Lang-arm met Louis

Mens droom vreemde goed.

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I CRINGED

Gister stap ek in Spar, my gewone Vrydag-middag-dank-die-Here-dis-Vrydag-en-ek-mag-maar-stadig-stap inkopietog. Moet tog ‘n pak tannie Balletjies skyfies vir Daantjie kry; moet tog ‘n sjok vir ons kry.

Die stem wat ons almal uit die bloute tref klink of dit oor ‘n megafoon kom; ek is toevallig reg agter die reus en sy timid vroutjie toe hy die oproep neem. As ek nie so stom geskrik was nie, en as ek die trane uit my oge kon hou, sou ek vinnig my knapfoon op record gesit het om dit woord vir woord oor te vertel.

“HALLO! Wat!”£@?!  Waar!! Hoekom!!! Hoe laat!!! “£@*% Nou hoekom!!!”

Geen vraagtekens in sy stem, net absolute bombasitese, arrogante woede. Ek stap na die volgende ry. Bogger tjips. Bogger tjoklit. Laat ek net hier wegkom. ‘n Paar vreemdes kom ook om die draai geskarrel.

“Holy shit!” sê een terwyl sy oor haar skouer terugloer. Ek stem halfpad saam.

“Nou maar hoekom het sy julle uit die huis gesluit!!”

Tussendeur praat hy mooi saggies, amper liefies, met die vrou by hom. Herhaal alles sagkens aan haar, asof sy – en die res van JBay – hom nie gehoor het nie. Aanvanklik het ek gedink hy’s doof, toe besluit ek hy’s ‘n doo$. Skies, maar dis my oorwoë mening.

“Wag, ek bel jou terug!!!”

“Maria het hulle uit die huis uitgesluit,” sê hy vir die vrou.

“Nou maar hoekom het sy julle uitgesluit,” vra hy weer. “Hoe laat? Hoe laat!!! Hoe laat gaan jy klaar wees met die werk?”

Die vroutjie soek steeds verbete na iets op die rak, vermoedelik om haar verleentheid te verberg.

“Nou maar gaan jy klaarkry!! Hoekom eers agt-uur!! Maar.ek.het.vir.jou.dan.gesê.my.kind.” Dit klink soos my ma geklink het terwyl sy my met die waslap pakslae gee. Een afgemete woord per hou.

Hier begin hy revs optel.

“Kan jy die werk doen!!! He??!! Kan jy dit doen? WIL JY DIT DOEN, OF MOET EK DIT KOM DOEN, MY KIND??!!

Ek wil my hand opsteek een aanbied om dit te doen, sodat die arme kind kan klaarkry voor die trol hom in die hande kry. Skies, spelfoutjie daar.
“SÊ NET: MOET EK DIT KOM DOEN? EK HET JOU DAN VERTEL HOE OM DIT TE DOEN. HOEKOM VA T DIT SO LANK!!! OK, ek sien jou vanaand dan. Loveyoubaai!”

Einde van gesprek, maar nog voor die rooi knoppie gedruk is en sonder om eens asem te skep draai hy na sy vrou en sê “F*OK, KAN DIE KIND DAN NIKS REG DOEN NIE!!! MOET EK  ALLES SELF DOEN?”

En dan, in die liefste, sagste stem, “nee wat, daar’s nie klein pakkies chips nie; los maar, liefie.”

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LARGENESS OF HEART

Today I was outrageously extravagant.

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AND ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST…

No disrespect meant, so I’ll pretend this is fictional.

Exactly two weeks after my induction by fire into the role of “funeral director” comes the second funeral. This time not only a memorial service but also a committal. But that is the pastor’s problem.

The family consists of a sister, a domineering, religious mother, a bewildered adopted daughter – living with the sister, a distraught daughter – living with the biological mother, a dramatic girlfriend nobody knew of and an estranged, agnostic father.

Each loved the deceased in his/her own way – conditionally. God loves them all His way – unconditionally.

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ON LIFE, DEATH AND SCREAMING

Today I had two very unusual experiences. I was rushed off my feet, the only light in the tunnel being the oncoming train. Phone call (one of too many). A couple needed assistance with a funeral. I sighed inwardly. No time for this. But send them over, I said to Dianne.

