Miere en voorregte

Vanoggend is weer een van daai oggende waar ‘n oproep dinge weer in perspektief sit. Dit het eintlik Sondagaand al begin. Ons sit met ‘n mierprobleem in Kaitlin se kamer en in die woonstel ook. Ons spuit versigtig want so bly daar ‘n kolonie gecko’s ook in die dak en ek lief die ou diertjies. Heerlik om te sien hoe hulle van piepklein en amper deurskynend verander in ronde, vet mosgroen gediertetjies, dik gevreet aan al die ander dingetjies in die dak.

Sondagaand lê daar weer ‘n hoop miere en hulle eiertjies op Kaitlin se bed. Ons spuit verwoed. Alles. Deken, lakens, duvet, alles. Wasmasjien toe en so trek Kaitlin in Cézanne se kamer in. Cézanne bly nou in haar eie woonstel en die kamer is dus beskikbaar. Ons het ‘n heel rustige nag.

Gisteraand, so teen 11 uur, groet Kaitlin en keer bedwaarts. Pappa lê al en slaap en ek kom stuur gou ‘n paar e-posse. Die huis is doodstil – die miere ook. Die volgende oomblik vlieg Kaitlin by my in die studeerkamer in met oë groter as die vetste gecko in die huis. “DAAR IS ‘N VLERMUIS IN MY KAMER!!!” “Is jy seker dis nie ‘n mot nie?” vra ek, nie lus vir drama nie. “Dan is dit ‘n moerse groot mot maar ek het nog nooit so ‘n groot mot in my lewe gesien nie, dis ‘n vlermuis. Ek sê vir ma.” Dit is toe ‘n vlermuis. Nodeloos om te sê, sussie sien nie kans vir die moontlikheid van ‘n skermutseling met ‘n vlermuis nie en so trek sy in die spaarkamer in. En onthou, hier is nie ‘n bediende nie – EK moet al die ou wasgoedjies was.

Vanoggend is my moed toe in my skoene oor al die beddegoed wat vir my wag en ek maak dadelik kontak met iemand wat weet van miere en vlermuise verwyder. En so kry ek die “whatsapp” van ‘n vriend oor ‘n Oosterse babatjie wat ‘n suurlemoenskyfie te ete kry. Ek lag so en besluit om te bel om dankie te sê dat dit my dag opgebeur het. Die vriend het ‘n stukkende hart. ‘n Jarelange vriendin van hom is gediagnoseer met klierkanker en beenmurgkanker. En sy wil nie vir chemo gaan nie. Ek probeer om te verduidelik dat ek nogal begrip het vir haar keuse. Sy is siek maar kan daarmee “cope”. Chemo gaan haar baie sieker maak en dalk is haar keuse om die tyd wat sy oorhet, so mooi as moontlik en so sag as moontlik te geniet met haar geliefdes. Sy is siek. Punt. Haar keuse is dus om haarself nie nóg sieker te maak as wat sy reeds is nie en dus so die beste van haar tyd te maak. Hóé moeilik dit ookal vir hom is, hy moet probeer berus by haar besluit.

My vriend sê dankie en ek besef dat my miere en vlermuis eintlik nietig is in die groter prentjie. En dat ek elke dag dankbaar moet wees oor al die genade wat ek so mildelik ontvang.

My naam

So ‘n wyle gelede koop ek twee goedjies by iemand wat ver bly.  Die goedjies word gepos en ek wag.  En ek wag want julle weet mos dat die Poskantoor op ‘n selfvernietigende missie is om jou lewe so miserabel as moontlik te maak.  Elke dag maak ek die posbus met ingehoue verwagting oop in die hoop dat daar tog ‘n ou afhaalbewysie in sal wees.  Elke dag word ek diep teleurgestel maar gister is daar wraggies ‘n ou papiertjie in die posbus.  Geadresseer aan iemand wat ek nog moet ontmoet:  Raphe-Mari Studer.  Vir een keer is daar nie ‘n ekstra “r” in die van, tussen die “t” en die “u” nie maar die hemel weet, ek het geen idee hoe hulle by Raphe uitgekom het nie!  Ek moet vandag die poskantoor gaan oortuig dat ek wel die persoon is na wie verwys word op die strokie!

