Excerpt from ‘healing.me: Life on Pause’

Day 27 – 12 May 2012, Saturday. Cape Town City Bowl.
I spent the night at the Hot House; I enjoyed myself without drugs or alcohol. The sex was empty, meaningless, fleeting – but I talked. At least  I talked. If only out of fear that the old Dave’s ‘command for silent fucking to ward off commitment’ would make a come-back. I only spoke a few words, in the hot tub, to one guy, at around 5:00am.

No one else seemed to want to talk and I am relieved about that!

You won’t see sunrise here, today. There is a bank of fog that rolled in over the city in the early hours, I watched it come in from the sea, as I sat writing my thoughts at the bar, on the roof, wrapped in a warm fug from the saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs downstairs. A fug that is trapped like all the souls here, last night, in the glass enclave on the roof where I spent much of the night in deep thought, writing. 

The fog has imbued the city with a sense of occasion other than the mere appearance of a ball of flame, eight light minutes away, rising over the bay. It’s as if the city is crying, wringing tears out of the air as it sweeps in off the sea, to wash down the face brick and façades, crying for its lost children as they stagger  home in a drunken, drugged-out funk – high, wasted – lives on pause. 

I used to be one of them. Eight years ago, I would chase dawn across the landscape, almost in fear of daylight, as yet another coke binge ended. My soul was hung in suspension, in the Mother City, and last night I revisited one of my favourite old haunts. Last night I wallowed in mire, submerged myself in the stagnation of this seedy still life of porn and anonymity. 

Last night I felt the warm, urgent embrace of a strong man with a loving glint in his eye and such an enticing smile that I couldn’t but return it. He clung to me like his life depended on it, and I to him in the hope that mine could depend on it. He opened his mouth and slurred:
 “Jesus! I’m fucking drunk!”
My hope dipped beneath the churning waters of the hot tub, sank, and drowned. I smiled, in sadness. I felt empty and guilty, for using this stranger to pin my hopes on; used this man and set him up to be something he couldn’t ever possibly be, not in this setting, not now, and not like this – I set him up to be my hero, but all he could be is the personification of my sadness and solitude, my single status made real, my chemical history made visual. 

There’s no love, here. There’s no life, here. 

It’s only because I spent most of the night writing and putting my thoughts in order for the book, that I escape the awfulness of a life on pause. 

© healing.me 2012. All Rights Reserved. 


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