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Thursday, 20 December 2012

The Paj and I

I’ll never forget the day my mother came to fetch me from school in what seemed to me like a giant monster truck. I was sitting on the curb in my confining olive green and white tunic dress, when in she pulled… a sore thumb amoungst a car park of perfectly manicured nails. In place of her Mercedes was the third hand, gun metal grey Pajero – it’s headlights like two nervous eyes coyly blinking at me for approval. Right then and there something in my awkward, 10 year old heart recognized and resonated with the weathered outsider, who’d been offered a second chance.

I immediately loved how the car felt, and that I had to take a big step up just to get onto the worn in seats. There were so many dials and gadgets to look at and even though none of them really worked properly – I like to think of them as vintage jewellery and knick knacks that the ol' gal would wear to feel more sparkly. The same way I would one day slip on a pair of heels whenever I needed to feel a little taller.

On car rides to school I sat in the front with a selection of tape cassettes – everything from Leon Schuster to the Carpenters. Upfront I drowned out the squabbling and squirming from my younger sisters in the back seat, and looking down on the other cars in morning traffic I was someone completely different. I was more than just a misunderstood shape continuously being rammed into a mould I’d never fit, like a plastic circle in the hands of a toddler who relentlessly tries to force it through a square hole. I was a DJ and a superhero staring out of the window, allowing myself to ridiculously day dream of things that may never come true.

Soon enough, giant leaps into the front seat became short hops into the driver’s seat and I was learning to drive in the middle of a flock of sheep in the back roads of Hermanus.

Dad: “If you can drive this car, you can drive any car. Now listen, feel where the clutch takes and pull off.”

All the dings and dangs along her silver pelt were worn the way a marine would adorn his medals. I sometimes wished that I had visible marks to show the road I had travelled, to tell the stories of my life. All the celebrations like new parts adding to my mechanics, all the challenges from a chip of paint falling to the floor to large irreparable dents that would become part of my makeup.  

Through the most turbulent of landscapes to the smoothest of roads, The Paj became a constant guardian angel. A non-judgemental listener to my monologues and ramblings. A back up plan. A reliable ally. An old rusty memory box filled with trinkets and tales. Like:

That time we all piled in and took a varsity trip to the farm and Chantel Bennis nearly killed herself on a four wheeler.

That time we used her to ship a load of actors down to Durban for work and ended up staying in the dingiest flat on the beachfront. What a crazy, fun, drunken weekend that was.

That time we had to pull our mates out of the mud – wait, which time? There were so many!

That time she doubled up as a hippy live in van and kept me toasty warm at Splashy Fen while everyone else was shivering in their tents.

That time I broke up with suitor #17 in the middle of a storm driving back from holiday and the wipers weren’t working. Neither were we.

The many times I shared giggles and wonderful conversation because the radio packed up and all we could do to pass the time was to get to know each other.

That time I moved my entire flat in one shift – packed to the roof of her boot.

The countless times, I don’t let taxi’s cut in front of me because the Paj and I aren’t scared of a little rough housing. And because driving her sort of makes me feel like the girl version of the Camel Experience man.

That time Ed nearly had to eat all the illegal herbs we had with us as we drove through a roadblock.

That time I let My Guy take the wheel and learnt to let go.

The other day, I got to thinking about friendships and how maybe we need a two way maintenance plan to keep them running. Who would have thought that my longest friendship of 18 years would be with a beaten up old car, held together with bits of rubber tape and chewing gum. In a world where we’re so determined to cover up each scratch and speed over each imperfection in the road, it can become easier and easier to stop seeing each other – really seeing each other. Maybe if we took the time to look under the bonnet of a car no longer appreciated, it’d be a lot easier to understand why it squeaks as it turns a corner, or why you need to jiggle the reverse gear if you don’t want it to stall. That way instead of getting hurt or feeling let down – you’d understand the story behind each whimsical misfire and work out your own little give and take devices to make it work, or just let it run the way it should.  I love the Paj, because it’s not afraid to be just exactly who it is… easy for a car, not so easy for a human being whose inner workings can be far more complex than a tricky radiator or a stray wire here and there.

Driving the Paj is, and will continue to be, a fun adventure and a journey full of lessons and listenings. It’s taught me to be more patient, more tuned in and less quick to jump ship at the first sign of fault. It’s inspired me to enter 2013 with a kinder heart and to be courageous enough to rework some of the cars I’ve left behind me – or rather gain perspective of the road ahead in another cars seat.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

One of the Boys - November

It’s almost the end of November – Movember taches will slowly begin to disappear, procrastinators like me are trying to orchestrate a cheap December holiday, Woollies is stocking up on overpriced Xmas goodies that you will undoubtedly buy in a last minute panic, when you realise there’s that damn secret Santa crap going on at the office this year. But above all – tis the season to be jolly, overindulge and make out under the mistletoe!
As promised, here is a list of some of my favourite things to give as gifts to your girlfriends, sisters and mothers. Hmmm, maybe not mothers. Have fun and get creative : )
A Little Something in your Stocking
I love the idea of small, fun tongue in cheek gifts. There’s so much pressure in a relationship when it comes to gifts and there need not be – especially around Christmas. Keep it light with some of these delightful goodies:

Sexy Legs Toothbrush from Big Blue – R90.00

Photo Snow globe from Big Blue – R120.00

Art Supply Box from The Space – R218.00

Credit to download her tunes at my fave site

Gifts for a Domestic Goddess

Cupcake Maker from Clicks – R249.00

Cupcake Decorator from Clicks – R70.00
Purchase a One Day Coffee Course through – R1100.00

Get a lovely Cookbook (I love the quick and easy recipes in Nigella Express (R593.00) and the inventive and delicious vegetarian recipes in Plenty (R437.00) priced online) from Exclusive Books, order online and get free delivery.
Buy a gift voucher from they have the coolest cookery and kitchen selections from ice cream makers to pizza ovens to beautiful cookware and recipe journals. Let her pick something delicious to add to her collection.
Naughty Things for Nice Girls
Sensual Massage Oils from The Body Shop – R140.00 (R99.99 Unscented, R110 Divine Calm) paired with a long luxurious massage that dissolves the stress of 2012. Yes Please!

Cute Cami’s from La Senza – R699.00 Make sure you know her bra size and her general clothing size. Wearing a little silky lace number to spice up your loving = SEXY, squeezing into something 2 sizes 2 small, that makes your hip fat look like a stringed up Christmas Gammon = NOT SEXY. If you aren’t too sure, rather go with a voucher – they wrap it up so it looks pretty as well. 
Fun and Stylish Bedside Condoms from The Space – R65.00

Plaisir Nacre White Handcuffs from– R180.00
CloneBoy Penis Cloning Kit from  – R854.00 Yes you read right, this is a kit to clone your penis into a dildo for your lady on those nights you can’t be there. I like couple toys and I KNOW you’ll all like the idea of your equipment being the only kind she uses.
Bag it Up

There isn’t a girl on the planet who doesn’t love a great handbag. If your lady is into classic styles, I love the handbags at Nine West; they are all good quality and neutral enough to wear with anything. But the chances are that she probably has a bag for everyday practical use so why not get something a bit more playful and colourful like this range at Big Blue:
When I Grow Up Bag – R700.00
Typewriter Bag – R550.00
Colourful Bags Big – R690.00, Small R550.00
We’ll Take a Holiday
Booking a little getaway out of town is something every girl will love! Venture off the beaten track and try some of my favourite small town weekend stopovers:
Kalm from R400 – R600 p/p sharing per night. I love the funky shabby chic colourful look of this place.
The Castle from R850.00 – R1100.00 p/p sharing per night. What a way to make her feel like a princess!
The Post House from R605.00 – R1055.00 (Honeymoon Suite) p/p sharing per night. Famous for its appearance in the advert that coined the phrase: “Get this man a Bells!”

Coffee Bay:
The Coffee Shack Backpackers R380 gets you a private en suite room right on the beach. Very laid back vibe with lots of adventure activities to do – surfing, hiking etc…
Mountain sanctuary Park from R400.00 p/p per night sharing a log cabin and R350.00 p/p per night sharing for Chalets.  Take a walk in nature and cool off in one of the rock pools, how cool?

That’s a wrap!
This wrapping paper is pricey but oh so pretty from The Space at R48.00 per sheet.
Way to personalize your present with letter gift boxes from The Space at R79.00

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Freak on a Leash


Raquel was late in returning from her outride, the soft sticky Noordhoek air still clinging to her body as she slowed Triton down to a trot, and then a reprieving stride. Each day her rides with Triton had grown a little longer, and stretched a little later into the orange dusk that so delicately rested along the Cape horizon. She liked to tell Gerard it was the coming of night air that required her absence in his house, the quiet rhythm of hooves against sand that brought her back to neutral and ultimately to him. The lies unfolded with uncomfortable ease, their only tell being the rose hue that spread across her chest and the slight surrender in her emerald eyes, that she consciously cast to the floor in her delivery. But tonight there would be no need for this pretence.

The light from the stable was already on, and she could see his silhouette now, lifting fork-fulls of hay into Tritons feed. In the growing darkness, her mind filled in the blanks… imagining the smell of the horses, the sweat in his hairline and the musk of his aftershave. She wondered if he would help her off her horse again tonight and go back to work, or if, in Gerard’s absence, he would finally satiate the building hunger she could no longer hide from him. She handed Phillip her crop and helmet, and felt her fingers digging into the grooves of his hard shoulders as he lifted her off the stallion and into his arms. She thanked him and allowed the strap of her top to fall as she walked towards the homestead, her anticipation finally interrupted by his worn working hands, wrapped around her wrist. “Wait, Raquel” he said; his eyes unable to take themselves off of her robust curves and cascading auburn locks. He loved how they danced along her collarbone, inviting his lips to taste what they had for so many years, yearned for. With all the words she knew waiting to explode out of her mouth and in between the two moonlit figures, Raquel was speechless. His hands fled from her hands to her waist and then down to her riding boots. He unzipped them gently, and removed her socks, her feet now absorbed into the cold wet grass. With dangerous confidence, he rubbed the soles of her feet and began embracing her ankles, planting kisses along her calves as if he’d dreamed of it every day he’d worked, in the last 3 years, as her stable master. Raquel had never had another man’s lips wrapped around her toes, his tongue hinting mischievously at his intentions for her - but then… Raquel had never had another man.

And that’s where I’m going to leave you… in the stables, with Raquel’s toe in Phillips mouth? Yes. Yes I am going to do just that.
For some of us, the idea of having someone’s foot in our mouth or vice versa is about as erotic as sorting through garbage for the spoon you accidentally threw away with your leftover goulash. It’s a little… icky. But who are we to judge what the next person thinks is sexy, after all aren’t we all harbouring some kinky tendencies when it comes to what really turns us on? Show me someone who blatantly disagrees and I’ll show you a liar.
While getting ready to attend Jacks sailor themed birthday party, Mimi, Dax and I (appropriately inappropriately dressed in Sailor costumes) were talking about the idea that everyone has a degree of freak inside them.
Dax: “You know girl, something I’ve learnt is that most guys are not born with a natural freak in them. It takes a while to bring it out. I’ve even walked out on a guy, who just.couldn’”
Mimi: “She’s not kidding, she literally left him stark naked in bed.”
Me: “That’s so rock star.”
Dax: “I know. But here’s the thing, some people have a freak inside waiting to come out. Some people are brave enough not to ever hold it back. And some people….”
Me: “Are happy with two pokes in the missionary position.”
Mimi: “You two are freaks!”
Dax and I: “And proud of it!”
With a room full of Seamen (pun intended), including mine, I looked around wondering what sexual secrets hid behind that curtain we draw quietly across all our inner most desires, so no one can see. Perhaps Jake and Josh are swingers, maybe all that the girl in the bikini wants - is to be called a dirty slut, maybe Dan likes his orgasms in public… who knows, maybe I do too. And then there are those fetishes that I can’t wrap my head around – the guy who likes drinking breast milk from the source, for example. I guess there must be some sort of scale of freaky-deakiness that we allow ourselves to slide up and down on, fast, slow and sometimes a little rough.
That night I lay awake in bed, thinking about my inner freak and how much of it I am prepared to let run free off of its leash. My motto has always been, “I’ll try anything once” but in retrospect, perhaps it’s not always that easy. What happens when you allow new things or extra people into your bedroom? Can we allow ourselves to still be ladies on the street and freaks in the bed when our hearts are so intricately entwined in our panties? How do we play nice when it comes to raising the freak flag on our sexuality?
The answer, or maybe the start of it, came to me the next day as we lay on my couch, about to drift away.
Me: “There’s this spot on my arm, the inner part of my elbow. It’s so sensitive to any kind of touch – I’d love it if you kissed me there. I think it’d really turn me on…”
With a smile and peaking curiosity, he kissed me.
Me: “There’s a few other spots I like too…”
My Guy: “Show me - you don’t ask, you don’t get”
Me: “Well, in that case….”

“Stop!” she said, catching him quite off guard. Phillip shrunk into himself, mortified by his premature lusting for her and the milky smooth foot that slid softly away from his cheek. He stood up, his engorgement no longer discretion, and began to walk away with dampened spirits, a mere mortal in her shadow. He turned back for one more gaze; he never wanted to forget this night, the night he was almost brought to ecstasy by a red headed whisperer.  She stood against the light of the stable, now completely naked with eyes that begged for him to come back to her. Her hand wrung around the leather crop he’d let fall to the floor. “Come inside”, she said. “I want you at least twice before I see the sun.” Before he could hesitate, she thrust the crop down into the hay, sending tendrils into the air and about her thighs. “Is that going to be a problem?” she asked. He smiled, his blood rushing back to his cheeks, “No, mam” he replied.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Full of Shift

A mouthful of bright colour and flavoursome delight disappears into my mouth. My cheeks bulge with overindulgence, like a 2 year old at birthday party dangerously close to the customary bowl of Flings and Oros. As a trickle of juice sneaks its way to the corners of my mouth I smile and almost lose the mouthful – rescuing it quickly with the side of my wrist. There are so many reasons why I love this food... this plate full of undairified, meatless bounty.

The photos from my 25th birthday are well – hard to get hold of – and as I sit eating my lunch I page through the few I’ve kept. The girl in them is just too miserable to even look at. She’s weighed down by so much baggage (physically and in all ways possible) that people have dumped on her over the years, you can barely see underneath it all. It makes me sad to see her that way, like an emotional pack mule, because underneath it all I’ve always suspected that she may be spectacular. It was shortly after the celebrations at my farm that I decided I needed a change. Not a little change like switching moisturiser brands, a massive catapulting catharsis.

Ed: “Why are you doing this? To lose weight?” 

Carly: “No. I just have to do something. I want to get excited about something again.”

Ed: “And your thing is going to be becoming a vegan?”

Carly: “It’s only 3 months Ed.”

My almost carnivore roommate gave me a look of serious doubt. I’m sure he thought I was plum crazy (maybe I did a little as well) but I just knew it was the challenge I’d been looking for. A new focus for me, away from all the stresses I was facing daily. Now what I need to highlight, behind all my rantings and reasonings is the phrase “For Me”.  For the first time, I was going to go on an adventure with myself – for myself – and no one else. Just that idea in all its simplicity was as exciting as the prospect of spending the day at a spa.

So I did what I always do and jumped in as project manager – I got creative in the kitchen, I started reading vegan blogs every morning at work, I discovered some groovy health shops and restaurants where I could sip soy cappuccino’s and sample tofu biltong, I even reconnected with an old friend: Coriander. I never weighed myself once, I never stepped foot in a gym and I never forgot what was driving my veggie campaign. Just me, lil ol' CTB.

After my three month probation I felt elated. I looked great, I felt lighter and I had found a new respect for all things digestible. I’d had to think about each thing that went into my mouth for the past 90 days and I’d grown quite a conscience. But after the ecstasy of achieving my goal had worn off, I slipped back into old habits. I retracted my presence in the universe, I put myself at the bottom of a long list of to-do’s and I stepped right back into position ready to battle with my obstinate body again.  And that’s how the story WOULD have ended, if I wasn’t armed with a ridiculous amount of Goetspa. I told myself that a lapse didn’t have to mean a relapse and that I was going to fight – for me.

I knew I wasn’t ready to be a full time vegan. I’d been vegetarian (sometimes flexitarian) for a few years but the thought of never tasting Emmentaler cheese again was just a little too daunting. And then, as though the wisdom had always been inside me – hidden like a genie’s lamp in a magical cave, I shifted.

I began a dialogue with myself that brought to light some revelations, the main one being:
When you are good to yourself; yourself is good to you.
I subsequently started a balanced eating plan and got enthusiastic about my place on the earth. I put myself first which resulted in me shedding close to 23kg’s, by constantly relaying back to the fundamentals I’d learnt while being vegan.

This is why every year; I rally up as many friends and family members as I can to celebrate World Vegan Day (I try sneak in a WHOLE week!). In some ways it’s my tribute to a fantastic way of living that has given me so many learning’s and moments of self discovery. It’s sort of my own cheesy (dairy free of course) Independence Day – reminding me to take care of myself and to be aware of how food is actually healing. I truly believe it was an integral part of saving my life – or maybe just giving me an even more splendiferous one.
When I’m in a muddle of the ordinary, confounded by existential dilemmas or just not embracing my title as President of Anything Can Happen – I remember that it can. It did. And it can again. 

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

One of the Boys

Hey Phat Ass
Amongst my list of secret indulgences, Saturday Night Series Watching is wayyyy up there, somewhere between  Smashing a can of Garlic Stuffed Olives and Trawling Through Charity Shops and Second Hand Stores. Recently I discovered a show called Up all Night, about a couple who’s party animal lifestyle has come to a halt with the arrival of a new born baby. I was bent over giggling when I watched a scene where the husband tries to discretely comment on the wife’s sloppy appearance – a trade in of lingerie for yoga pants and loose tops.  Suffice to say, it didn’t go down all that well.
I thought I might bring to light some education on the topic, from the female perspective if you will. First of all, do you remember in primary school when we all had to watch those awkward and embarrassing edutainment TV programs on Stranger Danger and Public Indecency? I will never forget the theme song:
My body’s nobody’s body but mine. You’ve got your own body, let me have mine.”
It’s cheesy. It’s infantile. However, it’s true. And so damn catchy! 
This is my body. With all its beauty and all its flaws. My thick legs, that can JUST fit into a size 14, have carried me through heartache, pain, happiness, disappointment and a mountain of challenges. They are strong. It’s up to me how I want to shape this outward vessel. I do not need a home improvement committee to debate on how I should go about maintaining or improving my body. I do not need a personal trainer, a nutritionist, a dietician or a health guru in place of my boyfriend, lover or husband for that matter. I have lived and learnt from this frame for 27 years, so if there’s an expert in the building – it’s me. What I do need, is someone who will love me unconditionally and encourage my happiness. I need to feel cherished, beautiful and appreciated... when I have these things; it’s a lot more motivating to take care of myself, inside and out.
So what’s the deal with chicks and food for fuck sake? I’m sure you are wondering. And that’s completely understandable – we are wired completely differently. For most women, food is a way to nourish and comfort ourselves. It’s a constant in a very volatile and unstable world. We eat when we are happy, sad, lonely, celebrating, hibernating and exacerbating. It’s emotional, plain and simple. So when things aren’t so lekker... maybe we’ve gone through a big change, we’ve lost someone, we’re trying to cope with issues that we have no way of solving, food is sometimes the way we push all that stress down (literally). Hey, some people dabble in dwelms, some blow off steam at gym; some spend thousands of Rands pimping out their cars – each to his/her own right? EXACTLY
So what’s a dude to do when the lady lumps start getting a little cray cray? Fokol. Love and support, a constant ear to listen and patience are your best friends in this situation and will probably give your gal a sense of trust and new found motivation. Who doesn’t want to look smoking hot for a guy who makes you feel that way all the time? Criticism, sarcastic remarks and plain old dick-headness is going to get your ass replaced, or kicked to the curb... eventually. Here are my top 5 comments that will get you on track:
“I don’t know why, but when you work out... I literally get a semi. You are such a hottie.”
“I love you, just the way you are.”
“You know who I’d put on my celeb shag list? Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and Christina Hendricks.”
“Have you heard of sex-aerobics?”
“If you ever want to talk about what stress you’re carrying, I’m a great listener.”
Tadah! And on one last note: If you can’t get your head around a few extra kg’s, that pair of baggy pants, no make up Sundays and the occasional bad hair scenario, perhaps you’re with the wrong person. Maybe you should date someone perfect, and see how that works out.
That’s a wrap!
It’s almost the end of the year, which means everywhere you look... red, white, green and gold. Christmas is on its way. Keep posted, next month I’m going to do some kiff gifting ideas to give the girls... but I know LONG term memory is maybe not your strong point. So this month I wanted to say that chucking a soap-on-a-rope in a cardboard bag and scribbling a message on it, is no way to treat a lady. Start thinking of cool ways to present your present (pun intented). Maybe it’s a scavenger hunt to find a few small gifts, maybe the card has a sentimental poem or quote in it, maybe you wrap it in some funky/ funny paper (The Space in Rosebank or Exclusive Books are my fave suppliers) or maybe you want to do something really classy and traditional. They key here is THOUGHT and TIME. Go check out Flowerspot in Woodmead – they literally have EVERYthing you could need for wrapping and decorating a prezzie.

Date Night!
It’s a crummy time of year, we’re all waiting for that bonus (well, those of us who have a job – not I just yet!), we’re saving for holidays and festivities. And why is it all of a sudden EVERYONES freaking birthday? I had no idea there were this many bloody Scorpios and Libras in my life. But you don’t have to ring up exorbitant bills for a date with your woman. Something simple and sweet can totally top a fanschy shmanschy night out. Here are some of my ideas:
A candle lit picnic on the floor of your room
A trip to the planetarium
Hire a row boat at Zoo Lake
Take a walk around some markets – I like Irene and Rosebank. Arts on Main and Neighbourgoods are a little more upmarket and expensive.
Read the paper together at a park
Sneak in a quickie at the Public Library – Just kidding! Or am I? I think they have cameras... ooh, that’s hot.
Go for a hike together – Johannesburg Hiking Club has one every Sunday and they are only around R30 – R50 each.
Between The Sheets in October
DO: Take advantage of the warm weather and have some pool fun! Especially if you can find one with conveniently placed water shoot. Try get in some foreplay time before you get into the water, as it tends to cool us down in all the wrong places if you know what I mean.
DON’T: Put ice up there. Maybe its personal preference but that stuff is like... fu-cking cold. Cold is not what you want. Maybe keep the ice philandering to kissing and nipple play.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Martini Review - Full Stop

I know - Full Stop... touch and go right? eh, wrong! For those of you who haven't yet visited the new and revamped Full Stop in Parkhurst, prepare to be delightfully surprised! I'd sworn off the place after a certain disappointing Risotto but with the inviting summer garden and a new snazzy menu I've become somewhat of a return customer. Besides - if the gays are doing it, it's worth a drop in innit?

Hazelnut Espresso Martini

I must admit, I was slightly disappointed with the short list selection of cocktails on show - but then again aren't the best menus small on selection but big on flavour? This one seemed like an obvious choice as I'm a sentimental ol gal and this is the way I describe My Guys eyes - Hazelnut Espresso, divine. So how did the cocktail measure up? Hmm, not entirely. My first mistake was thinking that I enjoy the taste of Espresso, which I clearly don't. I found the drink to be a little tough for my personal taste, like if a ruthless businesswoman was a drink - this is her. Coffee lovers will adore the strong roasted taste, I liked the playful nutty hazelnut but that's about it. Maybe best for a hangover pick me up.

1 Olive

Watermelon Cosmopolitan

Some people think the perfect summer indulgence is watermelon in the pool... I prefer a pool of watermelon... COSMO's! Lovely, light summer cocktail. I like em how I like my men - sweet and strong! Maybe a little too sweet for some and you can't have watermelon flavoured anything without it tasting ever so slightly like that roll up bubblegum you had when you were a kid. Unless you didn't. And then you haven't really had a childhood have you?

4 Olives

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Shoes to Fill

The morning sun has this sneaky way of waking me up. Like a leg leering out the slit of a petticoat, it streams through the gap in my golden tattered curtains on a Sunday, when I have nothing better to do that swim for hours in a soup of slothful stillness.  My Guy isn’t stirred awake by much, and I selfishly cover his face with a thousand kisses until the creases by the corner of his eyes flatten out and hazelnut espresso swirls peer back at me from half under the duvet. I find myself positioning my hands as if they are about to "click" and take a snapshot of this moment so that I never forget it. Click.
The Egyptian cotton sheets we are wrapped in, make me feel like I am curled up in a cocoon of stability and opulence - you know that 'everything is going to be ok' sorta feeling. The truth is that the sheets were a gift from mamma bear and I know there are very few things in my apartment that are, in fact, mine. But, of course, for the delicious creature lying next to me, refusing to let me out of bed.
I put the kettle on and peruse Facebook, my real life Friends List Tabloid. All of a sudden I’m facing a timeline I wasn’t prepared to confront so early in the day, or in my life. With my news feed covered in the confetti of weddings and the coo-ing of baby showers, I can’t fight a niggly feeling that I might have missed my stop somewhere.
We do the word puzzle in the Sunday Times like a geeky cute couple and then decide to walk across the road to look at some of the apartments on show in my hood. It’s one of those warm, idyllic days and the road is lined with Jacaranda trees that stand at either side of us, listening as we talk about our dreams and ambitions. I look up at their dancing woody fingertips and ask that just for this moment, they let me get lost in the ridiculous notion that I may someday be one of those silly girls in a white dress too.
We step into the Architects apartment and give each other a silent “wow”. The price is R1.8 million. Swallow. Another silent “wow”. The New York-esque corner unit is beautiful with its wooden floors, white washed walls, open and industrial flow and vintage fittings. Sooner than I was able to call on logic and all things sensical I’m swept away... passed the brochure that tells of a R4000 levy, passed the hurdles of the first two years of a relationship, passed the first fight we’ll have, passed the confines of bank accounts, passed the tiresome search for my place in the world, passed the place he will one day put his hat up on. And passed all this, I vaguely allow myself to see us having a life together. Maybe, in a place like this.
I smile at myself and my childlike fantasies of playing house. I think back to when I was young enough not to fear this room in my head. When Barbie and Ken would go to The Ball and fall in love again every day. When I married Seany in the Wendy-house at the bottom of the garden and we took care of baby Jesus in his manger amongst a thicket of pine needles. When I was executive director of a million dollar fine dining franchise, serving Mud Burgers and Dirt Milkshakes with Kerri in Grade Two. When I’d walk around in my Gran’s fur coat and my mom’s high heels, ca-thumping with each step as my small and inexperienced feet tested a path I may walk along one day.
I lock the room again, and place the key somewhere high up where it isn’t so easy to reach. I don’t want to be tempted to go inside, not until time has allowed me to fill the space in those heels that still feel miles too big for me. Until the clumsy ca-thumping becomes an assertive click and the ground feels less like a waterbed and more like those gorgeous piney wooden slats lining the floor of unit 412, two streets down from my own abode.
“You're the first person I'm actually scared I could lose, Carly”
I don’t know why I love it so much when he says my name. Maybe it’s the same reason I love that we both hate roller coasters, that he always arrives everywhere whistling or humming a tune or that he says good morning and good night every day... even when we aren’t together.
"I guess the things we are scared of, are the ones most worth taking a risk for."
All my years of harnessing my craft as an actress and wordsmith are put to the test as I deliver the line without wavering. I’m not ready to let him see that underneath them, I’m just a girl walking around in shoes 3 sizes to big, hoping like hell I don’t fall on my face. That I’m as brave as a 5 year old on the first day of school or that in truth, I’m his already.
On the walk home, we pass through a sea of screaming toddlers and I immediately remember the thirteen vodka’s I’d had the night before. The door shuts behind us and we’re lured to our place on the couch to watch the food network and fall in and out of sleep all afternoon. Maybe I’m not at my stop just yet, but what good would this maddening intrepid journey be without a kick ass travel partner to do it with in the meantime.