Waiting in Simon’s Town

Waiting for the 1436h train back to Cape Town.

From a bench on the station’s platform, the view and soundscape are exceptional. Marvelous silence bar the crescendo of waves crash-landing on the belly of Long Beach.

The fence dividing shore from station is more a suggestion of the possibility rather than an actual fence. Low cinder blocks matted to a wet-gray by the aqueous arrivals. There are more gaps than actual wall; the gaps themselves are bri

Simon's Town: view of Long Beach from high up
Simon’s Town: view of Long Beach from high up

dged with two thin strips of wire. A rudimentary telecommunication system facilitating chatter between the inanimate, perhaps? All in all, the wall, its paucity, rather than revealing poor-workmanship, hints at  righteous rebellion: the persons tasked with its erection refusing to obstruct more than necessary the shimmering panorama of multi-blue seawater and auburn beach sand.

Anyhow, the view of green-brown mountains is too immense and forceful to be tamed, being nearly as high as the irritable skies cloaking their true reach.

A mélange of vehicular and human traffic comes to a slouch about your shoulders, akin, like the fence, to a suggestion by a knowing friend. A discomforting, but sufficiently distant reminder of the semantic noise that is the bedeviling crown atop the rude entanglements of everyday life.

I wish for the train to never come.

A persistent hush, monotone serenity, pinches my ears when I emerge from Recreation Records clutching two vinyl discs in a crumpled Pick n Pay packet; the Cannonball Adderley Quintet’sThe Price You pay to be Free and Chet Baker’s Nato Tour LP. The voluptuous quiet spoons me in her arms when I sit down alone on a blue wood bench to wait for the train I’m wish never comes.

Recreation Record's, eight years deep and stilling spinning vinyl
Recreation Record’s, eight years deep and stilling spinning vinyl

She, the quiet, whispers to me the far-away footsteps of sauntering beachwalkers, soothing my anxiety as my eyes search the tracks for the train I wish would never come.

Gazing into the anonymous thoughts of those far-off somnambulists, staring into the minds of those specks walking hand-in-hand near the water, as if at sand particles in a seashell, a “for fuck’s sake” splinters the calm. The broadside blows me out of my lull. Perched on the edge of the next bright-blue bench to my right, an earphoned man in explorer gear, a fellow waiter, grows impatient, willing the train’s arrival with the magnet of his anger.

And just then, the train arrives.

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