I could not believe how cold it was and I could hear the neighbors Jack Russells barking through the ear plugs that are closer to me than my sanity.
I felt like crap. My head was an ice cube and my eyes were staring at me in watery disbelief and my nose seemed to be running a marathon.
How the f*ck can it be so cold in South Africa, I thought. The weather had literally made me sick just like all those folks around me.
I barely get ill these days since that day four years ago when I almost went to see Jesus in person with lungs full of blood clots.
Since then it has been a time of great health and I feel blessed each time I step off a treadmill instead of doing something more important like cuddling on a couch. Just saying.
No one likes to get sick. I absolutely hate it because I feel sorry for myself. Really sorry.
To make things worse I was out of Coke Zero. It felt like an inhumane gulag-like punishment to wake up in a fridge and not have some cold Coke Zero to get my morning started alongside a hot cup of brewed coffee.
Yeah boet you read that right. Folks who know me and know me well know that I drink coffee and Coke Zero at the same time. Can't explain why but so it has been for many years (it used to be Diet Coke in the US).
As I plummeted the depths of self-inflicted despair I remembered the cautioning words of my Latina friend, Lisa, who is happily married and lives in sunny Arizona.
"It is when you sick and miserable that the one you love must be there for you. She should be coming over with flowers and soup and slippers and soft tissues. If she is far she should be calling you and writing and doing so over again because that is what someone who cares about you would do. Those are the signs of true love Ridwan. Remember my words."
"Yeah whatever," I thought as I arrogantly stared through her concern.
Now just a few years later each one of her words fall like heavy steel raindrops onto my played out head.
I remember that time when you persisted, I relented, then retracted.
You came over with flowers, soup, slippers, Nyquil, newspapers, and comedy DVDs. It was the first time a woman had ever given me flowers. And the last.
By about noon my eyes went for a walk and my nose called to say things were going to be awright if I rested some over the weekend.
My phone beeped and it was D. The kindest man I know and a brother who can telepathically pick up my despair at times.
"Boet I trust you are feeling better. Let me know what you need. Let's talk when you get a moment. And get better."
When I got home around 3:30pm the Jack Russells were still at it. I opened the door and the two kittens who follow me around stopped by for their daily inspection of all the emptiness that is my townhouse.
Sometimes in life the spaces in-between the spaces you planned are the ones that hold the most meaning.
But I don't like this unplanned space. If I did there would be flowers.
"... Good lovin', the girl's got plenty good lovin' ..."