… stomp the yard?

 Having never been a great fan of a certain radio station or their annual cycle race, I was even less amused when every road leading towards my ultimate destination had been blocked off. Randomly navigating through the streets of the suburbs of the north, I miraculously stumbled onto the right road 35-minutes later and accelerated towards the familiar complex in the distance that promised a cool beer and infamous company on this hot and lazy Sunday afternoon.


While you don’t often get the see your friends as often as you would like, the last time I was at his house it was for another birthday party – that of his gorgeous girlfriend – who somehow had managed to transform my friend from a typical bachelor to the respectable gentleman he is. In the blink of an eye, 8yrs had passed since we first met on a paint-ball field and through the ups and downs of life, relationships and break-ups few have ever had such a lasting impact on my outlook than he.


As the usual suspects gathered under the umbrellas and awnings, the various platters of food and ice-boxes of beers distracted the crowd from the imminent danger of the nearby plunge pool. Despite its warm, velvety texture being thrown in fully clothed didn’t appeal to most and many tried to steer clear and remain dry. For the unlucky few who didn’t, water-guns were the order of the day as well as a few bruised noses and egos.


As conversations merged and groups became amorphous, revellers became more boisterous as the drinking games picked up momentum, and the beer started being poured by the ‘yard’. While I’d not played this game since honouree-membership at Wits Rugby, my time recorded wasn’t the worst for the day and I did manage to keep my dignity intact despite a few running for the nearest dustbin. With a camera phone always at the ready, someone managed to provide entertainment that South African’s will soon be downloading to email around.


Before we realised it, the midday sun had crept behind the gathering clouds and as we stood on the grass licking our vanilla ice-cream cones, the pale pinks and blues overhead framed a perfect afternoon. I have to admit that during the day, there were pockets of loneliness that intruded on the fun. I guess that it doesn’t matter how much I try and fool myself, when they call it heartache I thought it was figurative, a metaphor. I didn’t realise that it could still feel like this even after only a few weeks.




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