Of mussle seekers and younger men...
Xmas shopping done just under a miraculous two hours, and managing to even enjoy it, we headed to Scarborough (in South Africa). A safe haven of tranquility, sea-spray, soft waves and endless skies. Far removed from the human-craze that is worming and clawing its way into car- and shopping queues this time of year.
Coming down with something close to flu-like year-end exhaustion (yes, I finally diagnosed the late cantankerous knackered spell) I needed to leave the whirlpool of chaos behind for a little while.
Basking in the sun we sat on rocks close to the road. Looking at the broad view I felt my life seep back to being me again. I felt solitude. Fynbos tickled my feet; oystercatchers flew across rock-puddles with shell food, surfers skimming the air far out on the western horizon. I am at home here. I may just want to put down my travel load here one day. Who knows?
Sipping unwooded chardonnay, we watched two men moving to- and fro between the rocks and sea waves. They were mussel seekers. One had a really nice back, although his skin a tad too bleached for this time of the season. The other one boasted a mop of unruly curly hair. They were aware of us and glanced up occasionally. Biting into pomegranate and sipping wine, we watched them. Speculated and shared a giggle about what might happen next.
They ventured up and dropped their full bags by our feet. Lounged on the dry grass and vygies, asking if we made a habit of watching strangers clambering and skidding over rocks. Of course not, we said indignantly. Just happen to visit the place often, finish a bottle of good white wine and return to our lives with newly acquired strength for yet another week’s work.
They didn’t believe us, I know. Could see it in their eyes. The hopes of youth, or male chauvinistic wistfulness to be watched and admired by women of a slightly wiser age? Shrug, I really don’t know. They were fun, young, curios and boldly flirtatious, I know that without a wink of doubt. Otherwise I’d have been a lost case of a slowly ageing stock-deaf-hopelessness idiocy.
Do younger men feel comfortable with slightly older women? Why so? These two were so at ease, almost vulnerably so, with us. Did we try to impress? No, the answer to that may be at their door or simply the fact that nobody needed to make an impression. We talked easily about whereabouts, a muscle potjiekos-invite which we declined, neighbours and stuff.
Perhaps they sensed that we would not be charmed and bowled over as easily as our twenty something counterparts.
It would be grossly unfair if these two guys were fooled into believing we aren't “fair game”. Because that would be such a wrong conclusion on their part. They eventually headed back to their car. There was no pressure neither any self-pitying thoughts as I watched them go. Happy for the company shared and completely at ease staying behind. Maybe my life journey has taught me a few things, but I must admit, finding myself in a space between twenty’s and forty’s is a whole new experience with a lot of stuff out there waiting to be learned.
One thing I sensed yesterday, was however strong and comfortable a young thirty-something can look outwardly, doesn't mean she doesn't harbor a great many other feelings inside. Still blushing deeply and even innocently under the intense and curious gaze of a twenty something male.
Life so often seems to run ahead of itself on an overload of cheap junk and predictable plastic… When the unexpected challenges one as it did yesterday – the feeling that submerges is one of being startlingly refreshing. Don’t you think?