OYSTERHOOD is reclusiveness or solitude, or an overwhelming desire to stay at home.
Last week at the Alma Café Traders’ Market, my book stand was next to Luke Ellenbogen’s of Luke’s Larder. Like his parents, Luke is a theatre person, but he lost his job at the Fugard Theatre during lockdown. On Saturday, a week ago, I watched many people come up to his stand and taste his homemade produce and smile from ear to ear. Almost everyone walked away with a bag full of goodies. It was great to see so many happy customers.
Today, I went to the market as a visitor. To my surprise, Simone and Ernesto Garcia Marquez were selling vinyls there. It was good to see them again and to say hello. And Luke was there, too. I had coffee and Retha’s famous lemon meringue pie on the stoep of the Café and just sat in the sun for a while. When it was time to pack up, Luke and I chatted and he kindly offered me some of his food to try at home.
I came home overwhelmed by his generosity and kindness. Remembering the happy faces of last week, I know my love and I are in for a treat of note. And my faith in the goodness of people has been restored all over again. Such an amazing act of sharing. This is what matters, what makes everything else pale in comparison.
The morning before the market was spent in bed, reading and resting. The early afternoon included some work. Then I went to see my love, and together, we visited a couple who invited us for dinner at their home. A first for both couples since the beginning of the lockdown. No hugging. No close contact of any kind. We kept well apart even at the big dinner table, with empty chairs between us. Despite all these precautions, it felt good to be together and to enjoy a lovely evening in one another’s company. I wore a pretty scarf from my Mom and my silver slippers (I only wear them for special occasions, so this was the first time in five months). We finished in time for me to get back home before the curfew, and because I chose to be the designated driver, I am having a proper glass of red only now while writing.
These are strange times and almost nothing is easy, but one can cope with a lot when there are so many kindred spirits around.
Tonight, I fall asleep with a less heavy heart.
Be kind. Wear a mask. Support local.
“Physical distancing remains one of the key strategies to curb this pandemic.”