Thirteen Years: From Muizenberg To Sea Point

AIDS was… an illness in stages, a very long flight of steps that led assuredly to death, but whose every step represented a unique apprenticeship. It was a disease that gave death time to live and its victims time to die, time to discover time, and in the end to discover life.

~ Hervé Guibert

From Muizenberg To Sea Point

Continued from… Rekindling Friendships

It was half-past nine by the time Jacques and Annie finally got out of bed the next morning. They both took a quick shower before going downstairs to find Isaac. Annie asked him to show her where she could find everything to make coffee. She made each of them a cup and she and Jacques both had some beskuit with it.

Before Annie and Jacques were downstairs, Isaac had sent a letter to Annie’s mom.

Date: Sat, 19 Jun 1999 09:20:38

Dear Grace,

Good morning. It’s such an enormous package that arrived here by air. I can see they do things differently in the Netherlands, with Christmas coming in the middle of the year. Grace, many thanks for the two books. I really appreciate it and I will definitely get the strength from it I cannot get from Above. Many, many thanks.

Also, thank you for being willing to look after Annie’s children, so your wonderful daughter could defy the cold of the Cape to come and see me. It really was a wonderful surprise.

Take care and yet again, many thanks.

While they had their beskuit for breakfast, Isaac asked where they would like to go for the day. He suggested a couple of things and eventually they decided to go to the Victoria and Albert Waterfront. In popular speech, it was called the Waterfront.

When they came to the main road, instead of turning to the right as Annie knew that he should have, Isaac turned to the left. He had a surprise for his visitors.

“We are taking the long road to the Waterfront,” he said when he glanced in the rearview mirror and saw the question mark in Annie’s eyes. Annie immediately knew what he meant, and she clapped her hands with glee. When she lived in Cape Town, she had always loved to take this road to the city center. It was a much longer drive, but much more beautiful than going through the residential areas.

They drove through Muizenberg and the first place where Isaac stopped was in Kalk Bay, a small fishing village. The three of them got out of the car. Isaac stayed close to the car and Jacques stayed close to Isaac. Annie walked away from them and started making some photos. She turned around and made a picture of the two men standing next to the car.

Then she zoomed in and made a picture of Isaac, who stared out over the sea. It flashed across Annie’s mind that he looked like someone making mental photographs.

The three of them got back into the car, and Isaac drove through Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town. From Simon’s Town, they followed the road through the lovely countryside and they ended up in Scarborough. From Scarborough to Kommetjie and then to Noordhoek and Hout Bay. Just like when she had lived there, the beauty of the Cape Peninsula yet again reduced Annie to silence.

She had once said that if there was a paradise on earth, it must have been here.

Arriving in Hout Bay, Isaac parked the car close to a big fish restaurant. The beach was about a hundred meters from where their parking spot. Annie and Jacques got out and walked towards the beach. Isaac stayed in the car. The drive had drained some of his little resources. Isaac just wanted to sit for a while, knowing then he could continue.

When Annie and Jacques came back from their walk on the beach, Isaac sat on a bench on the walkway separating the beach from the car park.

He felt better.

While Annie and Jacques walked on the beach, he had locked the car doors and closed his eyes. He slept for about half an hour, and it did wonders to replenish some of his resources.

“It’s just so wonderful to walk here again,” Annie smiled. Seeing the impressive mountains and looking out over the bay reminded her of the years she had lived in Cape Town and the many times she used to drive around with her kids.

They got back into the car and Isaac drove out of Hout Bay, on the road that ran high above, almost parallel to the sea.

Their next stop was Llandudno, where native South Africans sold their arts and crafts displayed on colorful blankets and clothes. The artist displayed elephants, giraffes, rhinoceros, lions and many other animals carved out of wood for tourists to buy and to take back home to their respective countries. Wooden dishes and fruit bowls stood between the animals. Other items were colorful clothes which could be used for different purposes, and Annie bought one of those. Also jewels, diadems and hair clasps decorated with tiny colorful beads were for sale.

Annie, who grew up in South Africa, felt her heart long for the goods. She wanted to buy one of every item she saw, so she could keep her country of birth close, or show people where her roots were. Some men sat at their primitive stalls, carving more animals from a raw piece of wood, and Jacques loved watching these talented people work.

Isaac leaned against the front of his car, looking out over the sea. When Annie looked over at him, she saw the pensive look on his face.

“What are you thinking of?” she asked him when she strolled over to where he was standing.

“Oh, nothing really. I’m just enjoying the view and wondering how long they will grant me the privilege of coming here,” Isaac said, but it seemed as if he had already forgotten Annie stood next to him. She kept quiet, now also looking out over the beautiful white beach down below, the waves hitting the rocks on the other side of Llandudno bay and remembering the beach of Sandy Bay, the only nude beach in Cape Town, was on the other side of those rocks.

Jacques joined them.

They decided to drive on.

They drove through Sea Point, where there were lots of good restaurants and a long and wide promenade, where people walked every hour of the day and night. Cape Town was always alive. While Isaac concentrated on traffic, Annie looked up towards Table Mountain. The top of it was covered in clouds, and from experience, Annie knew no one would be allowed up on Table Mountain in such conditions.

To be continued… Victoria And Albert Waterfront

Note: This series is a rework of a self-published book (2009), rewritten for this blog, and in loving memory of a dear friend who suffered from and passed because of AIDS. Keep in mind this story happens in the late eighties and throughout the nineties. Names of characters have been changed to protect their privacy.

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay

Share your thoughts...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: