I was sitting on the garden under the cool shade of a tree; the tree branches were dancing to the wind; birds were singing a soothing melody; dry leave were falling on my head and beside, heralding the coming of winter. I was having an appointment with myself, my troubles locked behind the madam’s bedroom.
I sat and watched the madam and her two young lovely kids play. The kids reminded me of my younger wayward days in the mountains of Ga-Maloka, before the thriving community was forcefully resettled by the repressive apartheid regime in the little known desolate and arid land of Gannalaagte. It was in Ga-Maloka where with our dogs we hunted rabbits, and came home at dusk to begin our feast. We would prepare fire and drool in anticipation of the roasted rabbits we had caught. Meat was a rare commodity and the rabbits we caught were a great consolation. Like in all the rural settlements, we only had meat on Christmas day; seldom on Sundays and of course funerals were always a cause of great anticipation.
I looked up, and the jewel in the sky above shone brightly through the tree nearing the end of its summer life and I dreaded the coming of cold winter nights even more. I yearned for the arms of my well-rounded woman back home; the fire we had at nights; the aroma of burning wood and the stories we told; the stories told by our grandparents to our parents and our parents to us.
And suddenly while lost in thought of great many things of the past, I was rudely interrupted: “Stivo!!”, the madam yelled. “Stivovo!” again the madam yelled like a nymphomaniac on death row, this time in fiery desperation. I knew the time had arrived; I thought of those men at home and around whose dreams and fantasies the madam was turning into reality; a reality of pain and delight, all of which I was part of. It was the madam and I, once more.
The following morning I boarded a minibus taxi out to the city. Like a seasoned rally driver, the driver careened his crowded minibus taxi through the snarl of traffic in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. It was almost as if he was reluctant to get rid of the overload of noisy, earthy women he had collected on his run through the city – bovine women, huge-breasted, with heavy bodies probably distorted by childbearing, or perhaps their hard toil in these streets.
Deafening music was blustering from the sound system; the driver bobbing his brainless head to these sounds that no one cared to listen to, and the women got louder and louder, their pitch increasing with the nerve-racking beats of music.
The minibus taxi pulled to a stop and the women got off; and this is where I also got off. My ears echoed a sigh in relief. There was a look of indestructibility about these women, from the tip of each head down to the gaudy skirt; to the solid long legs and heels which seemed rooted to the earth. They have mastered the oldest profession on earth.
In the ripe mixture of unfriendly aromas which accompanied them, the predominant one joshed and chivvied others and the passing men in an endless stream of lewdly suggestive remarks and retorts, quite unmindful of what anyone cared to say. Then came this old white man, a lively, quick-witted fellow, who seemed to know them all enough to address them on very personal terms, and kept them in noisy good humour with a stream of quips and pleasantries to which they made the reply in kind. Though not for the priest’s ear, sex seemed little more than a joke to them; a conversation vividly detailed with their actual or imagined ailments. The poor old fellow could not strike a bargain and left to face the night alone; he was in great need to banish age and care; his blue pill would be spared for another lustful attempt tomorrow.
Unable to resist the amusement I felt, I smiled inwardly at the essential naturalness of these women, who were an integral part of one of the greatest cities in the face of the continent. There they stood, large and vigorous, the bulwark of the adventurous. Surprise flickered briefly on my face as one of these women moved towards me, only to stride her long legs to a car easing to a stop.
She leaned on the opened window, her scantily dressed mini-skirt revealing her most unvalued assets for everyone to see. I curiously looked with a puzzled expression. The driver of the car with a striking resemblance of a person I knew, seemed to have struck a deal; off he drove with the woman. “Was that Meneer Bester?” a thought briefly intruded my mind.
Back I was in Sandton; it was approaching midnight; the kids were asleep and Meneer Bester had apparently gone out ‘with them boys to watch a rugby game’. I found myself wandering in the madam’s bedroom; at first I thought I was alone, for the light that came from a pair of shaded side lamps was very dim. But I discerned the madam’s figure standing by the window, wearing a night gown.
My charming, easy-going smile spread across my face as I walked up to her; fell on one knee, and carried the hand that hung by her side to my lips. She neither moved nor spoke. I rose to my feet, and, piercing the gloom with my eager eyes, saw her pale face and the gleam of her hair; a pleasant fragrance of her perfume filled my nostrils and enticed me; before I knew, I spoke softly: “Madam!” She trembled a little, and looked round; and made me sit on the bed, fearing someone might see us through the window; I sat and put her hand on my lap.
Somehow emotions give even to a dull, slow-witted man the knowledge of the heart. She clung to me; I felt her heart beating rapidly against mine; I put my arm around her; passionately embracing the madam; the warmth and chemistry drew us closer to each other. It was a moment of romantic awkwardness.
The madam was feeling something which in words I cannot write. Her wondering, dazzling eyes looked on me, and grew me tense, and felt as if my voice would die away in broken murmurs and stammerings if I attempted a word. Silence reigned and only the drizzle trickling on the window panes made sense of the moment.
She drew herself away from me and stood against the wall; staring into the night, while I sat on the edge of the bed, wondering if I had upset her – and loathing it. Her face was away from me, but I caught the sparkle of a tear on her cheek. “Have I done something wrong?” I asked, in a low tone that seemed to bring calm even to her strung heart. She made no answer; and came near me; laid her hand on my shoulder; I put mine up and held hers. “I never intended this to turn the way it has,” she said, in a low sweet voice, and I wondered whether this was the end of our brief episodes; my heart was reverberating with nervousness. “I would follow you in rags, if need be – to the world’s end; you hold my heart in the hollow of your hand!” I knew what she meant, and shiver ran through me, and I could not utterly fail her; the feeling was mutual. I rose and took her hand, “Let us do what we will, or what we must”, I said in a trembling voice. She clung to me; whispering nothing but my name, and that over and over again.
I gently put my forefinger on her lips to keep her silent, and slipped my arms around her waist and lay my lips on hers. We held each other tight, kissing slowly and passionately, leaning against the wall; her hands slipped underneath my shirt, and gently caressed my black strong body; our lips entangled in a passionate kiss. The kiss became more intense and in furious passion her gown fell open. Overwhelmed by guilt, she stopped and quickly grabbed her gown. “You have to leave now!” She said turning against me.
The next day, there I was standing at the balcony panting and grasping for air; and I lit one of my master’s finest cigars as I regained my senses and energy; the madam was lying on the bed visibly satisfied and glowing from multi-orgasmic moans and groans that even got the neighbours out for a smoke.
I poured myself a double tot of Scotch, and sipped on it while enjoying the Cuban cigar. I felt like those fairy princes who sought lost maidens, and made them theirs, who took away their pains and worries, who brightened their lives and dissolved their cares. Those heroes bold, who valiantly for maidens, fought to defeat the evils that loomed about, and thus won the women that they had sought.
Here I am, the madam intruding my innocence, and piercing my defencelessness. If ever there is heaven, such is here on earth.
”The priests have got a book that says but for Adam’s sin Eden’s Garden would be there and I there within. No expectation fails there, no pleasing habit ends, no man grows old, no girl grows cold.”
These are the Legends of Stivovo…..to be continued