Friday, December 19, 2014

Where It Could Be


Where the pizza is so delicious you enjoy sinning against Tim Noakes. Where you curse that you’re out of R5 coins and then ignore the polite car guard. Where you realise that in Sydney you’d pay more for parking anyway. Where you squirm at the atheist professor’s viciousness but find his logic faultless. Where you get given a supercilious pout for wishing someone Happy Christmas and should have only mentioned the “Festive Season”. Where you can’t help crying when you walk into St Vitus in Prague because the stained glass windows give you Stendhal syndrome. Where playlists allow Metallica to follow the opening theme from The Jungle Book. Where you wish you hadn’t destroyed the comic strip you made up about a philosophical Dachshund because at age eleven it was just too twee.

Where you can’t get it into some people’s heads that sharks are fish, even though many of them give birth to live young. Where you want to scream at the doe-eyed Young Earth Creationist that everything is 13.7 billion years old and that their God has more important existential, um, fish to fry. Where you enjoy taunting the same person with the evidence that all humans are lobe-finned fish and that the Koi in their alcoholic aunt’s pond are more closely related to him than they are to Peter Benchley’s famous shark. Where the same bullied person bakes you muffins when you’re ill and hugs you when you’re sad. Where you realise you’re writing a lot about fish, which is weird, because you like howling at the moon. Where someone’s relative gets knifed to death in suburban Paris and they’re secretly grateful they’re not living in the only place with problems. Where you can’t make any comment about the clusterfuck in the Holy Land because Someone will be Most Offended. Where I have already offended someone reading because I used the word clusterfuck.

Where a teenager still thinks "awesome" is the awesomest word because California here I come. Where a mother gets up at 4 am to raise another woman’s child while her own daughter is a three-day bus trip away. Where young men wake up next to women they don’t know and slink away flushed with self-loathing. Where the clichés are true but the stereotypes aren’t. Where a patient thanks a doctor for her kindness which she learned from a nurse in a clinic. Where a cat’s paw on a chin makes the planet stop spinning on its axis. Where learned friends discuss Russell’s Teapot and the only teapot you want is filled with Darjeeling. Where we gasp greedily for likes of our Facebook statuses but the only things that go viral are the avian flu. Where the sidewalk ends. Where the twilight just shatters the the silhouettes of the veld and tagged leopards melt into the comforting dark. Where a membrane so thin can safeguard the very atoms of life. Where you walk on a beach as wide as a runway and shout four-letter words at the sky.

Where the sky is just wry and smiles at your whys and the rhyme makes you grin at the sea:

In this very last place with strange grace on my face, that is, oh, oh, where I want to Be.

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