Johannesburg is almost empty.
Everyone has gone down to the coast.
I am content to stay; I love the peace that descends here at this time of year.
Someone, another stay-at-home, is having a braai a few doors down, with rowdy friends. I can smell that it is an inelegant affair; people will eat sinewy lamb chops, straight from the fire, with their hands. Lamb chops that have a thick strip of fat on the side and which have been marinated in a store-bought mixture, standing in a Tupperware dish in the sun (for hours) while the braaimaster gets the fire going and gets a few stiff drinks down his throat.
They’ve got all the house doors and windows open, so that the music can drift out onto the lawn to them from the lounge. Tonight, it seems, they are having a Creedence Clearwater Revival Marathon.
I like it, once I put my snobbery to bed, and rather envy them their charred meat and bonhomie. But it is a mild envy and I take a sip of wine, pull my legs up under me on my chair and turn back to my book and escape to tales of Morocco.
Language… has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.