Barefoot days

Now that you have mentioned it, I liked it better when all we were was tall, dark and skinny. When we all had browning short hair and Vaseline chiselled faces. We ran barefoot across wet and dry plains, laughing endlessly; running pointlessly. As I lay on the sand and the waves sway  my mind to calm thoughts, its simpler times I succumb to. You remember don’t you?  When riding bicycles was an upgrade; from walking home  to and fro school, I never could remember to pack my raincoat, hence I packed away my school shoes and books in a plastic bag and put it in my bag and walked home barefoot. The shivers of cold icey rain still linger down my spine till this day. I open my eyes; to let the sunshine brighten my that memory somehow. Yes there we go; simplicity in its prime when school was all about getting a couple of stars for patterns you drew effortlessly. When friendship was just a matter of being whoever was in the vicinity, whenever you had a fun idea of how to spend a free afternoon; when all that mattered was if you were done with your chores.

I know you want me to come back, especially now that simplicity has lost its allure to the world. I will come back if you can promise me this: that you will call me from your landline and ask my mother’s permission to come over. When I do get there we will clap hands, sing, dance and most importantly endlessly laugh. That we will hold hands and run across the veld again barefoot. And that when we lay on the green grass to take a breather, nothing will be more important than that moment . Then we will take a ride along the river towards the sunset and share stories of  our time apart as the rays marvel on the river’s reflection. When we get back, your mum will scold us for coming back so dirty and run a bath for us. Can you promise me that the veld still stands, not destroyed by some selfish cause or that the river still runs clean and fresh. If you can then there is a fighting chance I will visit you soon, just to feel alive again. I open my eyes again; I am alive but its not the same as the barefoot days.


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