Monday, February 3, 2014

The last lunch


In Cape Town, there is always a last lunch before I leave for the airport. Nowadays, I catch a shuttle instead of being driven by my mother. It arrives, always ten minutes early, and I say my last goodbyes. I pat the dogs, and I hug my father and my mother, and we all try not to cry. It doesn't work.

But before that, for lunch, my mother does what she does. Loads a large tray with everything necessary for a beautiful table, with beautiful food, and my father does what he does, provides, quite matter of factly, but with innate delight, a bottle of Champagne, and carries the heavy tray out of the house and down the slope of the lawn, and across to the shaded deck under the plane tree.

And then we eat, and drink. Lately, he has been aiming the Champagne cork at the birdbath near the fence, and at least twice, managed to overshoot it. He is not a man who believes in squandering the pleasure of a bottle of bubbly by opening it with a discreet pffft.

It has to make a bang.


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