Monday, November 17, 2008
The Bees Are Dying.
To put it like it is, the bees are dying. This has been an odd phenomenon as I play out my last days at my home in Kirstenhof. A couple weeks back as I was laying on my bed I heard the familiar sound of a bee buzzing. I was confused. I looked up to see not one but two busy bees getting busy around my room. This is important because I only have one window open for the most part in my little cubicle. So I had the bee's taken care of (in the Mafia Don sort of way). I resumed to my previous position of indifference only to hear the noise return. This pattern repeated itself until I counted no less than nine bees enter my house of their own accord and then make their exit by mine own hand. I sourced their point of entry to be the upper left vent. So I boarded it up with an oversized photo frame propped up by Joseph Heller's 'Catch 22.' That was that, until yesterday. I had to make my home ship-shape for the potential lessor's that were coming to view the place. I dismantled my little barracks up by the vent, thinking the bees had moved on. The bee's had by no means moved on. I returned later, a little sweaty and burnt out from a tennis match - and wanting nothing but a shower and a bowl of oats. Instead I was greeted by roughly thirty bees. Of which seven were still alive. I am familiar with the abnormal amount of old age homes in Kirstenhof but had not realized that the bees in turn had taken their cue from this residential land appropriation. The bees had come to my house to die. I don't know why but there they were. And it must be said that it was a little tragic to watch as they never even put up a fight. I wiped them up and threw them away. It was a sad day. However the juxtaposition of life says that with ivory there surely must be some ebony and saturday night was possibly one of the highlights of my year to date. And to think that i nearly called it off on account of my sleep depredated condition. The event was David's 21st celebration. David is a friend from the College I study at and we share a couple courses together. I'm not sure if I have ever heard Dave talk smack about anyone. He is down the line both brutal and frutal. And by that I mean, he is an absolute pleasure to be around. The theme of his party was that of a Medieval Feast. What a winner. Outside there was a benched elongated table. Throne at the head of the table, Court Jester as M.C. an operative jail and absolutely no cutlery bar a carving knife for the massive chicken-and-other-meat-arrangement sprawled across the table. What a winner. But you know you don't remember the atmosphere of a memory so much as the memory of the people and the conversations you had. It is the memory of conversation that stirs the gees of it all. I will remember at least two of these. The first encounter was with an older gentleman. He went by the name of Chris. Our relationship began under the guise of him being the Jester and taking it upon himself to ensure that all the guests were behaving. Well, behaving badly that is. And what a sterling job he did of that. Not wanting to be one taken advantage of, I did my part of jesting straight back at him. That, I thought would be the end of it. No no. Later on I discovered that he was engaged in deep conversation with another friend from College, Eckhard and his drop-dead gorgeous girlfriend Leandi (yes they are indeed both raging Afrikaners). I made myself comfortable at the table and let them know that i was going to make myself available to eavesdrop on their conversation. I had no idea what i was getting myself into. And to think I nearly called it off on account of my sleep depredated state. I won't digress all the details of the conversation save to say the climactical point of Mr. Chris. He went on and on about how we do not live by our emotions, but that we live by faith - we believe and make decisions, we don't feel and then make decisions. Well we do, but we shouldn't. I could have sat listening to this man talk for hours on end. Not because he is some sort of super-human. A couple minutes into conversation you will discover how real and transparent he is with his hang-ups. He has what I crave. Perspective. He's got what he's got up in his brain box because he has felt the weight of the world on his shoulders, and then some. When he started talking to us about his little girl, i nearly choked up. I walked away from that conversation feeling somewhat lighter and somewhat encouraged by a man who has walked a road I kind of projected for myself. A man who can in the same hour be the self-professed life and soul of the party and then sit down and be very real about this very real life that we all seem to share, and the truth that stirred in his voice was not so much the beer talking, so much as it was the passing on of wisdom from one traveller to another - as we all try make it out of this life as best as we can. And then comes grace. That thing which defies all logic and reason but cannot defy experience. For it has been my experience that it is only grace, that vast deep deep ocean that refuses to let go and allows us to simply sink into it's depths as we move with the rhythms of this life that will lead me to belief. Belief beyond my rampant emotions. To say the least, it was a decent start to the evening. Enter Coila. Coila and i began to share banter early on in the evening as we sat opposite each other at the dining table. How is this for a wonderful amalgamation: she is a Western Province touch rugby playing-purple corset wearing-boy face slapping-Italian ex-patriot-concert pianist. What the freak. I had to catch myself a couple times because i would listen to her talk about her life and experiences and get so engulfed that i forgot that i was listening to an eighteen year old girl. Again i found myself succumbing to my physiological sleep depredated state and and on two different accounts nearly called it a night but somehow managed to stick around, only to discover more of the intricacies of this new friend. Eventually i had to leave, my eyes were heavy and my mind was saturated but i have a sneaky suspicion that this friendship is far from over. Coila will do that to you. And now for what lies ahead. I hope some of which will involve bare back riding humpback whales, traversing Table Mountain by foot, Jeffreying one's Bay, hanging out with my mom and brother and of course Pietermaritzburg. Let's go.