Soos julle weet, is my liewe Ma van Duitse herkoms en my liewe, oorlede Pa was ‘n stoere, Afrikaanssprekende man.  Hy het aan familiename geglo.  Moeder was nie veel te vinde vir familiename nie en wou my “Ilne” genoem het.  Ek wonder baie dae of ek ‘n lekker “Ilne” sou gewees het!  Vader het egter voet by stuk gehou en so erf ek toe my Duitse Ouma se name;  Käthe-Mari Dorothea.  (Ek het met die koms van rekenaars BAIE gou uitgevind hoe om die umlaut-a te kry:  alt 132)  Julle het geen idee hóé moeilik dit was om in ‘n Afrikaanssprekende gemeenskap met so ‘n Duitse naam te oorleef nie!  Ek kan ‘n boek skryf met al die byname wat ek al gehad het.  En ek het myself belowe dat geen van my kinders OOIT my name sou kry nie!

So sit ons in 1997 by die einste Ouma se begrafnis.  Kaitlin ‘n pap babatjie in my arms.  Haar naam het net gebeur.  Daar was druk op my om haar na my te vernoem maar ek het volstrek geweier.  Ek sou NIE die arme bloedjie met so ‘n opdraende stryd soos wat myne was, opsaal nie.  Kaitlin is dus die Skotse verbuiging van Käthe.  (Die arme ding het nog redelik baie Skotse bloed ook in haar are!)  So lees die dominee wat hy moet lees en elke keer verwys hy na Käthe.  Käthe dit en Käthe dat.  Skielik besef ek dat ek die enigste Käthe-Mari is wat oor is wat ek ken.  Ek kyk na die klein babatjie in my arms en skielik oorval ‘n onbeskryflik hartseer my.  En ek besef hoe simpel ek eintlik was om so hardkoppig te wees oor my pragtige, onuitspreekbare naam.

En intussen is Duncan se bynaam vir my:  Koekie van Staden.

Grys

Daar groot afwagting onder die mensdom oor die veelbesproke trilogie wat binnekort op die silwerdoek verskyn.  Ek wonder net hoe hulle al daardie gevryery in 90 minute gaan inprop maar dis nie waaroor my storie gaan nie.  Ja, ek praat van die 50 skakerings van grys.  (Volgens my is grys, grys en vaal en het ek geen benul hóé die skryfster by daardie kleur uitgekom het met al die kleur en geur waarmee sy sekere goeters binne en buite die slaapkamer beskryf het nie!)

So ‘n paar jaar gelede, omtrent toe die boeke net hulle verskyning gemaak het, moes Duncan Kaap toe vir werk.  Een van sy kollegas, ‘n dame, is saam.  Kom ons noem haar “M” ter wille van ordentlikheid.  ‘n Ruk voor díé trip, vertel ‘n vriend van Duncan glo van hierdie “awesome” boeke wat hy, wat Duncan is, vir my moet koop.  Die stomme man vra nie waaroor die boeke gaan nie maar hy bêre die stukkie inligting daar waar mans goed bêre wat hulle moet onthou.

So drentel hulle rond in die lughawegebou want soos maar altyd die geval met lughawens, is die vlug vertraag.  Dus boekwinkel toe.  So koop Duncan leesgenot vir sy eie plesier en soos die duiwel dit wil hê,  is die “grys boeke” netjies gestapel by die betaalpunt.  Êrens gaan daar ‘n liggie op vir my liewe man en hy koop die hele boksemdaais – erg in sy noppies dat hy ietsie vir sy vrou koop.   (En julle moet onthou, my man het ‘n hart so groot soos die oseaan.)

‘n Paar dae later is my man terug en haal my geskenk baie selfvondaan uit sy deurmekaar tas.  Ek skrik my morsdood!  “Probeer jy vir my iets sê?” vra ek met ‘n hart wat in my keel knop van pure skrik.  “Hoekom?, vra hy.  “Weet jy waaroor díé boeke gaan?, vra ek met ‘n gevoel in my binneste dat ek binnekort ander blyplek gaan moet soek.  “Nee”, sê hy en ek begin amper verlig voel.  “Nou kom ek verduidelik vir jou”, bied ek aan.  En ek verduidelik.

“O (^%$*^%^&)! “ sê my liewe man.  G’n wonder “M” het bloedrooi gebloos en gestotter toe ek haar gevra het of ek nie sommer vir haar ook die boeke kan koop nie!

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