever-present
sound, this close to the sea. It was a mighty mantra which nature, here by the
coast, never stopped humming. He would just sit back in his high state of mind,
with his back to the tree, and listen to the mighty orchestra of nature.
The surf roaring close by, the birds flying and calling in the air, and the
wind whispering through the leaves, blowing them gently down to the ground, and
over the water. The quiet green water snaking silently by him, as the years of
his youth flowed with it. As his life and his love flowed down to the ocean,
just like this green river, as his loved flowed into the ocean, which was
Yes, he still loved her and he always would, and how he missed her. Not a day
would go by that would not sit outside his room, by the quiet waters, and think
of her. Was she happy? How were her studies going? Was she still hooked up with
the Jew-boy? Did she ever think of him? Did she ever think of them,
He shook himself from his reverie, and sadly picked up his rod where it was
leaning against the wall. He picked up the tackle box, which was lying next to
it, and then his feet took to the well-trodden footpath, which led down to the
beach and the rocks.
Fishing took his mind of work and Natasha. He loved it in the dark down on
the beach, under the pale glow of the moon and stars. With the waves breaking
hard on the surf, he would cast out his line, and try his luck.
Mostly he caught with bait, and hook and sinkers. Only when the shad was
running would he go spinning with a spoon. Tonight he would be using the usual
bait; pilchards. They would be woven to the hook with a piece of thin elastic
string, bought specifically for this purpose.
He cast out with the Penn 500 reel on the long sea rod, and the line wound
smoothly, and at great speed, off the spool. The weight of the sinker and bait
pulled the line out in a smooth arc over the waves, and plopped it down a short
distance behind them. As the sinker and bait struck the water, John put his
thumb on the spool of the reel to stop it spinning, and to prevent an over
He reeled in the line a bit, to get some tension on it, and then he waited.
He wondered if he would be lucky tonight. He had caught some nice fish out here
these last few months, but many a night went passed without him catching
anything. Tonight could well be one of those nights, he reflected to
He stood there ankle high in the water for a long time, as the last line of
small breakers broke around him. The stars were out in brilliance now, because
it was late, and the moon shone brightly overhead. The wind blew hard on him,
and the night was filled with millions of night noises from the bushes alongside
the beach. Here and there the light of a beach house shone in the darkness, and
the point out at Glenmore was lit up by the lights of the houses and the
The hours passed and somewhere late in the night, two elderly Asian
fishermen, walked by passed him on the beach behind. He knew them and where they
were going; there favorite spot kilometers north of here. The one was called
Nintji and the other Sam. He greeted them cordially as they always did.
"Evening Nintji, evening Sam, out to try your luck again tonight?, he asked
them as they walked by.
"Evening youngster, no luck involved in it if you
know what you are doing, Nintji replied.
"Well then I sure as hell don't
know what I am doing, said John "because I'm having no luck.
The older men laughed, and then Nintji added before they walked on, "Well
goodnight, and good luck.
John smiled to himself, Nintji wasn't just blowing hot air, those two old
gents always came away with a good nights catch. They new the area, and the best
fishing spots and times. No, if they came fishing this late at night, you could
be sure they would not be walking away disappointed in the morning.
He would try a bit longer and see if his luck was not bound to change. The
sea roared on in the darkness, and the wind blew over the beach and water, as
the lights twinkled faintly in the distance above and around him in the
Love came and went over the years, but he never found another one like
Natasha. She was the only woman he really wanted to be with, and spent his life
with. The others just came and went with out any lasting importance.
He met girls at the local pub 'the coconut palm' and started relationships
with some of them on and off over the years. Then there were always the
holidaymakers over December and Easter holidays, where he could pick up a pretty
girl for a short romance, or even a one-night stand. He tried a few of these,
but soon found that he preferred longer-term relationships more.
So he would meet one of the local girls during the off-season, in the pub,
when it was relatively quiet. He would start a relationship with the young
woman, and he always vaguely hoped that it might turn into something enduring.
