Neil Coppen

writings/ plays/ poetry/musings/travel journals and newspaper columns

Letter on Shark’s and Beer peeling


Letter on Shark’s and Beer peeling

I sit with shark alarms ringing in the bay bellow, children and adults scatter from the water, as they did in the ‘Jaws’ movies. I look to the water and sure enough murky shapes lurk. And to think that some man is hired to sit on the mountain top and scan the water for such shapes, alerting bathers when ever he spots one. The bell has rung four times today which makes me think he’s really on the ball as well as, well, why go in the god damn water at all?I pick up the Mail and Guardian, get as far as the article on tick -the drug not the blood sucker (same thing) rotted brains inducing rape with screwdrivers, men fucking dogs. Nauseous, I put it down again.I drink beer ,Peroni, cause it’s Italian and supposedly makes beer drinking seem more sophisticated (which don’t think it was never meant to be).I do not care much about sophistication simply prefer Peroni for the fact that their labels are easily peelable. I think the pleasure surrounding my new found habit of beer drinking is mainly rooted in the act of peeling off their labels. Like smoking is to the attention deficit or socially awkward. When one does not know what to say, or rather feel the need to say anything, they busy themselves by lighting another cigarette or in my case lighting another cigarette whilst removing the label from a beer. I take my time, sometimes allowing the act to last a hour. Some say this habit indicates sexual frustration, as does wearing purple, but my frustration is not sexual but rather existential. I do not know what colour indicates existential? If you happen to know, would you kindly pass on the information. I’m looking into mental deficiencies, as with most things on the market there are so many to choose from. It is Saturday afternoon, I feel removed from all the world .The vantage point of this window makes one feel unreachable. In the evenings I sit in this same couch and watch the lights of Mitchell’s plain appearing across the bay. A stones throw between heaven and hell, which is not to say Fishoek is heaven (hardly) but comparatively speaking. I do not take my mind further then the lights, behind them a darkness unimaginable. I do not try to imagine, rather sit here and peel beer bottles, secretly (sickly) hoping that a gray shape might slip past the attentive little gnome and his alarm on the mountain side. The violence of hungry fish so much more acceptable, digestible, then the atrocities inflicted on man upon man and recalled so vividly between the pages of the M&G.

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