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.