At times it did seem to. He would be happy in the relationship with the girl for
a few months, but something always ultimately happened that would drive them
He would find someone else, or the girl would find someone else. Or one of
them may just realize that they are not happy in their relationship any more,
and move on. It always seemed to happen that way, he would meet a nice girl,
they would be happy together for a while, and then they would slowly move
Eventually he started to give up hope on these frequent, and unstable,
relationships. He started spending more time on his own in his room, or down at
the rocks fishing. During the day his work would keep him occupied, from early
in the morning, till very late in the afternoons. He gave up on seeking a
replacement for the love that he felt for Natasha.
He knew that he would always love her, and no other, the way a man was truly
meant to love a woman. Seeking solace in some strange woman's bed, was not a
solution, he slowly realized. Sure, everyone craved contact and sexual
intercourse, but the effort of a relationship was not worth the emotional
baggage it created, if the one person did not truly love the other.
As time passed he became accustomed to his loneliness, or at least told
himself that he did. He came to enjoy being on his own by the river, sitting
slightly stoned in the shade of a tree, and watch the last rays of golden
sunlight wash over the quiet green water.
As the years passed his longing for Natasha grew greatly. He missed her more
and more as time progressed. He longed for her worried about her. Was she happy
with Cecil, or was she longing for him as he was for her.
He thought about her a lot, almost all the time. And when he was not thinking
of her in particular, she was always somewhere in the back of his mind,
lingering in his subconscious. He long for her so much that it felt sometimes as
if he would lose his mind. Why had she stopped writing? Had she matured so
greatly at University, and in cultural mother city, that she no longer cared for
him, or needed him? Did she ever still think of him? He began to have his
doubts, if she did care for him, why did she break contact so abruptly and so
cruelly? No, she cared for him no longer.
She had moved on in life to greater things, and had left him behind for dead.
She had forsaken their love. She had moved on. And now it was time for him to
move on, or he would lose the grasp of his mental faculties. He had to move on
and put Natasha and their childhood love behind him. He would burn her old
letters, and forget about her.
He took the letters from the small cardboard box in which he had kept them so
carefully, for so long. He read them each one a final time, and as he read them
he wept. He wept for their lost dreams, and broken love. He smelled the perfumed
fragrance on the envelopes for a last time, as it still lingered faintly on the
Then he burnt them one by one on a small paper fire that he made from the
letters in his hearth outside his room. As he watched their love burn he cried
without control, because his hopes and ambitions of eternal love, was being
devoured by the flames, as the hate inside him devoured the love.
The paper fire burned furiously and shortly, and it seemed to him now as if
their love had also. The years that had passed were but a twinkling in the eye
of the cosmic timescale. And it seemed their love had hardly begun, and it had
ended. His dreams of their everlasting love were gone in an instant, swept away
as the ashes from the small fire, by the wind.
Yet, in the days and months that followed, he did not think less of her than
before. He though of her as much as he had ever had. But now his thoughts of her
filled him with a great sadness, and an even greater longing than before.
All he had left of Natasha was the 'Alice in Wonderland' book which she had
given him, and which he treasured as his most valued possession. He read from it
frequently, and when he did he would think of her, and of that lost love, which
they had shared.
And the time and the years flowed by in an endless stream of lonely days.
John worked and lived on the South Coast, and spent his spare time relaxing and
fishing. He had made a few friends, and sometimes he would go over to one of
their houses and visit. Or a few of them would come to his rondawel, and have a
barbeque by the river underneath the lush green trees.
His life was a pleasant one, and he was just lacking in one respect, he was
loveless. He was loveless because a girl had left him, and he wanted her and no
other, and therefore he chose to remain alone. His friends knew this about him
and none of them ever tried to hook him up with a girl. He was John, the loner,
and he said he was happy that way. Everyone just let him be, which was, as he
liked it. He had lost in love, and now he chose to be alone, he had the right,
and he knew he was happier alone, than with some woman he did not love.
Yes, tomorrow the stream would still be flowing by, the birds would still be
singing in the trees, and the sun and wind would be caressing them all, and John
would still be alone.