Sunday, September 7, 2008

"The only certain thing about ideas is, like cats, they do not come when called." – Alan Fletcher

This morning I stood outside and turned my head skyward. The idea was to get a good look at what was going on out there today. No specific reason. I had no plans at all and I kind of knew the weather was overcast and moody, I suppose I just felt like experiencing a bit more than I had up until then.
So I stood on the stoep (seriously, our house is 98 years old and does have a stoep with stairs leading up and down from either side - depending of course which side one originally enters from) and experienced the weather. Being about 10:30am or so and judging by the amount of traffic on the road I can only guess that is when the church goers get back in their cars counting themselves saved for another Sunday afternoon at least. It meant the weather I got to observe consisted mostly of carbon monoxide and hooters creating their very own little storm.

Then, a large dose of surrealism was dealt my way. It was presented in the form of a tall black man striding purposefully up the road. Barefoot and healthy looking if it was not for what he had on over his 'clothes'... he was wearing thick brown sacks, stitched and possibly forged together roughly but fitting his frame comfortably if that is possible. Under these large sack pieces his clothing was made up of ... well smaller sacks actually. They seemed to have a totally different purpose and where the outer layer was roughly torn and holed in places, the under layer was smooth cut and even better tailored.
If it was Christmas time I would have entertained the idea that he could have been at a Sunday morning rehearsal of a nativity play and was still in costume for the manger scene. It is September though so could this dude have appeared from a movie set? Sundays are a favourite time to shoot ads and movies in the Cape Town CBD. It was the direction sack-man was coming from after all. But as he got quickly closer with his large energetic striding I got a closer look at the rough sacks and the lived in vibe was all too apparent to keep me thinking along any other lines than this was what he wears - all the time.
I naturally assumed the poor bugger was ... well poor and the poor are always hungry right? I was about to whistle out at Sack-man to offer him some grub. I managed to stifle the whistle, well partly. A puuusssth still came out like a 6 year old starting a whistling career, but doing better for cash out of the tooth fairy.
As the abandoned whistle faded I opted for waving my hands at him wildly. Sack-man looked up, but seemed quite engrossed in his own thoughts so did not immediately acknowledge my gesticulation's. I stared at him intently though and he realised we were now in communications. For Sack-man this did not include stopping to chat. With his head held high and a bright white smile he turned down my offer of food without even missing a beat in his effortless stride. When he was past me, he gave a slight turn of his body and launched a big thumbs up to accompany that broad happy smile. I was left eating an imaginary apple on the stoep.

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