to Africa

London with its grey ambience was exactly as he remembered. The skies, closing in around you, much like a domed ceiling on a theatrical stage. There was no air and the echo of feet on the pavements of the city made it sound all the more so.

He didn’t feel the icy wind as he stepped from the damp, mildewed sidewalk in Cockspur Street, boarding the tall red number 13 bus. His black leather coat flapped around his length like a flag around a flagpole, the loss of body weight noticeable since the old days.

Observing from afar how well she was coping without him was the plan; disguise might not need to be considered. He had always been good at that, disguise, being the clown and his new lifestyle lent itself to this situation. It was November in London and the weather was disgusting, but he was loathe to let it spoil things. A distant lyric from a song echoed in his head.

“I bless the rains down in Africa”. Toto,1985, now it triggered memories of huge proportions. Harsh and cruel, with only it’s splendour and infinite beauty as a liberator. Dry Bushveld, parched and still, waiting for the saviour from a navy blue sky that could bring about transformation. Large drops falling, stinging your face, beating holes into the too dry earth. The heady fragrance when it was all over, with running rivulets changing the song of every bird, beast and insect of the undulating plains. Changing their Africa. Giving them life.

Outside the fog still swirled around the commuters in a queue. When he had appeared at the side of the road, earlier, a broad shouldered man and outstandingly different, he had drawn curious glances. This annoyed him and the look he gave bordered on confrontation.

“You haven’t changed, then?” She would have said. (click)


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