Not the blog post i was planning, but, i was reminded today that there is anticipation for one. i walked away from that conversation, returned a phone call i had missed, and a massive train smashed into my world. Here it is.
It feels like the “reveal’ in Snatch. When Turkish figures out that Mickey has bet on himself, and that there is a car full of angry Irish justice waiting for Brick Top. Right at the moment when the shot goes off the camera pushes in and the image freezes on the faces of Mickey, Turkish and Tommy. Mickey is calm, and expectant (that was me in my last blog post), Turkish and Tommy have their faces contorted by shock and surprise (me today). Today i was told the fire eater is dead. i know i am not alone nursing this pain in my chest. There are others all over my country, and in far away places who have the same hurt. in my heart he has spread himself thin as a whisp of cloud and he holds us each as gently in death as he did in life.
i met Ernst at a newyearsbirthday party that went on for four glorious days in Eshowe. He was naked most of the time. He played with fire, his kisses tasted of paraffin. i didn’t love him then. The next time i saw him he had shaved his hair off, as broke as he was, he brought a get well card and gift for my daughter who had just had her appendix removed. i loved him them, and have ever since.
The last time i saw him he photographed me crying and called me brave. Tonight i cry over the words i will never get to say (i don’t feel so brave).
He loved these words, i use them here without permission, and with humble thanks to Leonard Cohen.
I heard of a man who says words so beautifully
that if he only speaks their name women give themselves to him.
If I am dumb beside your body
while silence blossoms
like tumours on our lips.
It is because I hear a man
climb the stairs
and clear his throat
Outside our door.
Fly friend fly! Goodbye x
If you’re a facebooker please go and look at this very special man’s photos https://www.facebook.com/ernst.bekker?sk=photos
and read his blog http://thatotherdewd.blogspot.com/
and for the afrikaans http://rammetjie.blogspot.com/