They came in, the couple. I was focused to get this over and done with. Not a good time for people to die, I thought. Name? Evan. Surname? Dixon.

DIXON?

My aunt was married to a Dixon: Charlie Dixon. He baked the best ginger cookies in the world, I said.

That’s my gran! Are you auntie Lona’s daughter, she cried, slightly incredulous.

I knew it then. Only relatives from my mom’s long lost past called her Lona.

Yes! And are you Evan’s daughter?

She grabbed met and dissolved in tears. She sobbed and sobbed. I can’t believe how much you look like my mom, she said between sobs.

Turns out she is my mother’s sister’s son’s daughter, a.k.a. my niece. Her dad is my cousin. Was. Imagine that: he was in this church, had a house in Aston Bay and we never met once. Yes, we met quite often as kids, when we would visit the family in East London and such, but to think that we were this close in proximity, and never once did our paths meet? It boggles the mind.

What if I had not offered to help? What if I had ignored the surname – the remote possibility of her being a relative? I mean, Toni’s aunt, my mom and I visited Namakwaland a couple of years ago to scatter yet another sister’s ashes and found the deserted yet well kept grave of a certain gentleman named “Manifold Dixon.” I did not ask him if he were perhaps related to uncle Charlie of the ginger cookies. But imagine if he could talk…

How incredibly kind is God, I said as I hugged Toni, to bring you to me.

So, I am to host mycousin’s funeral on Friday.

The second incident had me in tears. But I’m wayyyy to tired to tell. Just know that it involves a phone conversation, a Brazilian and a veeeery tired me. I also hurt at times.

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WHAT SAYEST THOU

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Fokus op die Jirre!

Laas Sondag ry ons Patensie toe. Met die intrapslag verklaar Jannie – sonder dat iemand hom vra – dat sy lisensie in die “ander” bussie is.

Met die terugry vertal hy van sy vriendin, Nadine Blom – ja, sy van die rooi hare en ongelooflike stem – se konsert. In die eerste helfte van die konsert sing hulle “van die Here,” het sy gesê, en in die tweede sing hulle “vir die Here.” Sy het die kleintjies opgeroep verhoog toe, toe stuur sy hulle terug sodat die gróter kleintjies kan opkom. Maar die kleiner kleintjies verstáán nie hulle moet nou afgaan nie. Hulle wil bly. En die verhoog raak te klein. Sy raak later gefrustreerd en en sê vir die kindertjies, “fokus op die Jirre!”

Toe ons die brug by die N2 nader, sien ek en Derick die bloubaadjies. Ons wil nog voorstel Jannie gaan or die brug, maar dis te laat, want hy en Daantjie sit ou stukke en gesels. Natûúrlik trek hulle ons af. Jannie bgin op en af hop. “Fokus op die Here, Jannie,”roep ek van agter, maar hy het reeds uitgespring. Liezl, pragmaties soos altyd, sê. “we trust for God’s favour.”

“Waar is jou lisensie, meneer?”

“Dis in die ander bussie,” bieg Janneman.

“Waar kom julle vandaan, meneer?”vra die man.

“Van kerk af, meneer.”

Na ‘n rukkie se heen-en-weer krabbel laat hulle ons met ‘n waarskuwing gaan. Daantjie ry verder. Jannie babbel soos ‘n opwenspeelding. Toe ons by VCC kom, rittel hy steeds.

“Dit sal my leer,”mompel Jannie. “om te fokus op die Jirre!”

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33.5 jaar

Oftewel 122235 dae skuif ons snags langs mekaar rond.

En hier, waar ons – die ysige koue koue daar buite ten spyt – snoes lê, kan ek nie aan ‘n meer geliefde en geseënde vrou dink.

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ORDER, PERFECT ORDER

And so this auspucious day started: 12-7-12. And – if you wish – to further stress the point, @ some point today it was 12:7:12 on 12-7-12. And will be so again in a while.

How perfect can a day be? Order: perfect:order on order-perfect-order!

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AUDACIOUS FAITH

Faith is not something that you possess; it is something that possesses you.

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