Found and Lost. - Bikozulu
5 months ago, 20 Mar 14:05
There are readers who don’t comment. They email me thoughts. Some are long emails, others are short emails. Some make sense to me, others only make sense to them. Some become e-friends, others become real acquaintances. This particular one began with this girl emailing me to tell me that her widowed mother – now a retired teacher in the village – is a big fan of Mantalk and that she would be thrilled if I emailed her on her 65th birthday to wish her a happy birthday. I thought, why the hell not? After all, we are both products of mothers who were teachers. We have to stick together against all those people whose mothers used to wear high heels to work. Plan was; she would transfer the content of my email to a Word document, print it as a letter and deliver it to her mother. So I wrote her mother an email on her birthday. Something as cheesy as you would expect. You know; “Hallo Mama Purity Boy, was I chuffed when your daughter emailed me to tell me that you read me, a whole English teacher! What an honour, ma’am! I hope retirement is treating you well. How do you fill your time, anyway? Do you have goats and all? Do you sit in the verandah, reading glasses balanced on your nose? You must be so relaxed. And happy. Anyway, a little birdie – okay, your daughter – mentioned that it’s your “happy birthday” today and that you are – for some reason that I don’t understand – a huge fan of Mantalk. Well, happy birthday! Do you have a cake? Are there balloons? What is your wish today when you blow the candle? I hope you blow many more candles because your daughter thinks the world of you…yada yada yada… I went to town with that letter. She was very happy to read from me, the daughter told me. Flattered even. I was flattered too and happy that she was happy. I honestly thought I would go to heaven after that. Anyhow, the daughter and I kept in touch. She would write in once in a while to comment about a story I had written or just gas. She was sharp, funny and very queer. It helped that she never wrote those long, dreadful emails because I never want to spend my life reading long emails. They were snappy emails, over before they started, sometimes not even ending, as if she started writing them and lost interest midway and sent them anyway. She also addressed me as Jacko, perhaps to mirror her whacko. Sometimes she would write very strange, one-line emails: “Jacko, today I saw a bird that reminded me of you.” I wrote back asking if she meant a bird as in a chick or a bird with beaks and wings? Then she wrote, “A bird; warm-blooded, egg-laying vertebrate. I know it’s odd but I saw it and thought, that bird reminds me of Jacko. ...
Category: blogs bikozulu
This year, as the column steps into its fifth year, I thought I would share with my dear readers some important lessons that I have learnt in the course of writing a newspaper column. ...Category: blogs