Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Alone time

I sat alone. Luxuriously alone. Well, really, I wasn't alone. Who is, in The City Beneath the Mountain? But I was alone in a generic coffee shop, at my own table, frequented only by a smiley waitress asking me if I wanted things. Being on my own is something that doesn't happen often.

I had my book with me and I delighted in spreading my (rather small) handbag over the whole table, making sure anyone who looked at me knew I was not expecting anyone else. I was just waiting for a friend who would not be joining me, but rather just picking me up. Then we were going shopping. In the meantime, though, I was fabulously alone.

To celebrate, I ordered a glass of wine. And I drank it, all alone, in-between reading my book and just sitting. Everyone around me was drinking coffee, it being a coffee shop, so I felt especially decadent. They were also all eating American-sized slices of cake and muffins that were aimed at Gulliver as I, again, questioned why such huge food is necessary... It's SO wasteful, nobody ever finishes those slices.

I was disappointed that I hadn't arrived half an hour earlier, as the table behind me contained two ladies who could've been in their 40's, 50's or 60's, maybe even 70's. It was really hard to tell because their skins were stretched and tucked, their lips plumped. They were plastic. It's beside the point, though, because unfortunately they were paying their bill, after what sounded like a long session.

"And then, my latest, was such a wonderful man. We were so in love and filled with passion, but after two months I realised he was just using me, so I kicked him out." She'd obviously just regaled her entire romantic history. And I missed it! But still, I was luxuriously alone, with my glass of wine and my book. Glorious.

I watched a woman interview a young girl in the corner, her hands twitching and wriggling beneath the table, which I could see from my vantage point. It was a job for a PA to a chartered account, one that is "well-known in Cape Town" and needs discretion. I'd have loved to know the back story to that too. Maybe he chartered accounts dodgy strip bars in the seedy parts of town.

Then C arrived and we did adminny things like paying bills and shopping for soap. I'm a sucker for a bargain and found an enormous bottle of the 2-in-1 shampoo I used in Spain, so bought it. It contains 150 washes, according to its label, so I hope I didn't love it so much in Spain because I had my Spain bliss on. Otherwise it's going to be a long hairwashing year!

Even the admin seemed fine in the afterglow of an hour with just me. That sounds terribly vain but is not meant in that vein. Snigger.


Mud said...

Love 'alone'. We all need time to just be. And if that comes with vicarious gossip, then all the better!

Miranda said...


Angela said...

You should have leaned over and said, "Now tell me your story all over! I want to make a blog post of it."
You would have, even. Admit it! So it was wise for you not to hear it, chuckle.

Shiny said...

Mud - if only I'd got it all, I'm sure it would've made a fabulous blog post

Miranda - indeed

Geli - I should've asked, you're right