White Logic


On the hottest day in Cape Town I drove (of course I did)

Around the corner to the public swimming pool.

Two giant red cones blocked the driveway

To a small piece of parking lot

Designated for parkers coming to the pool.

I waved and made hand signals to the security man.


I was, breaststroke hands, block nose and sink,

Coming to swim.

He moved a cone and I drove through.


One glorious, cool, R8 swim later

I left, still in costume and damp towel,

And climbed back into my steaming car.

The cones were firmly in place

And the security guard a solid line of tension.


A fashionable 4×4 was blocking the way

Waiting, like a shark, for the cone to be moved

So it could slip into the parking lot.



The security guard and I negotiated my exit.

I stopped to talk to the driver of the fashionable 4×4,

A long haired, boyishly handsome white man.

“These parking spaces are for people using the pool” I said

In a calm and friendly tone.

“It’s public parking,” he said. “I will pay the R8 entrance to the pool to park here.”

“But it’s for people who are coming to swim” I said. Again.

“But I will pay.”

“But you aren’t going to swim,” I said. “It’s for people who are using the pool.”

Behind him a row of cars had lined up. People wanting to park to use the pool.

“Please,” I said. “These people are waiting. They want to park. They are going to the pool.”

“I said I will pay!” He had just lost his cool.


I drove on. I stopped to chat to the man in the car behind the fashionable 4×4.

“You going to the pool?”

“Yes,” he said.

It was going to take him a while.


On this hottest day in Cape Town.