Tiny droplets race ahead of the impending deluge, scouting ahead of the crimson tide cutting a deep swathe across all it encounters. Perfection glimmers for a brief moment as sunlight dances off the surface of this strange land before it is engulfed by a sea of red gliding over it like silk. Reaching the end of what seemed like an endless plain of silver, the ruby beads let fly off the edge into the unknown.

Their new-found rapture in the wonder of flight does not last long as they crash into a forest of fibres woven with disturbing purpose. As the mysterious tangle absorbs the front-runners, the crimson flood arrives, bolstering the force’s energetic escape from a dark prison it found itself in but moments ago. Though formidable in its efforts, what appears to have been a river is quickly reduced to a trickle as the never-ending forest continues to quench its thirst, staining itself a similar scarlet in doing so.

wooooooooooo.....

The blade was buried deep, brought down with meaning and hopefully enough force as what all those who willed it to be there could muster. The man did not expect it. It was crafted well, with steel folded by true masters finding themselves in the forges of such things. He could feel this as the work of art dug deep into his back, making light work of any muscle or tendon foolish enough to challenge it. Although he did not expect the sliver of pain shooting through his left shoulder now, he was by no means unaccustomed to it.

dood deur middel van wortel

what you need will be the end of you

The assailant’s aim was slightly lower than the previous would-be assassin, assigned with a similar task. “Suppose that, at least, is a good thing” he thought to himself – the previous wound had only just healed, and scar tissue takes a bit longer to fix itself the second or third time around. A slight twitch as it dug deeper may have been less than they were hoping for, but he wasn’t going to give them anything more than that.

He could feel the grip around the hilt tear away as he turned to face the others in the room. She almost stumbled, her hasty retreat to the group executed with somewhat less agility than he had given her credit for in the past. What met him was an assortment of faces he had learnt to trust over the past couple of years – some of them only a few weeks, others months, but here and there even more than that.

“Are you fucking serious?”

You could see the surprise on the faces of those that have not known him for that long. They had all heard the rumours, the stories, the myths – the majority of them finding themselves not yet a part of his life when the apparent events transpired. Most of them simply brushed the tales aside as drunk-talk by someone angry at the world with unsubstantiated reason. Little did they know that they now found themselves amidst yet another chapter unfolding.

Even though I’d love to continue scribbling on about this fellow’s adventures, I’m saving that for something else. And yes, trust me: there’s a lot more. Basically, it’s a quick snapshot of my life over the past couple of weeks. Some hidden meanings and references more apparent than others, but I can guarantee you that the majority of people reading this piece of writing shouldn’t presume to think they know anything. To quote one of my most favourite Greek philosophers ever: “Assumption is, indeed, the mother of all fuck-ups.”

I like to refer to myself as a catalyst. “What is this inane reference to the field of chemistry, Ian?” you may ask. Well, for those of you not necessarily up-to-speed with the wonderful world of acids, bases and all its other fun little uses:

cat·a·lyst   [kat-l-ist]

–noun

  1. Chemistry . a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected.
  2. something that causes activity between two or more persons or forces without itself being affected.
  3. a person or thing that precipitates an event or change: His imprisonment by the government served as the catalyst that helped transform social unrest into revolution.
  4. a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes others to be more friendly, enthusiastic, or energetic.

“OK – but how the hell does this pertain to you, oh mysterious and nonsensical one?”

Regardless of my very public distaste for humanity, I rather enjoy meeting new people – call it fostering some silly kind of false hope, if you need. As most of you know, I also enjoy partying it up quite a bit. That being said, it should also be known that I party in a very wide variety of circles. I find myself jiving with almost every stereotypical crowd there is. I shake my booty in the hottest clubs, I thrash out with head-banging to hardcore metal, I enjoy my whiskey and cigars in underground jazz clubs, I love a good pint at the pub, I suit-up for exquisite balls, lavish cocktails in lounges, I braai with the best “oppiPlaas” – everything.

I also enjoy bringing people together. People meeting other people, everyone having a good time, everyone just being themselves without having to hold back just because they’ve been labelled by society. I can proudly say that I have introduced people to each other whose paths would have never-bloody-ever crossed otherwise. A lot of people nod and smile when situations like those present themselves, going their separate ways after the fact – but some of these folks have even gone on to become the best of friends ever. As a matter of fact, the majority of people walk away from my mini-parties or get-togethers with a bunch of people they get along with very well. Where it gets sticky, is what follows.

Awesome – my friends all get along and enjoy each other’s company. I’ve managed to “make the circle beega” and enjoyed myself whilst doing so. After a while the people involved start drifting a bit. They become quieter, appear to not go out as much or always have some family thing they need to go to. I don’t really pay that much attention – I have a busy life-style too. Each member of my immediate family is more than a thousand kilometres away and I still don’t have enough time for everybody all the time. Sure. Next time. I’m sure I’ll be on the list next time when they go out.

Enter our lovely little social network sites – the most convenient way to keep in touch with anyone that knows how to operate a mobile phone (‘cause some people still find it incredibly hard to figure out those little things embedded in the Short Message System, or SMS). First the updates of the good night out with awesome people, when you were pretty keen to do something but ended up staying in because your mate seemed “too busy.”

Then the synchronisation of these instances among people you know. By this time you’ve found “more reliable” people who actually respond to efforts of communication, and as a result you may be enjoying that brewski with them rather than the former. Then the photographic razorblades. Parties, dinners, festivals – everyone there. Everyone you had introduced to each other. Everyone except you, the catalyst. “How the hell does that work?”

You see, in chemistry, after the catalyst has served its purpose by making the two constituents of whatever the desired product is work together, it’s no longer part of the picture. Neither the constituents nor the product give a shit what the catalyst does or what happens to it. It’s simply cast aside and moves on to find the next two parts it makes work together, still remaining on its own. In the greater scheme of things, the way this molecule is composed may be integral to the interaction with another singular molecule to produce something that is greater than any of the products resulting from its use as catalyst…

Unfortunately, in the cesspool that is our society, the possibility of this occurring is destined to remain a mere fantasy. In my short time on this Earth, fate has strewn thousands of souls across my ragged path. The illusion of true happiness had indeed taunted me on occasion, albeit for only a brief moment in the chaos that is my life, but never succeeded in digging its bittersweet claws into who I truly am. Until that day comes, I shall forever wander the wastes upon which humanity pretends to build its dreams.

you've been warned...