Until you’ve heard from me (1/5)

By Drum Digital
16 March 2015

Sizwe thought it would be just another Sunday, until the girl sat down at the bus stop

It was Sunday morning and Sizwe was walking to the bus stop just outside the varsity, where he usually met his friend Xolile. On Sundays they always walked down to the poetry sessions at The Bassline in Newtown. Xolile always acted as if he was accompanying Sizwe out of a sense of duty.

Last Sunday he told Sizwe: “Hayi man, you know what, china? You need to get yourself a nice girlfriend to take you to these poetry things of yours, like that one I pointed out to you the other day. Chicks are probably into that sort of thing.” Then he’d done an hilarious impression of a poet, waving his arms and looking intense. “The sun is . . . is . . . shining,” mouthed Xolile, before laughing loudly. Sizwe couldn’t help giggling and their debate on the merits of poetry lasted all the way to the venue and half the way back. There was never a dull moment when these two were together.

Sizwe checked his watch when he got to the bus stop. He was half an hour early. Thirty minutes to do the final touch-ups, he thought to himself as he pulled out an A5 notebook and a pen from one of the pockets of his cargo pants. The session would begin in less than an hour. Sizwe manoeuvred along the thick cylindrical seat that stretched from one end of the bus shelter to the other, until he found a comfortable position to prepare the rest of his poem. His back was slightly hunched for balance, and he dangled his feet so that he could swing them later on – if he had trouble expressing something.

He always kept things simple enough for his audience to understand – yet entertaining enough to listen to. His friend told him that he underestimated the complexity of his own work. “You should be rich and famous by now man,” he used to say. “You just have to get your act together, you know?”

To be continued...

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