It feels very close, almost stifling – from where I am lying. In the pitch-black darkness, I bring my arms up from the sides of my body and feel there is a solid piece of wood above me, just a few inches from my face. I kick my left foot to discover this piece of wood extends all the way down. In a complete sense of panic, much like when you’re in the middle of the set-up of a well-balanced, self-deprecating anti-Jewish stand-up comedy joke, and you’ve gone completely blank on the punchline – which is coming towards you like a bullet-train for an entire theatre-full audience to see, I feel for my Samsung cell-phone in my right pocket. Finding it, relief washes over me like it did when I managed to delete my entire dark-net browsing history of large volumes of orders of contraband gherkins picked by 9-year old Palestinian children employed illegally by Hasidic slave-masters in the Khan Younis refugee camp. I push a button and notice the very last WhatsApp message is from my wife – “don’t forget to get the Canon XXL print cartridges, I need to print out all the annexures this afternoon to the lawsuit against every single neighbour in the Beta Road periphery”.
Shining the blue-screen fluorescent lamp upwards, and pointing it downwards towards my feet, I realise I am entombed. I calm my mind down – trying to gather my thoughts, which are about to go supernova and I simply do not want the star called “my mind” to die just yet.
“What kind of wood is this?” I ask myself, fearful I am in an Israeli tomato-box coffin, only reserved for the Head of State. Yet I’m no president, yes – your humble narrator my dear brothers and sisters – is a mere mortal lawyer.
I sniff the wood and it smells like oak – at least whomever put me here felt I was worthy of a higher quality of corpse pot.
I try to think where I last was – oh yes, I remember now – I was getting blind drunk at Castello’s after nailing the liquidators in an High Court urgent I fended off from them – the scuzzbuckets – for the repayment of millions of rands my client got paid out right before some meat-man supplier lawyer pulled the plug on the doomed company for his little protein filled client.
I remember engaging in a stand-up argument with an attractive partially sober senior female lawyer about whether or not the South African government was going to pass draconian laws which restricted thoughts of murder, revenge and justifiable marital hate-crimes for both sexes. She said I needed psychiatric help. I told her the colour of her eyes deserved a brighter hue of power suit.
I then remember walking up Leeuwen Street to my John Cooper Works Mini motor vehicle which I had bought from a very desperate for love and money client. Starting the engine and lowering the soft top, I was suddenly surrounded by twenty or so street children cursing on the vaginas of their mothers. I emptied my wallet of white guilt and tens of blue notes and they dispersed. As I drove off, a taxi side-swiped me at an immense speed and then it was lights out, much like it was to my crotch when my wife’s patent leather boot’s toe box had delivered its message upon me accidentally losing the final draft of her neighbourhood class-action lawsuit on my lap-top.
It is quiet now, and I can go anywhere I want to: I can travel by beach buggy to any idyllic secluded beach in Fiji with azure water and endless gorgeous maidens serving me Grey Goose vodka, sugar and lime cocktails; or eat with genuinely friendly foodies at a three-star Michelin rated restaurant in Las Ramblas, Barcelona; or watch the Pet Shop Boys’ live concert at the Wembley Arena in London on 21 July 1989. All I have to do is close my eyes and imagine.
Like Connor MacLeod in the Highlander – I am simply immortal.
Barry Varkel, an attorney of the High Court of South Africa and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.
Author of Nigiri Law and Goy Vey
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