MAYBE I SHOULD have seen this coming, but I didn’t. I was innocently crossing the road when somebody ran over my foot. She was a lady, in a convertible. I looked at her. She looked at me – and then she drove over me. Just like that. I shouted out. ‘Hey, that’s my foot!’ It was really odd because in an abstract way I could not really believe that it was my foot under her car. Objectively, however, I could see that my foot was indeed stuck. Under her car. She got out and shouted at me, ‘I thought you had crossed!’ It was my sad duty to have to point out the obvious to her… ‘Well, I hadn’t.’
The weird thing is, I could see on her face when I rst clocked her coming my way that she was in some kind of godawful rush. I had a whole thought process about it. But then there I found myself – crumpled boot in hand and car guard rubbing the injured foot. She started shouting at me, ‘This is no time to be shouting!’ I was the calm one. So I plainly stated, ‘I am not the one shouting.’ At that moment I was just baf ed by the fact that a guy on the side of the street, who is usually after my cash for parking, was now engaged in a foot rub. I got up to get away from the unsolicited rub, still holding my accordion (aka former boot) when she hopped into her car and drove off. I was so mysti ed by the entire engagement that when I sat down in the coffee shop into which I was now forced to hobble – minus a boot – I just ordered a coffee and bemoaned my fate to my poor colleagues who were, in turn, mysti ed by my weird appearance.
My rst thought was, damn, I entered the Cape Town Marathon last night – I hope she hasn’t destroyed my foot and my chances. Then I thought, well, the foot seems ne, pity about the boot. Then I thought, oh dear, I am in a city other than my own and I don’t have a spare pair of shoes. So off we went, me limping about rather foolishly, and purchased a pair of ballerinas so I could make it through the day.
Why am I telling you this story? I concluded something. (Apologies for the obvs.) Accidents are like psychic question marks. A weird moment when the apparently linear forward-moving nature of the universe collapses in on itself. Things stop. Perhaps they fall apart. But one thing you can be sure of is that stuff has changed around you. It is as if some great cosmic power is nudging you – nay, shouting at you – to slow the hell down. I am not speaking of the lady who drove off with nary a care or an offer to x my boot, or even the notion to take my number lest she had, in fact, damaged my foot. Although I am sure the universe was giving her the same message.
I am speaking about me – if I look back to whenever I have had an accident, I realise that before the big fat psychic question mark, I was simply catapulting headlong into life. Always forward, always hectic, always on, until something happened to slow me down. Sometimes it was cataclysmic, sometimes it was just an accordion boot. What is always consistent is the import of the message. Where are you rushing to? What is so important you can’t wait? What will you achieve by speeding through your experiences when you could be savouring them? Slowly? Meaningfully? Attempting to understand what is really happening to you and why?
So to the convertible lady who drove over me – I won’t lie to you, I was pretty shocked and awed by the whole experience, but you sent me a wake-up call. I really need to slow the hell down and let the car guard rub my foot.
THE FASHION TEAM
PLAYED DRESS-UP WITH ME DURING THE
SHOOT ON P78… RED VALENTINO DRESS
R18 595 TIK LEE; DOLCE & GABBANA HANDBAG
R22 200 CATHERYNE GAEYLA FASHION; DKNY BEADED COLLAR NECKLACE R1 995
TIK LEE; VALERIA NECKLACE R3 200 HENRIETTE BOTHA; BOOTS ASPASIA’S OWN