I was 17 years old and the teenage hormones were driving me up the rockers. As a big boned boy I got away with looking 21. But I was still a baby who trained so hard I made people think I was training for the Olympics .My typical training session started with a 12km run, then a 1 hour weights session or a supper circuit with one minute running in between or a Punching bag session on 15/ 3 min rounds. This was mainly for the morning sessions during the week.
I was slowly approaching the goal of perfect specimen and even fantasised for a Super Man Role or a black 007.
Billy De Williams had just done Mahogany and with my hair perfectly Permed by Themba or Tumi at ALEX HAIR I figured I am a carbon copy of Billy Dee.
Now, then there was Shirley!
She was 32 years old with a baby boy that later became my kid brother. She was tall, dark and beautiful and in her I saw my own Daina Ross. I fantasised about her the moment I laid eyes on her at the Metro Cash & Carry were I first saw her. She was pushing some trolleys wearing a Dust Coat, which looked like a mink coat to me. Love at first sight is not an imagination of some romantic fools somewhere, it Exists.
She even moved as if in slow motion.
Wow, what a Lady.
We hit it off, against all odds and our age difference meant nothing. She even introduced me to her Entire family. Sisters,Grannies, Uncles an ALL. Then I realised that Shirley was Brave and that gave me so much encouragement and confidence that you need as a young man. Do not get me wrong if you said or did anything to upset her. I would simply ‘Fuck you up’-Period. I was also at that age where my assault record at the Protea Magistrate Court spoke volumes.
Shirley taught me everything about Loving, Manners, Romance and I was a good student. And she would scold me if a made a mistake almost in a hash motherly manner. HEY? STOP!!! Then she would go on to encourage me ‘TAKE IT SLOW BABY’………. ‘DO NOT RUSH’……..’TAKE YOUR TIME’!
She turned me into the loving machine that many dreams are made off. She was good and all weekend bonding, cuddling, caressing, stroking, blowing, the whole nine yards, she taught and introduced to me!
I owe her a lot.
One day, as boys will be boys, she found me with a Date at my mother’s shop where I worked during school holidays. Now, funny I did not panic, while I loved and respected her I did not fear her. For the first time in my life I got to understand the difference between Love, Respect and Fear. To think that my nerves are now made of steel, I owe it all to Shirley.
I closed the store with both ladies present. Speaking to each in turn as if the other is not there. But also being mindful not to disrespect the other. All three of us got into the truck at 9:30 that Saturday Evening.
We all knew that I was the ‘Bastard’ who caused this mess .We then engaged in non verbal’s. I spoke to each in turn without uttering a word. This was a horrible experience for both of them but for Shirley also a good teaching moment for me, and funny I never panicked. We then Got to that part of the evening were I had to take one home first? After a marathon emotional turmoil. Shirley broke the deadlock and suggested that I take her home first since neither wanted to be taken home first.
We drove all the way to Orlando East with no one saying a word. Even the non-verbal’s had stopped.
When we finally got to her place, she took me into the house and locked the door. She could have easily thrown the key out the window.
She calmly said ‘Mac take this Poor lady home, and come back to me!’
I took the key and walked out without a word .Took the lady to Meadowlands. One day I may tell you
A little about this lady but today is Shirley’s Day.
As I returned over the bridge from Meadowlands Zone 5,into the Maponya’s intersection, I went down past the Hector Peterson Memorial, a broken boy. By the time I went past Vilakazi’s street towards Pasha’s Garage I was deep in thoughts and as I crossed the the Death Highway I had one thing on my Mind.
Just to be safe in Shirley’s Arms Again!
(This Piece is dedicated to Shirley……….I do not wish to complicate her life by giving you her Surname. Since I met her years later with her added family and Husband at the Rand Easter Show. She did not see me, but a waved from afar and in my heart said thank you for all you taught me.)