Rain washing down over the Buffalo River; sky, rain, runway a monochrome palette outside the Business Class lounge at the East London airport. I missed by three minutes the chance of catching the earlier flight home, and have a three hour wait, till eight, before I can fly off into the wall of sodden grey outside. So I have plugged in the ‘phones, poured some Pinot Noir, and flipped up the lid of the Mac, to while away the time. Abdullah Ibrahim, the electrifying notes of ‘Mannenberg’, are calling to my bones as I write, running the chords down each vertebra like a piano keyboard or the keys of a saxophone, the song of what it means to be a South African.
This morning, at the colleges workshop I had flown down to brief on national developments, I was introduced to the provincial Minister of Education, Mr Qwase. He stared hard at me, holding me firmly by the hand. ‘Where are you from?’ he asked. I explained. ‘But I taught in the Transkei,’ I added, ‘when I was a very young man.’ ‘St. John’s College,’ MEC Qwase said. ‘You taught me, in 1979.’
The transfer of my Emmarentia property has been registered. The money has been deposited. I am sitting in an airport lounge, waiting for a late flight home, listening to jazz and blues, jazzy blues, bluesy jazz. I am tired, I am lucky.
I am simply, wisely, innocently, happy. I have every reason to be.