This day can’t handle me

I drive the same route to work everyday just like millions of other inhabitants on earth. The same guy jokes and talks on the same radio station I listen to every day. Familiar faces in cars, stopping at traffic lights, fighting for gaps, dropping off kids, chasing time, getting to work and just get through another day. Humans caught in the monotony of life. I sigh and turn on my playlist, blasting via Bluetooth over the speakers of my SUV.

I recognised the intro as Flo-rida and couldn’t help but turn the volume button slightly. At 45 seconds into the song the beat kicks in and the base echoes harmoniously along. I catch myself tapping the steering wheel. My hand, with a mind of its own, turns up the volume even more. It’s the kinda song that stirs something in your body, it provokes feelings of running or dancing. The melody encourages jumping, clapping…something!

It’s a piece of music that does what great music is supposed to do, it doesn’t matter if it’s created by Flo-rida and David Guetta or Bach and Beethoven, it’s music that LIFTS your spirit. That changes your attitude in a moment, that has the ability to arouse positivity.

At 1 minute 46 seconds I am thumping loudly and people probably think I’ve finally broken my insanity switch. I allow the song to flood my body and let the beat and the base vibrate my soul. Suddenly I reduce speed, savouring the awesome spring sunshine that has won the battle with winter. I drive into the pits, quitting this private Grand Prix I entered. I see the people around me, not just looking at them, I see the happy ones, the sad ones, the frantic ones. I want everyone to hear this song, for it moved me.

Then I made my decision. Today. This Day. This average Friday. This nothing special is happening day. On this day… The. Day. Will. Not. Be. Able. To. Handle. Me.

I will attack it. I will run into it with full force, giving everything I have, yielding my sword and chasing down to the battle ground with a barbaric victory cry, executed with passion and vigour, filling my lungs with life, for today IT WILL BE A GOOD DAY.

My light is switched on. I will shine on every person I meet. I will lift the darkness for those who need it. Today. For I know, this 20 September 2013 is the only one we will ever get. There will never be another day like this one. And it’s mine to conquer. It’s mine to claim. It’s mine to savour. And I will. I will make this day spectacular.

And all I needed was a great song.

PS – If Flo-rida sang my anthem for the day, should I read anything in the fact that the next tune on my playlist was ‘Dip it Low’ from Christina Milian. Maybe an evening anthem…

Pieter and the Giant Tree

Another day was done, and the autumn sun dropped lazily out of the sky, filling the heavens with amazing shades of orange and red.  It was chilly and the wind decided that it was time to flex some muscles.  There was no pressure, as the sun was behind the mountain and the spectacular screen saver of leaves falling was hidden under the cover of darkness.  So wind was gunning for it.  Blowing yellow and brown leaves in contorted patterns, pushing through branches, straining against trees.

Snuggled in front of the TV with hot chocolate, we snickered at the wind, just like the third little piggy might have done.  Secured in our very own house made of bricks.  Wind was  huffing and puffing annoyingly and cried around the corners.  Fortunately our remote control has a volume button, we didn’t even flinch.  Wind was not happy, maybe even pissed off at our audacity for not acknowledging his efforts.  He upped his antics by a notch or two.  Then we heard it.  A thunderous CRACK, with the dog going ballistic.

I pressed the mute button and the wife and I looked bewildered at one other.  The kids were in bed.  We listened.  Nothing.  Only the sound of the wind laughing.  The movie was good and the hot chocolate better, so after a few seconds we resumed our lazy evening.  Then the phone rang, our neighbour.  He was jittery and anxious, trying his best to tell me that the wind uprooted the tree in front of our sidewalk.  At least we now knew where the “CRACK” came from.  I thanked him for the call and decided to have a look.  We enter and exit our house through the garage door which is connected to my study, yes we have a front door as well.

The wind is taking landscaping to a whole new level.

Unfortunately my neighbour does not have the required skill to tell a good story, nor is he a big fan of exaggeration.  (These sentences are nice ways of saying that he cannot appreciate a serious situation if it slapped him in the face.)  When I opened the garage door, I was greeted, not by a fallen tree, but a frigging rainforest sprouting in my driveway.  It was like someone threw magic beans around and the beanstalk was growing sideways.  And calling it a tree would be like calling the Sahara dessert a patch of sand.

My neighbour was yelling from the street, at least I think he was, as my view was slightly obstructed.  He might have still been on the phone, which was no hanging useless by my side.  To say I was surprised would have been the understatement of the 20th century.

I got my katana sword from my man cave, tied the red ribbon around my forehead and with glistening muscles in the moonlight I started foresting through the foliage, like a modern day Amazon explorer.   (At least that’s how I wanted it to look, reality being an unfit, 40 year old, white collar employee trying his best to govern himself safely across the top of a tree, now climbing sideways.)  I greeted various bird species on the way, most of them still trying to recollect what just happened to their houses, as they descended twenty metres in 3 seconds.  I suppose that some of the hatchlings would require therapy; for we all know falling is not flying.

Finally arriving at the other end, I could see the magnitude of the mess.  To put it bluntly, a real, full-blown, royal fuck-up.  I was travelling the next day and as is evident in the pictures, the cars wouldn’t be able to move, i.e. there was a tree in the way.  The only solution I had was similar to the desperate people on “Who wants to be a millionaire”, I phoned a friend.  Actually two.

It might seem odd that I have friends with chainsaws, but it takes all sorts.  As far as I know they don’t have masks made of human skin, but one can never be 100% sure of the habits of other people.

You cannot see the driveway but it’s there…

They arrived swiftly with the most bizarre expression of excitement I have ever seen.  It was full of vengeance and glee, ready to destroy this fallen giant.  What followed was a slasher movie fit for National Geographic.  The gracious tree was chopped into firewood and debris within an hour.  Greenies would have cried and sobbed.  I was left with moving the smaller pieces out of the way, as they didn’t trust me with the chainsaws.

The whole street came out, ready to start complaining about stupid people cutting down trees in the middle of the night.  No-one said anything after they gasped in surprise.

With the work finally completed, well sort of, we celebrated our gallant efforts, sitting in the moonlight with glistening foreheads and aching muscles, soothing the pain away with awesome friends and a nice stiff scotch whisky.