I’ve been the target of an unwelcome suitor. A knock came at my door some weeks ago and I, thinking he was here to discuss some water problems we’ve been having in the building, allowed a very drunk Italian man who lives on the first floor into my flat. The caretaker of our building has since told me that he’s a general nuisance and a hopeless alcoholic. Anyway, once inside, the man lurched at me and told me that he’d known at first sight that we were meant for one another and that he was going to make me very happy. Grappling at my left breast and slathering my neck with smelly wet kisses, he proclaimed himself to be so generous that he’d just last week given his ex-fiance R10 000. To get new teeth. I was too busy fighting his hands away from my chest area to ask about the fate of the ex-fiance’s old teeth. I darted behind my dining room table and eyed my sabrage sword hanging from the wall. Before I could get to it, your man – very unsteady on his feet – charged at me and got me in a bear hug, clutching each of my buttocks firmly in his hands and proceeded to tell me that he’d been a parabat during his military service and that he’d make sure nobody would ever harm me: his ‘queen’.
By this time I’d managed to dance him back toward the door and – before he knew it – I had him out onto the landing and shut the security door between us. In a wheedling tone he begged to be let in again and then took to bellowing that I was a ‘stuck up cow’ and did I realize that he was not only rich, he had friends in rough places I’d never even heard of. One door down, the door opened and my neighbour, Brice, from Nigeria, an ebony mountain of a man, came out onto the landing and stood, arms folded, an implacable expression on his face and steadily gazed at the Italian who, by now, was spouting and spitting vile gibberish.
Finally registering Brice’s presence, the inebriated wretched slunk away down the stairs. He’s been back a few times, but I simply don’t answer the door. And I now have Brice’s cell phone number saved on quick-dial on my own cell phone.
I’ve had happier attentions from my close friends and family over the last hard times, like my darling sister jumping in to replenish my internet airtime when I ran out.. While I’ve been job hunting a friend has taken over Our Alice’s char wages and my best friend through high school – whom I’ve known for going on 44 years – surprised me with a delivery of a truck full of luxury groceries. From fancy cheeses, pates, chocolates … toilet paper, shampoo and soap … fruit, bread, cat food and cat litter … I don’t need to cross the doorstep of a supermarket for at least two months. I was speechless and at a total loss for words at her generosity.
And to end the year, one of those quizzy-things that’s doing the rounds today:
- What did you do in 2013 that you’ve never done before? I bought my own washing machine. And I learned to accept help from people who care about me.
- Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes, a dear friend gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.
- Did you attend any funerals? No.
- What date/s in 2013 will you remember and why? 14 July – my daughter said she loves me and we began our reconciliation after a long period of not speaking to me.
- Were there any illnesses or injuries in your family? Not in my immediate family, no.
- What was the best thing you bought? My apartment.
- Where did most of your money go? On buying and renovating my apartment.
- Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: “I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed…”
- This question is missing.
- What was your favourite TV programme? I don’t have a TV.
- What was the best book you read this year? White Truffles In Winter by N.M. Kelby.
- What was your favourite movie this year? The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
- What did you do on your birthday? I moped. I’ll celebrate my 50th birthday next Wednesday, hopefully in a better mindspace.
- Did you travel anywhere this year? No.
- What did you do for Christmas? I had a sumptuous lunch with a friend and her extended family at the Johannesburg Country Club.
Goodbye 2013, thanks to all my blog friends for your unstinting love and support. May 2014 bring you all rich blessings. xxx
“I believe in justice. And in love. And in NOT getting over it, because that’s too much to ask of a human being. Getting over it is the wrong thing to want, anyway. You should never expect to get over it, the best you can hope is to live past it. And you go on. Your past becomes a part of you, you just fold it into the gnocchi dough and keep rolling.” Lisa Scottoline