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The Package

by Vicky Hale / 20.10.2010

The traffic on Fourth is momentarily heavy. A brief lull in the conversation and I can enjoy the setting sun. It’s been awhile since I could meet someone for drinks and sit outside. It’s definitely warming up. Give it a week or two and I’ll swap out my red wine for cocktails. Right now though, Cool Runnings will simply have to keep a steady flow of Pinotage coming this way. I need some dutch courage to get through this.

Hell, he’s hot. Piercing blue eyes staring out of an alabaster angel face with cheek bones you could slice cheese on. Yeah, I’d hit that in a heart beat. His motorbike leaning casually on the pavement inspires a sudden thought. Never done it on a bike. Should add that to my bucket list.

I’ve been looking forward to drinkipoos all week. Since he sms’d me on Saturday night. The beginning of the chase; the mandatory battle of wits; perfecting the art of dressing to the nines without looking like you’re trying too hard. Yay for warmer weather, makes my life easier. If this top was any tighter it would stop doing me any favours.

What on earth are we talking about? Neo-anarchic philosophy and African politics. That’s not really what I’m saying and I know that’s not what I’m hearing. There’s an undercurrent of other questions.

“So what does your boyfriend do?”

Ashley flashes into my head in full force. I suppose now is a good a time as any to deal with the issue. But I don’t. Instead I exchange pleasantries about job satisfaction and the recession.

Another glass of wine and the bike is looking ever so shiney. I’m all warm in places that make me shiver.
I try broach the subject via the physical dance pieces I saw at the SexActually sexual awareness theatre event at Wits this week. But my vocabularly is as obscure as they were.

The focaccia arrives. Always to share – who wants to worry about garlic breath right?

The waitress asks if we could pay our bill. Her shift is ending. I’m drunk. He’s tipsy. The unhad conversation sits on my head like an octopus. Neither one of us is ready to leave. We’ll have to settle the tab and keep talking until we’ve gone where we need to go.

We pull out our wallets. Still parrying, still pretending this conversation is about philosophy’. Not paying attention to our hands, only to each others faces, to every miniscule expression of mischief. I grab notes, he grabs notes, and the waitress is off before we have a chance look at the damage.

I want to spill into his lap and kiss him.

There’s a sudden ruckus emanating from inside. Laughter. The waiters and waitresses are killing themselves over something. And then they are looking at us as our buxoum brunette makes her way towards our table with a huge grin and a barely contained giggle.

“Here’s your change guys”

Inside the black booklet, a few notes, a few coins, and in all its patriotic glory, a blue government issue condom.

Wow. I feel an unwanted surge of sobreity coming along.

It wasn’t his. And it wasn’t mine. I keep mine with my tampons in the the little zip up compartment that doesn’t spill out when I periodically drop my handbag. It was Ashley’s. I told Ashley about him. I always do. It’s not about his ego. It’s not about pregnancy either. I had the copper-T put in two years ago. Ash is more concerned about me getting fok dronk and into the sack without protection.

So we have the safe sex talk. The who else are you shagging talk. The when did you last get tested talk.

It didn’t happen that night. But it did last night. And now I can cross something off my bucket list.

Safe Sex

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