“Ey man, the line’s this side.”
I wasn’t having it. “Look, I’ve been waiting here for 30 minutes already. I’m after you. It’s fine”
“You must queue this side though.”
“No I’m not going anywhere, I’m standing here.” I said, not quite slurring.
He looked at me from over his shoulder. I looked at him frankly, then looked back at the simmering skottel of onions and boerewors, watching the lady turn them: pink, raw, boiling in their juices. The onions smelled good. The guy was still staring at me.
“You gotta queue over there dude.”
“Yeah I’m not moving. I’m behind you in this line, get your shit and you can leave and I’ll get my fucking roll.” I gestured to the skottel, drunk and expressive.
He glanced over at his friend. “What did you just say?”
“Don’t say ‘fucking’ again dude.”
“What?” Smiling, “Fucking, what’s the problem? Hey? Fucking.”
Now he’d turned to face me. I took my hands from my pockets and held them loose and ready.
“What’s the matter? You wanna swing at me? Come lets go across the road if you wanna fucking swing.” His friend was laughing but they weren’t going to try anything. He turned back to the skottel.
And so did I. Still feeling merry and wanting to be on good terms, I started talking to him again.
“Hey. Listen. We could actually be friends.” He was weirded out by the proposal.
The friend chirped in, laughing, “Yeah ____ you guys could be friends.”
“Think about this” I continued earnestly, “Think about this. You were born, and raised, and had your life.” I illustrated the timeline with my hand. “As was I, my own life, nice guy, and now we’re here at this moment. We could be friends. I don’t want any beef. I’ve just been waiting here a long time, that’s it.”
Later, still waiting for this lady to finish stewing the sausages:
“What’s your name?” He held out his hand.
“Shaun.” Taking it. “And yours?”
“Loyiso? Nice to meet you.”