Thursday night, J and I rode (she rode Catch – he's unfit but coming along nicely).
We got back pretty late, because I came from work, so we only got going around 1725 or so – C and Malawi were waiting for us.
We hosed them down – it was flippin hot still – and put them in and fed and all that.
We said goodbye to Isaac, who went off on his bicycle, as usual, to go to the shops.
We would give him a lift in winter – but in summer he uses his bike.
J left first and I left soon after. I passed Isaac by, as he was walking to the end of the sand track, and waved to him as he got onto his bicycle.
He never made it home.
L called me yesterday afternoon, around 1600, while I was at work. He said he'd just come from the police station, with Patrick (Isaac's brother, who also works at the stables) and he had identified the body.
Isaac was hit by a car, coming through the stop street, at the end of the road. Around 1850.
It must have happened mere minutes after I saw him.
Luckily I was sitting down when L called.
I was (and still am) in complete shock. And so, so sad.
Isaac was one of the sweetest, kindest gents I've ever had the priviledge of knowing.
He was brilliant with the horses (never putting up with Ex's nonsense, and always being extra gentle with Catch who is very sensitive) and would always do his best to help out. He even tacked up for me a few times, when I was riding all 3 horses in one day and was running out of daylight.
I will miss his irreverent humour and shy smile. And he always sang while he groomed the horses. Sometimes old gospel songs in Xhosa, and sometimes hip hop, in his heavily accented English.
He always smelled of Zambuc, when he got in the car. And Sunlight soap.
He was teaching me Xhosa. A new word every time I was down at the stables.
People from all up and down Swaanswyk road left flowers and cards at the stop street where it happened. One of his shoes is still there. I felt pretty gutted when I saw that.
J and I left some wire flowers (the kind you buy from those dudes at the traffic lights) – because they will last longer.
He will not be forgotten.
His wife left for Transkei 2 weeks ago. I cannot even imagine how she must feel.
And Patrick. His brother.
I went up to the stables this morning, early, to help him out with the horses.
He had already fed them, so I helped muck out. I got dirty, and sweaty, and it felt good. Just to do _something_ to help.
I made sure Patrick had my number and said that if he needed ANYTHING, he only had to call.
He said I didn't have to come help out with the horses later, he could manage fine.
He said I should come ride on the weekends now. It would be "good". Because I'm working during the week and don't have time like I used to. I said that M had said I wasn't allowed to, but he said she hadn't been to ride, or even to visit, in years. LIterally _years_.
So. I will speak to Barry next time I see him, and tell him i will be riding on the weekends.
I won't be able to ride with M and the gang anymore, once I make my job decision. So i will have to throw myself into the old boys. Like it was before. I think that's good. Good for me.
I feel.. numb now.
Rest In Peace, my friend Isaac.
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